There are quite a few dining options both on campus and downtown. Here are some of the more outstanding dining options with locations near the U, which factor in not only the affordability and quality of the food, but also the experience that comes along with the meal.

The Pie Pizzeria

1320 E 200 S

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Greatly regarded as the best pizza in the state, The Pie is in a prime location for U students. It is important to note that there is a second location in Salt Lake that is located on 1300 East and only offers carryout and delivery options, though there are some tables right outside if you want to enjoy your carryout order there.

The location every new U student will want to check out, however, is the underground restaurant on 200 South. Next to UGURT and the University Pharmacy, it can be easy to overlook The Pie’s less obvious venue, but you’ll be missing out if you do.

The staircase right next to the pharmacy leads you down to a wide variety of signature pizzas like the Chicken Ranch and Buffalo Chicken pizzas (both starting at $13.99) as well as a few versions of an entirely original creation called Pull-a-Parts. Think a combination of cheese bread and pizza, these dishes come with two delicious dipping sauces. For those looking for an extra kick to their meal, ask for Apocalypdough. This hotter crust is sure to satisfy your palate. As far as drinks go, customers can choose from a wide range of beers and even root beer on tap.

The most memorable aspect of this place, aside from its tasty food and drink options, is its environment. Filled with brick walls covered in endless layers of graffiti, which any customer is welcome to add to. There is a webcam set up to capture late night eating and a few TVs set to sports channels, The Pie is an affordable and unforgettable experience.

B&D Burgers

222 S 1300 E

Ready to enjoy a good throwback? B&D Burgers can supply it. Located just two minutes away by foot from President’s Circle, B&D has the look of a vintage diner with food that doesn’t disappoint. While the diner does offer delicious gyros and fries, its vast burger selection is where they really shine. The Mushroom Burger ($4.89), for example, layered with swiss cheese and topped with a mound of mushrooms, is sure to satisfy with every bite. B&D also offers a variety of sides, ranging from onion rings to zucchini fries (both $2.99).

Make sure to take advantage of the outside sitting area on hot summer days as you cool down with one of their top rate milkshakes. The diner easily offers the largest amount of flavors in the vicinity, including a cheesecake and an Oreo milkshake (both $3.99), which come well recommended.

Whether you’re looking for food to carry out, or a good time with friends, B&D comes through. The best part is, most meals won’t surpass the $10 threshold.

Rye Diner & Drinks

239 S 500 E

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This one is a little farther away than the rest, but the drive — or even walk — is well worth it. Walking in you know you’re somewhere unique, with a menu comprised of fusions of Asian dishes mixed with a little American flair. Their popular Breakfast Bowl ($12) includes rice, pork belly and house made kimchi, a traditional vegetable Korean dish. They also have an alternate bowl that includes Peking duck. For brunch, their Waffle & Whiskey ($9), with an added topping of fried chicken ($5), is one of their most popular dishes.

A modern look, plus the restaurant’s quick and attentive service, further creates an atmosphere well suited to college students. Sadly, it only serves breakfast, brunch and lunch so be sure to plan accordingly.

Big Ed’s

210 University St. E

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If you’re looking for an affordable place that has quality food, Big Ed’s is the place for you. It’s conveniently located across President’s Circle, right by a UTA bus stop.

The place itself is small, but if you’re lucky enough to find a free table, it offers a relaxing and cozy environment. It’s famous for its $4 cheeseburger and fries. That’s right…only $4.

Another great lunch or dinner option is their warm chicken tenders which, with their great quality and delicious honey mustard dip, add up to a classic American taste. The breakfast is also cheap and comes with plenty to fill you up. For those over 21, there’s also a bar seating area and many beers on tap.

Tucci’s Cucina Italiana

515 S 700 E #1D

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Tucci’s is also not too far off campus. It’s even near Trolley TRAX station.

Tucci’s offers Italian comfort food in a casual setting. The restaurant starts meals off right by serving you freshly baked bread which easily rivals that of any other Italian restaurant. Its appetizer platter—Piatto Combinazione ($14.99) — includes portions of their delightful calamari, bruschetta and flavorful artichoke dip. For entrées, diners can choose from a classic spaghetti and meatballs dish ($14.99) — or select from more diverse options, such as the Lasagna Originale ($14.99), smothered in cheese and perfect for any fan of extra cheesy lasagna. You would have a hard time going wrong with any of these meals, since all of their pastas provide the feeling of a home cooked meal. The desert menu includes many outstanding options, like the tiramisu — Pappa Tucci’s Tiramisu ($6.49) that ranks among the best in Salt Lake City.

Tuccis’ plates can easily be shared and the setting makes it a good destination for any date or even a simpler hangout spot with friends. The restaurant offers many seating choices and has an outdoor deck for any spring, summer or fall evening and features a bar at its center. The service is great, making this a place you’ll feel welcome to enter every time you visit. It is pricier than some of the other listed options, but their plates can be shared which can help make up for the extra cost.

Bonus: Red Robin Gourmet Burgers

1313 Foothill Drive

Pro tip: Red Robin Gourmet Burgers offers a 15 percent discount when you show the server your Ucard.

j.negrette@dailyutahchronicle.com

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