Pizza

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Davis, being a college town, has many establishments that offer all sorts of pizzas. Pizza is one of the few things available for delivery in Davis. If you're really hard core, and want some of the best pizza ever known to mankind, you can drive to the Bay Area and pick yourself up some Zachary's Pizza. However, you can get Chicago Style Pizza at several other places nearby and save some gas.

Pizza is an iconically delivered item, and tipping the person delivering the pizza is common. The [WWW]Tip the Pizza Guy Website has guides on how to tip, and also how to place an order to make sure you get what you want, how to make sure the delivery person can find the house and more.

Most of the pizza establishment pages have an accompanying photo of a typical large pepperoni pizza.

Using data on size and cost, Galen Plotkin (an 8th grade student at the Davis Waldorf School) created a pizza value index for Davis pizzerias. The cheapest pizza in Davis in 2013 was, unexpectedly, Village Pizza tied with Uncle Vito's.

Table of Price and Size

This table shows the typical (not on sale) price for a basic cheese pizza (no extra toppings) and the pizza diameter in inches.

Location Small Medium Large Extra Large Delivery Fee
Caffe Italia $6.95/9" $10.95/13" $14.95/15" N/A N/A
Cenario's Pizza $2.99/6" $6.99/12" $9.74/14" $14.99/18" $2.00
Ciao at CoHo N/A N/A $14.00 N/A N/A
Domino's Pizza $6.99/10" $8.99/12" $11.99/14" $13.99/16" $2.99
The Graduate $6.95/? N/A $19.95/? ? N/A
Konditorei ? ? ? ? N/A
Lamppost Pizza N/A $12.69/12" $15.99/14" $18.99/16" $2.50
Little Caesars Pizza ? $4.50/12" $5.00/14" $7.50/16", $10.00/18" ?
Mountain Mike's Pizza $8.50/10" $12.10/12" $16.05/14" $23.35/20" ?
Original Steve's $5.45/8" $8.95/10" $11.95/12" $15.95/16" $2.50
Paesanos $10-12 / 10" N/A N/A N/A N/A
Papa Murphy's N/A ?/12" ?/14" $14.99/16" N/A
Pizza Guys $7.99 $10.99/12" $12.99/14" $13.99/16" $2.00
Round Table Pizza $8.45/9.5" $12/12" $15.50/14" N/A ?
Symposium $7.95/10" $9.95/12" $12.95/15" N/A N/A
Uncle Vito's Slice of N.Y. N/A N/A $15.95/14" $21.95/20" ?
Village Bakery N/A N/A $12/14" N/A $5.00
Woodstock's Pizza $6.49/8" $12.79/12" $15.49/14" $17.29/16" $2.00

Deals

The table is greatly confounded, of course, by the uneven price of toppings and the massive amounts of special deals available. Listed here are known deals that don't require a coupon, although they may require you to be knowledgeable of the deal before going into the store, as pizza places know that if you walked in sans coupon and knowledge of a discount you're probably willing to pay more. If you don't mind being sleazy to save a buck, sometimes you can get a reduced price by simply flirting with the clerk and asking what deals they have that aren't listed on the menu.

Functional Square Inch

As the diameter of a pizza increases, the area of the pizza increases as well, but a doubling of diameter, quadruples area. Thus, a 16 inch pizza has four times the area of an 8 inch pizza. The graph below shows the relationship.

PizzaGraph.jpgMichaelPlotkin

As you can see on the graph, an inch more of diameter produces significantly more area at larger diameters than at smaller diameters. Based on this information, the price per square inch would seem like an appropriate metric of pizza value. Unfortunately, however, not all pizzas are made the same. A large crust margin, in particular, tends to confound the real size of a pizza. A more accurate measure of pizza value is introduced here: the Functional Square Inch (FSI). The FSI includes only the area containing toppings, and can therefore reveal how much certain places rip people off by having a ridiculous amount of crust.


FSI = 3.14159 * (radius - crust length)*(radius - crust length)

The table below shows the FSI for local pizzas.

Please consult Pizza: FSI Calculations for how to interpret and update this chart.

Location FSI of Small FSI of Medium FSI of Large FSI of Extra Large
Caffe Italia ? ? ? N/A
Cenario's Pizza ? ? ? ?
CoHo ? ? ? 133
Domino's Pizza ? ? ?
The Graduate ? ? ?
Konditorei ? ? ? ?
Lamppost Pizza ? ? ? ?
Mountain Mike's Pizza ? 95 ? 260
Norm's Pizza N/A ? 113 ?
Original Steve's ? ? ? ?
Papa John's ? 78.5 118.8 ?
Papa Murphy's N/A ? ? ?
Pizza Guys ? ? 109 ?
Round Table Pizza ? ? ? ?
Symposium ? 95 154 ?
Uncle Vito's Slice of N.Y. ? ? ? 265
Village Bakery ? ? ? ?
Woodstock's Pizza ? ? 95 ?

