by Kirsten Howard
Taking a break from the usual chain restaurant pizzas and paying for a pie that’s a little more decadent could leave your wallet a lot lighter. In 2017, New York City’s Bodega Negra partnered with Patrón to create the Platinum Margarita Margherita Pizza, a $500 pie covered in glazed lobster, mango, Osetra caviar, black truffles, and avocado. There’s a big difference between a $40 gourmet pie and a $12,000 one. Beware: truffles ahead!
1. Domenico Crolla's Pizza Royale 007
The Pizza Royale 007 was created in 2007 to raise funds for the Fred Hollows Foundation, which was set up to prevent curable blindness in developing countries. The pizza was bought for a whopping £2150 (about $2830 in 2019) at a charity auction by lawyer Maurizio Morelli as a Valentine’s Day gift for his wife, Sabrina.
Award-winning restaurateur Domenico Crolla flew from Glasgow to Rome to prepare the pizza, which was topped with edible gold, cognac-marinated lobster, venison medallions, Scottish smoked salmon, and champagne-soaked caviar.
"This is the perfect romantic Valentine's gift,” Crolla said at the time. "We Italians are experts at amore and I think this pizza will show that the way to a woman's heart is definitely through her stomach."
2. Industry Kitchen's 24K Pizza
This New York restaurant's 24K Pizza holds the Guinness World Record for the “most expensive pizza commercially available.” The pie's crust is infused with black squid ink and topped with white Stilton cheese, foie gras, Osetra caviar, truffles, and actual gold leaves. Feeling indulgent? You can add an ounce and a half of Almas caviar for an extra $700, bringing your total bill to $2700.
The previous record holder, Gordon Ramsay’s £100 ($132) pizza at his since-closed Maze Restaurant in London, was covered with white truffle paste, fontina cheese, pancetta, cep mushrooms, onion puree, and mizuna lettuce. The final cost of the pizza rose based on your taste for truffles. It was topped with a very rare Italian white truffle and, as it was shaved onto your pizza at the table, it was up to you to say “enough.” If you didn’t, and the chef continued shaving the entire truffle onto your pie, the bill could go up to a pretty eye-watering total. The truffle was worth up to about $2500 per kilogram.
3. Favitta’s Pizza for Lovers
Though the restaurant is now closed, Favitta's Family Pizzeria in Henrietta, New York offered the “Pizza For Lovers,” which was an incredibly expensive pizza that actually kind of wasn’t. The catch with this bad boy was that it wasn’t the pizza itself that contributed to the $8180 price tag, it was the extras that came with it. Prepared for romantic couples on Valentine’s Day, the $19 pizza was served with a $160 bottle of champagne—and an $8000 diamond ring.
“We'll bring the ring, and I'll personally deliver it, with a little white cloth over my arm, and open the bottle for them," explained owner Tom Favitta.
4. Nino’s Bellissima Pizza's Bellissima
Back in 2012, at this now-shuttered New York City pizzeria, the main event was the “Bellissima,” a $1000 pizza that earned its price tag because of the $820 worth of caviar plopped on top of it. (The same pizza was made available in 2007, but was then known as the "Luxury Pizza.”) Dollops of beluga and black Russian Royal Sevruga roe were liberally sprinkled over the dough base, with a bit of sliced lobster and crème fraîche to finish the job.
“People who know about their caviar love this pizza,” said owner Nino Selimaj. “We sell them to politicians, Wall Street traders, or couples celebrating a birthday or anniversary. But diners always see it on the menu and ask about it, why it is so expensive and how many we sell. People are always curious.”
5. Renato Viola's Louis XIII Pizza
So here it is: the most expensive pizza in the world.
Concocted by Italian master pizza chef Renato Viola, the tiny 8-inch Louis XIII pizza is topped with mozzarella, three types of caviar, imported lobster from Norway, and pink salt collected by hand from the Murray River in Australia, but the real kicker is how the whole thing is prepared.
When you order the $12,000 pizza, three food artisans—a pizza-maker, a sommelier, and a separate chef to cook all the ingredients—will fly to your house from Italy and prepare the pizza in your very own kitchen, making it the world’s most expensive order-in pizza. Anyone for Pizza Hut?