Food

18 Places to Get the Best Pizza in Manila

From thick to thin, New York to Neapolitan, stuffed crust to Hawaiian, the options for the best pizza in Manila are aplenty.
IMAGE INSTAGRAM/ @pizzamorena/@amare_la_cucina
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Not all pizza is created equal. Some pies are thin and crisp, some are thick and chewy. Some thrive on simplicity, some come bedecked with every topping possible. Some can bring you to the bustling streets of New York, others can transport you to a traditional pizzeria in Naples. Yet all these variations fulfill a promise: There’s a slice out there that ought to satisfy your every wish, desire, and craving. It's no surprise that pizza is usually on the top of people's favorite food list

While the Philippines' pizza culture isn't as intensive as New York's, Naples', and other places around the world, we're fortunate enough to have delicious ones, with some of the best pizza right here in Manila.

The Best Pizza in Manila

There are four components that make a good pizza. It starts with the dough, a crust with the right balance of crunch and chew, strewn with charred bits here and there. Next is the sauce. It has to be bright and it has to sing. Yet it should be humble enough to play its important role without overpowering the other key players. The cheese is simple. It should be melty and stretchy in the right spots. Then come the toppings. While a pizza with an abundance of meat and veggies is usually celebrated, one that promotes a balance of flavor and texture is a true feat. Quality over quantity, no doubt. 

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You might think finding the perfect slice that ticks all the boxes is hard to find in Manila. But there is actually a bevy of restaurants specializing in this Italian fare. Here, we have an unranked guide to the best pizzas in Manila. We kept this list as Filipino as possible so only homegrown brands were included.

1| Kermit Manila

Photo by Majoy Siason.
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Kermit doesn’t shy away from proclaiming the freshness of its pizzas. Originally from Siargao, Kermit offers the type of pizza that is best consumed with toes touching fine sand and the scent of the sea in the air. At its Makati branch, however, Kermit takes on a more cosmopolitan vibe, but proffers the same creations with a heartwarming rustic appeal: Neapolitan-style pizza finished off in an uber hot brick oven in mere minutes.

Esquire recommends:

  • Parma Ham
  • Fior di Latte Mozzarella
  • Speck

4636 Molina Street, Poblacion, Makati City

2| Elbert’s Pizzeria

Photo by Kai Huang
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This pizza is cerebral. Nothing less than perfection was demanded by Elbert Cuenca of his new pizzeria, which required sending his brother Adrian to Naples to study the fine art of pizza making. The result is a crust that strikes a balance between crunchy and chewy. Choice appliances and the finest ingredients, including a specific type of compressed wood logs, were brought in to create a one-of-a-kind experience that Manila has long been yearning for.   

Esquire recommends:

  • Quattro Formagi e Funghi
  • Margherita, Siciliana

V Corporate Center, Leviste Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City

3| Gino’s Brick Oven Pizza

Photo by INSTAGRAM/ @INSTAGRAM/ @ginosbrickovenpizza.
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Arguably the restaurant that introduced approachable, good-quality, Neapolitan-style pizza to the Filipino market, Gino’s leads the pack of best pizzerias in Manila sans contention. Its crust—crunchy, chewy, fresh off the brick oven—sets it apart by miles. Here is where leaving that bubbly crust untouched on your plate is considered a sin. Its signature spicy honey amps up the flavors, but really, that crust is already heaven-sent.

Esquire recommends:

  • SMEGG
  • BOMB
  • Bianca Verde

ginosbrickovenpizza.com.ph

4| Amare La Cucina

Photo by INSTAGRAM/ @amare_la_cucina.
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Amare used to be a little secret Baguio locals and travelers frequented for classic, brick-oven pizzas. Word spread about its greatness, and soon, it opened shop in Kapitolyo. Amare specializes in Neapolitan-style pizzas, tinkered a bit to cater to the Filipino palate. One of the best parts of dining here is preparing your pizza yourself. Pizza toss anyone?

Esquire recommends:

  • Pizza con Prosciutto
  • Superoni
  • Ala Romana

91 East Capitol Drive, Kapitolyo, Pasig City

5| Francesco’s Kitchen

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Traditional, homey, old-school Italian cooking is Francesco’s specialty. Yes, Francesco is the name of both the restaurant and the chef who dishes out food he grew up enjoying. His pizza is loaded with high-quality cheese, topped with the right amount of ingredients, and finished in a high-heat brick oven. The Francesco (this time the name of its best-selling pizza) is a masterpiece of plump tomatoes, fresh sausage, savory mushrooms, roasted bell peppers, and creamy Gorgonzola.

