Opinions are like pizzas: everybody has one, and they're all great
April 12, 2017 5:55 AM   Subscribe

Well, I'll eat just about anything on a pizza. Corn, pineapple, anchovy, you name it. The only limits are my imagination, but lately I worry my imagination is not up to the task. Tell me, mefi: what is your favorite VERY UNUSUAL or RARE topping where you've been surprised by how good it turned out to be? Bonus points if you can tell me where/when you first had it!

None of this "oh I like peppers and mushrooms" pedestrianism, I'm talkin like "one time we put hot dogs and grass on a pizza and it ruled" or "in Vienna in 1992, I had a pizza which contained kippers, parsley, and a fugue" (previously, previously, but those were years ago, and surely pizza tech has advanced?)
posted by Greg Nog to Food & Drink (144 answers total) 73 users marked this as a favorite
 
A friend used peanut butter instead of pizza sauce and it was like satay. Topped with chicken and bacon. Surprisingly good.
posted by h00py at 6:02 AM on April 12 [16 favorites]


This would be very unusual in some regions and not at all unusual in others, but figs, prosciutto and arugula on pizza are simply divine.
posted by bunderful at 6:03 AM on April 12 [22 favorites]


At Whole Foods hot food counter in NYC about two years ago, I had a slice of one of their house made pizzas with sliced roasted brussel sprouts, pomegranate arils, and bacon. Never have seen that combo since, but it was amazing.
posted by kimdog at 6:05 AM on April 12 [7 favorites]


More common over here, but one of my favourites is tuna, red onion and green Bell peppers.

In Rome I had a pizza with some kind of well-cooked green bitter leaf (maybe chard or kale) and very small pieces of very garlicky sausage. That was amazing.

I generally like pizza with rocket/arugula on - often with Parmesan shavings, cherry tomatoes and a huge pile of rocket.

This may not be uncommon for you, but pesto instead of tomato sauce goes well with chicken, cherry tomatoes and mozzarella.
posted by kadia_a at 6:11 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


Totally unknown in the US, but in Germany just about every pizza joint has "frutti di mare" pizza which includes octopus, mussels, anchovies, and maybe tuna? I think I'd had it with cheese, but I think it's more common to just have tomato sauce on it. It is my favorite.

On further reflection, my very first recollection of "put an egg on it" before it got super popular was probably 1995-96 when we were living over in Germany and I ordered a pizza with a whole fried egg right in the middle of it. It was pretty novel back then, but I doubt it would get a second glance nowadays.
posted by backseatpilot at 6:13 AM on April 12 [2 favorites]


Potato pizza! Even better with a fried egg on top, yum.
posted by mollywas at 6:14 AM on April 12 [13 favorites]


I've had napoletana-style pizza with a big pile of clams in-shell on it (also no tomato sauce, and chili flakes). It was magnificent. I've also had pizza with baby shrimp and steamed (NOT PICKLED) artichoke hearts on it: I still dream about it. Both were at Pizza D.O.C in Chicago in the early 2000s; it's not there anymore.
posted by xueexueg at 6:16 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


Bratwurst, apple, and onion is a great one. Discovered at the Blue Mountain Brewery in Afton, VA.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:17 AM on April 12 [4 favorites]


You're all probably going to judge me, but most pizzas are greatly enhanced by putting a handful of Doritos on top.
posted by advicepig at 6:19 AM on April 12 [8 favorites]


Reuben (as in sandwich) pizza: Corned beef, Thousand Island / Russian dressing, and well-drained sauerkraut. I don't recall what they use for cheese; I don't think it's swiss though.

BLT pizza: pre-bake the crust fully, then put mayonnaise, bacon crumbles, shredded lettuce and diced tomato on top.

Re: doritos: Taco pizza is a thing around here.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 6:21 AM on April 12 [3 favorites]


Pizza with döner kebab meat and sauce is very popular here in Sweden and a few other countries in northern europe at least. Bearnaise sauce (added after cooking) is quite common as a topping for some pizzas with beef or pork. A friend made a pizza with raindeer, mushrooms and lingonberrys that won some national pizza competition, but never got to try it...
posted by rpn at 6:23 AM on April 12 [7 favorites]


A colleague in Salt Lake City (not sure where he got it from) told me about adding lemons to pizza. You slice them very thin, rind and all, and put them on top. I'm not even a big fan of citrus and I thought it was divine.
posted by galvanized unicorn at 6:24 AM on April 12 [12 favorites]


1. In Mexico I once had a pizza with chopped beef, shrimp, and nopales (cactus) on it, and while the pizza itself was only so-so the toppings were a real eye-opener. It's an awesome flavor combo.

