Sonya Highfield/Thrillist


Pinocchio's Pizza & Subs

Address and Info

Cambridge, MA

'Noch's (Harvard students are busy, they don't have time for extra syllables) has been satiating smart kids in its unassuming corner digs for 50 years now. Have your order ready (there will be a line, and the guys behind the counter tend to frown on indecision), though if you want the optimal order, you are getting two Sicilian slices: one tomato basil, one pepperoni make for a damn fine combo. You could also do quite well getting one appetizer slice and one of the fantastic oven-warmed subs, but this is a pizza article! Snag a table if you can, wait for your slices to heat up, stare at the huge mural of the joint's long-nosed namesake and his whale nemesis, and prepare to wonder what kind of pizza alchemy led to crust that's so delightfully crisp on the outside yet pleasingly doughy within. You've made a wise choice, friend.

University of South Carolina

Village Idiot Pizza

Address and Info

Columbia, SC

Every weekend, Columbia's Five Points neighborhood is the embodiment of your parents' nightmares when they dropped their kid off at college: it's basically the chaotic party you always dreamed college would be. And at the heart sits the Village Idiot. The enormous, NY-style slices are great, but if you've got time to kill, the specialty pies (not typically on the slice rack) are the move. The Freshman Fifteen -- double cheese, pep, buckets of ranch -- makes good on its name, while the blackened chicken-jalapeño Rajun Cajun will leave you sweating like a fiend with dragon breath. Not that that would stop a curbside make-out session in Five Points. Sorry mom. The nightmare is as real as the pizza is delicious.

Courtesy of Shakespeare's Pizza

University of Missouri

Shakespeare's Pizza

Address and Info

Columbia, MO

This beloved Missouri institution is full of quirks: it keeps a bottle of WD-40 inside the beer fridge as part of a decades-long inside joke, and assigns you ridiculous names for when your order is called. More importantly, the pizza is damn good. These guys make their own dough from scratch, and buy sticks of pepperoni to slice on-site into thick pieces of spicy perfection that pool grease so effectively that they offer hand towels instead of standard cloth napkins. (Pro tip: whatever you order, order it with pepper cheese). And while pizza by the slice is the norm in places like New York, it's a rare find in mid-Missouri -- one that Shakespeare's doles out every day for lunch. It gets packed during Mizzou game days and weekend nights, but the hour-plus wait is worth it. Just make sure you eat before tailgating; it deserves to be enjoyed with a fully coherent palate.

Michigan State University

Georgio's Gourmet Pizza

Address and Info

East Lansing, MI

Bell's will always be an institution on Grand River. Pizza House is great, but it's more an Ann Arbor favorite (a city you won't find here, because GO GREEN). But EL's Hamster Cage parking lot is now the go-to for great pizza day and night thanks to Georgio's, which pops out enormous slices of standards, but gets extra points for stunt pizzas that actually deliver, from a gyro slice topped with lamb meat and tzatziki to a baked potato pie with sour cream squiggles and bacon. There are also Chicago-inspired stuffed slices, of which spinach is king, though we're not gonna begrudge you for passing it over for a honking slice of nacho cheese pie after hours. Watch the freshman 15 hit you before the first half of the semester.

Lacey Muszynski/Thrillist

University of Wisconsin

Ian's Pizza by the Slice

Address and Info

Madison, WI

Plenty of pizza spots try to go the whole "we're gonna get really weird with our toppings" route to disastrous results. Ian's really commits, and damned if the whole thing doesn't work out spectacularly -- unless you're stuck behind a stoned sophomore vacillating between that one slice topped with smoked brisket and tater tots and that other one topped with pepper Jack, chorizo, and chipotle creme. Help the dude out, though, because there's really just one move here, and it's the occasionally imitated but never-quite-duplicated mac n' cheese (insert obligatory Wisconsin remark here). Between the sheer carb-on-carb indulgence and the interplay of the creme sauce with the cheddar-mozz blend that keeps everything together on top, it really is the perfect late-night choice. That's especially true if you hit it with some of that Frank's hot sauce that's sitting on the counter.

