The origin of pizza is fairly humble. As a peasant street food, pizza climbed from a low class cheap meal to an art form that is strived for and perfected by pizza shops across the country. In America, we know our pizza. We have concrete opinions on what makes or breaks a great pie. Whether you are walking to the mom and pop parlor down the block, or ordering from one of your favorite trusted chains, you know exactly where to go and what to order. But if you’re traveling abroad and hankering for a slice, decision making can get tricky.
The glory of international travel is pushing yourself and your taste buds outside of your comfort zone. But often times, foreign countries get a bad rap for pizza ― and deservedly so. Years ago, chains were guilty of spreading ketchup on their pies rather than marinara sauce, and other heinous crimes. While American brands like Domino’s and Pizza Hut have gone global, there are a surprising amount of decent pizza chains that sprouted up over the years. So if you’re looking to fill your pizza craving while still venturing safely outside your comfort zone, you may want to consider some native pizza chains.
We looked at popular user travel blogs, with high user ratings to compile our list of pizza chains you’ll be hard pressed to find on American soil.While most of these locations do have familiar slices like pepperoni, they are guilty of having a few exotic pies that would at least intrigue any pizza lover. Considering their crazy toppings and overall appeal in combination with their social fan base, we narrowed down some of the best spots you can get a classic (or at least interesting) slice.
1. Telepizza ― Spain
Telepizza’s humble, family-owned roots exploded into a mega-pizza chain that now has 626 locations in Spain and 590 internationally and managed to top our list! While you won’t find an average cheese pizza, you will find some really cool toppings like cream cheese pizza or hot dog.
2. Greenwich Pizza ― Philippines
The largest pizza chain in the Philippines also has a reputation for being its most beloved. With a thin crust and an array of toppings, it isn’t hard to see why! Pizza patrons who particularly love variety can enjoy one of their signature meals which include a slice of pizza, chicken, spaghetti, rice, and a Coke.
3. Pizza Pizza ― Canada
With literally over 600 unit locations in Canada, Pizza Pizza is one of the most popular chain pizzerias in the Great White North. They offer a stellar array of pizzas and unlike many of their competitors across the globe, Pizza Pizza offers customers an array of sides and additional dishes. Their pizza menu contains some classic American style pizza like pepperoni, but there isn’t an option (unless you customize it) for plain cheese. One notable pie is the “nation pride pizza,” topped with classic pepperoni, fresh mushrooms, bacon crumble, and mozzarella cheese, that Pizza Pizza feels accurately represents Canada’s pizza style.
4. PizzaExpress ― United Kingdom
Don’t let the name fool you. PizzaExpress puts a lot of love into their food. While they do operate as a fully functional restaurant, their pizza’s standout quality is the perfect Romana-style crust. Across the country (and the world) these gorgeous restaurants boast about their healthy options and dedication to craft food.
5. Peppes Pizza ― Norway
Delivering to over 11 cities in Norway, Peppes Pizza is one of the largest chain restaurants in all of Scandinavia and coincidentally made out top five! While travelers do complain of high prices, they say that this major pizza chain restaurant is good for a reliable bite. Peppe’s serves Chicago style pizza, but these deep dish fans also play to New York style lovers with a pre-folded pizza that is loaded with not so typical toppings like corn and ham.
6. Hell Pizza ― New Zealand
With options as sinfully delicious as they sound, New Zealand’s Hell Pizza offers patrons a ton of loaded pizzas in a cool, kitschy theme. The pizza chain grew to 66 franchised stores and moved to locations in Brisbane, Australia, Seoul, South Korea, and Vancouver, Canada. In 2009, the original owners bought it back and have since been perfecting the devilish menu they began curating in 1996.
7. The Pizza Company ― Thailand
A self-proclaimed pizza pioneer, The Pizza Company currently has over 240 branches nationwide. While they offer over 22 topping options, their most prevalent seems to be seafood, with pizzas like “Seafood Deluxe” and “Seafood Cocktail.”
8. Apache Pizza ― Ireland
Though they are proudly 100 percent Irish-owned, this pizza chain plays off of our Native American heritage. It has grown to 73 locations and offers Irish pizza lovers super affordable deals and customizable pies. A few of their pies spotlight bacon as a major ingredient, with a few gem options like “American Style Beef Balls.”
More from The Daily Meal