PEPPERONI FALLS, Mozzarella County — We are a society fueled on pizza. It's confirmed science fact (and not at all something I made up) that 53.6 percent of all calories consumed in the United States are derived from some style of pizza, whether New York, Chicago, Boston, or the newer and more ambiguous California.
You're probably eating pizza right now. Look down. Do you have pizza in your hand? Exactly. Sometimes you're eating it even when you didn't think you were eating it. That's how much we love pizza.
That means it's of vital importance to you, as a discerning consumer of doughy, saucy, cheesy flatness, to know which pizzerias provide the perfect pie and which are mere imitators of the food of the gods.
As such, below is a definitive list of five of the best pizza joints in the land of Deseret, from the cheapest $5 pizza missile launched directly into your mouth, to the high-end experimental pies that you'll need only the fanciest of pants to consume. The study was conducted scientifically, using technology, specifically asking people on Facebook and Twitter what they thought.
Here are the results.
Nick Jr. is not just a network for children's television. It is also the name of perhaps Utah's greatest pizza scientist, Nicola DellaCioppa Jr. who brought his "Boston Italian" style pizza with him all the way from Arlington, Mass. in 2005, along with the accent to prove it. Since then, Nicolitalia has spread its deliciousness all around Provo. Also note that the dough and tomato sauce are vegan, meaning that those who chose not to partake of the flesh, ovum or milk of an animal need not fear lack of proper pizza nutrition.
Some of the best pies? The Mark Anthony, the Italian Stallion and the Tuscany. Also, the cannoli are legendary. Don't ask Nick to make the Lugano though. He doesn't make that pizza anymore. It's...hard to explain.
The Pie and The Pie Hole (not to be confused) — Salt Lake City
The Pie is an institution in Salt Lake with a long history and a location that couldn't be closer to the University of Utah campus without installing ovens in the classrooms. That means the students who study at the U. walk a way with a degree and a three-pie-a-week habit to deal with. On the upside, this pizza is known to improve grades 3 to 6 percent on average. Try the Greek and the Chicken Ranch for especially large improvements.
However, whatever you do, don't mistake The Pie for The Pie Hole, an institution of equal quality and utterly sublime business hours. Sometimes you need pizza at 2 a.m. to prevent the delirium tremens from setting in (an often-ignored side-effect of lack of pizza). It happens to the best of us. Fear not, The Pie Hole will sustain you through that late-night craving. Not only is their pizza exceptional, sold by the slice and cheap, it's also available till 2 a.m. on weekdays and 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday. The only downside, if you can even call this a downside, is the fact that whole pies only come in the 19-inch size. Again, not really a downside. Especially good at fighting withdrawals? The Potato & Bacon and the Bird Dog.
How do you feel about suits, Italian card games and menus so pricey that they don't actually put the price on it? If your answer to any and or all of these questions is "I feel like they're awesome," then SetteBello could be the place for you to grab a pizza for one. They're fired in a wood-burning stove and made with ingredients of only the finest of the fine things that fine people like, such as flour from Italy, also tomatoes from Italy, and indeed Italian cheese — from Italy. The salami's from California, though, but still really, really good.
Don your monocle and try the Pizza Carbonara, the Vico or the Filetto.
If you find yourself down in Cedar City, either visiting or living, Centro Pizzeria has you covered for some quality 'za (the definitely cool slang that young people use for pizza these days). These are cooked in a wood-burning oven, priced in the middle range, and made for one. The folks at Centro treat their pizza like a work of art, each one a unique little snowflake of yeasty dough topped with the dew of cheese and happiness. Their latest concoction? A fig and prosciutto masterpiece.
There's also apparently a person who was literally brought to tears, weeping for joy at the taste of their Nutella desert. So probably try that. In addition, Pizza Arugla and Fennel Sausage pie look like a winning bet.