10 Least Popular Pizza Toppings In The United States

Pizza is a well-loved food all around the world, with countless variations of toppings and flavors. From classic pepperoni to unconventional combinations like pineapple and ham, there is a pizza for every taste bud.

However, among all the popular and commonly chosen toppings, some are considered to be less popular or even notorious. In this article, we will dive into the least popular pizza toppings and explore why they don’t get as much love as the others.

Origin Of Pizza 

The origins of pizza can be traced back to ancient times, with its roots in the Mediterranean region. The Greeks and Romans are said to have made flatbreads topped with herbs, cheese, and olive oil as early as the 6th century BC.

However, it was not until the late 18th century that pizza gained popularity in Naples, Italy. The Neapolitans started adding tomatoes to their flatbread.

From there, pizza spread to other parts of Europe and eventually reached the United States in the late 19th century through Italian immigrants. Currently, pizza is a staple food in many countries and has evolved with various toppings and styles.

When Were Pizza Toppings Appear?

As mentioned earlier, pizza toppings have been around since ancient times. However, the concept of choosing and customizing different toppings on a single pizza is relatively new.

Pizza as we know it today originated in Naples, Italy, and was traditionally made with simple toppings such as tomatoes, cheese, and herbs. It wasn’t until the 19th century that other ingredients like meats and vegetables were added to pizzas.

With the rise of fast food chains and delivery services, pizza has become more customizable than ever before. Customers can choose from a wide range of toppings, including less popular ones that are not commonly found on traditional pizzas.

Top 10 Least Popular Pizza Toppings In The United States

Now, let’s take a look at some of the least popular pizza toppings and why they may not be as widely loved as others:

1. Anchovies

Anchovy is a small, salty fish and has the taste of the sea. While some people may enjoy the briny flavor of anchovies, it is not a popular choice for pizza toppings.

The strong taste can be overpowering and doesn’t pair well with other toppings. It’s also known to be quite polarizing among pizza eaters.

Anchovy is sometimes added in small amounts to enhance the overall umami taste of the pizza. But for those who don’t enjoy the strong taste of this fish, it can be a turn-off.

2. Jalapeños

Jalapeños is a type of chili pepper commonly used in Mexican cuisine. It adds a spicy kick to dishes, including pizza.

While spicy toppings like jalapeños are loved by many, they may not be a top choice for everyone. Some people may find them too hot to handle or simply not enjoy their flavor.

3. Pineapple

The infamous debate of whether pineapple belongs on a pizza or not has divided people for decades. While some swear by the sweet and tangy combination of pineapple and ham, others find it sacrilegious to put fruit on a pizza.

Italian hate for pineapple on pizza is so strong that the president of Italy even publicly declared it as “blasphemy” in 2017. However, the popularity of this topping continues to grow in other parts of the world.

Pineapple has become notorious as a divisive pizza topping, with strong opinions on both sides. Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying that pineapple is a polarizing choice for pizza toppings.

4. Eggplant

Eggplant appears the most in the region of the Mediterranean and the Middle East. It is often cooked with grilling, roasting, or baking methods and is known for its slightly bitter taste.

This versatile vegetable is not commonly seen on pizzas, and one reason could be its texture. Some people don’t like eggplant because of the soft and mushy texture of cooked eggplant unappealing on a pizza.

The mild taste may not stand out among other flavors on a pizza. It’s also not commonly found on traditional Italian pizzas, which may contribute to its lack of popularity.

5. Broccoli

Broccoli is another vegetable that may not be a top choice for pizza toppings. Its strong and distinct flavor can overpower other ingredients, making it an unpopular choice among many pizza lovers.

However, broccoli has become more popular as a topping in recent years due to its health benefits and increasing interest in plant-based diets. It adds a pop of green color to pizzas and can provide a balance of nutrients to an otherwise indulgent food.

6. Mushroom

While mushrooms may not be considered a “weird” or controversial pizza topping, they are often overlooked in favor of more popular choices like pepperoni or sausage. Mushrooms have a unique texture and flavor that may not appeal to everyone.

Some also argue that their slimy texture can make them unappetizing on top of a pizza. However, for those who appreciate the earthy and savory flavor of mushrooms, it’s a staple topping that adds depth to any pizza.

