When was the last time you went to a restaurant for the experience? Sure, the Hub, Rawlings’ Subway/POD Market, and Broward Dining are convenient and cheap. However, it’s time to snap out of the “but it’s only a 5 minute walk” lifestyle and time to start living–and eating better.

1 word. 8 letters. Say it, and I’m yours: Satchel’s (and no, not the man purse). Satchel’s Pizza is your ticket to a culinary, artistic awakening. Luckily for UF students, it lies about 10 minutes northeast of campus and happens to be the quirkiest secret of Gainesville. Here’s why:

1. It’s All About The Pizza… Toppings

Fat Tuesday

A photo posted by @sydneyfara on

Whether it’s on a slice, vegan pesto pie, standard, medium or large, or insane deep dish, the dough is your canvas. From pineapple to zucchini, meatballs to sausage, feta to fresh garlic, and steak to tempeh, the toppings are a limitless palette to create your masterpiece.

2. You Can Eat In A Minivan

Say whaaaaaat. If you want the full Satchel’s experience, this Volkswagen Minivan holds the best seats in the house. It’s a trademark that leaves you wondering if you just guest-starred on That 70’s Show.

3. They Have A Viewfinder For Dessert Visuals

The menu says it all, and the viewfinder shows it all. This interactive decision facilitating method makes your ultimate dessert choice feel even more special. Get ready to feel like a kid again.

4. Money Is Constantly Donated To Charity

As the quintessential local restaurant, Satchel’s is cash only. Have no fear, the ATM fee isn’t going to waste–it’s going to charity. Satchel’s believes in donating to diverse non-profits who serve the greater Gainesville community. Help yourself and help the community.

5. The Food Isn’t The Only Work Of Art


Photo By Jocelyn Gordon

If you’re a photographer or artist, Satchel’s is your heaven on Earth. Everything from remote controls, keys, blank CDs and locks have been made into art. These collections are known as the Junk Museum by Lightnin’ Salvage.

You can contribute to these pieces by checking if you have anything on the list of needed items. Satchel’s is living proof that restaurants can be photogenic too.

6. Their Sodas Are Homemade

Lunch stop while in g'ville

A photo posted by Nadia Alarakhia (@nadiaalarakhia) on

While pizza is their staple, we can’t forget the authenticity of Satchel’s homemade sodas. Freshly stirred to perfection, these drinks are another reason why Satchel’s stands apart from the rest.

Pro Tip: if you’re feeling super thirsty, you can try all 6 sodas for $5.

7. Did Someone Say Music?

Story-telling & pizzaaaa ???

A photo posted by Andrea Alago (@andreasheaaa) on

Whether you’re an aspiring musician or just love a good show, Satchel’s has performances every night they are open from 6-9 pm (excluding game days of course). You can either book a show or participate in the monthly open mic night. There is even a storytelling project the first Tuesday of every month if you’re feeling adventurous.

8. There’s A Gift Shop Around The Back

Thankful for good pizza & cute souvenirs ? #VSCOcam

A photo posted by Lydia Hensel (@hensellydia) on

Want to take the quirks of Satchel’s wherever you go? As your food baby grows from your legendary meal, walk it off to the gift shop–it’s a miscellaneous paradise. Ranging from gag items to bags made out of only recycled materials, there’s something unconventional for everyone.

9. The Only Thing Missing Is A Greenhouse…Oh Wait

According to Satchel’s website, “There’s more to life than pizza. There’s plants”. Although Florida’s winter is no northeast winter, Satchel’s rescues sensitive plants during this time of year. They have an open drop off policy and nourish their garden year round, making the establishment even more wonderful than it already is.

 10. You Leave Feeling Full And Inspired

It's our last weekend in Gainesville, so this is only appropriate.

A photo posted by Sally ☀ (@sallysm) on

Satchel’s isn’t a “quick stop” restaurant. You’re guaranteed to leave with your creative juices flowing AND with a food baby. If you want to embrace local food and traditions, this is the place for you.