Chapel Hill-Carrboro Pizza Places: Reviewed

IP3

by Niya Fearrington

As teenagers, we are always looking for something fun and cheap to do with friends. My personal favorite is getting pizza. The best pizza restaurant is the famous Italian Pizzeria III, otherwise known as IP3.

Location: The restaurant is located on the west side of Franklin Street, so it’s easily accessible to most CHS stu-
dents.

Price: Being highschool students, most of us don’t have a steady income, so price is very important when deciding where to hang out. The prices at IP3 are very affordable, with two slices of cheese pizza and a drink costing only$5. What a steal!

Value: You might think, just two slices? However, the size of each slice is out of this world! One slice of pizza is bigger than my entire hand. Imagine… two ginormous slices of pizza, not to mention the fifteen topping options. All with endless refills of your favorite Pepsi products, lemonade or homemade sweet tea, and the small ice cubes seem to make the drink taste better, especially for all the ice chewers.

Variety: Now, don’t get attached to the pizza because this Italian pizzeria  offers way more than just that. They serve everything from illustrious Italian pasta dishes like manicotti to more American cuisine like cheeseburgers. Other options include a variety of sandwiches and salads to hold you over if you’re not too hungry.

Time: You will never have to wait more than ten minutes for lunch or twenty minutes for dinner on a busy day. As a senior, one of my favorite things to do is to call ahead and request my order. By the time I arrive my food is being packaged up. With a 50 minute lunch period, this gives IP3 an advantage over other local lunch spots.

Vibe: Great pizza and great prices mean nothing if the vibe is off. The walls at IP3 are plastered with photos of UNC alumni, aerial looks of Franklin Street and images from one of the most important nights of the year: the UNC v. Duke basketball game. This lets you know that you’ve set foot in a Chapel Hill favorite.

On both sides of the entrance two TVs constantly air athletic games, making it a great place for you and your family to enjoy dinner while watching your favorite sports team. On top of all this, the employees complete the experience. Brothers Angelo and Vincenzo Marrone have run IP3 since 1980, making the atmosphere like that of a true family.

Overall: IP3 is a place for the people. Hot pizza, loaded with cheese to perfection, at a reasonable price sounds too good to be true. And if you’re not in the mood for pizza, there’s a plethora of other food options. If you haven’t had an opportunity to eat at this wonderful spot, you should really stop by.

Pizzeria Mercato

by Lily Ervin

Price: The price for each pizza varies, from $13 to $17 for a whole pizza: a bit pricier than IP3. But if you go out with your friends, obviously you could split the cost. For a whole pizza, the price is pretty good, especially after you’ve tasted it.

Variety: Mercato has a nice variety for a pizza place, from pizzas to their salads, and drinks to desserts. If you are not in the mood for pizza, there are other options too. There is antipasti (the first course in an Italian meal), including pork belly and sausage and piatti, which is like lasagne. Unfortunately, you cannot purchase by the slice like at IP3, but you can  split one pizza between two people, so one slice at IP3 is about two slices at Mercato.

Mercato’s desserts are all so delicious and fancy. My personal favorite is the bodino, which is caramel and chocolate Italian
custard.

Vibe: Whether you’re walking in on a busy night or a chill afternoon, the vibe at Mercato is always fun. Going with friends or family, you’ll always feel welcome. The wait staff is super nice and friendly, typically what you see in the town of Carrboro. If you sit at the bar, you can watch and listen to the chefs making the pizzas in the ovens behind the counter. Or, sit by the window to see the people of Carrboro while enjoying your meal.

Wait time: Overall, the wait time is fairly short. During the day, Mercato is not as busy as at night, and the wait time is very short. At night, the restaurant is more crowded; it’s the only specialty pizza place in Carrboro, and it’s really good. But for a busy place, you will not have to wait longer than 25 minutes in my expe rience. You can always get a drink while you wait and stand or sit outside on a nice night.

Overall presentation: At Mercato, everything’s meant to impress. Right away your table gets a large glass pitcher of water, which is something I have always liked because I like to serve myself water when I need to.

Their menu is easy to read and not too long, so you don’t have to decide between so many choices. They have roughly ten choices of pizzas, and you could always add on more toppings. I am always very content with how my pizza looks and tastes. All the pizzas are adorned with toppings to make them look like a masterpiece, and the flavors match the presentation.