7. Fresh garlic

Fresh garlic is another lesser-known pizza topping that may not be as popular as others. While garlic is commonly used in savory dishes and adds flavor to pizzas, it can also have a pungent and strong taste that some people may find too overpowering.

Additionally, fresh garlic can cause bad breath, making it a less desirable choice for social situations or dates. However, garlic lovers may argue that the strong taste and aroma of garlic are what make it a great addition to pizzas.

8. Artichokes

Artichoke is a vegetable native to the Mediterranean region and has a unique flavor that may not be for everyone. It has a slightly tangy and bitter taste, which can be an acquired taste.

Artichoke is usually boiled,  steamed, or grilled before being added as a topping on pizza. Some people may find its texture and flavor too unfamiliar or off-putting for their taste buds.

The texture of artichoke hearts also varies depending on how it’s prepared, with some finding it too tough or fibrous to enjoy on top of a pizza. As a result, this vegetable may not be a popular choice for pizza toppings in many countries.

9. Olives

Olive is a staple in Mediterranean cuisine and is often used as a topping on pizzas. However, its strong and salty flavor may not be for everyone.

Some people may find the taste of olives too briny or bitter, especially when paired with other bold flavors on a pizza. It can also be an acquired taste that not all pizza lovers appreciate.

10. Salami

While pepperoni may reign supreme as the go-to cured meat topping for pizzas, salami is often overlooked and less popular among customers. Salami has a distinct flavor that may not appeal to everyone, with some finding it too salty or spicy.

Additionally, salami can also have a slightly greasy texture that can be off-putting for some. However, for those who enjoy the bold and meaty taste of salami, it’s a must-try topping that adds a unique flavor to any pizza.

Types Of Pizza Toppings% Of U.S. Adult Citizens
Fresh garlic4%
Fresh tomato1%
Fresh basil1%
Extra cheese1%


Why Are Some Toppings Considered Less Popular?

There are various reasons why certain pizza toppings are not as popular as others. One reason could be cultural preferences, as certain toppings may not align with the tastes and palates of certain regions or countries.

Another factor could be personal taste and preference. Some people may simply not enjoy the taste or texture of a particular topping, leading them to avoid ordering it on their pizzas.

Additionally, the popularity of certain toppings may also vary depending on the time and trend. For example, a particular topping may be considered less popular at one point in time but gain popularity later due to changing tastes and trends.

Types Of Pizza ToppingsNot SureDislike ItHate It
Extra Cheese3%11%2%
Fresh Garlic8%13%9%
Fresh Tomato6%17%8%
Fresh Basil9%12%7%

*(% of U.S. adult citizens)*

Rare Pizza Toppings

Apart from the commonly known least popular toppings, there are also rare and unconventional toppings that can be found on pizzas. These may include:

1. Caviar: A luxurious and expensive topping made of fish eggs, caviar is not commonly found on pizzas but has been used in upscale pizzerias.

2. Duck confit: This French delicacy involves cooking duck in its fat to create a rich and flavorful topping for pizzas.

3. Kimchi: A popular Korean side dish made of fermented vegetables, kimchi has been used as a pizza topping in East Asian countries.

4. Chocolate: While not typically considered a savory topping, chocolate can add an unexpected twist to a pizza when paired with other complementary flavors like fruit or nuts.

5. Gold leaf: As another luxurious and expensive topping, gold leaf has been used in high-end pizzerias to add a touch of extravagance to the dish.

These rare toppings may not be widely available at every pizza joint, but they showcase the creative possibilities when it comes to making pizzas with unconventional ingredients.


In conclusion, pizza toppings are a matter of personal preference and can vary widely in popularity. While there may be some toppings that are considered the least popular pizza toppings or even rare, it’s important to remember that taste is subjective and everyone has their unique likes and dislikes.

Whether you prefer classic toppings like pepperoni and cheese or enjoy experimenting with unconventional ingredients, the beauty of pizza lies in its versatility and ability to satisfy a wide range of tastes. So next time you’re ordering a pizza, don’t be afraid to try something new or stick with your tried-and-true favorites – either way, it’s sure to be delicious!

Leave a Comment