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America’s Favorite Pizza Chains

America’s Favorite Pizza Chains


Back in November, we opened a poll asking you to vote for your favorite pizza chains in America. Only five votes separated our first- and second-place winners, so read on to learn which pizza chain is America’s favorite.

America’s Favorite Pizza Chains (Slideshow)

As anyone who’s ever attempted to make his or her own pizza can attest, it’s a lot harder than it looks to turn out a decent pie; it involves much more than just cheese and sauce on bread. Successful chains have it down to a science. Some pride themselves on still making each pie by hand, a hundred percent of the time. Others turn out a vast quantity of pizzas daily with the help of high-tech machinery. At the end of the day, though, everyone has preferences.

What exactly did our voters look for in determining their favorites? We asked them to vote not just for chains they’ve been to, but for those they truly respect. They were told to take into account the freshness of the product, service, convenience, menu diversity, deliciousness of the product, and overall experience. Some voted based on a loyalty to local chains while others preferred the big guys.

Note that we’re not identifying these chains as America’s best. Because this was a simple tally, it’s simply a ranking of America’s favorites. If we were to rank the best, we’d judge the pizzas on the freshness and quality of ingredients, the care put into making each pie, the ambiance and atmosphere of each restaurant, menu variety, and whether the pizzas are made in an actual pizza oven. If it were up to us, our top five chains would most likely be (not necessarily in this order) Bertucci’s, Lou Malnati’s, Sbarro, California Pizza Kitchen, and Round Table.

So from household names like Little Caesars to small regional favorites like Monical’s and Buddy’s, you, the people have spoken, and these are your favorite pizza chains.


This family-owned Indiana chain is a certifiable cult favorite in its native state, where there are nearly 100 locations. Square-cut pizzas are loaded with toppings edge-to-edge, and other favorites include pretzel bread sticks, roasted beef and cheese sandwiches, and “sausage boats,” sandwiches with sausage, cheese, onions, green peppers, and homemade sauce.


A St. Louis tradition founded in 1964 with more than 90 locations in Missouri, Illinois, and Kansas, Imo’s is known for its St. Louis-style pizza, which is thin-crust, round but sliced into squares, and topped with provel cheese, a gooey combination of Cheddar, Swiss, and provolone. Appetizers include provel cheese bites and toasted ravioli, another regional specialty.


The largest pizza chains in the U.S.

The pizza segment grew sales 2.6% in 2019. Unit growth was nearly flat, increasing by 0.1%.

RankChain name2019 U.S. sales (,000)Sales stimated2019 U.S. units
9Domino's $7,044 6,126
11Pizza Hut $5,558 7,306
20Little Caesars $3,811 *4,237
28Papa John's $2,638 3,142
61Papa Murphy's Pizza $748 1,329
70Marco's Pizza $628 915
93MOD Pizza $484 467
97Round Table Pizza $451 *435
100Hungry Howie's Pizza $440 537
106Cicis $411 *420
109Chuck E. Cheese's $382 *537
113Blaze Pizza $367 313
125Jet's Pizza $332 *383
141Pizza Ranch $270 212
153Godfather's Pizza $251 *569
163Sbarro $219 *300
187Mountain Mike's Pizza $182 215
191Donatos Pizza $180 *165

Source: Technomic Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report *Technomic estimate


The Top Chicken Franchises of 2021

1. KFC

KFC launched its Hot Nashville Chicken recipe back in 2015, but just gave it a boost by coming out with Hot Nashville Chicken and Waffles.

Founded in 1930 by Harlan “Colonel” Sanders and franchising since 1952, the number of locations has continued its steady upward march in recent years and now stands at 24,394 (up from the previously reported total of 23,103). All this recent growth for the chain has come from international expansion, which has exploded in the last three years to 20,098 locations outside the US. Meanwhile, the number of domestic locations has declined recently from 4,387 in 2008 to the current total of 3,969.

