Choosing a university for a higher degree often involves several vital considerations. One of them is the location. Pick a place that is relaxing and conducive for learning and building experiences. Local colleges and universities are an essential part of American cities, so they are often referred to as college towns.
College towns are home to approximately 18.6 million people! They are more than a place for students, faculty, and college sports enthusiasts. Despite not having any affiliation with the school, crowds are attracted to college towns!
Generally, college towns tend to be budget-friendly because they cater to students. On top of that, there are also a host of attractions, including film screenings, plays, art shows, and concerts. Perhaps, the most appealing part is the countless dining options around college towns. Searching for good food is not a problem at all.
Pizza shops, for one, stand out among the gastronomic options. For college students, pizza joints around town are some kind of an icon. No college life is complete without experiencing the fulfillment of pizza cravings that often come cheap and delicious. Studying throughout the night can be easier and more enjoyable with the accompaniment of a delicious slice of this greasy goodness.
Americans love their pizza! In fact, according to the USDA estimate, about 13% of Americans consume pizza every day. It is also found that 70% of college students eat fast food at least once a day—and pizza is a staple!
It is no wonder pizza shops are some of the most frequently visited restaurants in college towns. They are an important haven for students who want to get fast, cheap, and delicious meals. Pizza is also a staple in many group gatherings. It is known for fraternities and sororities to buy 20-50 pizzas at a time.
Beyond being a fixture in many college students’ meals, it is also common for pizza shops to hire working students.
- Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana
- Sliver Pizzeria
- Pinocchio’s Pizza
- Satchel’s Pizza
- Benny Marzano’s
- Porch Light Pizza
- Ian’s Pizza
- Antonio’s Pizza
- Little Italy Pizzeria
- Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria
- Woodstock’s Pizza
- Pitruco Pizza
- Pizza Shuttle
- Italian Pizzeria III
- Square Pizza
- Todaro Pizza
- Prince St. Pizza
- Crazy Dough’s Pizza
- Antico Pizza Napoletano
- Hot Tomatoes Neopolitan Pizza
- Palace Pizza
- Georgio’s Gourmet Pizza
- A&A Pagliai’s Pizza
- Pi Pizzeria
- Pino’s Pizza
- Bruno’s Pizza & Big O’s Sports Room
- Pizza Al’s
- Momo’s Pizza
- Two Boots
- Sy’s Pizza
- Dazzos Pizzeria
- Jesta’s Pizza
Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana
Boasting timeless tradition and family heritage, Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana is a household name in New Haven, Connecticut. The New Haven-style thin crust pizza, a perfect hybrid of cracker-like and bread-like, originated from this pizzeria. Along with Sally’s and Modern Apizza, Pepe’s form the holy trinity of pizza, serving as a pilgrimage site for pizza enthusiasts. Its popularity is evident by the throng of customers spilling out the door into the street to get a spot in the nearly century-old restaurant. It’s one of Yale’s students’ go-to places for pizza, a ritual that goes beyond graduation. Even former President Bill Clinton dropped by to say “hi” when he visited the state.
Their claim to fame is still as famous as ever. A slice of white clam pizza, with the heavenly combination of chopped garlic, freshly shucked clams, and a sprinkle of pungent Romano, will never go out of style.
University of California Berkeley
A students’ favorite, Sliver Pizzeria, is friendly to the budget. They offer all sorts of delicious pizza for cheap prices, even including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. Apart from the sumptuous food, they also offer a great ambiance and live music from hand-picked local artists. One can go here for lunch every day and never get tired. They feature one unique pizza for each day of the week, so check their website before visiting the place.
Having only one type of pizza on offer a day might be mind-boggling, but they do this to keep their pizza ingredients fresh and minimize the long line of waiting customers. This quirk works like magic for busy college students who barely find the time to grab their meals regularly. Even better? They allow customers to try a sliver (small 1/3 slice) for $1.50 before committing to buy.
