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Matador’s Tom Gates has eaten pizza on five continents in 2009. These are his picks for the worst in the world.

The Hawaiian Bastard.

Pronto Pizza – La Serena, Chile

This creator of this restaurant should be thrown in jail. You’re looking at a picture of what should be called The Hawaiian Bastard.

It arrived half-cooked. I had to dig through a thicket of shredded ham, pineapple and –yes – cherries before finding a bite that seemed reasonable.

Imagine if candy was made out of ham. No, don’t imagine it as delicious. Imagine it as foul! That’s what this pizza tasted like. With additional pieces of uncooked, shredded, part-skim mozzarella.

Oh, and let’s discuss the concept of cherries on pizza: No. End of discussion.

Even the pizza sweats in Argentina.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

For the most part, don’t even bother with pizza in Buenos Aires. It’s about the most disgusting thing ever cooked in a country full of things that are perfectly cooked. Get thee to a meatery and skip this nonsense.

Don’t believe me? Witness big goops of cheese that taste like year-old butter. Add Oregano to cover the sweating fromage, which overpowers any hope for a cohesive taste. Toss on green olives the size of human testicles, just to make the whole thing seem even less palatable than…testicles.

The cheese is the problem here – somehow the Argentines know what to do with the meaty part of the cow but they have no idea what to do with the milky part. It sweats as if masturbating, defending a pie of oozy things that can’t be wiped up with a paper towel (it adheres to the slop and only makes it worse).

If you must eat a pizza in Buenos Aires, I highly recommend that you eat out. Anything delivered will arrive on one side of the box, looking more like a swollen eye than a pizza pie.

Yes, the Italians can make a bad pizza.

San Marco S.R.L., Piazza San Marco, Florence, Italy

It’s one of those In Theory pizzas, kind of like the crazy-combo pies that chains launch and pull before the coupon hits your mailbox. Yes, this is a French Fry Pizza.

What it amounts to is a pile of potatoes cooked in greasy cheese and pizza dough. It doesn’t work – not in the least. I watched another tourist give it a go and she couldn’t figure it out either. She squiggled a little ketcup onto her piece, took a bite, then threw it in the garbage. I assume that she pointed her hunger towards McDonalds shortly thereafter.

Please, put this miserable, suffering beast of a pizza down.

Evil has a name. It’s whatever this pizza is called.

Suba Galaxy Hotel, Mumbai, India

A foul, atrocious pizza awaits anyone staying at The Suba Galaxy.

I broke budget in order to stay in a soundproofed room that blocked out Mumbai’s consistent howl. My stomach growled for something familiar and eventually I gave into the most primal of urges: Room Servive. The tray arrived, the lid came off and I could have cried. This was not my beautiful house. This was not my beautiful wife.

I implore you. DO NOT EVER put onions inside of a pizza, especially ripe and uncooked offenders. I’d also like to suggest that feta doesn’t work in this context and that mystery greens are not generally acceptable in any form.

This pizza was devious, deceptive and evil.

Turn left at the tree. Head west until you hit Italy.

Italian Pizza, Lonely Beach, Koh Chang, Thailand

You’re thinking that it doesn’t look too bad, this one. This is only because you’ve seen the above pizza pictures. It’s relative, sir/mam. Look at it again. It’s awful!

The first thing that most Thai pizza-makers do is start with a pre-made base, kind of like you’d find in aisle six of Stop & Shop. Many times, they’ll take just about any kind of jarred tomato sauce (I’ve seen Ragu) and add it to cheese that tastes a bit of dirty socks and coriander. The pizza pictured is a fine example.

Yes – It serves us Falang tourists right for ordering pizza in Thailand. Yes – we should know better and just order the Pad Thai like every other backpacker. But no, we can’t resist the promise of a real pizza.

It’s the ladyboy of the food world – we know it’s not real but by-gosh, we’re going in anyway.

We want to hear your pizza nightmares! Feel free to comment below and PLEASE link to a picture, if you have one.

Food

 

About The Author

Tom Gates

Tom is a wayward writer based in Los Angeles. He has served as Editor for both Matador Nights and Life. He loves to go far, far away whenever possible. He is also pretending to be a third person right now and is obviously writing his own bio. He knows that you knew that, despite the deft maneuvering of pronouns. Tom's new book 'Wayward: Fetching Tales from a Year On The Road' is available for download on Amazon and iTunes.

  • http://miller-david.com david miller

    damn. that’s some horrid-looking bs as. pizza. gotta get the homemade.

  • http://musictravelwrite.wordpress.com Michelle

    Oh man, this was hilarious. And that French Fry thing just looks wrong.

  • http://www.bearshapedsphere.blogspot.com eileen

    I’m so happy to see that Chile once again makes the list for really bad pizza. We have so many to choose from, but I’m glad you got the absolute worst to photograph. You know in Spanish we say something is “la guinda en la torta” (the cherry on the cake) rather than the icing. Perhaps we could change it to la guinda en la pizza in honor of your recent discovery?

  • http://www.all-travel-sites.com Adam @Travel Sites

    I generally love Hawaiian pizza, but cherries..eww..love your descriptions of them all.
    When I was in Germany as a young soldier, the only decent pizza I got was from Pizza Hut, which really does not come any where to being real pizza. So the German pizza was pretty bad, but I don’t have any pics as it was over 20 years ago.

