Springfield, Oregon has its own reputation, and it’s not usually a good one. When I tell people I live in Springfield, I’m met with skeptical looks. People assume there’s nothing good on this side of town restaurant-wise or hang-out-spot-wise. This is when I’m happy to jump in and say “actually…” and proceed to tell them about my latest discovery. Tonight’s discovery was Ciao Pizza, a fairly new little Italian restaurant in, yes, Springfield.
It was raining the night a friend and I decided to try Ciao Pizza. Walking in, the first thing I noticed was the lighting, which is cozy and friendly, but has the potential to be romantic if you’re there with a date. On one side of the restaurant there is plenty of seating; across from it is the cash register, a bar, and a big wood oven. At the “bar” you can watch your handmade pizza prepared—smothered in tomato sauce and covered in freshly grated cheese. But pizza isn’t the only thing the restaurant has to offer. Order a salad, calzone, or bowl of pasta; beer and wine are also available for drinks.
Find a seat, take a look at the menu, and your server will bring you your food. You’ll also be served some fresh focaccia bread with two different kinds of olive oil for taste; I would recommend the darker one as it’s more flavorful. My friend and I both ordered pizza. She got the marguerita (tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and basil), and I ordered plain cheese (tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese). The crust is thin and crispy, baked to a golden brown, and the toppings are to die for; the wood oven really brings out the flavor. Both our pizzas were small, eight inches, but more than enough to fill us up.
And just in case your meal doesn’t fill you up, there’s always the dessert menu, with cheesecake, tiramisu, tort, and pie.
I’ve never been to Italy, but if this is what the country’s pizza tastes like, I have no objections.
3342 Gateway Street
Springfield, OR 97477