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By Trevor Hale, Red Pulse Editor

Pizza is a staple of every college student’s diet. In fact, some might even say it is one of the most important food group8212;if only because it’s cheap, easy and requires almost no energy whatsoever.

Students on campus and those who live nearby are lucky because they’ve got The Pie within walking distance. But for the rest of us stranded downtown, there’s no such thing as quality pizza. We’ve been stuck with Papa John’s, Little Caesars, 5 Buck Pizza and Big Daddy’s Pizza all competing for our money. Sure, they’re cheap at $5 a pie, but you get what you pay for. All we want is to be able to get a good hot pizza that hasn’t been sitting under a heat lamp for half an hour.

Finally, after almost a year of preparation, Este Pizzeria’s downtown location is open for business.

If the name sounds familiar, it’s because the Sugar House location was a local favorite for several years before an electrical fire burned it down in 2007. When it came time to rethink the game plan, owner Dave Heiblim and manager Brook Lund cooked up a plan that involved a new location in the heart of downtown. It’s been an uphill battle ever since, but Monday night8212;right around the time game five was called for rain8212;Este hosted a party for everyone to come by and check out the new place.

And what a place it is! It’s small, but has plenty of room for a comfortable dine-in experience. The big windows in front create a welcoming atmosphere, and the decor is spot on. The walls are lined with framed prints8212;mostly vintage film and concert posters8212;courtesy of Leia Bell’s gallery Signed & Numbered. It gives the place a quality not found in a lot of pizza joints.

The food itself is the main attraction and it does not disappoint. The kitchen staff has spent time perfecting the New York-style pizza so the thin crust and homemade, mostly organic toppings are spot on each time. If you’re not in the mood for pizza, don’t worry, Este also offers a variety of stromboli, calzones, garlic knots and even buffalo wings. The best part (for some anyway) is the option for a pizza with vegan cheese and meatballs. At long last, there’s a place downtown with good vegan pizza that doesn’t require three hours of waiting (coughSagescough).

There are a few rules of the house of Este one must abide by, though. One is that, as a die-hard New York-style joint, any Red Sox apparel must be removed out of respect. Sorry Boston fans, that’s just the nature of the beast. Another is there’s no ranch allowed for dipping and absolutely no pineapple toppings. Well, that’s not entirely true8212;pineapple just costs a little extra. It’s $49.99 because it’s imported but there’s also a $99.99 “corkage” fee. Aside from those two costs, the rest of the prices are very friendly8212;especially for students on a budget.

It’s been a long time coming, but the day has finally arrived when you can get good pizza downtown without having to sacrifice quality. The location is in a prime spot to hit on your way to The Gateway to see a movie or on your way to The Gallivan Center for summer concerts or ice-skating or Temple Square to see the soon-to-be-up Christmas lights. Just make sure you leave your Red Sox hat at home.

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Lucas Isley

Friends and family were invited to a private party at the new downtown location of Este Pizzeria to break in the new restaurant.

Lucas Isley

Lucas Isley

Lucas Isley

Brook Lund, new storeowner, and Dave Heiblim, franchise owner, get ready for the opening of the new Estes Pizzeria downtown.