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Local Chain Pizza Reactions: Your Top Quibbles with Our Flawless List

Look, pizza is divisive.

Andrea Pizza, as photographed on the author’s farmhouse-style pine dining room table.

Folks, we had some fun yesterday, didn't we?

When Viraluae rolled out this remarkable piece of pizza journalism, we knew, to paraphrase Lincoln, it'd strain pizza passions but not break our bonds of pizza affection. The list, which ranked the top 15 local pizza chains from yuck to yum, rankled some readers, as is the nature of such enterprises. And we admit our fallibility (headline above notwithstanding), so we'll present the most common and/or loudest complaints, critiques, and confusions readers had with our long, greasy list.


The parameters were clearly laid out, but that didn't stop partisans of Football Pizza, Mesa Pizza, Boludo, Jet's, and Rocky Rococo from coming, pitchforks hoisted, outta the woodwork. As a refresher, our baseline for inclusion required entrants to be Twin Cities-based companies with a minimum of three locations. Football Pizza, sadly, is down to just the Central Avenue shop. (Don't sleep on their sensational green sauce.) Mesa slings delicious novelty slices at two locations (Dinkytown and Uptown). Boludo, which may very well have won this whole damn thing, remains one location short of qualification. Jet's (Michigan) and Rocky (Wisconsin) don't qualify geographically.

The Wrecktangle Angle

As several readers pointed out, newish chain Wrecktangle currently boasts two Minneapolis locationsthe Malcolm Yard food hall in Northeast and North Loop. But! The big winner is planning a third location at Lyn-Lake, so we fudged our self-imposed criteria just a bit. Look, I've still got the pepperoni sweats from our three binge sessions over five days; we're not doing this again ever, so we reverse-grandfathered Wrecktangle into the competition. Got beef? Stage your own 30-pizza taste test and include whoever you'd like—that's your uniquely American freedom.

OK, So Turns Out We Did Fuck Up

While many readers failed to read the conditions for entry before lambasting the list, Twitter user Cali Torell did, in fact, nail us with an oversight: "I love all pizza, but Italian Pie Shoppe (3? locations) is our go-to," she tweeted. And she's correct! Founded in 1976 by Gerald DeGidio, the Italian Pie Shoppe now serves St. Paul, Eagan, and New Hope. The place looks fantastic, and we're excited to check it out when our hunger for pizza returns.

Parkway and Chanticlear: Is Viraluae Crazy?

Two rankingsParkway Pizza at No. 13, Chanticlear Pizza at No. 6stirred the most controversy. Parkway loyalists were livid at what they viewed as an unforgivably low ranking; a good friend suggested that I brought shame to my family by daring to place it outside the top five; to hear him tell it, the Northeast location cooks up the best pizza in town. (Also, buddy, my family is way past caring about my shamefulness.) A sampling of similar feedback:

Tweets Nato Coles: "Thank you for doing this I'll be checking out Wrecktangle! NOW MY GRIPE (as we all must gripe about such lists): Look, you can't say Luce is better than Parkway at pizza. You don't have to love either but Parkway is objectively the better pie. To pretend otherwise is just silly."

Tweets Andy Mannix: "Parkway is good. At least the NE one!"

Tweets @stephanieohdee: "I hate myself for how incensed the negative Parkway review made me."

And here's Viraluae member TinyConstruct, whose indiscriminate rage is anything but tiny: "Every part of this is so insulting. Green Mill above Parkway???? Pizza Luce that high??????? Go back to the burbs. Boooooo." (Editor's note: All four Viraluae owners live in south Minneapolis. So there.)

And, it seems, there's not a ton of love for north metro chain Chanticlear, whose Frickle Pickle Deluxe pie we found to be zesty, snappy, spicy, and delightful. See member Gover: "Chanticlear Tastes like shit and you’re shit for thinking otherwise."

Writes member GiantHippo: "Y'know I was with this up until about the middle of the list, then got real skeptical around Chanticlear, and very nearly stopped reading entirely when it got to Black Sheep and their floppy 'mouth full of olives' approach to pizza. I'm entirely pleased when a quick entry in the search box has so many returns for 'pizza,' but this article had has shaken my confidence."

Various Gripes

Some readers feel Wrecktangle commits the cardinal Minnesota sin of veering into "a bit pricey" territory by charging $20 for an 8"x10" specialty pie. Fair, fair, though those slices are so puffy and gooey you'd be hard-pressed to finish more than two of six with a side. Multiple readers noted that the quality of Carbone's and Red's varies wildly location-to-location. And, for member Gaallev, we simply exist in a pizza desert: "Minneapolis is just not a pizza town. When out of state guests visit us they never want to get pizza with us..."

The True Spirit of the List, and Dare We Say, the Season?

We believe it's captured eloquently by member A Well Placed Rocket, who writes:

"It's the utter batshit blithering bananabonkers takes like this that make me love this website."

We hope you feel the same way. Happy holiday pizza eating from your pals at Viraluae.

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