Ian’s Pizza Specializes in Eclectic Toppings

Many choices at Ian’s Pizza

Chimichurri Flank Steak. Bacon Cheeseburger. Chicken Pot Pie. Penne Pasta Marina. These sound like typical restaurant entrees. At Ian’s Pizza? They’re toppings.

Known for its eclectic selection of specialty pizzas, Ian’s is a local staple for students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The pizza joint was founded in January 2001 by Ian Gurfield who was inspired by his semester abroad in Florence, Italy.

After researching more than 60 college towns across the nation, Gurfield ultimately chose Madison, WI as the place to start his pizza venture. In a podcast interview with In Business Magazine from 2010, Gurfield explained that the size of the student body, the presence of the state capitol, and the university’s social scene made Madison a prime location.

Originally located on Frances Street, Ian’s Pizza has expanded within the

BBQ Steak & Fries and Mac n’ Cheese
Photo courtesy of facebook.com/IansPizzaOnState

city to State Street and now boasts two out-of-city locations as well in Milwaukee and Chicago.

The State Street location became especially popular during the winter/spring of 2011 when thousands of people protested a decision by Gov. Walker for months at the Wisconsin State Capitol. Ian’s Pizza fielded calls from all 50 states and over 17 countries by people who wanted to donate pizza to those protesting.

In 2011, Ian’s Pizza was recognized as the Best Pizza in Wisconsin by the Food Network who road tripped across the U.S. with a mission to find the best pizza slice in each state. Their topping recommendation? Mac n’ cheese, a fan favorite and Ian’s all-time best selling slice.

Focused on utilizing the local food available in Madison, Ian’s Pizza has built its business on the basis of freshness and high quality ingredients. Gurfield prides himself on the playful and passionate company culture at Ian’s Pizza and makes sure that customers feel the employees’ enthusiasm.

My Recommendations:

  • BBQ Steak and Fries (Ian’s second most popular slice)
  • Florentine (spinach, diced tomato, feta cheese)
  • Lasagna marinara (just like it sounds — lasagna on a pizza!)



Ian’s Pizza on State Street

Ian’s Pizza on State Street
100 State Street
Madison, WI 53703
(608) 257-9248
Mon, 11am-10pm; Sun, Tue-Thurs, 11am-2:30am; Fri-Sat, 11am-3am

Ian’s Pizza on Frances Street
319 North Frances Street
Madison, WI 53703
(608) 257-9248
M-Sat, 11am-Bartime; Sun, 11am-10pm

About: Hannah Geise

My name is Hannah Geise and I’m an incoming junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. On campus, I’ve interned for the Wisconsin Alumni Association and write for one of our two school newspapers, The Daily Cardinal. I love going to football and hockey games in Madison and hanging with Bucky. Go Badgers!"