2. This may or may not count as a pizza for you, but a friend of mine in college used to make some side money by catering college parties, and one of her specialties was pizza. Her best pizza was the Curry Pizza, which consisted of Japanese curry, complete with potatoes, carrots, and rice, on top of pizza dough. Baked, so it wasn't runny. No cheese, no tomato sauce. Everyone who was willing to go out on a limb and try it adored that pizza.
posted by Itaxpica at 6:25 AM on April 12


Kimchi pizza
posted by Wolfdog at 6:26 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


A favorite of mine is cashews and black olives. I had it at a pizza place next to a Seventh Day Adventist college. They have interesting stuff since they promote vegetarianism.
posted by beccaj at 6:34 AM on April 12 [4 favorites]


It's not exactly revolutionary, but one of the happiest days of my life is the day I discovered how good dollops of ricotta cheese is on a pizza. A pizza place we used to go to had a spinach, onion, ricotta and very fennel-y sausage pizza that I loved.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:35 AM on April 12 [3 favorites]


Grapes are excellent with a soft cheese (like a goat's cheese) and spinach or rocket/arugula. I think it's kind of like the fig effect but a little less sweet.
posted by carbide at 6:37 AM on April 12 [2 favorites]


Caramelized onions and roast pumpkin/sweet potato. A no sauce pizza served with roasted pine nuts sprinkled on after cooking. First served by my mother in one of her experimental phrases. I also recently had a spinach, green pepper and shallot pizza with fresh mozzarella, ricotta and feta with the red sauce on the side in my blue apron subscription box.
posted by wwax at 6:37 AM on April 12 [2 favorites]


When I was a professional in the pizza industry, we had one customer who wanted iceberg lettuce on the pizza. I can't say I was "surprised by how good it turned out to be", however.
posted by thelonius at 6:37 AM on April 12 [7 favorites]


Sautéed rapini with potatos and rosemary.
posted by Ideefixe at 6:40 AM on April 12


Any pizza is made exponentially better drizzled with balsamic reduction... I use enough so it's almost its own topping.
posted by flourpot at 6:41 AM on April 12 [4 favorites]


Bacon and goat cheese is my favorite. I have no idea where I first had it.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:42 AM on April 12


Motorino's Brussels Sprouts pizza is famous for a reason.

The best pizza I have ever had (in Roma Termini at the fancy food court, I think it comes from Pizzarium): a thin layer of squash puree, parmesan, maaaybe rosemary, tangled clusters of incredibly salty and rich guanciale (just the fat, basically).

I also love buffalo chicken pizza (normal pizza with buffy chick chunx on top) and bbq chicken pizza (with BBQ sauce instead of tomato, pickled onions, chicken, and kalamata olives) but I consider these to be more or less"normal" toppings.

For the ultra-weird, this place in Berlin serves their pizza with maple syrup?
posted by athirstforsalt at 6:43 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


Pizza with döner kebab meat and sauce is very popular here in Sweden and a few other countries in northern europe at least.

There's a place down the street from me (in Toronto) that will happily pile chicken shawarma meat and the associated sauces and toppings onto a cheese or pepperoni pizza (whole, or by the slice).
posted by sevenyearlurk at 6:45 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


UNTESTED but based off my favorite sandwich-- herbed creme fraiche, sliced red beets, and dill pickles.
posted by athirstforsalt at 6:50 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


During recent pineapple on pizza debates I read somewhere that apparently in Sweden (?) they also put bananas on their pizza. No clue how it tastes.
posted by raccoon409 at 6:51 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


Paneer (Indian soft cheese) is awesome on a pizza. Topped with regular mozzarella cheese as well, because you can never have enough cheese. Make kadai paneer in advance, and spread over the crust in lieu of tomato sauce. Also in the same vein, tandoori chicken pizza.

These things are actually common pizza toppings in India.
posted by redlines at 6:51 AM on April 12 [3 favorites]


If you’re Asian, Durian pizza is pretty good.
 
posted by querty at 6:52 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


My favorite thing these days is tikka masala pizza. It's pretty much just our leftover tikka masala poured over pizza dough with some cheese on top, but somehow its even better than the original curry.
posted by Garm at 6:53 AM on April 12 [2 favorites]


A place I used to work served a pizza with bacon, red onion, gorgonzola, apples & honey. The savory/tart/sweet combination was really nice.
posted by bcwinters at 6:56 AM on April 12


Also, a dessert Flammekueche made with crème fraîche, raspberries, and peaches (if I remember right), in L'Alsacien in Paris.
posted by redlines at 6:57 AM on April 12 [2 favorites]


The beau still reminisces about the Cream & Crimson from back during his IU days -- a pizza made with alfredo sauce, roasted dill potatoes, bacon and gorgonzola.
posted by PearlRose at 6:57 AM on April 12


Tahini-Miso paste sauce, roasted cabbage, onion, sausage, sliced cherry tomatos. Delicious. If you are really feeling lazy, make it and bake it on a small pita bread.
posted by Chrischris at 6:59 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


I had a pizza with a fennel italian sausage on it and was really surprised how good the combination of the fennel seeds and the tomato sauce was. So now I sometimes order a plain cheese and tomato pizza and sprinkle fennel seeds on it.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 7:00 AM on April 12


Somebody once served me "sushi pizza", though I've forgotten the particulars. It had a thin coating of mayo instead of sauce and had chunks of rice, nori, and imitation crab meat scattered about. There was a bit of wasabi here and there as well. It was cold.

