Pizza is a symbol of fast, casual food. One can order a pizza to their exact specifications, track its progress step by step (thank you, Domino’s) and have it and all its greasy goodness at their door and in their mouth within half an hour. In spite of its elegant Neapolitan origins, pizza is about as proletarian as cuisine can get. Of course, gourmet pizzerias (and their frozen counterparts) exist worldwide, and some adventurous chefs have gone to great lengths to augment both the quality and the price of their pizzas. The following pies range from fancy twists on your favourite take-out pizzas to something a chef might have served to Henry VIII. It should also be noted that most, if not all of them are out of the majority of people’s price range.
7. Kobe Beef Steak Pizza, Domino’s – $72
“Luxury” versions of fast food are a trend in Japan, and pizza giant Domino’s is no exception when they revealed the Kobe Beef Steak Pizza in January of last year. Sold for 5,800 yen, or $66 US, this expensive pizza is topped with the famously high quality beef from Kobe in Japan’s Hyōgo Prefecture. Kobe beef is taken from wagyu cattle and is known for its “flavour, tenderness, and fatty, well-marbled texture” according to its entry on Wikipedia. If it seems odd that such a delicacy would end up as a topping on the most fast food-y of fast food pizzas, Domino’s has ensured the rest of the toppings are of a higher calibre than usual, with steak sauce and, of course, cheese rounding out the rest of the package.
6. The “Magic Gold,” Magic Oven – $108
A Toronto restaurant chain that specializes in pizza and pasta made from organic ingredients and catering to those with gluten- and lactose-free diets, Magic Oven offers a special “Magic Gold” pie that caters to those with an aurophiliac palate. Apart from being topped with a “cornucopia” of flavourful ingredients, as Maclean’s puts it, the Magic Gold is garnished with 24 karat gold leaf. The leaf is also available as an optional topping for most other pizzas on the Magic Oven’s menu, though those looking to add a luxurious twist to their custom order should note that its inclusion will add either $16 or $35 to their bill, depending on whether they order a 10” or 16” pie, respectively. And for those concerned about how much the gold leaf will interfere with the pizza’s overall flavour, don’t fret: it’s both odourless and tasteless, making it even more of an aesthetic choice than parsley.
5. The “Astice e Tartufo,” Third Avenue Café in Dubai – $125
With Dubai being the heart of luxury in the Middle East—if not the whole world—it’s no surprise that the veritable oasis of a metropolis would have a pricey pizza somewhere in its midst. The Astice e Tartufo—literally translated, “lobster and truffle”—goes for 459 dirham, or roughly $125 US. It’s topped with, as you might have guessed, lobster and truffles, as well as “Fresh cherry tomatoes… Asparagus tops, Mozzarella.” Fabrizio Pellegrini, the Third Avenue Café’s chef, told culinary site Foodiva that almost all of his ingredients are purchased from European importers, with lobsters from France, tomatoes from Sicily and truffles from Italy—going a long way to explain the pizza’s steep price. The pizza has been on the Café’s menu since it opened in late 2012, and in spite of its high price Pellegrini said that the restaurant has been selling five of the “Astices” a week on average. It should be noted that the Third Avenue Café’s location in luxurious Dubai is far more likely to draw high-paying patrons than your average pizzeria would.
4. Triple Mille-Feuille Pizza, Domino’s – $140
Domino’s Japanese luxury market doesn’t start and end with the Kobe Beef Steak Pizza. The Triple Mille-Feuille pizza is a neat, extra flaky twist on the idea of a stuffed-crust pizza. Rather than folding the edge of the crust over a roll of processed mozzarella like Pizza Hut does, they use three layers of puff pastry, like in the Mille-Feuille pastry from which the pizza takes its name, and fill the thin gaps between each tier with cheese. As you might expect, this pizza isn’t on the lighter side of take-out cuisine, with extra cheese both on top and inside prompting warnings from Domino’s delivery staff about its weight according to the pizza junkies at the Japan-based news site RocketNews24. Muscle strain concerns aside, the site’s food critics enjoyed the pricey, heavy pizza and noted that the sheer amount of cheese “somehow held it all together” like a kind of tasty glue. And it can be all yours for 11,262 yen, or $140 US.
3. The “C6,” Steveston Pizza Company – $450
The Vancouver-based Steveston Pizza Company added this pricey pie to its menu in June of 2012. Topped with lobster, black Alaska cod and caviar, the C6—as it’s known on Steveston’s menu—requires a full day’s notice when ordering due to the sheer amount of work that goes into its preparation. In spite of the C6’s fairly smallish size—12 inches—Steveston owner Nader Hatami says the pizza is better suited to a small group than a lone diner due to its richness. One can imagine that its staggering cost is more palatable when the bill is being split The C6 isn’t the only pricey pizza on Steveston’s menu. Its immediate predecessor, the C5, costs $120 and features “roasted garlic, Icelandic scampi, smoked steelhead [rainbow trout], lobster ratatouille,” and like the C6 requires a day’s notice to prepare.
2. The “World’s Most Expensive Pizza,” Margo’s Pizzeria – $2,400
In spite of what this pizza’s name might suggest, no, this is not the world’s most expensive pizza, though it was at the time of its creation in late 2010, breaking a Guinness World Record. But make no mistake; even now its €1,800 ($2,400 US) cost could cover grocery bills for a good portion of one’s year. The pizza was topped with buffalo mozzarella, white truffles and—you guessed it—24k gold leaf. Chef Claude Camilleri of Margo’s Pizzeria in Valletta, Malta told Times of Malta.com that he and his pizzaiolo Giovannia Staiano were inspired to make the pizza as a means of bringing out of the flavour of some of their truffle. The gold leaf, he said, was added as a vulgar flourish. The pizza needs to be ordered a week in advance so there’s enough time to procure its required truffle. Unfortunately, anyone looking to spend a lot of disposable income on a pizza like this has missed their chance, as it was a one-time creation for the purpose of breaking the world record.
1. The “Miss Verdun,” Mazzou Pizza – $4,250
The most expensive pizza in Canada can be found at Mazzou Pizza in Verdun, Montreal and is pricier than some vacations to Mexico. Making its debut in November of last year, the “Miss Verdun,” as Mazzou calls it, features nearly every pricey ingredient imaginable: lobster, caviar, 24k gold leaf and white truffles. While it’s not the world’s most expensive pizza, as Mazzou’s owner has alleged, it does come with extra perks: according to a feature about the Miss Verdun by LCN—a Montreal-based 24-hour news channel—if you were to order the pizza to go, it would be prepared in your own kitchen by the pizzeria’s chef and can be enjoyed to the sound of a chamber music ensemble hired by the restaurant at a location of your choice. Definitely a step up in atmosphere from eating (non-Japanese) Domino’s and playing Call of Duty by oneself.