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Create your own pizza at Azzip Pizza

This past weekend, I decided to venture out to campus while the students were still away to check out Azzip Pizza. I have seen Azzip Pizza featured on delivery websites such as Grub Hub and Order Up, but had yet to visit their location or try their pizza.  Azzip Pizza is known for their create-your-own style of pizzas, and with a big variety of toppings and sauces, you can truly make the personal sized pizzas your own.  

Though my boyfriend and I both love pizza and probably eat it at least once a week, we do not like the same toppings. He is picky about what toppings he can have on his pizza, while I can eat anything and everything on my pizza and usually want to order it that way. I thought Azzip Pizza would be the perfect place to settle our differences in toppings and create our own personal pizzas.

We arrived around 1p.m. on a Sunday afternoon and the place was pretty empty. There were only two other people enjoying pizza when we arrived, quietly munching with their phones out, playing Pokémon Go. I figured this was because it was the slower summer season where there are fewer customers than usual. We went up to the counter and were greeted by two friendly employees who helped explain the ordering process. One of the employees told us that Azzip Pizza is basically like making your own sandwich at Subway, but with pizza instead!

For our pizzas, we had the option of choosing between an 8” Little Zip for $6, or an 11” Big Zip for $7.50. These pizzas both include one meat, a sauce or two, and an unlimited amount of veggies. For me, who likes everything on my pizza, this was a dream come true. I ordered a Big Zip pizza with garlic butter sauce, pepperoni, and almost all of the veggies that were available for my choosing. I added spinach, green peppers, red onions, baby Portobello mushrooms, artisan olives, roma tomatoes, chopped garlic, and a hot pepper blend that was similar to Giardiniera. I wasn’t lying when I said I liked my toppings! My boyfriend ordered a Big Zip with Italian Red and Buffalo sauces (you can mix and match!), pepperoni, spinach, olives, garlic and had blue cheese sprinkled on top for $1extra.

The pizzas were then placed on this oven with a roller that slowly took our pizzas to the other side, fully cooked and ready to be eaten. While we were waiting for our pizzas to cook, more hungry patrons came into the restaurant ready to order. The pizzas were done in less than 3 minutes, and the employeess took our pizzas fresh off the rolling oven, sliced them up and put them on pizza pans with parchment paper for us.

At check out, we were told about an app called Hooked that offers deals on food and drinks on college campuses. The deal of the day was buy two pizzas and get the third for free. We did not eat this third pizza but instead gave it to a stranger that we passed on the street who seemed to be more in need of some free pizza than we were.

There was seating available outside, but since it was so hot and humid that day, we decided to stay inside and got chairs that were facing the window looking out on to Green Street. Our pizzas smelled so good that I could barely wait to sit down to try it.

The first thing I noticed with the first bite of my pizza was how much I liked the crust. It was airy and light, but also had just the right amount of crisp to it. I’m sure any fan of thin crust pizza would enjoy it as much as I did. The garlic butter sauce was also astounding. I am used to most pizza restaurants having the standard marinara sauce, so the surprise of biting into a pizza with something different gave my taste buds a welcomed wake up call. The heaping amount of toppings used on my pizza were not overwhelming and managed to stay on my pizza slices rather well. The veggies that were used were fresh and delicious. The green peppers and red onions in particular had a crunch that proved they were fresh and cut fairly recently. When picking out my toppings, I was afraid that the fresh garlic cloves may be a bit too overpowering, but when tasting the pizza I was relieved that I was wrong. They complimented the garlic butter sauce very well. I was also surprised by how much I loved the hot pepper blend on my pizza. It gave a certain spice to my pizza that I enjoyed.

My first time trying Azzip Pizza was a success. The Big Zip pizza was a little too big for me to finish. I think next time I would order a Little Zip and it would be the perfect amount of food for me. I will definitely be eating pizza from Azzip Pizza again in the future. If you like everything on your pizza and want unlimited veggie toppings available for your choosing at no cost, then this is the place for you. Or if you are more picky with your toppings and know exactly what you want, then Azzip Pizza is also for you!  

Azzip Pizza is located on campus at 505 E. Green Street, Champaign, and is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the summer. Regular hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and 11 a.m. to midnight Thursday through Saturday. Azzip Pizza can also be ordered for delivery online from GrubHub and Order Up.

All photos taken by Brittany Busboom.

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