Pinnochio’s Pizza has been part of Harvard students’ tradition for more than half a century. This pizza shop is nestled in an alley off Harvard square for their Sicilian pizza and mouth-watering steak sandwiches. Students waiting for their order at the counter can see into the kitchen. Service is usually fast and frantic but always efficient. A dizzying variety of Sicilian pizzas served by the slice is made even more fascinating by their wide range of choices for toppings. They have all kinds of meats, veggies, and cheese. Those who prefer another level of pizza experience can also try their gourmet options. It is not surprising that Noch’s is a late-night standby for generations of famished Harvard students as it is fondly called.
A landmark in Harvard Square, Pinocchio’s is famous for its Sicilian-style pizza in square slices. They come in around 15 styles with various toppings ranging from artichoke, zucchini, and chicken pesto to conventional options such as pepperoni and sausage.
Coming to a restaurant for the experience? That is what Satchel’s Pizza offers. Just 10 minutes northeast of the University of Florida campus, this pizza shop is as quirky as they could get. For one, customers can eat in a Volkswagen Minivan – a nod to That 70’s show. They incorporate vintage pieces into the overall ambiance of the place, with keys, blank CD, and locks artistically used to create such a charming happy vibe. But of course, it’s mainly all about the pizza. They come in slices, medium, and large with all sorts of toppings that you can imagine. Anchovies, banana peppers, ricotta, feta? Name it. They have it. It is easy to imagine how rewarding it is to experience this place full-on.
Satchel’s is an eccentric pizza shop with all these eclectic quirks – stained glass in the restaurant interiors, artwork made from recycled materials, homemade sodas, and chic design décors. There is a gift shop in the back that also serves as the stage for live music.
Students who want a cool hangout spot downtown can never go wrong with Benny Marzano’s. They offer pizza with the highest quality ingredients. Think of a special cheese blend made in Minnesota, tomatoes from California, pepperoni from Iowa – to name a few. The place, unsurprisingly, became a crowd favorite in the college town. Virginia Tech even included the late-night slice at Benny’s to its Hokie Bucket List. Eating there is a tradition for many students.
They are most well-known for their gigantic 28-inch pizza. And when they say it is huge, they are not joking. A slice served on two plates sells at $4 – a perfect full meal for hungry college students.
A go-to place for college students in Ann Arbor when they crave Neapolitan pizza, NeoPapalis puts the fun in eating by allowing customers to create delicious pizzas themselves. They can then build their pizza by picking toppings for an extra charge. If they want to get pizza the easier way, they can also choose among the specialty pizzas on offer, with the toppings pre-chosen by the chef himself. The price is student-friendly, too.
Dining at Papalis feels like eating at home. While their pizzas take days to make, pizza orders can arrive in less than 8 minutes. It offers casual dining at its finest.
Almost 60 years ago, Ledo Pizza opened its doors near the University of Maryland. They have served their trademark square pizza to students for decades. Each Ledo pizza is lovingly made, from its fresh, handmade dough to the high-quality cheese and tomatoes for toppings. The delicious pizza is a given, but they also stick to their commitment of providing a comfortable family atmosphere where good food and great value go hand in hand. It has been a crowd favorite in the Maryland community for decades.
Their thin-crust square pizza with white sauce and a light layer of cheese highlights the often generous toppings. One of their trademarks is their extra-thick slices of pepperoni toppings cut by hand. What started as a means to save time became a staple because customers loved their thick pepperoni.
Porch Light Pizza
Famous for its fast-fired thin-crust artisan pizza, Porch Light Pizza is among the students’ favorites. This local pizza shop is located by the river, enjoying a distinctive location coupled with superb food. Customers can create infinite variations with the available toppings. The secret to its success, however, is in the crust. It contains flour developed by a grad student at the Washington State University. It does not hurt that their price range is within the students’ budget.
Porch Light Pizza offers discounts and loyalty programs. While sporadic, the discounts are fun and exciting. One time, the owner gave a discount of 19% because it was 19 degrees outside during the winter. Students can also enjoy popular discounts like Micro Mondays, where drinks are marked down between certain times of the day.
A late-night favorite of the University of Wisconsin’s students, Ian’s Pizza, offers various unique toppings that often give birth to questionable yet delicious combinations. They are best known for their Mac n’ Cheese. This type of pizza in white sauce is topped with elbow noodles and cheddar cheese. Other signature flavors include Maui Wowie, a combination of marinara, mozzarella, ham, pineapple, and house-pickled Jalapeños. Those who are adventurous enough can get their hand in building their pizza with a wide array of sauces, veggies, meats, and cheese.