University of Florida

Satchel's Pizza

Address and Info

Gainesville, FL

Though any self-respecting Gator who's enjoyed all-you-can-drink liquor pitchers at Balls has a special place in their heart for Pizza by the Slice, arguably no pie in the state of Florida matches up to what available at Satchel’s. First, the place is part pizza restaurant and part bizarre souvenir store, where you can shop for all sorts of novelties while you wait the requisite two hours for a table, which might well be in an old VW bus, if you're lucky. The pizzas come in either deep-dish or thin-crust form, so whether your parents were transplants from the Midwest or transplants from New York, there's something for you here. Toppings are all fresh from nearby farms, and it makes its own soda in-house. All part of the reason why Satchel's trademark bumper stickers could give Salt Life a serious run for most ubiquitous car decorations in Florida.

University of Oregon

Sy's New York Pizza

Address and Info

Eugene, OR

Pegasus Pizza may be higher quality, and Track Town is the iconic delivery pizza, but when it's late at night and you've been drinking at Rennie's Landing or -- God forbid -- Taylor's, you go to Sy's New York Pizza. New Yorkers would likely deny its authenticity, but we're too busy getting cheap, delicious, cheesy, greasy slices to care (and honestly, so are they). You can add basically any topping to a slice, so you won't need to order a whole pizza to satisfy a particular craving. Skip the bready Sicilian style and stick with the thin crust, and don't forget to add a pile of 25-cent garlic knots; those will help soak up the three Rennie's Lemonades you just downed.

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BAR Pizza

Address and Info

New Haven, CT

New Haven isn't exactly hurting for great pizzerias, considering it's arguably home to the country's best (oblong) pies. So what sets BAR apart from beloved, coal-fired classics like Frank Pepe, Modern Apizza, and Sally's? It's a straight-up, raucous college club through and through, complete with rock shows and randy dance parties. Oh, and the pizza? It's a younger version of the New Haven style -- the crispy, rhombus-shaped pies are a touch thinner and cooked in a gas oven (not the old-school coal). The move here is the mashed potato pie with bacon on top. If it sounds like something only a student stoner could love, just know that Momofuku frontman David Chang is a fan. This is New Haven pizza in nightclub form. And in a town full of great pizza, it's the ultimate college bar mutation of the classic pie. 

University of Massachusetts

Antonio's Pizza

Address and Info

Amherst, MA

Antonio's has grown to spread the love of BBQ steak & bacon pizza to other towns -- including neighboring Belchertown, Providence, and even College Station, TX -- but the original remains the true classic it was from the moment the doors swung open in 1991. Antonio's is billed as an NYC-style pie, but come on: New Yorkers aren't clamoring for a black bean avocado pie, or a surf & turf topped with steak and shrimp. Nah, this is Amherst-style pizza, a magical college pie that's as good at 2pm as it is at 2am, though at 2am you can probably house more slices, which is a good thing, because the combinations on offer are endless. Pray for Sicilian. And don't fear the crab.

University of California -- Santa Cruz

Engfer Pizza Works

Address and Info

Santa Cruz, CA

The Seabright neighborhood haunt's contribution to college food staples is twofold, considering it doubles as a bottle shop. The pies are the main attraction at this super-chill spot, where grad students, undergrads, and locals find common ground in straight Cali-style pizza marked by a chewy, wood-fired crust loaded with fresh toppings ranging from fresh pork sausage to cashews and sun-dried tomatoes. Engfer actually gives you the impression that you're eating something healthy... until you hit the nearby beach and realize your pizza addiction has translated pizza dough to a doughy physique. Luckily, the place offers up a workout in the form of a front-of-the-house ping-pong table. That's exercise, right?

