As a budding social worker on an accelerated graduation track, I take all opportunities I can to delve into conflicts throughout my community. St Louisans are nothing if not extremely opinionated and as someone who lived here for almost four full summers while she was attending boarding school on the East Coast, I consider myself a resident expert on the highly controversial food scene.
In my recent post “Meatless Mondays: A Vegetarian Guide to the Delmar Loop” I established my allegiance to Mission Taco over its neighboring asian fusion restaurant Seoul Taco, but today I take on a much larger debacle: St Louis Pizza.
I feel the need to preface this post with saying, my family moved to St Louis when I was in High School, I never attended school here before Wash U, I never spent more than two consecutive months here before Wash U, and I was eating vegan for almost all of my freshman year. All that said, Imo’s pizza is terrible and doesn’t even deserve to be on this list. You can quote me.
#5. Imo’s Pizza.
People who are actually from St Louis for some reason feel the need to defend the midwestern monstrosity that is Imo’s pizza to their graves. Thankfully I as someone who knows very little about St Louis, but a lot about pizza, am here to save you from enduring what I had to upon moving here. I can assure you this giant saltine cracker soaked in tomato juice and covered with easy cheese in a can is not what God intended pizza to be. There is a significant amount of nostalgia associated with it for some reason and Imo’s even sells their cheese in grocery store because I guess people like to make it at home??? I don’t understand it at all but the logo is cute. Pros: St Louis icon, cute logo. Cons: The pizza is terrible.
#4. Blue Box Pizza
Blue Box Pizza is located on the Delmar Loop and honestly the pizza’s not bad, but because of it’s location it becomes somewhat forgettable. Not to mention they have a truly horrifying window display of Batman eating pizza with the Joker and it freaks me out every time I’m walking to the overpass. The blue pizza boxes are cute but honestly that’s the only niche. Pros: Not Imo’s, close to Ben and Jerry’s, cute blue boxes. Cons: Scary Joker mask in the window
#3. ‘Zza Pizza
It was hard for me to put ‘Zza third because I honestly do love it and it is super close to campus making it relatively easy to get there, but unlike many of my other favorite establishments ‘Zza lacks a large amount of variety. As far as Margherita pizzas go, it’s definitely one of my favorite I have had, and the establishment loves to host fundraisers for Wash U student groups including my own (pictured above), but there are very few options for gluten or dairy free people. The iconic square pizza from ‘Zza is certainly unique without making it feel like a school cafeteria, which, for me, is a good thing. Pros: Nice staff, great Margherita pizzas, close to campus. Cons: Limiting options for gluten or dairy free people.
#2. Pi Pizza
I am not a native St Louisan but for the life of me I will never understand how Imo’s became the iconic St Louis pizza establishment and not Pi. Located on the loop, Pi is known for it’s Chicago-style deep dish pizza which is honestly one of the best things I have ever had. Pi is actually owned by the same people who own ‘Zza (Get it pi+zza=PIZZA) but has so many more options for pizza. Pi has deep dish, thin crust, gluten free crust, many kinds of cheeses including daiya vegan cheese, certified kosher meat and vegan sausage. Pi has plenty of creative pizza combinations including the cubano which is literally a cubano sandwich on a pizza- yes mustard and pickles included. Pros- Lots of options, best deep dish in the area, right next to Baked Bear.
#1 Pointer’s Pizza
If I could pick my last meal on Earth right now, it would be a Pointer’s pizza. Home to the famous 28″ Pointersaurus Pizza Challenge, Pointer’s is easily the best pizza in St Louis. It’s not expensive, it delivers until 2 AM, and they create giant pizzas and challenge people to eat them for money! What’s not to love???? Pointer’s is the best for catering large events, club meetings etc because you can just order a 28″ pizza and have it delivered right to campus. Pointer’s also has pasta, salads and cheesy bread that I would give my life for. If you ask nicely they will give you ranch at no additional charge. Pros: Open late, pizza is so good, they make giant pizzas and people eat them, did I mention how late they are open? Cons: Absolutely nothing I want Pointer’s to cater my wedding and funeral.
Honorable mentions include: Dewey’s Pizza, Crushed Red, Pastaria, and The Pasta House, all of which are better than Imo’s.