The only thing about it that resembled a pizza was that it was round and flat and had a bunch of shit on it. I'm sure you could come up with your own version easily enough.
posted by bondcliff at 7:06 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


There's a place I go to sometimes which serves pizza topped with macaroni and cheese and bacon. They also have chicken cordon bleu pizza.
posted by epanalepsis at 7:08 AM on April 12


Vancouver, Point Grey, Summer: fresh oysters and pickled artichokes on a pesto-sauced thin crust. Sun, beer, a patio.

In season, I ate those pretty much every Friday for years. The place is as long gone now as my youth.
posted by bonehead at 7:16 AM on April 12 [6 favorites]


The Whole Foods near me in Santa Monica used to make a "breakfast" pizza with scrambled eggs and prosciutto. I think those were the only two ingredients and it was spectacular. (I put breakfast in quotes because obviously this is a 24/365 pizza.)
posted by Room 641-A at 7:17 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


When I lived in St. Louis, there was a place at the end of my street called the Thai Pizza Company. (Yelp reports that it has since closed.) I don't like Thai food, so I only ate there once, and I don't really remember much about it. But here's their old menu.
posted by kevinbelt at 7:17 AM on April 12


This acorn squash and Gorgonzola pizza is amazing.
posted by LKWorking at 7:18 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


A now sadly closed pizza place in Chapel Hill, NC offered "The Joint" which had NC pork barbecue, coleslaw, red onion, and tabasco. Yum.
posted by radiomayonnaise at 7:18 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


its become something of a regular thing at many of the fancy/new-wave NYC pizza spots but hot honey (a brand called Mike's started it but now there are numerous competitors, you can just mix honey and chili flakes/steep a chili in honey to make your own) on a pepperoni/hot sopressata pizza is amazing. its not quite as whacky as some of these suggestions but man is it good.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 7:23 AM on April 12 [4 favorites]


Mashed potato pizza topped with sauerkraut & sliced kielbasa (bonus points for frying it first). Cheese (cheddar or muenster recommended) & caraway seeds optional, but delicious. Not sure where I heard this one. Many folks on the internet call it an Oktoberfest pizza.
posted by carrioncomfort at 7:29 AM on April 12 [2 favorites]


Giardiniera—vegetables pickled in spiced oil. In Chicago it's often paired on pizza with shredded Italian beef, but I think it goes very well with pepperoni.
posted by Iridic at 7:34 AM on April 12 [4 favorites]


Nashville style hot chicken, ranch dressing (as a drizzle, not base sauce), dill pickles.
posted by noneuclidean at 7:34 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


I once had an amazing pizza with black currants, Manchego cheese, and duck confit.

Also nthing egg on pizza, the best place I've had it they brought out the pizza (white pizza with ricotta, mozzarella, loads of garlic, and bacon) hot out of the oven and cracked an egg in the middle. The heat of the pizza cooked the white but left the yolk runny, and as you dragged a knife through to cut it the egg yolk mixed with everything to get nice and gooey.
posted by Daily Alice at 7:44 AM on April 12 [2 favorites]


I see that chicken tikka masala pizza has already been suggested, but palak paneer pizza is also a delight. It helps if your local pizzeria is run by people from Pakistan.

Also, there's a chain of Egyptian pizzerias in and around Baltimore that serve Middle Eastern classics and a variety of unusual pizzas. My favorite is the "Sharm El-Sheq":
Smoked salmon, boursin cheese, slivered green onions, salmon caviar and lemon wedges. Served with lemon chutney on the side.
Consider browsing their menu for more inspiration.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:45 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


No one's said lobster yet???? It is AMAZING. Sweet, mouthy, chewy. Had it at Cambridge, 1 with cilantro, corn, and scallion.
posted by cocoagirl at 7:48 AM on April 12 [2 favorites]


Here is a menu from a Fong's in Des Moines, which is an Asian-fusion pizza place. The crab rangoon is pretty good.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 7:49 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


In addition to many traditional pizzas I had in Rome not too long ago, I also had a wonderful pear & gorgonzola pizza at Spiriti e Forme (link to TripAdvisor page as their actual website is only a landing page for now).
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:49 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


Honey instead of tomato sauce and chunks of blue cheese, then when it comes out of the oven, arugula on top!
posted by rmless at 7:52 AM on April 12


Labneh, kale, and garlic on a pizza is a winning combination!
posted by zoetrope at 8:01 AM on April 12 [2 favorites]


The late lamented Pepper's Pizza in Chapel Hill had a couple of pizzas with Carolina barbecue on top. One was Carolina barbecue, andouile sausage, and feta cheese on a pesto slice, and the other was Carolina barbecue, coleslaw, red onion, and Tabasco. Both amazing. (You can make fake Carolina barbecue by mixing cider vinegar, hot pepper flakes, and liquid smoke with pulled pork.)
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:01 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


Mashed potato pizza with optional bacon at BAR in New Haven. Back in the mid-2000s, drinking well g&t's with a now deceased friend. Staggering under the weight of nostalgia, excuse me.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 8:04 AM on April 12 [3 favorites]


Roast chicken, tiny cubes of roast potato, dollops of sour cream, and sweet chilli sauce drizzled.
posted by ominous_paws at 8:04 AM on April 12


I have also had acorn/butternut pizza with gorgonzola or stilton, one was with slivers of shallot that I think might have been lightly pickled or at least tossed in vinegar before going on, and got nice and burned. The other was with artichoke hearts which nobody ever does right and if I was going to do it at home I think I'd do mushrooms instead, or maybe BBQ chicken because my husband has finally lured me over to the dark side.

