Is NYC the Nation’s Most Expensive Pizza City? NO!

Does NYC have the nation’s most expensive pizza? The NY Post recently published an article about how NYC’s pizza was more expensive than any other city in the country. They even reached out to me for comment and I was happy to provide some context. A real estate website called Clever “analyzed a multitude of mouthwatering metrics” to determine some interesting data. They list Denver as the #1 pizza city and claim Louisville and San Antonio, both cities with good pizza, as being among the worst. Conclusions like this are enough to make one question the data and methodology, but we’re here to talk about price so let’s get to it.

Data Problems

The article quotes the price of $33.65 for a large pepperoni pizza in NYC while a large pepperoni pie in Richmond, VA is only $17.35. One thing they didn’t specify is how they defined the term “large pizza.” All the chain pizzerias define a large pie as 14 inches. Lots of independent pizzerias clock in at between 14 and 16 inches. Meanwhile, here in New York City we range from 18-22 inches!


If we dust off our middle school math we can calculate the surface area of a circle and it quickly becomes clear that an 18 inch pizza is TWICE THE SIZE of a 14 inch pizza. If a $17.35 pizza in Richmond is 14 inches, that’s $1.24 per square inch. On the other hand, a $33.65 pizza that measures 18 inches in NYC is only slightly more expensive at $1.87 per square inch. That’s still more expensive, but not twice the price as the original study claims. It’s a price I’m happy to pay for higher quality pizza!

New York City is notorious for being one of the planet’s most expensive cities. Rent is high and labor is expensive. We take a lot of pride in our pizza, so you’re more likely to find fancy pepperoni and crusts made with long fermentation dough. I’m not buying a lot of pepperoni pizzas (our New York pizza tours serve only cheese pizza) but I’d still be happy to pay a slightly higher price for higher quality food.


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