Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Monday, August 15, 2022

Unnamed pizza place opens in the old bookstore Subway: 'Better than campus Ian’s, worse than State Street Ian’s'

A new pizza place recently opened under the University Book Store that serves New York-style pizza-by-the-slice. With no discernible signage, the pizzeria made its home in the hollowed out shell of the former Subway. 

Where did the restaurant come from, is it a front for a crime ring, and, most importantly, is the pizza good? The Daily Cardinal sent two staff members — Photo Editor Drake White-Bergey and Almanac contributor Jeffrey Brown — to find out more. 

Drake White-Bergey

My impression? It was alright, nothing special and probably better after I’ve downed a few.

I haven’t quite figured out the name of this pizzeria. It has a pretty nondescript, under-the-radar vibe. The aura of an old Subway still haunts this fresh new pizzeria, but I could tell that the owners have made an honest — if minimalistic — attempt at making the experience more authentic. An odd mix of New York-themed décor and Italian-themed décor covers the walls.

The service itself was also an experience I won’t quite forget. The first slice I asked for was mac’n’cheese. The server and I both looked at the two slices of mac’n’cheese pizza sitting in front of us before he looked me in the eyes and said, “We don’t have any mac’n’cheese.” I didn’t feel like making a scene over a slice of mac’n’cheese pizza, so I ordered slices of tomato-basil-ricotta and cheese instead.

The pizza wasn’t spectacular, but it did its job. The slice of cheese was a slice of cheese; I would say it was better than campus Ian’s but worse than State Street Ian’s. The slice of tomato-basil-ricotta was cold in spots and overall fairly flavorless. I’ve definitely eaten better tomato-basil-ricotta elsewhere.

The experience wasn’t unpleasant; in fact, I enjoyed the experience of eating pizza in a building that very clearly used to be a Subway. The server was very nice (outside of the mac’n’cheese incident) and there was a decent selection of slices to choose from. Although I probably won’t be visiting very often, it’s definitely a spot I’ll consider when I get the late-night craving for pizza.  In terms of ranking? I’d place this new joint in the same exact spot that Ian’s currently occupies.

This new pizzeria is open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m., a very generous amount of time for students to stop by and grab a slice. At the time I am writing this review, they are also advertising some deals: two cheese slices and a soda for $8.99 or two specialty slices for $12.99.

If you’re looking for a quick spot for pizza between classes, a late-night meal after a night of fun or just a spot to sit down and eat some old-fashioned New York-style pizza, then this is the place for you. There’s definitely other places that fill the same niche as this new pizza place, but none of them can beat the location. Overall, I’d say that it’s worth a visit if you’re on campus but not willing to trek the distance to Ian’s.

Jeffrey Brown

There’s a new pizza place on campus located under the University Bookstore;  it’s an easy place to stop for a New York slice between classes.

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Daily Cardinal delivered to your inbox

What many people get wrong about New York pizza is that it’s not about who has the best slice. The reality of New York pizza is that it doesn’t matter; everybody and their uncle makes the best authentic slice in New York. When you ask a New Yorker who makes the best slice, they either name a guy around the corner or they’ll respond “who’s to say?”

So I went down the stairs looking for lunch. Everything from the tables to the trash cans to the sneeze guard made it obvious that the location used to house a Subway. While eating, I overheard that they’re in a bit of a soft open right now, so maybe they’ll be making decor changes in the future. The former Subway sneeze guard displayed six or eight or so options for pizza by the slice. If you’re looking for barbeque chicken bacon ranch, go to Ian’s a couple blocks down. Here you’ll find a much less exotic selection. 

Or maybe I’ll say it’s a “more authentic” selection that features the classics: cheese, pepperoni, supreme, veggie, meat, no sauce, tomato basil feta… you know — the classics.

The fellow behind the counter moved quickly and was pleasant to interact with. I grabbed two specialty slices — supreme and tomato basil feta — and a drink for $12.99. I think two slices of cheese and a drink would’ve been $8.99. The slices were big and the meal was filling. In terms of flavor and whatnot, I don’t have any complaints or anything negative to say about the pizza. If something about pizza is making you complain, there’s something wrong with you or something wrong with the pizza. This right here is good pizza and I mean that in the best possible way. The toppings were good; the cheese, sauce and dough were good. What else could you want? 

If you want brisket and tater tots or mac and cheese pizza, go to Ian’s. If you don’t want pizza, keep walking down State Street and you’ll have 20 more options in three blocks. But if you want a New York slice, this place does the trick.

Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Daily Cardinal has been covering the University and Madison community since 1892. Please consider giving today.

Jeffrey Brown

Jeffrey Brown is an Arts Editor for the Daily Cardinal. He also writes for the Beet.


Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2022 The Daily Cardinal