  • http://matadortravel.com/travel-community/candicew86 Candice

    Oh my god that was amazing. Mr. Gates, you slay me. “It sweats as if masturbating” might be my new favorite line in the world.

  • http://www.jkmassonfrance.blogspot.com K

    Here in France we can often see pizza with tuna and potatoes. (Why??) And in Budapest I had one with corn, kidney beans and broccoli. I’m a veggie person, but that was just too much weird-veg combo.

  • lewis hetherington

    these all look delicious! espescially no. 1! yummmmmmm…. i’ll send you one with cherries and onions on it for your birthday.

  • http://www.familianatural.org Laura

    Hey Tom, where did you eat your pizza in Buenos Aires? Pizza Hut?
    Sometimes you just have to spend a couple of extra pesos to get the real deal! Believe me, it’s worth it!
    About the cheese…what do Americans know about cheese anyways? ;)

    For the rest of you: if you go to Argentina you must eat pizza! Just avoid the cheap places that use cheap stuff (like anywhere in the world), and go to a nice pizzeria (El Cuartito, Guerrín, Morrela), and you wont be disappointed with the gourmet style pizza. Or you can always check Los Inmortales and its authentic Argentinean pizza. After dinner, you can have an ice cream at Freddo or at Nonna Bianca, and tell Tom that the dairy products from Argentina are truly one of the best of the world!!!

    Great article Tom!

    • http://matadortravel.com/travel-community/k-crimini Kate Sedgwick

      Yes. You must eat pizza because you can’t avoid it, but that doesn’t mean it’s recommended. Your friends will be eating it and they won’t even know how bad it is, so you’ll have no one to complain to about it either.

      You’d think in a society that’s about 40% Italian you wouldn’t have to sample about 20 pizzerias before finding a decent pizza, but you’d be wrong.

      Tom – genius. I love to see you suffer.

      • Dave

        Hilarious! Although I have to say I have had some of the best pizza in the world in Buenos Aires. I think you can find bad pizza everywhere but in BA there are a lot of great places with wood fired ovens. My favorites: Pizza Piola and Filo. And they don’t deliver.

    • Dave

      I agree with Laura.

      For the author of this piece (albeit an entertaining article) to say that “For the most part, don’t even bother with pizza in Buenos Aires” is ridiculous. I’ve tried Pizza on most continents, in many countries including Italy and the US, and El Cuartito in Buenos Aires is right up there with the best in the world. Their Napolitana is superb, and Fugazzetta just out of this world. And Guerrin isn’t that far behind.

      Seriously – DO both with Pizza in Buenos Aires. Just go to the right places to try it!

  • http://www.roamingtales.com Caitlin

    The second worst pizza I ever had was in Tunisia – my other half is vegetarian and was sick of chickpea cous cous by this point.

    The very worst pizza I’ve ever had was in the Budweiser Bar in Tokyo (we were there by mistake).

    Feta and mystery greens are fine on a gourmet pizza, but these disgusting specimens are far from gourmet.

  • http://matadortrips.com/ Hal Amen

    “She squiggled a little ketchup onto her piece, took a bite, then threw it in the garbage.”

    One of those matter-of-fact lines that just doubles me over. Love it!

    And my apologies to David and Lau, but pizza in Argentina = thumbs down! Although maybe I’ll give it one final chance and try one of the places you mention. :)

  • http://www.collazoprojects.com Julie

    I can vouch for Cuba as being one of the worst places on the planet to eat pizza. Embargo or no embargo, orange marmalade on a floppy disc called a crust is not a pizza. And don’t ask me to tell you what was used as cheese during the Special Period. . .

  • http://waywardlife.posterous.com/ Tom Gates

    I’m sorry Argentina. I even went to one of the “nice” places and was taken by a BsAs local. No dice…it was about half as good as most other pizzas. Don’t be doubtful – my midsection REQUIRES pizza and I tried and tried in BsAs. No penny was spared, believe me. I just think the pizza sucks. I really think it’s the cheese, not the pizza maker. Somethings just not right about it.

    • Dave

      Hey Tom,

      Which one of the “nice” places did you go to?

      • Ana

        Probably Zapi or Hugo’s

  • http://www.bearshapedsphere.blogspot.com eileen

    btw, there is good pizza in Chile, but you’ll have to ask a local. At least two places in Santiago and one in Puerto Natales. But most of the time it’s a sad, sad affair.

  • Rowena

    I have to nominate Iceland for land of the worst pizza. They scrimp on everything from sauce to toppings, then overbake the za until you’re left with a dry, hard crust with a smattering of burned things on top.

  • http://twenty-somethingtravel.com/ Stephanie

    Worst pizza I ever had was in Reykjavik. Kind of like if someone who’d never ever seen a pizza read about one in a book and thought maybe they’d re-create it. Weird sauce, weird balsamic vinegar on top, just a total mess.

