Italian restaurants in Metro Manila


Italian food has evolved from the days when fast-food sweet spaghetti and American chain pizza were the only Italian favorites available in Manila. Much as we love our childhood comfort foods, we can now try the wider range of Italian delights without leaving the metro at these restaurants in Metro Manila.

From fusion Filipino-Italian joints that marry pizza with salted egg and kesong puti to restaurants led by Italian chefs recreating their hometown dishes, these 10 authentic Italian restaurants will please your Pinoy palate.


1. A Mano – pizza and pasta from handmade dough


wood fired oven at a mano italian restaurant
Image credit: a mano

A Mano means “handmade” – so everything from pizza to pasta in this restaurant in by Chef Amado Fores is made from handmade dough. The rustic interior featuring the Valoriano wood-fired pizza oven is the perfect complement to the authentic food.

As the son of Asia’s Best Female Chef award recipient, Margarita Fores, Chef Fores learned Italian regional cuisines from visiting Piedmont, Naples, and Sicily with his mother.

carbonara pizza at a mano italian restaurant
Carbonara Pizza
Image credit: Ken Coseto

Smoked pork jowl is delicately arranged on a bed of pecorino cheese on the Carbonara Pizza (P790, ~USD15.46), and completed with cracked black pepper, egg yolk, and handmade pizza dough: comfort food at its best.

The Pesce al Cartoccio (P1,800, ~USD35.23) is a parchment paper packet of whole sea bass, lemon, capers, tomatoes, and extra virgin olive oil baked until the nose-tickling aroma fills the restaurant. The sea bass is cooked just right, and flaky to the touch.

insalata cacio e pepe at a mano italian restaurant
Insalata Cacio E Pepe
Image credit: Ken Coseto

Insalata Cacio E Pepe (P550, ~USD10.76) is a thoughtful play on the comfort pasta dish cacio e pepe, with noodles replaced with romaine lettuce – what better excuse to devour something healthy?

cannoli siciliani at a mano italian restaurant
Cannoli Siciliani
Image credit: Ken Coseto

Share the Cannoli Siciliani (P410, ~USD8.02) dessert with the table – the trio of crispy dough shells are filled with sweet ricotta is a classic to mark the end of a hearty meal.

Average cost for 2: P1,700 (~USD33.27)
Address: Upper Ground Floor, Power Plant Mall, Lopez Drive, Rockwell, Makati City
Opening hours: 11.30AM-3PM, 6PM-10PM, Daily
Telephone: 9175526266
Website


2. Wild Flour Italian – elegantly plated dishes


wild flour italian restaurant in metro manila
Image credit: Wildflour

Sisters Margarita and Ana opened up Wild Flour Italian – one of the most homey Italian restaurants in Metro Manila – to share the dishes they tasted while traveling around Italy growing up, and the recipes they learned while taking cooking classes in Venice as adults. The warm interiors completed by the Italian tile and wood make it feel as if you’re welcomed into the home of an Italian grandmother.

Because Italian food relies on the quality of the ingredients, the team at Wild Flour Italian procures the best ingredients they can get their hands on, whether these have to go on a truck, boat, or plane to get to their Taguig City restaurant.

frito misto at wild flour italian restaurant
Frito Misto
Image credit: @wfitalian

The delicately breaded fried seafood and basil aioli make up the Fritto Misto (P480, ~USD9.39), a starter traditionally found as street food in Naples.

vongole at wild flour italian restaurant
Vongole
Image credit: @wfitalian

Instead of a plateful of clam shells and soupy sauce, their Spaghetti Alla Vongole (P650, ~USD12.72) is a clean dish of spaghetti, fresh Manila clams, and a concentrated white wine sauce.

The Mushroom Pizza (P795, ~USD15.56) stood out from the array of pizzas on the menu. The umami-ness of the porcini and white button mushrooms played perfectly with the sharp pecorino cheese and creamy bechamel sauce.

tiramisu at wild flour italian restaurant
Tiramisu
Image credit: Wildflour

For dessert, dig into the layers of mascarpone cream and coffee-dipped ladyfingers topped with cocoa powder; theirs is Classic Tiramisu (P300, ~USD5.87) at its best.

