Papa John’s New York-style Pizza Review

Where is the best pizza in NYC?

There are always great debates on this topic that never end. In the world of YouTube and blogs, the coverage of pizza and pizzerias in New York is astronomical.

Hundreds of people comment on pizza and pizzerias in New York City every day.

Which pizzeria has the best pizza overall? What is the best New York-style pizza? Which place makes the best coal-fired pizza or the best wood-fired pizza?

When it comes to the best pizza in the US, that question is easy to answer. It’s New York City. There is no competition! In fact, enjoying New York-style pizza is one of the top ten things to do in NYC. It really is that good!

So, where in New York can you find the best pizza??

It’s not easy to say, but so many pizzerias have made a name for themselves. Among them is Papa John’s, which recently introduced a variation of the iconic and unique New York pizza.

If you’re new to Papa John’s New York-style pizza, you should read this review to understand what it is all about.

What Is New York-style Pizza?

New York style Pizza


Before we talk about the much-hyped Papa John’s New York pizza, let’s look at the characteristics of a New York-style pizza.

There is no doubt that New York-style pizza is a classic among locals and has become a popular option for visitors as well.

This distinctive pizza is as old as New York’s pizza culture and comes in many varieties depending on the boroughs and pizzeria.

Its origins are attributed to the immigrants from Naples who first settled in the Big Apple. As we all know, pizza originates in Italy and is a staple in Italian restaurants across the country.

Of course, different varieties of Neapolitan pizza have come up over the years.

The typical New York pizza has a thin crust forming the base, thicker edges, and large slices. The thin crust makes it easy to fold vertically while eating. This type of pizza is usually 18 to 24 inches in diameter and is served in individual slices.

Unlike most other pizzas, New York-style pizza is topped by hand and consists of simple ingredients, such as a moderate amount of sauce and grated cheese.

In a way, this pizza is a variation of the traditional Neapolitan pizza. However, the recipe has been modified several times and in different ways to improve the taste and consistency.

Be that as it may, you still get a variety of toppings on a New York pizza, depending on your tastes and preferences.

Another feature that sets New York pizza apart is how it’s served. Because of its large diameter, this pizza is usually cut into eight pieces and eaten folded in half. The thin crust makes it easy to bite into the pizza without spilling oil on the sides.

What Size Is Papa John’s New York-style Pizza?

The BIGGER the pizza


The largest Papa John’s New NY-style pizza is 16 inches wide. It is noted as extra-large pizza on the menu, comes with foldable slices, and features a well-balanced topping to provide eight equal pieces.

Papa John’s New York Pizza Crust

Remember that the hand-tossed crust distinguishes a New York-style pizza from the other. Papa John’s NY pizza follows this principle with its exceptionally wide, thin, and foldable crust.

The thin crust base makes it easy to fold the pizza in half; this way, you can eat your pizza on the go without worrying about messing up your cloth.

Papa John’s crust is made with six-ingredient dough to distinguish it from its competitors.

The ingredients include salt, yeast, soybean oil, water, sugar, and unbleached, protein-enriched wheat flour. The restaurant relies on the minerals in the New York City water supply to give their NY-style pizza its characteristic crust base.

Papa John’s restaurant prides itself in using freshly made dough, which has contributed to the success of its NY-style pizza variation.

What Kind Of Pizza Sauce Does Papa John’s Use?

Like most pizzerias in New York, Papa John’s uses a unique in-house signature sauce that adds more flavor to the classic NY-style pizza. The restaurant is known for making the sauce using fresh, organically sourced vegetables and herbs.

The sauce draws its sweet taste from an assortment of sugar and perfectly balanced spices. According to the restaurant’s pizza ingredients list, they use:

  • Tomato paste
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Citric acid
  • Sugar
  • Sunflower oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Basic
  • Thyme
  • Oregon

Papa John’s makes its own tomato sauce for the dough, and customers are also treated to a garlic sauce served on the side. The garlic sauce is relatively simple and contains some margarine and garlic powder.

If you go through the ingredient list, you’ll see that some are labeled as spicy to indicate their uniqueness.

Papa John’s New York-style Pizza Toppings


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John’s New York-style pizza has the traditional NY pizza toppings, including tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese (plus additional toppings).

Though, you can choose to have your pizza without the extra toppings. This item is referred to as plain or cheese pizza on the menu.

Many customers have expressed displeasure with the limited amount of sauce on the Papa John’s New York pizza.

According to locals and experts, the pleasure of eating a NY -style pizza is biting down and feeling the mixture of sauce, cheese, and toppings in your mouth.

