Is there a single food with a higher approval rating than pizza?
Think about it: have you ever met someone who genuinely dislikes pizza? If so, I bet this is one stance they’re constantly having to defend.
Not only is pizza beloved by the masses, but it’s also versatile and can take many shapes and forms, no matter how weird.
Pizza can be a relaxed group dinner, a sloppy late-night treat, a cold breakfast, or a convenient lunch on the go.
The legend of pizza has only grown thanks to a hodgepodge of movies and TV shows that feature the treat in a loving light – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Deadpool, Do the Right Thing, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Spider-Man 2, Inside Out, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, A Goofy Movie, and (no exaggeration) thousands more. That’s just the power of pizza.
Whether you’re munching by the slice or taking the whole pie to the face, there’s simply nothing better.
As we’ve done previously with wings and burgers, we asked you for your thoughts on pizza and then compiled those answers into some insightful intel on this glorious staple of our diets. I asked the Atlanta Eats Instagram following as well as my own personal Instagram network to ensure a wide variety of respondents and pizza tastes.
So if you have any issues with any of these responses (or the witty commentary), you have nobody to blame but yourself.
Favorite Pizza Topping
The quality of a top-tier pizza consists of many components: the bite of the crust, the salty-sweet balance of the sauce, whether or not the cheese stays intact when you take a bite or slides off the slice and onto your plate… but the fun really begins with toppings.
Toppings run the gamut from classics, like pepperoni, to the downright cursed, like pickles. Some pizzamakers are purists and some are punk rockers, going against the rules simply because they like it.
The most common response for your favorite toppings was quite predictable. Pepperoni, the people’s topping, comfortably won the day with 37% of the total vote. Mushrooms came in a distant second with 13%, followed by sausage with 11%. Then there was a three-way tie between onions, olives, and extra cheese, each with 6.5% of the vote.
Quick side-note: I don’t believe in this “extra cheese” racket that Big Pizza is trying to pull on us and you shouldn’t either. It’s the same amount of cheese, people….open your eyes!
A few other toppings receiving votes were:
- Hot honey
- Buffalo chicken
- Peanut butter (I don’t know what you’re going through right now, but I wish you the best)
LEAST Favorite Pizza Topping
Folks get awfully passionate about their favorite toppings, but they are downright religious about the ones they hate. Some of these responses got personal and…surprisingly vulgar? One response had two f-bombs in it…over half the words were expletives!
The most common response is often the subject of controversy (though make sure you read on because there’s a surprising twist coming up). 29% voted for pineapple as their least favorite pizza topping. The next two most common answers were anchovies with 19% and olives with 17%, and onions and peppers each got 7%.
Here are a few other answers:
- Poop (objectively the truest answer, but a strange inclusion nevertheless that is hopefully not speaking from experience)
Favorite Pizza Style
Pizza styles are much like political opinions: everybody has one, whether or not they necessarily should.
Before asking this question, I wanted to make sure I was equipped with knowledge of all the different types. This guide from The Takeout was eye-opening. We all know New York, (large, hand-tossed thin crust), Chicago (deep-dish, with a tall crust, cheese, and sauce on top), and Detroit (thick, chewy crust with caramelized edges and narrow rows of sauce on top of the cheese) styles, but have you ever heard of Dayton-style? It has a “thin, salty, cracker-like crust” with small slices and heavy toppings. Or New England Beach style, with a “flaky and crisp” crust with a sweet sauce and an optional slice of provolone on top.
All bets were off for this question, but in the end, it was hardly even a contest.
New York ran away with a majority of the votes, at nearly 60%. Chicago came in at a distant 14%, followed by Detroit with 11% and Neapolitan (a traditional type made simply with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese, perhaps topped with a few fresh basil leaves) with 6%.
A few other answers:
- New Haven (crust with tomato sauce and grated pecorino romano cheese, rather than mozzarella)
- Greek (thicker crust often topped with Mediterranean toppings like feta, spinach, and olives)
- Roman-style (on a focaccia-like crust)
Best Pizza in Atlanta
There’s nothing theoretical about pizza. While the idea of it is admittedly pleasant, the experience of eating it far exceeds that.
All of our opinions on the matter are based on the ones we actually eat. When ATLiens are talking shop about pizza, they’re referring to specific pies or slices they’ve physically eaten.
When it came time to actually vote, Antico Pizza stomped the competition with a full third of the vote. Coming in with the silver medal was Glide Pizza with 12%, narrowly beating out Nina and Rafi with 11%. Mellow Mushroom (founded and headquartered in Atlanta so it technically counts despite 200+ locations across 20 states) put up a surprisingly tough fight with over 7% of the votes, followed closely by Fellini’s and O4W Pizza (6% each) and Athens Pizza and MTH Pizza (5%).
These other spots also got multiple votes:
- Clay’s Sports Cafe (you may recognize this Sandy Springs spot from the previous wing article)
- Nancy’s Chicago Pizza
- Varuni Napoli
- Amalfi Cucina and Mercato
- Capozzi’s NY Pizza
Settling the Pineapple Debate Once and For All
WARNING: CONTROVERSIAL SUBJECT MATTER AHEAD
I just don’t get why pineapple on pizza is such a point of contention. While I may personally enjoy it, it just isn’t that strange to me that it goes on pizza. The gastronomical concept of a sweet topping in a savory dish isn’t that novel (examples: strawberries on salads, mango salsa, the syrup-infused bun that houses a McGriddle), so why should pineapple on pizza be the subject of such ire?
A young, angsty writer named Joey Weiss gallantly defended pineapple on pizza, among other hot food takes, but why not put this stance to the test and let the people vote on it?
Much like one’s hands after eating a properly greasy slice of pizza, things here got a little messy.
On my personal Instagram account, the pro-pineapple lobby emerged victorious, with a 57% to 43% showing. But then on the Atlanta Eats account, the pineapple dissenters won the day, 53% to 47%. Maybe if I had kept track of the number of votes in each poll, this would be easier to track. But dammit, I’m a food writer, not a statistician!
Luckily, I had a napkin nearby and crunched the numbers myself.
While it was indeed a close contest, pineapple on pizza came out on top with an 8-point margin of victory.
And now the debate is settled, and I’m sure nobody will disagree with the results or the process.
Atlanta’s Perfect Pizza Order
So what did we learn? What can an Atlantan do the next time they have a hankering for some pizza?
They should get a pizza from Antico, with extra pepperoni and NO pineapple (even though the aforementioned poll suggests otherwise). Antico may be Neapolitan style, not New York, but it’s still a thin crust slice, which you can fold up and devour.
Now that we’ve reached that conclusion, who wants to split a pie with me?