International Pizza Chains We Want To Come To The US

The United States prides itself on its seemingly endless array of options when it comes to fast-food dining, and one quick look at America's urban landscapes will reveal that our dearly beloved pizza chains are at the top of this never-ending list. From the three-dotted blue and red Domino's logo, the pizza-impaling Little Caesars' mascot, or Shakey's iconic Pizza Parlor signage, metropolitan highways and smalltown main streets alike are lined with pizza chain banners as far as the eyes can see — and that does not even scratch the surface.

Like fluorescent lighthouses guiding us to our deliciously greasy guilty pleasures, we take comfort as well as national pride in the sheer number of pizza options at our disposal. In fact, America has a deep history with pizza, and was the birthing grounds for the first and oldest pizza chains in the world, making such establishments as representative of American culture as the Stars and Stripes or the Super Bowl.

As the founding fathers of pizza chains, it may come as a shock to know that despite already having too many pizza places to choose from, we don't actually have it all. From household pizza name brands we have never heard of before, to industry-leading pizza tycoons from halfway across the globe, here's a list of little slices of heaven we want to bring closer to home.

Pizza Express

With over 470 branches across the United Kingdom and 12 other countries — surprisingly, not one of them located in the US — Pizza Express has successfully kept up with bigshot pizza corporations like Pizza Hut and Domino's as one of the top pizza chains in the UK.

While this London-based Italian concept restaurant is best known for its handcrafted margherita pizzas and its fresh ideas brought into life in the form of dough balls, under-600 calories Leggera pizzas, and even an all-vegan pop-up pizzeria, what we truly want to experience firsthand is the live jazz music that accompanies its trademark pies. Just imagine your favorite pizza joint with a magical downstairs jazz club where you can savor your favorite slices alongside delectable music and great company. In the competition for best pizza chains, the Brits get a point for restaurant ambiance alone!

With bustling branches in Mumbai, Dubai, and even Southeast Asia and more, Pizza Express is passionate about getting its customer-favorite pizzas across "countries and continents to be wherever you are."

Well, we think it's high time it takes the Express to North America too.

Crust Pizza

Known as Australia's gourmet pizza specialists with its famously unique pizza flavor profiles such as Peri Peri Chicken and Pesto Chicken Club, there are plenty of reasons we want Crust Pizza to bring its local love for the dish to the rest of the world. Crust has over 120 stores dotted across Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore, making its way into the upper crust of the pizza world by bringing only the most real, fresh, and green pizza options in the market.

While a greasy pizza slice may be the best hangover cure for some of us (who can say no to a meat overload and cheese-filled crust?), our friends from down under have Crust to thank for a healthier pizza dinner with its industry-leading vegan and health-conscious options. In fact, Crust was one of the first quick-service restaurant (QSR) brands in the world to offer customers gluten-free or low-carb pizza bases, which regulars can also top with vegan cheese and plant-based proteins of their choice!

As a 2022 Vegan Nourish Award finalist, Crust is changing the sustainability landscape for all pizza businesses. As its slogan goes, it truly is a crust above the rest. Maybe once Crust Pizza branches start erupting in this side of the northern hemisphere, we can make all of our nutritionists proud with its guiltless pizza offerings — without sacrificing that pizza goodness we all know and love, of course.


As the most beloved pizza chain in the Philippines, Greenwich is arguably as iconic as its sister company, Jollibee, which is the most popular and successful fast-food chain in the country. But where Jollibee fails to satisfy with its Filipino-style, American-influenced menu items, Greenwich sweeps in with its Italian-inspired pizzas and pasta that are perfectly tailored to suit the Filipino taste.

From its signature All-In Overload Pizza, overfilling with six kinds of meat and oozing cheese, to its Extreme Hawaiian Overload Pizzas, which are notorious for its over-the-top pineapple toppings — yes, we are fully aware of the pineapple-on-pizza controversy — this fan-favorite food destination remains to be a much-anticipated treat for Filipinos from all walks of life.

