Transport Yourself to Southern Italy at this Lively Eugene Restaurant

by | Jun 28, 2024 | Food, Food & Drink, Restaurants

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Even though Osteria DOP has only been open a year and a half, it’s garnered praise across the board for not just being the most authentic Italian food in Eugene, but the best food in Eugene period! And, once you try their traditional, house-made Southern Italian style dishes you’ll be singing their praises too. There’s not a single miss on the menu and you’re going to want to try a little bit of everything.

DOP wood fire oven
DOP wood fire oven, Alicia Davis Google Local

The head chef and owner, Rocky Maselli, opened Osteria DOP in January of 2023, but before that he was no stranger to the food scene in Eugene. Prior to opening the current restaurant he was the executive chef at Marché in the 5th Street Public Market, and later started Pizzeria DOP, a popular food truck on Oak Street that sells pizzas, arancini, and salad. While Maseli still loves making pizzas, he wanted to branch out into pastas and had always wanted a restaurant of his own.

Bosco pizza
Bosco pizza, John Gracie Google Local

The focus at Osteria DOP is on regional Italian cooking in the old-world style. In fact, “DOP” is an initialism meaning for Denominazione di Origine Protetta, or Protected Designation of Origin, meaning everything there is traditionally made and produced in the Italian way. Maselli has actually traveled to Italy several times to study the culinary arts, where he earned his Verace Pizza Napoletana (VPN) certification.

Polpette Al Sugo
Polpette Al Sugo, Syfadalio Google Local

On the menu you’ll find a well-balanced mix of antipasti, pastas, and pizza and everything here will knock your socks off. The Neapolitan style pizzas are all wood-fired and served with a pair of long scissors to cut into pieces. Some of the most popular combinations are the Montanara made with tomato, smoked mozzarella, basil, sea salt and olive oil, and the Bosco made with wild mushrooms, garlic, smoked mozzarella, grana, olive oil and sea salt. Customers also rave about the Rigatoni that comes with fennel sausage, tomato sauce, burrata, and fennel pollen and the Paccheri made with albacore tuna, capers, olives, lemon, parsley and bottarga-bread crumbs.

Table spread
Table spread, Jackson Wade Google Local

You also can’t pass up the tasty appetizers and salads like the Fritanni (macaroni carbonara that’s been breaded and fried), the fried Castelvitrano olives, or the Burrata, a puglian style cow milk cheese made from mozzarella and cream, drizzled with dragoncello-pistachio condimento and served with crostini. The cocktails and desserts are also top notch and like the food highlight the tastes of Southern Italy. Try a Negroni, Aperol Spritz, or the super fun dessert cocktail, Campari and Fanta Float, made with a shot of Campari, two scoops of vanilla gelato, and a can of Orange Fanta.

Salad DOP
Salad DOP, Erik Google Local

Osteria DOP strikes the perfect balance of offering a casual atmosphere but with food you’d expect at a fine dining establishment. The restaurant is quite small but has an open floor plan so you can watch the pizza coming in and out of the wood fire oven and be a part of the lively bustle that’s a well-run and very popular restaurant. You can even sit at the counter and watch the masterful chefs prepare your food right in front of your eyes.

Fava con cicario
Fava con cicario, Erik Google Local

One important thing to note is they do not take reservations and only complete parties will be sat. On the weekends, customers can start waiting to get in as early as 4:30, and it’s not unusual to see a line snaking around the block. However, the crew here is so efficient that you usually won’t have to wait too long, but you should be prepared. 

Hours: Tuesday - Saturday. 5:00pm - 10:00pm

Address: 1122 Oak Street, Eugene

Phone: (541) 913-6460

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Written By Diana Flowers

Diana is a writer living in Portland with her delightful son and crotchety cat. Growing up in the area, family vacations were often to nearby destinations reachable by car. She has since expanded that love of local road trips and has been all over the great state of Oregon and throughout the Pacific Northwest, frequently pairing backpacking trips with exploring new towns and regions.

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