    Oddly enough, after a night of heavy drinking I also had the best pizza of my life in Reykjavik at around 5 am. Funny how that works…

  • gaston

    Hi i’m from BsAs. You don’t have taste the pizza hear thats the cheap imitation of a pizza, half of the Porteños are from italy, we have very good pizza here.
    Next time give me a call

  • http://petritent.blogspot.com aya

    wow, you’ve had some horrible pizzas. that one with the cherries on it makes my mouth want to cry. in korea i heard rumors about pizza with gumballs on it but never actually witnessed such an atrocity…

    great article, tom!

  • Whitney

    While I mostly agree that the pizza and cheese in Argentina (or in Buenos Aires at least, the cheese in El Bolson is a whole other delicious, artisan story) is bad, there are a couple of pizza places that are impressive. Mostly because they have their ovens from the old country. I can think of a couple in Colegiales, and even one in super touristy San Telmo. It’s right across from the Itau bank, is standing-room only, and makes some of the best pizza I’ve tasted outside of my time in Italy.

    • http://www.familianatural.org Laura

      Hi travelers! There are plenty of places that use artisan cheese/milk for their pizzas/ice creams in Buenos Aires! (including of course those of our little town, El Bolsón).
      But you have to talk to a real porteña to find them! ;)
      I agree that the cheap pizza tastes, well..cheap!
      I’ll make sure Matador publishes a list of the top 10 (20? 30?) places where you can eat great pizza in Buenos Aires! mmmmmmmmmm I can’t wait to eat my home town pizza!!!!! I’ll send you a slice, Tom! :)
      Saludos!

      • http://waywardlife.posterous.com/ Tom Gates

        I’m ready! Email me :)

  • Ross

    haahahahahahahhaahahahahah. second time you’ve made me cry laughing today. thanks. i needed a good cry.

  • Meghan

    This brought back memories of my Senora in Sevilla cooking frozen pizza atun (tuna) as a Sunday special..ay

  • http://tresvioletas.com Alex

    eff that nonsense, those all look frickin’ delicious!

  • http://www.paul-sullivan.com Paul Sullivan

    I am no longer hungry.

  • Katie Hammel

    I tried a few pizzas in Buenos Aires – some were good, some were bad. I thought the pizza at Guerrín was excellent, especially topped with the slice of faina.

    I also had great pizza in Iceland.

    Of course, I stick to what I know – cheese, maybe a meat or two, that’s all. I wouldn’t eat pizza with cherries, french fries or raw onions on it no matter where I was.

  • Happy Canadian

    I spent half a year in Chile – from Santiago south to Punta Arenas – about 10 years ago. In general, the food ranges from good to terrible, so I’m not going out of my way to falsely flatter them. BUT – I did have one pizza that was amazing there. I wish I could remember the location. It was chicken and hearts of palm with some kind of really yummy cheese that tasted like a combo of mozzarella and creamy havarti. The chicken was real pieces of chicken and it just tasted amazing with hearts of palm. And the cheese was delish. Anyone know what I’m talking about? The place was called something…about dairy….like the name of the pizza parlour was the cow or the milk or something, I think. Not sure about that.

    • Dave

      Was it called LA VACA LOCA by chance.

      I walked by it once in Santiago, but wasn’t sure if it was a pizza place or not…

  • pam

    lol.. when I saw the title of this, I knew Buenos Aires had made the cut.. definitely very far from being remotely tasty, and I lived there long enough to give it about a hundred tries at different places.. it’s just bad.. it doesn’t even calm down a craving.
    The only decent pizza I found was in Entre Ríos province, about 3 hours away from BAs.. it was pretty good, same ‘procedure’ as the one in your picture but the cheese, bread, ham.. it was all high quality.
    I laughed at the ‘half of the porteños are italian’ line.. not only it isn’t true but also doesn’t seem like a good way of validating an argument, I know porteños are extra-sensitive about criticism but porteños also happen to be Argentinian (instead of Italian, get real), and outside of Buenos Aires, there’s some pretty good pizza being cooked. :)

    • http://matadortravel.com/travel-community/k-crimini Kate Sedgwick

      Wow, Pam. Are you this skeptical about Italian Americans being Italian, or is it just Argentineans being Italian that you have an objection to?

      Pizza is actually an Italian American invention as far as I know, so how about lightening up?

    • Dave

      Wow, and I thought that I was harsh on portenios!

      Seriously, half of them ARE Italian, in the sense that they have Italian ancestry. Check out your turn of the 20th century immigration stats and you’ll see. In fact, just listen to the way they speak Spanish, and you’ll hear the Italian in them.

      I wish it wasn’t true (as I don’t like the lio that the Italian influence causes), but it is.

  • http://carlo-alcos.com Carlo

    Tom, I had a very similar looking pizza to that Hawaiian Bastard. It was the first pizza we had when we moved to Melbourne, we were so hungry and this pizza place was right there. It didn’t have the cherries but other than that it looks a carbon copy to that thing.

    For any of you coming to Melbourne, stay away from the pizza joint beside the St. Kilda library on Carlisle St. Just wrong.

  • MissEmmaJ

    The Hawaiian looks like what would happen if you put a cat through a wood chipper.

  • Alex Nolette

    Pizza is never something I enjoyed fully until NYC. And ever since then, I’ve cringed at the thought of eating any other type. But pizza is one of those things that you never turn down when its served up. Eating NC pizza for me is like hooking up with an ex that I promised myself to never return to ,although filling, I feel dirty and unsatisfied when I’m finished. It looks like you had about 5 nightmare one night stands.

