Romans have quite the affinity for pizza al taglio, porchetta sandwiches, and carbonara, but they’re also rather fond of a sweet treat. The confection of choice for many residents of the Eternal City, myself included, is maritozzi. 

This classic dessert is a delicious sweet bun filled with thick whipped cream. It’s been a favorite in the Lazio region since Ancient Rome. During the Middle Ages, it was so beloved that it was the only dessert that could be enjoyed during Lent in the lead-up to Easter. 

These days, the stuffed brioche buns are so treasured that the first Saturday of December each year has been declared Maritozzo Day.

While some still see them as a Lenten snack, I’d happily eat these tasty pastries year-round, and I’ve brought people to do exactly that on my Rome food tours! Because of this, I have a pretty good knowledge of the top spots for maritozzi in Rome, and I’ve detailed the best of the best below.

Regoli Pasticceria

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Photo credit: Regoli Pasticceria

As you’re checking out Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II during your Roman retreat, you’ll likely stumble upon Regoli Pasticceria. It’s difficult to miss, as it’s usually packed with patrons from the moment it opens its doors.

Regoli Pasticceria has been crafting baked goods for over 100 years, and as delectable as their croissants and tarts are, it’s all about the maritozzi for me. You’ll understand why once you enter the contemporary yet charming store and cast your eyes on these buns.

There’s nothing I love more than sipping on a steaming cappuccino or espresso alongside freshly baked maritozzo. If you’re lucky, as I’ve been here just a handful of times, you might even secure a seat at one of the few outdoor tables.

A classic maritozzo from Regoli Pasticceria is tough to beat for me, and my last visit reminded me of this. The lightly sweet bun let the generous serving of smooth vanilla cream do the talking, and the espresso’s bitterness evened out the flavor profile.

Regoli Pasticceria (€€) Via dello Statuto, 60, 00185 Roma RM, Italy – Closed Tuesday. Open Wednesday to Monday, 7:00 am to 7:00 pm

Il Maritozzaro

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Photo credit: Il Maritozzaro

A Roman institution for top-quality maritozzi, Il Maritozzaro dates back to the 1960s and has been straddling the neighborhoods of Monteverde and Portuense ever since. Doubling up as a bar, it’s a 24-hour establishment on most days of the week.

Each time I visit, I’m immediately greeted by the most mouthwatering aromas of fresh pastries and the friendliest of staff. Despite just having a clutch of outdoor tables, the little corner it occupies is a bustling spot at any hour.

If I’m feeling particularly peckish for maritozzi, this is my go-to, as the portions are incredibly filling. It’s also where I’m drawn to when I have a hankering for a flavored alternative, as these guys whip up a heavenly Nutella maritozzi

I ordered this last time I was here, and I’ve been dreaming about it ever since! The delicate doughy flavors of the soft bun and the rich cream are indulgent on their own, but when paired with the hazelnut hues of the Nutella, this became a truly over-the-top and drool-worthy concoction.

Il Maritozzaro (€) Via Ettore Rolli, 50, 00153 Roma RM, Italy – Open Monday, 7:00 pm to 12:00 am, Tuesday to Saturday, 24 hours, Sunday, 12:00 am to 7:00 pm

Il Maritozzo Rosso

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Photo credit: Il Maritozzo Rosso

Trastevere’s hottest maritozzi joint, Il Maritozzo Rosso, has garnered such a stellar reputation that the team has opened up a second location in Prati. I’ve yet to venture to their newer branch, but if the original is anything to go by, I’ll bet their maritozzi varieties are outstanding.

More of a sit-down spot than most other spots dishing up maritozzi in Rome, Il Maritozzo Rosso is a cozy eatery with stone walls, elegant decor, and an almost rustic vibe. I usually try to pull up a seat at the bar, as it’s positioned right in front of the always-busy open kitchen.

Though they boast a long line-up of traditionally sweet maritozzi, including amazing white chocolate and pistachio options, I recently sampled one of their savory creations. Admittedly, I was initially hesitant, but the waiter quickly sold me on the idea.

The amatriciana, anchovies, and stracciatella varieties initially caught my eye, but I later settled on the intriguing escarole, Taggiasca olive, sultana, and pine nut-filled alternative. Because the dough was mild and light, the bold flavors of the toppings really shined.

