National Pizza Day is the perfect time to get that pizza eating game on!
Yes, it’s absolutely true! A whole day – 24 happy and delicious hours – devoted especially to celebrating that yummy carb that almost no one can do without. From the humble beginning of sauce on flatbread to today’s gourmet offerings, pizza has captured the hearts and stomachs of people from all around the globe.
Enjoying the basic Italian Margherita pizza? Love the traditional American cheese and pepperoni? Feeling more adventurous and need to show that in a unique selection of pizza toppings? Now is the time to show the world what pizza eating really is!
Who is a pepperoni type of person? Or, who prefers their pizza plain – with just cheese and tomato only? Perhaps there is someone who likes to experiment with different, more unique toppings?
There are many disputes about the best pizza, with the main argument being whether pineapple belongs on a pizza or not. No matter each person’s preference, though, there’s one thing pretty much everyone can agree on: pizza is one of the best culinary inventions around.
Aside from figuring out what toppings to have on pizza, it is also necessary to make the decision about what type of crust to go for. There are also thick and thin crusts, as well as pizzas with stuffed crusts. The options are practically endless!
Now is the time to learn a little bit more about National Pizza Day.
History of National Pizza Day
While it’s impossible to know for sure, some people might say that National Pizza Day got its beginning in the 10th century in Naples, Italy. This is when records first show the presence of what has now become modern-day pizza. It started out as a simple flatbread spread with sauce and sprinkled with cheese. It is likely that the first people who made this as a creative snack for their families had no idea the sensation that they had whipped up and what it would become.
Pizza eventually made its mark on America in 1905. In New York City, a pizzeria called Lombardi’s created the spark that would light hearts across the country from then until now – and with no conceivable end in sight. And 1905 was the year that Lombardi’s was granted the first mercantile license to make pizza issued in the United States. Amazingly, Lombardi’s is still in business! For those who want to taste that first real pizza to hit American shores, head over to Little Italy in Manhattan and check them out.
It is estimated that the first National Pizza Day probably began some time in the early 2000s, but whenever it started, it now deserves to be celebrated each and every year!
National Pizza Day Timeline
6th Century BC
Writings from Darius the Great record findings of flatbreads that are topped with dates and cheese, which is possibly the earliest mention of something like pizza.
Naples creates modern pizza
Following the import of tomatoes to Europe, the people of Naples begin combining them with flatbreads. Naples’ status as a port city means sailors and travelers spread the word throughout Europe.
Royal pizza oven in Naples
Queen Maria Carolina d’Asburgo Lorena, wife of the King of Naples, has a special oven installed in her palace that is specifically for making pizzas.
Earliest-known pizzeria begins
In Naples, Italy, the world’s first pizza restaurant opens and begins to replace the street vendors who sold slices to local artists, students and others with low incomes. 
First American merchant license for pizza
Lombardi’s on Spring Street in New York City is issued a mercantile license for baking pizza. This is the first official pizzeria license in the United States.
How to Celebrate National Pizza Day
Is it really necessary to give instructions on how to celebrate this awesome day? Even so, for those who are looking for suggestions, here are just a few ideas to get those creative juices started. This is a great way to be creative with the following ideas to try out on your own or with family and friends:
Enjoy a Slice (or Several Slices!) of Pizza
What could be better than enjoying a simple but delicious slice of pizza? This cheesy round disc has become a meal that is adored all over the world, from its founding in Italy to the war between New York and Chicago style pizzas, and everywhere in between. There’s Detroit style pizza, Neapolitan pizza, Greek pizza, Sicilian pizza, California pizza and many more.
The only difficulty on a day like today is deciding what sort of toppings to put on top.
Join in on National Pizza Day Celebrations
All throughout the USA and other places in the world, pizza places will host various events and activities in honor of National Pizza Day. Check out what’s happening in a local pizza place, or make a day (or weekend!) of it and take a road trip to a new city.
Types of events put on by pizza places in observance of National Pizza Day may include debuting special gourmet pizzas or limited-time-only toppings options. Look for restaurants that offer special deals, discounts, BOGOs (Buy One Get One), promo codes, and meal packages.
Local news programs often pay homage to National Pizza Day by including media spots where pizzas are made or featured. Look for pizza and beer craft pairing events at pubs and restaurants.
