Pizza is one of America’s favorite types of fast food, which explains the vast selection of American pizza chains!
While the amount of choice when it comes to ordering a pizza or going for an Italian-style meal is definitely a good thing, it can also mean that finding the best pizza around is more of a challenge.
This is why we’ve taken it upon ourselves to rank the top 18 American pizza chains according to pizza quality, menu variety, value for money, and many more factors.
Read on to see where your favorite pizza chain ranks on our list. And who knows – you might even discover a new favorite pizza restaurant!
1. California Pizza Kitchen
If you’re looking for the best pizza for the best price in the whole of America, we recommend California Pizza Kitchen.
California Pizza Kitchen has been around since the 1980s, when it was founded by Ed LaDou and Alice Waters.
LaDou is one of the creators of the famous California Pizza, which is known for its sweet crust and fresh toppings with less sauce than your average pizza.
It’s true that California-style pizza might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the non-traditional menu options at California Pizza Kitchen offer a fresh and fun experience made better by the high-quality ingredients.
2. Papa John’s
Papa John’s is in close competition with Dominos and Pizza Hut when it comes to pizza chain popularity, and while it’s still not getting the same numbers of sales as either of the above, this chain has definitely earned a high spot on our list.
Papa John’s uses good-quality ingredients and offers a wide range of toppings and crust styles, making it easy to customize your dream pizza.
You can get lots of sides, too, and in our experience, they never skimp on the toppings.
The pizzas at Papa John’s always taste fresh and arrive hot in a reasonable time frame, so basically, this chain promises a satisfying experience at a decent price with very little to complain about overall.
Blaze definitely deserves more attention than it currently gets compared to other American pizza chains.
Not only does Blaze get pizza orders out to customers really quickly (within 3 minutes) but it stands out from other pizza chains because the speedy preparation doesn’t come at the cost of pizza quality.
Blaze uses fresh ingredients to make its pizzas, including Italian meatballs, feta cheese, and aromatic basil, making each pizza from this chain taste authentic and high-quality.
Sure, it might be a little more expensive than some of its competitors, but the price is still affordable, so we think it’s worth it every time.
4. Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut might come second to Dominos in terms of sales-based popularity, but we actually prefer it, and many customers of both chains do, too.
Pizza Hut doesn’t just serve pizza. It also has plenty of sides on the menu as well as pasta dishes and American classics like wings.
Some find Pizza Hut pizzas a little too oily for their tastes, and if you want some really fancy toppings, you might prefer to go elsewhere.
However, if you want to indulge in some basic, slightly greasy comfort food with familiar toppings, knowing that your order will be piping hot, we recommend this chain.
There are more than 7,000 Pizza Hut venues currently open across the United States, and this chain has been around since the 1950s, so it’s definitely a staple of American pizza.
Domino’s (see also ‘17 Domino’s Pizzas That Top The Rest‘) is an incredibly popular American pizza chain. In fact, this chain just keeps on growing, with over 250 stores added in 2018.
Dominos also outsold Pizza Hut (the second most popular chain) by more than a billion dollars that same year.
Domino’s isn’t to everyone’s taste, with a lot of customers coming to the consensus that the pizza is good, but not good enough to justify the price.
Nonetheless, the cost still isn’t extravagant, and considering how much food you can get brought straight to your door if you use one of the many deals on offer, it continues to be one of America’s top choices for pizza.
If you’ve never tried an oblong pizza before, you need to try &Pizza.
You can find &Pizza restaurants in airports, which is ideal because there’s no better excuse to indulge in pizza than the stress of waiting for a flight.
Not only are the pizzas at &Pizza interestingly shaped, but they’re perfectly cooked and you can taste the quality from the first bite.
The crust is always hot and the dough is perfectly risen and fluffy inside while the outside remains crispy.
Unlike most pizzerias you’ll find in airports, &Pizza uses all fresh ingredients, including mozzarella cheese, balsamic glaze, basil, and pesto.
7. Round Table Pizza
Everyone has their own preference when it comes to pizza, but if you’re a fan of thin crust, you should definitely order from Round Table.
Round Table’s pizzas are famous for their crunchiness and tasty, fresh range of toppings.
The tomato sauce doesn’t taste watered down or artificial, and we personally think that the pies come with the perfect amount of cheese.
You can also get some pretty incredible specialty pizzas at Round Table such as the Montague’s All Meat Marvel or the Gourmet Veggie, so there really is something delicious for everyone.
8. Villa Italian Kitchen
Villa Italian Kitchen (see also ‘Top 13 Italian Restaurant Chains In The US‘) is another American pizza chain that we think deserves more hype.
Villa Italian Kitchen is known for its cheap and easy pizza slices, made even more convenient by the chain’s chosen locations.
These restaurants are usually found in malls and airports, similar to Sbarro (which now has only a couple of hundred venues).
It seems that Villa Italian Kitchen found its success as a better Sbarro replacement, with better-quality cheese on its slices.
However, the downside is that the slices tend to be very greasy, which isn’t to everyone’s taste.
9. Mellow Mushroom
If you love pizza but haven’t tried Mellow Mushroom yet, what are you waiting for?
Some say Mellow Mushroom has one of the best pizza crusts in the U.S., and having tried it for ourselves, we have to agree.
Mellow Mushroom is surprisingly unpopular compared to some of the other chains on our list in the sense that it doesn’t rank amongst the most-frequented pizza restaurants.
However, if your idea of a good pizza involves highly customizable toppings, a delicious doughy crust and a craft beer on the side, Mellow Mushroom is the pizza chain for you!