Esquire recommends:

  • Francesco
  • Diavola
  • Tartufata ai Formaggi

863 A. Mabini Street, Addition Hills, San Juan City

6| Chef Arnold’s Pizza

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This hole-in-the-wall is one Mandaluyong City’s best-kept secrets. At a curbside stall along San Rafael Street, chef Arnold’s dishes out Italian-style pizzas laden with only the freshest toppings. Flavors range from the classic pepperoni and mushroom to a more playful marinara. The best part? They’re absolutely affordable! A personal size is a mere P80, while a double XL only costs P395.   

Esquire recommends:

  • Arostito Pollo Conlaglio
  • Chicago
  • Sausage Delight

722 San Rafael Street corner Sta. Ana Street, Mandaluyong City

7| Pomodoro Pizza

Photo by INSTAGRAM/ @pomodoropizzaph.
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For less than 200 bucks for a 10-inch pizza, you’re getting one of the best in town. The crust is chewy and tender in the right spots, yet firm enough to hold up the sauces and toppings. The tomato sauce is also the right balance of sweet and tangy, forming a perfect pool for toppings, ranging from pepperoni to ground beef to bacon. Want to take a more rebellious route? Try its pesto pizza that’s made with an indulgent creamy pesto sauce and chicken slices.

Esquire recommends:

  • Margherita
  • Amanti dela Carne
  • Pesto Pizza

6G San Rafael corner Sta. Rosa Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig City

8| S&R New York Style Pizza

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Nope, you no longer need a membership card to enjoy S&R’s generous pizza slices anymore. The warehouse shopping chain has opened brick-and-mortar stores peddling its beloved American menu. True to its claim of serving New York-style pizzas, the wedges have a thicker crust, a liberal distribution of tomato sauce, and a magnificent layer of stretchy cheese with the right amount of toasted bits. You can stop there (the simple Cheese is satisfying enough), but you can top it with pepperoni slices or tender shrimp, too.

Esquire recommends:

  • Garlic Shrimp
  • Pepperoni

S&R Pizza branches

9| Friuli Trattoria

Photo by INSTAGRAM/ @friulitrattoria.
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Thin is in at this Maginhawa legend. Friuli Trattori has always been known for its thin-crust creations since it opened in 2006. The thinness of the crust allows for heartier flavor options. The Formaggi, made with mozzarella, cheddar, and a bit of blue, is a no-fail choice. Other favorites are the Viva Venezia, loaded with beef, olives, and bell peppers, and the Pancetta, topped with crunchy pancetta and cucumber slices—both for under P300.

Esquire recommends:

  • Formaggi
  • Viva Venezia
  • Pancetta

friulitrattoria.ph

10| Tapenade

Photo by Courtesy of Discovery Primea.
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Fluffy is one way to describe this crust. It’s tender and chewy with just the right crunch, too. Then there are the jagged edges and burnt leopard spots that are to be found—and celebrated—in every order of Tapenade’s famed pizzas. Some splurging won’t hurt, especially with the level of creativity and attention lent to every pizza creation. Ever had a Cacio e Pepe pizza or a Vongole topped with fresh clams?

Esquire recommends:

  • Piccante Dolce
  • Speck
  • Tartuffata

Discovery Primea, 6749 Ayala Avenue, Makati City; discoveryprimea.com

11| Cibo

Photo by INSTAGRAM/ @ciboph.
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You know it’s a Cibo pizza because it’s oval. But beyond the shape, a Cibo pizza can easily be recognized by the quality and quantity of ingredients sitting atop its freshly baked crust. The quality, of course, doesn’t go below Italian standards. Every ingredient, from the meat to the greens, is in its most pristine state. The quantity promises proximity to traditional ways, as well. It's not overdone and overloaded—just the right amount to appreciate every flavor in every bite.

Esquire recommends:

  • Prosciutto di Parma
  • Fiori di Zucca
  • Tartufata

cibo.ph

12| Fino Deli

Photo by INSTAGRAM/ @finodeli.ph.
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Don't think that Marikina doesn't have a contender for the best pizza in Manila. Fino Deli offers comforting Spanish and Italian dishes, and these include its unapologetically thin-crust pizza creations. The thinness makes it seem easy to polish off a whole pie, but the generous toppings prove otherwise. Its signature Cinco Queso is one of the best in the city. Other flavors to try are the Smokey Salmon, made with cream cheese, smoked salmon, and olives, and the Prosciutto Crudo di Parma with arugula and Parmesan shavings.

