10 Places for Great Italian Food in Manila

These'll make you go mamma mia!

PHOTO BY Majoy Siason / Miko Dilao

(SPOT.ph) From pizza to spaghetti, we have practically embraced Italian cuisine as our own. But there’s more to Italian than just pasta and pizza. Explore the fine flavors of Italy at these molto buono spots around the Metro.

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Here are 10 great places for Italian food around the Metro:

Va Bene Pasta Deli

PHOTO BY Va Bene Facebook page

Who would’ve thought that you’d find a legit Italian restaurant at a gas station? Ever since Chef Massimo Veronesi opened Va Bene Pasta Deli in 2010, foodies have flocked to this cozy deli that specializes in fresh handmade pasta. They’ve opened a second branch in BGC since then, but their flavors remain as excellent as ever. You’ll want to zero in on their Trio Di Pasta (P690) that allows you to sample three kinds of pasta in one go—gnocchi gorgonzola, spinach raviolo, and tagliatelle bolognese. The Organic Eggs Tagliatelle (P440/regular, P795/large) is also a must-try—it is, after all, the best truffle cream pasta in Manila right now.

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Va Bene Pasta Deli has branches at 2/F Petron Gas Station, EDSA corner Arnaiz Avenue, Damariñas Village, Makati City, and 3/F Central Square, Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City.

Trattoria Altrove

PHOTO BY Miko Dilao

The brick-oven pizza alone is worth the drive to this hidden gem south of the Metro. Trattoria Altrove’s rustic yet romantic ambience combines with an unusal dining experience—you'll wine and dine your date here sans footwear, as the establishment requires you to leave shoes by the door. Probably the best seat in the house is in the airy dining space where you can sit on floor cushions surrounded by greenery. Indulge in Neapolitan-style pizza like the Prosciutto Crudo con Tartufo (P810), which has an impressive combo of air-dried Parma ham, wild Italian truffle mushroom cream, arugula, and mozzarella cheese. Or splurge on the Bistecca l’Osso (P885), which pairs Australian rib-eye steak with lemon-butter risoni (a type of pasta shaped like rice). You’ll want to linger for their homemade gelato or more vino, as you unwind.

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Trattoria Altrove is at 858 Tropical Avenue, BF International, Las Piñas City.

Da Gianni Cucina Italiana

PHOTO BY Hans Fausto

Inspired by their grandfather Gianni Guidicelli, the folks behind this restaurant offer home-cooked Italian dishes, done the traditional way. Indulge in the Truffle Pappardelle (P450), which comes loaded with earthy black summer truffle paste and Parmigiano. Also consider having the Quattro Formaggi (P545) pizza, which seems simple on paper but is anything but. The chewy-yet-sturdy crust is topped with gorgonzola, pecorino, mozzarella, provolone and more of the earthy black truffle paste. Pro tip: If you eat here between Friday to Sunday, you can sample the Italian Cannoli (P310) or ricotta cheese-filled pastry.

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Da Gianni Cucina Italiana is at Westgate Center, Filinvest City, Muntinlupa City.

Bellini’s

PHOTO BY Bellini's

From the small replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa to a mural of Fontana Di Trevi covering an entire wall, there’s no mistaking the fact that Bellini’s is a true Italian restaurant—after all, it’s owned by an Italian gentleman, Roberto Bellini. The restaurant does pasta well—with a good selection of tomato, cream, and olive oil-based sauces served with al dente pasta. Those in the mood for something simple yet hearty should have their Spaghetti Contadina (P220) with oil, garlic, and chili. Something a little more exciting with a Filipino twist is their Ravioli Tinapa Al Pomodoro (P270), or ravioli stuffed with smoked fish and doused with rich tomato sauce. It’s hard not to enjoy the fusion of flavors on this plate.

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Bellini’s has branches at Cubao Expo, General Romulo Avenue, Cubao, Quezon City; and 310 Shoe Avenue, Santo Niño, Marikina City.