Average cost for 2: P1,200 (~USD23.48)
Address: Ground Floor, The Finance Centre, 9th Avenue corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City 1634
Opening hours: 11AM-3PM, 5PM-11PM, Daily
Telephone: 9176329384, 02 82443930
Website


3. Osteria Daniele – impress a date or colleagues here


osteria daniele italian restaurant in metro manila
Image credit: @osteriadaniele

As soon as you walk in Osteria Daniele, you’ll notice the fashionable interiors and the eye-catching stained-glass windows reminiscent of those at the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence. The ambience and upscale fare make this restaurant the ideal place for a first date or a celebration.

vitello tonnato at osteria daniele restaurant
Vitello Tonnato
Image credit: @osteriadaniele

At a trendy osteria like this, order a dish you can’t find just anywhere, such as the Vitello Tonnato (P595, ~USD11.65). This classic Piedmontese dish of thinly sliced beef, tuna mayo, and capers will be a palate-awakening start to your meal.

gnochetti at osteria daniele restaurant
Gnocchetti
Image credit: @osteriadaniele

The Gnocchetti (P530, ~USD10.38)‘s creamy potato dumplings, gorgonzola cheese, walnuts, and spinach are a cocktail of flavor and texture that you wouldn’t want to share with the table.

bistecca alla fiorentina at osteria daniele restaurant
Image credit: @trufflebyanagloria

Ideal for big groups, the Bistecca alla Fiorentina (P6,695, ~USD131.08) is a 1KG Wagyu t-bone steak served simply with sea salt for the beef to shine.

aperol spritzer at osteria daniele restaurant
Aperol Spritzer
Image credit: @nolisoli.ph

An Italian meal wouldn’t be complete without a cocktail or a tall glass of wine. You can choose from classic Italian cocktails such as a Negroni (P495, ~USD9.69) or Aperol Spritzer (P450, ~USD8.81) or pair your meal with choice Italian wines starting at P295 (~USD5.78) a glass from the Mount Etna wine region in Sicily.

Average cost for 2: P2,500 (~USD48.94)
Address: Ground Floor, High Street Corporate Plaza, 9th Avenue Corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Opening hours: 11AM-1AM, Daily
Telephone: 9158745792
Facebook


4. Francesco’s Kitchen – childhood Italian recipes


francesco’s kitchen italian restaurant in metro manila
Image credit: Francesco’s Kitchen

Francesco’s Kitchen has become the neighborhood go-to in terms of Italian restaurants in Metro Manila for a night of good food, wine, and conversation in Addition Hills, San Juan. Started by Chef Francesco, former head chef of Italian fine-dining restaurant Paparazzi, this new restaurant presents the food he grew up with.

You immediately feel as if you’re in someone’s home kitchen as soon as you walk in – homemade pasta still drying on the rack, family photos hanging on the wall, Italian wine bottles on display.

la polpette di mamma at francesco’s kitchen
La Polpette Di Mamma
Image credit: @francescosph

Several menu items have family history, including the La Polpette (P630, ~USD12.33), a meatball dish from Chef Francesco’s mother’s recipe. The sour and sweet tomatoes work as a foil to the well-seasoned beef for a balance of flavours that will make you understand why Chef Francesco loves food.

polipo alla griglia at francesco’s kitchen
Polipo Alla Griglia
Image credit: @francescosph

Polipo Alla Griglia (P560, ~USD10.96) is a warm salad composed of baby potatoes, tomatoes, olives, and haricot beans that complement the meaty grilled octopus.

guanga di manzo at francesco’s kitchen
Guanga di Manzo
Image credit: @francescosph

As a main course, the waiter recommended the neighborhood favorite Guangua di Manzo (P1,180, ~USD23.11). The beef cheeks covered in a cocoa-tinged gravy are tender, and the smoked risotto is creamy with the right amount of sharpness from the parmesan. This dish is elevated when paired with a glass of Italian red wine.

