Pizza comes in many forms in the great town of Harrisonburg, Virginia; from the ever-reliable delivered goodness from Chanello’s to the enormous $4 slices at Benny’s, there is no shortage of options. But then came Bella Luna.
What many may not know is that the greasy, Americanized ‘za (although delicious and timeless) isn’t all the ‘Burg is good for. If you’re looking for a slice of something a few notches up from the average college town cuisine, head to Bella Luna Woodfired Pizza on Water Street.
The venue has a cozy, urban aesthetic, complete with exposed brick walls and dim lighting. Friendly wait staff and subtle music add to the laid-back, romantic vibe, setting the stage for the real-deal Italian meal you’re about to treat yourself to.
Before you do anything else, get an order of the homemade “hearth bread.” For $4, you get a heap of fresh, warm sourdough baguette slices the size of your face, with a side of olive oil. Munch away on its carb-tastic goodness while you survey the menu for the main attraction: fresh, authentic, woodfired pizza. (Try making this one at home).
Superstars from the Bella Luna menu include the Proscuitto & Arugula pizza and the Sopressata (featuring Italian style salami, and fresh mozzarella), among many others. I chose the Proscuitto, and let me tell you, no ragretz here.
I eat vegetables about as reluctantly as the next guy, but every mouthful of that arugula with the salty, smoky proscuitto took me straight to wood-fired heaven. The crust is thin and soft, with no need for extra seasoning or dipping sauce. A whole pie to yourself tends to go for between 10 and 13 bucks, but trust me, it’s worth it.
Not feeling pizza? Bella Luna also specializes in several other options for the Italian food lover. You can indulge in the Antipasto Platter, featuring the chef’s choice of cured meat and local cheeses, or an order of their crispy fried Virginia oysters. This dish will definitely (almost) make you an Italian food expert.
Of course, it wouldn’t be an Italian restaurant without pasta. Choose from their several pasta dinner options, including the classic Pasta Bolognese, consisting of fettuccine with classic meat sauce and topped with shaved parmesan.
No need to go anywhere else to satisfy your sweet tooth, either. A single bite of their homemade tiramisu (layers of espresso-soaked ladyfingers, mascarpone cream, and chocolate) will have you hooked.
Bella Luna’s bar also encourages you to get your drank on while you carbo-load, featuring a wide selection of wine and beer, ranging from real Italian wines like the Moscato Annalisa from Italy to local favorites like Brothers Hoptimization IPA from right here in Harrisonburg.
Bella Luna proves you don’t have to travel far if you’re looking for a night of real, handcrafted Italian cuisine. You don’t even need to be bummed out that the closest Olive Garden is an hour and a half away—you’ve got all the homemade deliciousness you need right down the street.