Cebu Secret Chows: Pizza Marathon

time start: 12:30 p.m.
time finish: 5:00 p.m.

I noticed that my list of Cebu’s Secret Dining Spots from A-Z contained several pizza places so I decided to cram it all up in one day. I figured this would be quite a challenge because I would be eating pizza ALL DAY (well, all afternoon) but the thought of hopping from one pizza place to another amused me. This wouldn’t have been a challenge if I had more than one friend with me but, yeah, I only had my foodie photographer friend, Momon Racoma, to help me eat these. So anyway, the pizza places on the itinerary were La Bella Napoli, Michaelangelo, Corner Bakery and Ryan’s Pizzarelli. The only place I’ve already visited and dined in among these is Corner Bakery.

Stop #1: La Bella Napoli – Authentic Wood-fired Pizza 

So we started around half past 12 and headed to Talamban’s Piazza Elesia the new branch of La Bella Napoli. I heard that the owner previously worked for or with Michaelangelo’s so the pizza taste and quality was practically the same. I still wanted to taste it and find out for myself. We arrived at high noon heat, greeted by a wood-fired oven (yeah baby! That’s HOT! But seriously, it couldn’t get any hotter than this) and an outdoor dining setting. 
We ordered half the Quattro Formaggi and half the Cappricciosa, as recommended by the staff to be their best sellers. Fresh pizza dough was being kneaded manually while we watched our pizza being assembled and cooked (all the while, drooling with hunger and lust for this treat; we both didn’t have breakfast so go figure). The wood used to fire the oven was padre de cacao. Watching this scenery reminded me of my internship days in Marco Polo where I learned to bake pizza in a wood-fired oven.  I actually missed it. So anyway, our pizza didn’t take long at all. It was cooked in less than 10 mins. and we were just so ready to gobble it up. I admire that it was rolled out manually so it had an irregular shape after cooking, contrary to the usual perfect round pizza. Imperfection is beauty
The nice thing about freshly baked pizza from a wood-fired oven is that the heat of the pizza is retained longer compared to reheated pizza. I loved that their tomato sauce was homemade and chunky. It smelled so heavenly and the crust was bubbly and chewy. The Quattro Formaggi was so good! It had blue cheese, cream cheese, parmesan cheese, and cheddar cheese. Compared to Marco Polo’s, the crust was just a tad bit thicker and chewier but for the price and quality, you should think of nothing else but this if you’re craving for affordable authentic Italian pizza. They have delivery service so if you wish to try these without leaving home, just contact their delivery hotlines. Their original branch is actually located in Gorordo and they’ve been around for almost 2 years now. Don’t you wonder why you never noticed this? Well, I have noticed this at Gorordo but never got to drop by because it’s not one of those locations we’d normally stop by. I did notice the wood-fired oven and always wondered if it was real. And it is! 

more pics of the action:

fresh dough kneaded manually
homemade tomato sauce!
1/2 Cappricciosa and 1/2 Quattro Formaggi
this made me so happy :)
Location: click for link
Price range: 150-300 php
Contact nos. : 418 0539 (Talamban)
                     412 2046 (Gorordo)

Stop #2: Michaelangelo’s

Michaelangelo’s is located in Banilad, beside The Tap Room, going to Maria Luisa Village. The ambience was lovely and simple, conducive for family dining, casual chic dates and then later at night, I could picture this place turning into a nice, cozy place for some drinks with friends. Ah, beer and pizza. The inseparable tandem.

As we entered, I felt that we were transported to a pleasant, little café in Italy. There were these 2 Italian guys talking to the staff so I’m guessing they were the owners. On one side of the wall were shelves of wine and the kitchen was a show kitchen. True enough, Michaelangelo’s and La Bella Napoli’s pizza menu were barely different from each other. The catch is, I don’t think Michaelangelo’s pizzas are baked in a wood-fired oven. Ha! Nonetheless, the pizza was still of excellent quality. The crust was crisper and thinner, and the toppings were evidently of high quality. I love arugula on pizza and their specialty here was called the Robertino which supposedly had arugula. Unfortunately, they ran out of arugula that day. So we had half the Robertino and half the Diavola. Robertino had bacon and eggs on it (breakfast pizza?) and the Diavola had just the heat I wanted. 

Overall, the ambience and the pizza were commendable but it's quite pricey. Service was not so attentive and had poor menu knowledge. 
picchio pacchio :))

1/2 Robertino and 1/2 Diavola
Location: link here
Price range: 220-550 php
Contact nos.: 236 4297

Stop #3: Corner Bakery

      Surprisingly, Dad was the one who discovered this place even before they put out a signage at the corner of the road. He always raved about their Spaghetti Bolognese. So the first thing I loved about this place was their Bolognese. I never bothered to try their pizza though because I thought it was quite pricey until a friend of mine told me it was his family's favorite pizza, that they'd always order a takeout. So before I went on this pizza marathon, I happened to be playing tennis nearby and decided to try it. Indeed, it pleased me well. 