Average cost for 2: P1,200 (~USD23.50)
Address: 863 A. Mabini Street, Addition Hills, San Juan City
Opening hours: 11.30AM-2PM, 5PM-10PM, Daily
Telephone: 02 87779777
Website


5. La Nuova Pastelleria – a long-time San Antonio residents’ favourite


la nuova pastelleria italian restaurant in metro manila
Image adapted from: Mary Ann Juvida Entienza

La Nuova Pastelleria’s warm interior is a welcoming environment for good conversation and to break fresh Italian bread with family and friends. Located in San Antonio Plaza, it has served neighbourhood regulars since 1978.

tartufo at la nuova pastelleria
Tartufo
Image credit: @bamangustia

Once the aroma filled my nostrils, I couldn’t stop feasting on the Tartufo (P631, ~USD12.37) pasta with truffle cream topped with silky prosciutto slices, until I cleaned my plate with a dinner roll.

pizza due gusti at la nuova pastelleria
Pizza Due Gusti
Image credit: @edward282

The Pizza Due Gusti (P529, ~USD10.37) is a dish I can live on. On my third slice, I convinced myself that there’s no such thing as too much of the creamed spinach, thick mozzarella cheese and Italian sausage. You can even top it off with a fried egg for added protein.

concorde cake at la nuova pastelleria
Concorde Cake
Image credit: @cuylegazpi

The creamy and crunchy Concorde Cake, P125 (~USD2.45) a slice, is a play on different layers of chocolate and textures, and adds a whimsical touch to your meal.

La Nuova doesn’t only serve food but also has an old-school Italian deli where you can take away plates of antipasti, boxes of pizza, or bowls of pasta if you’re in a hurry.

Average cost for 2: P1,500 (~USD29.41)
Address: Ground Floor, San Antonio Plaza, McKinley Road, Dasmarinas Village, Makati City
Opening hours: 10AM-9PM, Daily
Telephone: 02 88178568, 02 88672370
Website


6. Bellini’s – nostalgic hometown food


bellini restaurant in manila
Image credit: @msxyza

After retiring from his professional paparazzo job in 1999, Robert Bellini started Bellini’s at popular youth hangout Cubao Expo as a way to reminisce over the dishes he missed in Italy.

Not only does it serve the food of his homeland, but the restaurant also seems to transport you to his neighbourhood back home – the restaurant features old-school interiors (brick walls, huge Italian movie murals, and potted plants everywhere) and Italian-speaking staff.

parmaham arugula pizza at bellini restaurant
Parmaham Arugula Pizza
Image credit: @graciabeivillanueva

The Parmaham Arugula Pizza (P610, ~USD11.95) is a classic combination of salty parma ham and tart arugula, further elevated by the thin crusty base.

For a more classic take on Italian food, the Spaghetti Al Cartoccio (P280, ~USD5.49) is a seafood spaghetti served in an aluminum foil parcel and baked until the seafood is done. Take a nice long whiff of the herb smells once you open the package, before you dig in.

bistecca alla griglia at bellini restaurant
Bistecca alla Griglia
Image credit: @apinchofflavor

Bistecca alla Griglia (P250, ~USD4.90 per 100G) is a solid piece of meat cooked as you like. With a tinge of pepper, it’s even better with a glass of Italian red wine.

Average cost for 2: P1,200 (~USD23.52)
Address: Cubao Expo, General Romulo Avenue, Cubao, Quezon City
Opening hours: 10AM-10PM, Daily
Telephone: 02 89132550
Website


7. Caruso Ristorante Italiano – approved by singer Andrea Bocelli


pizza margherita at caruso ristorante italiano
Pizza Margherita

Image credit: @CarusoRistoranteItaliano

Caruso Ristorante Italiano has such a reputation as one of the best restaurants in Manila that Andrea Bocelli dined here with his family in 2016 after his sold-out concert.

