Where to Eat the Best Supplì in Rome
By: Kate Zargoski
Supplì, Rome’s favorite street food
Without a doubt the Romans’ most beloved fried snack is the supplì. These fried rice balls are on sale across the city in pizzerias and street food shops and are the perfect choice for a hearty, comforting bite on the go at any time of day.
Traditionally they are prepared with risotto rice cooked with a tomato ragù, rolled into an oval shape with a piece of mozzarella tucked in the centre, then dipped in egg, bread-crumbed and deep-fried until golden and piping hot. Not to be confused with ‘arancini’, which come from Sicily and have a different shape and preparation, the Roman supplì are a law unto themselves that the locals take very seriously.
Good supplì should be made from quality ingredients, with the time taken to build up the flavor of the filling. They should be eaten freshly fried to ensure a crisp, non-greasy coating, and so the mozzarella inside begins to melt. The full name ‘supplì al telefono’ comes from the string of melted cheese which appears when you bite into it which was said to look like a telephone wire.
Nowadays many Roman eateries are putting their own spin on the classic supplì recipe to offer a seemingly endless number of variations across the city.
Here are the 5 top picks from Local Aromas for the best places in town for a top-notch supplì snack on the go:
Chef Arcangelo Dandini’s street food outpost offers no fewer than seven varieties of supplì to choose from, ranging from the classic to delicious takes on Roman classics such as the ‘Carbonara’ (with eggs, pecorino cheese and bacon) or the ‘Arrabbiata’ (a spicy mix of tomato and red chilli). The location in the outer environs of Campo de’ Fiori makes it a great supplì pit-stop while exploring Rome’s historic centre.
Supplizio, Via dei Banchi Vecchi 143 (Campo de’ Fiori), Tel: +39.06.8987 1920
A Trastevere institution, I Supplì opened its doors in 1979 and continues to provide local trasteverini with good-quality Roman fast-food throughout the day. Also known as ‘la casa dei supplì’ (the house of supplì), the tiny shop is easy to spot thanks to the almost constant bustle of people coming in and out. Here, the slow-cooked meat sauce is the key to the depth of flavor while a generous addition of good mozzarella guarantees a good telephone wire.
I Supplì, Via San Francesco a Ripa 137 (Trastevere), Tel: +39.06.5897110
Testaccio Market is fast-gaining a reputation as not only a great place to shop, but also to eat. This is thanks in many ways to the wave of interesting dining options that have popped up at the market since it moved to its current, modern premises in 2012. FoodBox delights in utilizing the excellent produce of the market to offer street food and snacks to hungry shoppers including their wonderful supplì which are freshly-fried to order.
FoodBox, Box 66 Testaccio Market, Via Beniamino Franklin 12/C (Testaccio), Tel +39.339.2754645
If you need a post-Vatican supplì-fix, make sure you head to this esteemed pizza shop located right by the exit of the Vatican Museums. Gabriele Bonci’s hearty take on the classic supplì is full of flavor. There are often interesting variations, including the supplì spaghettoni, a similar concept but using thick spaghetti to substitute the traditional rice.
Pizzarium, Via della Meloria, 43 (Vatican), Tel: +39.06.39745416
Although perhaps more famous for the now ubiquitous ‘trapizzino’, a pizza pocket stuffed with traditional recipes, pizza-maker Stefano Callegari’s supplì are also a force to be reckoned with and can be found at the multiple Trapizzino branches throughout town. Alongside the traditional version, there are some interesting twists such as the ‘Genovese’ with slowly stewed beef and onions and the ‘Tortellino’ made with prosciutto, mortadella and meat stock to evoke the flavour of the traditional tortellini in broth.
Trapizzino, Piazza Trilussa 46 (Trastevere), +39.06.5817312
To find out more about supplì and sample some of the best in town sign up for our Roman Street Food Tour.