But Papa John’s pizza doesn’t always live up to that expectation, even if they sometimes try to make up for it with a generous portion of grated cheese.

The good thing about pizza is that there are many options. Papa John’s offers several types of toppings, including pepperoni, sausage, and vegetables.

So you can always choose your toppings accordingly if you want a tastier and/or crispier bite.

Is Papa John’s New York-style Pizza Good?

Papa Johns New York style Pizza


It depends.

Papa John’s is a chain restaurant with multiple menu options to meet local and guest needs.

A native New Yorker will likely discredit Papa John’s New York-style pizza, while a visitor with little experience may give it big thumbs up.

For a more definitive opinion about Papa John’s, you’ll have to try several variations of this classic pizza which can be an exciting thing to do in NYC.

Overall, Papa John’s pizza NY does quite well. Their pizza is relatively small compared to the usual size of 18 inches. It folds nicely and has a crispy crust, a characteristic feature of NY -style pizza.

A typical NY sauce is made from a few ingredients, including fresh tomatoes, red pepper, oregano, garlic, basil, and olive oil.

Combined in the right proportions, these ingredients provide a rich flavor that distinguishes an authentic NY -Style Pizza from a regular pizza.

Papa John’s doesn’t match the local standard with additional spices. Aside from that, customers have often complained that the pizza is a little dry because of the limited sauce. The management should consider adding more sauce to add more flavor to their pizza.

Another downside to their pizza is the cheese. A generous helping of cheese characterizes a traditional NY-style pizza.

The cheese should be oily and stretchy. On the other hand, Papa John’s features a thin layer of cheese that easily cut through.

Papa John’s New York-style pizza scores highly regarding toppings, regardless of your choice. You are guaranteed well-balanced and generous toppings on every slice. The toppings are all equally delicious, making it difficult to choose just one.

How Much Is Papa John’s New York-style Pizza


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Papa John’s offers an affordable option for customers looking to enjoy their New York-style pizza. The restaurant charges $13 for a one-topping version.

However, this price will likely change depending on the number and type of toppings you choose.

Keep in mind that New York-style pizza is traditionally sold in slices due to the large pieces. This price is inclusive of the garlic sauce dipping and available garnish.

Papa John’s New York-style Pizza Calories And Other Nutrition Facts

Pizza is fast food and is known for having high-calorie levels. It’s advisable to limit your calorie intake unless otherwise. Papa John’s New York pizza has high-calorie content per slice compared to most options.

The calorie content in Papa John’s New York pizza is considered unhealthy and is likely to cause lifestyle diseases if unchecked.

One pizza contains 210-340 calories, depending on the size, with a sodium content of 530-610mg. Papa John’s has dialed down on its protein content, with one pizza having 10-12mg protein content and 22-30mg carbohydrates.

Comparatively, John’s version of the NY-style pizza has a relatively high sodium content compared to other popular joints in the city.

These sodium levels are considered a health risk and should be avoided.

Papa John’s New York-style Pizza Vs. Original

Papa Johns New York style Pizza 1


Papa John’s New York-style pizza is a classic chain restaurant production with limited ingredients and characteristic mass production. However, both options offer you a taste of the local cuisine with different toppings.

However, Papa John’s pizza introduces a unique flavor to the traditional New York-style pizza. The restaurant needs to work on a few areas to improve its offering and match up to the original.

As mentioned before, there isn’t much difference in the crust as both have a thin crust that delivers a foldable, chewy taste.

Papa John’s has increased the flavor of their crust with their signature six-ingredient dough. This addition brings a new perspective to the NY style for locals and visitors to sample.

The most noticeable difference, though, is size. An original NY pizza comes at 18-24 inches, while Papa John’s variation is made at 16 inches.

Papa John’s also applies its sauce sparingly, unlike the original version, which contains a generous amount of tomato sauce.

The extra sauce topping contributes to the classic taste of an original, while the limited helping on Papa John’s makes it a little dry and bland.

A generous helping of cheese also defines an original NY-style pizza giving it an oily and stretchy look when separating the slices. Papa John’s come with an even layer of cheese, but there is not much stretch or pull to it. The slices pull away easily with every cut.

Final Words

The original New York-style pizza beats Papa John’s NY -style pizza in all categories, including health and nutritional value. But both versions can taste equally good, especially if you’re willing to try different variations of the classic and distinctive New York-style pizza.

Note that the NY -style pizza from Papa John’s is still a work in progress. It may need some time to perfect itself before it reaches local standards. Even so, it qualifies as a traditional, extra-large, hand-topped New York-style pizza.

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