Host a Pizza Party
Another fun way to dive into celebrating National Pizza Day is by having a pizza party for friends and neighbors. Why not get a few loved ones together and order some of those favorite pizzas? After all, what could be better than some good food and good company? Keep things low-key and watch some movies together or choose to get the tunes on and dance the night away.
Or, if pizza day falls on a work day, celebrate by ordering pizza into the office and sharing a few pies with coworkers. Better yet, order from several different pizza places and have a taste test to see which is the best.
No matter what is decided, just make sure that there is plenty of pizza on hand for people to enjoy.
Try Making Pizza at Home
Feeling up to making pizza from scratch at home? It’s probably easier than it seems! Come on, it’s time to head into the kitchen and take a look around.
Pull out a favorite cookbook or hit up a search engine and search for pizza recipes. Wow! Look at all those options. Pick one that sounds delicious and then get going. Make trying a new from-scratch pizza a tradition for National Pizza Day!
Visit a Pizza Parlor or Pizzeria
Not a fan of the kitchen? That’s okay! Every city and town has many choices as well when it comes to this fabulous dish.
Head out and try a new pizzeria – or two! Make it a great family adventure. Let the kids help map out where to go. Maybe pick toppings out at random and try something you’ve never had before. Who knows? It may become a new family favorite.
Drive around any American city and it will not be difficult to find a pizza place on almost every corner. From the chains that boast a perfect pizza (exactly like every other one made from any of their stores), to the quaint mom and pop restaurants that share their family traditions with their customers year after year. There are lots of famous and popular pizza brands, with the three main ones being Pizza Hut, Papa John’s, and Domino’s.
The great news is that it isn’t necessary to choose between these types of pizzerias because they are all fabulous! Sometimes those commercials and funny jingles just get into my mind and make me drive over for a slice!
Learn Fun Facts About Pizza
There are lots of pretty interesting facts about pizzas that can be found and shared in honor of National Pizza Day.
Impress friends and family with fun facts like these:
- 350 slices of pizza are eaten every second in the United States. However, surprisingly, the country with the highest consumption of pizza in the world per capita is Norway.
- The most expensive pizza in the world will cost a massive $12,000 to order. This is a pizza that is sold in Italy, made by Renato Viola and just the dough takes 72 hours to make. It features some of the most lavish ingredients (as would be expected for that price tag), such as grains of pink Australian sea-salt from the Murray River, lobster from Norway, and even three different types of caviar.
- Pizza is the second most popular fast food in the United States. The only fast food that people love more than pizza is hamburgers! There is no denying that the love of pizza is very real.
Create New Varieties of Pizza
For an even more special National Pizza Day, take some time to come up with a unique pizza invention. There are many weird and wonderful toppings that people have put on pizzas over the years. Why not see what can be discovered or created as the next big thing?
In addition to traditional savory pizzas with cheese and sauce, people have also created dessert pizzas. These might include pizzas covered in Nutella and other chocolate delights, or pizza with cream cheese “sauce” and then covered in slices of fruit. Find recipes like this online, or you can create them. It might even be fun to share a new pizza creation on social media and make everyone drool over those creative pizza skills!Does the family already take part in this day? If not, make sure to start now, and turn it into a community event where everyone can be involved!
National Pizza Day FAQs
Is pizza healthy?
Some versions of pizza, especially frozen and fast-food versions, are often high in sodium, fat, sugar, calories and preservatives. However, homemade pizza that uses simple, fresh ingredients offers nutrients such as protein, calcium, antioxidants, vitamins and fiber.
How is pizza made?
Pizza is actually a fairly easy dish to make. It starts with a flatbread that is then topped with some type of sauce, vegetables, meats, cheese or other toppings. It is then baked in either a regular oven or a traditional wood fired oven.
Is pizza Italian?
Yes! Pizza is a dish that originated in Naples, Italy and is still served there to this day. However, pizza recipes differ based on region and some American pizzas, especially Chicago deep dish, barely resembles the original Italian versions.
What is the most popular pizza topping?
Certainly every individual has their favorites and preferences from Hawaiian to Margherita. But, for Americans, pepperoni tops the list of the best pizza toppings with more than 53% of people saying it is their favorite.