  • http://www.nomadchronicles.com Amy

    Alex has a great line there about feeling dirty and unsatisfied… that’s how BsAs pizza often makes me feel. I’ve had a few good pizzas here but an awful lot of them look just like the one in the picture up top!

    But the WORST pizza I’ve had by far was in the mountains in northern Vietnam… had something that was a cross between ketchup and maybe hoisin sauce for the sauce, thin smattering of tasteless cheese and lots of questionable choices for toppings, including some bologna-type meat. Downright scary. I wish I had a picture of it!

  • http://www.posatigres.com Sarah

    “This was not my beautiful house. This was not my beautiful wife.”

    HA!

    Worst pizza: Shining Cool, Beijing. Why did we go there? Well, other than the awesome name, it was in the neighboring apartment block and required a 1.5 minute walk in the middle of winter. Why did we eat the pizza? We were so over 3 yuan dumplings and figured we could shell out the fat three bucks for what turned out to be – a Chinese microwaveable pizza. We saw them take the plastic off the top and stick it in the microwave. It turned out to involve Chinese cheese, which is essentially tofu with Kraft Singles consistency, and “Western tomato sauce” which is something awful someone came up with with leftover factory ingredients. We hit the Tsingtao hard that night.

  • http://murraysonamission.blogspot.com Tim

    I’m disappointed not to see Peru listed. The common pizza here comes on a pre-baked crunchy crust and is covered with lunch meat ham, red peppers, olives that test like they were grown in an old boot, and cold sliced hot dog.

    To serve, they microwave each slice for you.

  • Jamie

    I have lived in Taiwan and Japan. I have witnessed and tried the french fry pizza as well as the one you mentioned from Thailand. I would also like to mention that I have tried ones with mutiple kinds of seafood on it along with corn, peas and mayonaise. The Japanese put mayonaise on all their pizza and it is impossible to get a pizza in Taiwan without peas and corn. I have had pizzas without toppings, just a crust sprinkled with seasonings. I have had pizzas with no sauce and pizzas with no crust. It is hard to believe what they call pizza in Asia. I cannot remember a time I felt so happy as when I returned to America and had a real deep dish pizza.

  • Gayle King

    I agree with Food Network Humor: Pepe’s Pizza in New Haven, CT is the worst pizza on the planet.

    http://foodnetworkhumor.com/2009/05/pepes-pizza-in-new-haven-ct-overrated-overhyped-and-overwhelmingly-awful/

  • http://www.madnessandbeauty.com Violet Dear

    Oh jesus – I had one in Mysore India that had creamy processed cheese, curry powder, ginger and dimsum dough on it. And it was sweet. I am not kidding.

    I wish I had taken a photo, but instead I stabbed the waiter to death.

  • Bettina

    Hahahaha, brilliant! Those are the by far the dodgiest looking pizzas i’ve ever seen!

  • http://www.natashayoung.wordpress.com Natasha

    Someone needs to try a Chilean street pizza. I haven’t yet because I have eyes.

    Sold from shopping trollies in the street, they do brisk business when the bars close, especially on Pio Nono in Santiago.

    They appear to be made from pieces of ketchup-coated cardboard, smothered in man cheese and then topped with half a slice of processed ham.

  • Sarah

    My all time worst was in Italy –boiled eggs + fish on one piece of pizza with no sauce (as if sauce would have helped).

    …I have a pretty open mind about food, but I can’t imagine anybody enjoying that.

  • Katie

    So could I make money starting a typical American restaurant in any of these cities? I think my pizza is pretty delicious and sometimes I think everyone needs some mac n cheese

  • http://www.myspace.com/diodado Gianpaolo

    I’m from Caserta(near Naples) and I can Assure you that in Italy You can find every kind of fake pizza!
    I’m not proud of being neapolitan..but the pizza,just like all the other regional specialities ..it’s a recipe you can eat just in the place where it was created.
    If you move for just 20 Km( forgive the decimal metrics =P)you couldn’ t taste the real pizza..just cause they make it in a different way..and people who live there like that way of pizza makin’,cause that is the only kind of pizza they have ever know!
    An Example:My sister in law is From Viterbo (a City nearby Rome),and she hates the neapolitan pizza cause she says It is totally different to the one she usually eats.And the same I could say of all other regional specialities(you can eat a real piadina only in Emilia Romagna).
    And BTW,in all other countries I’ve been,i’ve never seen a REAL italian restaurant,It doesn’t matter if you use the same ingredients,it will taste different!
    Trust me..come in Italy and give it a TRy!
    I like chinese restaurants..but I don’t know if I would like the REAL Chinese cook!

    Forgive me for the bad English!

  • Liz

    Those were horrifying. I knew there was a reason I avoid things like pizza in tourist towns. I’ll be going to Chile soon… will absolutely avoid that first pizza. The only place outside of the US that I’ve been desperate enough to have a pizza was Ghana, and they were surprisingly good for a country that might have 2 working refrigerators. Or maybe I was just really desperate for something other than fried rice and fufu.

