Life as a Lawrence student, brutally simplified, consists of constantly balancing two factors: studying for countless tests and papers, and living freely as an adult without the watchful and disapproving eyes of one’s parents. Most of us will find a happy medium somewhere in between, but amidst the all-nighters and the drunken stupors, there’s always a need for cheap and satisfying late-night food. Whether you prefer Chinese or sub sandwiches, you probably won’t get away without trying the ultimate college food — pizza.
There are a wide variety of pizza options in the Appleton area: You may find yourself splurging for Stuc’s deep dish, making the long walk down to Sal’s or going with the flow and ordering Toppers. Here’s the dish on five Lawrentian pizza favorites:
109 E. College Ave.
Pros: “Satisfying” pizza, convenient location, delivery, variety of food, coupons galore
Cons: Toppers hangover, chain restaurant, unhealthy
Because of the proximity to campus and its ruthless advertising campaign locked on hungry college students, Toppers is likely the most popular pizza place on campus. The chain restaurant, which has many stores across the Midwest, is known for its well-priced and satisfying food. The pizza, however “satisfying,” is often accompanied with a feeling of self-depreciation and decadence: the delicious taste probably doesn’t stem from quality ingredients and preparation, but a massive amount of cheese, garlic butter, and grease. The unhealthy combination can even lead to a pizza hangover unique to Toppers the next morning. Even more popular than the pizza are Topperstix, which are exceptionally gooey cheese-garlic breadsticks. Toppers also offers wings, sandwiches, quesadillas and beverages.
600 W. College Ave.
Pros: Good taste, local business, delivery, dine-in
Cons: Far from campus, yet still walkable
Muncheez is a local pizzeria that has seen times of trouble, including a period where it closed for quite a while. Eating here is a chance to support local business and have quality pizza at the same time. My first impressions of the pizza were how well it was seasoned and prepared — not too much cheese or grease, while still being satisfying. It certainly is a step up from Toppers, suitable for occasions such as hall pizza parties, or as an actual meal instead of a late-night snack. Muncheez is located farther down College Avenue one block past the Performing Arts Center, making it more ideal for delivery orders rather than take-out or dining in.
411 W. College Ave.
Pros: Excellent taste, delivery, good dining-in, quick service
Cons: Far from campus
Sal’s, a small pizzeria located across from the Performing Arts Center, tosses an excellent New York-style pizza sold by the slice for less than five dollars. Although the pizza is reheated to order, don’t let that fool you — it still remains one of the best-tasting pizzas in Appleton, and one giant slice is sure to satisfy your hunger. There are many flavor varieties, and each slice is offered with a crispy roll on the side. Whole pizzas are also available to order.
110 N. Douglas St.
Pros: Excellent taste, delivery, good dining-in, good value
Cons: Far from campus, a little more expensive for the student budget
Stuc’s is known by few on campus to have some of the best pizza in Appleton, and it certainly offers gourmet quality pizza for a reasonable price. Try the deep dish, it even rivals some authentic Chicago pizzas. Unfortunately, this gem is located a good mile away from campus, and is one of the lesser known pizzerias among Lawrentians. If you find a friend with a car, it’s an excellent place for a casual date or dinner out with friends. Other than classic and deep-dish pizza, Stuc’s offers affordable calzones, pasta, and sandwiches
THE GLASS NICKEL
2120 West College Avenue
Pros: Excellent, unique taste, delivery, restaurant with many dining options, bar
Cons: Very far from campus, expensive
The Glass Nickel is a pizzeria/bar that boasts high quality pizza and a host of other menu options as well, including pastas, sandwiches, soups and more. The gourmet pizza is very fresh and made with high quality ingredients, and the crust has notably good texture and flavor. The restaurant employs quite a few Lawrence grads, so don’t be surprised to see a familiar face at The Glass Nickel.
These five pizza places are the ones that I’ve found to be the well-loved at Lawrence. Of course, don’t limit yourself to these restaurants — I highly recommend trying Stone Cellar Brewpub, Frank’s Pizza Palace, Uno Chicago Grill, Little Caesars and even Pizza Hut, if that’s your thing. It’s definitely a matter of finding good deals as well as what tastes best to you.