Each ingredient brought something different to the dish, and the unlikely combination of honey-like sultanas, bitter olives, and vegetal escarole was wonderful. The dish was topped with buttery and crunchy pine nuts, which contrasted with the chewy sultanas and tender escarole.

Il Maritozzo Rosso (€€) Vicolo del Cedro, 26, 00153 Roma RM, Italy – Closed Monday. Open Tuesday to Friday, 10:30 am to 3:00 pm and 6:30 pm to 11:00 pm, Saturday, 10:30 am to 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm, Sunday, 10:30 am to 4:00 pm

Roscioli Caffè Pasticceria

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Photo credit: Roscioli Caffè Pasticceria

I came across Roscioli Caffè Pasticceria last year while ambling around Regola. As soon as I spotted people tucking into maritozzi outside, I was instantly lured in. It turns out that this is not your average pastry or coffee shop, as the selection of desserts was enormous.

Inside, the tall wood-clad ceiling and picture-adorned walls host rows of cornetti, tartlets, and the all-important maritozzi. Despite appearing to be a popular spot for tourists, plenty of Italians dined here, too, which is pretty telling of how sublime the food was.

The queue moved swiftly, which meant I only had to wait a few minutes to dig into my maritozzo, which I paired with a cappuccino. Although I opted for the smaller maritozzo, they certainly didn’t hold back on the cream. In terms of portion size, I already couldn’t fault this place.

It was the ultimate treat for my ever-present sweet tooth, between the warm, frothy milk in the cappuccino and the silky, sugary cream inside the dough. Thankfully, the bun was airy and lightweight, so I didn’t feel defeated when I finished the maritozzo!

Roscioli Caffè Pasticceria (€€)Piazza Benedetto Cairoli, 16, 00186 Roma RM, Italy, open Monday to Friday, 7:00 am to 6:00 pm, Saturday, 7:30 am to 6:00 pm, Sunday, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm

Pasticceria Linari

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Photo credit: Pasticceria Linari

Residents of Testaccio are all too familiar with the cakes and doughnuts the pastry chefs at Pasticceria Linari craft every day of the week. This locally loved haunt is especially famed for its maritozzi, which is among the best in Rome.

An expansive, modern cafe with a hefty assortment of baked delights, Pasticceria Linari, is all about enjoying quality food in a casual setting. While it does get pretty packed, it’s still among my favorite spots in the neighborhood to kick back with a maritozzo.

The last time I was here, I was one of the many customers ordering their maritozzi for breakfast. Despite the ever-growing line, the staff remained attentive and personable, something which I really admire about the team here.

I pulled up one of the few remaining seats in the corner and dived into the fluffy bun and melt-in-your-mouth sugared cream. Maybe it’s the hint of citrusy flavors or the pinch of honey, but the maritozzo here leaves a lingering aftertaste that keeps me coming back time and time again.

Pasticceria Linari (€€)Via Nicola Zabaglia, 9, 00153 Roma RM, Italy, open Monday, 6:30 am to 1:00 pm, Tuesday to Sunday, 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm

Faro – Caffè Specialty

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Photo credit: Faro – Caffè Specialty

Faro lies in the east of the city, just a few steps from the magnificent Porta Pia. It’s not every day I recommend venturing far out of the center for one specific food, but Faro is an exception. The maritozzi here are superb and come in two distinct flavors.

The monochrome tiling and sleek wooden tables give this place a paired-back vibe, and it’s generally brimming with locals. Though Faro primarily focuses on specialty coffee, their small but well-stocked pastry shelves have become popular with maritozzi lovers like myself.

I’m a huge fan of their custard-filled maritozzo, a quirky take on the traditional recipe. The classic option is available here, too, and every time I visit, almost every second customer seems to be nibbling on one of the varieties.

When I came by a few months ago, I got my hands on the last custard maritozzo of the day, and it was as incredible as ever. This blend of milky custard and spongy dough is divine, and the addition of earthy pine nuts was the perfect finishing touch.

Faro – Caffè Specialty (€€)Via Piave, 55, 00187 Roma RM, Italy, open Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, Saturday to Sunday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Conclusion

If I ever get hit with a sugar craving I can’t curb, visiting one of these exceptional spots serving the finest maritozzi in Rome always does the trick.

The Italian capital is awash with bakeries and pastry shops whipping up sensational maritozzi, so you’ll always be within easy reach of these Roman sweets.



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