Grant Condon/Thrillist

University of California -- Berkeley


Address and Info

Berkeley, CA

UC Berkeley and activism go together hand in hand, so it should come as no surprise that Berkeley's top pizza spot has a do-gooder side. Sliver donates money to charity and raises awareness about human trafficking. But as admirable as that is, its pizza alone draws in students and the community. You can always order a plain ol' cheese pie, but the draw here is the daily changing pizza of the day. Recent selections included a roasted eggplant-pecorino joint, a summer squash-mozzarella jam, and a cremini mushroom with Bulgarian feta concoction. Oh, and if you're afraid of commitment, it's just $1 to try a third of a slice. That's the sliver, in case you hadn't figured it out.

Indiana University

Mother Bear's Pizza

Address and Info

Bloomington, IN

It's a general rule that pizza always tastes better when you eat it in a divey joint covered in wood paneling and graffiti -- and that's something IU students have known since they started patronizing Mother Bear's Pizza in the early '70s. Chicago-style pies reign supreme here, though they've got a fluffier consistency than eating those heavy-as-a-brick pies from Illinois. The Divine Swine specialty pie is a favorite, which combines pepperoni, sausage, Hoosier ham, and smoked bacon. Especially broke students know that you can score a 10" one-topping pizza for $6.95 on Tuesdays if you buy a drink. Luckily, Mother Bear's doesn't have to twist anyone's arm with a killer beer list that includes regional favorites like Bell's and Indiana's own 3 Floyds.

Shira Stoll/Thrillist

Syracuse University

Varsity Pizza

Address and Info

Syracuse, NY

If restaurants could have personality disorders, Varsity would be like a '90s serial killer. It's a diner first opened in 1926 that serves egg sandwiches and omelets Monday through Friday mornings to bleary-eyed students. It's a place where 'Cuse fans gather for March Madness to drink cheap beer, eat wings, and huddle around a few TVs. But it's mostly a pizza shop and it churns out about 200 16" pies each day (or 300+ on game day). The NY-style pizza is dished out in slices too, with favorites like the chicken wing covered in blue cheese, and spinach and feta. Just know that if you swing by when a game's going on in the Dome, the hard part is not deciding which kind of pizza to order, it's finding an empty seat.

University of Oklahoma

New York Pizza & Pasta

Address and Info

Norman, OK

At 3am, we're not discounting the deliciousness of Pizza Shuttle's Frosty Fingers delivered right to your door. But if you're on two legs in Campus Corner, get ye to New York, which is exactly what it sounds like: no-nonsense, floppy, semi-authentic New York-style pies by the slice. None of the typical college pie stunt stuff applies here: the craziest thing on the menu is an alfredo pie -- its excess sauce pairs perfectly with dripping garlic rolls. There's also a fantastic selection of calzones on offer, in case you're still worried about getting grease on your shirt. Don't skip the wings. Maybe skip the shrimp scampi… you don't want to be playing Russian roulette with your duodenum at this point.

Lee Breslouer/Thrillist

University of Colorado

Cosmo's PIzza

Address and Info

Boulder, CO

You will not find the best pizza slice of your life in Boulder. But if it's 2am and you're a 21-year-old CU student with a powerful hunger after a powerful night of drinking, Cosmo's slices are hard to beat. While plenty of students eat (and work!) there, locals often swing by for a cheap, quick bite. Each slice runs about $3, and is about the size of former CU basketball star Chauncey Billups' leg. Don't forget the spicy ranch, which elevates every bite of pizza. There's a reason Cosmo began bottling this stuff and selling it in local supermarkets: it's got a heat that lingers without being overpowering, and it meshes beautifully with the NY-style thin crust. You can dip without judgment at Cosmo's. In fact, it's encouraged.

