By Samantha Hubbard and Lindsay Pierce
Columbia: say cheese. Whether you’re home late from work, gathering around the table with family or searching the fridge for a midnight snack, the obvious answer comes in an unassuming cardboard box. It satisfies cheesy, greasy, comfort food cravings at lunch, dinner and, yes, even breakfast. Dip it in ranch, sprinkle it with parmesan, or just stuff it in your mouth already.
Columbia is spoiled when it comes to perfect pizza pie picks. Our local parlors and trucks offer fast delivery late at night, Italian dishes that will make you exclaim “Mama mia!” and full bars that quell hunger pangs while expanding your pizza horizons. Ever had a slice with shrimp or walnuts on it? You can eat that in CoMo.
Whether you’re looking for a hearty slice with everything on it or a light and crunchy sliver for lunch on the go, follow this guide, and you’ll be full in no time. Name your craving, and get your fix (or fill) at one of these local pizza joints.
Location: 1020 E. Green Meadows Rd. #102 (next to Kohl’s)
Hours: Tues.-Thurs. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Basic pizza price: Cheese: 10” $7.50; 12” $9.50; 14” $11.50
Topping price: $1.35–1.85
Known for: Unusual toppings
Arris’ Pizza is a Missouri thing. The parlor locations are sprinkled throughout the state in Springfield and Jefferson City and moved to Tiger Country in 2007. Columbia restaurant owner Thomas Rost calls it a “Mom- and Pop-type deal” with a congenial, sleek ambience and just a touch of gourmet. The full-blown, Grecian-inspired menu includes local favorites such as toasted ravioli and also international picks such as Greek gyros and a bruschetta pizza. “If you’re going to get a pepperoni pizza, you’re probably not going to come here,” Rost says. Order any one of the “Greek god” specials, or create your own divine pie with toppings such as walnuts, shrimp, anchovies and bacon.
Location: 2101 W. Broadway
Hours: Mon.–Sat. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Basic pizza price: Cheese: 10” $7.40; 12” $9.61; 14” $11.26
Topping price: $1.15–2.39
Known for: Authentic Greek ingredients
Satisfy that big, fat Greek craving at G&D Pizzaria. Owned by brothers Pano and Alex Terzopoulos, G&D serves square slices of thin crust pizza per Greek style. “That’s how we’ve always done it,” Pano says. Snag a snack-sized personal pizza for $6.25, or feed the family with the House Special — a combination of sausage, onion, black olive, pepperoni, beef, Canadian bacon, green pepper and mushroom — for $22.50. The restaurant imports extra virgin olive oil from Greece. Bring the family, and enjoy a sit-down, pass-it-around kind of meal.
Location: 711 Vandiver Drive, Suite B
Hours: Open daily 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Basic pizza price: Cheese: 7” $4.99; 12” $9.99; 14” $11.99; 16” $14.99
Topping price: 75 cents–$1.75
Known for: Expansive delivery area
You’re not actually walking into a little Italian town, but it will taste like it. Along with pizza, Italian Village Pizza offers an expansive menu including pastas and sandwiches. It doesn’t matter if you live in the ’burbs or the boondocks — Italian Village Pizza will deliver to all of Boone County with no delivery charge. The restaurant gives you freedom of crust, too, with hand-tossed, thin, white, wheat and gluten-free options.
Location: 909 Cherry Street
Hours: Open daily 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Basic pizza price: Cheese: $11
Topping price: $1.50
Known for: Uncommon specialty pizzas
Located inside Mojo’s, Pizza Tree serves up inventive pies and big ole’ rectangular pizzas. Past specials featured unexpected toppings such as poached eggs, jalapeño poppers and Milanesa pork tenderloin. Selections with similar “wow” factors rotate; Pizza Tree likes to keep its fans trying slices away from the norm. Owner Johnny G. searched long and hard to find pizza inspiration for his kitchen. “I went on a pizza quest — a pizza odyssey,” he says. “I ate at 32 pizzerias in 31 days.” Grab a slice to fill you up before watching (or putting on) a show on Mojo’s stage.
Location: 3908 Peachtree Dr.
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 3 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.; Sat. 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m.; Sun. 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.
Basic pizza price: 10” $5.99; 12” $7.99; 14” $9.99
Topping price: 70 cents–$1.25
Known for: TV-lined walls for watching sports
Southside Pizza is a sports bar for all your game-watching and pizza pie cravings. In the mood to sing a little karaoke? It has it at 9 p.m. on Wednesday nights. Ready to try your luck at some trivia? Come on Tuesday nights at 8 p.m., and celebrate your winnings over the saucy stuff or a calzone big enough to cover two dinner plates. Knock out your pizza craving, and watch your team knock out its rivals on one of the 50 TVs all around the restaurant.
Location: 17 N. 5th St.
Hours: Mon. 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.; Tues.-Thurs. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Fri. 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.; Sat. 11am to 12pm; Sun. 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Basic pizza price: Cheese: 10” $9.95; 12” $10.95; 14” $11.95
Topping price: $1.20-1.75
Known for: Passed down through generations
This family hand-me-down restaurant has been taking its thin crust specialties out of the oven for 50 years. “I grew up in here,” says Pete Veros, the second generation owner. “I think we are the oldest pizza place in Columbia.” They serve up the classic Italian pies as well as many Greek speciality pizzas. Feeling extra hungry? Tony’s Pizza also offers gyros, pasta dishes and baklava for the sweet tooth in all of us.
Location: 3304 W. Broadway; 3911 Peachtree Drive; 225 S. Ninth St.
Call: West: 447-1202; South: 447-7435; Downtown: 449-2454
Hours: Downtown: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. West and South: Sun.-Sat. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Basic pizza price: Cheese: 8” $5.25; 12” $9.25; 16” $13.75
Topping price: 70 cents–$2.50
Delivery: Yes, orders less than $15 have $2 delivery fee
Known for: $2.50 slices at lunch
If “warm” were a smell, you could find it at Shakespeare’s Pizza. Jay Lewis and his family have operated the downtown location since the late 1970s. Manager Kurt Mirtsching says it has served the same pizza since then. “If it’s not (the same), we’re in trouble,” he says. Shakespeare’s is famous for medium-thickness crust with melt-off-the-dough toppings, such as pepperoni cut precisely an eighth of an inch thick. Snag a slice of the famous pizza from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. each day for $2.69.
Location: 7 N. Sixth St.
Hours: Mon-Wed 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Thurs. 4 p.m. to 3 a.m.; Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.; Sun. 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Basic pizza price: Cheese: 10” $6.49; 12” $8.49; 14” $10.99; 20” $17.49
Topping price: $1.50
Delivery: Yes, $1.50 delivery charge
Known for: Delivery until 3 a.m.
Located in the back of McNally’s Irish Pub, this pizza place specializes in extra-large pies and extra-late delivery all over Columbia. Wise Guys offers hand-tossed and thin crust, but if you are feeling adventurous, try the Chicago-style deep dish pizza. If it smells so good you can’t wait to eat at home, sit in McNally’s, and enjoy it with a beer.