Some pizzas are not meant to be ordered. They’re more a publicity stunt than a menu item for diners to choose. That doesn’t mean that the pizza cannot be eaten. On the contrary. After the proverbial dust has settled and the world record has been broken, everybody is invited to dig in and devour the pizza. But the point is, it’s a one time off endeavor and the chefs’ mission is to impress with the size and wow the audience with their prowess.
10. Napoletani Pizza
While to the whole world Italy is the origin of pizza, inside Italy itself there’s a fierce competition between the different cities. Each claims to make the best pizza in the whole country. And there are different styles and schools of thought regarding how to add your sauce, the best ways to make the dough, and whether a short prayer helps with the taste or not. And since the Italians are known for their ardent passion, these differences haven’t been settled yet. Nor will they possibly be settled in the near future. So when you can’t put the issue of which Italian city makes the best pizza to rest, sometimes the chefs would try to hammer their point in a different way. Like, say, creating the longest pizza ever made. Which is what Napoli tried a few years back. In 2016, 250 chefs took this challenge. Their goal was to make a pizza so large and glorious it will stay in the history books forever. This stunning fete took place during the Napoli Pizza Festival. With local organizations backing them up, everyone was working for the glory of Napoli. A lot was at stake here and the other cities were watching closely. And the raw material started to pour in. There were 4,400 pounds of flour. Then 4,400 pounds of Fior Di Latte cheese arrived in huge trucks. Tomatoes arrived later. All 3,527 pounds of them. With the other ingredients in place and all mobile ovens on the ready, the chefs got to work. When it was done, their pizza measured 6,082 feet which is more than a mile long. It was a world record and for a while, Napoli was back on top where the Napolitano felt it belonged. Most of the pizza was donated to charity and the spectators got a slice each.
9. Mega Slice
Not all pizza is made to please national pride or strive to break the world record. Some large pizzas can be found in small diners whose only goal is to please customers and offer them something the giant pizza chains can’t do. Pizza Barn in New York is one good example. The diner doesn’t sell their giant pizza pies whole. Rather in slices. Each slice is over 2 feet long. As you can see in the picture, these slices are for those who take their love for pizza to extreme levels. And while these pizzas are not as long as their Napolitani counterpart, they still landed the restaurant a spot on Travel Channel’s Paradise XL. Some people take it as a challenge to finish the mother of all pizza slices in one sitting. Others, like the idea of having a 2-foot slice placed in front of them and whether they could finish it or not, is not that important. But we have to agree that when you see something this huge on your plate (or rather tray) you can’t help but take it as a personal challenge to finish it. Which might explain the popularity of the pizza. The restaurant has stopped delivering the super slice to homes because the in-house orders were just too overwhelming.
8. The Pizza Machine
Tennessee has its place on our list. In 2016 The Pizza Machine decided to weigh in on this super-size pizza that was taking the world by a storm. And while the chefs weren’t going for mile-long pizzas, their ambition was so great, that what they ended up creating needed a crane to deliver it to the diners’ table. We’re talking about a 40-inch pizza that will feed a few families. And that’s the reason for the name. The machine, in this case, is what delivers not what makes the pizza. The pizza, it’s important to point out, is still made by human chefs. Sadly, though, the giant pizza couldn’t save the restaurant from closing down. But that doesn’t mean that the pizza served by a crane is not available anymore. You can still get the gigantic pie as the owners are now working from a food truck. The crane is still around and happily, serves you the giant pizza but only if you know where their truck stands. It changes places all the time which doesn’t keep the loyal foodies from finding it wherever it goes.
7. The Downunder Colossus
We talked about Australia’s affection for food in general and pizza in particular before. But it’s worth bringing this one up again. For one thing, it goes to show how competitive the Aussies are even when it comes to mundane things as fast food. It also illustrates clearly that size doesn’t really matter. The restaurant is Il Colosseo and the place is Sydney, Australia. Inspired by their name, the chefs decided to show the whole world what it is when Australia means business. The fruit of their labor was a whopping 408 square feet of delicious pizza. Now before you shrug it off because other entries on this list are more than a mile long, you need to remember that this was a pizza that was produced on a regular basis. You could simply order it a couple of days in advance then invite everyone you know to a pizza party. Which went well for a while until it didn’t. Eventually, the restaurant had to shut down and even The Colossus couldn’t save it. And the moral of the story here is that bigger isn’t always better. The massive pie which at one point was the largest commercially available pizza in the world became a thing of the past and pizza lovers Downunder moved on with their lives.
6. Lorenzo Ristorante Pizza
It’s 1987 and Florida is flush with a booming economy and the successful tourism industry. Everything is going right and food as a business is trying to cash in on this prosperity. Enter one Lorenzo Amato a restaurant owner in Tallahassee, Florida. Amato’s love for pizza was only equaled by his love for challenges. And long before super pizzas were a thing, he wanted to go down in history as the maker of the largest pizza ever made. Now we have to give the guy credit for wanting to immortalize Florida the only way he could. So Amato started his ambitious endeavor and made a pizza that measured about 73 feet in diameter. But how do you cook a pizza this size? Since no oven was available at the time, Amato hooked together propane tanks and created a make-shift oven that did the job. Even though the large pizza cost Amato around a quarter of a million dollars (a lot of money in the ‘80s) he sold the slices of the pizza a dollar a piece and donated the money to charity. When the record was broken a few years later, Amato tried again and made an even larger pizza. That record, however, didn’t stand for long and soon another competitor bettered it.
