Restaurant Chain Flatbreads Ranked Worst To Best

When happy hour strikes, sometimes all we need is something shareable to wash down between a beer or two. In that case, you can never go wrong with a flatbread. Although it's a common appetizer to tide us over between meals, there's no reason why you can't treat it like a personal pizza. Flatbreads are a lot like the takeout staple, in fact, only longer, thinner, and carved into those itty-bitty wedges sporting toppings like pepperoni, chopped pears, or globs of Brie. 

Now, this artisanal starter is staggeringly simple to whip up at home, but visiting one of our favorite restaurant chains is an even easier way to get our fix. Yet sometimes, we struggle to tell if it's worth the upcharge. Could it be that the cheaper joints bake 'em hot and fresh while upscale establishments crank out burnt crusts that aren't worthy of the wooden platter they're served on? Thankfully, we've gathered a list of restaurant chain flatbreads, helpfully formatted to eliminate the duds and showcase the starters that are deliciously spot-on. Once you reach the end, you'll never spend a dime on cardboard ever again.

14. Miller's Ale House

As we promised, let's begin with the worst flatbread in order to get to the good stuff. To its core, Miller's Ale House is a sports bar where you pay more attention to the game on TV than a dazzling appetizer, and in a way, that explains how these flatbreads fall woefully short. Genericness simply wafts off them. In fact, multiple reviewers compared Miller's attempt to a flatbread that would be stocked in a grocery store freezer. If you're not put off by its unremarkable flavor, you will be when you bite down into a mushy bottom that's both tough and gummy to boot. 

One Yelp user felt dismayed by most of the food from Miller's Ale House, but the flatbreads stuck out in a bad way. They urged visitors to "steer clear", claiming "it was just about the same as frozen pizza from the supermarket." Sure, it's priced semi-affordably. Spending $10 or so is the going rate for an appetizer of this sort. But if there's infinitely superior options in that range, why bother coming here for what's basically a cold slab of cardboard? Take it from us and order the Zingers (aka chicken wings) the chain is known for, instead. 

13. Cosi

Surely, scratch-made dough should tip the competition in Cosi's direction, right? Wrong. We wish the cafe chain would have blown us away with stylishly crisp flatbreads; maybe our high expectations are to blame. But when you present something called "Tuscan Family-Style Pizza" on the menu, it's very difficult not to imagine a meal for the ages as opposed to the flimsy squares you get in reality.  

Among the many cardinal sins Cosi's flatbread commits, one of the most glaring letdowns is the brittle, hard-to-chew dough. The cheese and sauce, if there's a decent amount to begin with, is nothing out of the ordinary, and gets even worse when baked onto an underwhelming base. The size is also an issue. This flatbread seems to work better as an appetizer; according to a Tripadvisor user who polished one off as a main course, it still left them hungry. 

This isn't to say customers don't like the entrée at all. One reviewer, for example, was extremely pleased with a "delicious" Margherita-style pie, but sadly, the negatives appear to outweigh the positives.

12. Schlotzsky's

Schlotzsky's has more than 330 locations in 26 states, so it's not much of a challenge tracking down sandwiches, pizzas, or flatbreads from this Atlanta-based eatery. In fact, ordering any pizza allows you to turn it into a flatbread at no extra cost. Are they worth the try? That depends on how hungry you are. For the most part, Schlotzsky's delivers decent flavor and those crunchy brown edges indicative of a tried-and-true flatbread. You just don't get very much in return.

Mind you, flatbreads are intended to be slimmer than your garden-variety pizza. But even by these standards, the little triangles splayed out on the wooden board fail to feel noteworthy thanks to the paper-thin crust and toppings you can barely see. Bachelor on the Cheap viewed it as a "light lunch" since it wasn't satisfying enough on its own, and this was echoed by another Yelp reviewer who had hoped for a heftier portion to fit the price. 