I was in Sweden slightly before the curry banana pizza craze, but I still crave the flavor and texture of Swedish pizza dough, and their version of calzone which I had before I ever had calzone, and I find the American version too chewy/dense and way understuffed compared to what you got from a decent pizza place in Sweden. That crust is worth experimenting with, even if it makes a floppy pie that has to be eaten with knife and fork.

Oh, and dress your Swedish pizza with pizza salad.

That was where I first had seafood pizza, and where I learned I do not like a) overcooked seafood b) seafood and tomato sauce. There was also the steak (slices) pizza with bearnaise drizzle.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:05 AM on April 12


Apricot + mushroom deep dish
posted by matildatakesovertheworld at 8:11 AM on April 12


I used to make "Swedish pizzas" as a kind of party thing, where everyone would make their own.

Some of the ingredients I used, in addition to standard ones like red sauce, were:

Bananas
Raw onion
Raisins
Thin apple slices
Canned tuna
Capers

And curry powder to sprinkle over top.

Ugh, it's been a long time, and I know I'm forgetting things, but the linked article has lots of suggestions. I'm not Swedish and based my ingredients on second and third hand accounts based on things other people told me their Swedish girlfriends told them, so the quotes around "Swedish pizza" are there for a reason.
posted by ernielundquist at 8:15 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


Oh, and the above was at Fire and Stone in Spitalfields, London - they name all their pizzas after cities. This was the Perth, for whatever reason. It seems to be long gone, but there are plenty more oddities on this.
posted by ominous_paws at 8:15 AM on April 12


I heartily second mashed potato and bacon, Chesty_a_Arthur, a pizza I also know from Bar! Also nthing "put an egg on it!" which I first learned about from an episode of ManLab.
posted by coevals at 8:30 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


I used to make "Swedish pizzas"

That reminded me that there was once a post about Swedish Pizza. I was also reminded that I'm the one who made the post. Lots of interesting pizza combos there.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:31 AM on April 12 [2 favorites]


Pepperoni & green olives. Soooooo salty that you're gonna need some more beer.
posted by theora55 at 8:32 AM on April 12


Crap, it's the same linked article, but the comments here have ideas.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:33 AM on April 12


Hummus, goat cheese and olives.
posted by Pax at 8:51 AM on April 12


Has anyone said French fries? In Sweden they also put French fries on pizza.
posted by bluebird at 8:53 AM on April 12 [3 favorites]


Sweet potato and corn was my favorite in S. Korea.
posted by kathrynm at 8:58 AM on April 12


Baked ziti, pretty normal in Philadelphia, unusual to find it elsewhere, though mac and cheese on pizza seems to be having its moment.
posted by snaw at 8:59 AM on April 12


At La Fiamma in Bellingham, over a decade ago, I had a pizza with potatoes, caramelized onions and balsamic syrup. I've remembered it ever since. It looks like they still make it. I had it without sausage because I was vegetarian at the time. The sticky balsamic reduction was key.

Pizza invention of my own: leftover Indian curry (serves as both sauce and veg/meat source), top lightly with a mild mozzerella. Even better if the curry includes potatoes. (Can you sense a theme here?)
posted by purple_bird at 9:04 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


Mango. It's so good on pizza, amazing everyone doesn't already know about it.
posted by dacoit at 9:06 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


Seattle pizza chain Pagliacci's has "Tuscan Kale" pizza by brushing the crust with olive oil and topping with with kale, preserved lemon, ricotta, and mozzarella, and finished with salt. I don't think i've ever seen preserved lemon used like that. It was pretty good, and unlike a lot of kale I've had in my life, I'm not still chewing it to this day.
posted by Sunburnt at 9:11 AM on April 12 [3 favorites]


Tuna fish pizza from France. I believe it was "thon pizza"

My friend uses honey instead of tomato sauce. Particularly good on a wheat crust

And of course bbq chicken pizza is the one true way.
posted by Jacen at 9:13 AM on April 12


I once wrote a blog post about a Swedish pizza contest and especially one of the entries, a pizza that was topped with venison and blueberries (self-link here, with a lot of snark about Swedish pizza first, and the so-called "game symphony" pizza toward the end).
posted by Namlit at 9:15 AM on April 12


Fried egg. On literally anything that contains tomato sauce. In this case, pizza.
posted by FirstMateKate at 9:19 AM on April 12


Chiming in for dill pickles as an underutilized pizza topping. A now sadly defunct slice shop near me used to sell pickle pies (with circular pickle slices on it just like pepperonis) and they were amazing.
posted by Strange Interlude at 9:20 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


I recently had a brunch pizza with thinly sliced country ham, fried egg and sorghum. Unbelievably good, but I can't remember what type of cheese they used.
posted by 3fluffies at 9:24 AM on April 12


Are we allowed to make things up? Because all of a sudden I realized that an Oki-Dog (two hot dogs, chili, pastrami, American cheese, pickles, mustard wrapped in a tortilla) would be really good if, instead of wrapping it in a tortilla, you piled it on a pizza crust.

