A definitive ranking of Oxford’s pizzerias
I like to think that I’m pretty unassuming in most of my opinions about food – as someone who eats mostly fast food or frozen food, I don’t have much room for food snobbery.
There is, however, an exception to this rule: pizza.
I’m not going to get into the debate about whether Chicago or New York has better pizza, because I think there’s enough room in the world for both. There is no doubt, however, that Chicago, my hometown, is one of the pizza capitals of the United States.
I try to keep an open mind when eating non-Chicagoan pizza, but it’s hard when almost every mall in my hometown has a pizzeria that would blow any place in Ohio out of the water. That said, I love pizza too much to only eat it when I’m home, so I manage.
Oxford has more pizza places than I thought when I first arrived in Miami, and it’s home to a pretty good mix of local chains and restaurants. But, like anything else, some are better than others.
To help other pizza lovers decide where to order, I’ve decided to rank all the pizza places in Oxford. For the sake of length, I am not including any national chains – only regional chains and local restaurants.
Bruno’s Pizza has been in Oxford forever – for over 50 years serving greasy pies to drunk and/or hungover members of the community.
Maybe my dislike for Bruno stems from the fact that I’ve never eaten one drunk or hungover. Or maybe it’s just not very good.
I hate dissing food, but I can’t find much to praise about Bruno. The crust is bland and boardy, the sauce is practically non-existent, and the cheese is coated in a layer of grease.
The only thing Bruno has going for him is that he offers pizzas by the slice, but I prefer to buy a whole pizza good pizza just one of those sad slices.
I know a lot of people love Bruno’s, and that’s their prerogative. It’s just not for me.
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5. Sundial Pizza
Including Sundial, the Armstrong Student Center Pizzeria, might seem like an odd choice, but it’s probably the most easily accessible pizzeria for students in Miami. Because it’s in Oxford and not a chain, it technically fits the criteria for this ranking.
Honestly, sometimes Sundial hits. More often, however, he misses.
For a small pizzeria in a student center, it’s not bad, but Sundial’s main problem is that the food stays for hours and hours. If you go during dinner time you’ll probably get a fresh slice, but if you go during a low traffic time of day your food may be stale and cold.
Maybe ranking Sundial against other places that make their pizza to order is unfair, but I thought it would provide some context. Given the choice, I’d rather eat Sundial’s stale, cold pizza than Bruno’s, and I think that says a lot.
4. Chez LaRosa
This may be an unpopular opinion, but while I really like LaRosas’ food, I don’t like their pizza.
Their pasta is good – it’s not the most authentic food around, but it’s comforting and always tasty. Similar to Olive Garden, you don’t go to LaRosa to get something that tastes like it came straight from Rome.
The pizza is mediocre, but not in a comforting way. Every time I’ve had it it’s been very dry with almost no sauce at all and the crust is bland. I learned to order a side of marinara sauce for dipping because it tastes more like cheese bread than pizza.
I guess some people prefer a drier pizza, but the sauce is my favorite part, so LaRosa doesn’t quite do it for me. Most of the other dishes are great, though!
3. Rapid Fire
Rapid Fired is different from all the other places on this list because of its speed and customization. It’s almost like Subway, but for pizza.
For that reason alone, I really like Rapid Fired. Their pizzas are small and only feed one or two people, which means you don’t have to compromise with others who may have different topping preferences.
Like Subway, the ingredients at Rapid Fired often sit out for a long time, so the food is a bit less fresh than other pizza places, although I don’t think it’s that noticeable. Because it’s basically fast food pizza, the quality of the food also isn’t quite on par with other places, but for the price and convenience, Rapid Fired is a great choice. solid.
Sorriso is easily the “fancy” spot on this list – upon entering the restaurant and seeing the dark, romantic vibe, you’d never guess its main specialty is pizza.
This fancyness, of course, comes with slightly higher prices than other pizzerias in Oxford, but why the food is slightly pricey becomes apparent as soon as you try it.
The cheese pizza is topped with slices of fresh mozzarella in addition to the standard mozzarella mix, and the sauce tastes crisp and fresh. The pizzas are also quite large for such a fancy place – the menu says each pizza feeds two hungry people, but my hungry boyfriend and I only finished half of ours.
My only complaint about Sorriso’s pizza is the crust. It’s very thin, which I like because it’s reminiscent of the pizza we have back home in Chicago, but a thin crust cut into giant triangular slices makes for a floppy pizza. I had to cut the first bites of each slice with a fork and knife to prevent the toppings from slipping.
If Sorriso cut his pizzas into squares rather than triangles, which is how Chicago pizzerias combat the floppy slice problem, this would be by far the best pizzeria in Oxford. As it stands, it’s definitely one of the best, but it’s not perfect.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my almost three years in Miami, it’s that SDS pizza is polarizing. Some people say it’s the best pizza in Oxford; others say it’s the worst.
As you can see from its place in this ranking, I fall into the first group.
The reason I like SDS so much is because it’s exactly what I want when I order pizza. It’s greasy (but not gross), heartwarming, cheesy, sassy, and most importantly, cheap.
The only minor complaint I have about the SDS is that the cheese might be a little overkill for me – I love cheese, but I’m lactose intolerant and too much cheese pizza makes my stomach hurt – but I think there’s enough sauce to balance it out, unlike other places like LaRosa.
In terms of quality, Sorriso undoubtedly beats SDS. But when you’ve had a tough day and need comfort food, you don’t necessarily want a $20 pizza with fresh mozzarella slices. You want a classic, delicious, no-frills pie, and on that front, SDS delivers.