Popular Papa John's Menu Items, Ranked Worst To Best

Can't be bothered to cook tonight? Everyone feels that way from time to time. When you get home from a long day at work, the last thing you want to do is spend an hour or two at the stove prepping something for you and your family to eat. So, what exactly should you do instead? You could always order something from a delivery app, but if you want to go with a classic, ordering pizza is the way to go. There's something so exciting about a piping hot pizza showing up at your door and the whole family gathering around the box to grab a slice.

Everyone has different preferences when it comes to delivery pizza, but if you're in the Papa John's camp, this is your lucky day. That's because we've decided to rank our favorite (and least favorite) popular items on the menu to see which are the best and which you're better off forgetting about all together.

There are a ton of items on the Papa John's menu, so keep in mind that we're not ranking absolutely everything — just a select few that stand out. These are just some of the most beloved options you can choose from. Check out how your favorite dishes rank below.

19. Original Breadsticks

When it comes to original breadsticks, some restaurants have the upper hand. Take, of course, Olive Garden. It may not be your favorite restaurant in the world, but those soft, delicious breadsticks? There's no denying that they're about as amazing as they can be. But don't assume that you're getting Olive Garden quality breadsticks when you order from Papa John's or you're going to be sorely disappointed; they aren't the same thing at all.

Instead, these breadsticks are unbelievably boring. While some of the varieties have seasoning on them, the original doesn't have any at all. You're literally just getting an unflavored hunk of cooked dough. And since you're already getting plenty of carbs from the pizza, it doesn't really make sense to eat these as well — they don't offer anything special. Sure, they might taste slightly better when you dip them in the marinara sauce, but they definitely can't stand on their own.

There are some appetizers at Papa John's that are actually really good, so we don't think you should sell yourself short by opting for such a boring, unimaginative appetizer. Unless you're feeding literally the pickiest eater in the world, you should skip over the original breadsticks entirely.

18. The Meats Pizza

We all like some protein in our diets, but The Meats pizza from Papa John's is taking things way, way too far for our taste. It's an unbelievably heavy option that will likely leave you feeling a little bit queasy by the time you finish it up. The pizza starts out with a staggering amount of pepperoni, followed by plenty of sausage, beef, bacon, and Canadian bacon to boot. Yes — all of those different types of meat appear on one pizza at a time. Even if you're the biggest meat lover in the world, you have to admit that this pizza is completely over the top.

A good dish is all about balance, and The Meats pizza is missing it entirely. There's plenty of that savory, salty, umami flavor you love, but there's nothing light or refreshing to break up all that fattiness. By the time you finish a single slice, you'll feel like your mouth is coated in a thin film of fat. There's a good chance that the rest of you isn't going to feel so great, either.

We're not saying you shouldn't enjoy a meat-y pizza from time to time. Just don't go this far.

17. Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Pizza

Hawaiian pizza is already a point of contention for a lot of people. The addition of pineapple on top of a pizza just isn't ideal for some pizza-eaters. We're not here to comment on Hawaiian pizza in general because we know that it's bound to be controversial. What we do know, though, is that the Hawaiian BBQ Chicken pizza from Papa John's is probably not what you want to order.

While the idea of pineapple on pizza is a good one (who doesn't love a good mix of sweet and salty?), it just doesn't come through for us here. The pineapple you'll get from Papa John's looks kind of sad and deflated, like it's ashamed of being there. The bacon isn't bad here, but that's about the only thing this pizza has going for it. That's because it inexplicably also includes chicken and BBQ sauce. What? These seem like completely random additions to what would otherwise be a classic pizza.

The chicken on the Hawaiian BBQ Chicken pizza is also sad and dry, and you'll probably just pick it off after you have a bite or two. The BBQ sauce is super sweet, which may be good on its own, but when it's paired with the pineapple as well, it adds too much sugar. Basically, this is a mess of a pizza, and we don't know what Papa John's was thinking when they created it. At least the bacon is good, though.

16. Extra Cheesy Alfredo Pizza

If you're looking for a boring, bland, and one-note pizza, we're here to help: just order the Extra Cheesy Alfredo pizza from Papa John's. We have to admit that Alfredo isn't exactly an interesting, flavorful sauce that we want to put on everything. Rather, it's an innocuous sauce that most people don't mind but also don't love. Therefore, we weren't surprised when we tasted this pizza and realized how bland it was. The Alfredo has barely any flavor to it — it's just a basic white sauce that makes the pizza a little less dry.

Then comes all the cheese. Of course, we all love cheese. Who doesn't? And when it comes to pizza, having more cheese is generally better. When it comes to this pizza, though, it's basically all cheese: so much of it that after the first bite or two, eating the rest of your slice will feel like a chore. Papa John's website says that Extra Cheesy Alfredo pizza is topped with a "blend of provolone, Asiago, Fontina, and real cheese made from mozzarella." Wait ... real cheese from mozzarella? What does that mean, exactly?