On preview, yes pickles on pizza!

(Said the lady who will normally choose a slice of plain cheese every single time.)
posted by Room 641-A at 9:28 AM on April 12


Fig preserves, prosciutto & gorgonzola cheese
Taleggio cheese, red onions, guanciale (pork cheek) & honey
posted by emelenjr at 9:31 AM on April 12 [2 favorites]


Chiming in for dill pickles as an underutilized pizza topping.

Yeah, whenever we make pizza at home my son's side of the pizza is usually pickle and anchovy. Sometimes bacon as well.
posted by bondcliff at 9:32 AM on April 12


Sea urchin sauce!
posted by praemunire at 9:35 AM on April 12


Not a topping, but a crust. The "fat-head" low-carb crust made from mozza & cream cheese + almond flour is amazing. It's been re-published a bajillion times on the web, but the original post is here. I follow a strict keto/low carb diet so it's amazing for me since now I can have pizza (with a lot of the above amazing topping ideas!), but I've also gotten quite a few carb-eaters into this crust as well. Now I just need to find a pizza joint that will make it so I don't have to!
posted by cgg at 9:36 AM on April 12


Black bean taco pizza - this is the version from Antonio's pizza - a very minimal cheese matrix for a thick bed of black beans, topped with crumbles of feta, chopped tomato, cilantro, slabs of avocado.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:38 AM on April 12 [2 favorites]


Drizzled honey with pepperoni or sausage is a subtle, but simple touch. I have a friend who has actually taken to carrying around little honey packets to doctor up any random pizza she encounters.

I've enjoyed chopped dried seaweed or furikake on pizza many a time. It's great for jazzing up a plain slice. Sometimes the Japanese can take it a little far and make the pizza look like full on okonomiyaki, and that's okay, but I still find mayo and pizza to be a weird combo.

Nthing chesty_a_arthur's shoutout to BAR's mashed potato pizza. It's a total carb overload, but worth trying at least once. It's kind of like a garlicky pizza deconstruction of a loaded potato skin.
posted by Diagonalize at 9:39 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


On holiday in Rome right now, and it seems every other pizza slice place has pizza with red sauce and then a scampi-mayo salad on top. I haven't tried it yet there is so much to eat here, experimenting with pizza toppings is not my first priority..
posted by mumimor at 9:39 AM on April 12 [2 favorites]


indian pizza is sort of its own thing i guess, but zante's in sf makes chicken tikka masala and paneer masala pizzas that are divine. also broccolini is my all time number one non-traditional pizza topping, closely followed by corn!
posted by burgerrr at 9:40 AM on April 12 [4 favorites]


I mentioned this on Twitter but I'm repeating it here for reference: my all time favorite pizza (No. 4, The Cantab, from Emma's Pizza formerly *sniff* of Cambridge but now of Boston's South End) is topped with Yukon potatoes, bacon, cilantro, and dried cranberries.

I don't care what you say, it is delicious.
posted by maryr at 9:40 AM on April 12


Totally unknown in the US, but in Germany just about every pizza joint has "frutti di mare" pizza which includes octopus, mussels, anchovies, and maybe tuna?

Not totally, I get it all the time at a local place. Their version has mussels, shrimp, squid and bay scallops and comes with cheese but no sauce (I ask them to add sauce.)
posted by contraption at 9:43 AM on April 12


Bulgogi pizza. Can't remember where, but it was great!
posted by Prof Iterole at 9:44 AM on April 12


I worked at a pizza place in high school, and our in-house favorite among staff was a standard red sauce pizza with pepperoni and shrimp. I still crave it, and need to try it again.

Also, yes, add potatoes and broccoli to your favorite pie.
posted by hydra77 at 9:48 AM on April 12


I regularly supplant whatever fruit I have around in place of pineapple. Often that's clementines or grapes (with a bunch of other more standard toppings like feta, mushrooms, etc.).

I have also learned from visiting a specific restaurant in New Haven that potato in place of tomato sauce is quite good. If you feel like it, you can also thin the potato down with a little Alfredo sauce and milk. Or apply it quite chunkily. Either way, then top with tomato and mozzarella.
posted by vegartanipla at 9:49 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


No one's said lobster yet????

