Bambino's Pizzeria, a Belltown establishment that has distinctive pizzas and lots of brews, was a bar without a real bar until the owner recently added a glossy-sheen bar top made from reclaimed pine.

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I bet the pizza fanatics can tell you blindfolded when they have bitten into a Bambino’s pizza. The crust is distinctively charred, the toppings often smoky and salty. It’s a Neapolitan-style pizza that pairs well with a lot of the robust beers, which Bambino’s Pizzeria has in copious amounts in the cellar.

This pizzeria resides in Belltown, though too far from the main barhopping drag to be on the radar of the young and hip. Guys, mostly, come. The killer craft-beer selection on draft and in bottles is the draw.

But you know what’s been missing in here? A bar. The hopheads thought so. I thought so. And owner and chef Belle Coelho thought so, too, because she recently rearranged the dining area to make room for a glossy-sheen bar top made from reclaimed pine.

It’s a cozy, more inviting setup: jovial and informal, the kind of bar you want to plop down in for an after-work beer to chat about IPAs and Seahawks.

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Many Seattleites during fall and winter like their beers big and boozy, and Bambino’s has got the pizza to match — topped with smoked mozzarella, maybe with chunks of fiery-spicy calabrese sausage.

Dessert? Gelato beer float, because it’s that kind of place.

The list of bottled beer is stellar but not cheap. Think draft beer, $4 during happy hour. Bank on at least one interesting brew among the seven taps. Recently for me that beer was Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale from a Japanese brewery, sort of a sake-and-pale-ale hybrid, with hints of cherry and yeast, with a bitter finish.

The details

Bambino’s Pizzeria, 401 Cedar St., offers happy hour daily 4-6 p.m. and again 9-11 p.m. with $4 draft beer and wine. 206-269-2222.

Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or

On Twitter @tanvinhseattle.

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