America’s Favorite Pizza Chains
Back in November, we opened a poll asking you to vote for your favorite pizza chains in America. More than 100 chains were considered, from the largest international chains to the smallest regional ones, and in total 1,239 of you chimed in. Only five votes separated our first- and second-place winners, so read on to learn which pizza chain is America’s favorite.
As anyone who’s ever attempted to make his or her own pizza can attest, it’s a lot harder than it looks to turn out a decent pie; it involves much more than just cheese and sauce on bread. Successful chains have it down to a science. Some pride themselves on still making each pie by hand, a hundred percent of the time. Others turn out a vast quantity of pizzas daily with the help of high-tech machinery. At the end of the day, though, everyone has preferences.
What exactly did our voters look for in determining their favorites? We asked them to vote not just for chains they’ve been to, but for those they truly respect. They were told to take into account the freshness of the product, service, convenience, menu diversity, deliciousness of the product, and overall experience. Some voted based on a loyalty to local chains while others preferred the big guys.
Note that we’re not identifying these chains as America’s best. Because this was a simple tally, it’s simply a ranking of America’s favorites. If we were to rank the best, we’d judge the pizzas on the freshness and quality of ingredients, the care put into making each pie, the ambiance and atmosphere of each restaurant, menu variety, and whether the pizzas are made in an actual pizza oven. If it were up to us, our top five chains would most likely be (not necessarily in this order) Bertucci’s, Lou Malnati’s, Sbarro, California Pizza Kitchen, and Round Table.
Related: 101 Best Pizzas in America
So from household names like Little Caesars to small regional favorites like Monical’s and Buddy’s, you, the people have spoken, and these are your favorite pizza chains.
#35 Pizza King
This family-owned Indiana chain is a certifiable cult favorite in its native state, where there are nearly 100 locations. Square-cut pizzas are loaded with toppings edge-to-edge, and other favorites include pretzel bread sticks, roasted beef and cheese sandwiches, and “sausage boats,” sandwiches with sausage, cheese, onions, green peppers, and homemade sauce.
#34 Imo’s Pizza
A St. Louis tradition founded in 1964 with more than 90 locations in Missouri, Illinois, and Kansas, Imo’s is known for its St. Louis-style pizza, which is thin-crust, round but sliced into squares, and topped with provel cheese, a gooey combination of Cheddar, Swiss, and provolone. Appetizers include provel cheese bites and toasted ravioli, another regional specialty.