We don't encourage you to find out. Unless you really just want to eat a whole slice of cheese (which is totally valid), we think you should probably order something else.

15. BBQ Chicken Bacon Pizza

We don't know why Papa John's is apparently obsessed with BBQ sauce on its pizza, but we're not going to stand for it. While the BBQ Chicken Bacon pizza might be a bit better than the Hawaiian version we ranked above, it's just barely better. The only difference seems to be that this pie doesn't have any pineapple on it. That is an improvement, sure, but we're left wondering why anyone thought it was a good idea to put BBQ sauce on a pizza in the first place. Can't we just leave BBQ sauce alone and stick with what actually works?

Again, when you choose this pizza, you're going to taste some really dry chicken. While the edges of the chicken might crisp up nicely, that's the only good texture you're likely to get. The BBQ sauce is overpowering, and it will leave you wondering why you didn't just order actual BBQ if you wanted that flavor. The onions help give this pizza some freshness and zing, but unfortunately, they didn't save it from ranking so low on our list.

If you're a huge fan of BBQ sauce on pizza, this may not be the worst order for you. But for us, it just doesn't seem like an option we'd choose more than once.

14. Meatball Pepperoni Papadia

Wondering what a Papadia is? You're not alone. It's basically half a pizza that's been folded over onto itself, creating a sandwich-like situation. It's not far off from a regular pizza, but it may be a bit better for eating on the go. And if you're only ordering Papa John's for yourself instead of a whole family, it may be a viable option. However, we don't recommend that you choose the Meatball Pepperoni Papadia.

When you first take a bite of this sandwich–pizza hybrid, you may really like it. The marinara sauce pairs well with the meat, which makes it enjoyable ... at least at first. Once you get a few bites in, though, you may start to regret your order. You'd be surprised at how much meat they pack into this thing. After a while, it starts to feel way, way too heavy. In fact, you may not even want to finish it.

For real meat lovers, this may seem appealing. However, we wish there were something in the Papadia that made it a bit fresher, like some veggies. Otherwise, it's just kind of sad to be so busy that you have to order this weird dish instead of just grabbing a slice of regular pizza.

13. Unsauced Roasted Wings

Generally, we think it's best to stick with a restaurant's specialties when you place an order. For example, if you're going out to a seafood restaurant, you probably won't want to order a steak. When you're at a steakhouse, you're probably wasting your time if you order a pasta dish. And when you're at Papa John's, it makes sense to order pizza — not chicken wings. But alas, sometimes you want to place an order with a little variety to make everyone around the dinner table happy, which is how you may end up with the Unsauced Roasted Wings from Papa John's.

While these wings aren't the worst we've ever had, we don't really see a reason for buying them again. They may have been marginally juicy, but that's about all they had going for them. The fact that these wings didn't have any sauce gave them a crispy skin, but since there was so little flavor there, we couldn't even enjoy that crispiness properly. You can order the wings with a dipping sauce, which definitely helps a little bit. But if it were us, we'd probably just order wings from a different restaurant if that's what we really wanted.

12. Meatball Pepperoni Pizza

When you order the Meatball Pepperoni pizza from Papa John's, you probably think you're ordering a pizza with a ton of meat. But while it might be slightly meatier than some of the other options on the menu, we were disappointed that Papa John's really seemed to skimp on the meatballs. While there were plenty of slices of pepperoni, the meatballs were few and far between. That makes sense considering that meatballs are generally so big — that's probably why you don't see them on pizza that much. But on this dish, they're cut up so small and spread out so much, you don't really get the meatball flavor you're hoping for.

Overall, the flavor profile of The Meatball Pepperoni pizza isn't bad. We just don't think they really cared about making sure there was an even distribution of the different kinds of meat they were using. And since there's nothing on this pizza to break up the meatiness, it's also kind of heavy. Like so many other menu items at this chain restaurant, we wish there were more ingredients that would make the pizza taste fresher.

Is it your worst option at Papa John's? No. But is it worth your time to try? We'd say probably not.

11. Tuscan Six Cheese Pizza

We already told you how we felt about the Extra Cheesy Alfredo pizza, so you know where we stand on these kinds of extra cheesy concoctions. While the Tuscan Six Cheese pizza is similar, we did decide to rank it a bit higher on this list. Why? The main difference comes down to the sauce. While the Extra Cheesy Alfredo pizza has, you guessed it, Alfredo sauce, the Tuscan Six Cheese pizza has real red pizza sauce instead. That layer of tomato-y goodness ensures that you're getting some variety of flavor when you order this pie.

