Tom's House of Pizza has a good crust, but I find it to be over rated and over priced. Barely any cheese, and often the toppings are plentiful to the point of overkill. They are also up there with BP's in terms of price once you factor in that you're getting very thin, very un-filling pizzas. Finally, their menu is the most needlessly complicated I've ever seen.
Western Pizza as mentioned already is a strong bet. They're my go-to for standard chain pizza. For traditional Neapolitan style I'd say that Without Papers is the best I've had.
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For the small "chains" I like Sammy's. They have 2 locations in the south and are great, filling pizza. A little up there in pricing, but worth it for the quality of pizza. The only downside is the 1.5 - 2 hr. waits on busy nights.
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Nothing beats a piece of CPU after a night out on the town if you only have a couple of bucks in your pocket. Their pizzas are also really cheap to build and order. If I can't think of a place to order from, it's usually CPU or Panago (just for the dipping sauces).
However, I will take Famoso or Una 10/10 times a week.
Papa Johns is our favorite for chain pizza. Maybe it's because it's just down the street so we like it for pickup, or maybe it's because that particular location has good employees, but it's good every time we get it. Plus you can get 2 larges for $31.49.
That said, nothing beats a good homemade pan pizza. If you plan ahead and make your dough a few days in advance, it has some time to build up some really good flavor.
This particular one was a sourdough crust, topped with chorizo, butternut squash, smoked cheddar, and fontina.
And for the thin crust lovers. Ya it isn't round, but shape doesn't affect taste!
Mozza, white cheddar, fennel sausage, and basil.
I don't really mind Pizza 73. Then again, I only ever get pepperoni & cheese pizza's when ordering from a chain. Domino's is disgusting, and I haven't ordered from them since I found a fingernail in my pizza 15+ years ago in Airdrie. Overall though I find Panago the best for ordering in, and living in McKenzie Towne, Famoso Pizzeria is my absolute favourite for dining out.
with famoso I understand that the Neapolitan rules specify they have to cook the pies for exactly 90 seconds or whatever, which is alright if you're eating in. for me though, doing take home and an extra 5 minutes broiling on a pizza stone gives the crust the crunch that I actually want. sometimes depending on the type/amount of sauce and toppings, a default famoso can get pretty soggy, especially in the middle.
I think other places that are Neapolitan inspired but don't follow the guidelines so strictly do this already, as I've never had a wet pie at cibo, una, without papers, double zero, etc.
oh and unless I found a toenail in a pizza, I don't think I could ever be so disgusted with one that I wouldn't eat it. not once in my life have I ever thought to myself "blah, this tastes like a hot circle of garbage, I refuse to have another bite"...instead the only thing going through my mind is "YAY PIZZA!!!"
I find that at a lot of place the staff makes the most difference. I've had some really good and really bad from the same store (independent or chain) and it must come down to the staff since the oven and ingredients should be the same.
I'm not really sure why there can be such a variance within the same location, but I have noticed it.
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I think that's a canadian thing. If you check out flyers for the US pizza chains, pizza seems to be dirt cheap down there. For example, Pizza Hut in the US always has that "Any pizza for $10" deal. They had it for like 2 years.
Meanwhile in Canada, I order a large peperoni lovers with extra cheese............."and your total is $23.85". That's for pick up, btw. Just ridiculous.
Pizza Hut in the US is not bad but IMO they should just call it quits and fold in Canada as they skimp on topings to the point where it's blatant stealing to charge what they are charging.
what the......pepperoni and mushroom not good enough for ya?
Haha yes, I use pepperoni and mushroom too. I like mushrooms in my BBQ chicken pizzas. It's fun to try new toppings too though. Once you've had roast butternut squash on a pizza you'll never look back.