The Spoon Choice Awards celebrate eateries in college towns for providing the most delicious food and inviting environments to students in the area. All of the winners are chosen by college students at universities around the country.

Pizza is a staple of the college experience. There’s something remarkably comforting about those warm slices of freshly baked pizza that melt your stress away like the cheese atop them. Pizza is filling, accessible, and customizable — plus, it’s the easiest way to feed a large group of friends. And who doesn’t like pizza? Whether it’s the start of your night or a late-night craving, pizza is the answer. 

But what makes a pizzeria a prime hangout for college students? The students have spoken: large slices, affordable prices, unique toppings, customizable options, and closeness to campus were all features of the best pizzeria for each college town. A mac and cheese pizza — who wouldn’t want to try that? Two slices for five dollars — that’s a huge win for college students. Students also appreciated pizzerias with gluten-free or vegan options, salads, and desserts on the menu. A warm and welcoming environment with friendly staff also played a role in selection. For all the above, these pizzerias have earned their place as off-campus hotspots for college students.

Click on the map above to check out all the winners.

Design by Spoon University

Colony Grill, Fairfield, CT

Colony Grill was founded by an Irish American who wanted to serve a one-of-a-kind thin-crust pizza topped with a signature hot oil. The pizza is fully customizable, or you can order a salad pizza or breakfast pie.

Nominated by Fairfield University

OTTO, Brunswick, ME

Photo by OTTO

OTTO's pizzas are made with specialty dough, high-quality tomato sauce, and Grande mozzarella cheese to make each pizza the best possible quality and unforgettable for the customers. What makes OTTO especially popular for college students is the ability to customize your own 12-inch or 18-inch pizzas.

Nominated by Bowdoin College

Dirty Water Dough Co., Boston, MA

Photo by Dirty Water Dough Co.

"Dirty water" refers back to when the water in Boston was too contaminated to drink, so people used beer to bake bread instead of water. Therefore, beer is the secret ingredient in this pizzeria's dough. The menu includes unusual but delicious options like dirty taco, mac cheesy, and steak 'n cola. If you're into experimenting, you can also add extra toppings to any pizza.

Nominated by Emerson College

Ernesto’s Pizza, Boston, MA

If you prefer cheese pizza, Ernesto's is famous for it. Other options include pizzas like chicken ranch, caprese, Caribbean shrimp, and cheeseburger. You can get your pizza through curbside pickup or order and eat inside.

Nominated by Boston University

Picco, Boston, MA

Photo by Picco

Picco's pizza is made with "a cold-ferment sourdough and charred to maximize flavor," according to the website. Along with the homemade toppings and gluten-free options, there's also homemade ice cream and sorbets made from local ingredients. The combination of pizza and ice cream makes this pizzeria a great date-night spot.

Nominated by Northeastern University

T. Anthony’s Pizzeria, Boston, MA

Since it's open until 2 a.m., this pizzeria is a great late-night hangout spot. The menu is versatile and offers everything from burgers to sandwiches to pasta — and of course, pizza. The food is fresh, and the service is fast.

Nominated by Boston University

Krispy Pizza, New Brunswick, NJ

Krispy Pizza is family-owned, and the staff are friendly and full of energy. Not only does it have popular and traditional pizzas on its menu, but there are also salad-topped pizzas and a specialty grandma pizza.

Nominated by Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Broadway Joe’s Pizza, Bronx, NY

These large pizza slices are somehow affordable and not floppy. The service is fast if you're in a rush, but if you're not, there's a great dine-in atmosphere with good music and plentiful seating. If you've never tried lasagna pizza, now is the time.

Nominated by Manhattan College

Vincent’s New York Wood Fired Pizza, East Setauket, NY

Photo by Andrea Demarzo

What could be better than a food truck serving fresh, wood-fired pizzas named after New York boroughs? The owners of the pizzeria are a friendly husband-and-wife duo who do pizza proud and love sharing their passion with New York. The service is fast, and the cheese-to-sauce ratio has been called perfect.

Nominated by Stony Brook University

Original Italian Pizza, Lewisburg, PA

This family-owned pizzeria is known by locals for its delicious Italian pizza and pasta. If you love simple, minimalistic, quality pizza, you won't be let down by the menu. The dine-in space is family-friendly, full of love, and great for group gatherings.

Nominated by Bucknell University

Salerno’s Pizza III, Ewing, NJ

Fast service, fresh pizza, and friendly staff are what people love about Salerno's. The place prides itself on classic cheese pizza and Sicilian pizza, but it also has nontraditional pizzas such as hotdog pizza, dirty clam pizza, and breakfast pizza.

Nominated by The College of New Jersey

Tonino’s Pizza Lewisburg, Lewisburg, PA

Not only is the pizza superb, the pastas and salads are, too. The menu offers unique options such as hot-honey chicken pizza, Mediterranean pizza, and bianco pizza. If you're feeling adventurous, you can also order a "special pizza" and adorn it with five toppings of your choice.

