Restaurant Review: 99 Cent Fresh Pizza

99 Cent Fresh pizza is your best friend. 99 Cent Fresh pizza will greet you in whatever condition: rain or shine, night and day. 99 Cent Fresh pizza is there for you coming home from a long day and 99 Cent Fresh pizza is there for you when you stumble in with only a dollar in your wallet. 99 Cent Fresh pizza is everywhere and open from morning until just before the sun rises. 99 Cent Fresh Pizza is God’s greatest creation and have I mentioned that 99 Cent Fresh pizza costs 99 cents?

Look, New York City is expensive. Coming from Texas where big portions are met with low prices, the fact of groceries and restaurants being more expensive than what I was used to gave me quite a headache. So, it was like magic in my freshman year walking down Second Avenue, and seeing it there—a place where pizza sells for only a dollar a slice. It felt heaven sent.

As I’ve mentioned before, 99 Cent Fresh Pizza and its competitors in the 99 cent pizza market are everywhere. Most are found in Manhattan, but they can be as far flung as the North Bronx and Flatbush. Because of the high rent and slim profit margins, they’re typically hidden gems, small hole-in-the-wall places squeezed into narrow spaces. However, the signs above are easy to catch, and most locations are smart enough to be on major avenues or near parks. For the purpose of the review, we’ll go to the first one I went to and the closest one to my apartment on Second Avenue and Fourth.

The place fits the typical M.O.: small, narrow, just enough room to order and get out as soon as the slices are handed to you. Despite its name, only the cheese slice will cost a dollar; the most expensive slice, the Buffalo Chicken slice, will cost a whopping two dollars. Toppings are 50 cents each and pies range from eight dollars to fifteen dollars, two bucks per additional topping. The math is astounding. Regular pizza, slice or pie, costs two to three times greater than what they’re serving, yet here it is, a whole meal for you in under ten dollars. Deals like buy two slices of cheese and a drink for $2.75 make it even more ridiculous to consider, yet tempting to buy.

I bought the $2.75 meal and the pizza tasted, well, cheap. What else do you expect? The cheese lacks character, the sauce is barely there, and the crust at times tastes a little too sweet; but all three components balanced out to provide a satisfying taste, and there’s no feeling of bloating or pizza sweat that comes with other places. It’s delicious, better than more expensive slices I’ve gotten in the City. And with the context of price in mind, how it turned out is a miracle of human ingenuity.

As time goes on, and rents rise and inflation rises, I fear that 99 Cent Fresh Pizza may have to change its branding in order to stay open. There will inevitably be a time when it becomes 149 Cent Fresh Pizza or heaven forbid 199 Cent Fresh Pizza. So, do yourself a favor, treat yourself to a New York City institution, and get some cheap good 99 cent pizza now.

Jared Skoro is a junior at NYU Gallatin studying a mix of English, Political Science, and Psychology. In his free time, he enjoys reading, hiking, and exploring a new neighborhood of the city every weekend.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.


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