So long as you split one, it's not the worst way to whet your appetite. We also won't deny the allure of the California Chicken & Avocado combination. Just don't expect leaving full, like you will with selections further down the list. 

11. BJ's Restaurant

As an appetizer to wind down with after work, BJ's flatbreads leave a lot to be desired. Customer responses run the gamut from disliking the sodium-packed squares to wishing for bigger bursts of flavor, and there's not a lot in between. Not to mention, when compared to similar major-name restaurants, they're surprisingly expensive. Looking at one location's menu shows the California Club Flatbread costs $16.25, a sum that's seemingly on par with actual artisanal kitchens. 

"The flatbread was disappointing," one commenter wrote on Yelp. "It was dry and lacking flavor." Another customer found the saltiness overbearing and claimed their "mouth burned for hours afterward." While Timmy's Takeout on YouTube did enjoy the juicy chicken on the aforementioned flatbread, the overall execution lacked the sort of boldness needed to really make it pop. 

Don't get us wrong, there's plenty to like about the treasure trove of comfort food (Pizookies, anyone?) the chain boasts on its massive menu; more than 200 locations nationwide attest to this. To warrant almost $20 would require something special, and that's just not something BJ's is giving us with this flatbread. 

10. Panera

The pizza phase began at Panera during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the chain released toasted flatbreads in flavors like Margherita and Chipotle Chicken & Bacon. Although they seem to agree with the chain's casual-yet-quick menu scheme, they're a weaker choice by our metrics. Sure, the toppings are there. The crust, while puffier than normal, is fine. The sauce is sweet. Leaving aside the decent aspects, this is a very ordinary flatbread that short of the dense calorie load, doesn't stick out much. 

Brand Eating was generally let down by Panera's flatbreads, and the main reason they noted was the tepid heat. These won't be blowing hot steam in your face when you pop open the box; rather, the room-temperature taste will simply shrug in your mouth as you take a bite. 

Panera shows promise, but we've got to go with our gut and suggest seeking out the spots further down, should a flaky appetizer be in your future. Unless you like the idea of a glorified Pizza Lunchable, you'll probably feel a little let down by these. 

9. Cici's Pizza

Cici's Pizza might seem like a jack-of-all-trades buffet spot, and it is — but don't discredit the flatbreads. By all accounts, they're outperforming the circular pies on the heater by a wide margin. If you like your flatbreads crispy, crackling, and blanketed in cheese, then you'll probably find yourself in the majority. In our opinion, Cici's is the underdog of this list. One Tripadvisor user was "pleasantly surprised" by the thin crust sampling. 

In recent years, the all-you-can-eat chain has beefed up its flatbread offerings to Veggie, Mac & Cheese, Meat Eaters, and more. Yet a bit of research shows the hype is directed towards the Chicken Bacon Club Flatbread in particular. Cheddar cheese and a tangy Parmesan ranch sauce are irresistible paired together, but when they're slathered onto a golden-brown crust it's not difficult to see why diners load up on seconds. Even a dismal write-up by the Times Record News gave credit to the combination's fresh spin on the cracker crust. 

Cici's flatbreads aren't necessarily high class — the price is certainly cheap for a reason. But as long as you keep your expectations reasonable, it's not bad when you're short on ideas. 

8. Bertucci's

Bertucci's is on the smaller side of casual franchises serving value-forward Italian fare. "Hand-Stretched Artisan Pizzas" — or "menuccis" during happy hour — are the chain's take on flatbreads, designed to showcase crust, sauce, and cheese in minimalist fashion. While the thinner style isn't to everyone's liking, it's obviously leaps and bounds above what you can typically order out of a mid-tier dining establishment. 

Despite what the name suggests, we discovered Bertucci's, like Panera, offers doughier crusts as opposed to the cracker-like varieties usually seen. That gives it a heftier feel sometimes missing from the austere pizza alternative. The toppings are on the sparser side, but the flavors are robust and elevate the simple base. Even then, a heavier hand on the toppings would give your money's worth. 