Their unique pizza flavors stand out from the crowd. It also features a unique atmosphere, especially during the crazy hours of 11 PM to 2 AM. That is when not-so sober students desperately need pizza. Experiencing the madness of Ian’s Pizza can be a colossal moment for many college students.
Students with late-night pizza cravings often head over to Antonio’s Pizza. Their offerings are a blessing to the taste buds. One of these is their classic cheese pizza. Adventurous souls can also try their more daring options, including the taco pizza topped with avocado slices. It is best experienced when it is freshly out of the oven.
The best thing about their pizza? It can be customized by the slice with all the variations in toppings.
Little Italy Pizzeria
It might be a hole in the wall, but Little Italy Pizzeria has been a fixture in college students’ lives since 1997. This pizza shop follows the setup of old-fashioned joints where orders are taken from the counter, and the pizzas are cooked in real ovens. Hot, greasy, and tasty pizza slices are part of the college students’ late-night experience. Pre-pandemic, they were open until 2 in the morning during weekends, making the pizza at Little Italy the ultimate hangover food.
The pizzas come in many forms. They have the whole and specialty pizzas, but the most popular among college students is their pizza by the slice, often serving as a late-night treat.
Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria
Nothing quite captures the taste of Chicago than the deep dish pizza. And when we talk about deep-dish pizza, Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria is a top pick. They have been serving their original deep dish recipe from 1943 using the freshest and finest ingredients. Their pizzas are known for their flaky and buttery crust and exclusive sausage blend. They also use a particular mozzarella cheese with unique flavor and texture, all sourced from the same vendor for more than 40 years.
Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria has perfected their deep-dish pizza recipe. They have kept this secret within the family. Many reviewers say there is the perfect balance of cheese, crunch, and aromatic flavors in their deep dish pizzas, something that stands out from their counterparts.
California Polytechnic State University
Since 2005, Woodstock’s Pizza has been honored as Cal Poly’s Favorite Pizza. This student-oriented pizzeria has been feeding university students with amazing pizzas. Using only the freshest and best-tasting ingredients, this pizza shop consistently offers unique pizzas in a festive atmosphere. Their trademark is their fresh, hand-tossed dough with a folded-over crust and sauce inside. They have catered exclusively to college communities throughout the years, ensuring they keep an eye on quality in the process.
Woodstock has maintained their authenticity. While they have all kinds of interesting seasonal offers, from winter butternut squash to March madness meatball, they veer away from riding the trends and losing their focus. They offer good food, and that’s what people come for.
Specializing in the brick oven, Neapolitan-style pizza, Pitruco Pizza creates its delicious offerings from scratch. Their long-fermented dough and carefully crafted toppings have been a staple since their humble beginnings. Found in Franklin’s Table, this shop is easily accessible to Penn students looking to pix their pizza cravings. It is the brick and mortar equivalent of their food truck. Pizzas can be personalized. Classic favorites include Margherita with its tasty blend of classic tomato, buffalo mozzarella, and basil and Pepperoni with the rich combination of tomato, pepperoni, garlic, cacao di roma, sharp provolone, and spices. They also have special offers throughout the seasons.
When they say they make pizza from scratch, they are not kidding. All are done in-house, from toppings and sauces to doughs and veggies. Those they source externally can be traced to the local farms.
A huge part of the Manhattan culture, Pizza Shuttle has been in operation since 1984. Conveniently located in a college town, they have been serving great pizza of the highest quality at affordable prices, which university students love. Their pizza, dough, and signature garlic sauce are all made from scratch. Family and friends who come over always get recommended to try this place. It has, in a sense, acquired a cult following among the college kids.
Their cream cheese sauce is unlike any other, and it is always a hit with the college crowd. And they deliver, often through the wee hours of the morning, whether in dorms or greek housing.
