Pizza is undeniably one of the most popular foods globally, with people across cultures and demographics enjoying a slice (or several). But when it comes to pizza, size matters. Getting the right pizza size to satisfy your hunger and fit your budget is key. This is especially true when ordering a large pizza, which can vary greatly depending on where you order from. So how big is a large pizza exactly? Let’s explore the average large pizza dimensions from major pizza chains to local pizzerias to understand what you can expect when you order a large.
Defining Pizza Sizes Pizza sizes are typically categorized into small, medium, large, and extra-large. The inches in diameter generally determine the size. A small pizza ranges from 8-10 inches, a medium 10-12 inches, a large 12-16 inches, and an extra-large 16-18+ inches. Of course, the exact measurements can differ across pizza places. The number of slices also plays a role, with 8 slices typically for a small, 8-10 slices for a medium, 10-12 slices for a large, and 12-16+ slices for an extra-large. When trying to conceptualize how big a large pizza is, it helps to visualize how wide in diameter it would be.
Large Pizza Dimensions at Major Chains Most national pizza chains aim to standardize sizing across locations, so you’ll see less variance in large pizza specifications. Here are some of the large pizza sizes at the top chains:
- Pizza Hut – 14 inches diameter, 10 slices
- Domino’s – 14 inches diameter, 8 slices
- Papa John’s – 14 inches diameter, 12 slices
- Little Caesars – 14 inches diameter, 8 slices
- Papa Murphy’s – 16 inches diameter, 8 slices
As you can see, many major pizza chains have set their large pizza size at a 14-inch diameter, which yields approximately 154 square inches of pizza. Pizza Hut and Papa John’s cut their 14-inch larges into 10-12 slimmer slices, while Domino’s and Little Caesars opt for 8 wider slices. Papa Murphy’s stands out with their 16-inch large that is significantly bigger than competitors.
So on average at most national chains, a large pizza clocks in with a 14-inch diameter, giving you a good 11-13 inches of pizza width to handle per slice. That versatile mid-range size can feed several people while leaving ample room for seconds and leftovers.
Independent Pizzerias Pizza Sizes Local pizzerias have more leeway when it comes to sizing their pizzas. But many still stick to the familiar range of 10-inches for small, 12-14 inches for medium, 14-16 inches for large, and 16+ inches for extra-large pizzas. For example, popular New York City pizza joint Prince Street Pizza makes their small pies 10 inches, medium 12 inches, large 16 inches, and extra-large 18 inches. Their 16-inch large yields an expansive 201 square inches of pizza real estate.
Other beloved pizzerias like HomeSlice Pizza in Austin, TX and Pizzeria Beddia in Philadelphia also top out their larges at 16 inches. Though independent pizzerias may tweak their sizes slightly, you can generally expect a large pizza from a local parlor to be in the 14-16 inch diameter range. With more flexibility on sizing, some pizzerias may stretch the definition of “large” even further. At the extreme end, Ribalta in New York City slings an monstrous 26-inch large pie for hungry diners.
Factors Impacting Large Pizza Sizes What accounts for the variability in large pizza specifications across different pizza providers? Here are some of the factors at play:
- Company Standards: As mentioned, chains try to adhere to consistent sizing, while independent shops have more leeway.
- Geographic Differences: Regional pizza styles like New York and Chicago have influenced common sizes in those areas.
- Baking Process: Wood-fired, brick oven, and conveyor belt ovens have constraints on pizza sizes they can accommodate.
- Price: Larger pizzas mean higher ingredient costs, impacting how large a pizza businesses can profitably offer.
- Marketing and Brand Identity: Companies want to differentiate with signature offerings like extra-large 28-inch pies.
- Customer Expectations and Trends: Independent pizzerias may adjust sizes based on local preferences.
- Staffing and Operations: Larger pizzas may require more hands on deck and coordination for quality control.
So in addition to customer demand, pizzerias must weigh factors from cooking methods to profit margins when deciding on pizza size offerings. The good news is that whatever their process, most restaurants strive to satisfy customers with a hearty large pizza ranging from 14-16 inches in diameter.
Estimating Large Pizza Dimensions Want to hone your skills at visually estimating large pizza dimensions? Here are some tips:
- Use everyday objects for scale: A 14-inch pizza is about the size of a dinner plate or vinyl record. A 16-inch pizza approaches the width of a round cake platter.
- Recall your own measurements: The width of a large pizza is similar to the distance from your elbow to your wrist.
- Reference a 10-inch small pizza: A 14-inch large pizza is about 40% wider, and a 16-inch is 60% wider.
- Use pi (π = 3.14): Multiply a pizza’s diameter by 3.14 to estimate the circumference. A 16-inch pizza’s circumference is approximately 50 inches.
- Compare to a 12-inch medium pizza: A 14-inch large is approximately 20% wider than a 12-inch, and a 16-inch is around 35% wider.
With practice, you’ll be able to visually size up a large pizza with decent accuracy. That will help set your expectations when you order for a group.
Large Pizza Dimensions by Popular Brands To bring our exploration of large pizza sizes full circle, here is a run-down of the large pizza diameter at some of the most popular pizza chains in America:
- Pizza Hut – 14 inches
- Domino’s – 14 inches
- Papa John’s – 14 inches
- Little Caesars – 14 inches
- Papa Murphy’s – 16 inches
- California Pizza Kitchen – 14 inches
- Chuck E. Cheese – 14 inches
- Round Table Pizza – 14 inches
- Sbarro – 16 inches
- Blaze Pizza – 14 inches
- MOD Pizza – 14 inches
As shown above, 14 inches seems to be the sweet spot for most pizza companies when it comes to a large pizza. Major chains opting for 14-inch larges likely performed considerable market research to arrive at that optimal size from cost, operations, and profitability standpoints. Meanwhile, other brands choose to differentiate with 16-inch and up larges to promise heartier offerings.
The Next Time You Order Large… So what’s the verdict? On average across most pizza providers, a large pizza ranges between 14-16 inches in diameter. That gives you a hearty breadth of around 11-13 inches of pizza with each slice. Armed with that knowledge, you can confidently order a large pizza when feeding a group of 5-6 people, getting the perfect amount of pizza to go around. And with an estimated 10-12 slices in most larges, you’ll likely have leftovers to enjoy the next day.
The next time you have a pizza party on the calendar, you can use these large pizza dimensions as a guide. And if you come across an extra-generous 16-inch or larger pie, then it’s your lucky day! Just be sure to recruit help to finish off all that delicious dough, sauce, and cheese. Because as pizza lovers know, there’s hardly such a thing as too much pizza.