Also, the number of company-owned units has been drastically reduced from its recent high of 5,321 in 2016 to only 327. This process is known as “refranchising” company-owned locations, which has been a recent trend with large restaurant chains in order to boost margins.

2. Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen has strong Cajun roots, which it puts front-and-center throughout its menu with Cajun-style fried chicken, red beans and rice, Cajun fries, mashed potatoes with Cajun-style gravy, Cajun rice, chicken-and-sausage jambalaya, and po’ boy sandwiches.

In August 2019, the chain launched a chicken sandwich that started the chicken sandwich wars. It underestimated demand and was sold out within weeks. Needless to say, they scrambled to get more supply in the pipeline to bring it back.

Founded in 1972 and franchising since 1976, the number of locations has been on the rise during the past decade from 1,945 in 2010 to the current total of 3,377 (up from the previously reported total of 3,166), of which 41 are company-owned and 850 are located outside the US.

3. Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A often gets named as America’s favorite fast-food joint by various restaurant magazines, but it’s not without its challenges. Its nod to the South Baptist values of founder Truett Cathy include closing on Sundays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, which is basically unheard of in the cut-throat competitive world of fast-food chains. And it seems to work given that the chain makes more than double the sales of KFC ($10 billion versus $4.4 billion) even though KFC has significantly more locations!

Founded by Truett Cathy in 1946 in Hapeville, Georgia, the number of locations has risen to the current total of 2,664 (up from the previously reported total of 2,360), all of which are company-owned but operated by hand-picked “franchisees” who pay a $10,000 fee to undergo rigorous training to become a location’s operator. The chain’s attempts at international expansion have largely failed beyond a handful of locations in Canada.

4. Church’s Chicken

Church’s Chicken has had several different owners over the past 30 years, including AFC Enterprises, Arcapita, and Friedman Fleischer & Lowe – and the latest owner is looking to sell it in spite of its enviable position in the chicken restaurant market.

This quick-serve chain has a menu featuring home-style fare including Original and Spicy chicken, Tender Strips, and chicken sandwiches, along with chicken fried steak and a selection of seafood dishes, classic sides, and made-from-scratch biscuits served up with a healthy dose of southern hospitality.

Founded by George W. Church in San Antonio, Texas in 1952 and franchising since 1969, the number of locations has declined a bit in recent years from 1,693 in 2010 to the current total of 1,574 (up from the previously reported total of 1,550), of which 162 are company-owned and 533 are located outside the US (where it is sometimes branded as Texas Chicken).

5. Wingstop

Wingstop specializes in wings, offering fans classic wings, boneless wings, and tenders (breaded strips of chicken) that they can dip in 11 different sauces ranging from mild to Atomic (its hottest). It also offers side dishes such as hand-cut fries, beans, and coleslaw made fresh daily. But a simple menu hasn’t held it back from growing by leaps and bounds, and seeing its stock price quadruple since it went public in 2015.

Founded in 1994 and franchising since 1998, the number of locations has more than tripled in the past ten years from 472 in 2010 to the current total of 1,436 (up from the previously reported total of 1,385), of which 30 are company-owned and 162 are located outside the US.

6. Chester’s

Chester’s has a secret family recipe for its fried chicken that it has been using since the beginning. In addition to its many chicken offerings, the menu also has breakfast items, wraps, salads, sides, and desserts.

Although franchisees can go for a standalone Chester’s restaurant, this is a chain that has found success by offering a variety of “restaurant-in-store” franchise options. Supermarkets can modify their deli departments to include Chester’s food products. It also has a presence in many colleges and universities, airports, convenience stores, and truck stops (such as 113 Love’s Travel Stops).

Founded by W.O. Giles in 1952 but franchising only since 2004, the number of locations has more than tripled during the past decade from 427 in 2010 to the current total of 1,347 (up from the previously reported total of 1,286), none of which are company-owned and 43 of which are located outside the US.

