Fast Food Pepperoni Pizza Ranked Worst To Best, According To Customers

If you can count on one topping featured on the menu of any decent pizza joint, it's pepperoni. We can thank Italian-Americans for its place in our lives, with entrepreneurial immigrants adding it to their pizzas after arriving in New York in the early 1900s. Fast forward a century, and we live in an age of increasingly complex pizza combos (for proof, see KFC's Chizza or Pizza Hut Japan's Ramen Pizza), but the sweet-and-spicy combo of cheese, tomato, and pepperoni is forever — which is why pizzerias big and small won't be ditching this topping from their menus any time soon.

Anyone who opts for pepperoni on a regular basis likely already has their go-to spot come pizza night. However, there's a whole world of chain restaurants out there offering their take on pepperoni pizza, some of which may surprise you with their tastiness. We did the hard work for pizza lovers everywhere, combining our own encyclopedic knowledge of good pizza and comparing it to real reviews from pizza chains nationwide, to find out which restaurants consistently impress with their pepperoni pies. Pepperoni fans, this one's for you.

13. Sbarro

Sbarro has doled out New York-style slices for nearly 70 years, which earns it a certain level of respect within the pizza industry. Experience doesn't always equal quality, however, with the chain earning its fair share of criticism over the decades (which may be why its numbers are dwindling). Once dubbed "America's least essential restaurant" by Slate, the seemingly harsh condemnation starts to make sense once you try its pepperoni.

Even if it's hard to make the perfect pepperoni pizza, it's somewhat easy to at least produce a middling pie. Unfortunately, Sbarro falls short on all counts. Its pepperoni pizza is so dry and bland that it's actually somewhat impressive. The Report (who gave his slice a rating of six out of 10 in his YouTube review) pinned the lack of flavor on the cheese and complained that all you can really taste is the pizza sauce.

A bigger issue, however, is grease. Nobody orders fast food pizza and expects a grease-free experience, but when small orange puddles form on your plate, you know something's amiss. TikToker Brad Stoll documented the amount of grease on a single slice, and the result was unpleasant. As well as being über salty, he claimed that Sbarro's pepperoni was "the kind of pizza you give your kid when you want to give them food poisoning so you don't have to deal with them." In other words, probably not the best pie to order when your next pepperoni craving hits.

12. Hungry Howie's

It may not be as well known as the likes of Domino's or Papa John's, but Hungry Howie's has its fair share of cult fans. This is mostly due to its flavored crusts, which come in everything from the standard butter to sesame, cajun, or asiago cheese. The general consensus is that switching out the crust of Hungry Howie's pepperoni to one of its more exciting flavors can be its saving grace — but if you're getting the pizza as-is, you're not in for the most satisfying experience.

Blogger Musings of a Dog Mom described the texture of the crust as placing somewhere between "wet cardboard and Communion wafer," which isn't the best of testimonials. As for the pepperoni, it's decent quality but tends to be sparse. Customers acknowledge that Hungry Howie's is much more inconsistent than your average pizza chain, veering from burnt and crispy to totally undercooked. Regardless of which way your pepperoni pizza goes, the result is equally disappointing. As one Reddit user put it: "I've eaten that pizza once decades ago ... It should be classified as a war crime."

11. Chuck E. Cheese

Let's face it: Nobody's turning to their friend and asking if they want to hit up Chuck E. Cheese's for some Italian cuisine. The iconic childhood favorite has been accused of some shady pizza practices in the past, with the chain fervently denying an internet rumor in 2019 that they actually recycle uneaten slices for new pizzas.

Questionable assembly methods aside, we're going to be bold here and say that the Chuck E. Cheese pepperoni is... not terrible? While we doubt an authentic Italian pizzeria would give it the stamp of approval, as far as shamelessly indulgent pizza goes, it could be worse. There's a slew of positive reviews mentioning the pepperoni on Tripadvisor and Yelp. In a viral TikTok review, What Kev Eats praised the garlic powder used to flavor the crust, and positively noted the crispiness of the pepperoni.

