The Meat Lover’s Pizza: A Carnivorous Culinary Journey

Pizza, the quintessential Italian dish loved by millions around the globe, has taken on countless forms and flavors over the years. Among the myriad of delectable pizza varieties, one reigns supreme for those with an insatiable appetite for meaty indulgence—the meat lover’s pizza. In this comprehensive exploration, we embark on a mouthwatering voyage through time to uncover the origins, history, and global fame of this carnivorous delight. We’ll also reveal some restaurants that have perfected the art of crafting the world’s most exceptional meat lover’s pizzas.

Defining the Meat Lover’s Pizza

The meat lover’s pizza, known for its abundance of savory meat toppings, is a gastronomic masterpiece that tantalizes the taste buds of carnivores worldwide. Complemented by a rich tomato sauce and a bed of melted cheese, this pizza stands as a testament to the culinary creativity of pizza chefs around the globe. While the specific toppings may vary, common ingredients often include pepperoni, bacon, ham, sausage, and ground beef, resulting in a truly carnivorous feast.

Origins and History

The genesis of the meat lover’s pizza can be traced back to the birthplace of pizza itself—Italy. The ancient Romans are credited with the invention of a primitive form of pizza, known as “picea.” These early versions consisted of flatbread topped with simple ingredients such as herbs, garlic, and olive oil. However, it wasn’t until the 18th century, in Naples, that pizza as we know it today began to take shape.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, waves of Italian immigrants flocked to the United States, bringing with them their cherished culinary traditions. The first pizzeria in the United States, Lombardi’s, opened its doors in New York City in 1905. It was in the bustling streets of New York that the foundations of the meat lover’s pizza were laid.

As pizza gained popularity across the nation, pizzerias began to experiment with different toppings to cater to the diverse tastes of their customers. It was during the 1960s, a time when meat consumption was on the rise and culinary creativity was flourishing, that the meat lover’s pizza emerged as a delectable variant.

While the exact pizzeria that first introduced the meat lover’s pizza is not documented with certainty, it is widely believed that this carnivorous delight gained traction in various pizzerias across the United States during that time. Pizzerias in cities like New York, Chicago, and other pizza capitals were at the forefront of this culinary evolution, capturing the spirit of the era and satisfying the cravings of meat enthusiasts seeking a hearty and indulgent experience.

Inspired by the Italian tradition of combining cured meats and sausages, these American pizzerias began to pile on generous amounts of pepperoni, bacon, ham, sausage, and ground beef onto their pizzas. The meat lover’s pizza became a symbol of abundance, celebrating the carnivorous delights that tantalize the taste buds.

Restaurants Celebrated for Meat Lover’s Pizza

In the vibrant landscape of pizzerias celebrated for their exceptional meat lover’s pizza, a narrative unfolds, taking us on a journey to savor these carnivorous delights.

Step into a bustling pizzeria in Brooklyn, New York, and you’ll find yourself at Di Fara Pizza. Since its establishment in 1964, this family-run gem has captivated the hearts of pizza enthusiasts. Led by the venerable Domenico DeMarco, the pizzeria’s founder, Di Fara Pizza is renowned for its dedication to traditional pizza-making techniques. As you savor a slice of their meat lover’s pizza, topped with a medley of premium meats, you’ll understand why this iconic establishment is hailed as a mecca for pizza lovers.

Traveling west to the windy city of Chicago, we encounter Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, a true haven for deep-dish pizza connoisseurs. Founded in 1971, Lou Malnati’s has become synonymous with exceptional pizza craftsmanship. As you step inside, the aroma of sizzling meats fills the air. Their meat lover’s pizza, with its generous layers of pepperoni, sausage, bacon, and ground beef, perfectly melds with the flaky crust and tangy tomato sauce. A visit to Lou Malnati’s is a pilgrimage every meat lover should undertake.

Our journey takes us back to Italy, to the enchanting city of Rome, where Pizzarium Bonci awaits. Led by the celebrated pizza maestro Gabriele Bonci, this small pizzeria has gained international acclaim for its innovative approach to traditional pizza. At Pizzarium Bonci, the meat lover’s pizza takes on a whole new dimension. With an array of carefully selected and locally sourced meats, Bonci artfully combines flavors to create a symphony on the palate. Each bite is a testament to the harmonious marriage of tradition and creativity.


The meat lover’s pizza has deep roots in Italian heritage, but it was in the United States that this carnivorous delight gained global recognition. From humble beginnings in Naples to the bustling pizzerias of New York and Chicago, the meat lover’s pizza has become an irresistible temptation for those with a love for meaty indulgence. As we venture through the annals of pizza history, we uncover gems like Di Fara Pizza, Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, and Pizzarium Bonci, where the artistry and dedication of pizza chefs have elevated the meat lover’s pizza to an unrivaled level of deliciousness. With each mouthwatering bite, we pay homage to the evolution and culinary creativity that make the meat lover’s pizza an enduring favorite for pizza enthusiasts worldwide.

Hidden Gems Around the World

To embark on a quest for the world’s best restaurants that elevate the meat lover’s pizza to unparalleled heights, explore these hidden gems:

Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, San Francisco, California

Nestled in the vibrant heart of San Francisco, Tony’s Pizza Napoletana is a culinary gem that astounds patrons with its dedication to the craft of pizza-making. Led by world-renowned pizza acrobat and chef Tony Gemignani, this award-winning establishment offers a meat lover’s pizza that harmonizes perfectly balanced flavors with impeccable craftsmanship. Each slice transports you to a carnivorous paradise.

Pizza Pilgrims, London, United Kingdom

In the heart of London, Pizza Pilgrims captures the essence of a traditional Neapolitan pizzeria while incorporating innovative touches. With a deep appreciation for the art of pizza-making, they handcraft their meat lover’s pizza with the utmost care, using the finest ingredients and following age-old techniques. The result is a sumptuous pizza experience that pays homage to the heritage of the meat lover’s pizza while delivering a uniquely British twist.

Paulie Gee’s, Brooklyn, New York

Situated in the vibrant neighborhood of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, Paulie Gee’s is a pizzeria that has achieved cult-like status among pizza enthusiasts. Known for their commitment to quality and creativity, Paulie Gee’s elevates the meat lover’s pizza to new heights. Their expertly charred crust, combined with an artful array of premium meat toppings, creates a symphony of flavors that will leave carnivores yearning for more.


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Dolinsky, S. (2018). Pizza City, USA: 101 Reasons Why Chicago Is America’s Greatest Pizza Town. Northwestern University Press.

Helstosky, C. (2008). Pizza: A Global History. Reaktion Books.

Priebe, C., & Jacob, D. (2015). The United States of Pizza: America’s Favorite Pizzas, From Thin Crust to Deep Dish, Sourdough to Gluten-Free. Rizzoli.

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