Esquire recommends:

  • Cinco Queso
  • Prosciutto Crudo di Parma

151 Dao Street, Marikina Heights, Marikina City

13| Caruso Ristorante Italiano

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It’s hard to beat a classic. Opened in 2002, Caruso offers a dining experience that’s difficult to match. It prides itself in authenticity, from recipes to ingredients, all sourced from Italy. This is evident in its traditional-style pizzas. Get a simple Margherita and be in awe of the interplay of flavors. Go ahead and pair it with a glass of wine to enjoy life’s wondrous pleasures.  

Esquire recommends:

  • Margherita
  • Calabrese
  • Caruso


210 Nicanor Garcia Street, Poblacion, Makati City; carusoristoranteitaliano.com

14| Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen

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Can you imagine a pizza crust that’s thin but still offers a tender chewiness? That’s exactly what you’ll get at Mama Lou’s. Its thinness serves a purpose: Every slice can be topped with greens and sprouts, rolled up, and enjoyed sans the unbecoming drips. House specials include the Tabarnes (salami, anchovy, olives), Spinach and Goat’s Cheese (artichoke, spinach, honey), and Quattro Formaggi (cheddar, blue, mozzarella, and goat’s cheese).

Esquire recommends:

  • Tabarnes
  • Spinach and Goat’s Cheese
  • Quattro Formaggi

Mama Lou's Italian Kitchen branches

15| Stephen’s Brick Oven Pizza

Photo by INSTAGRAM/ @stephens_brick_oven_pizza.
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Oohs and aahs are customary every time a box of Stephen’s pizza is opened. To say that its creations are a sight to behold is an understatement. The apperance of the crust, with some burnt, crisp spots, tells of its time in a brick oven. The pull in the cheese asserts the amount added to each pie. The distribution of toppings, the mix of colors and textures, and the creativity behind each flavor (Ever heard of Muscle Up, Crusty Crustean, or BRB anywhere else?) affirms Stephen’s position as a serious contender as Manila’s best pizza joint.

Esquire recommends:

  • Muscle Up
  • The Works
  • Bleu Bacon

Stephen's Brick Oven Pizza branches

16| Pizza Morena

Photo by INSTAGRAM/ @pizzamorena.
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It's menu is limited but packed with hard hitters. Whether you choose the Margherita, 4 Cheese and Chives, or Pesto and Truffled Mushrooms, you’re sure to put Pizza Morena high up on your list of favorite pizzas in Manila. You can even purchase its pizzas in frozen form so you can enjoy them freshly baked in the comfort of your own home.

Esquire recommends:

  • Prosciutto & Burrata
  • Pepperoni & Hot Honey
  • Margherita

Corner Market Food Hall, The Podium Mall, Ortigas

17| Crosta Pizzeria

Photo by INSTAGRAM/ @crostapizzeria.
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Crosta is not for the faint of heart, not because the pizzas are overloaded with superfluous toppings, but because they’re made with extra precision and kitchen genius. The crust sets Crosta apart because it uses a sourdough base, giving the end product a tangy undernote and a beautiful web of air pockets. It’s crunchy, airy, chewy, and absolutely delightful in every bite. Crosta only has a handful of flavors, but each one is an absolute masterpiece worth including in the best pizzas in Manila. Try out The Basic Bitch (classic mozzarella and basil) or the Shroomed Out (a medley of mushrooms).

Esquire recommends:

  • Shrimped Out
  • Pork You
  • Stuffed AF!

The Social, 5770 Ebro, Poblacion, Makati City

18| Wildflour Italian

Photo by INSTAGRAM/ @wfitalian.
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The guys behind Manila’s top brunch spot have decided to branch out into the Italian realm with their most recent opening. A traditional wood-fired oven from Italy takes center stage, with every pizza coming out of it a culinary triumph. The creations have that rustic, undone feel to them—charred, craggy, and cracked in the right spots—exactly how it’s done in the pizza’s birthplace. You’re all set with a Pepperoni, but getting a little frisky with the Cacio e Pepe wouldn’t hurt either. 

Esquire recommends:

  • Pepperoni
  • Cacio e Pepe

The Finance Centre, 9th Avenue corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City

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