CEBU may not be known for its pizza but that doesn’t stop it from being home to some amazing pies. Everyone has a go-to pizza parlor and for many different reasons—maybe it’s where you had your first ever slice, your first date or many birthday parties growing up. There are so many kinds to sample too, from deep-dish to thin-crust, whole or single slice. In celebration of National Pizza Day, we round up the city’s top pizzerias, from mom-and-pop shops to upscale ones. These homegrown standouts are dough-ing it right, so in their crust, we trust.
Where: Ground Floor, Mango Square Mall
Store Hours: Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 12 a.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
A Cebuano favorite since 2004, Handuraw is best known for its thin crust pizzas. With a sauce and cheese base that goes all the way to the edge, the crust may be thin but the bottom is sturdy enough to hold the toppings which range from classic to innovative. Best paired with beers-below-zero, one of the bestsellers is the Pizza Cebuana which is generously cheesed with quesong puti and mozzarella and topped with chorizo de Cebu.
La Bella Pizza Bistro
Where: The Gallery, Mabolo
Store Hours: Sunday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.
Hailed as SunStar Best of Cebu’s Best Pizza in 2017, La Bella prides itself on being among the first to introduce wood-fired, brick-oven pizza in Cebu. Made fresh to order every time, the pies here use top-shelf ingredients and a homemade dough that has the right balance of crispy and chewy. If it’s “more cheese, more grease” for you, the Quattro Formaggi will knock your socks off with its combination of mozzarella, cream cheese, blue cheese, parmesan and Italian sausage but the fresh buffalo mozzarella and white sauce-based pizzas are also prime picks.
La Nostra Pizzeria Napoletana
Where: Streetscape, Maria Luisa Road, Banilad
Store Hours: Every day, 12 to 2 p.m., 6 to 10 p.m.
True Neapolitan pizza dough uses flour with high protein content, must be kneaded by hand and baked for 90 seconds max in a high-heat wood fire oven. La Nostra has all these down pat, plus a certification from the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana. The current title holder of SunStar Best of Cebu’s Best Pizza, La Nostra slings out hand-stretched pizzas with bubbling crusts such as its house specialty that’s spotted with dollops of cream, butter, a glorious mix of parmesan and fior di latte and finished off with basil and homemade ham.
Slices Pizza by 21 South
Where: 40-E Sabellano St., Punta Princesa
Store Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 4 to 10 p.m.
For an affordable and family-friendly dining experience, Slices Pizza is one hidden gem that gleams. Its mixture of flavors and textures is totally unexpected for a humble neighborhood spot and this can most probably be attributed to the beer dough crust. Behind the magic of every pie are the same insanely passionate people behind 21 South Burger. Try the Meatlovers Special or Four Cheese Pizza, both with generous toppings and come in six, nine and 12 inches.
Where: Level 4, Garden Area, Ayala Center Cebu
Store Hours: Every day, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The Abaca Group’s signature handcrafted goodness extends to its pizzas at Tavolata. Each pie is hand-tossed and has a thin crust at the base, puffed up around the sides but the slices retain their structural integrity so you can enjoy your toppings of choice sans the mess. Our top picks are the classic Margherita with fior di latte, mozzarella, tomatoes and basil and the Meatball pizza for a meaty option. We’re already licking our lips just thinking about tucking into either of them.