  • Bella

    Don’t believe the hype from BA. As a vegetarian living in BA, I’ve had to resort many times to pizza. The pizza here is vile & you are right, the problem is the cheese. They don’t know how to make cheese. If I have to eat pizza, I ask them to put 1/2 their “normal” amount of cheese. It helps. But they do look at me like I’m crazy. I’m looking forward to trying the pizza in Chile! :o)

  • Sergio

    I agree, pizza here is HORRIBLE. It has a lot to do with the miserable cheese they use. Most cheese in Argentina is very very poor quality. You have to go to really expensive gourmet shops to get decent cheese and even there the selection is limited. Then there is the problem of tomatoes – horrible here. Believe it or not, the best pizza I have ever had was in Sheffield, England. Superb, light crust covered with lots of fresh, diced vegetables and wonderfully fresh.

  • Natalie

    Just going to point out that the worst pizza I’ve ever had was in Italy. In Venice. I still shudder. My friends and I started calling it ‘shitalian’ food. But it should be said that we weren’t going to the classy places, which I’m sure were delectable!

    So, I agree with you. The Italians CAN make bad pizza!

  • http://myfolieadeux.com/ Jen Laceda

    Yuck, that fries pizza takes the slice (pun intended) on the worst pizza in the world. However, I had bad pizza in Havana, Cuba at the Los Portales. In case anyone’s curious, here’s the link to my post on bad food / pizza

    http://www.myfolieadeux.com/2009/04/havana-international-style-restaurants.html

  • http://joelrunyon.com Joel

    I had this weird pizza our host mom cooked for us when we first flew into spain. After not eating in 12 hours, it was the best thing ever. We had the same pizza a couple weeks later…not as good. Its amazing how different things taste when you’re hungry!

  • alexis

    My worst pizza was in Japan at one of the schools I was teaching at. It was a slice of white bread, not even toasted, with ketchup… sweet tasting stuff, peas and corn, both fresh from the can with that weird metallic can taste, undercooked bacon, a mysterious piece of shrimp and topped with a thin layer of greasy plastic cheese… and mayonaisse, lots and lots of mayo. I was required to eat every last bite as per school rules. I had nightmares.

    Over a year later when I came back to the states, I ate at a Pizza Hut in the airport and nearly cried with relief.

  • Fiona

    I hate the pizza in the USA. Over spiced and a soggy bottom. You should not be able to fold your slice of pizza. That is probably why you didn’t like it in Argentina. A question of taste. There is excellent pizza both in Argentina and Chile, but that is my personal opinion and, obviously not yours.
    What possessed you to order a pizza with pineapple in the first place? Anyone who does that deserves cherries on top!

  • http://www.pacamanca.com pacamanca

    Darling, I’m sure you haven’t tried pizza in Rio yet or it’d be on your list. Not that there’s no good pizza to be found in the city, mind you – I can think of Fiammetta and Capricciosa at the top of my head and a few others if I start seriously thinking about it – but we have this thing called “rodizio” which is a gastronomic nightmare.

    It all started with barbecue. There are still tons of rodizio barbecue places (churrascarias) in the city, a few of them very good (and expensive): you basically sit there and waiters beeline from table to table carrying skewers like they would violins, with excellent meat straight from the barbecue grill. They stop at your table, place the skewer on your plate, cut off this wonderful, sizzling slice just for you and hurry away again to stuff the belly of yet another carnivore customer.

    Problems began when the same method started being applied to other foods. Like pasta, or pizza. So you sit there while waiters come and offer you their goods. The thing is, there are several different cuts of meat (and different animals as well) so it’s easy to offer a wide variety of items when we’re talking about meat. But when it comes to pizza and pasta, if you don’t want to be repetitive you have to start being creative, and that can be dangerous. You have NO IDEA how weird are the toppings of some of these pizza places. They come up with the strangest combinations just for the sake of adding “another flavor” to the list. The only positive aspect of the entire thing is that with so many different “flavors” you’ll only get to taste each horror once.

  • Saffs

    The worst I had was in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Treated myself to a nice hotel room after weeks in Mozambique and delighted in the room service menu. My pizza turned out to be some kind of weird wafer with tomato ketchup, something that was supposed to be cheese and some soggy looking toppings (still dunno what they were). But having been on the road for ages I had lost all feeling for normal food and promptly ate the whole thing (it tasted very sweet). And surprisingly it didn’t repeat on me. I won’t forget it though.

  • Frances

    Pizza in Santiago (no cherries or pineapple):

    Very Good:
    Ciudadano on Seminario
    Golfo di Napoli in Ñuñoa

    Good:
    Voraz on Manuel Montt
    Open wine bar – various locations

    OK:
    Pizza Sí

    A lot of people love Tiramisú but I went twice and got a soggy crust in the middle. Haven’t been back.

  • mandi

    wat is wit all the pink stuff on all the pizzas
    that is so nasty
    non of those looked good at all

  • Annabelle

    Hi Tom,

    Great job, I especially liked the mystery greens pizza. Man, it looks like it could star in a horror film. I pity your nights with such perpertrators!