University of Arizona

Rocco's Little Chicago Pizza

Address and Info

Tucson, AZ

When it comes to college-town pizza, the New York style dominates (when it comes to college sports, not so much). Rocco's, however, goes Chicago. And it does it three ways: buttery deep dish, big-ass thin crust, and stuffed -- which jams all the toppings in between two layers. The latter's the best option, especially in the form of the Great Chicago Fire (sausage, jalapeños, green peppers, onions, and sadly, no Tums), but regardless of what you get, don’t skimp on the Italian beef sliders. And while this is more sit-down than most of the other by-the-slice places on this list, it does offer takeaway slices of the enormous deep dish. One slice should more than satisfy. But maybe get two. Especially if mom’s buying.

University of Montana

Bridge PIzza

Address and Info

Missoula, MT

So many of the spots on this list are notable for late-night slices. The Bridge? Not so much. It closes at 10:30, making it more a pregame spot than a last-minute hangover preventative. But the Bridge has something most joints don't: pizza happy hour, wherein the hours of 3-5pm (beer o'clock, if ever it existed) get you a slice of gourmet pie and a beer for $3-$3.50. Considering Missoula's one of the nation's most underrated beer cities, it doesn't take an economics major to figure out that a slice of fancy pizza -- think walnut and Gorgonzola or prosciutto and pineapple chutney... or just cheese -- and a craft beer is a great deal. The wings and sandwiches are great too, if you're rich (by college standards, $8 is like getting caviar and steak). But if you're a Monte on a budget, this is where you can get fed without sacrificing quality.

Flickr/Alan Light (edited)

University of Iowa

A & A Pagliai's Pizza

Address and Info

Iowa City, IA

Pronounced "polly-eyes," in case you were thrown by all those vowels, the Pagliai family came to Iowa via Florence and started a pizza-making tradition the likes of which Iowa had never seen. Indeed, several ex-employees and siblings have gone on to propagate the Pagliai name in other towns, but the Iowa City mothership's been in the family since 1962. The welcoming booths and young kids prepping your pie behind the counter definitely give the place a throwback vibe, but you won't have much time to admire the atmosphere when you're digging into a Palace Special, layered with pepperoni, sausage, beef, and mushrooms and fired to bubbly, cheesy happiness in one of the 1,000-degree brick ovens.

Notre Dame

Rocco's Original Pizza

Address and Info

South Bend, IN

A South Bend tradition rivaled only by a certain gilded football squad, Rocco's is a family-run institution that has had Notre Dame ties since the beginning. The patriarch of the Calabrian family that runs it worked in the Notre Dame cafeteria before opening the restaurant with his wife in 1951. The recipes remain unchanged -- if you're in need of a booze-soaking, cheese-laden pepperoni slice, this spot has you covered, but even the most ardent carnivore might be surprised by the veggie combo, fragrant with basil and garlic along with a light sprinkling of cheese. You'll feel like you're hanging out at your football-loving Italian grandma's house, which, on some level, you kind of are.

Duke, University of North Carolina, North Carolina State

Pie Pushers

Address and Info

Durham, NC

Rivalries dominate the Triangle between Durham, Chapel Hill, and Raleigh, but Pie Pushers practices something that even the most contentious forces can get behind: pizza diplomacy. This mobile truck comes rolling into the best bars and events between campuses, so at any given time, it's within walking distance of Duke, UNC, or NCS. Thin-crust pies temper fluff and crust, and they're remarkably cheap, considering the ultra-fresh ingredients on offerings like the roasted chicken & pesto State of Nirvana. Don't skimp on the dry-rubbed wings. Consider Pie Pushers a savory cousin to your favorite ice cream truck. Just don't be surprised if the bar you're in empties the minute it rounds the corner.

Pies & Pints

University of Kentucky

Pies & Pints

Address and Info

Lexington, KY

Pies & Pints -- currently making a play for chain dominance -- isn't your average beer-and-pizza joint. For one, it's less "power hour" and more specialty beer bar, pouring up fantastic craft options and Belgian essentials the likes of which you'd normally have to study abroad to find in Wildcat country (don't worry, there's a handy guide to all the styles on offer, in case you thing "gueze" is a fancy word for "BAND-AID"). The pies, too, deliver on the exoticism, with chewy crust playing host to everything from shrimp & Thai curry to a pizza take on the Cubano. Of course, fancy toppings are nothing if there's not a solid base. Luckily, plain ol' cheese does the trick too, and when it's game day, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better beer/pizza/football combo.