     Their pizza specialty here is their Diavolo. I love spicy food so this appealed to me. By this time, being halfway through the marathon, Momon and I were sick of pizza already. We declared that we wouldn't want to eat pizza for another few months. Hahaha. Anyway, so their version was different from Michaelangelo's but it was still good. It was not greasy at all, the crust had a good texture and quality for the price, and their recipe had Hungarian sausage. Taking pictures of the food here was supposedly prohibited but sneaky Momon stole a shot with his iPhone. Lol. Another thing to love about this place is also their pastries. I love their mango creme pie, smores cupcake and cookies.

it's like being in a room full of tempting goodies!
160 php
Villa Aurora, Mabolo
Location: link here
Price range: 160-350 php
Contact nos.: 238 3508

Stop #4: Ryan's Pizzarelli

     Finally, the last stop. Whew! I felt like I was climbing Mt. Everest. I didn't expect eating tasty pizzas would be this much of a struggle. Lol. I actually wanted to include Handuraw but it wasn't part of Cebu's Secret because it is already located in a mall (Mango Square).

     I've actually read about Ryan's Pizzarelli on the newspaper. My friend suggested I try their Choco Banana Pizza which would have been appropriate since this was the last stop. A dessert pizza would have been interesting but it was unavailable because they did not have bananas. Why??? Momon didn't like the idea so it was to his advantage. I would have really wanted to try it though. I wouldn't have wanted to order anything else but Momon already ordered their specialty which I'll have to apologize for forgetting the name. They only have one size for their pizzas but it's value for money because it's really big. I prefer this over Calda.

      This venue fitted my Cebu's Secret list perfectly because they did not do any marketing and I love that finding it is part of the adventure. Even the entrance was very unseeming. As we entered, I was amused by the collage of pictures posted all over the walls and even the ceiling. The proprietor of Ryan's is also a photography enthusiast and he enjoys taking pictures of every new customer he notices. And yes, he did take our picture. Now it makes me want to go back to see where it's posted. Highly recommended for delivery!
"wall of fame": a collage collection of random customers pictured by the proprietor
real or not? haha. this is how they serve the bill. :D
HUGE 14"

181-D Ma. Christina Ext., Capitol
Location: link here
Price range: 250-450 php
Contact nos.: +63 922 947 3910
                       +63 922 762 7990

     So as a conclusion, I deem La Bella Napoli as the winner! All the pizzas we tasted were very satisfactory but I love how reasonably priced their pizza is for the quality although take out or pick up is highly recommended since it's located by the roadside and it only offers outdoor dining. You wouldn't want dust on your pizza and to smell the pollution from the street. But yes, I would crave for their pizza if I long for Marco Polo pizza's more affordable version. Hope you enjoyed this LOOONG segment!

THANK YOU, MOMON RACOMA, for the photos and for driving me around. :)

Til the next dining adventure,

Babe for Food -- your new BFF in Cebu dining! :)


  1. i love pizza and this review just made me want it even more!

  2. Thanks! Long live pizza! Lol. :D

  3. i have been looking for brick-oven pizzas since I've had a taste of one from Neva's in Dumaguete. I love the smoky taste it produces. Imma try La Bella Napoli soon. :)

  4. Nice. Hope you'll like it. :)

  5. nice and very informative reviews,,

  6. So I searched your blog for the pizza marathon post and here I am! Great post! I have only tried La Bella Napoli (high five! I love La Bella's pizzas especially when it's hot off the oven) and Ryan's Pizzarelli's calzone.

    1. Hahaha! Cooool! Yesss, la bella napoli is OZZUM... It's practically Michaelangelo's minus the service charge and ambience. HAHA. :D

  7. I've seen your picture on Ryan's :D
    I was like "THIS IS FROM BABE FOR FOOD!"
    So I visit back here and searched for your post about Ryan's . XD

    1. Hahaha! Awesome! Thanks for coming back! :D

  8. i Love pizza and love this post! heheheh... I've only tried La Bella Napoli and Ryan's Pizzarelli out of the four pizza places you went in this pizza marathon... heheheh... I'll definitely go to the other two and try their pizza! :D

    1. Thanks for dropping by, Osang! Michaelangelo's is a must try! :D

  9. Hi,
    I think You are the most appetizing thing on here :)