(SPOT.ph) Not too long ago, we might have been strong advocates for the idea that even bad pizza can be good—and in some ways, we still are. But with the higher accessibility of authentic (or close enough) dough recipes online, and the ideal cheese and tomatoes now more readily available to the local food scene, the Philippine pie game has been popping off in a serious way.
That said, this year’s Top 10 list for pizza in the Metro is getting specific. From the fundamental cheese pizza, we move on to the classic pepperoni, which turns out to be a little more complicated than most people think. You’ll learn more as we go along, but for now, our rubric ranks the crust, the cheese, the tomato sauce, overall presentation, and the peppery sausage in question separately, coming together to one average score.
All SPOT.ph Top 10 lists are researched, paid for, tested, and selected by the writers and editors. They are discreetly conducted without any notice made to the establishments or their owners.
Here’s where you can get the best pepperoni pizza in Metro Manila:
10. Pepperoni from Bistro Ravioli
No tea, no shade, this one surprised us, too. The crust on Bistro Ravioli's Pepperoni (P290/bambino, P450/regular) is on the crunchier side, but it’s not at all off-putting, and the tomato sauce doesn’t call too much attention to itself. This is a pretty well-balanced number that doesn’t pretend to be anything more than it is, or try too hard to hide any weaknesses. Plus, the pepperoni slices have oozed enough to give a slight orange hue to the whole thing, which makes it oddly more appetizing. If you’re looking for something simple but still several miles above the cafeteria pizza situation we knew in our youth, this is the one.
See a list of Bistro Ravioli branches.
9. Spicy Salami from a mano
We’re continuing the list with a bit of a wince, but we want to make it clear that the elements of a great pepperoni pizza are all present in a mano's Spicy Salami (P745). At time of testing, however—while the crust had great texture and just the right amount of char and tang, the mozzarella almost perfectly rich, and the pepperoni punchy and salty and oozing rendered fat—the tomato sauce unfortunately brought this pie several notches down. It wasn’t even the flavor (it was good and tangy), but the distribution. Some sections were soupier than others, weighed down by more sauce, which in turn made the pepperoni seem too salty where sauce was lacking. Again, the pieces were all there, and you’ll probably be more fortunate when you order it yourself. But at this price point, this location, and all those good ingredients—great enough to still make the list, even—this contender taught us a valuable lesson in execution.
a mano is at Power Plant Mall, Lopez Drive, Rockwell, Makati City and Unit LG22, G/F One Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City.
8. Pepperoni from Rodolfo Pizzeria
Among the many smaller pizzerias popping up along sleepy residential streets, Rodolfo might possibly be the best one. The Pepperoni (P375) well proves it. Wherever they get their cheese, it delivers a great amount of both stretch and richness to just the right amount of sauce; the pepperoni’s flavor profile satisfies the normie’s craving rather than any hyper-Italian criteria, but that’s not a bad thing in any way. The crust is a great demonstration of our earlier point—the recipes and techniques needed for better dough are accessible, and Rodolfo made use of that fact. There’s enough snap, a hint of tang, a good crunch in places, and a decent distribution of char, giving the whole thing a cozy look. Basically, if you live along A. Bonifacio in Makati, we envy you a little.
Rodolfo Pizzeria is at 2571 A. Bonifacio Street, Barangay Bangkal, Makati City.
7. Pepperoni from Friuli Trattoria
It feels like one of those home shopping network deals—the low, low cost of P290—but you get way more than just bang for your buck on this one. There’s not much char to the crust, but somehow, it’s not any the lesser for it; the cheese, while without much stretch or contribution to overall flavor, wants for nothing in richness, which balances out the salty-tangy sausage slices. This is one pie you’d be happy to come back to weekly, and at that price point, you can afford to.
See a list of Friuli Trattoria branches.
6. Pepperoni from Amare la Cucina
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: There’s a reason Amare La Cucina is a go-to for brick oven pizza, and their Pepperoni (P360/media, P470/grande) just proves our point. With a near-perfect crust (big thanks to their ovens), and mozzarella, tomatoes, and pepperoni all at about the same level of quality, their rendition doesn’t disappoint. The only thing that keeps this one from climbing further is that it seems to be made to be eaten with other items, which we’re happy to do, usually—but pizzas that can stand on their own are the ones that make a party.