    Stay strong,
    Belles

  • N. Chrystine Olson

    Central Madagascar…from what I could tell from my almost non-existent French the cafe in Ambalavo offered Vegetarian Pizza. Okay sounds good. Tomatoes, green peppers, mushrooms and the like. If I could have read what kind of veggies I would have stuck with a Zebu steak and pommes frit. Came with carrots, green beans, two kinds of squash on an underdone crust with a thin layer of watery tomato sauce. I took the veggies off their sad, doughy base, mixed in the cheese and came up with an vegetarian au gratin casserole. Edible at least. First and last pizza I ordered in Mada.

  • Edward

    I was served a pizza in Nagoya, Japan. The crust was incredibly undercooked, doughy and far too sweet. There was some bland cheese, and the whole thing was slathered in mayonnaise. It was topped with awful pink sausage, smoked seafood, and a softly poached egg. And you had to eat it with your hands or with chopsticks. An undercooked, mayo-laden lump of dough with egg yolk running everywhere.

    My hosts took me there because they thought I’d like to have western food. When I go to Japan, I more or less want to bathe in noodles and rice and sushi.

  • Pele

    My worst pizza was in Portugal. Baccalau (dried salted cod) pizza with at least 2 inches of cheese.

  • You are officially a moron

    1) You are simply an imbecile who doesn’t really know to enjoy different flavors other than a plain and boring salami pizza. WTF have you ever seen that the pizzerias in NY are offering as toppings? Broccoli? are you freaking serious? And that is not just an isolated Hispanic pizzeria lost in the middle of a ghetto, it is a topping you will find in any pizzeria in NYC. And you are telling me that these other countries are worse than that? Gimme a fucking break.
    2) Your partiality in reviewing a single restaurant as the representation of a whole continent made me puke. Literally. Now my keyboard is all sticky because of you.
    3) The originality of the Argentinean pizzas are superb and much more flavorful than the plain shit you get in the US. Of course that some restaurants are going to be low quality if you are cheap. Where the hell did you get the masturbated pizza? If you are a cheap bastard, that is what you get, and seems that you kept getting shit in every country you visited for being a cheap bastard.

    • http://waywardlife.posterous.com/ Tom Gates

      If nothing else, this article has been worthwhile because it has allowed me to officially become a moron. Previously, it had been quite unofficial. I’m wondering in which province, country or state you have bestowed this proclamation, or if it is a worldwide honor?

      You’re a real peach – a ray of sunshine on an otherwise humdrum day. Thanks for sharing your eloquence with the world.

      • Lalula Frei

        i second the motion of calling you a moron. actually, some of those pizzas look really good. i think you are biased by thinking that the US’ EXTREMELY HUGE, FLAVORLESS, CHEESELESS; SAUCELESS, CARDBOARD FLAVOURED-PIE thing that vaguely resembles somehow in colour and shape to a pizza is actually a pizza. that has nothing to do with pizza. except, maybe, if you go to lombardi’s in nyc. and yes, i was screaming just then. i am passionate about my pizza. if anyone, a person from napoli might be authorised to judge what good pizza and bad pizza is. all the other creations? versions of the original. and the US one is probably the tasteless one i have ever had to bite on. yikes. bad memories.

    • Scott

      Agreed, you are looking FAR too generally at the tastes of a nation. I’m living in Buenos Aires, and I’ve had a lot of pizza. While in general it pales in comparison to good U.S. cuisine (the olives really are a pain, but just because they are unpitted; how are you supposed to take a big ol’ bite when you’re worried about cracking a tooth?), it’s not nearly as bad as you make it out to be. They could do with less cheese and more tomato sauce, but that’s the way the culture likes their food.

      Also, go to Guerrin on Corrientes near El Centro and you can experience some of the best pizza not just in the country but anywhere.

  • http://shawnduffy.com Shawn

    My worst pizza would have to be Palestinian pizza in Nablus, West Bank. Absolutely atrocious. Dry, no sauce, and extremely salty. And when I say extremely salty, I mean EXTREMELY salty. I’ve had it on two separate occasions, from two different places, once in 2005 and once in 2008. Same thing both times. Horrible.

  • http://eyebrowchronicles.com/ Lydia

    Almost everything served as “pizza” in Ireland before 1990 was pretty offensive.
    But hands down the worst pizza I ever had was in Watamu, Kenya. Still, I wolfed it down. As a veggie, I was just happy to find cheese! Cooked cheese!

  • http://jasminewanders.wordpress.com/ Jasmine Wanders

    The pizza in South East Asia is generally really nasty… the cheese is weird and the sauce is too sweet. I’ll stick to tofu and veggies thanks :)

  • Ana O’Reilly

    Scott, I’m with you in the cultural differences: I’m from Argentina but live in Dallas and I can’t stomach the pizza they make there, it’s got too much sweet sauce for my taste. And I definitely agreed with you on the olives, why on earth they don;t pit them first is beyond me!

  • http://www.expatheather.com Heather Carreiro

    I’ve had so many bad ones in Pakistan it would be hard to name the worst….

  • http://hogwartsoeste.foros.ws Rinikka

    hi!! im from argentina, and i dont know a lot of english, but i can undersatand u. The true is i have eat a lot of pizzas and the best is always the pizza Argentina!! Is really “sabroso”, i love it… i have eat the american pizza… thats really horrible!! if u want to go out and eat some pizza in bs. as. i can say the true: its delicius… ^^ thank u!!