7. Buffalo Wild Wings

Buffalo Wild Wings is a full-service restaurant and sports bar. Although it is best known for its buffalo-style chicken wings and 12 sauces, the menu also features plenty of other choices, including appetizers, burgers, tacos, salads, and desserts along with beer and wine. Every location also has no fewer than 50 large-screen televisions for customers to enjoy watching their favorite sports.

Founded by James Disbrow and Scott Lowery in Columbus, Ohio in 1982 and franchising since 1991, the number of locations has grown steadily in recent years from 732 in 2010 to 1,276 in 2018 but has since declined slightly to the current total of 1,271 (down from the previously reported total of 1,274), of which 682 are company-owned and 55 are located outside the US.

8. Zaxby’s

Zaxby’s has grown its brand in recent years through ads showing all kinds of celebrities eating their food. The chain has also benefited from a variety of sponsorships, including a contract to sell its food at the basketball and football games of 30 different Division I colleges, and a number of NASCAR sponsorships. It has also been doing movie promotionals as well as an “Insane Music Tour” that brings country music star Jordan Rager to Zaxby’s locations for free 30-minute concerts.

The fast-food chain’s menu features chicken wings, chicken fingers, sandwiches, and salads.

Founded by Zach McLeroy and Tony Townley in Statesboro, Georgia in 1990 and franchising since 1994, the number of locations has grown in recent years from 502 in 2010 to the current total of 906, of which 146 are company-owned and all are located in the US.

9. Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits

Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits brings customers lots of Cajun-style items on its fast-food menu, including Cajun-style seasoned fried chicken, buttermilk biscuits, jambalaya, Cajun rice, red beans and rice, mashed potatoes with Cajun gravy, and Cajun fries. The offerings are rounded out with several sandwiches, seafood dishes, and desserts. The chain recently re-introduced its Pork Chop Griller Biscuit sandwich for a limited time.

Founded by Jack Fulk and Richard Thomas in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1977 and franchising since 1978, the number of locations nearly doubled from 437 in 2008 to 766 in 2018 but has since declined to the current total of 749 (down from the previously reported total of 764), of which 312 are company-owned and three are located outside the US.

10. El Pollo Loco

El Pollo Loco (The Crazy Chicken) positions itself as different from most of the restaurant chains on this list because it doesn’t have fried chicken on its menu at all. Instead, it specializes in fire-grilled chicken, which it touts as a healthier alternative to most fast-food fried chicken.

Whole chickens are marinated in a special recipe of herbs, spices, fruit juices, and garlic, then fire-grilled, hand-cut, and served as various creative chicken meals and in burritos, salads, soups, tacos, quesadillas. The chain’s guacamole, salsas, and dressings are also homemade.

Founded by Pancho Ochoa in Guasave, Mexico in 1975 and then moving to the US in 1980, there are now “more than 475” referenced in recent press releases from the company, down from the 485 locations previously listed on the company website.

11. Champs Chicken

Champs Chicken is a fried chicken restaurant chain with a menu featuring chicken tenders, chicken dippers (eight different sauces), ChampStix (chicken-on-a-stick), fried shrimp, hushpuppies, and a variety of comfort-food extras like macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, collard greens, buttered corn, seasoned green beans, red beans and rice, and candied cinnamon apples for dessert.

Founded by Shawn and Julie Burcham in Willard, Missouri in 1998 but franchising only since 2013, the number of locations peaked at 418 in 2016 and has been declining since then to the last reported total of 369 in 2019, of which none were company-owned and all were located in the US.

12. Bonchon

Bonchon got its start in South Korea with its name that means “my hometown” with a core offering of made-to-order double-fried chicken, then brushed with its signature sauces. In addition to chicken, the chain offers other traditional Korean dishes such as Japchae, Tteokbokki, and Bibimbap.

Founded by Jinduk Seh in 2002 in South Korea, the first location in the US was opened in 2006. There are now more than 340 locations (up from the previously reported figure of more than 300), more than 100 of which are in the US, with the rest spread out across seven other countries.

