Pizza is a staple in any college student’s diet, so it’s not a surprise that Bloomington boasts dozens of pizza places. Check out a few local favorites featuring classic and unique flavors.
By Emily Hines
Bloomington is a town of passionate pizza aficionados; it is a thing. Every college town has pizza lovers but we take it to the next level. From vegan, gluten free-creations to meat lovers’ pies piled high, we have no doubt that you’ll satisfy all of your cheesy hopes and dreams here.
Mother Bear's Pizza
1428 E. 3rd St. (Plus other locations)
You can’t come to Bloomington without visiting Mother Bear's Pizza. This legendary pizza palace holds the key to your heart and belly with their perfectly crisp pan crust and layers of cheesy goodness.
Meat-lovers: Cosmo – out of this world combo of red and white sauce, Italian sausage, portabella mushrooms, and cheese.
Vegetarian: Pauley’s Pesto – their pesto is so rich and garlicky, making this pie a must.
Pro tip: If you’re building your own pie and love onions, try the balsamic marinated onions; they are delicious. Wednesday is their Hail to the Ale special and any draft beer is $2.50 including craft beer.
405 E. Kirkwood Ave.
Café Pizzaria gave Bloomington its first taste of pizza and strombolis dating back to 1953! This cozy eatery is located just steps away from the Sample Gates and continues to serve up their famous stroms and pizzas for eager students and locals alike.
Meat-lovers: The classic strom has pizza sauce, seasoned sausage, mozzarella, and onion on Italian bread and is baked to perfection.
Vegetarian: Veggie Supreme Pizza is topped with the traditional veggies like onion, banana pepper, black olives, mushrooms and green peppers.
Pro tip: Pizza and strom isn’t the only thing they do right – they also have a killer Italian beef sandwich.
108 W. 6th St.
Alicia and Adam are the dough masters behind King Dough. They started slinging their delicious pies in a cart around town and, due to demand, opened up a restaurant in the heart of downtown on the square. Their wood-fired crust is chewy/crusty perfection, paired with both classic and unusual ingredients, making their pizza awesome.
Meat-lovers: Pork and Pine is a flavorful combo of red sauce, fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, pineapple, jalapeno, and basil.
Vegetarian: Stinky Pete has a unique cheese blend of fresh mozzarella, goat cheese, parmesan and gorgonzola, plus olive oil, garlic, tomato, mushroom, and oregano.
Pro tip: Make sure you check out the daily special – they once offered a buffalo chicken mushroom pizza with blue cheese that was fantastic. Monday is Margherita Monday and the classic is only $10. Don't forget to save room for their homemade gelato.
1791 E. 10th St. (Plus other locations)
Back in the 1980s the Pizza X founders decided that Bloomington deserved more from pizza delivery and they’ve been “bringing pizza to the people” ever since. They are THE late night bargain buy and are open until 4am for pizza lovers of all ages and stamina. The Big X Bargain is an IU freshman’s rite of passage and their famous breadsticks come with every order.
Meat-lovers: The Mojo pizza has the spicy mojo sauce, plus mozzarella, pepperoni, mushroom, green pepper, and fontina cheese.
Vegetarian: Big Cheese has no sauce, mozzarella, fontina, cheddar, pecans (yes, pecans), and ricotta.
Pro tip: Every order comes with tootsie rolls and if you get a drink it comes in a reusable cup that is a keepsake for many Hoosier alumni.
1795 E. 10th St.
This is the king of crust. Lennie’s is a Bloomington staple that opened about 20 years ago and have a crust for everyone: thin, multigrain, gluten-free, and traditional. Bonus: they have their own brewery, Bloomington Brewing Co., so you can get a local beer with your pie.
Meat-lovers: Hoosier Harvest blends red sauce, house-cured bacon, grape tomatoes, basil, gorgonzola, and mozzarella.
Vegetarian: The California has fresh and tasty flavors – pesto sauce, spinach, black olives, sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella, and feta. Garnished with fresh avocado.
Pro tip: Happy hour flatbreads are just $4.
1837 N. Kinser Pike (Plus other locations)
This Btown pizza place is so Bloomington they even have a pie named for IU. The Cream & Crimson pie is the big favorite here and it’s easy to understand why. It is piled high with roasted red potatoes, fresh garlic, dill, bacon, cheddar, and gorgonzola cheese. The Alfredo base takes this pie over the edge. Not into bacon? Try one of their many veggie pizzas. Want to try a bunch of different pies? Check out their buffet at their East side location.
Meat-lovers: For the meat eaters not ordering the Cream & Crimson, try the Lambda Gyro Pi – creamy tzatziki sauce and cheese, covered with beef and lamb, onion, tomato, and feta cheese.
Vegetarian: Beckon Desire is a unique flavor combo of spinach lemon pesto sauce and cheese plus artichoke heart, red onion, and gorgonzola cheese.
Pro tip: Get a loganberry drink, it goes well with every pizza.