Taking a bite of Brick Oven pizza is like taking a bite of BYU history.
According to its website, Brick Oven cites more than 50 years of business and a claim to being one of the first pizza parlors in Utah. Located on the southwest corner of campus, the original Stadium Lunch cafe converted to pizza in 1956. A contest determined the original name Heaps A Pizza. Many patrons still refer to the restaurant as Heaps Brick Oven. The restaurant has evolved through red checkered tablecloths and juke boxes at each booth to the larger, modern version and the name Brick Oven. The menu has evolved as well, adding pizza selections such as “gourmet chicken alfredo” and “gluten-free” to the traditional pizza fare. The restaurant has a take-out delivery location in Orem and restaurants in Layton and St. George. A mid-October opening is set for the newest location in South Jordan.
Through years of change, one thing has remained constant: Brick Oven’s longstanding tradition with BYU. A favorite with students, the restaurant has become a place of nostalgia where alumni bring their children and grandchildren.
Christina Craven, a senior from Orem, majoring in athletic training, said she has been going to Brick Oven with her family for as long as she can remember. She said it’s a birthday tradition to visit the favorite restaurant of the birthday person.
“Usually, I pick Brick Oven,” Craven said. “The environment is really fun and inviting.”
Brick Oven is a popular spot with BYU students, but it’s not the only pizza game in town. Pizzeria 712, located at 320 S. State in Orem, relies on fresh ingredients from local farmers and a wood-fired oven to set it apart.
“We are the only place in town with a wood-fired oven, that I know of,” said Colton Soelberg, co-owner of the restaurant with Joseph McRae, who attended BYU.
The restaurant is named Pizzeria712 in reference to the oven which is heated to the perfect temperature of 712 degrees. Soelberg said this allows the pizza to cook quickly with a little bit of char from the wood.
Logan Wilkes, a 2009 graduate of BYU and self-proclaimed pizza connoisseur, is a fan of Pizzeria712 when he’s with a date or in the mood for an upscale, Italian-style pizza.
For Wilkes, deciding where to go for pizza depends on who he is with and what kind of mood he is in.
“When I’m with my buddies and I want a good, greasy pizza, Two Jack’s is the only way to go,” Wilkes said.
Two Jack’s Pizza recently opened at 80 West Center in Provo, in addition to established locations in Springville and Spanish Fork.
Another favorite of Wilkes’ is Malawi’s Pizza, located in The Shops at the Riverwoods, 4801 N. University Avenue in Provo. He describes Malawi’s as a good, fun atmosphere that offers a lot of choice for a reasonable price.
“Their dessert pizzas are out of this world,” Wilkes said.