Even if there's more authentic flatbreads to be had elsewhere, we wouldn't be against giving these a chance when you're near a location. There's around 50 and most of them are in the New England area. One Yelp reviewer was especially taken aback by how good the Mushroom Flatbread was. With a tangy creamy sauce and oodles of umami flavor, it ranked "among the best flatbread I've had!" 

7. Twin Peaks

Not to be confused with the twisted and essential television show, we find Twin Peaks, like many sports bars, slings a flatbread that's intensely simple, yet satisfying. Certainly, the flowing excess of beer and sports blaring from flatscreens can take some responsibility for the rise of Twin Peaks nationally, but if you ask us, it's this chewy appetizer that deserves at least some of the credit. 

While the combinations themselves are nothing earth-shattering, there's no denying Twin Peaks' "hand-stretched dough" lends a higher standard to the bar bite than we've encountered as of late. Customers are consistently pleased by the fresh crust that steams the moment it's brought to the table, and in terms of flavor, the lean menu packs a heavy punch. Reviewers on Yelp and Trip Advisor alike are rapt to suggest "The Hottie" Jalapeño Popper, styled after the spicy deep fried snack. Other picks like The Italian and OG Pepperoni compliment the crunchy base, too. It's also worth noting that the flatbreads apparently hold up when delivered just as much as if you'd ordered one at a table.

6. Uno Pizzeria & Grill

Saucy deep dish is the expertise of Uno Pizzeria & Grill, so discovering the less-leavened pies should put some pep into any diner's step. Between the fresh ingredients and generous helpings of food, the Chicago franchise pulls off the chewy starter with a lot of gusto. Don't like what you see printed on the menu? This is a chain where customizing your own pie is routine. Additionally, you can purchase just one-half of a flatbread in case you'd like a lighter meal or leftovers — in Uno's case, that's actually justified, because their portions are notably generous. 

The notion of soggy, squishy dough is unfathomable when eating a classic flatbread. Upon sinking your teeth into a slice from Uno, it's clear that the crust is sturdy and supports the toppings well. Pizza Quixote who sampled the Cheese and Veggie flatbreads, also felt the flavors to be on point. The cheese and vegetables were solid, but it was the "lively" and "bold" tomato sauce that appeared to steal the spotlight, provoking a stunned reaction that defied expectations. 

For a standard-issue pizza chain, Uno Pizzeria doesn't slack on delivering a decent flatbread. For what it is, it's a solid option, though be warned — it's strong on the sodium.  

5. Maggiano's Little Italy

Now this is what we call greener pastures. Red sauce joints don't always make flatbreads, but Maggiano's Little Italy sling two as appetizers and early bird specials. To start off, we like how they're served on a wooden platter and arrive carved into the classic triangles made for immediately bringing to your mouth. The selection of flavors — Italian Sausage and Margherita — is fairly minimal, and usually a limited selection gets a side-eye from us. In this case, the effort put into each of the two pizzas makes up for it. The dough is chewy without turning tough. The bread is rolled thin enough to gain a golden crisp, but not blackened to inedibility. Between them, Yelp users seemed smitten with the Margherita flatbread, an Italian staple featuring creamy mozzarella and sliced wedges of bright, juicy tomato. In their words, it's "divine," "super cheesy," and "sinfully delicious." Doesn't sound boring to us. Another plus? You could easily gobble a whole pie as your entrée and stay full, although they're not so tiny that a small group couldn't nibble on one before dinner. "Must try the flatbread pizzas," declared one review.

4. The Cheesecake Factory

These days, a dreamy dessert isn't the only way The Cheesecake Factory gets us through the door. Given that the chain's staggering menu could paralyze even the surest of diners, it says something that the flatbreads stand out from the crowd. The core appetizer has typically consisted of fancier styles — think pear and blue cheese sprinkled with pecans — but today we can indulge in flatbread pizzas that promise gooey comfort, whether it's trusty pepperoni and cheese or slightly more indulgent combinations. One example, The Bee Sting, marries savory meats, Calabrian chiles, and a dousing of hot honey for good measure. 