Lee Breslouer, Matt Lynch, Meredith Heil, Matt Meltzer, and Christina Stiehl contributed to this story.

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1. Village Idiot 2009 Devine St, Columbia, SC 29205

Village Idiot is your classic pizza parlor located in the heart of Five Points, where it attracts plenty of Columbia locals and crowds of USC students who swear by it's tasty topping combinations, like the Rajun Cajun (a spicy blend of blackened chicken, onions, tomatoes, and jalapeños) and the aptly named Freshman Fifteen, which comes with pepperoni, extra cheese, and two sides of ranch (the menu even proclaims: "Two a week and you’ll be there by winter break!") The Village has all your favorite standbys like chicken parm sandwiches, calzones, and wings, too.

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2. Pinocchio's 74 Winthrop St, Cambridge, MA 02138

You'd be smart to check out fan-favorite Pinocchio's, and not just because it serves hoards of hungry Harvard students, but because it makes some of the best Sicilian pizza around. Noch's, as regulars call the Harvard Square hole-in-the-wall, draws regulars with its perfectly crisp crust and cheese that's both rich and creamy. Beyond the square Sicilian slices, the counter-serve bakes up round pies with a variety of toppings (pepperoni, artichoke, hamburger slices) and hot subs filled with the likes of chicken parm, meatballs, or steak and cheese.

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3. Shakespeare's Pizza 225 S 9th St, Columbia, MO 65201

Practically the mascot of Mizzou, the pizza at Shakespeare's is always buzzing with students, locals, and families, who are loyal to its pies with from-scratch dough, provolone, and Stanislaus sauce. Play architect and build your own pie, or let this classic joint show you what it's made of with its signature pies like The Meat Lover’s (the large has well over a pound of meat, including pepperoni, Canadian Bacon, ground beef, Italian sausage, and breakfast bacon) or, on the healthier side, the Vegetablenarian (double cheese, red onions, fresh mushrooms, black olives, and green peppers). The team here has a friendly, no-BS attitude, which, along with the next-level pizzas, will keep you coming back for more.

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4. Georgio's Pizza 120 Charles St, East Lansing, MI 48823

Georgio's is a favorite of Michigan State Spartans for its giant slices the size of your face, plus pizzas with inventive topping combinations that actually work: from a gyro slice topped with lamb meat and tzatziki to a baked potato pie with sour cream squiggles and bacon. This classic college-town pizza joint has Chicago-inspired stuffed slices, too, including a healthy-ish spinach-topped slice and a could-not-be-worse-for-you nacho cheese one that's somehow even better at 2am.

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5. Ian's Pizza 2035 E North Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53202

Ian's gourmet pizza is made with exceptional ingredients and expertly prepared, with options like a very solid, greasy NY-style pepperoni, to the ultra carb heaven mac & cheese -- which you should always, always order with bacon. Despite the range of non-traditional toppings, everything at Ian's is made from scratch. This spot is also open for brunch, which means that It's now possible to start your Sunday with a Brisket Hash brunch slice of pizza.

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6. Satchel's Pizza 1800 NE 23rd Ave, Gainesville, FL 32609

If it looks like you're pulling into a junk yard, you've found the right place: Satchel's is part pizza joint, part bizarre "junk museum" serving what could be the best pizza in the entire state of Florida among CDs, keys, hub caps, and all kinds of wacky items that have been turned into art. You can even eat your pie -- served either deep-dish or thin-crust -- in a tree house out back or in a retro VW van in front. The toppings range from pineapple to zucchini and steak to tempeh, and are all fresh from nearby farms and markets. Satchel's makes its own soda in-house, too. Note: it's cash only, so bring bills for your pizza and novelty items from the quirky souvenir shop.