Nominated by Bucknell University

Design by Spoon University

Union Pizza, Evanston, IL

The atmosphere of Union Pizzeria is why students love it so much. With floor-to-ceiling windows, bar seating, and a lounge, you won't want to leave. The wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas come with a variety of quality toppings and can also be ordered with a gluten-free crust.

Nominated by Northwestern University

Tomato Bar, Valparaiso, IN

You can see your handcrafted pizza being prepared in the open kitchen — there are no secrets at Tomato Bar. The dough is made fresh every day with only the highest quality ingredients so that your pizza experience is the best it can be. While Tomato Bar is famous for pizza, it also serves things like hoagies and salads of the same high quality.

Nominated by Valparaiso University

Pizza Shuttle, Lawrence, KS

As a locally-owned and independent restaurant, Pizza Shuttle has been a part of the community since 1981. The pizzas are tasty, affordable, and available for delivery until 1 a.m., making it the perfect pick-me-up for students studying late. 

Nominated by The University of Kansas

Joe’s Pizza, Ann Arbor, MI

Joe's Pizza is a central location for some students because of its proximity to other hotspots in the area. Joe Pozzuoli, the owner, has been serving New York-style pizza in Michigan for around 47 years, so you know it must be good.

Nominated by University of Michigan

Cottage Inn Pizza, East Lansing, MI

The gourmet pizza at Cottage Inn is both affordable and accessible for everyone — whether you're vegan, gluten-free, or just there for cheese bread and ranch. You can customize your pizza and even add flavors to the crust like garlic butter or sesame. Hot honey chicken pizza? Yes, please!

Nominated by Michigan State University

Mikey’s Late Night Slice, Columbus, OH

If you want a slice of pizza at 2 a.m., this is your food truck. It sells large slices of New York-style pizza or full pizzas with names like P.M.S. (pepperoni, mushroom, and sausage), the Garbàge (pepperoni, mushrooms, banana peppers, onions, and extra cheese), and the Weggie (green peppers and mushrooms).

Nominated by The Ohio State University

Ian’s Pizza, Madison, WI

Photo by by Ian's Pizza Madison

With a location in the middle of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's campus, it must be hard to resist stopping by for some pizza at any time of the day. Whether you want to study during the day, party at night, or watch the big game, you can enjoy a slice at Ian's while you do it.

Nominated by University of Wisconsin-Madison

Design by Spoon University

Pizza by Napoli, Phoenix, AZ

As a family-owned business, the atmosphere at Pizza by Napoli is warm and welcoming. It has affordably prices and delicious pizza (whole and by the slice), garlic knots, and subs. Cheese pizza lovers can also order an XL of the cherished favorite for $19 — sharing optional.

Nominated by Grand Canyon University

No Anchovies, Tucson, AZ

No Anchovies provides students with the late-night pizza they're craving. It has two bars, tons of TVs, and a nightclub. Go classic with the popular pepperoni pizza or create your own the way you like it.

Nominated by University of Arizona

Humble Wood Fire Pizzeria, Gainesville, FL

Photo by Hannah Wisniewski

You know your pizza is wood-fired when you see those charred sections on your pizza — it's also in the name of this place. The pizzas are also baked directly behind the counter for all to see. The topping selection is broad, containing everything from standard pizza toppings to goat cheese, honey, sauerkraut, and curry potatoes. As an added bonus, the pizzeria also serves brunch for those late mornings, too.

Nominated by University of Florida

Momo’s Pizza, Tallahassee, FL

"Slices as big as your head" isn't an exaggeration here. At Momo's Pizza, you can purchase a big slice of pizza for a great price — and it tastes good, too. Whether you like red sauce or white sauce, Momo's has bountiful options to choose from. The service is friendly, and the casual ambiance is great for hanging out with friends.

Nominated by Florida State University

Fellini's Pizza, Atlanta, GA

Pineapple on pizza happens at Fellini's. If you love thick crusts and simple toppings, you'll love the menu selection. You can customize your pizza order to suit your style and for brave, the infamous (and maybe slightly controversial) ham and pineapple pizza.

Nominated by Savannah College of Art & Design, Atlanta

Mellow Mushroom, Atlanta, GA

Mellow Mushroom is a great hangout spot for students since it's located in the middle of downtown Atlanta. It offers both gluten-free and vegan stone-baked pizzas, and you can eat your pizza inside the cozy pizzeria or have it delivered.

Nominated by Emory University

MOD Pizza, Kennesaw, GA

Who doesn't love a fully customizable pizza with a wide variety of toppings? At MOD Pizza, you can explore new combinations or go with a tried and true. The MOD Squad is there to help you have a great pizza experience and serve it to you fast.

Nominated by Kennesaw State University

Strong's Brick Oven, Newport, KY

Strong's Brick Oven's welcoming staff makes you feel like you're part of the family. While the style is based on tradition, the pizzas are fresh — like the CBR (cheddar, bacon, ranch, and onion), the Diavolo Dolce made with hot oil, banana peppers, pineapple, and bacon, and the Quattro Formaggio which is loaded with cheese. If you're not full from the savory pizza, the dessert pizzas are designed to tempt you.

