Do you ever wonder how pizza chains stack up against one another? Well, wonder no longer
~Travis Rocha, Lifestyle Editor~
If there’s one thing the world isn’t short on, it’s pizza. I’d even wager to say you can visit any city in America, drive any direction for no more than 15 minutes, and you’ll find a pizza place. Newport News is no different, within a five mile radius of Christopher Newport I can think of at least five pizza places (to say nothing of the multiple places to eat pizza on campus). For this tier list, I’m going to break down my top five affordable pizza places close to campus and then also mention some of the higher quality restaurants which cost a bit more (worth every penny).
5. Little Caesar’s – Walk in with $5 and walk out with a large cheese pizza. I mean, what more do I have to say? If you’re ballin’ on a budget, then Little Caesar’s is always the easy go-to. Their pizza is very floppy, but their sauce has a strong, tangy kick to it. There used to be a Little Caesar’s located right down the street from campus, but the store recently relocated to about three miles away. Many Captains were sad to learn this, especially as the old location’s empty building and large orange sign still taunt passerbyers, but at least it’s not completely gone (and the new location has a drive-thru). You can never go wrong with their classic cheese, but I recommend ordering their delicious cheese bread as well. You can even get a $6 combo pizza which is half pizza and half cheese bread if you’re hoping to sample both for a cheap price. But don’t forget about their crazy bread either!
4. Papa John’s – This placement is a tad controversial as I often tell people Papa John’s is my favorite pizza chain, but the times are a-changin’ and much like my romantic relationships, my tastebuds are quite fickle. Though, this placement change is mainly due to me eating Papa John’s three nights in a row last week which was some extreme overkill. Papa John’s pizzas are quality pies, don’t get me wrong. They have a unique sweetness to them which is instantly recognizable and their cheese sticks are especially lovely. Quick anecdote: one time a girl sent me a picture of her dog and I replied “cutie!” and then said “I just went to Papa John’s and this pizza is lookin’ real cute too” to which she replied “gross” and we never spoke again. Ah, young love.
3. Marco’s – This is a lesser-known pizza chain which I hadn’t heard of prior to this year. As a result of the advent of CNU dining dollars now being spendable at various off-campus restaurants, Marco’s was one such eatery. I couldn’t help myself but to give it a shot and I was blown away. The pizzas are crisp and feature a consistently perfect balance of cheese to sauce ratio. Marco’s makes classic pizza. If you’re looking for a chain who has perfected the art of a traditional pizza, look no further. This is most certainly one of the best uses of one’s dining dollars so I highly recommend giving it a shot if you haven’t already.
2. Domino’s – When you’re talking about favorite pizza chains, you always hear either Domino’s or Papa John’s. (Anyone who says Pizza Hut is wrong, sorry.) They’re both great, but completely different. Domino’s places a heavier emphasis on spice with their robust tomato sauce, whereas Papa John’s takes a sweeter approach. I also have to mention their cheese bread which is completely different than any other chain’s cheese bread. There’s a couple of variants offered at Domino’s and all are absolutely amazing. Another reason I’ve put Domino’s higher up in the list is its affordability. Their two for 6.99 each deal isn’t anything revolutionary, but I guarantee it’s the best bang for your buck out of all of these options.
1. Chanello’s – Are you even really a Captain if Chanello’s isn’t your favorite pizza place? It’s located right outside of campus and is open until 3 a.m. (which is great because the most popular time for college students to order pizza is well-past midnight). I won’t lie—it’s comparably pricey to all the aforementioned establishments, but there’s something about Chanello’s that is so irresistible. I’m not even sure what it is, I suppose it is a je ne sais quoi quality that pushes Chanello’s to the top. You just can’t go wrong, everything on their menu is great food you’ll be happy to devour with your friends. I also recommend rounding up your buddies and splurging for their 20” big boy pizza, an absolute behemoth which is an absolute must for Captains to try at least once.
Beyond these chains, Brickhouse Pizza and Mellow Mushroom are two sit-down restaurants in Newport News which offer truly top quality pizza, but you’ll definitely have to dip into the wallet a bit more if you want to try these. In addition, countless fast food restaurants now offer pizza (including Subway and Panera), so you never have to look far for pizza if you’re at Christopher Newport. I suppose these are all just the tip of the iceberg as there are countless other pizza establishments which I have yet to try, but when I do I’ll be sure to let you know.