5. Mama and Papa
Family restaurants have been the backbone of the food business since times immemorial. There’s something special about them. The whole family working together to offer customers a menu that they can’t get anywhere else. And usually, mama and papa will fall back on their land of origin and dig up some of the secret recipes that have been passed down the family for generations. Which is why exploring these quaint family diners can yield some great culinary surprises. But in California, a family pizzeria decided to surprise the customers not with their secret recipe, but with their huge pizza. They called it the Giant Sicilian and it’s large enough to feed around 70 people. It measures 54 inches and comes in a square shape. That makes it almost as high as an average 10-year old. And while such stunts couldn’t save struggling restaurants before (we saw it in Tennesse and in Australia), this one is still popular in LA. It’s true it’s not a good buy financially speaking, but in the spirit of adventure, it’s a meal you won’t forget in a hurry. Not to mention that the pizza has its own car that delivers it to your doorstep.
4. Record-Breaking in California
Remember the Italian rivalry that gifted us with a mile-long pizza? Well, other countries took notice and decided to give this challenge a try. In 2017, California organized their own pizza event and their goal was to break the world record in the longest pizza ever made. And as we all know California doesn’t joke around when it comes to competing for something as serious as a world record. So on a sunny July day, thousands of people gathered around the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana which is only 45 minutes to the north of Los Angeles. Their target was to create a pizza that measured 7,000 feet long. Such a monster would need around 8,000 pounds of dough, 3,600 pounds of cheese, and 5,600 pounds of sauce. Tables were arranged along the club’s Speedway and the baking started in earnest. It took the team 9 hours of continuous work to get the pizza ready. When it was done, the long pizza measured 6,333 feet which although fell short of their target, still managed to break the world record and make Fontana the center of the pizza world. At least until another city decides the publicity was worth giving this long pizza thing a try.
3. The Texan Bus
When the world starts talking size, Texas gets interested. And inevitably Texas will become involved in one way or another just to teach all those folks what the word “big” really means. The Texan Bus is the name of the pizza which shattered the records for the largest commercially available pizza. Now that’s not an easy record to break. For one thing, pizza restaurants all over the world would try to match if not break it all the time. Just think of the free publicity that brings. But believe it or not, Moontower Pizza Bar still holds that record intact. The rectangular pizza measured 8 feet by 2 feet 8 inches and only needed a half hour to bake in a rotating oven. And despite its name, it doesn’t need a bus to deliver it. And to be fair this is not the restaurant’s first rodeo with giant pizzas. They also have another specialty which is a 30-inch pizza pie which has made them famous all over Texas. Just remember that the Bus has around 10 pounds of dough and the same amount in cheese. So don’t try to eat it all by yourself.
2. Norwood Pizza
We have seen pizzas from all over the world here, but not from Africa. South Africa is about to correct that mistake. To put Africa on the food map for the right reasons, some chefs at Norwood Pick n’ Pay Hypermarket in Johannesburg went to work on breaking the world record. We saw how fragile that glorious title is but that wasn’t going to stop that team of motivated African chefs from trying. Since Italy had won the title of the longest pizza which was later claimed by California, the Johxannesburg chefs went for the largest circular pizza title. Yes, there’s such a thing and people compete for its elusive title. They needed over 9,920 pounds of dough, 1,763 pounds of mushrooms, 1,984 pounds of chopped tomatoes, and the same amount in tomato puree, as well as 3,960 pounds of cheese to create this mother of all circular pizzas. Now to put things into perspective, this was 1990, only three years after Lorenzo Amato had succeeded in creating his monster pie in Florida. And sure enough, the South Africans pulled it off with a pizza that measured 122 feet, 8 inches in diameter. It weighed a whopping 26,883 pounds and fed so many happy customers at the time.
1. Ottavia Pizza
We started this list from Napoli, Italy, the land of pizza, and it’s only fitting that we end it in Rome. Now the rivalry between Rome and Napoli is legendary and goes back in time. So when the Napolitano would succeed in something, you can be sure that the people in Rome are not going to sit around and do nothing about it. Even if it meant a pizza war the like of which the world has never witnessed. Three chefs and their assistants took up the challenge for the glory of Rome. Their pie when baked and ready to eat measured 131 feet in diameter. Of course, a pizza this size needs an oven even bigger to bake it. And since no such over has ever existed, the creative chefs baked the pizza in batches. It still holds the record of the largest pizza ever made and eaten. The pizza was named Ottavia in honor of Octavian Augustus, a notable emperor in Italy’s long history. And just to give you an idea of what was in that pie, it had around 19,800 pounds of flour, 8,800 pounds of mozzarella cheese, and 551 pounds of rock salt.