University Pizzeria & Italian Eatery
133 Lincoln Avenue
Youngstown, OH 44503
FINDING GOOD PIZZA in Ohio is nearly impossible. Everywhere you go is seemingly overrun with chain after chain serving up cheep, terrible pies. And most small Italian joints don't even bother making the attempt or they just pass off the same, sad imitation that's become standard. There are few exceptions to this rule.
Which doesn't mean that you can't find incredible Italian food in Ohio or the occasional bastion off great pizza hope, you just have to look really, really hard. It's a a bit easier here, up in the northeast corner of the state, where many Italian immigrants settled at the turn of the last century, and where their families are still to be found.
I have to admit, still, I didn't even believe my own brother when he started working at University Pizza (or U-Pie to locals) a few years back, claiming they made a great pie. But they do. It might not quite live up to expectations in New York or Chicago, but sitting right on the edge of Youngstown State University's campus it's far and away the most solid option you've got in Youngstown.
Everything is fresh and creative. We had the spinach and tomato pie with garlic, Romano cheese and olive oil, and Brooklyn Brewery lagers from the bar (Brooklyn beers at any bar outside of NY state is always a good sign). But I should also recommend the Spinchoni pizza too--garlicky, spicy hot and everything you want in life. When you're looking for pizza in Youngstown.
MIKE EATS NEXT TIME: Of course.