Amare La Cucina is at 91 East Capitol Drive, Barangay Kapitolyo, Pasig City.
5. Soppresata Piccante from Motorino Pizza
Here’s where the term “pepperoni” gets a little complicated. Depending on where you are in the world, it could simply be a term in reference to a lightly spicy salami (more accurately known as salami piccante), and seeing as soppressata is a type of cold cut in the same general family, the difference in name accounts for very little to those who just want to chomp. It’s really only that technicality that puts Motorino's Soppresata Piccante (P545) at number five, because the crust has the right amount of both snap and droop—expect nothing less from Brooklyn’s own—and the sauce isn't overpowering (although, depending on the branch, they might go a little overboard on the moisture). The cheese has decent stretch, but overall, when it arrives at your table, it’s a goddamn beautiful pizza.
See a list of Motorino Pizza branches.
4. Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza from Pizzulu
One of the best crusts on this list, Pizzulu’s Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza (P575) has “main character has chosen to cry on the couch to a romcom instead of going out on a Friday night” energy, and honestly? Mood. This paragraph is less of a review and more of a description of a vibe, because this pie definitely looks the part—its golden brown blend of crust and cheese with the light sheen of oil (from a slightly too-slick tomato sauce) kind of calls out to you, and the taste doesn’t disappoint. If you ever need a slice to mop up tears, go on and get it from Pizzulu.
See a list of Pizzulu branches.
3. Diavola from Francesco’s
If Francesco’s Diavola (P630) cost about 50 bucks fewer, this list would have been a lot harder to put together. Still, for what you get, the price is justified—the crust has a subtle but consistent level of crunch all throughout while also somehow being a little buttery in the mouth. Yeah, we said buttery. The tomato, cheese, and pepperoni are all top-notch and nicely balanced in terms of flavor, distribution, and amount, and it certainly looks like the kind of pizza you’ll burn your tongue with because it’s too beautiful to be left alone. The less said about this the better—we’re wasting time not eating it.
Francesco's is at BGC Corporate Center, 30th Street Corner 11th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City and 863 A. Mabini Street, San Juan City.
2. Pepperoni from Wildflour Italian
Again, had this hurt the wallet a little less, maybe we could talk about Wildflour Italian's entry (P795) more, but there is something distinctly Italian about this pie that still gives us cause to rank it this high. If there was a 1.5th place, we’d put it there, because everything about this is so on-point. No, you won’t be guzzling this on the couch, but you can imagine yourself savoring every bite while exchanging longing looks with that person you’re pretty sure is into you, too… or, uh, people-watching solo. Whatever. This pizza, on top of nailing all the elements, has the energy of riding a Vespa down the Via Veneto; of sleek women in Positano; tall men with pointy leather shoes who glare you into submission; Father, Son, House of Gucci on a plate.
Wildflour Italian is at G/F The Finance Centre, 9th Avenue corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City.
1. Pepperonley from Crosta Pizzeria
A relatively new find, and we can’t even say that this name is a dark horse because they pretty much hit the ground running when they opened. You simply cannot beat the P250 pricetag on this, and if this contender were to walk a ballroom, category is pizza—IYKYK—it would be the closest to a tens-across-the-board score that food at this level could possibly get. Nothing about this pizza is mid; the only downside to Crosta is the line that forms down the block on a weekend, which, while not new for the Salcedo area it inhabits, can get a little disappointing when you were looking forward to it all week. We don’t know where they get their pepperoni, but it does that thing where all the fat renders out and around it, and the meat shrivels into a little cup, keeping some of the goodness inside—all on top of that stretchy cheese, subtle sauce, and near-perfect crust. If you happen to pass by when there’s no line—and they’re not closed—go get it, we’re practically begging you. (And if you're in for an even more glorious pepperoni party, consider ordering this pie's leveled-up, 'roni cup-topped cousin, the Roni Sicilian.)
Crosta Pizzeria is at Liberty Center, 104 HV Dela Costa corner Leviste Streets, Salcedo Village, Makati City.