Cibo

PHOTO BY Cibo

For many, Cibo is one of the restaurants that demonstrates how Italian food could go beyond pepperoni pizza and spaghetti. Chef Margarita Forés' Italian restaurant first opened in 1997 and continues to grow, with new branches regularly opening all over the Metro. Start your meal with the Spinaci Zola (P315) or cheesy-salty spinach dip, easily one of their most popular items—you can even get it in pizza form (P469). Then, fill up on Penne Al Telefono (P455/solo, P795/La Famiglia), with a creamy stewed-tomato sauce or the Ossobucco (P595)—or have both!

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See a list of Cibo branches.

Osteria Daniele

PHOTO BY Majoy Siason

Even from the outside, you can sense an air of sophistication from Osteria Daniele with its European bistro feel and Art Deco-inspired interiors. There’s no better place to impress a special someone. Go all out and start with some grilled octopus, Polpo alla Griglia (P995), before you try their pasta, which is made in-house. A wise choice would be the Orecchiette (P495), which has smoky Italian sausage and ‘nduja (or Italian spreadable salami) sauce. Surprisingly, you won’t find any pizza here, but their extensive menu of other Italian dishes—and an Aperol Spritz—should more than make up for it. 

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Osteria Daniele is at G/F High Street Corporate Plaza, 9th Avenue corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City.

Kermit Manila

PHOTO BY Hans Fausto

While it’s a shame that the surf doesn’t come with Kermit Manila, Siargao’s most popular export, at least you won’t have to fly out of the Metro just to satisfy your cravings for their pizza and pasta. You have the option to customize your own pizza, calzone, or focaccia by adding your preferred toppings, but they do have their own, no-fail combinations. You can’t go wrong with the Cloud 9 (P470), a pizza that’s topped with Parma ham, mushroom, and gorgonzola. Their pasta dishes are just as satisfying—if you absolutely can only try one, go for the Fresh Tagliatelle al “Crab Fat” Sauce and Prawns (P580), a creamy, indulgent creation that feels sinful—in a good way.

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Kermit Manila is at 4636 Molina Street, Poblacion, Makati City.

Salvatore Cuomo & Bar

PHOTO BY Majoy Siason

Italian-born Japanese chef Salvatore Cuomo is known as the pioneer of Neapolitan pizza in Japan, so how could you not get a pie or two when you dine at this upscale Italian restaurant? You won’t mind splurging a little bit for pizza that’s done well—from the crisp-yet-chewy crust to the prime toppings. Have the Prosciutto e Rucola (P820), which has dry-cured ham, arugula, and Grana Padano cheese if you’re looking to treat yourself. Their 4 Formaggi (P770) is a standout, too. Pair your pizza with Fettuccine al Nero di Seppia (P480)  or squid-ink fettuccine with squid rings, white beans, and cherry tomatoes. Linger afterward for some coffee or a glass of red—sometimes, the restaurant hosts live music performances.

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Salvatore Cuomo & Bar is at G/F Uptown Mall, Uptown Bonifacio.

La Spezia

PHOTO BY Hans Fausto

Named after a coastal town in Italy, La Spezia has you covered for great Italian eats this side of the Metro. Their Spaghetti alla Carbonara (P450), an indulgent pasta dish with 63-degree sous vides egg, pancetta, and Parmigiano-Reggiano, continues to be one of the popular items on La Spezia’s menu. For steak night, have the Bistecca Rib-Eye (P1,800/350g) with a USDA-certified Angus Beef rib-eye paired with roasted potatoes, and a mixed salad. La Spezia regularly releases seasonal menus so there’s always a reason to visit.

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La Spezia is at 90 Scout Lazcano Street, Quezon City.

Wildflour Italian

PHOTO BY Jilson Tiu

Wildflour has an impressive track record when it comes to bread and pastries, so it's no surprise that the pizza at Wildflour Italian is a winner. Cheese fans would love the Cacio e Pepe (P795) pizza with its mix of pecorino, mozzarella, and Parmigiano. Another must-try is the Osso Buco (P895), served with risotto Milanese. End your meal with the sinful Torta di Cioccolato (P320), a chocolate lover’s dream with hazelnut and Frangelico.

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Wildflour Italian is at G/F The Finance Centre, 9th Avenue corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City.

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