Nominated by Northern Kentucky University

Fat Boy's Pizza, Baton Rouge, LA

No joke, Fat Boy's pizzas measure 30 inches across. If you like competition, you can try and take on the Fat Boy's Two Feet challenge where you eat two feet of pizza in less than seven minutes for a free T-shirt and gift card. If that doesn't sound like a college activity, nothing does.

Nominated by Louisiana State University

Pizza Domenica, New Orleans, LA

Photo by Pizza Domenica

Pizza Domenica is so serious about pizza that it has a custom-made oven from Italy. The restaurant has an open kitchen, creating an inviting space for guests. No matter your taste, craving, or allergies, between white pizza, ham and ricotta pizza, or pesto pizza, you are bound to find something you'll fall in love with.

Nominated by Tulane University

Home Slice Pizza, Austin, TX

Home Slice brings the New York-style pizza to Texas. Each pizza has that thin crust you can barely see with slices cut so large, that you'll have to fold them in half or use a knife and fork. If you're up for an adventure, the "tried and true" pizzas might sound bizarre — like a white clam or eggplant pie — but they're popular for a reason. Otherwise, you can order a fully customizable pizza with either white or red sauce. 

Nominated by The University of Texas at Austin

South Flo Pizza, College Station, TX

Ever heard of a crustless pizza? Apparently, South Flo Pizza makes them, along with the normal, New York-style pizzas. Everything you order there is handcrafted, good quality, and served quickly.

Nominated by Texas A&M University

Blaze, Richardson, TX

Blaze's pizza will make you smile with deals like "Party for One" and the "BFF Bundle." The dough is made from scratch, and the pizzas are topped with fresh, high-quality ingredients. You can completely customize your pizza or order a classic.

Nominated by The University of Texas at Dallas

Cane Rosso, Fort Worth, TX

According to its website, Jay Jerrier visited Italy on his honeymoon and it changed pizza for him forever. Now, he shares his freshly made, wood-fired, Neapolitan-style pizza with Texas. Both the dough and mozzarella are prepared fresh in-house daily, and each pizza is topped with the perfect touch of olive oil and basil.

Nominated by Texas Christian University

Christian’s Pizza, Richmond, VA

Christian's Pizza serves classic pizza for an affordable price. The dough and sauce are made from scratch every day, so you know you're getting a fresh slice when you order. Or, if you're a cheesy breadstick fan, there is no shame in only ordering the pepperoni, bacon, or original cheesy breadsticks.

Nominated by Virginia Commonwealth University

Design by Spoon University

The Cheese Board Collective, Berkeley, CA

Photo by Vanessa Vichit-Vadakan

Cheese Board's pizzas are made with a thin sourdough crust, fresh cheese, and local vegetarian ingredients. The in-store atmosphere is bright and fun from the live music playing during lunch and dinner. You can also order par-baked pizzas to take home and cook for yourself.

Nominated by University of California, Berkeley

IV Pizza Pub, Goleta, CA

Photo by Maddy Fangio

Family-owned IV Pizza Pub has won many awards for the delicious quality and affordable "New York taste surfer-vibe" pizzas. The spot offers a diverse selection of toppings, including vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options, so you're bound to find something you love. 

Nominated by University of California, Santa Barbara

SF Hole in the Wall Pizza, San Francisco, CA

Hole in the Wall Pizza wants you to bring all your friends with you when you visit because the place is all about bringing people together to share a meal. It serves Italian-style pizza, pasta, and salad with toppings for everyone, no matter your food allergies.

Nominated by San Francisco State University

Woodstock’s Pizza, San Diego, CA

Woodstock's Pizza was created to serve students. The freshly baked dough, secret signature sauce, and all the toppings you could want on your pizza are all in the hopes that you have the best pizza experience possible.

Nominated by San Diego State University

Osteria DOP, Eugene, OR

Osteria's pizza crust is puffy and perfectly charred. The dining atmosphere is fun and energetic, well-suited for groups and parties. Plus, it's affordably priced for pizza-loving college students on a budget.

Nominated by University of Oregon

Lucky Slice Pizza, Ogden, UT

Photo by Tristan Sadler

Lucky Slice Pizza has a slice for everyone. All of its dough and sauce is made from scratch, and the ingredients are prepped fresh in the kitchen. From its vegan pizza to gaba pizza (basically a deconstructed Italian sandwich on a pizza), the pizzas are dressed to impress. 

Nominated by Weber State University

MOD Pizza, Seattle, WA

Since MOD Pizza was founded in Seattle, Washington, it is no surprise that students in the Seattle area flock to the place where you can order a fully custom pizza or salad. Not only is the pizza relatively affordable, the dining room is a great environment for study sessions or friend gatherings.

Nominated by University of Washington

Click here for more from the Spoon Choice Awards.

Header photos courtesy of Roppolo's, Pizza Domenica, IV Pizza by Maddy Fangio.