Make Your Own

Making pizza can be a cinch or it can be a fun, all-day cooking project depending how much time you want to put on it.

Dough

homemade.JPGTry making your own. It tastes as good as it looks!

You can use a pizza stone to cook pizza, but it isn't required. For a cheaper alternative to a pizza stone, get a large, unglazed flooring tile (ceramic is better than composite, since composite will expand and contract differently and break quicker). They're available at Lowe's in West Sacramento for around $5. You can also just pre-cook the dough right on the oven rack—about 8-10 minutes at 375-400 degrees will give you a nice crust, shorter if you roll it out really thin. Pull it out, add the sauce, cheese, and toppings, and toss it back in until they're done.

Sauce

Most pizzerias offer red and white sauces; many offer a wide variety of others.

Cheese

Toppings

There aren't that many things that aren't good on pizza. You can get really creative and get some fantastic results. Be sure to pre-cook any uncooked meats.

Comments:

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2010-01-25 16:53:24   To the best of my knowledge, Uncle Vito's doesn't deliver. However, their pizza pwns all others. Yeah, it's pricey though. Definitely not something I would go for without others chipping in.

Woodstocks sucks, Steve's is okay, the Village Bakery is decent. Konditorei only serves "breakfast pizza" which is more like foccaiccia + stuff. —dizzyditz


2005-02-21 22:15:09   price per square inch! price per square inch! —ArlenAbraham


2005-02-21 23:05:28   Price varies considerably if you have one of the MANY coupons though. What I'd like is a picture of what a standard pepperoni pizza looks like, since some have more and some have less. Or, at least, a count of the amount of pepperoni in a pizza. Either way, price per square inch is a bit misleading, since we should also count crust radius (a 12" pizza with a 1" crust has significantly more crust per square inch than a 16" pizza with a 1" crust) —ScottRitchie


2005-02-22 02:50:17   Davis Pizza Rankings: 1. (two-way tie) Steve's, Village Bakery 3. Mountain Mike's 4. Symposium 5. Caffe Italia 6. Lamppost 7. Round Table 8. Papa John's 9. Woodstock's 10. the Grad 11. Pizza Guys. I've never been to Konditorei. —RishiTrivedi


2005-02-22 13:32:09   Could we creat a Wiki price scale 10=really expensive 1=Free or something along those lines. —JamesSchwab


2005-03-29 17:38:33   Whatever happened to free delivery? :( —RussBowlus


2005-05-14 18:02:07   Oh man, the FSI table is the awesomest idea! Brilliant! —JeyKottalam


2005-06-07 09:31:53   Think of it this way — you can get a really great apartment with awesome furniture, a state-of-the-art sound system, a new King size bed, and perfect climate control system, and you'll spend some $$ to get it. Or you can get a way bigger apartment with a leaky roof, crappy furniture, a squeaky ghetto blaster, and a bed you found in the alley, and it won't cost near as much. Bigger — yes! Better??? It's not just the size of the pizza, it's what's on it and how it tastes. With this FSI calculation, the cheapest, crappiest pizza in Davis will win, but that doesn't make it a good value. —LauraAmbrose


2005-06-07 09:50:00   Well, while I think the FSI too confusing too be really useful (it would probably be better just to rank who has the most crust), it's not really measuring who has the biggest pizza, it's really measuring the REAL dimensions of pizza with toppings on it. I think it's ultimately misleading because pizza places are not consistent in this regard, so it would be better just to list the habitual offenders and estimate how much unused crust there is. And I also think that there is no real spectacular pizza in Davis, so the biggest, best value is usually not too different than the worst value. I'd like to say you get what you pay for, but some of the most mediocre pizza can be pretty expensive. —JaimeRaba


2005-06-07 10:36:40   option 2: separate toppings from crust. weigh each. give total weight and % crust. c-mon, who's got a scale —ArlenAbraham


