What to eat in Rome: Le Levain Roma at 22-23 Via Luigi Santini, 00153 Roma, Italy

When I visited Rome a couple of weeks back, I was really despondent because it was such a challenge to find real good food there. After amazing food in previous cities like Barcelona, it was hard to believe that the ancient capital of Italy only had touristy pizzas and pastas. That's why I was pleasantly surprised when I visited a French boulangerie (bakery) in the heart of trendy Trastevere called Le Levain Roma which serves up authentic and oh-so-delicious bread, sandwiches and pastries. Now this is one place I can truly recommend for anyone in Rome to have a magnificent breakfast or lunch at, and I've think I've visited enough bakeries in Singapore (almost all) and France to tell you that! 

The shop was cosy and warm when I went - and the main thing that will strike you when you walk in is the infinite row of sweets and savouries that is laid out in front of your eyes in the glass counter display. I love it when bakeries display all their goods in such an enticing manner - after all, that's the menu and eyes have to eat too! There was such an array of eclairs, tarts, cakes, macarons, puff pastries that I felt like getting one of everything! Then there's the sandwiches, mini burgers and croque monsieur that will draw your nose and eyes to with their deliciousness.

Not forgetting the smell of the shop - as the staff and Chef will be still busy baking and making the goods in the kitchen behind the counter, there's a liveliness in the air with customers going in and out and the smell of butter and freshly baked bread. It does get busy during the weekends (they are open on Sundays!), as it is only one of the only 2 decent French boulangerie in town and the locals' tastebuds have chosen!

So many items, so many choices! Prices are really reasonable for the quality and freshness you're getting too. Did you know that "Le Levain" refers to "leaven" which according to the dictionary means:

I was particularly taken with the second meaning of Le Levain, because I'd like to think that this bakery is transforming the breakfast and food scene in Rome for the better :)

I was fascinated by these white shiny domes in the display. They look so cute, waiting to be selected, packed away or eaten!

The macarons were really good, by the way. I tried the White Truffle Chocolate macaron, and it wasn't too sweet but well-balanced with a delicate hard shell covering a rich creamy filling. Dare I say that it's even better than Laduree?

On to tasting! My favorite time of the day (brunch) was perfect that day because glutton me has got a croque monsieur (ham and melted cheese toast), a buttery croissant, a flaky, buttery kouign aman and a panzerotto (not pictured, but in my hand in the last pic!) to go with a cappuccino. They were all AMAZING.

I found out from Chef Giuseppe Solfrizzi, who studied at the Ecole Nationale Superieure de Pâtisserie in Lyon, France as a former pupil of famous pâtisserie chef Alain Ducasse before perfecting his skills in Belgium with patissier-chocolatier Jean-Philippe Darcis that the croissants were twice fermented, and all his pastries use high quality French butter, which makes A LOT of difference.

The Kouign Aman was so flaky, yet perfectly moist with the right amount of chewiness. 

It's plain, but plain good!

Lastly, I tried a panzerotto fresh from the oven - a half moon of pizza dough stuffed with tomatoes , mozzarella and fresh basil. It's not French, but quintessentially Italian, and I love how both can coexist in this bakery.

Source: @lelevainroma on Instagram
Here's me looking super happy with my adventure in Le Levain Roma. Once again I'll recommend this bakery to anyone in Rome who's visiting or living for some decent, honest-to-goodness pastries, cakes and bread!

Oh and I have to leave you with this wonderful video I found of the place. Food porn!

Le Levain Roma
Boulangerie Pasticceria Laboratorio Artigianale 
Via Luigi Santini 22-23 (Trastevere), Rome 00153, Italy
Tuesdays to Saturdays: 8am to 8.30pm, Sundays: 9am - 7.30pm 
Closed on Mondays

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