What started as a humble over-the-counter pizza shop is now a household name in the Philippines, and we hope to share in the sweetness and warmth that is the brand of this quintessential Pinoy fast-food establishment in the US too. If only we could order from halfway around the world and get our pizza delivered across the Pacific Ocean!


Did you know that the largest non-American pizza chain is based in Spain? Telepizza has been around since 1987, pioneering the first-ever food delivery service in the country. Known for its stellar customer service — bringing freshly made pizzas to Spaniards' doorsteps in an average of eight and a half minutes (we wonder how long it would take for an order to reach the US?) — Telepizza has evolved from over-the-telephone orders to accepting orders through WhatsApp.

But aside from how much the company cares about customer satisfaction, the secret behind Telepizza's success is definitely the quality of its pizzas and its "secret" dough. Made with only the best ingredients, Telepizza's unique texture and flavor can be explained by the way it kneads and stretches the dough by hand and in-store every single day after 7 days of maturation and 72 hours of fermentation. We admit that it's an oddly specific process, but hey, if it works, it works!

With Telepizza's current plans to expand its over 1,400 stores worldwide, our only wish is that it takes its innovative expansion up a notch and extends its services here too. No one wants to miss out on one of the biggest pizza chains in the world.


Two words: Anime. Pizza. As the love child of pizza and Godzilla (get it? Pizza-La?), the highest-grossing Japan-based pizza chain in the country knows exactly what the people want — to get its piping hot pizzas topped with hints of popular Japanese culture and delivered with a side of anime merchandise to boot.

From promotional artworks and pizzas inspired by our favorite Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba characters dressed as Pizza-La staff — to winning My Hero Academia merchandise and exclusive Pokémon trading cards and ceramic plates during limited-time Pizza-La promotions, this popular pizza chain is the perfect place for those who enjoy the art of binge-watching and binge-eating all at the same time.

Not to mention Pizza-La's never-before-seen pizza flavors on this side of the globe, such as Japanese-style mayonnaise sauce instead of tomato for that extra tangy and creamy kick, and boatloads of seafood toppings such as dried seaweed or shrimp, courtesy of the seas between the Japanese archipelago — Pizza-La has found the perfect balance between good, innovative food and awesome collaborations. We don't know about you, but being out of Pizza-La's reach is giving us major FOMO.

Peppes Pizza

Norway is known to have the world's best cheeses. But what's better than Norwegian cheese? When it's combined with perfectly baked dough, a mouthwatering sauce, and your favorite pizza toppings, of course! Norway has Peppes Pizza to thank for introducing this delicious masterpiece to the entire country.

As the largest pizza chain restaurant in Scandinavia, Peppes has been creating "real American pizza" for our Nordic neighbors since 1970 after Louis Jordan, the mind behind Peppe's Pizza, brought his passion for Connecticut-style pizza all the way to his wife's home country. It just goes to show how culturally significant and influential pizza can be.

More than just revolutionizing Norway's culinary landscape, Peppes also changed the game for the pizza market when it expanded into groceries, giving customers the chance to DIY their own Peppes pizzas from the comfort of their homes with traditional Peppes ingredients. For yet another historical feat, Peppes has recently made it even easier to experience the signature American taste with its thick, chewy crusts via Peppes' frozen heat-it-yourself options!

From being the first pizza restaurant in the country to bringing pizzas to families' kitchens in minutes, we are crossing our fingers that we can find that oh-so-popular Peppes brand logo lining our streets and supermarket shelves soon.

Hell Pizza

What do we love more than a good slice of pizza? A good gimmick to go with it. Ominously (and tantalizingly) referred to as the "best-damned pizza in this life or the next," Hell Pizza's trendy theme is a welcome novelty in a world of unoriginal, cookie-cutter — or to be more precise, pizza-cutter — brands.

