Each year, over 8,000 students call the city of Stevens Point home for roughly nine months. Likewise, as college students are often stereotyped as vivacious eating machines, it is not surprising that our fine town boasts a large number of local restaurants that are affordable, convenient, and satisfying.
1. Polito’s Pizza
Location: 960 Main Street
In 2007 Kevin Polito, a Stevens Point Area Senior High School graduate, introduced Polito’s Pizza to the Stevens Point Main Street. Since then, it has become one of the most well known eateries in the area.
“It’s been non-stop,” Polito told local press shortly after the restaurant’s opening. “Lunches are busy, dinners are busy and late nights are crazy.”
Polito attributes his success to the varieties of pizza the restaurant offers and has, in recent years, been able to open three more restaurants in Wisconsin.
“It’s quick, it’s a good price, and the pizza is different than anywhere else,” Polito said. “We have probably 200 different kinds of pizzas. Not that they’re all available at one time, but we have that many different recipes.”
Zach Dockum, a University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point senior and long time Polito’s customer, agrees.
“There’s nowhere else in town where you can get macaroni and cheese, buffalo sauce, or nachos on your pizza,” Dockum said.
2. Bill’s Pizza
Loction: 1101 Main Street
Still, if a more nostalgic dining experience is what you seek, you may be better off visiting Bill’s Pizza. Since first opening its doors over 50 years ago, this restaurant has been known for its thin crust pizza
and tip-top delivery service, which impressively caters to those well beyond the borders of Stevens Point.
Keith Berg, the manager of Bill’s Pizza, believes that this long-time dedication to the area is what sets Bill’s Pizza above its competitors.
“ We’ve been around for fifty- some years, and I have alumni that come back that were here 40 years ago telling me that it was the same then, so you know that everything you eat here 30 years from now will be the same too,” Berg said.
3. Father Fats Public House
Location: 945 Clark Street
It would seem that UWSP students also have their own opinions as to which local eatery reigns supreme.
For Andy Hesse, also a senior, the answer is undoubtedly Father Fats Public House, a slightly more upscale establishment whose constantly shifting menu offers a unique dining experience to visitors.
“The idea is to try as many different foods as you can in one simple dining experience. You don’t need to go to a place several times to try a bunch of different things, instead you can do it all day,” Hesse said. “Plus, the menu changes every day, so even if you’ve been there before the menu will probably be completely different.”
Hesse additionally went on to explain to prospective customers that the lettuce wraps were must-haves.
“No matter what you do, before you even look at the menu, the very first thing you need to do is order lettuce wraps. They’re on every single menu, they’ve been there from the start, and it is essential that you do that, because then it will get you warmed up and ready to order several things off the menu and enjoy the actual experience,” Hesse said.
4. Belts’ Soft Serve
Location: 2140 Division Street
Then again, if consistency is what you seek, you may be better of heading to Belts’ Soft Serve. For decades, Belts’ has brought tremendously large servings of homemade soft serve to the good people of Stevens Point for extremely reasonable prices, and has become a staple amongst the local community.
Harper McCauley, a UWSP junior, enjoys visiting Belts’ because it is convenient, inexpensive, and above all else, tasty.
“I like that it’s in walking distance, and I like that I can afford it,” McCauley said. “I enjoy ‘The Pointer’ with chocolate ice cream, because it’s got cookie dough and brownie in it and it’s delicious.”