Let’s face it: College is synonymous with pizza. Venturing out into the world for the first time as young Americans can be frightening and perhaps a little overwhelming at times. So, how do we deal with this? Well, how about a nice steamy, cheesy, saucy, greasy pizza slice to calm the nerves? Yup, that sounds about right to me; I think that should do the trick. So if every stressful night and homesick weekend is going to require a dose of pizza, then I think you as the reader are going to need some guidance on where to grub and where to snub.
Domino’s: Let’s start with an easy one and work ourselves up. You’ve probably ordered takeout pizza with your parents before and enjoyed some of America’s favorite delivery pizza, so I’m sure you’re already acquainted. However, what you may have taken for granted is the fact that Domino’s offers some seriously awesome online discounts, especially for college students and especially around midterm and finals season. Plus, as you already know, they are the kings of delivery. If you’re feeling hungover — uh, I mean sick (hi, Mom and Dad) — then you don’t even have to leave your glorious box that UCSB housing will convince you is a dorm room to enjoy that sweet, sweet pizza. Seriously, don’t count out Domino’s; it may one day save your life.
Woodstock’s: Let’s up the ante here a bit. The next up is a social hub you will probably find yourself getting to know on a deep personal level. Just about every organization on campus has probably used Woodstock’s for an event or two, the Nexus included! The place is constantly bustling with a crowd either there for trivia night or for happy hour when the brew is amber and abundant. You can also find Woodstock’s on campus at the Arbor for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. The signature crust on this pizza is actually no crust at all but just the dough folded twice on itself. This gives the pizza its own unique spin on whether the crust should be eaten or not. (It totally should; don’t be a wuss.)
Pizza My Heart: For some of you NorCal incomers, this chain may have already stolen your heart. However, if you’re like me and you only learned about this chain your freshman year, then get ready. This place — best known as a hub for sports fanatics and cheap beer — brings tasty pies to the table as well. The sizeable slices are perfect for a quick and cheap bite to eat to prep for any of your I.V. shenanigans. PMH has somehow become my ritual to begin Deltopia every year; one slice of pesto, and I’m ready to roll.
Blaze Pizza: The build-your-own pizza joint let’s you make the toppings as bold or as bland as you choose. Lately chains like Blaze Pizza have been sprouting up all over the pace and for good reason, too. A thin crust, fast-fired pizza customized to all of my hearts desires? Uh, YES PLEASE. Personal-sized pizzas custom-made to your order are its specialty, and boy, are they special. Blaze isn’t so much of a sit-down pizza parlor due to its limited seating, but by golly, it’s delicious and it hits the spot! You can choose to go classic with just a simple pie with cheese, choose one of their signature concoctions or get funky with it and throw everything on it. The best part is, no matter how many toppings, the price is always the same. Keep an eye out for their recurring BOGO coupons often featured in our newspapers. Those are like gold ’round these parts.
Rusty’s Pizza Parlor: Okay, so I am stretching it a bit by adding this restaurant to the list because it’s not technically in Isla Vista. However, at some point you’re going to have to make a Kmart run at the nearest shopping plaza, and when you do you will come across this restaurant. It’s just like all the pizza parlors you visited as a kid: dated vinyl seating, arcade games and, of course, dank pizza. This has become one of my special treat places; I love going here with either a group of people or as a date and enjoying a bit of the nostalgia that old-school parlors like this offer.
7-Eleven pizza: I know. Why would I even mention it? Well, when you’re in-between paychecks and the late night munchies kick, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
Costco: It’s not just good for free samples; the Costco food court is actually a very popular stop for UCSB students, and the pizza isn’t half bad either.
Dining Commons: Hey, I shouldn’t have to spell it out for you: If you’ve already paid for your meals there, then you might as well take advantage of free pizza. Need I say more?