Known simply as Caruso, the restaurant remains an Italian favorite in the metro since opening in 2002 for maintaining its authentic Italian food, attentive service, and relaxed ambiance all these years. The white linen table cloths, dark wood furniture, and friendly, elegantly dressed waiters recommending you the week’s best dishes and ingredients have become staple details for eaters seeking an old-school fine-dining experience.

I had the Pizza Margherita (P690, ~USD13.53), that allowed the fresh tomato and basil ingredients to shine.

risotto ai funghi porcini at caruso ristorante italiano
Risotto ai Funghi Porcini
Image credit: @CarusoRistoranteItaliano

Risotto ai Funghi Porcini (P670, ~USD13.13) is as straightforward as it sounds: Italian rice with porcini mushrooms. It’s a well-loved Italian comfort dish that will send you back to a time when you were eating Lola’s lugaw, but with an Italian twist.

panna cotta at caruso ristorante italiano
Panna Cotta
Image credit: @CarusoRistoranteItaliano

Instead of the usual fruit coulis, try Caruso’s Panna Cotta (P360, ~USD7.06). Made with a creme caramel topped with pine nuts, it’s airy and light – the ideal ending to a carb-rich meal.

Average cost for 2: P2,500 (~USD49.01)
Address: 210 Nicanor Garcia Street, Bel-Air, Makati City
Opening hours: 11AM-3PM, 6.30PM-11PM, Daily
Telephone: 02 88952451
Website 


8. Va Bene Pasta Deli – try creative pasta variations here


va bene pasta deli restaurant in manila
Image adapted from: @vabenepastadeliph

Va Bene Pasta Deli is a diamond in the rough – the first branch was in a gas station back in 2010. The restaurant eventually earned a mouth-watering reputation for its fresh tagliatelle, ravioli, and pappardelle, an exciting change from the usual spaghetti and penne at chain restaurants.

Now with 2 branches open in Metro Manila (one in Bonifacio Global City and the original one still in the Makati gas station), Chef Massimo continues to introduce interesting pasta shapes such as cappellacci and pansotti to Italian food-loving Pinoys.

organic eggs tagliatelle at va bene pasta deli
Organic Eggs Tagliatelle
Image credit: @mikekevin_

His Organic Eggs Tagliatelle (P570, ~USD11.17) can be found all over Instagram. The fresh tagliette is the perfect vehicle for the creamy white wine sauce, thick-cut Portobello mushrooms, and slices of salty parma ham.

black ink pappardelle at va bene pasta deli
Black Ink Pappardelle
Image credit: @gourmandonthego

The Black Ink Pappardelle (P470, ~USD9.21) is topped with garlic, spinach, anchovies, squid, and octopus for a garlicky and citrusy dish tasting like the sea.

rolled spinach cannelloni at va bene pasta deli
Rolled Spinach Cannelloni
Image credit: @vabenepastadelimakati

While the name may suggest a healthy pasta alternative, the Rolled Spinach Cannelloni (P440, ~USD8.63) consists of spinach and paper-thin ham fillings wrapped in al dente noodles, swimming in a surprisingly rich tomato and cheese sauce. This dish is not for those who fear cholesterol.

Average cost for 2: P1,200 (~USD23.52)
Addresses: Second Floor, Petron Gas Station, EDSA Corner A. Arnaiz Avenue, Dasmariñas Village, Makati City
Third Floor, Central Square Mall, Bonifacio High Street Central, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Opening hours: 11.30AM-9.30PM, Daily
Telephone: 02 85569442 (Makati), 02 9585018 (Bonifacio Global City)
Website


9. Cicchetti – small bites that don’t scrimp on the ingredients


cicchetti
Cicchetti
Image credits: @cicchettiph

Chef Alec Santos developed Cicchetti with a mission to serve Italian food-loving Pinoys simple, fresh ingredients with straightforward, heart-warming flavors. He learned the ropes of running a fine-dining Italian restaurant as part of the opening team of Michelin-starred Italian restaurant Carbone in New York, and now brings this experience to Cicchetti – which is why this place is one of the most authentic Italian restaurants in Metro Manila.