13. Golden Chick

Golden Chick is a fast-casual fried chicken chain whose core offering has become the Original Golden Tender (marinated, battered, fried chicken tenderloin strips) since it was introduced in 1985. There are plenty of Southern-style items on the menu, which focuses on presenting lots of family meals, combination meals, and party packs.

Founded by Howard Walker in San Marcos, Texas in 1967 and franchising since 1972, the number of locations more than doubled from 90 in 2010 to the current total of 184, of which seven are company-owned and all are located in the US.

14. Chicken Salad Chick

Chicken Salad Chick is a departure from the other restaurant chains on this list because its menu doesn’t include either fried or grilled chicken. Instead, it presents a dozen different chicken salads made fresh daily to go with soups, sandwiches, and desserts in a Southern-style fast-casual concept as well as for catering. Without the complex kitchen requirements of most chicken franchises, the startup costs are substantially lower.

The company was recently purchased by consumer-focused private equity firm Brentwood Associates in Los Angeles. Founded by Stacy Brown in Auburn, Alabama in 2008 and franchising since 2012, the number of locations has climbed steadily since then to the current total of 161 (up from the previously reported total of 125), of which 44 are company-owned and all are located in the US.

15. Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken

Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken offers a variety of home-style quick-service food, including a number pressure-cooked fried chicken dishes (fresh-cooked, never-frozen), chicken pot pie, country fried steak, butterfly shrimp, and all kinds of sides. The chain also features fresh-brewed sweet tea, family meals, catering packs, kids meals, and gluten-free options.

Founded by Lee Cummings (nephew of KFC Founder Harlan “Colonel” Sanders) and Harold Omer in Lima, Ohio in 1966, there are currently 138 locations listed on the company website, up from the previous known total of 132.

16. Bush’s Chicken

Bush’s Chicken offers a Southern-style quick-service menu of fried chicken and fried chicken tenders in a family-friendly atmosphere. But fans can also opt to get their food from the drive-thru, which features multiple lanes with orders taken in-person by employees (not through an intercom system). There are lots of Southern sides and freshly-brewed iced tea. Some of its locations do offer baked chicken in addition to the usual fried chicken.

Founded by Keith and Charlene Bush in Waco, Texas in 1996 and franchising since 2005, the number of locations listed on the company website is 71, which is down from the previously listed number of around 90.

17. Wing Zone

Wing Zone is one of the half-dozen companies on this list that specialize in chicken wings. The chain offers a menu with traditional wings, boneless wings, chicken fingers, buffalo shrimp, a variety of sandwiches, potato wedges and other sides, salads, and desserts. Loyal fans (called flavorholics) love doing their own Flavor Fuze, choosing from among 14 rubs to create their own unique wing flavors.

Founded by Matt Friedman and Adam Scott in Gainesville, Florida in 1991 and franchising since 1999, the company website currently lists 31 locations (down from the previously listed total of 33) in the US and 27 international locations for a grand total of 58.

18. Wings Over

Wings Over has a menu specializing in wings (traditional and boneless) and sauces, but also includes ribs, sandwiches, wraps, salads, and sides. There are 25 different sauces for the wings, including six BBQ sauces, five savory sauces, three teriyaki sauces, six dry rubs, and five buffalo sauces that give a full range of heat options.

Founded in Amherst, Massachusetts in 2000 and franchising since 2002, the company website currently lists 36 locations, down from the previous listed total of 39.

19. Atomic Wings

Atomic Wings is the only buffalo wings chain on this list to specifically make a big deal of its chicken being all-natural, which for this company means the chickens are humanely raised in a cage-free environment without antibiotics or hormones. It also has 14 different sauces, most of which are gluten-free. The rest of the menu can vary by location, but usually includes a variety of sandwiches (burgers and chicken sandwiches) and sides (Mozzarella sticks, jalapeño poppers, onion rings, chicken quesadilla, tater tots, and waffle fries).

Founded by Adam Lippin in New York City in 1989 but only franchising since 2018, the number of locations currently stands at 24 (up one from the previously reported total), of which 20 are company-owned and all are located in the US.