Red Lobster makes a lobster pizza that is actually pretty good.

some toppings from my favorite local fancy pizza place: asparagus, duck, beets, pistachios
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:50 AM on April 12


Plain cheese pizza with crushed (but not too fine) kettle cooked salt and vinegar potato chips liberally sprinkled on top a few minutes before the pizza is done cooking.
posted by splen at 9:53 AM on April 12


I don't think it really counts, but mashed potato pizza (with chives and bacon and broccoli and cheese and sour cream) is insanely good.
posted by stoneandstar at 10:10 AM on April 12


Late to a VERY popular party, I see, but CTRL+F did NOT find ramps. I had ramps on a lovely pizza at Otto Enoteca in New York (Mario Batali's joint) and it was SUBLIME. It was ramps and a soft cheese and a spicy salami. Amazing.
posted by ersatzkat at 10:11 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


Lots of excellent suggestions here! I can confirm that banana on pizza is worth trying. It's a thing in South Africa.
posted by karbonokapi at 10:11 AM on April 12


Grapefruit supremes are delicious, especially on a white pizza.
posted by Pizzarina Sbarro at 10:18 AM on April 12


Chorizo and pickled jalapeños! A la Pizza Patrón.
posted by fiercecupcake at 10:23 AM on April 12


Pompieri Pizza in Durham, NC has a Family Meal night every Sunday for which the menu is chef's choice. We go a couple times a year (and hosted a meetup there once) and by now have been exposed to almost everything mentioned in this thread, plus various beans (kidney beans, black-eye peas), all kinds of fresh and pickled vegetables, meats (pickled and otherwise), blueberries, cheesecakes, and tequila flambé. (Not much in the way of seafood or pasta, though: Too far from the water for what's effectively a locovore restaurant, and they haven't had pasta on the menu at all.)
posted by ardgedee at 10:55 AM on April 12


HONEY. Seriously, a drizzle of honey on a super salty cheese pizza is perfection. Honey and balsamic on pizza is also a good combo.
posted by InkDrinker at 11:03 AM on April 12


The vegetarian place by me (Mead's Green Door Cafe in Orange, CA) does an amazing sauce-less Buffalo Cauliflower and Kale pizza that always gets the kale to a really good, crispy level. They also have a really good breakfast pizza with eggs, vegetarian breakfast "sausage", tomato, a ton of mozzarella, and some caramelized onions that is killer in the morning.
posted by sleeping bear at 11:11 AM on April 12


In the area I grew up, French dressing on pizza is a thing. Like, so much so that the Pizza Hut had squeeze bottles of it at their tables next to the parmesan and oregano.
posted by solotoro at 11:16 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


I was making a load of homemade pizzas and I had leftover Thai-style curry chicken with lots of curry sauce. I think I thickened the sauce and put it on the pizza crust as sauce and the remaining chicken and veggies as toppings. Pretty sure I added long green onions, maybe chopped peanuts, definitely cilantro, and topped with mozzeralla and cheddar.

It was one of the best pizzas ever.

Coconut milk/peanut butter sauces are so good, and great on pizza.

You could use a coconut milk / peanut butter sauce with steak and green peppers, or with potato/mushroom/sautéed bitter greens and a hard cheese, hmmmm lots of things.

Have fun.
posted by littlewater at 11:18 AM on April 12


Seconding that creme fraiche--spoonfuls, presumably added near the end of cooking or right before service so they're not completely melted but not completely solid or cold either--is wonderful on a pizza. I had it in Paris (don't judge, we were bone-tired from a day out and there was this shop right by the train station), and also remember the spicy oil for drizzling. I've dreamed about that oil and how I can get my hands on more. Pepper-infused, perhaps?

On the other end of the spectrum: Aldi's sells a cheeseburger take-and-bake pizza, complete with ketchup-mustard sauce, ground beef and tomato toppings, and pickle slices. I found it OK but meh, but the pickle slices in particular were good enough that I plan on putting them on future pizzas.
posted by spelunkingplato at 11:29 AM on April 12


Honey pairs well with spicy, and I've had a honey + soppressata + chiles pizza that was unexpectedly tasty.
posted by danny the boy at 11:32 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


Both Indian and seafood pizzas have been mentioned--but a place in Houston, TX, Bombay Pizza Company, does a "Gateway of India" pizza that is sort of a combination of those: tandoori chicken, fresh crab, artichoke hearts, provolone, mozzarella, green chutney, and cilantro. It sounds bonkers, it works amazingly, especially the tart/spicy chutney and the sweet crab meat. Whole bunch of other interesting combinations on their menu, too.
posted by thack3r at 12:10 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]


I love goat cheese on my pizza! with tomatoes, bacon and onions. Plus if there is some kind of pesto sauce situation.
posted by Sara_NOT_Sarah at 12:25 PM on April 12


On a pizza that includes tomato sauce and meat, little dollops of doro wat are sensational.
posted by naturetron at 12:54 PM on April 12


Cochon de lait! From Katie's in New Orleans (scroll down to "The Boudreaux" pizza near the bottom).
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 1:02 PM on April 12


I had a "bacon wrapped date" pizza with bacon and dates and maybe blue cheese? It was divine.
posted by Grandysaur at 1:03 PM on April 12


