Every Yalie has heard of the legendary Pepe’s and Sally’s, but the truth is that when Yalies are hungry for pizza, most simply cannot muster enough motivation to get in a car and drive to these favorite spots for a moment’s craving. Instead, many students opt for places that are within walking distance. Eight volunteers — Alex Gamboa, Dave Gimbel, Derek Goeriz, Mike Murphy, Stacy Sher, Erika Shumate and Catherine Stewart — opened their mouths and stomachs to determine the best cheese pizza within steps from their entryways.

Note: The taste-testers did not know where each pizza was from until the end of the contest.

Est, Est, Est

Cost: $9 for a large, $1.50 for a slice.

Hours: 10-1 a.m. on weekdays; 11-3 a.m. on weekends.

Dave: “I’m not sure how I feel about it — I would buy this if I were drunk.”

Catherine: “I kind of like the spices on it.”

Stacy: “This one is good.”

General consensus: A definite pleaser.


Cost: $10.72 for a large, $1.75 for a slice.

Hours: 11 to 1:30 a.m. Sat-Wed; open until 2 a.m. on Thursday and 3 a.m. on Friday.

Dave: “On presentation alone, that one wins.”

Derek: “I like the crust on this one, but I’m not diggin’ it so much.”

Alex: “This one’s way too cheesy.”

Stacy: “The grease is a downfall.”

Mike: “I like this one better [than the one from Est, Est, Est]. There’s more to it.”

General consensus: Too greasy.


Cost: $7 for a small, doesn’t sell slices or large pies.

Hours: 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. or 12 a.m. on weekdays; 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. or 12 a.m. on weekends.

Derek: “It’s awful.”

Dave: “I like the blackness to it.”

Alex: “It’s definitely got some funk to it.”

General consensus: Tasty, but tiny.


Cost: $8.75 for a large, $1.50 for a slice.

Hours: 24/7.

Stacy: “It looks the best out of all of them.”

Dave: “It’s like cheesy bread.”

Erica: “This one’s a little bland.”

General consensus: Presentation — build-up; taste — letdown.

Brick Oven

Cost: $10.75 for a large, $1.50 for a slice.

Hours: 11 to 3 a.m., 7 days a week.

Alex: “Yeah, wow.”

Dave: “I’d buy this one sober. For me it blew away the competition.”

Michael: “I just don’t like eating paper.”

General consensus: Thin and delicious.

When it came time to vote, Est Est Est and Brick Oven emerged as clear winners. Though everyone acknowledged that Sally’s and Pepe’s are still superior, they all lauded the convenience of being able to grab a slice at Est Est Est between classes or at Yorkside post-Toad’s.

— Brooke Fitzgerald,

photos by Roger Eduardo