20. Epic Wings

Epic Wings (formerly called Wings-n-Things) spent 30+ years perfecting its business model before it started franchising its concept. This is a buffalo wings chain that relies on 100% natural and fresh chicken (never frozen). It serves up three basic forms of chicken: tenderloin strips, boneless wings, and original buffalo wings. The buffalo sauce it serves comes in four levels of heat (mild, medium, hot, and extra hot) and also has five other sauce flavors. Rounding out the menu are buffalo chicken pizza sticks (bread), regular bread sticks, and a few sides.

Founded by the Sacco family in San Diego in 1982 but franchising only since 2018, there are now 19 locations (down one from the previously reported total of 20).


National pizza chains ranked worst to best

Everyone knows that pizza is the most popular food on Super Bowl Sunday.

This year will be no exception.

In fact, national pizza chains such as Pizza Hut will sell more than 2 million pizzas, and Domino's claims to sell more than 12 million slices, according to national statistics.

Julie Hoogland | [email protected]

Our Michigan's Best Team (that's us, Amy Sherman and John Gonzalez) sat down on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018, to sample pizzas from 13 chains available to us in the Grand Rapids area.

We sampled the Top 5 National chains, in order of gross sales, according to pizzatoday.com.

Pizza Hut (Ranked No. 1 in gross sales), Domino's (No. 2), Papa John's (No. 3), Little Caesars (No. 4) and Papa Murphy's (No. 5).

Along with those Top 5, we tried a few other national chains available in West Michigan.

The other contenders: Hungry Howie's (Ranked No. 12 nationally n gross sales), Jet's (No. 13), Old Chicago Pizza (No. 14), Pieology (No. 28), Cottage Inn (No. 55), BC Pizza (No. 99), as well as Fazoli's and Mancino's.

John Gonzalez | [email protected]

We ordered all pepperoni pizzas. We ordered smalls, in most cases. We looked at appearance, quality of crust, pepperoni, cheese and overall taste. Several of the pizzas were still warm, but we accounted for the fact that most of them had cooled considerably while being transported to our special test kitchen, which was actually a table in our office that could handle all of our pizza boxes.

(In this photo our assistants help us organize the pizzas. Thanks to Julie Hoogland and Jessica Shepherd for the assist.)


We Found The Best Appetizers At Your Favorite Chain Restaurants

Appetizers are the best part of any meal&mdashthis isn't up for debate, it is simply the cold hard truth. Nothing comes between me and my carby, buttery, gorgeous apps. Here are the best apps at your favorite chain restaurants whether you choose to share them or not is totally up to you.

Can you imagine if we DIDN'T put this on here? These golden, tender biscuits are bottomless and can turn any bad day around. Some will say these biscuits are meant to be filler and keep you from getting to the good stuff, but I think these *are* the good stuff.

We've had our fair share of calamari on our restaurant adventures, and honestly. most of them suck. If you're going to get calamari, I recommend only getting it from here. It's lightly breaded and tender, and comes as a large serving size for a group.

Somehow the best part of this burger isn't the thick blanket of cheddar cheese. The generous slathering of tangy bacon jam and crispy fried onion makes this one of the best sliders I've had.

Do you love lasagna? OK, what about deep-fried lasagna? The parmesan breading, marinara drizzle, and creamy alfredo sauce make this app a work of damn art.

How did it take us this long to get to a dip?? This dip is the perfect example of an app that you're expected to share but you simply won't. The creamy lemony dip is loaded with shrimp, scallops, and crab and it will make you feel like the fanciest person at the table.

I really didn't want to like these. Everyone and her mother was screaming about these flaky, golden egg rolls and, to be frank, I assumed they were overrated. I'm here to report that they are just as legendary as expected. Chili's wraps chicken, black beans, corn, jalapeños, cheese, red peppers, and spinach in a flour tortilla and fries it in all its glory. If you don't dip it in the avocado-ranch, you're doing a disservice to yourself.