Ctrl+F and no one's mentioned MUSTARD?? My favorite weird pizza I ever had is the Shotsy, which is mustard instead of pizza sauce, topped with smoked Polish sausage, a shitload of onions and sauerkraut, and cheese. It even made it to Buzzfeed's list of 18 Pizza Joints to Try Before You Die! It is SOOOOOOO good and would be super easy to make at home.
posted by stellaluna at 1:37 PM on April 12 [3 favorites]


Oh, there's a pizza place in Portland, Oregon (Dove Vivi) that puts corn (off the cob) on top of the pizza, and it's delicious. It pairs amazingly well with their thick cornmeal crust.
posted by hydra77 at 2:33 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]


Oh oh, from The Cheese Board in Berkeley: mozzarella, onion, thinly sliced tomato, Feta, cilantro, lemon zest.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:34 PM on April 12


I used to LOVE the shrimp scampi pizza at California Pizza Kitchen. But the last time I was there, it had been taken off the menu...
posted by tacodave at 2:43 PM on April 12


Haggis (either traditional or vegetarian are possible). Another delicious example of Scottish multicultural cuisine, alongside macaroni pies and haggis samosas.
posted by Jabberwocky at 2:50 PM on April 12


Through a no-languages-in-common (and entirely my fault) miscommunication, I ended up having a pizza with capers and anchovies in Liège, Belgium. (I don't remember the restaurant; it was an informal, eat at a sidewalk table place near the city center.)

It was amazingly delicious (though not ideal if you're watching your sodium intake).
posted by sourcequench at 3:33 PM on April 12


+I dunno how weird these are but faves I make at home:

1. Pumpkin/butternut squash + blue cheese (don't go 100% blue cheese it's too intense)

2. Goat's cheese + thyme or even better lemon thyme + green apple thinly sliced

3. sweetened ricotta with vanilla stirred in + grapes

4. Nutella + strawberries

5. Artichoke hearts (bottled) + arugula + some eggs cracked over

5. Eggplant "parmigiana" or schnitzel (breaded and friend thin slices of eggplant) + oregano + chilli flakes (optional some freshly ground fennel).
posted by smoke at 3:56 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]


Oh, and Chinese BBQ duck or pork + hoisin sauce + thinly sliced scallions.
posted by smoke at 3:56 PM on April 12


Oh: Israeli pizza is trash, but it's significantly improved by what Israelis call 'pizza seasoning': a mixture of za'atar, sugar, and MSG that comes in little packets at pizza places. It's awesome.
posted by Itaxpica at 5:14 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]


The pissaladiere is something you might find interesting.
posted by bunderful at 5:34 PM on April 12


I had a pizza at Arizmendi in Oakland with arugula, toasted walnuts, balsalmic reduction, caramelized red onions, bacon, and ricotta / garlic sauce. Leave it to Californians to put a salad on a pizza. It was SO GOOD.
posted by ananci at 5:57 PM on April 12 [2 favorites]


Oh, and also anything that is good in an omelette is good on a pizza and vice-versa. Try it.
posted by ananci at 5:58 PM on April 12


When I was living in South Dakota they had a by the slice pizza place called Thatzza Pizza, and I absolutely fell in love with their Pot Roast Pizza. We had it any time we went and it was on the rotation, and a few times we ordered a whole pie. So good!

Pot Roast Pizza: Shredded roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, red onion, and coarse ground pepper
posted by Kimothy at 6:41 PM on April 12


Came here to mention sweet potato paste on pizzas in Korea, and while looking for a link stumbled across this.
posted by charlemangy at 6:48 PM on April 12


Two things that might be interesting:

1. Pineapple and broccoli. In college, this was my advisor and beloved professor's favorite combo and my gateway to Hawaiian pizza. I was surprised how much I dug it and while I don't think it's way out there, I don't think many people go for pineapple + green veggie.

2. Not a topping per say, but dipping Regina's cheese pizza into authentic (preferably Boston or Maine) clam chowder. It sounds disgusting, & I was extremely skeptical, but it was my then-boyfriend's favorite thing (the things we do for love), and it was surprisingly delicious. It's essential, however, that you have high quality cheese pizza and clam chowder. If either is subpar, especially the chowder, it will probably be quite unappetizing.
posted by katemcd at 6:49 PM on April 12 [2 favorites]


Like RockSteady, I too have only recently become enamored of ricotta on pizza. Oh, and steamed artichoke hearts.
posted by jrchaplin at 6:53 PM on April 12


Apples, gorgonzola, almonds, and honey. Serious Pie and Biscuit in Seattle serves it up.
posted by talldean at 7:00 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]


Used to live near a place that did "nachos" on a pizza - tortilla chips, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, and jalapenos on a salsa base - and it was great.

They also did an English breakfast on a pizza - bacon, eggs, sausage, baked beans, mushrooms, and HP sauce - but I never tried that.
posted by retrograde at 7:15 PM on April 12


Smitten Kitchen's shaved asparagus pizza is great.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 7:34 PM on April 12 [2 favorites]


I used to work at a pizza place that got a bit experimental. My favorite that we did was a "black and blue", which had blackened chicken, gorgonola, maybe some feta, mozzarella as normal, and no sauce. We also tried making a southwestern pizza with potato, black bean, corn, roasted peppers and maybe some kind of salsa (I forget what kind of cheese), but had a hard time getting the crust right without burning the top because it was so thick.

