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Bello Wood Fired Pizza Studio brings fresh premium pizzas, salads and desserts to Oxford

Oxford’s newest pizza restaurant offers dine-in options with multiple tables for customer and a decorated interior.
Oxford’s newest pizza restaurant offers dine-in options with multiple tables for customer and a decorated interior.

It wouldn’t be a good weekend without a hot slice of pizza. While Oxford has plenty of reliable options like SDS Pizza and Rapid Fired Pizza, a new joint has joined the fray this semester: Bello Wood Fired Pizza Studio. 

Located next to Graeter’s on High Street, the new restaurant brings wood-fired ovens to Oxford’s pizza scene, offering a more upscale and premium experience compared to other choices in the area. I visited Bello this weekend to see what Oxford’s new pizza bakers are all about.

I was immediately greeted upon entry and was pleasantly surprised by the restaurant's interior. It offers a homey, hip vibe that reminded me of a lodge with hardwood floors and countertops. The staff was all very friendly, and the whole vibe was perfectly complemented by the restaurant’s indie-folk playlist.

The menu offers a variety of starters including different breads and salads. 

My friend and I decided on the Italian Salad which included mixed greens, pepperoni, pepperoncini, parmesan, croutons, red onion, carrots, cucumber and a choice of dressing. We ordered the creamy garlic dressing, as per recommendation, and were satisfied with the salad. The use of field greens and spinach as the base offered much more flavor than something like romaine. 

The salad was balanced and flavorful, fusing together spicy, savory, rich and sweet. The creamy garlic dressing reminded me of caesar, but with a stronger garlic flavor that paired beautifully with the garlic croutons.

Photo by John Hatch | The Miami Student
According to Hatch, the Italian salad is balanced and flavorful.

We then started thinking about pizza. The restaurant offers its own selection of specialty pies, but customers can order custom pizzas as well. After a quick glance over the selection, we decided on the “Kenesaw Mountain Landis” which included italian sausage, prosciutto, onions and jalapeños in addition to red sauce and the restaurant’s three-cheese blend. 

Bello had all but won us over with the salad and ambience, but the wait time for our pizza was fairly long. The restaurant wasn’t particularly crowded, and yet we had been waiting a solid 20 minutes for one pizza. Granted, the restaurant prepares all of their pizza fresh to order and may still be adjusting to larger crowds after recently opening. That said, if you plan to dine-in, be prepared to wait. 

Our pizza finally arrived at our table, and upon its delivery, my friend and I were ready to dig in. The pizza was fresh out of the oven, and piled high with toppings. The pie was 12 inches wide, making each half a perfectly-sized portion when paired with a salad. The pizza was cooked masterfully, with a crispy outer crust and light charred bottom. 

The red sauce and cheese definitely took a backseat because the pie was so packed with other ingredients. The sauce wasn’t too sweet, and the cheese was mild yet flavorful, but I could’ve gone for a little more of both. The italian sausage was packed with flavor, and the jalapeños brought a manageable yet flavorful kick. The prosciutto had great texture and flavor, and the red onions brought some needed sweetness to the palette. 

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The pizza was a lovely collage of flavors, and I highly recommend ordering one of Bello’s specialties to get an idea of how their flavors interact. While I’m sure the more simple offerings such as the margherita are delicious, the beauty of these pizzas is in the quality of their ingredients and how they blend.

Photo by John Hatch | The Miami Student
Hatch ordered Bello’s Kenesaw Mountain Landis pizza, which contains italian sausage, prosciutto, onions and jalapeños.

Finally we ended the night with a slice of lemon Italian cream cake. I have a pretty big sweet tooth, so I was excited to see their relatively large dessert menu. The slice was very generous and perfect to split between two people. It featured a zesty, tangy lemon cream between two layers of dense, moist lemon cake. The lemon was fairly prominent, however the flavors of coconut and other spices typical of Italian cream cake were still present, making for a delicious and unique take on the classic dessert.

Photo by John Hatch | The Miami Student
Hatch describes Bello’s lemon Italian cream cake as zesty and tangy.

Excluding tip, the meal for two, which included pizza, salad and cake, cost $36. In my opinion, this is the way to go at Bello. The pairing of a delicious pizza and quality salad is just too good to pass on, and who doesn’t love a good dessert? 

Most pizzas are about $20, so I definitely encourage sharing a few things to get more variety for about the same cost. The meal was filling and made with quality ingredients, so it’s worth the premium price. On top of that, everyone there, especially our waitress, was friendly, and the vibe of the restaurant was impeccable.

The wait time for the pizza was long, but with good company, it’s worth the wait.

Rating: 7.5/10

Photo by John Hatch | The Miami Student
A unique feature of Bello pizza is that all of their pizzas are cooked in a wood-fired oven.