2005-07-27 13:38:23   Laura, the FSI in no way reflects on the quality of the pizza. Rather, its a rough way to put pizza on a consistent economic scale. Once pizza size has been normalized with the FSI, you, as an informed consumer, can compare equal sized pizza's and determine whether the taste quality difference is worth the extra price. For example, in terms of FSI, the medium at Mountain Mike's Pizza, the medium at Symposium, and the large at Woodstock's Pizza are equivalent. They're respective prices are $11.65, $9.95, and $14.16. Woodstock's is the most expensive, and IMHO is my least favorite of the three. Its clearly out. Symposium is far better than MM's, and is $1.70 cheaper! Its really comforting to know that Symposium, arguably the best pizza in town, is both best quality and economical for an FSI of 95 and no toppings. A lot of people avoid it, however, because they don't take FSI into account, and erroneously believe it's too pricey. More data needs to be collected to determine which place place in Davis has the best FSI:price ratio. —CraigBrozinsky


2005-08-20 14:32:20   Honestly, the price+size chart could be integrated. Like this: $14.99 (16") —JaimeRaba


2005-08-20 18:30:54   Hmm, we should probably merge the FSI table in too. The table needs serious deuglification too, but I lack the skills. —ScottRitchie


2005-09-21 21:17:39   RishiTrivedi writes "Davis Pizza Rankings: 1. (two-way tie) Steve's, Village Bakery" = I don't get it... Steve's combination pizza didn't even come close to woodstocks causeway class or village bakery's 'anything' —VivianPham


2005-12-31 15:53:57   if you live in or near north davis, the best deal hands down is papa murphy's. yeah you have to cook it in your own oven, but big deal. you don't have to tip a delivery boy and it's cheap! i will edit in the prices after the next time i'm there, but it is definitely some of the cheapest in town. also, i almost constantly get coupons for their pizza in the mail making it even cheaper. as for quality, it's obviously not the most amazing pizza you've ever had, but i think it is just fine and much better than steve's place or mountain mike's garbage. —IanRamsay


2006-01-23 19:48:53   Question: If there is already a delivery charge, do you tip? —JoAnnaRich


2006-03-08 20:04:49   But pizzas also vary in thickness as well. I propose a price per volume, or given the fact that there are thin and thick crusts, a price per mass of the functional area of the pizza? Now the question is, dry weight or wet weight? Can I also get a mass spectrometer, calorimeter, and spectrophotometer to complete the analysis..? Oh here we go... Let's use an electronic tongue and publish the ratios of various volatiles and other compounds and publish the definitive flavor comparison? Let's also factor in the fuel economy of the delivery persons so we can also have the most environmentally sound pizza. Ok... I got a little hyperbolic here. I think my point about thickness/mass might be valid, though. —KarlMogel



2006-09-10 10:21:00   there is no question. when it comes to taste village bakery is the clear cut winner. Symposium comes in a distant second. —MattHh


2007-02-01 00:01:25   Woodstocks can't compare to many of the other (independent and chain) pizza places in Davis. I don't know why people like it so much. —TusharRawat


2007-08-27 00:30:50   I second (or third?) Village Bakery having the best pizza in PRD. Also, since when did Konditerei make pizza, anyways? —KokoSorensen


2008-02-03 13:31:29   I don't get it. Why is it so expensive when I go to Steve's? Ooohh, the toppings! —DavidFeliz


2008-02-03 15:50:20   I've had Lamppost, Woodstock's, Coho (which I think is just frozen pizza isn't it?), Village Bakery, Papa Murphy's, Dining Commons (does that even count?), and The Graduate and of those four, Village Bakery wins. My dad and brother have only had Village Bakery, but they think it's the best. —JasonDunne


2008-09-21 03:25:32   pizza is way overrated. it's only good when you get drunk.. oh wait.. i get it now. —2point0student


2009-06-12 20:50:29   Why is the delivery fee for Vito's $21.95? —TusharRawat


2010-01-25 16:53:24   To the best of my knowledge, Uncle Vito's doesn't deliver. However, their pizza pwns all others. Yeah, it's pricey though. Definitely not something I would go for without others chipping in.

Woodstocks sucks, Steve's is okay, the Village Bakery is decent. Konditorei only serves "breakfast pizza" which is more like foccaiccia + stuff. —dizzyditz


2010-05-01 17:37:52   It has been my experience that people will usually ADORE one of the pizza places, and hate all the others with the firey passion of a thousand burning suns. The most signifigant polarization tends to be between Steve's Place and Woodstock's. You will almost never find someone who likes both. —Flynn


2011-08-15 22:54:50   My favorite pizza in Davis is hands down village pizza, but only the bakery. Somehow their new restaurant's oven seems to be different and not quite as nice. For real Italian pizza, I go to Hot Italian in Sacramento (by real Italian I mean thin crust, not loaded with 1" deep cheese layer sliding off the 1" of tomato sauce). I would not voluntarily eat any other pizza in Davis unless it's free journal club pizza. —DrX

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