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12. Papa Dels: Champaign
12. Papa Dels: Champaign

Serving up a variety of dishes at two different locations in the heart of Fighting Illini country, Papa Dels has some of the best deep-dish pizza the area has to offer. Order a single slice or an entire pie where crusts vary from thick to thin to super stuffed. Toppings also vary from pepperoni, sausage, and green peppers to spinach and zucchini which is offered for the stuffed pizza only.And who wouldn’t want to go to a place that has a sub named the Miss Piggy, layered with a quarter pound of Bavarian Ham? At the Crossing: 2510 Village Green Place. Restaurant & Tavern: 206 E. Green Street

11. Mother Bear’s: Bloomington
11. Mother Bear’s: Bloomington

Voted the best pizza in Bloomington from 2004 – 2008 by the Indiana Daily student poll, Mother Bear’s is the perfect place to go before and after the game. Open late for the bar crowd, they offer everything from traditional-crust pizza to deep-dish. A bevy of gourmet pizzas grace the menu, from The Summer Garden (spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, red onions and garlic) to The Divine Swine (pepperoni, sausage, ham and bacon). 1428 East 3rd Street.

10. Bruno’s Pizza & Big O’s Sports Room: West Lafayette
10. Bruno’s Pizza & Big O’s Sports Room: West Lafayette

Opened by Bruno Itin in 1955 as a small shop on the city’s northwest side, Bruno’s got so big that in 1998 they moved across the street to a larger place and opened up Big O’s Sports Room to accommodate all of the crazy Boilermaker fans. Dive into one of Bruno’s classic pizzas ranging from the Boilermaker to the special deluxe to the Drew Brees No Cheese (name says it all!) If you’re not in the mood for a pie, check out some of the other authentic Swiss dishes Bruno’s is known for like the knackwurst, wiener schnitzel or veal schnitzels. While you’re waiting for your order, snack on some Bruno Dough. Pizza dough balls, deep-fried and then brushed with garlic sauce and Parmesan cheese.  212 Brown Street, West Lafayette.

9: Anthony’s Gourmet Pizza: Ann Arbor
9: Anthony’s Gourmet Pizza: Ann Arbor

Anthony’s has been slinging pies since 1988. Choose from their Chicago Style Stuffed pizza, Sicilian Deep Dish, Anthony’s Deep Dish or their traditional round pizza. Each style comes with their own toppings like the Popeye’s Special (spinach, feta and onion – Chicago); Island Super Star (Canadian bacon and pineapple – Anthony’s); Margarita (sun-dried tomatoes, basil, roasted garlic, roasted red peppers and grated parmesan cheese – Sicilian); or Spicy Cajun Chicken (Cajun-spiced chicken breast, BBQ sauce, pineapple, green peppers and lite jalapeno peppers – round). 621 S. Main Street; 1508 N. Maple. 

8. Yia Yia’s: Lincoln
8. Yia Yia’s: Lincoln

Located smack-dab in the middle of downtown Lincoln and just a few blocks from Memorial Stadium sits Yia Yia’s, a uniquely named pizza joint that’s almost as famous for their beer selection as they are for their pies. Get one of Yia Yia’s Around the World pizzas (the Equator, the Northern, the Eastern, the Western, you get the idea) or create your own, choosing from six different sauces and 10 different cheeses. While you’re waiting for your food, knock back a brew or two and the choices don’t come easily. A number of India pale ales, Scottish ales, fruit beers, Bocks, Dopplebocks and Weizenbocks are offered to wet your palate. 1423 O Street, Lincoln.

7. Faccia Luna: State College
7. Faccia Luna: State College

Less than two miles from Penn State’s campus sits Faccia Luna.  Not your typical pizza place, they specialize in a dining experience. Order Portobello mushrooms or salmon bruschetta for a starter. From there, you can devour one of their six different grinders, or one of their delicious pasta dishes like chicken ravioli or chicken Parmesan with Neapolitan sauce. But if you want the real deal, then try one of their 13 Italian-named pies like the Gianetto, the Pomodoro, or the appropriately titled Faccia Luna. 1229 S. Atherton Street, State College.