Italian Pizzeria III
A huge part of the local dining scene, the Italian Pizzeria III has some of the best things a pizza parlor can offer – warmth, familiarity, and hospitality. Beloved by locals and visitors alike, this pizza shop at Chapel Hill’s West Franklin Street takes pride in its delectable fresh-dough pizzas topped with sauce from a family recipe. They are open for lunch and dinner every day of the week, offering a wide variety of pizzas, sandwiches, and salads. It is the favorite pizza place of students from the University of North Carolina.
While the pizza is great, as it should be, this pizza shop is also often frequented by sports fans because of its incredible atmosphere. A large flat-screen TV welcomes its patrons, perpetually broadcasting sports across the place. For many years, Italian Pizzeria III was awarded as the Best Place to Watch Televised International Soccer. Watching soccer matches there can make one want to be Italian.
College students love their late-night pizza. In Mississippi, Square Pizza is open all night long. Comfortably located on the Square, this popular pizza shop is a go-to destination for students after the bars nearby close. They are best known for their crunchy double-baked pizzas covered with provolone cheese instead of the usual mozzarella. Hungry college students line out into the streets around half past midnight on any given Friday to get their pizza cravings satisfied.
The name is a huge giveaway. This shop is famous for its square pizzas with a distinctive crunch. The latter is achieved by baking the pizzas twice.
Ithaca has its fair share of pizza shops around town. At Ciao! ‘s, students can get their craving fix of brick-over pizza with a Tuscan flair. They have comfortable booths and few tables that can be put together for big groups. Family recipes often feature in this pizza place. Toppings have creative combinations, often featuring red sauce, banana peppers, meatballs, and salami. There are also gluten-free and vegan pizzas to suit a wide range of preferences. College students around town frequent this place, hence the noisy yet fun atmosphere.
It is the best place for those looking for an overall pizza experience. The artisan pizzas are handcrafted and cooked over a wood-fired oven. Coupled with the décor and ambiance, Ciao! It is a great place for entertainment and something that college students around Ithaca love to frequent.
Students from Clemson University have made Todaro Pizza a part of their traditions. Owned by a Clemson University alumni, this pizza shop creates the most scrumptious New York-style pizza. One cannot help but love Todaro Special, with its mouth-watering combination of pepperoni, Italian sausage, mushroom, peppers, and onions from the menu. All meat and all veggies options are also available.
Todaro’s is known for their Dollar Slice special every Wednesday night. One can get a slice of pizza for $1, along with complimentary enhancements like basil, garlic salt, Parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes, and oregano. It is the best treat for hungry college students around town.
Prince St. Pizza
As one of New York’s best pizza shops, Prince St. Pizza offers authentic and delicious food featuring the highest quality ingredients. Their square pizzas range from classic cheese and the SoHo square to their iconic Spicy Spring. The latter is loaded with spicy pepperoni cups. Their square-style pizzas have become a sensation to New York students and regulars who flock to the place six days a week.
Pepperoni features prominently in their pizzas. They are best known for their Spicy Spring Pie. This square slice of pizza is chewy and greasy, with its pile of meaty cups of pepperoni.
Crazy Dough’s Pizza
Boston College students can easily enjoy a slice of their favorite pizzas from Crazy Dough’s Pizza. The pizza shop offers various gourmet choices with the freshest ingredients, either cooked in a brick oven or fire-grilled. Their crust is legendary for its handmade and fire-grilled dough. It is so delicious it has become a norm for customers to eat their pizza backward.
Fire-grilled or brick oven pizza? This pizza shop offers both to Boston regulars, many of which are university students. Some of their signature pizzas include Balsamic Glaze and Ricotta, Chipotle Chicken and Bacon, and Potato Bacon Cheddar.
Antico Pizza Napoletano
Considered one of the best pizzerias in the country, Antico Pizza Napoletano boasts perfectly cooked crusts and fresh ingredients. Their brick-over pies and communal seating are popular to Georgia Tech students who want to experience authentic Italian pizza. Some of its most important ingredients are flown from Italy, including tomatoes, mozzarella, and olive oil. The owner, Giovanni Di Palma, also imported the restaurant’s wood-fired ovens from Naples.
