In a world where pizza companies are pulling out all the stops to win your affection — shoes that order slices for you, pigs-in-a-blanket crust, a pizza burger, even a pickle-topped pie — no gimmick is off limits. After all, this is 2017, where ‘unicorn’ is a genre of food and restaurants are giving burgers French fry crowns dripping in cheese fondue. Anything goes, as long as it’s bold.
Well, Little Caesar’s is throwing down with the boldest claim so far this year: The chain says its Extra Most Bestest pizza has the most pepperoni and cheese out there. And by “out there,” there are a few caveats: That’s when you compare the pie to three major chains’ large, round, standard 1-topping pepperoni pizza. Oh, and it’s the most pepperoni and cheese for the very best price, so there’s that, too.
“People love their toppings, so we’re taking it up a notch to give customers the most pepperoni and cheese at the best price,” said Ed Gleich, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Little Caesars, in an official statement. “You simply can’t find this much deliciousness for this little money.”
Challenge Accepted. We drove around the New York-New Jersey area, buying large, standard, round, 1-topping pepperoni pizzas from the major chains and decided to do a side-by-side comparison. For science. And a Pulitzer Prize, because clearly, this is very serious investigative journalism going on right here.
But mostly, because we’re hungry and we need to know which chain’s going to give us the most peps per bite (PPB).
As a control, we ordered LC’s standard, round, large pie, as well as its Extra Most Bestest. First, the regular large:
The Regular Pie: 30 pieces of pepperoni
Now, the EMB:
The Extra Most Bestest: 42 pieces
Beloved for its bubbly crust, the pepperoni was a little lacking on this bad boy. But still better than the original LC large pizza.
The Large Pie: 37 pieces
That gooey cheese and strong, yeast-y smell can bring you back to your personal pan-loving youth (and, depending on where you grew up, filling out reading logs at school to earn a free pie). Turns out, those crispy circles of pepperoni are just as plentiful as you remembered them, knocking Lil’ C out of the park.
The Large Pie: 45 pieces
The garlic sauce and pepperoncini are a must, but we tossed those aside to count — and recount, and recount again — the pepperoni on this pie. It was a close call, but Papa John’s beat out the Hut by one measly, micro pepp. After much debate, we decided to give them partial credit for it.
The Large Pie: 45.5 pieces
While Little Caesar’s technically lost the “most pepperoni” bit of its Extra Most Bestest claims, it was right on one front: That IS the most pepperoni you’ll get for $6 on a large pie. Largely because the other chains don’t come close to that price for a large pepperoni. Counting for New York inflation, that $6 pie was $7.62 before tax and tip. Still better than the $15.49 paid for a Pizza Hut pie, $18.48 for Papa John’s, or the $24 shelled out for Domino’s.
Granted, the number of pepperoni slices can vary from store to store, depending on who’s making the pizza, but in our random test, we were surprised by the results. If money’s no object and you only care about the sheer number of pepperoni you’re getting (you baller, you!), Papa John’s or Pizza Hut’s your best bet.