However, the cheese situation is very much the same. It comes in the form of an "authentic blend of Parmesan, Romano, Asiago, Fontina, provolone, and real cheese made from mozzarella." Again, we have to ask, what does "real cheese made from mozzarella" mean? It definitely doesn't seem like it's the real deal. The cheese itself is good, but considering that there's so much of it, it does feel like overkill at a certain point.

If you're going to order a pizza that's on the plain side, the Tuscan Six Cheese pizza may be the one to order. However, there are much more interesting options on the menu, so stick around to discover what else is available before you order.

10. Fiery Buffalo Chicken Pizza

There are some pizzas that Papa John's sells that seem like they're pretty close to classics. Sure, it may not be like you're getting a Margherita pizza straight from Italy, but they're close enough that just about anyone would recognize them as pizza. But when you order the Fiery Buffalo Chicken pizza from Papa John's, that's not exactly what you're going to get. As you may expect, instead of a more traditional pizza sauce, the crust of this bad boy is covered in buffalo sauce instead.

You'll also find onions, cheese, bacon, and chicken on the Fiery Buffalo Chicken pizza. The onions, bacon, and cheese are all pretty good, and they complement the buffalo sauce quite well. The chicken, on the other hand, is less desirable, but that's because seemingly most of the chicken at Papa John's is a bit dry and bland when it appears on a pizza.

Overall, we do enjoy this pizza, though. When you take the chicken out of the equation and focus on the tangy, slightly spicy buffalo sauce, it's truly something to behold.

9. Jalapeño Popper Rolls

When you want to get a side with your pizza, what exactly should you order? You may be surprised at the number of options you'll have available to you at Papa John's. But in our opinion, one of the better options are the Jalapeño Popper Rolls. Keep in mind that these rolls are not for the faint of heart. If you don't take to spicy food well, then these probably aren't for you. But if you're like us and you love a bit of kick to your snacks, you're probably going to love these rolls.

Essentially, they're just little rolls of dough. But inside of the rolls, you'll find cream cheese and jalapeños. The cream cheese helps to take down the heat of the peppers, but they're still relatively spicy. However, they're the kind of spicy that will have you reaching for this snack again and again.

Jalapeño Popper Rolls definitely aren't a dish that's right for everyone, which is why they didn't land higher on our ranking. But still, we think they're a great option for those who want something a little extra with their slice of pizza.

8. Cheesesticks

When you combine cheese and bread together, you know you're going to get something amazing. It's just science. In fact, we'd venture to say that it doesn't even matter what kind of bread or cheese you're using. Therefore, you probably already know that the Cheesesticks from Papa John's are likely going to be pretty good. Before they add the cheese to the bread, they cover it in a garlic sauce, which gives it its signature taste. Then the cheese is added to the mix, and you've got a masterpiece.

That being said, this is a really simple dish. Generally, it's not something we would prefer to buy at a restaurant when you could so easily make it at home. If you're trying to save money, we suggest you do that instead. But sometimes, you just feel so lazy that you don't even want to toast some bread. For those times, these cheesesticks are where it's at. Just don't forget the marinara dipping sauce! That really takes these bad boys from just ordinary to something a little more special.

7. Double Chocolate Chip Brownie

We know what you're thinking right now: If you order food from your favorite restaurant, what are you going to do about dessert? Maybe you thought ahead and you already have some ice cream in your freezer. If that's the case, then you may want to skip this section altogether. But if you're on the hunt for something sweet, you can't go wrong with the Double Chocolate Chip Brownie from Papa John's. Does this dessert involve a lot of chocolate? Definitely. But if you're a chocolate lover, you're probably going to love these things.

The middle of the brownie is super fudgy. It's dense, but it's still got a softness to it that makes you want to take another bite. The top, on the other hand, is nice and flaky, creating a texture you won't be able to get enough of. Then, chocolate chips dot the entire brownie, giving you something to bite into and adding just a touch of extra sweetness. What's not to love about that?

If you don't like really rich desserts, though, the Double Chocolate Chop Brownie is probably not your best bet (but don't worry — Papa John's has other dessert options available as well).

6. Zesty Italian Trio Pizza

If you're looking for a pizza that has some more zing to it, you're probably going to go wild for the Zesty Italian Trio pizza. This is definitely one of our favorites on the Papa John's menu, as it offers something a little different for those who are used to the same old, same old boring pizza. First, there's the trio of meats: You'll find Italian sausage, pepperoni, and salami on this pie. But then comes the best part: the banana peppers. This juicy addition adds just the right amount of acidity to break up the otherwise oily and meat-heavy dish. There's also a sprinkle of Italian seasoning that adds an extra level of interest.