A name synonymous with pizza greatness, Antico Pizza Napoletano enjoys a good reputation among the locals and celebrities alike. The pizza can be cooked in 60 to 120 seconds, thanks to the 900-degree heat from the Italian wood-burning ovens.
Hot Tomatoes Neopolitan Pizza
Popular for their Neopolitan-style specialty pizzas, Hot Tomatoes Neopolitan Pizza offers customizable and specialty pizzas. To create one’s pizza, one can choose from various sauces, meats, cheeses, veggies, and premium toppings. The latter have various selections, including artichokes, gorgonzola, roasted red peppers, and breaded eggplant. On the other hand, their special offers range from white clam, shrimp and capers, and barbecued chicken to classic Napoletana and veggie pizza.
Located by the soothing Green River, Hot Tomatoes Neopolitan Pizza showcases a charming location with outdoor seating. Nothing beats eating a slice of pizza outdoors while looking at a pretty sight and listening to the relaxing sound of the river. It is a perfect hangout place for college students looking to unwind.
Fresh ingredients to bring out the best Italian flavors are key to the success enjoyed by Palace Pizza among the local community. Their signature Greek pizza and oven-baked subs are crowd favorite. They have consistently put quality food on the table, using only the finest quality ingredients, hand-cut meats and cheeses, and of course, the family recipes they have carried down through generations. No wonder they have preserved the authentic taste of their offerings since their inception.
Pizzas at Palace Pizza features fresh dough, premium tomatoes, and 100% whole milk mozzarella cheese. The stunning taste is accompanied by a superb presentation, offering a full dining experience to its beloved customers, many of which are students from Florida Southern College that regard the place as a historic landmark in the college town.
Georgio’s Gourmet Pizza
Georgio’s Gourmet Pizza is family-owned and operated. They offer quality meals at reasonable prices, often friendly to students’ budgets. Students who love late-night pizza by the slices will never go wrong with Georgio’s. Packed with rich flavors, their pizzas come in wide variations, including nacho, Mediterranean, meat lovers, black bean, vegan, and gluten-free. They have an average of 20 varieties in a day. Students will be spoiled for choice.
Their best feature is their pizza dough (which is never frozen) and a vast variety of toppings. One is free to build their pizza or get it ready-made. Plus, their servings are large so that hungry college students can get their fill with just a slice.
A&A Pagliai’s Pizza
Great pizza and an atmosphere to match, A&A Pagliai’s Pizza offers the best dining experience to pizza enthusiasts. Their generations-old Italian family recipes ensure the quality and authenticity of their heavenly thin-crust, brick oven-baked pizzas. Fresh ingredients sure contribute to its burst of flavors. They have all sorts of toppings, including Canadian bacon, beef, sauerkraut, jalapeno, and green pepper. The Palace Special features a mouth-watering combo of sausage, beef, pepperoni, mushroom, and onion.
Considered the longest-lived dedicated pizza place downtown, A&A Pagliai’s Pizza has continued the tradition by consistently creating the tastiest pizzas in town. They have specialty pizzas on offer. One can also make it more fun by building their own from a large menu selection.
Often voted as one of the best pizza places in town, Pi Pizzeria asks the most important question regarding pizza. Thin crust or Chicago-style deep-dish? Customers can then choose among their array of chef-created blends of toppings. They can also elect to create their pizza, enhancing the staple mozzarella and tomato sauce with a selection of additional toppings, from classic choices of bacon, green olive, jalapeno, minced garlic, and many others to the gourmet picks that include anchovy, artichokes, goat cheese, meatball, sundried tomato, and prosciutto, among many others.
Pi Pizzeria annually holds Pi Day. On that particular day, one can have great special offers. This year entitles one to get another pizza of equal to the lesser value at only $3.14 when they buy one large pizza. Plus, all guests that share the same birthday with the pizzeria can get free large pizza. It is a nice treat for students who cram for exams and work so hard for their coursework.
Pino’s Pizza is often considered the best in the college town, a subject of debate between Boston College students. Their authentic Italian-tossed pizza has various flavors, including cheese, Sicilian, and a host of specialty pizzas like Amalfi, Hawaiian, Napoli, White, and Alfredo, among many others. Apart from pizza, they also offer various mouth-watering offerings, from salads and subs to calzones.
