LV Recommends: Six crowd-pleasing pizzas in the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City area

Lincoln Cafe & Wine Bar, Mount Vernon

Looking for pizza? These consistently delicious and straightforward pies are worth a sample.

Bread Garden Market

225 S Linn St, Iowa City

Bread Garden’s 2016 kitchen remodel brought an expanded menu of made-to-order meals to the downtown grocery hub. Order from an electronic kiosk––everything on the menu is delicious, made fresh and super affordable. With selections ranging from avocado toast to poké bowls, burgers to burritos, you could eat here for days on end without getting bored. If you haven’t tried Bread Garden Market’s pizza, what are you waiting for? Build your own just the way you like it or choose from a handful of combinations on the menu. The pies come in just one size––somewhere between personal and small––and a single style of crust: thin but with enough structure to prevent it from flopping and your toppings from sliding. You can certainly take it to go; it takes just about 5 minutes before you’ll be on your way, but honestly, the pizza is best enjoyed in-house, whether standing at the counter people watching or shared among friends sampling new pours from the wine bar.

Sanctuary Pub, Iowa City

Sanctuary Pub

405 S Gilbert St, Iowa City

This cozy, dimly lit pub is best known for its wide selection of craft beer, but if you’re sampling a few of the high-alcohol brews, you’ll definitely need something to keep you in check. The pizza is a crowd-pleaser; soak up the beer and smoosh a few more people into your wood-paneled booth as you argue over the last pieces. Feel free to concoct your own creation from the available ingredients or choose from the small selection of house combinations. The Pizza Pimienta is certainly the star of the menu––a cilantro pesto base gives way to roasted red peppers, fontinella cheese and jalapenos; this is one pizza that packs a little heat.

Naso’s Marion

453 7th Ave, Marion

A favorite for fried chicken dinners and the 25 year-long cheeseburger Saturday special (cheeseburgers are just $2.50 on Saturdays), Naso’s is also a hidden gem for pizza. Plenty of options flush out the restaurant’s menu of sandwiches, burgers and deep-fried snacks. Taco pizza, Mediterranean vegetable, Italian meatlovers and even a white pizza find a home on this family-oriented, something-for-everyone menu. Dine at Naso’s Marion on a Tuesday night and you’ll score half-priced medium pizzas.

Cedar Ridge Winery

1441 Marak Rd, Swisher

The tasting room and spectacular views of the vineyards are certainly what draw you to Cedar Ridge, but don’t overlook the pizza. The menu is filled with traditional Italian choices like the Margherita but strays toward adventure with the creative Butternut squash pie. Any of the selections pair well with the wine produced from the vineyards. Be sure to visit on Wednesday’s when the wood-fired pizza is buy-one-get-one-half-off.

Mesa Pizza

114 E Washington St, Iowa City

Mesa is a well-known establishment, particularly amongst Iowa City’s undergraduate set. In the heart of downtown and open late hours, it is a favorite of the party crowd and the last stop for many after a long night of bar crawling. The sparse seating provides plenty of standing room for clamoring patrons. The restaurant walls are graffitied with strange purple and green worms, almost like aliens and the whole space feels somewhat industrial, like you’d expect a cool band to be playing there. But instead of a stage at the back, there’s a counter and the pizza kitchen. Mesa dreams up many different flavor combinations in both vegetarian and meat-lover varieties including taco pizza, burger and fries pizza, and of course their famous mac and cheese pizza. The slices are large and generously covered in toppings, but there always seems to be room for just one more.

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Wedge Pizza, Iowa City

Wedge Pizza

517 S Riverside Dr, Iowa City

Even if you haven’t stopped by the Wedge Pizzeria along Riverside, you may have eaten their pizza. Slices are sold at select university locations, including the café in Art Building West. The inside of Wedge is small, but cheery, with its spinning racks of fresh pizza and deep-purple painted counters. It boasts large, hefty slices decorated with toppings, and has an extensive vegetarian selection such as “the Wedgetable Garden.” Other slices include Pesto Shrimp, the Genghis Chickhan, and Tootie Frootie—a pizza slice covered in mandarin orange slices as well as pineapple and Canadian bacon. The Wedge’s selection of slices is rotating––just another reason to stop by frequently. If you’re in the market for a whole pie, the Wedge does that too.

Top pizza bets:

  • Lincoln Winebar
  • Maggie’s Farm Pizza
  • Flight
  • Basta Ristorante
  • Need Pizza
  • Red Vespa
  • Wig and Pen
  • Falbo’s
  • Tomaso’s Pizza
  • Zoey’s Pizzeria
  • Monica’s
  • Leonardo’s
  • Cappy’s
  • Ruby’s


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