I Dolci di Nonna Vincenza
With its first Rome location opened this year, Catania-based bakery I Dolci di Nonna Vicenza brings the Sicilian weakness for sweetness (and preference for a big portion size!) to Rome's classic cornetto. Despite being the size of a small plate, a cornetto here tastes airy, light, and goes down with disturbing ease. For the ultimate kick, go for the "cornetto con marmellata" (croissant with jam)—it makes each bite explode with the perfect combination of tart and sweet. The other Sicilian pastries are also worth a try; they're made fresh daily, right in the back of the bakery.
I Dolci di Nonna Vincenza: Via Arco del Monte 98a or Piazza Monte Citorio 116, Rome, 00186. dolcinonnavincenza.it
Antico Forno Roscioli
Since its opening in 1972, Antico Forno Roscioli has been nothing short of an institution. This uber-traditional bakery has it all, from pizza to pastries. The cornetti, though, are where it's at. Each cornetto's exterior has just the right amount of crispness; take a bite to feel the insides tear apart like tissue, with just the right amount of chewiness. Not too sweet or too bland, too dry or too moist, these cornetti couldn't be more traditional, Roman, or delicious.
Antico Forno Roscioli:Via dei Chiavari 34, Rome, salumeriaroscioli.com
It's easy to walk right by this old-school cafe, located in the heart of working-class, foodie-favorite neighborhood Testaccio. Don't. Instead, head inside for one of the best—and most authentic—cappuccino-and-cornetto experiences in Rome. Locals crowd the bar for their morning fix, which must, of course, include one of the cafe's cornetti. Unlike almost every other cafe in Rome, Barberini doesn't buy frozen pastries in bulk from a distributor; instead, they make them fresh themselves. That's not to mention fact that they've put a few twists on the classic Roman recipe, including using butter instead of lard, which make these some of the most delicious, light, chewy, and perfectly-moist cornetti in Rome.
Barberini:Via Marmorata 41/43, Rome 00153
Antico Forno ai Serpenti
Despite its name, this bakery is anything but ancient—it opened in Monti, the ancient-yet-trendy neighborhood a stone's throw from the Roman forum, a little more than a year ago. As well as delicious cakes, cookies, pies, and pizza, the upscale bakery offers some of Rome's best cornetti. If you have a weak spot for baklava, this is where to order your cornetto "integrale con miele" (wheat with honey); the outside might be crisp, but the inside oozes with serious sweetness.
Antico Forno ai Serpenti: Via dei Serpenti 122/123, Rome 00184
Cristalli di Zucchero
For those who like their cornetti more like croissants—flaky, buttery, light, and oh-so-Parisian—Cristalli di Zucchero is the place to head. This snazzy little cafe and bakery, tucked just around the corner from Circus Maximus, serves up some of the prettiest, and best, croissants in town. Go for a cornetto filled with fresh berries... if they haven't already run out. The other pastries, cakes, and macaroons are delicious, too.
Cristalli di Zucchero:Via di San Teodoro 88 , Rome, 00186