Cicchetti means “small bites” in Italian, and is also the name of the dish which is the highlight of the menu. Try the Foie Gras (P550, ~USD10.78 for three pieces) with a strawberry compote and green apple kick, the Caviar Patatina (P500, ~USD9.80 for three pieces) with potato croquette, chive cream cheese, caviar, lumpfish caviar, salmon roe, and mushroom, or the Carne Cruda (P530, ~USD10.39 for three pieces) that is an Italian steak tartare mixed with Pommery champagne, spicy mustard, and briny lumpfish caviar.

crab and ricci pasta at cicchetti restaurant
Crab and Ricci Pasta
Image credit: @cicchettiph

Shredded crab, uni, and basil make up the rich sauce of the Crab and Ricci Pasta (P750, ~USD14.70) that goes on top of fresh linguine. The subtle spice will tickle your palate before hitting you with the rich, briny flavors of the seafood.

pollo alla sostanza at cicchetti restaurant
Pollo alla Sostanza
Image credit: @cicchettiph

Pollo alla Sostanza (P670, ~USD13.13) is a main that stars pan-seared chicken thighs, brown butter sauce, and corn puree, making for a Italian classic that’s hard to find in Manila. End your evening with an Italian cocktail or a glass of wine, while taking in the gorgeous Bonifacio Global City skyline from the alfresco bar.

Average cost for 2: P2,400 (~USD47.05)
Address: Eighth Floor, MDI Corporate Center, 10th Avenue Corner 39th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Opening hours: Mon-Tue 11AM-3PM | Wed-Sat 11AM-1AM | Closed Sundays
Telephone: 02 2469069 ext:717
Website


10. Gino’s Brick Oven Pizza – a relaxed Neapolitan-style pizzeria


gino’s brick oven pizza in manila
Image credit: @ginosbrickovenpizza

For a more laid-back dinner, come down to Gino’s Brick Oven Pizza for Neapolitan-style fresh-from-the-oven thin crust pizza, classic homestyle dishes, and pasta dishes with playful toppings Filipinos love such as salted egg, buffalo chicken, and kesong puti (local white cheese).

smegg pizza at gino’s brick oven pizza
SMEGG Pizza
Image credit: @ginosbrickovenpizza

I came to Gino’s Salcedo Village branch for the SMEGG Pizza (P370, ~USD7.25), made from homemade dough topped with a generous helping of sausages and mushrooms, plus an egg, gouda cheese, and cream. The pizza is taken to the next level with a dash of chilli flakes or a squeeze of spicy honey, a Gino’s signature.

burrata at gino’s brick oven pizza
Burrata
Image credit: @ginosbrickovenpizza

Their Burrata (P255, ~USD5) is a milk cheese dish served on a bed of cherry tomatoes and drizzled with basil and olive oil. Once you cut through the mozzerella cheese exterior, its gooey, stretchy cream and kesong puti insides are fascinatingly sweet yet peppery.

salted egg pasta at gino’s brick oven pizza
Salted Egg Pasta
Image credit: @ginosbrickovenpizza

The Salted Egg Pasta (P240, ~USD4.71) started off as a promotional dish but has become a favorite. The mix of Asian and western flavors – spicy salted egg, bacon, and homemade fettuccine – are an addictive combination.

Average cost for 2: P800 (~USD15.68)
Address: Bautista Corner Tordesillas Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City
Opening hours: 10AM-11PM, Daily
Telephone: 02 87798192, 9179645339
Website


Italian restaurants in Metro Manila to try


Pizza in a cardboard box is well and good. But on days when we want to dress up and dine out, we have to thank food-loving chefs who have made it their mission to bring their authentic or original takes on Italian cuisine to these Italian restaurants in Metro Manila. Mangiamo– let’s eat!

For more things to eat in the Philippines, check out:


Cover image adapted from: @wildflourmanila and Wildflour

 

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