As the first company in New Zealand to offer online pizza ordering, it has been bringing pizza straight from Hell to all of the country since 1996. And with its aptly named pizzas such as the Pandemonium, with its unusual cranberry sauce and Camembert cheese, pizzas inspired by all seven of the Deadly Sins, and the DIY Creator pizza, where you can play god and create your own pizza from scratch, we might just turn the other cheek from all the controversial advertising if there's good food to be found on the other side.

Though it may all sound intense, Hell is actually the home for NZ's hell-thiest (get it?) pizza options too, as it guarantees sustainability with its 100% free-range ingredients, carbon-neutral deliveries, and locally-sourced food. Here's to hoping we are blessed enough to cross off Hell Pizza from our "food we need to try before we die" bucket list before we, well, die.

The Pizza Company

If you're feeling adventurous, there's no better place to experiment with unique pizza flavors other than at the Pizza Company. Throughout the years, it has been releasing limited-time promotions that have made headlines for both its original — but sometimes downright outlandish — pizza concoctions.

Pizza Company regulars have been able to choose from a wide array of crazy offerings such as the Burger Pizza, which is literally a pizza with mini cheeseburgers linked to form the crust, a Crunchy Chicken Crust Pizza — which, you guessed it, features a fried chicken crust that you can coat with either a Korean or cheese sauce, and wait for it... a Durian Pizza that is heavily loaded with the notoriously stinky fruit, made for all the lovers and haters of durian!

The Company has once again proved that pizza really does open a lot of doors when it comes to innovating the world of food. Unfortunately, we'll have to travel all the way to Bangkok, Thailand to see what new masterpiece or monstrosity it has cooked up, since the Company has not expanded outside Asia and the Middle East. As for now, we'll have to make do with eating our pizzas and fried chicken as separate dishes. 

Apache Pizza

Named to pay homage to the Apache groups that the company believes reflect its iconic brand, Apache Pizza takes great pride in coming up with originally American pizza instead of the Italian-style ones that are prevalent in most of Europe. With over 180 stores across Ireland, locals have tasted North America with its pepperoni-filled Wigwammer pizza, BBQ-drizzled Sweet Tennessee pizza, and Apache Special, topped with sweetcorn, pineapple, and peppers.

However, we do have our reservations about the whole "American Indian stereotype from a 1950s movie motif" the company has going on (we're only wondering how the whole Apache getup and these signature pizza names will go over in the land where its caricatures are real cultures), but maybe finally making first contact here will provide the perfect opportunity for the Irish brand to reflect on the brand and its cultural sensitivity — as well as share its famous pizzas with us, of course.

Debonairs Pizza

Imagine the perfect late-night pizza: a layer of savory-sweet sauce laid on a freshly baked crust, finished with yet another layer of cheese and all your favorite toppings. Now multiply those layers not just twice, but three times.

That's exactly what Debonairs Pizza promises with its iconic Triple-Decker pizza packed with three layers of cheddar, mozzarella, and cream cheeses, generous portions of ground beef, spare ribs, and ham, and all the veggies you want! And if that's not enough, get ready to call for backup with its Cram-Decker pizza, which has all the triple layers but with a crust that's heavily loaded with chicken cheese grillers (cheese-filled sausages, in American-speak).

This South Africa-based restaurant is the largest pizza chain in all of Mzansi. And as its name suggests, Debonairs is as suave and sophisticated as pizza delivery could get, because all our favorite pizzas are delivered to our doorsteps by the most dashingly dressed deliverers — complete with tuxedo vests and bow ties. Why stop feasting like kings if we can elevate our pizza takeout dinners to the fine dining experience all pizza connoisseurs deserve?

Maestro Pizza

As one of the younger pizza chains on the list, only establishing itself in 2013, Maestro Pizza has been taking the Middle East by storm as Saudi Arabia's fastest-growing QSR chain with over 170 outlets and 2,000 employees to date.

