Praise be to the Lord that even Italians fall for Filipinas; a number of excellent Italian restaurants can be found here, run by Italian expats.

La Tegola, at Foodland in Banilad, is an old favorite, and have stayed in the running by opening a new branch in the mountains overlooking the city, just across Tops. Their pastas and pizzas are great; one item featured only at the La Tegolas is boiled octopus, served with potatoes. The gentleman who owns La Tegola also has a smaller, more relaxed establishment in the Ayala Center, Idea Italia. This is a favorite gathering place of the expats. All three establishments serve Italian ice cream.

Just around the corner from Foodland, on the Maria Luisa access road, is newcomer Guiseppe. Despite the owner's brusk demeanor and the small size of the property, this restaurant has quickly become a favorite of the Cebuano elite, thanks to the high quality of the food. The pizzas, in particular, are baked in a wood-fired hearth and as close to perfection you can get outside of Italy. Since the place is usually packed, just get your pizza to go.

Il Sole, a fine dining establishment in The Village across the Waterfront Lahug, also have authentic pizzas. Tip: If you're not dressed for a fine meal but still wish to indulge your craving for a perfect pizza, go to the Village Courtyard, and order a pizza there. The nightspot gets its pizzas from the Italian restaurant.

La Buona Forchetta da Paulo are a well-established homey Italian restaurant near Fuente. Unfortunately the food is not as good as the ambience, but the prices are fairly reasonable. Prices are also reasonable at the equally well-established Red Tomato, a pizzeria/trattoria on Escario, and the food is really good; much better than you'd expect. Drop by while they're still around.

As is the case with Chinese cuisine, the two most expensive Italian restaurants can be found in the Shangri La (Paparazzi) and the Waterfront Lahug (La Gondola). The poolside Paparazzi in particular is lavishly decorated, and what you see - dried tomatoes, pasta decorations, a sumptuous buffet - is on par with what you would expect in any major world city. Unfortunately the food is terrible. La Gondola, also nicely decorated, unfortunately don't do much better. There's also an Italian restaurant in the Plantation Bay, called Palermo. The name is Sicilian but the chef is German; 'nuff said.


LA TEGOLA 345-6080 Foodland, Banilad
IDEA ITALIA 232-4292 Paseo Marina, Ayala
LA BUONA FORCHETTA 256-3398 Cecillia Bldg, Osmea Blvd
RED TOMATO 253-0801 Escario St.

These pages in the Cebu Visitors Guide provide but a general overview of the wining and dining scene. For detailed reviews of individual establishments, see the Resto Quest.

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