THE PIZZA JOINT (FORMERLY GUMBY'S), 2402 N. High St.

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This pizzeria opened in 1988 or 1989 at 1437 N. High St. on South Campus. It moved north in about 2000 to a newly built strip mall on the former site of revered campus institutions Stache's (live music venue) and Monkey's Retreat (tai chi, comics, and alternative press shop).

Originally called Gumby's Pizza, it used the likeness of the 1960s Claymation character in its advertising, product names, and box art. In 2012, it dropped the Gumby's name and became The Pizza Joint.

The address and name have changed but pizza remains the same. A good, basic pizza that has been satisfying diners for 27 years. Worth trying are the pizza sticks which some patrons wax worshipful about.

Pizza is inexpensive. Large pizza is 14″ and a one-topping pizza costs $8.99.Slices not squares. Delivery and carryout available. A few tables inside for dine-in.

CLOSED IN LATE 2015

PIZZA REV, 1607 N. High

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Pizza Rev opened in the Gateway in spring 2016. Started in Los Angeles in 2012, Pizza Rev is being franchised under an arrangement with the High St.-born BW3 chain.

Pizza Rev offers a Chipotle-style build-your-own-pizza experience. After selecting a thin or thick crust, customers walk down the line choosing their sauce, cheeses, meats, and various vegetables. Pizzas are ready in about 3 minutes. Pizzas are about 10" and cost about $&. They've got one of those Coca-Cola Freestyle machines that serves 165 different versions of Coke for beverages.

One of my faves. Like the sauce. Great for lunch. Like the interior too. Has a nice feel. Window's good for people-watching.

Open 11 AM-10 PM. 11 AM-3 AM weekends. Dine-in or carry-out.

CLOSED DECEMBER 2, 2017.

 

PIZZA RUSTICA, 1558 N. High

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Pizza Rustica is a Florida-based chain offering Roman-style pizza with gourmet toppings. It opened its first Ohio restaurant in October 2010 in the South Campus Gateway and quickly became a campus favorite. Close to the south dorms, in the middle of the Gateway, adjacent to the movie theater, and open late with patio seating in warm weather, Rustica was always busy.

Pizza Rustica abruptly closed in March 2015, joining the growing list of restaurants and nightspots that have come and gone in the Gateway.

PORTOFINO'S PIZZA, 1497 N. High St.

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Portofino’s Pizza has been serving pizza from the SW corner of W 9th and N High for about 4 years.

Delivery or carry-out. There are a couple tables and chairs inside but it's really not set up for dine-in. The large pizza is 16" and a large pepperoni pizza goes for $9.99.

Pizza is basic but not bad. Crust is chewy. Not flavored. Sauce is sweet but not too sweet. Could use a little more spice for my taste. Pepperoni is standard size. Cut into triangular slices.

Portofino's has the lowest prices we've found on this trek. Just $17.75 for 16" 2-topping pizza, garlic bread with cheese, and antipasto salad!

Portofino's also has some of the largest pizzas we've encountered: an 18" X-Large, 20" XX-Large, 24" XXX-Large, and a 30" Giant.

Menu is vast. You can even get egg rolls.

SICILIA, 22 E. Frambes St.

 

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Sicilia's occupies the ground floor of an American Foursquare adjacent to long-lived campus nightspot Out-R-Inn on Frambes just off High.

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A SLICE OF NEW YORK, 1812 N. High St.

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Slice of New York-April 18, 2015

Slice of New York, 1812 N. High St., is one of my favorites.

Slice of New York opened at this spot back in 2008, taking over from Flying Pizza, which had been there since about 1985. Slice of New York is as close to a New York-style pizza as you’re going to get in Columbus, Ohio. Very tasty!

You can get whole pizzas here but pizza-by-the-slice is what this place is about. $2.75 buys a generous pepperoni slice and, if you get a double-slice, most days you get a free soda. Dine-in, delivery, and carryout. Open to 3 AM on weekends.

Get it while you can. Word is this restaurant and its neighbors will be shuttered by the end of 2015 when the university begins demolishing these early 20th Century buildings as part of a doubtful “revitalization” plan.

CLOSED DECEMBER 2015.

TOMMY'S, 174 W. Lane Ave.

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Tommy Iacono, the son of italian immigrants, opened his first restaurant out on the east side on E. 5th Ave. back in 1952. In 1963, he opened up a second location in Upper Arlington off Lane Ave. The Lane Ave store became an Upper Arlington institution. In February 1975, a Tommy's opened in the University District at Lane and Neil and it's been there every since.

Tommy’s is a quality pizza with generous toppings spread edge-to-edge. Small pepperonis. Tasty sauce. Crispy crust. Cut in squares.

Unusual for a campus pizza place, Tommy’s doesn’t have delivery. Dine-in or carry-out only. I like the dining room. A bit too much scarlet and gray but it’s got character. Tommy’s also closes earlier than most campus pizzerias. 1 AM.

Good luck trying to find the restrooms.

VARSITY CLUB, 278 W. Lane Ave.

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The Varsity Club bar opened in a former bookstore back in January 1959. At the time it was one of the few establishments in the campus area with a liquor license. As such, it became one of the most popular neighborhood hangouts in the 1960s. Students studied there. Couples dated there. Clubs met there. Fans celebrated there.

Varsity Club's success also owes to its enviable location: across the street from St. John Arena and minutes from Ohio Stadium. On gamedays in the fall, the bar is thronged with hundreds of Buckeye fans and the action spills outside to a packed tailgate party.

Large pizza is 14" and a pepperoni pizza costs $15.50. A classic Ohio pizza. Cut in squares Ohio-style. Pizza is a good bar pizza. I like the small pepperonis whose edges curl up and make little cups.

Dine in and carryout. No delivery. Open 11 AM to 2 AM daily.

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