il leoncino in rome {onion, sausage + bean pizza}

How did I not know about Pizzeria Leoncino? I must have walked down this centrally located street at least a hundred times (if not more) in my life. I’m always on the lookout for a decent place to eat in that neighborhood – only a few blocks away from the only cinema in Rome that shows English language films. Yet there you have it. A pizza place whose speciality was a “Onion, Bean and Sausage Pizza” and it was totally off my radar.

Yes. You heard me right. A pizza with three of my favorite food groups: onion, bean and sausage. I mean really, who dreams up these things?

While I’ve certainly had sausage pizza, as well as onion, I have to admit that never ever have I seen bean pizza (except some abomination with baked beans in the freezer aisle of Sainsbury). The onions in house specialty are thinly sliced and cooked before they make it onto the pizza, so that they melt almost like butter into the bed of milky mozzarella. On top of this: chunks of crumbly sausage, with white cannelini beans scattered in between.


The pizza crust itself is excellent. Nice and thin, Roman style, and crisped along the edges from its time  in the wood burning oven. The oven, by the way, is said to have been here for at least 100 years. Located smack in the center of the restaurant, it makes for a cozy setting in winter (in summer grab one of the outdoor tables).

The place is basic: florescent lighting, grumpy waiters and often a long line to get in. It is, however, one of the few pizzerias in town open for lunch. Good to know.

They have all the other standard pizzas like margherita, marinara, napoletano, funghi, etc. But why bother – I ask you – when that holy trinity of bean-onion-sausage is on offer?

And I must add a thank you to Jeanette and James, who discovered this place ages ago. Thank you for taking us here. (And absolutely makes up for the bad movie you made us sit through beforehand.)

Pizzeria Il Leoncino
Via del Leoncino 28

Open lunch & dinner. Closed Wednesday.

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  1. Anonymous says

    I love the pizza at Leoncino and the other thing you didn’t mention was the price, we usually pay something like 25 euros for two. Next time you go you have to try their fagioli all’ucceletto, they are really good.

  2. says

    This was a favorite place for pizza also pizza al taglio back in the 60s-70s. They have recently spruced up and enlarged. Note the old PIZZA sign that has been removed from above the door.
    Your photo of the waiter taking your order is priceless!

  3. Anonymous says

    The pizza looks great. As for movie……rent Mostly Martha or Big Night, stay at home and watch some great films!

  4. says

    Quoi!? I pride myself on my sausage pizza but never ever ever would I have added beans and if only I hadn’t made pizza the night before last, I would be taking a stab at this right now!

    PS. Crabby waiter photo made me laugh!

  5. says

    Thanks for the tip. It’s not easy to find decent pizza for lunch (Da Francesco – piazza del Fico – isn’t bad but they are currently closed for renovation).
    For dessert, ice cream from Gelato, Piazza Monte d’Oro.

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