Little Caesars Deep Dish Pizza vs Domino’s Handmade Pan Pizza

I can think only of two people I know who would be interested in this taste test. We have too many friends who eat preciously. This household doesn’t exactly eat poorly, but nor do we discriminate. A few weeks ago we tried Little Caesar’s Deep Dish Pizza, with pepperoni, takeout, hot and ready, for just $8. There was general agreement that it was the best pizza we’d eaten in a long time.

Like many delicious things its deliciousness doesn’t grab you visually:

Somehow they nail the crust just perfectly. Crispy on the edges (and every piece gets a crispy edge) and soft and chewy on the inside. If pizza sauces were kinds of Southerners, Little Caesar’s’s would be a touring Floridian. So expect some brashness.

A little while after we put quick runs to Little Caesar’s into the weekly dinner rotation, Domino’s started advertising its handmade pan pizza, with two toppings for the same price—well $7.99 to LC’s $8, which considering this includes two toppings to LC’s one seemed like a better deal.

It’s not. LC’s deep dish measures 9×14 inches, for a total area of 126 inches. Domino’s pizza is round, 11 inches in diameter for 95 total square inches of pizza. Also, LC’s pizza is deeper, but I’m not about to measure volume, okay?

Still, Domino’s’s sauce is way subtler and sweeter than LC’s, but it’s not cloyingly sweet. Also, while it claims to be a pan pizza with “toppings all the way to the crust!”, I found it to only kind of be the case. Lemme try to grab a closeup:

Neither the toppings nor the sauce goes to the crust. (Cheese does, though.) In this way is Domino’s Handmade Pan Pizza just a pizza. But as you can see there’s a classic airiness to the dough that feels very nice when you bite into it. Also that’s good cheese, and enough of it. And if you want to go by nutritional data, it’s a wash. 340 calories, 16g of fat for Little Caesar’s. 300 calories, 16g of fat of Domino’s (which is a lighter portion per slice).

How will our household continue to spend its money on pan pizzas? Little Caesar’s, I think. That I can walk in and unless the joint’s packed grab a box and get right back in the car, that it’s much more pizza gramwise, and that it has the crust it has, cheap-ass pizza wins out over low-rent delivery pizza.

Right? Do we all universally set Domino’s below Papa John’s and Pizza Hut? (I salute you, Pizza Hut, for your lack of an apostrophe!) Isn’t that what its whole new ad campaign presupposes?

4 thoughts on “Little Caesars Deep Dish Pizza vs Domino’s Handmade Pan Pizza”

  1. As a weekly consumer of budget pizza, I’m interested in this!

    I think this post marks the first time the phrase “the best pizza we’d eaten in a long time” has been within three sentences of the words “Little Caesar’s.” I’ve always considered LC to be awful, even in the world of discount chain pizza, but you’ve convinced me to consider giving it a try. (Though I do still think of pan pizza as something of an abomination.)

  2. I actually highly recommend trying the new deep dish. The dough really makes the difference, it’s completely different from their normal crust and has a lot more flavor. It’s worth the extra few bucks.

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