/Bar Pica, Rome's Best Gelato?

Bar Pica, Rome's Best Gelato?


This weekend in their Globspotters Blog, the Times ran a short piece claiming the gelato at Bar Pica near Largo Argentina is Rome’s best. It is undoubtedly noteworthy, but in this city, the crown should not be given away so easily. Yes, Pica’s manna flavor (mentioned in the post) is very good and when paired with pistachio, it makes a fine ode to Sicily. The riso con canella and caramel verge on the remarkable. But there is something about the slightly grainy texture of these and other offerings that makes me long for the creaminess of the gelato at Ciampini, or even Giolitti! Pica’s gelato shares its consistency with Il Gelato di San Crispino, which I hate. And no matter how whimisical its flavors, Pica will never surpass the greatness and creativity that is Fata Morgana. I know other gelato-loving locals would agree. Food in Rome is right there with me on Fata Morgana and Moscerina swears by Gelato del Teatro.

Where do your allegiances lie?

2016-01-09T19:09:44+00:00 April 27th, 2009|Categories: Carbs, Gastronomic Traditions, Gelato, Restaurants, Rome & Lazio, Sweets & Dessert|16 Comments


  1. Linda April 27, 2009 at 8:56 pm - Reply

    I pledge allegiance to Gelateria Gracchi – their second shop conveniently and dangerously located a 5 minute walk from our house.

  2. ciaochowlinda April 27, 2009 at 10:06 pm - Reply

    Get yourself over to a little hole in the wall in Trastevere called Giorgiagel. It’s on S.Francesco a Ripa and they make THE BEST cioccolato fondente in the world. Combine it with the coconut and it’s like eating a frozen easter egg. Plus they are generous with their servings and it’s a bargain to boot. I agree with you on S. Crispino. Oh how I wish I were there right now to try some. I did a post on my blog in Oct. ’08 called “I Scream, We all scream for Gelato” with my ratings of gelateria in Rome. If you have a chance give it a gander and let me know what you think.

  3. Katie April 27, 2009 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    Ooooh that one is pretty badass. I wish I got over to Prati more. I have Ciuri Ciuri just below my place in Monti, but it is Sicilian and not Roman gelato. It is a dangerous asset in the summer when I can’t walk by without grabbing a granita or mini cono. On weak days, I go for the brioche con panna.

  4. Katie April 28, 2009 at 1:50 am - Reply

    @ciaochowlinda oooh that place sounds great. checking out your blog post now.

  5. gillian April 28, 2009 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    I find the gelato at pica a bit too sweet…and san crispino a bit too ubiquitous.

    love, love, love gelateria gracchi!

    and here is my find…worth the trek up the hill!!

    this place is amazing…organic cream from the alps, single estate chocolate, bronte pistachios…you get the picture 🙂


  6. exromana April 28, 2009 at 8:29 pm - Reply

    excellent post. i agree, the article in the NYT was a sham. there are so many other gems in the city, like il bucatino in testaccio, for eg. as for da felice, perhaps once upon a time- however, not after the place was refurbished -it became a victim of it’s own success. there are also several gems in the garbatella quarter, again, not mentioned in the article.

    as for gelato- i agree, pica too sweet. ciampini is tops, one of the flagships. another favourite is in piazza re di roma- almost like a watering hole, where they have seasonal specialities- for eg vanilla with the fresh nemi berries or dark chocolate with pear. we alw referred to it as the gelateria in re di roma, so i dont know the specific name. in addition to this- being a cioccolato fondente gelato addict, i searched the city w a fine toothcomb- and finally found a place which became my fave- bar frattina on via frattina. best dark chocolate ice cream.

  7. Katie April 28, 2009 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    @gillian wow the website causes quite a headache but i will definitely seek out il mio gelato naturale asap. i think i need to devote a day to the gelaterie, bakeries and alimentari of prati and balduina!

  8. Katie April 28, 2009 at 11:01 pm - Reply

    @exromana haha i totally know what place you are talking about in re di roma and have no idea what its real name is! lets just say its legal name is “the gelateria in re di roma”, shall we? I will have to check out bar frattina on via frattina. non ce l’ho presente. im drawing a total blank. i suppose my knack for sensing gelato al cioccolato fondente within a 10 foot radius is not as well honed as i thought. thanks for the tip!!!

  9. Don Alfredo de Bonis April 29, 2009 at 2:57 am - Reply

    Ciao Katie, Just want to put my due euro in on the gelato postings. There are two gelaterie near the Alimandi’s which is a block away from the Entrata dei Musei Vaticani on the via Tunisi
    One gelateria is across the street from the Via Tunisi hotel run by a Siciliano. Great gelato.
    The other is located across from the Vatican wall by Piazza del Risorgimento called, Old Bridge( in fact the gelataio told me there is a town in New Jersey called Old Bridge but the shop was named from a Bridge that use to extend from the Vatican across the street(che no so ma mi sempra un po storiella) Keep up the good work on your food blog. Hope to see you again in October when I return to do my cooking school in Lucca. Ciao

  10. Katie April 29, 2009 at 6:59 am - Reply

    @Don Alfredo I like Old Bridge. Its classic, to the point and the first place I ever had doppia panna, a moment that was truly life altering. i dont know the one on via tunisi but will try to scope it out the next time i do a Vatican tour. Thanks for the input!

  11. Megan April 29, 2009 at 9:12 am - Reply

    The gelateria in Piazza Re di Roma is Le Procope. I LOVE that place. I used to live very nearby on the Appia and would get off the Metro two stops early just to grab a cone for the rest of the walk home. I always stuck to their classics – cioccolato, pistachio, nocciola. Divine. Also love Ciampini and just got to try Fata Morgana for the first time (shame on me) this weekend. I have been thinking about their rice & vanilla flavor all week. Next, I plan to try the pear & gorgonzola.

  12. Katie April 29, 2009 at 2:02 pm - Reply

    @Megan so that is the name. thanks! their pistachio is pretty sick. we should all make pilgrimage out to Fata Morgana one day after work! I need it!

  13. passi May 4, 2009 at 4:17 pm - Reply

    Ah the great gelateria debate!
    I love it and the gelato too, It even made it on our top 8 reason to love living in Rome (see our blog http://tinyurl.com/dd5xuz)
    I need to broaden my gelato taste buds though I keep on going back for vanilla, maybe its because I miss 99’s which is terrible because that’s just fake whipped ice cream served in a cone with a flake, for those of you who don’t know what it is, but in Dublin Teddys is the best place for it!. I am in Rome now and as the saying goes when in Rome… so ill have to try out some new flavours!!

    • Katie May 4, 2009 at 5:05 pm - Reply

      @passi i love the classic roman flavors like pistacchio and nocciola (hazelnut) though I will branch out if the flavor is intriguing. for that you must visit Fata Morgana!

  14. Eating on a Budget in Rome October 30, 2010 at 6:45 pm - Reply

    […] Bar Pica Via della Seggiola, 12 (Largo Argentina) This bar/tavola calda/gelateria serves hot meals at lunch with lots of great pasta and veggies. A full meal followed by a gelato runs around €10. […]

  15. Romesecret August 3, 2012 at 11:15 pm - Reply

    For me Pica is the best and a secret I’ve always kept to myself. I’m thrilled
    the NYT didn’t just follow the usual inexplicable hype of San Crispino which for me is totally overrated. Gelateria Teatro is my second best when Pica is closed and now they have opened a second gelateria around the corner from Pica, I may have to have double ice cream when I’m in the area. Anyone been to Grom yet? There was a queue to the Pantheon last time I tried…

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