Timmy's Takeout on YouTube couldn't resist raving over the "perfectly spicy" Bee Sting, as well as the Cacio E Pepe, based off of the peppery Parmesan pasta dish popularized in Rome. Although the entire lineup is nothing to shrug at, it was these creations that really knocked it out of the park. "These actually might be two of the best Cheesecake Factory items in general." Meanwhile, a Tripadvisor reviewer claimed the heavenly starter managed to outshine local trattorias. Talk about the ultimate compliment. 

3. &pizza

Capping off the top three restaurant chain flatbreads is a regional favorite: &pizza. The East Coast franchise currently deals in made-to-order pies at 36 locations, and its edgy theme definitely makes the process fun. Whether you're a carnivore, a vegan, or spice-lover, this is a flatbread option to look out for. The oblong crusts are coated in semolina, which adds texture and helps the pie from burning in the oven. The toppings are elevated and fresh. And the kicker? They're baked and ready-to-eat in the blink of an eye. 

There are pre-assembled pies available on the menu, and the American Honey — a collage of pepperoni, goat cheese, arugula, and hot honey — is a regular hit among guests. But for many, the chain's appeal lies in building one from the bottom up. This is a novelty not offered by many restaurants, so it's a huge source of happiness for customers to sit in the driver's seat when choosing the sauce, dough, and ingredients gracing their flatbread.

In terms of both versatility and its mouthwatering edge, &pizza exceeded our expectations. "The base was light and crispy, and the topping was plentiful," a happy customer gushed over the dairy-free flatbread they ordered. 

2. Seasons 52

Wine-and-dine bistros like Seasons 52 focus on nutritiously, sustainably cooked food. Because the number of dishes plunged in the fryer is zero, your calorie intake stays firmly under control, which is only a bonus to savoring farm-fresh wares. One of its claims to fame are the flatbreads, which foodies consistently tout as spectacular. And no wonder. The focus on seasonal ingredients means you won't always find the same thing in rotation, but when every component is harmoniously vibrant, it's hard to care. 

Restaurant reviews by D Magazine and CityBeat heap on the praise for the delicate yet substantial starter, claiming it comes generously topped with palate-pleasing toppings from the first bite to the last. Right now, there's Pesto Chicken, Roasted Tomato, and a zesty Wood-Grilled Corn variety for the blistering summer months, but any flavor is bound to delight. Whichever combination is on the roster, it'll be airy, cloud-like, and extra crunchy at the edges — a true flatbread in every sense of the word. While you're at it, run, don't walk, to happy hour where one of its flatbreads, plus a glass of wine, is yours at a meager $12.50. 

1. The Flatbread Company

Perfection, thy name is The Flatbread Company. That's the verdict. At the end of the day, this mini-chain crafts the finest circles of joy blasted out from hearths, and it's a claim backed up by positive reviews in the thousands. Now, with the exception of Hawaii and Canada, you'll need to reside in New England to dig into one of these bad boys — Flatbread Company's homebase is Amesbury, Massachusetts. But if you value hand-crafted, excellent food with a picked-off-the-vine sensibility, do make the trip. There just isn't a fresher, tastier offering out there. 

A small cheese flatbread is the cheapest thing here at $14, and while the price range is steeper, the execution is just head-and-shoulders above the rest. Ingredients are sourced directly from area suppliers, and as one Yelp reviewer swiftly emphasized, "you can taste the difference." As the best flatbread place currently going in our humble view, we think there's no bad flavor among the bunch, regular or gluten-free. Mopsy's Kalua Pork Pie — that's farm-raised chicken, sultry mozzarella, pineapple, and tangy barbecue sauce on a gloriously browned crust — gets our pick as an outstanding spin on the traditional Hawaiian pizza.