The best, or at least most affordable, Ames Pizza on a student’s budget


Jake Miller/ Iowa State Daily

Jeff’s pizza making an appearance on Iowa State’s Central Campus for Homecoming Week on Nov. 7. 

Tanner Owens, T_Owens031

Of all the greasy, cheap food a college student consumes, pizza is the undisputed king of meals for a student who doesn’t feel like cooking or has spent the night enjoying Ames’ bountiful nightlife. One of the hardest decisions a student has to make in college is which place to order their pizza from.

Whether you’re a die-hard thin crust fan or can’t get enough stuffed crust meat-lover pizzas, Ames has a huge array of pizza joints to fit everyone’s taste. Below are some of the best pizzas you can get in Ames based on three different categories: taste, cost and convenience.

Jeff’s Pizza Shop

Serving up a unique menu of pizza pies, Jeff’s has been a staple of post-bar dining near Welch Avenue. Jeff’s specializes in New York-style slices and full pies. With a constantly-bustling storefront where pizza is sold by the slice, Jeff’s also offers delivery and whole pizzas to-go.

What Jeff’s lacks in outstanding flavor, it makes up for in sheer amount of food you get. The slices are as ooey and gooey as one can dream of and offer a sweet relief from the dreaded bubbly guts.

Little Caesars

There is no better deal financially in the realm of pizza than a Little Caesars $5 grab-and-go large pizza. With a crust that isn’t excessively seasoned or crunchy and an acceptable-tasting sauce, their pizza is great for students on a tight budget. Although there is only one location in Ames, Little Caesars’ deal just cannot be beaten.

Casey’s General Store

At risk of sounding blasphemous to fellow Iowans, Casey’s pizza receives a bronze medal for Ames pizza places. Although an Iowa staple, when compared to other nationwide chains, Casey’s falls short. But with an overwhelming amount of options for both breakfast and traditional pizzas, this gas station puts out a quality product almost every time.

West Ames, however, is largely out of luck in terms of delivery. The closest Casey’s to west Ames is located near Grand Avenue. This is extremely inconvenient for college students who live on the west side of town. On top of that, Casey’s is on the more expensive side of this list’s pizzas.

Papa John’s Pizza

The king. Papa John’s is the premier budget pizza spot in Ames. With two locations in town, this pizza place covers a huge amount of Ames for delivery, making it easily the most convenient spot. With a thick but soft crust that isn’t inundated with spices, as well as the famous garlic dipping sauce, Papa John’s easily takes the cake for best pizza for cheap in Ames.

Slap on deals such as the “ISUWINS” promotion and this place lands 10’s in every category.

Blaze Pizza

Blaze Pizza company skyrocketed to nationwide notoriety in 2012 when Lebron James became a major investor. Flash-forward to 2019 and Blaze now has over 300 locations across the globe. Blaze is hard to beat in quality for the price. Baked in a gargantuan open-flame oven, pizzas are finished cooking in around three minutes.

With a fast-food-like service setup called fast casual dining, Blaze offers a quick and easy system to building their pizzas. Being able to buy a substantially-sized pizza that can be made any way you like for $8.25 is a huge deal for college students on a budget.

This article does not reflect the views of the Iowa State Daily.