Another extremely common and overrated app is the onion ring. Often, the onion is too slippery and falls out leaving you with a breading carcass. I am thrilled to say that Red Robin has nailed the onion ring game and these thick-cut onion rings are my new pride and joy. You'll be dipping them in the campfire mayo and ranch debating which dip is better until it's all gone. (But we all know the campfire mayo is best, yes?)

We're going to take a quick break from all things fried and brown for these chicken lettuce wraps. This app is great activity for the table and is light enough that you'll be able to make it to dessert. The garlic, ginger, hoisin sauce, and green onions give some serious flavor to the chicken, making you almost forget this is healthy-ish.

Look, I know this might be crazy to put this at number 2&mdashbut I've never had a reaction to bread and cheese like I did to this combo. The pretzels are puffy and salty and the beer cheese dip could truly go on everything. I had a spiritual awakening with these damn pretzels and I will stand by this ranking.

I'm also surprised this took the top spot, but when I really reflect on my favorite apps, this one immediately comes to mind. It was garlicky, buttery, and made me want to get up and dance. Every restaurant should put bread under their proteins to catch the sauce. It made so much sense, yet most places don't do this. If I talk about this app anymore I will have to order it for delivery, so I'm just going to tell you the obvious: Try it. Please.


Best: Barbecue chicken

There are people that insist it's not pizza without marinara sauce. There are also people who are wrong. Likely invented in Memphis — although the kids out at Spago probably disagree — the barbecue pizza is now an accepted staple at every mom and pop pizza place around. Regardless of who invented it, chicken on a pizza works, and barbecue sauce makes it even better. Barbecue chicken is the most important addition to pizza since the invention of dough, as it opened the door for many popular "non-traditional" toppings.


This fast-food giant rolled out the Impossible Whopper (made with an Impossible Foods patty that "bleeds") in all of its U.S. restaurants in August. After the nationwide rollout, the chain received some heat since the vegan patty is grilled on the same cooking surface as regular Whoppers, so strict vegans and vegetarians need to be wary of how they place their orders.

The Impossible Whopper has roughly the same number of calories as a traditional Whopper, but 9 more grams of carbs and more sodium.


Guide:

The Best Pizza Places In New Jersey

Di Fara Pizza

Di Fara opened in 1964, and the same man has been behind the counter ever since. His name is Dom DeMarco, and, if you come here, you’ll see him making every pie himself. This means that your pizza might take a little longer - but this also means that your pie will be excellent, bordering on perfect. The round one comes covered in several kinds of cheese and olive oil, the crust is slightly crunchy and salty, and the fresh basil will make you wonder why every pizza isn’t covered in fresh basil. And if you want something a little more intense, get the square pie. It has an excessive amount of cheese and sauce, and the crunchy crust tastes like it was soaked in butter. One slice will make you incredibly happy, and a second will make you want to get into a sleeping bag and watch a rom-com.

Open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining

Leo is from the people behind another great restaurant on this guide, Ops in Bushwick, and it’s the best pizza place to have opened in Williamsburg in years. Like their sister location, Leo specializes in natural wine and sourdough pies, but with a completely different menu of tangy-dough pizza. Their briny clam pie will make you reconsider any allegiance to bivalve mollusk pizza you’ve enjoyed in that random state called Connecticut - since the sourdough crust is far lighter and more flavorful than a yeast dough that’s been made for thousands of tourists a day. If you’re in the area and looking for some pizza to go, welcome yourself to a starch-dominant world with the provola and potato square version. This hearty slice is reheated twice, which crisps up the bottom even more than the original bake. When you eat Leo’s charred, naturally-leavened pizza, you get an overwhelming taste of the coal oven it was made in, and all the chewy ancestor pies that came before it. It’s pizza history you should be a part of.

