Pizzeria Trattoria El Italiano | Calle Los Cocos, Mancora, Peru
Phone: +51 73 411494
Italian food wasn’t my first choice in Máncora, in fact I was on the hunt for a steakhouse my course tutors had told me about. I found out the next day that not only was it less than ten minutes from my hostel, I would have walked it past it several times in my quest to find it! How did I end up in this back alley pizzeria? It was actually a fancy back alley, more just around the corner in what was a mostly pavement barrio.
I had taken a moto to try and find the steakhouse and the driver went the opposite way. If you’re visiting Máncora, have a general idea where a restaurant is as even the locals sometimes get lost!
When the moto driver pulled up outside of El Italiano, he didn’t really want to leave me there until I was sure it was the place. Of course it wasn’t, but I was hungry, so I got out and paid. It was after 8pm and I figured even if it wasn’t steak, I would get my cheese fix to last me another month. Real mozzarella on pizza cooked in a clay oven did make my soul happy that night.
I did my best to order in Spanish, and the server was nice enough to translate a word or two if she thought I didn’t understand. She explained that they didn’t have prosciutto though everything else was on the menu, including the salami I was eyeing up. Living by the coast, my diet has consisted of mainly fish and chicken - which is great, but I just needed a change of flavour.
She brought a dipping sauce made with olive oil, red onions and chilli. A few minutes later came a plate of toasted bruschetta, which when dipped, added an increasing layer of fire on my tongue. It was intense yet surprisingly moorish. I was conflicted if I thought it was was delicious or torture. After my third piece of bruschetta, I made myself stop because I needed to leave room for the pizza.
My first bite was simply glorious - the dough was thin and crispy, with slightly charred parts of the crust which gave it a smokeyness that comes from cooking in a clay oven. The restaurant only had a few customers that night, and eventually even the chef joined a nearby couple to have a chat. It didn’t seem like he knew them at all, though it feels pretty typical for people to talk to you like a good friend - maybe it’s only because of the language barrier that I haven’t experienced this yet.
After my fifth slice, I decided to take the rest back to the hostel. While the server was sorting out my change and pizza, I took one last look at the iconic décor and wondered what other hidden gems I would find in Máncora. I would never have found this if the moto driver found the steakhouse I was actually looking for. Sometimes getting lost is good, sometimes it leads you to pizza. Glorious pizza.
Who is RonnaEats? Ronna Funtelar runs this independent foodie blog, with a philosophy to eat and write about food we can rave about. We don't ask for free meals or collaborate with our reviewed eateries, so you can be assured the reviews are unbiased and all for the love of food. Whether it's a food truck, a hole in the wall eatery, street food, local hangout or fine dining, we want to know where to head to for our next food adventure.