Known for serving the Kingdom with only the highest-quality pizzas at the most affordable prices, the people behind Maestro are true masters in the art of pizza making. Take your pick of its distinctive menu items such as the beautiful Piano arrangement, where you can choose your own notes of up to three types of pizzas strung together like tiles on a keyboard, or the Soprano pizza featuring Philly steaks and a secret cheese mix. Among standard pizza fare, it also has unique delicacies such as the chocolate crunchies-topped Choco Pizza for our sweet-toothed friends.

Even as a homegrown brand, Maestro has been successfully battling it out with more established brands such as Domino's and Pizza Hut in Saudi, and we are optimistic about its rising popularity and its growing number of outlets. Maybe after it has accomplished its mission to "Master Saudi Pizza," it can set its sights on sharing its signature pizza-making music here too.

Mister Pizza

Whether or not you've heard of Portuguese Pizza, the iconic dish is standard fare at any pizzeria in São Paulo — and the most iconic of these establishments is the one and only Mister Pizza. Founded in 1981, the pizza brand made its way from being the first food service franchiser in Brazil to being one of the country's largest pizza chains with more than 50 stores nationwide.

A trip to its online menu will reveal mouthwatering options such as the famous Portuguese Pizza, which is decorated with mozzarella on top of a classic pizza sauce, some onions, tomatoes, and olives here and there, and finally, something you would least expect: slices of hard-boiled eggs. What's even crazier is that it has a multitude of sweet pizza alternatives as well, ranging from Ovaltine or Nutella pizzas, banana pizzas dusted with sugar and cinnamon, and even a wholly white chocolate pizza combined with the famous Brazilian Catupiry soft cheese.

If Mister Pizza isn't the picture-perfect standard of franchising success, with the way it influenced the fast food industry in Brazil and continues to be culturally significant by being present in every Rio de Janeiro major event — then we don't know what is.

Smokin' Joe's

While a Domino's branch can be found in just about every turn and corner in the bustling city of Mumbai, a locally-grown pizza chain by the name of Smokin' Joes is giving the big business a run for its money. In fact, now with 58 stores throughout several regions, Smokin' Joe's was the first chain to open in Mumbai, well before Pizza Hut and Domino's.

Sparked by a legend of a Mexican rancher who was inspired by an Italian pizza-making immigrant, Smokin Joe's promises to bring the same authentic Italian pizza taste to all of India. Of course, that's not to say its pizzas don't have that signature Indian cuisine twist, with its Tandoori Paneer pizza that's spiced with coriander and green chilies, or its intensely fiery Meat Lover pizza that's covered with hot chicken tikka infused with roasted capsicum and red paprika. Smokin' Joes also serves Jain Pizzas, which are purely vegetarian alternatives to cater to the Jain population of India. It is also the home to India's Largest Pizza, called the Maha Pizza — which is the size of four whole medium pizzas combined!

If you enjoy spicier and meat-free pizza options as much as we do, then a Smokin' Joe's branch near us would definitely be a hit.

Pizza Celantano

Everyone knows that pizza = happiness. But Pizza Celentano takes it to a whole new level. We've never seen a more memorable brand identity and values than the one that the Ukraine-born franchise proudly represents. Bearing its basil leaf, mozzarella ball, and cherry tomato slice logo, Pizza Celentano is nothing but a symbol of comfort and familiarity for all of Ukraine.

Celentano prides itself on its emotionally driven brand as the first and largest pizzeria chain in the country. More than just fresh, thin-crust Italian pizza that you can top with grilled eggplants, artichoke pâté, or pesto sauce and arugula, Pizza Celentano says that it will always be around for your first pizza, your first and last day of school, your first salary, your first date, and your first job — ensuring that it holds a special place in every Ukrainian heart.

As they say, every meal with Celentano is a celebration. We hope that, someday, we can enjoy the abundant atmosphere of good food and good vibes that Pizza Celentano radiates.