10. Jet’s Pizza
We’ve been to Jet’s Pizza several times, and the thing that keeps us coming back for more is that there’s always something new and delicious to try.
Whether you’re a fan of extra-cheesy deep-dish pizza or the thinnest of thin crusts, Jet’s Pizza has you covered.
There are even options for gluten-free and low-carb pizzas, so dietary requirements are no issue.
The square deep-dish is the pizza Jet’s is known for, however, and it’s absolutely delicious.
It may not be the most authentic or high-end chain out there, but we think it’s a great middle ground for quality and affordability.
11. Marco’s Pizza
Marco’s Pizza is currently one of the fastest-growing pizza chains in America, and the quality and authenticity of the pizza at this restaurant makes it easy to see why.
Part of the reason why the pizza at Marco’s tastes so good is because the restaurant was founded by Pasquale Giammarco, who knows what makes a real Italian pizzeria due to his own father’s restaurant experience.
Marco’s is a great choice of pizza chain if you’re looking for fresh, authentic Italian pizzas (complete with brushed olive oil and parmesan cheese), and considering the quality, the price really isn’t unreasonable.
12. Uno Pizzeria And Grill
Uno Pizzeria and Grill is generally a solid choice if you’re looking for a decent pizza at a reasonable price.
It’s also a particularly good option if you’re a fan of deep dish pizza, because that’s what Uno specializes in.
With that being said, there’s no denying that you could get a better deep dish pizza somewhere else (we’re talking bigger with more cheese and a flakier crust).
However, you’d probably have to pay more, so how much you like Uno Pizzeria and Grill will really come down to how much you’re prepared to spend on pizza.
13. Little Caesars
Little Caesars is one pizza chain where you can pretty much guarantee that your pizza will be steaming hot when you open the box, which is more than can be said for some of the other American pizza chains we’ve been to.
If you’ve ever wondered how Little Caesar’s manages to have your hot pizza ready to go in minutes every time, though, the answer is definitely by cutting corners.
The ingredients are fairly low-quality, and the cheese has a slightly odd aftertaste, but some Little Caesars restaurants sell their pizzas for just $5, so when you look at this chain as a budget option, it makes a lot more sense.
14. Papa Murphy’s
People have varying opinions about Papa Murphy’s, with some citing this chain as one of their favorite pizza restaurants and others eating there once before vowing never again.
One of the main attractions of Papa Murphy’s is its range of pizza toppings.
There seem to be endless choices, and once you’ve created your perfect pizza, you get the experience of putting it in the oven yourself, which can be fun depending on how much you like to be involved in the preparation of your food.
CiCi’s is the pizza restaurant to go to if you don’t have a lot of money to spend and want to make your dollars go as far as possible.
Sure, some might say that the quality of CiCi’s pizza isn’t outstanding, and they’re right – the dough is thin and doesn’t have much flavor, and depending on when you get to the buffet, you might end up with a plate of cold pizza.
However, there’s no denying that when it comes to value for money, CiCi’s is one of the strongest contenders out of all the American pizza chains.
Godfather’s is a pizza chain known for producing more out-there pizza recipes.
If you’ve ever ordered the Taco Pie from Godfather’s, you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about. Burgers and other fast food classics are also on the menu.
The pizza itself at Godfather’s is good, but the problem is that it’s often lukewarm by the time your order gets to you, which brings down the overall experience.
In fact, Godfather’s popularity has declined in recent years.
In 2019, there were only around 500 Godfather’s restaurants in America where there had previously been many more.
17. Peter Piper Pizza
Up next, we have Peter Piper Pizza. Peter Piper certainly isn’t the worst American pizza chain out there, but it’s definitely not the best, either.
It’s true that Peter Piper is a popular pizza chain, but that’s mainly due to how many options are on the menu as well as the fact that the pizzas are sold at a very affordable price.
If you’re looking for a pizza restaurant that will offer you decent-tasting pizza for a fraction of the price of some of the higher-end chains, Peter Piper is a good option, but if you want an authentic Italian pizza experience, you should look elsewhere.
18. Chuck E. Cheese
At number 18 on our list of America’s top pizza chains, we have Chuck E. Cheese.
Chuck E. Cheese is a popular choice of pizza restaurants for children’s birthday parties – in fact, many Chuck E. Cheese venues don’t actually allow adults inside without a child.
In addition to mostly being a pizza chain for kids, another reason why Chuck E. Cheese doesn’t rank higher on our list is the quality of the ingredients.
This is definitely not a venue you want to choose for high-end pizza. Many of the ingredients are frozen and the cheese doesn’t taste authentic.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should You Eat In Or Get Delivery At Pizza Chains?
The experience of eating at a pizza restaurant versus ordering takeout is very different, and your preference will probably vary depending on how you feel.
Getting takeout can be more relaxing and convenient after a long day, but eating in means you get to enjoy the experience of a meal away from home and also means your pizza will be less likely to get cold.
What Is The Most Popular Pizza Chain In America?
Currently, the most popular pizza chain in America is Dominos.
The second most popular is Pizza Hut, but Dominos outsells pizza hut by over a billion dollars on a yearly basis.
Who Is The Biggest Pizza Chain In The World?
In addition to being the most popular American pizza chain, Dominos also takes the title of the biggest pizza chain worldwide.
Do you agree with our rankings of the top 18 American pizza chains? If you’ve never tried a restaurant near the top of our list, we highly recommend checking it out.
After all, great pizza is one thing you don’t want to miss out on!
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