6. Punch Neapolitan Pizza: Minneapolis
6. Punch Neapolitan Pizza: Minneapolis

Punch Neapolitan Pizza certainly packs one and you can find them in seven different spots throughout the Minneapolis area. The one thing that sets Punch apart from other spots is that they cook their pies in a wood-burning oven, cranking up the heat to a smoldering 800 degrees. Get it Neo-style where they add a little more olive oil and tomatoes than the normal pizza and serve it uncut. If all of that doesn’t sound authentic enough, they serve their mozzarella cheese ‘di bufala-style’, straight from the milk of a domesticated water buffalo, just like they do back home in Italy. 802 Washington Ave SE, Minneapolis.

 

5. Georgio’s Pizza: East Lansing
5. Georgio’s Pizza: East Lansing

Serving hungry Michigan State students and fans since 1995 at two locations (within a little more than 1000 feet of one another), Georgio’s has since been an East Lansing staple of the pizza community. Both locations specialize in pizza and the offerings are numerous. Go for the lasagna pizza, or stay traditional with  pepperoni. Feeling like a little spice? Order  buffalo chicken, taco, or chicken fajita pizza. If you really want to go outside of the box, order the gyro-style. If you’re near the Charles St. location, you can get a calzone instead. 1010 E. Grand River 120 Charles Street.

4. Lou Malnati’s: Evanston
4. Lou Malnati’s: Evanston

Since 1971, Lou Malnati’s has been bringing that to the Chicago area as well as Evanston. Deep-dish style pies at their best, pepperoni is always a good bet, but if you’re feeling frisky, try the Malnati Chicago Classic (sausage, extra cheese and wine-ripened tomato sauce on their Buttercrust), or The Lou (spinach, mushrooms and sliced tomatoes on a blend of mozzarella, romano and cheddar cheese.) If you’re not feeling like a deep slice of pie, try the chicken Louie pasta or meatball sandwich. 1850 Sherman Avenue, Evanston.

 

3. Mesa Pizza: Iowa City
3. Mesa Pizza: Iowa City

It’s all about the pizza at Mesaand the options are just about limitless.  Specialty meat, chicken, veggie, steak and pork are the choices to go with and within those toppings are an array of selections. Pepperoni hamburger, southwest taco and chili cheese fries are just a couple of meat toppings.  Southwest beans, guacamole burrito and penne pesto are veggie choices.  Spicy chicken burrito and spicy chicken quesadilla are chicken options.  Barbecue steak and fries are just one choice for the steak and if you’re feeling like a little pig in your diet, go with the pulled pork and pickle pizza. 114 East Washington St, Iowa City.

2. Pizza Bruta: Madison
2. Pizza Bruta: Madison

Another pizzeria deriving their traditions from the old country, Pizza Brutta has been serving up some of the best traditional style pies Madison has to offer. If you want cheese on your pizza, get a pizza rosso (crushed San Marzano tomatoes, house-made mozzarella, olive oil and sea salt). Get the formaggio, olivetto or nostrano-styles. Don’t feel like cheese? Get a pizza bianco (olive oil-base and sea salt only). Choices include pesto, salsiccia and Greco.1805 Monroe Street, Madison.

1. Tommy’s Pizza: Columbus
1. Tommy’s Pizza: Columbus

Since 1952, Tommy’s Pizza has been serving the Columbus area with quality pizzas and subs. The menu is simple, but the simplicity in every slice is what makes it great. Pepperoni, ham, sausage, green pepper, hot pepper and onions are just a few toppings you can throw onto your pie. Don’t feel like a pizza then grab a sub. Italian, ham and cheese, and turkey are a few options piled high with lettuce, tomato and hot peppers. If pizza or a sub isn’t tickling your fancy, feel free to order one of their delectable dinners, including lasagna, manicotti or a shrimp dinner that’s full of eight juicy, deep-fried pieces with onion rings or fries on the side. 174 West Lane Avenue; 1350 West Lane Avenue