They offer the best Sicilian-style pizza in town. It has been in a fierce rivalry with Presto, another pizza place down the street, for the best pizza. This fueled a lively debate among Boston college students.
Bruno’s Pizza & Big O’s Sports Room
Famous for the hand-tossed pizza, Bruno’s Pizza & Big O’s Sports Room is a local favorite often frequented by college students. They offer to carry out and open for events. It is quite a tradition for customers to watch the pizza makers toss the dough through the window. Their pizza is thicker in curst with a delicious dough coupled with a rich selection of toppings. It includes pepperoni, sausage, ham, bacon, green pepper, mushroom, and so much more.
Good old pizza is well and good, but Bruno’s Pizza & Big O’s Sports Room takes it to another level by offering dessert pizza. It is made with the regular dough but with peanut butter as sauce, cheese for cover, and chocolate tips to top it off.
Often referred to as the best in the Morgantown area, Pizza Al’s is known for its great sauce, crust, and cheese ration. Traditional and white pizza in different sizes is on offer, enhanced by a rich selection of toppings such as pepperoni, sausage, onions, hot peppers, anchovies, green olives, and extra cheese. For now, the pizza shop is only open for pickup and carry-out orders.
Their authentic pizza is well-loved by locals and tourists alike. Their secret is in their crust and sauce, which they make from scratch, bringing out fresh and great flavors.
A favorite of Florida State students, Momo’s Pizza offers original, New York-style hand-tossed pizza along with good music and a laidback atmosphere. Their pizzas come in various sizes. They can be bought by slices, too. A caution, though, their large slice pizza is huge. It is not uncommon to have leftovers afterward.
As mentioned, their pizza can be as big as one’s head. Calzones, wings, and a variety of salads are also among the choices, making it more than just a pizza place.
Since 1987, Two Boots has served the local college town with delicious pizzas, served as a whole or in slices. It boasts a quirky, colorful interior that adds to the dining experience. The slice selections are constantly changing every day, so customers keep coming back to try out new flavors. Their crust is crispy and crunchy, and it goes along with their variety of toppings.
Two Boots demonstrates their creative spirit in their eccentric menu names. Often a nod to pop culture, their menu offers range from Bayou Beast, The Dude, The Newman, and The Meg. The latter is named after the former White Stripes drummer. It is a white cheese pizza with provolone, parmigiana, ricotta, mozzarella, roasted garlic, and oregano.
New York-style pizzas are perfected at Sy’s. They are conveniently located in the heart of the University of Oregon, serving as a classic pizza joint with all the black-and-white checked floors and red tabletops for a vibrant atmosphere. Their pizzas are often loaded with toppings, whether pepperoni, mushrooms, or whatever selections are on offer. One can get their delicious pizzas as a whole or by slices.
The closest one could come to New York-style pizza in Oregon, Sy’s Pizza remains true to its roots. It has become an institution on the University of Oregon campus, serving pizzas to hungry students at reasonable prices.
A quaint Italian restaurant in downtown Knoxville, Dazzos Pizzeria is best known for its authentic pizzas and other Italian goodness. Their grandma pizza is a popular choice among patrons. Made with thin crust and brushed with olive oil with roasted garlic, this particular pizza is topped off with the “grandma’s sauce” and shredded mozzarella. It is easily missed, but this hidden gem is a beloved spot by locals, not least the students from the University of Tennessee. Patrons can watch as the chef builds their pizza inside the restaurant.
They make sure that their pizza is homemade, from the dough and sauces to fresh mozzarellas and meatballs. It allows for a taste that is uniquely Dazzo’s.
Located on the ground floor of Jester Center, Jesta’s Pizza is part of the University of Texas at Austin’s Housing and Dining roster of restaurants. It was recently renovated to follow the build-your-own pizza concept. The trendy pizza place offers pizzas with an array of sauces and toppings, from Italian pork sausage and Jalapeno pepper slices to sriracha chicken bites and feta cheese.
Conveniently located right on campus, Jesta’s Pizza is a vegetarian-friendly place. They also offer vegan options. Plus, they allow one to customize their pizza, offering variety for students.