Ultimately, this is pizza from an arcade restaurant, so it was never going to take the top spot on this list. Experiences are extremely inconsistent, and the birthday party-style food isn't going to be to everyone's liking. As one Yelp reviewer explained, the nostalgia factor takes the pepperoni a long way but can't make up for its flaws. "The crust is much thinner than I remember, and the quality of pepperoni seems to be pretty low," they explained. "The cheese is chewy, and has a taste that brings nostalgia, but isn't very good otherwise."

10. Zalat Pizza

In Zalat's own words, it offers the "best pizzas in the universe." That's a tall claim that, unfortunately, doesn't extend to its Pepperoni Masterclass — even if it is a solid pepperoni pizza. It comes New York-style with black pepper and crushed garlic, but the biggest letdown is the all-beef pepperoni itself. Unlike the other meat toppings offered by Zalat, it's frequently described as average by customers (especially compared to the sausage, which packs a real flavor punch).

Where Zalat fights back is its crust — it's thin and cooked to perfection. The Marquee described it as "a crust that grounds the rest of it, without distracting from the collective flavors." Said flavors are also solid, bringing in just the right amount of oregano to offset the pepperoni and cheese. TikTok junk food connoisseur Mr. Chime Time gave it a respectable rating of 7.5, with his only critique being that it doesn't have a floppy enough texture to justify its "New York-style" title. A small flaw in the grand scheme of tasty pepperoni pizza.

9. Papa John's

If there's one area in which Papa John's reigns supreme, it's the crust. There's just no beating that fluffy, chewy dough (unless you're exclusively a New York-style or crunchy crust kind of person, in which case you may want to rule this one out by default). The pepperoni is equally impressive. It's sweet but subtly spicy, crispy without being hard, and chewy, but not alarmingly so. YouTuber Mike Does Food Reviews — who admitted that he's not usually a pepperoni person — was full of praise, declaring his order to be "out of this world."

Where it loses points is the quantity. Papa John's often faces complaints about the scarcity of its toppings. The sauce is also pretty controversial, with a lot of customers finding it too sweet — especially when paired with the already slightly sweet pepperoni. "It's full of sugar," confessed one former Papa John's manager on Reddit when questioned on why the red sauce tastes candied. Personally, we're big fans, but this tends to be a turn-off for a lot of customers.

8. Domino's

The biggest pizza chain in the world makes a solid pepperoni pizza. Domino's combines its iconic Robust Inspired Tomato Sauce with a mix of mozzarella, parmesan, asiago, and provolone cheese for its Ultimate Pepperoni Pizza. Most importantly, you don't just get one layer of pepperoni on this pizza, but two, which Domino's claims is a move to "honor pepperoni's top spot in the pizza universe." Facts.

Of all the chains on this list, Domino's is one of the most generous with its pepperoni servings. The pepperoni is a mix of beef, pork, and spices that has generated a small army of dedicated fans internet-wide. However, it's notoriously divisive among pizza fans. Some claim not to like the smell, while others believe it has a strange aftertaste. "The pepperoni was just too gross to finish," complained one customer on Reddit. "If I ever order from there again it'll be only for the plain cheese."

Entire Reddit threads have been created to try and figure out why the pepperoni is so polarizing, with some believing it's due to the relatively high pork content compared to other pizza chains, while others believe it's because the meat is low-fat. If you're on Team Pepperoni, here's a tip: You can actually get the same pizza for cheaper if you customize a pizza with extra pepperoni on the Domino's Pizza Builder rather than directly ordering the Ultimate Pepperoni pie.

7. Papa Murphy's

Papa Murphy's isn't like other pizza chains, instead operating on a take-and-bake business model. You have two choices when asking employees to make your pepperoni — the standard Pepperoni Pizza or the far superior Triple Pepp, which comes and goes from the chain's permanent menu. This is the final boss of pepperoni pizzas, containing three different kinds of pepperoni: Giant, Mini Cup, and Classic. It garners consistently positive reviews for the sheer amount of meat you get on your pizza, with Steve's Real Reviews awarding the pie a solid 90 out of 100.