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7. Sy's New York Pizza 1211 Alder St, Eugene, OR 97401

OK, so "New York-style" might be pushing it, but considering how cheap and cheesy Sy's slices are, who cares about living up to New York's standards? Located in the heart of the University of Oregon on Alder St., this classic pizza joint, which sports black-and-white checkered floors and red tabletops, loads its pizzas with toppings, ensuring every bite is brimming with pepperoni, mushroom, or whatever topping your heart desires. You might want to skip the bread-y Sicilian style and stick with the thin crust, and -- above all -- don’t forget to order a pile of Sy's famously scrumptious garlic knots.

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8. BAR 254 Crown St, New Haven, CT 06511

BAR isn't your typical New Haven pizza joint, because not only is it serving crispy, thin, rhombus-shaped pies cooked in a gas oven (instead of the typical coal-fueled ones), but it's also a straight-up, raucous college club with rock shows and dance parties. It's housed inside a garage-like building with multiple rooms: a pub-style space with cozy wooden booths and tables where you can nosh on pizza and BAR's own fresh micro-brewed beer, a buzzy bar room with an antique pool table and communal beer garden-style tables, a chill lounge, and, of course, the back room where bands get the place rocking. What pizza should you order? Hands-down, the mashed potato pie with bacon on top.

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9. Antonio's Pizza 31 N Pleasant St, Amherst, MA 01002

This local pizza chain offers thin-crust and Sicilian style pies in addition to wings and subs. It's no frills, but serves up some of the best BBQ steak and bacon pizza you'll be able to find in the area.

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10. Engfer Pizza Works 537 Seabright Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062

Serving delicious wood-fired pizzas with handmade traditional, vegan, and gluten-free crusts, this family-owned eatery supports the surrounding community by sourcing ingredients from nearby farmers and hosting local art shows. Engfer is a popular hangout for USC Santa Cruz students and neighborhood folk alike, who frequent the cozy spot for its creative pies, convivial ambience, and robust selection of regional craft beers and wines (some of which you can purchase in full, as Engfer also doubles as a bottle shop). Pro tip: order at the counter and hop in line to get your turn on the ping pong table in the next room over.

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11. Mother Bear's Pizza 1428 E 3rd St, Bloomington, IN 47401

Walk up to this IU favorite and you'll feel like Goldliocks about to be served by a family of bears -- this popular pizza dive is the spitting image of a rustic cabin in the forest. Covered in wood paneling and graffiti on the inside, Mother Bear's has been attracting hoards of college students since the early '70s with its Chicago-style pies. They have a fluffier consistency than the brick-heavy pies from Illinois, though, and feature tasty topping combos, like The Divine Swine with pepperoni, sausage, Hoosier ham, and smoked bacon. Like a quality pizza place should, it also has a solid beer lineup with regional favorites like Bell's and Indiana's own 3 Floyds.

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12. Sliver Pizzeria 2132 Center St, Berkeley, CA 94704

If there are two things you're extremely passionate about, it's pizza and ending human trafficking, which's why you should start ordering your pies at Sliver in Berkeley, which's doing awesomely topped 'za (check out the one with mushroom, onion, French goat cheese, mozz, and garlic) and setting aside a percentage of the profits to help end slavery.

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13. Varsity Pizza 802 S Crouse Ave, Syracuse, NY 13210

Opened in 1926, Varsity bleeds orange for 'Cuse (it's walls are even painted orange, blue, and white) and its customers are just as loyal: it churns out about 200 pizzas a day (300+ on game day) for the crowds of college students who pour in to eat New York-style pies and wings, and drink cheap beer, particularly during March Madness. Slice favorites include the chicken wing covered in bleu cheese, spinach, and feta. You'll also find egg sandwiches and omelets on weekday mornings.

