The Best Delivery Pizza, According to an Italian Chef
I tried 4 delivery pizzas—this is the one I’ll be ordering from now on.
It’s Friday night– the work week was long, the fridge is empty, and everyone’s hungry. Delivery pizza to the rescue! Nothing hits the spot like the perfect slice of gooey, greasy-in-a-good-way delivery pizza. But the disappointment of tasteless, cardboard-like pizza is enough to put you off delivery for months.
Which one is the pizza with the good crust? And where had that one with the really bad sauce that one time? Delivery pizza chains are similar in their offerings, so it can be hard to keep them straight and know which ones are really worth it. No one wants to waste their money on subpar pizza; we’re all on the eternal quest for the definitive best delivery pizza. So I put an entire bottle of Tums in a decorative dish on my kitchen table, invited over some friends, called every chain pizza place within delivery radius, and got to work.
Which Delivery Pizza Chain Has the Best Pizza?
Papa John's Original Cheese Pizza
This was the pizza I remember from childhood birthday parties and after soccer games. And like many nostalgic things from our adolescence, Papa John’s doesn’t hold up to my 2023 sensibilities. This pizza was so soft and extremely thick that it felt like half a loaf of Wonder bread in my mouth. It tasted super doughy, and the crust had a slight chemical tinge—almost like I could taste the whatever additives and dough conditioners it has to make it so thick and soft. The cheese was a letdown as well. It was thick and tough with a distinct artificial flavor and didn’t have that classic cheese pull texture. It did, however, come with that iconic garlic-flavored butter-style goop to dip crusts in, which absolutely tasted every bit as good as it did when I was a kid. This was the only slice I didn’t finish and the only pizza we threw away after the taste test.
Little Caesars Thin Crust Cheese Pizza
What stood out most about this pizza was the crust. It was cracker-thin and very crunchy. I’d say it was definitely too thin, but it was a nice reprieve from some of the overly fluffy crusts on other pies. The crust had an intense artificial butter flavor that made the pizza taste oddly like club crackers which, while weird, wasn’t entirely bad. After a few bites, though, the butter-flavored oil collected in a film on the roof of my mouth. Overall, it reminded me a lot of a very crisp tortilla pizza you might eat after school. The cheese was a thin layer that got nicely browned; towards the edges, making it taste a bit like a Cheez-it. The sauce was mostly unremarkable, with a few bites hinting at dried basil.
Pizza Hut Hand-Tossed Regular Cheese Pizza with Classic Marinara
The one thing that hindered this pizza was its extreme sweetness. The dough and sauce were both very sweet, which threw off the whole pie's balance. This pizza had the best cheese; it was gooey and stretchy and had the most bubbly browning. It was the only one that I bit into and thought the cheese was exceptionally flavorful. The sauce was overpoweringly sweet, but under all that, there was a slight herb flavor that gave the sauce much more dimension than Papa John’s or Little Caesars. If the crust had been less sweet, it would have been far and away the best crust on this list. The exterior was crisp with a good chew and excellent browning, giving it a deep, almost caramelized flavor. There was some extremely pleasant bubbling on the crust that gave it a slightly flakey texture when I bit into it. I would order this Pizza Hut pizza again, but it was my absolute favorite.
Domino's Hand-Tossed Cheese Pizza with Robust Inspired Tomato Sauce
This pie was the unanimous winner; there was even some bickering over the last piece. Unlike all of the other pizzas on this list, the sauce had big flavor. I was surprised at how savory it was; I felt like it had been simmering all day. There was a slight sweetness, but it was well balanced with a good amount of salt, some welcome herbs, and a slight tinge of heat that set it apart from the rest. This pizza had a major parmesan and garlic flavor. It seemed like the crust was dusted in some sort of buttery garlic, herb, and cheese blend, which, while annoying on my fingers, brought a lot of flavor to the party. The bottom of the pizza was also dusted with semolina which brought even more toasty flavor and a classic NY pizzeria texture. In general, the crust on this pizza was the most like actual bread, not yoga mat-y white bread; the outer crust really reminded me of a good crusty loaf. The cheese felt like real cheese and was the perfect ratio compared to the sauce and crust. It was the most flavorful of the bunch and felt closer to a pizzeria-style or homemade pizza. All said and done, this is definitely the delivery pizza I'll be ordering from here on out.