Even when you order the standard pepperoni, you're in for a treat. Papa Murphy's pepperoni tastes fresh and has just the right amount of kick. However, you do get far less pepperoni than the Triple Pepp, even by a regular pepperoni's pizza standards. "Very skimpy on pepperoni and cheese," said one Tripadvisor user, who also added that the pepperoni tastes better on the regular crust than the thin crust. Another customer complained on Reddit that the chain seems to be reducing the amount of pepperoni on its pizzas to cut costs.

6. Fox's Pizza Den

Fox's Pizza Den has over 200 locations across 25 states, primarily in the South and along the East Coast. Those lucky enough to fall into this catchment area can order either a standard round pizza or the rectangular-shaped "Big Daddy" — a 12 by 24-inch pie bearing a whopping 21 slices of deliciousness. While you'd be hard-pressed to find reviews bashing any of Fox's Pizza Den's toppings, pepperoni is a standout for many in the chain's significantly loyal fandom.

Not only does the meat taste fresh but it's packed with flavor and bears a hint of heat. Kyle Gainey Gains described it in his YouTube review as having the "slightest, little tiniest amount of spiciness," which doesn't linger too long in the mouth — just long enough for you to feel the kick. "This is definitely unique tasting," he concluded. It isn't to everyone's taste, though. Others have claimed that the pepperoni (and especially the cheese) don't have enough flavor to tide you over for the entire pizza.

5. Pizza Hut

There's a reason why Pizza Hut is one of the biggest names in the biz. Somehow, it's perfected the recipe for deep-dish, cheesy pies that are so tasty that you forgive — and sometimes even appreciate — the sheer amount of grease dripping off each slice. Its pepperoni pizza is no exception, pairing stringy melted cheese with a generous portion of salty, crispy meat that's "shingled" (industry lingo for overlapped) from crust to crust. The chain's cupped pepperoni is a particular fan-favorite, with The Impulsive Buy claiming that it has "a meatier and less greasy taste than the standard stuff."

Of all the menu's pepperoni variations, it's the Hot Honey Pepperoni Pizza — which combines pepperoni with habanero-infused honey sauce – that receives the most praise. Introduced in February 2024, the sweet-and-savory combo is a bonafide internet sensation and frequently described as having just the right amount of kick. YouTuber Peep THIS Out! declared it superior to the OG pepperoni pizza, with especially good things to say about the sauce and the crust. "The nice infused habanero goodness into that hot honey sauce was a beautiful situation," he says in the video, "and of course, the butteriness of the original pan crust itself was just lovely across the board." Like everything from Pizza Hut, the grease is a downer for some people, so take that into consideration before placing your order (and remember more pepperoni will inevitably equal more grease).

4. Mountain Mike's

Those who like their pizza extra meaty will find a good match at Mountain Mike's. The West Coast chain — which primarily serves Northern California — is anything but stingy with its pepperoni. One Tripadvisor user described their pizzas as having "ingredients piled high" and shouted out the pepperoni itself for being "slightly crunchy and very flavorful."

Mountain Mike's is extremely proud of this pepperoni — which is cupped to give it that crispy finish – and has dubbed it "legendary." Each pizza is scattered with so much meat that it's actually relatively tough to spot the red sauce. For an idea of just how much pepperoni you should expect, the restaurant claims that its Mountain Size pizza features at least 200 pieces.

This "legendary" title isn't totally down to personal bias. It's true that native Californians are extremely proud (and protective) of Mountain Mike's and its pepperoni. "Mountain Mike's Pizza is hands down [the] best pizza on the West Coast," raved one Reddit user. "I like to call those mini crispy curly roni cups 'tiny teacups of joy.'" If there's space for one critique, it's that this amount of pepperoni is, inevitably, extremely salty and oily – especially because the cups curl up and collect grease. One Tripadvisor reviewer noted that although they've fallen in love with Mountain Mike's pepperoni, "it was a little bit of a hassle blotting up the grease with paper towels."