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  • http://santelmoloft.com Angela

    Hilarious and absolutely right about pizzas in Buenos Aires. There are a couple of places that do decent pizzas (though they will typically have unpitted olives… which never has bothered me). Piola (a Brazilian chain) is probably the best and Sr. Telmo is pretty good, too. Funny that Argentines really think they have great pizza. Nasty cheese, sweet tomato sauce, and unimaginative toppings.

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  • Matt

    Thanks for the memories, but you are torturing me.

    I spent a few months in BsAs and loved the pizza from Guerrin, El Cuartito, Las Cuartetas, and the very tasty place near my apt in Palermo: Guimpis.

    Fugazetta, muzzarella, empanadas, the ice cream… I miss that town.

  • Freddie

    It’s quite simply a matter of taste. I’ll say right off the bat that I’m argentinian, so anyone can take that into due consideration.
    The fact is, I’ve heard people say both that Argentina has the best AND the worst pizza in the world. Different people, of course. That’s because pizza started out as a meal you could only really experience in Italy, but then, due to heavy America-bound (America the continent, not the country) migration, got split into different styles and factions. Nowadays, you can still find great pasta in Italy, but it’s not that easy to find truly amazing pizza. That’s due to the fact that the italian community in Argentina (which is huge) took pizza in a different direction, as did the north-american community. Ingredients change, habits change. Pizza changed. And so, while you may find argentinian pizza disgusting, others find it the very best pizza, much better than italian. And the same can be said of USA’s pizza. To a lot of people, your huge slices, ketchup-like sauce, meatball toppings, scarcity of cheese and particular dough preparation, seem horrible. It seems anti-italian to us. Just the fact that you call it a “pizza PIE” tells everything. You’ve taken it into a direction you knew (pies) that had nothing to do with the original thing. BUT as much as some people dislike it, some people love it.
    So I don’t really think calling the opposite of NY pizza “the worst in the world” is at all fair or open-minded. It’s just that. The opposite. But I guarantee that it is as loved as it is hated.

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  • http://www.buenosairesenglish.com Dominick DalSanto

    I must say, while that picture you showed of pizza from Buenos Aires, is something that nearly made me lose my lunch. However, as a Italian native of Chicago, I must say that if anyone can be a honest judge of a nations pizza making craft, it is me. And I must disagree with your conclusions about Pizza here in Buenos Aires. As mentioned by others, the pizza here is pleasantly original, and prepared in a equally superb way. As with any place (including greats like NYC & Chicago)that makes great pizza, you can find bad places that deserve to be damned to pizza oblivion (We have Pizza Hut in Chicago and NYC).

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  • Anon

    All of you are loco! Worst pizza is Chuck E. Cheese’s, no doubt.

    • Bbegliocchi

       All of you are pazzi. ; )

  • bigg3469

    I remember when I was In Mexico City 31 years ago during a high school.band tour I went to a small “hole-in-the-wall” pizza joint near my hotel. I ordered a Canadian Bacon Pizza. What a got was a “pizza” that had ham,cheese,tomato sauce and….a flour tortilla for a crust!!

  • Sarah F

    I’m not a picky eater, and I’ll eat almost anything that isn’t an insect, or smells like something that is not food (and as I said, I’m not picky. Most things that people consider food I’ll consider food too…). I do draw the line at eating eyeballs, however. I can’t handle food that is looking at me. However, certain things are just weird, like french fry pizza. That was truly the one that bothered me the most. It reminded me of the chicken cube pizza that the college I went to served. That was probably the worst pizza I’ve ever seen in real life (I didn’t eat it).

    On a positive side, I had pizza at a place in Kiev called Napoli, and it was AMAZING. Totally different than US pizza, it was spicy, and had two kinds of meat, crust so thin you had to eat it with a fork, thin cheese… but it was really, really good. We went there two Sundays in a row. And if you had to wait, you could go down to their coffee shop and sip espresso, and they come get you when your table’s ready. :) AND the pizza, for the quality, was pretty comparable to US pizza.

  • http://www.nowpanicandfreakout.com Amberlorainexi

    I don’t mean to one up ALL of you, but I used to live in Tokyo where Squid, Corn and Mayonnaise all together are a common pizza topping amongst other odd and unusal items.

  • freeride

    Apparently, only the Argentinians seem to be offended by your article, but if I had to eat pizza with olives the size of male genitalia, I’d be a little testes, too.

    • Argentinean Girl

      Luckily those olives dont exist, at least not in my country. So you wouldnt have any problem with the olives becasue they are like everywhere else

  • PIzzaCharlie

    1) You are right about the pizza in Buenos Aires.
    2) You obviously have not been to Samoa. 

  • http://twitter.com/strawberrycough evan

    Ironic, this article, considering you live in Los Angeles. Maybe it’s just me but growing up in the northeast I have yet to find a good pie out here. Gourmet stuff, sure, but regular fold ‘em and eat ‘em? Not even close.

    Obviously its hard to taking a litmus test with just one sample. Having just returned from Buenos Aires, and sampling several pizza shops after deciding two pounds of meat a night wasn’t a great idea for my weel-being, I can safely say a lot of the pizza there was quite good.