Totonno Pizzeria Napolitana

Open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining

In 1924, Calvin Coolidge became president, Marlon Brando was born, and Totonno’s opened in Coney Island. And, after 90 years, they still make an extremely good pizza. This place is just one small room with a big oven in the back, and the only two menu items are small and large pies. The crust is on the thinner side, and each pizza comes covered in equal parts cheese and tomato sauce, almost like a red-and-white leopard print. Just be sure to eat your pizza quickly, because the crust won’t stay crispy forever. This is, of course, a metaphor for life, and it’s yet another thing this old-school place in Coney Island has to offer.

Rubirosa

Open for takeout and delivery

Imagine a steaming hot plate of penne a la vodka at your favorite neighborhood Italian restaurant. Now imagine that, but with the vodka sauce spread on a cracker-thin pizza crust, topped with fresh mozzarella. If you can’t imagine why this would taste incredible, you clearly haven’t had the vodka pie at Rubirosa. In addition to serving this perfect Staten Island-style pie, Rubirosa is also an overall fantastic restaurant and we can think of few places we’d rather spend an evening eating carbs. The plain pie and tie-dye, which adds pesto to the mix, are excellent as well.

L&B Spumoni Gardens

Open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining

When you go to L&B Spumoni, you get the Sicilian pizza. It’s thick and rectangular, with a crispy base and a large amount of dough that would be classified as medium rare if it were a steak. On top, you’ll find tomato sauce, melted cheese, then even more tomato sauce - producing something that almost feels like a lasagna, but better. There are layers to this pizza, and every slice is so substantial that you won’t ever need to add toppings. You do, however, need to end your meal with spumoni, and you should come at least once during the summer to eat takeout slices at one of the many tables outside.

Open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining

Unlike some of the pizza on this list, the stuff at Ops is the kind you want to take your time with - the crust alone is like a piece of buttery sourdough bread. But you’re not shoveling pizza into your mouth at a 9th birthday party before getting back in the pool, so the more moments you have with this pizza, the better. The Neapolitan pies are excellent, but our favorite thing here is the grandma pie, with housemade mozzarella, olives, basil, tomatoes, and a square crust that is thick enough to replace (and upgrade) the walls of your apartment.

F&F Pizzeria

Open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining

This pizza place from the team behind Frankies 457 Spuntino and Franks Wine Bar opened in late 2019, making it one of the newest spots on this guide. To help understand why F&F deserves to be recognized among the city’s best, here’s a break down of how you should order. Start with their “regular” slice, which just has tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil so you can fully appreciate how the slightly-tangy Neapolitan crust balances the sweet and acidic tomato sauce. Order their sage and sausage slice next, which is a new take on a popular pasta dish at Frankies 457 Spuntino. You’ll get a generous amount of hot sausage crumbles, milky mozzarella, and sage in every bite, proving that the classic combination works better as a pizza than in pasta form. From there, prioritize the bubbly Sicilian square slice, which has a spongy texture that reminds us of focaccia. The Franks ferment their pizza dough for four days before it’s served, and after you finish all of the flavorful and airy bread in this ambitious meal plan, you’ll understand exactly why.


Where's McDonald's?

You'll notice that McDonald's didn't make this list again, either. It comes in on the list at spot 12, which is an improvement. Chipotle and its burritos are still number 11 on the list, and Sonic Drive-In is lucky number 13. Pizza isn't represented until well down the list, either, and they're grouped closely to each other with Papa John's at 17, Little Caesars at 18, Pizza Hut at 24 and Domino's at 26.

In the battle for the favorite doughnuts, Dunkin' Donuts (#15) beats Krispy Kreme (#23). And it's a little funny that Carl's Jr. came in at spot 20, while twin sister chain Hardee's came in at #30. It was a big year for chicken chains we'll give you a guess where one particular chain landed on the list (as a hint, Popeye's and its chicken sandwich came in at #14 on the list).

Chinese wasn't super popular fast food, with Panda Express coming in at #43. And if you count coffee as fast food (we definitely count it as one of the food groups), Tim Hortons came in at 28, beating Starbucks who landed at spot #31.

Here are the 10 best fast food restaurants in the country currently, according to Ranker.