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14. New York Pizza & Pasta 217 W Boyd St, Norman, OK 73069

This Campus Corner spot is the closest you can come to a New York pizzeria without leaving the state of Oklahoma, serving up authentic Manhattan-style, thin-crust slices and drool-worthy garlic knots. The counter-service spot is a popular haunt for UOO students and locals alike, who come by during the day for the solid lunch deals ($3.50 for a 6-inch sub? Don't mind if we do) and late at night for heavy-hitting, "imminent hangover"-quelling standouts like the chicken Alfredo pie.

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15. Cosmo's Pizza 1325 Broadway St, Boulder, CO 80302

Revered by locals and Colorado University students alike for its addictive spicy ranch sauce, Cosmo's serves New York-style thin crust pizza and late-night slices to the masses. The pies at this trendy, bare-bones bistro aren't necessarily gourmet, but they definitely hit the spot for when the drunk munchies set in after midnight. Portions here tend to be massive, which is pretty awesome when you consider the minimal price point -- each slice clocks in at about $3, so it's a killer deal.

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16. Rocco's Little Chicago Pizzeria 2707 E Broadway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85716

It's rare to find solid deep dish pizzas outside of Chicago itself, and even rarer to find a place that does them by the slice -- which is why the residents of Tucson are blessed to have Rocco's right in town. The no-frills diner boasts three different styles of crust -- deep dish, stuffed, and thin (which can also be gluten-free, as an added bonus) -- and you can either take the reins and select your own toppings, or opt for one of their specialty pies (pro tip: get the "Heart Attack Special"). The menu also features a slew of delicious apps like fried zucchini and chicken wings; combined with the affordability of the wide-reaching menu and a robust craft beer list, it's a popular haunt for University of Arizona students and locals alike.

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17. Bridge Pizza 600 S Higgins Ave, Missoula, MT 59801

Three words: pizza happy hour. From 3-5pm, University of Montana students and locals alike blow up Bridge Pizza for it's killer deal of an artisanal slice and a pint of craft beer for a mere $3.50. While it's light on the wallet, it's certainly not on the toppings -- unlike other budget pizzerias, the pies here are decked out with fresh, locally sourced ingredients like prosciutto, pineapple chutney, Gorgonzola, and house-made accoutréments like pickled vegetables and sausage. Bridge is also beloved for its hot and cold sandwiches and signature appetizers like the "pesto sticks," which add scratch-made pesto to the wholly satisfying house breadsticks.

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18. Rocco's Restaurant 537 N Saint Louis Blvd, South Bend, IN 46617-1925

Still helmed by the same family that originally opened it in 1951, Rocco's offers authentic Southern Italian comfort food like pizza pies with freshly thrown dough, subs, pastas, and an array of appetizers. The homey diner is a popular haunt for Notre Dame students, who frequent the spot after football games for heavy-hitting standouts like cheesy garlic bread and the "supreme" pizza, which boasts house-made sausage.

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19. Pagliai's Pizza 302 E Bloomington St, Iowa City, IA 52245

A popular haunt for University of Iowa students, Pagliai's stands apart from other pizzerias thanks to its use of old-school Italian family recipes for sausage, tomato sauce, and scratch-made dough. The sheer freshness of the ingredients accounts for the difference in flavor -- these heaping pies are robust, delicious, and entirely affordable -- as well as a loyal flock of regulars.

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20. Pies & Pints 401 W Main St Ste 106, Lexington, KY 40507

Delivering all that its name promises, this growing chain excels at the the time-honored combination of craft beer and specialty pizza. For those who prefer familiar territory, we suggest "the classic," (sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, banana peppers, and tomato sauce), but the real standouts here are the more adventurous options like the "Sriracha shrimp" (which highlights Sriracha aioli, marinated shrimp, pineapple, mint, and basil, amongst others) and the "black bean," which is basically a take on gourmet nachos with chipotle crème fraîche. Combined with a robust beer list of imported and domestic brews organized by type, Pies & Pints is a popular haunt for University of Kentucky students and neighborhood beer enthusiasts alike.