A place I went to a couple times in San Diego called Pizza Freeks had a crazy menu - mac & cheese with bacon; mashed potatoes and gravy; cranberries and roast beef; they're sadly closed.

Place near me now in Grand Rapids (Mitten Brewing Company) has a "coney dog" (Michigander for chili dog) pizza, with hot dogs, chili, ketchup, mustard, relish, and diced onions.
posted by LionIndex at 7:55 PM on April 12


Peach and Basil at East Side Pies in Austin is pretty freaking great, though I literally came into this thread to mention the black bean-based taco pizza that Lobster Mitten mentions above. I first had that combo in Amherst, MA at one of those events you go to as a college student SOLELY for the free pizza and I ended up working on a crisis hotline for three years. Beware the power of the pizza.

Romanians put "spicy ketchup" on their pizza, which tastes mostly like watered down bbq sauce but more acidic. I dig it.
posted by theweasel at 8:34 PM on April 12


Lacinato kale, thinly sliced pears, mild blue cheese and chopped walnuts. I'm very grateful to the friend who taught me the magic of walnuts with bitter greens on a pizza, in general.
posted by centrifugal at 8:53 PM on April 12


Garlic pizza is much better than it would sound. Basically just cheese pizza with garlic.

Scratches that minimal pizza itch.
posted by oceanjesse at 8:55 PM on April 12


Spam musubi pizza - just ditch the rice.
posted by oceanjesse at 8:57 PM on April 12


I had delicious beef jerky pizzas in South Africa.
posted by monotreme at 9:56 PM on April 12


I know Indian pizza's been mentioned a few times, but there's a local pizza place that does an awesome butter chicken pizza with red chiles and jalapenos, and it's soo good.
posted by Aleyn at 11:25 PM on April 12


Oh, another one I thought was great is taco pizza, which I see has been mentioned, but on this one they also added some lettuce as a topping *after* it was baked, and I thought that was a nice addition to an already good pizza.
posted by Aleyn at 11:31 PM on April 12


yes, on taco pizza, the lettuce and taco/nacho chips go on after cooking.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 9:33 AM on April 13


I recently had a REALLY good pizza at a place in Seattle:

ZUCCA BALSAMICA
With olive oil, mozzarella, roasted butternut squash, pancetta, caramelized onions, garlic, rosemary, goat cheese, red pepper flakes & balsamic reduction


But I think most of those things are accounted for above. I do remember this menu item they did however:

SPRING LAMB
With mint & basil sauce, mozzarella, goat cheese, roasted red peppers, red onion, chili flakes and Leschi Market’s lamb sausage. Finished with fresh mint. Zesty full flavors, succulent lamb and mint with a lingering finish.


And I don't think anybody else here has mentioned mint yet! (Or lamb.) I didn't have it, but given how good the pizza I did have was, I have full faith these people know what they're doing.
posted by foxfirefey at 11:10 AM on April 13 [1 favorite]


Chicken and Waffles Pizza.

Yeah, waffles on pizza. But no maple syrup, which, while it tastes great with fried chicken, probably wouldn't work the rest of the pizza... but it would be a cheap experiment anyway.
posted by Sunburnt at 11:40 AM on April 13


Nice Slice in Providence does a pizza with spinach, almonds, dried cranberries, and feta. It's super delicious. They gave us the recipe--use white cheddar as the base cheese then add the feta after baking. I also prefer to saute the spinach because fresh spinach dehydrates and burns in the oven.

Also seconding whoever said green (mint) chutney.
posted by capricorn at 2:07 PM on April 13


My boyfriend LOVES celery on pizza. I was looking at responses to see if that was mentioned, but I didn't see it. He said that his mother used to make pizza that way because celery was cheap, and it was a good "filler" for a boy who liked to eat. I tried it that way because that's what I had, and he wanted it, and WHOA! It was actually pretty tasty. It had a nice crunch, and could easily go with almost any typical topping.
posted by itsflyable at 8:52 PM on April 13 [1 favorite]


Based on this thread, I was inspired to make a weird pizza this weekend with: ricotta, prosciutto, lemon slices (rind and all), and cashews.

Verdict was that the lemon was too much (zest would have been preferable) and the cashews were surprisingly good!
posted by too bad you're not me at 7:28 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


I like to blend up a small can of La Morena Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce and use them in place of the tomato sauce. That, and any kind of cheese, and the rest barely matters.
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:31 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


On the morning of the last day of a 7 night wilderness backpack, we were talking about what we were going to order for lunch. That was the first time I thought of and ate pineapple, anchovies and jalapeno pizza.
posted by Homer42 at 10:11 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


Nearly every week I crave Thai Curry Pizza: Thai curry sauce, Thai basil, bell peppers, and fried tofu slices.
posted by sweetmarie at 5:07 PM on June 26


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