While the Zesty Italian Trio pizza may not be the freshest pizza on earth, we think it's one of the better options at Papa John's because it prominently features a veggie (and a bright, flavorful one at that). While it is super indulgent, it has the perfect amount of lightness that will convince you to have one more slice than you really should.

5. Italian Papadia

We may not be fans of every single Papadia on the Papa John's menu, but when it comes to the Italian Papadia, we're all in. This strange pizza–sandwich hybrid may not be a traditional Italian treat, but it's something that we can get behind, especially when it has the flavor profile you see in this particular version of it. The Italian Papadia is better than many of the other Papadia options specifically because it features banana peppers. These peppers really make all of the other flavors pop, and add a zing that a dish this meat-y and carb-y definitely needs.

Another interesting twist on this Papadia is the fact that it comes with Alfredo sauce. The creamy texture and flavor offers something you might not be expecting at first, but you're almost guaranteed to love it. Then add in the salami, Italian sausage, and cheese, and it's clear why this option is a winner in our book. Is it heavy? Sure. But if you're feeling really hungry and really want to fill up fast, this dish might just be your answer.

4. Garlic Knots

Garlic is one of those foods that just about everyone loves. It adds amazing flavor to a ton of different dishes, and if you're like us, you feel like you can never truly have enough. But when you combine bread and garlic together, it's basically a match made in heaven. That's why we go crazy over Papa John's garlic knots. They may look fairly innocuous, but that doesn't mean that they aren't one of the best items on the menu.

The bread here is nice and soft, which makes it easy to bite into. Sometimes, we like crusty bread, but when it comes to garlic knots, that nice, pillow-y texture is just what we're looking for. Then, there's the garlic — and lots of it. We were pleased to find that Papa John's didn't skimp when it came to the addition of garlic, which transforms a relatively boring piece of bread into something special and memorable. Add in the Parmesan cheese on top, and we wish an order of garlic knots came with way more than just eight servings.

One thing you don't want to miss out on when it comes to these garlic knots: the dipping sauce. It adds a tangy and slightly sweet flavor to the knots and makes them less dry.

3. Cinnamon Pull Aparts

All too often, when you want to order a dessert from a fast food restaurant, the only options you have will be super rich chocolate treats. While that kind of dessert can be good sometimes, it's often not what you really want. Sometimes, you want something that's just as sweet but is a bit lighter — or at least doesn't have such a one-note flavor. If that's what you're looking for from Papa John's, you should order the Cinnamon Pull Aparts. This dessert is a nice change of pace, and you might just realize it's one your favorite items on the menu.

This treat is made of tiny pieces of cinnamon roll that you can, you guessed it, pull apart and eat on their own. They've also got cinnamon crumbles on top that provide a lot of the dessert's texture. Then, the sweet cream cheese icing adds a ton of sweetness and makes it even more decadent. If your family loves cinnamon rolls, then this is the dessert to try out. There's a reason it's in our top three, after all.

2. Garden Fresh Pizza

As you've already seen, there are a lot of really heavy items on the menu at Papa John's. Sometimes, you want to go all out and order something that's actually pretty unhealthy. But a lot of the time, you'd probably prefer to eat something that's on the healthier side if it were available to you. If that's how you feel, then the Garden Veggie pizza should be your order. You guessed it: This pizza is totally vegetarian, so you can still order it if you don't eat meat. Even if you do eat meat, though, you'll have to admit that this pizza is amazing.

The Garden Veggie pizza packed with veggies, including onions, olives, mushrooms, tomatoes, and green peppers. It's definitely not a salad, though; the generous helping of cheese on this pie makes it rich and creamy as well. That creaminess complements the freshness of the vegetables perfectly, making for a dinner that's just healthy enough.

Just because you're ordering fast food doesn't mean you have to give up on eating your fair share of veggies for the night. And with a choice as delicious as this one, why wouldn't you want to?

1. Pepperoni Pizza

Why mess with a classic when you already know it's amazing? Though Papa John's serves a lot of great pizzas, we had to choose the classic for the number one spot: Pepperoni pizza. When you think of American pizza delivery, what kind of pizza first comes to mind? If you're like most people, you think of a steaming hot pepperoni pie. It's no coincidence that this is Papa John's best option. When you pull the slices apart, you'll get that perfect cheese pull moment. The pepperoni themselves have nice, crispy edges, so you'll get the tiniest bit of crunch when you take a bite. And they really don't skimp out on the pepperoni at this place — you're going to get plenty of it.

Pepperoni pizza is very rich, and it's going to fill you up fast. It may not be something you want to eat every day, but when it comes time to order something from Papa John's, we think that this should be your go-to. Feel free to experiment all you want, but at the end of the day, there's nothing wrong with getting a classic pepperoni pizza.