3. Little Caesars

Despite being the third-biggest pizza chain in the U.S., Little Caesars gets nowhere near as much time in the spotlight as it deserves. That changes today because its pepperoni pizza is actually incredibly tasty — if you order the right one. The Extramostbestest Pepperoni (yes, that's its real name) contains twice as much pepperoni as the chain's standard pizza and is all the better for it.

Not only are you guaranteed several pieces of pepperoni per bite, but — most importantly — the pepperoni is good. Trying New Food's review was full of praise for Little Caesars' "plentiful pepperonis," which it claimed "had a nice flavor and a very enjoyable crispiness." The addition of extra cheese on the Extramostbestest Pepperoni means it also has a chewier texture than the Classic Pepperoni, something YouTuber It's Binh (Been) Repaired & Reviewed proved in a side-by-side analysis of both pies. All this extra pepperoni and cheese does mean that each mouthful comes with the usual side-effect of grease, which is a plus for some — and is nowhere near as bad as some of the other chains on this list — but can be somewhat off-putting in this quantity.

2. Marco's Pizza

Marco's Pizza promises "authentic Italian quality pizza," and while we can't promise that it's the same quality as a slice you'd enjoy in a Roman ristorante, it's definitely quality. The chain's Pepperoni Magnifico is a near-perfect mix of both classic and Old World Pepperoni (the official name for those smaller, curly cups of pepperoni that tend to have a richer flavor), and Marco's signature romesan seasoning, original sauce, and a three-cheese blend.

Like all of its pizzas, the romesan seasoning makes a world of difference to the Pepperoni Magnifico, giving it a parmesan-laden edge. However, it's the Old World Pepperoni that does most of the heavy lifting. "The pepperoni had a good zip to it and left a spicy aftertaste," Indy Pizza Blog said in a positive review that also hailed the crispy Old World cups as a "real shining star." This "zip" is more potent than your average American pepperoni, but benefits from a thick, cheesy background that somewhat mutes its spicier edges. A real triple threat, Marco's also boasts a tasty crust which, as one Tripadvisor review so eloquently puts it, "actually has flavor and texture, not flavorless cardboard like some other chains."

1. Jet's Pizza

For crust enthusiasts, Jet's doesn't just offer pizza but a borderline religious experience. While it also serves New York-style pizza, the chain is known for baking rectangular, Detroit-style pies on par with other Michigan pizzerias. That means crispy edges, a buttery deep-dish crust, and a loose hand with the pepperoni, which is typically layered both beneath and above the cheese (then dusted with parmesan).

Despite all the excess, Jet's Detroit-Style Deep Dish Pepperoni never feels like too much. The sauce, cheese, and pepperoni all complement each other without ever totally seizing your tastebuds for themselves. As The Endorsement explained in a glowing video review of the restaurant's pepperoni pizza, "Even though it's a thicker crust, because of the edges being caramelized and it has that crunch, it's definitely not overpowering."

Each small, curly cup of pepperoni holds just enough grease to enhance these flavors, without tipping over into excessive oil territory. As several Tripadvisor users noted, the flavor of the meat is stronger and bolder than what most customers are used to from other fast food chains — in a good way — and makes for a truly standout pepperoni pizza. "Get yourself a deep dish pepperoni pizza with butter crust, and prepare for a culinary orgasm," advised one wise Yelp reviewer.


Everybody has their pizza preferences, which means there will always be some level of debate about who prepares the best pepperoni pizza. To compile the most accurate list possible, we studied the customer reviews on websites such as Yelp and Tripadvisor for both national and regional pizza chains. We also took into account first-hand experiences shared by TikTok, YouTube, and Reddit users to find out which chains were consistently impressing with the taste and texture of their pies, and which others frequently fell short of flavorful expectations.