  • Argentinean Girl

    what a wanker. What are you, the god of pizza that you go and judge around the world? get a life. I can tell you a million things that usa does terr¡bly wrong and none of them as harmless as pizza

  • charlie

    I cant belive that anyone can think that pizza in buenos aires acually taste good, or even have flavours. Pizza in buenos aires sucks. Im from europ, and I have never tasted anything in europ quite so disgusting as the pizzas here. And I have nothing to say about american pizzas, and defenetly nothing to say about amerikans

  • Anonymous
  • Tori

    I was very entertained by this article and am not going to take it too seriously as it was clearly intended to be lighthearted (I had no idea people have such strong feelings about pizza!).

    However, I am puzzled by the fact that the reference point for this article, and comments, seems to be American pizza. Has everyone forgotten that pizza is Italian? I have never been to the US so maybe I’m missing out on something, but the ‘US-style’ (i.e. deep pan, lots of cheese etc) pizza that I have eaten elsewhere pales in comparison to the thin-based, crispy Italian version, topped with a variety of seasonal toppings that extend well beyond cheese and tomato, and baked in a stone oven. Just my opinion.

    Also, I lived in Buenos Aires for a year and have to agree the pizza was hit and miss. Definitely agree about the sweaty cheese overload!

    But maybe I’m just a food snob who has spent too much time in Italy…

  • Al.

    These are nothing. Glasgow deep fried pizza. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep-fried_pizza

  • guest

    What a STUPID article. Obviously you don’t know how to appreciate pizza.. Go find something else to do!!

  • Joey

    I lived in Argentina for 5 years and I have to agree with all of the posters here on how bad most pizza is Buenos Aires.  The best pizza joints (like Guerrin) serve okay-ish pizza, nothing to write home about. I guess there are people who like the porteño style pizza, but I find the cheese to be disgusting, and those olives … and what’s the deal with faina on pizza? The best pizza I had was in Italy, of course – the freshness of the ingredients can’t be beat! And second best, surprise surprise – in South Africa. They make good American and Italian style pizza, as well as experimenting with local ingredients for really interesting toppings.

  • Amber82

    In Christchurch NZ we have an amazing pizza place called Winnie Bagoes.  They have a souvlaki pizza which has lamb or chicken, cheeze, lettuce, tomato and yoghurt dressing – amazingly good.

  • jack

    I do not know about the worst Pizzas but little italy in Hue Vietnam makes a pretty good one.

  • Heather Foster

    My experience with ‘American’ pizza in Turkey was just as bad in Istanbul, but at least pide and lah macun are acceptable alternatives. I missed pepperoni and bacon like crazy while I was over there. I really wish I’d taken a picture though. Priceless article! :)

  • Changes in Longitude

    We’re in Buenos Aires right now and are so disappointed in the pizza. Have to disagree with one thing you said though, they don’t cook the meat properly either. Too well done. Thanks for the pizza story!

    • Jucano Fortinero

      Can you especify where you eat bad pizza in Buenos Aires, I’m from Argentina , and can recomend you where to eat excellent pizza.

    • Jucano Fortinero

      the diference of cooking is because generally here in Argentina we dont eat the meat so raw as in the USA.

    • Changes in Longitude

      Hi Jucano, We left BA already. Other than the pizza we loved the city. And yes the meat is cooked more but I found a place that cooked it rare for me. Thanks!

  • Mark Lee

    The worst pizza I’ve ever had was at the Bare Necessities store at Cornell University…once in a while they earn their “Nasties” nickname. I got it because I like white pizzas…it was a cheeseburger pizza. So it was topped with hamburger meat and onions, but the sauce was made of….mustard. Nooooooooo.

  • Jeff Crocetti

    why the shit would you order pizza in these countries anyway.

  • Brian of Nazareth

    Ya, I’d eat the last 3 pizzas (minus the feta on the Mumbai one). I just choked down 3 slices from a plain and simple Pizza Hut cheese pizza. Christ on a cracker, I think I’m gonna see that pizza again in my toilet bowl in no less than an hour! I’m making bets even as I type as to which end it’s gonna come out of.

  • Worldtraveller

    You’re INSANE! The best pizza in the world is in Buenos Aires, even better than Italy I dare say. The best thing about it IS the cheese, you clearly have no taste for things superior.

  • Josh

    “only the Argentinians seem to be offended by your article”

    I am CLAPPING at how great of a point this is.

  • mary

    And I thought pizzas here in Finland sucked…canned -everything toppings! Canned mushrooms, paprika, pineapple,. …..I bet even the salami is canned. The ham is horrendous, it seems all of the pizza parlors buy it from the same place. Pizza in Finland no more!!

  • Kim Wilson

    Pizza in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, MX. Lots of olives but the pizza was delicious enough that we went back a few days later for another one. Food in San Cristobal is generally amazing, delicious and cheap. Trout Almondine w/slivered veggies, garlic tossed red potatoes and glass of red wine was $6 U.S.. This was 4 years ago. Nice rooms for under $15 a night. Great coffee and the streets are coblestone and spotless. Home of the Zapatistas.

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