A Gumby’s specialty pizza, The Stoner Pie, sits in a to-go box April 18. The Stoner Pie is topped with pepperoni, bacon, mozzarella sticks, french fries, cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese.

Jordan Kodner/Senior Staff Photographer

A slice of Pizza Tree’s sausage pizza sits on a plate at their storefront in downtown Columbia on April 18.

Jordan Kodner/Senior Staff Photographer

One of Shakespeare’s classic lunch slices, a sausage pizza slice, sits on the outdoor patio at their temporary location on Eighth Street in downtown Columbia on April 18.

Jordan Kodner/Senior Staff Photographer

Gumby’s tops the ranking of CoMo’s most glorious pies

It’s time to settle the great debate once and for all.

By Amanda Battmer | April 19, 2016

Tags: Food Fight 2016

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It’s no secret that Columbia is home to a plethora of widely adored pizza options. From the notorious Shakespeare’s to the laymen’s Domino’s, picking a number to dial when craving a late night bite to eat can be a bit overwhelming.

MOVE ranked the most popular pie stops to put an end to your pizza decision-making turmoil, because it’s time to invest in a greater tomorrow (one of delicious leftover pizza).

3. Pizza Tree

Coming in at a respectable third place is the quaint and beloved Pizza Tree. This slice stop opened in 2014 on Cherry Street and has served fun, interesting pies to the people of Columbia ever since. Some of their most interesting flavors include loaded baked potato, reuben and philly cheese steak.

Pizza by the slice and by the pie are available daily through dine-in, carryout and delivery. What’s great about this place is it’s fun; the menu is ever-changing with inventive new flavors, and the art decorating the shop’s walls is enough to give Pizza Tree the title of CoMo’s cutest pizza parlor. But, like we’ve learned in every romantic comedy ever created, looks aren’t everything.

Picture this: You walk up to the cash register and place your order. You get one slice of secret margherita and one of the classic pepperoni — two true beauties. Your order comes out steaming on a paper plate and you’re more than ready to take your first bite. But wait? Where will you sit? The shop is so small that any pre-concert dinner rush will turn your walk-in order to carry out.

The pizza is good, but it leaves you wanting more (and not in a good way). If the best part of your slice is the pepperoni, there’s room for improvement.

Be honest, is this what your pizza dreams are really made of?

2. Shakespeare’s Pizza

Don’t deny your tastebuds the truth. Shakespeare’s has been voted winner of the “Best Bites: College Edition” on Good Morning America. It’s worked its way into the heart of Columbia and has become the town’s model pizza restaurant. It has three locations and has even reached beyond its (temporary) home on Eighth Street with its frozen pies. Shakespeare’s captures the essence of MU, and yeah, the pizza is pretty good. But is it the best?

If you don’t find the flavor that really speaks to you, the pie here isn’t necessarily best-in-the-nation worthy. Sure, the hand-tossed dough and fresh toppings are hard to compete with. What really makes this a restaurant to remember, though, isn’t the pizza itself but the atmosphere.

Shakespeare’s will almost always have a long wait, since a lot of hype leads to a lot of customers. The pizza-hungry crowds and prime location between the columns and downtown produce the obvious college-town vibe. That and a slice of “The Masterpiece” is enough to keep any customer coming back for more.

1. Gumby’s Pizza

It’s all in the crust. What sets this pizza joint above them all is the perfectly bready-dough and, honestly, the cheaper prices. The restaurant has two locations in Columbia, the closest to campus being their spot on E. Broadway.

Gumby’s claim to fame is likely their “Stoner Pie,” a cheese pizza topped with pepperoni, bacon, mozzarella sticks and french fries (if you get this, just make sure you’re really stoned). The menu is bigger and includes “Pokey Stix” (garlic cheese bread), calzones, pepperoni rolls and wings.

The restaurant itself is nice, and like many other pizza spots in CoMo, it has some pretty fun artwork. This pie is perfect for delivery, too, and there are loads of weekly deals perfect for students. Midweek madness (buy a medium cheese pizza, get one free) on Wednesdays and 75-cent wings on Thursdays are just a couple of their drool-worthy specials.

Plus, their cheese is perfectly melted. I’d stop the world and melt with you, Gumby’s.

Who doesn’t love a good pizza? A great pie can turn a sad night of studying into a full-blown party. Although CoMo has a ton of pizza places to choose from, after a tough battle, Gumby’s took a pizza my heart. Their crust, their unique pizza toppings and their distinctive restaurant vibes makes Gumby’s my one true love, even if that’s a little cheesy.

Edited by Katherine Rosso | krosso@themaneater.com

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