A guide to late night eats, both cheap and classy

Imagine yourself out on a heavy night at the bars. You’re having a great time, you’ve got three phone numbers in your pocket, and you’re too far gone to care that two of them begin with “555.” You’re ordering beer number, umm, a lot, when tragedy strikes: The taps have stopped flowing. Apparently the bar has to “close” because they want to keep their precious “liquor licence.” On your way out the door, you resist the urge to yell “I’ll lick your licence!” at the bouncer because the concussion you’d earn would poorly complement your hangover tomorrow.

So there you are, drunk and outdoors. It’s dark and refreshingly cold out, and there is only one thought on your stomach: "Man, I could sure go for some pizza right now." The eight dollars of change you have left from buying drinks is weighing heavily on your pants, just as the question of which pizza place to hit is weighing heavily on what remains of your mind.

Of course, by this time you’ll be in no state to make an informed purchase, which brings us to the point of this article. The field of late-night pizza vendors has been pared down to three worthy contenders. All three are within stumbling distance of bars (and still open when the bars let out), they all serve gargantuan portions, and when you’ve been drinking heavily they will all seem reasonably priced (drunk people just plain suck at math; buying pizza by the slice is clearly not a winning proposition.)

CPU (Canadian Pizza Unlimited)

Stephen Avenue Mall

There are a lot of letters in that name, so the sign, which is close-captioned for the judgement impaired, simply reads "CPU" in large letters. This is a gold mine of material for drunken witticisms ("See? Pee!", "PU!", and many other variations) which earns CPU a bonus thumb up. The premises are small but clean, and the pizza is good. Definitely the place to grab a slice if you’re drinking on Stephen Avenue, CPU is located two doors down from the Palace, in the opposite direction of Bernie the hot-dog guy.

Note to drunks: the sign on Bernie’s cart saying he can be bribed is absolutely true.

Available Fixings: Hot sauce, parmesan and chili shakers

Slice Price: 2 loonies and 3 quarters

Drunk thumbs up: 4 out of 5

B&E Grocery

First Street

Located in the middle of the strip on First Street, the Bïœ|E, which probably doesn’t get many break and enter’s these days, thanks to the bars on the windows, is apparently a grocery store, although I’ve never seen anyone buying anything but pizza slices or cigarettes there. The owner, Shaq, has been called the "Godfather of First Street" in some low-circulation rags, and there is an innate appeal to a store named after a type of robbery when said store usually has a police cruiser within 20 feet of the door. High marks for irony, and the pizza is almost as good as the Hop-In-Brew’s, albeit served much later.

Hell, it must be good, because it’s survived despite being in between two other pizza joints on the same block.

Available Fixings: Hot sauce, parmesan and chili shakers

Slice Price: 2 loonies and 2 quarters

Drunk thumbs up: 4.5 out of 5

The Wicked Wedge

17th Avenue

You don’t have to be drunk to enjoy pizza from the Wicked Wedge, one block west of the Ship and Anchor, but it doesn’t hurt. While chintzy drunks might balk at shelling out nearly four bucks for something you’re probably going to throw up in 20 minutes anyways, you do get what you pay for. Besides, if your purse-strings are tighter than your bar clothes, what are you doing on 17th?

The Wedge is perhaps the best pizza place in the city during the day, and they make their pizzas fresh all night, so it’s one less thing to regret the next day. They also have great hot sauce.

Actual atmosphere, stools, a real table, cool flavour names (I recommend the Chief Wiggum), and a discount for Friends of CJSW are just the icing on the cake.

Available fixings: Hot sauce, parmesan and chili shakers, honey

Slice Price: 3 loonies and 3 quarters

Drunk thumbs up: 6 out of 5

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