Its really difficult to figure out which pizzeria has the best deal. The most accurate approach is to buy every pizza in town, dismantle them, and compare their relative masses. Although this approach might appeal to Lucky Charms eaters, it's just not feasible. A more reasonable approach is to calculate the surface area of toppings by using the Functional Square Inch (FSI) calculation. By systematically comparing this number across Davis pizzerias, and will ultimately expose the best and shadiest pizzeria practices.

What to document

  • Document the functional radius (radius minus crust length) of each pizza you eat. Using these figures, we can create descriptive statistics of the Functional Square Inches of a pizza pie. For the moment, its sufficient to calculate the mean (sum of all observations / (number of observations), but if this page gets used, we can start calculating standard deviation. Place the most recent mean in the FSI table of the pizza page.
  • Also document the day , date, and time, next to the radius. Doing so allows us to look for patterns of fluctuation. e.g. whether places cheat you on Friday nights.

Measurement technique

Normal Pizzas

  • For normal pizzas, measure from where the toppings end on one edge of the pie to the corresponding part on the opposite pie part of the pie. The functional radius is that diameter divided by two. Its preferable that you not directly measure the radius on any particular slice— an unevenly cut slice could bias your measurement.

Stuffed and Folded Crust

  • For stuffed pizzas and folded crusts, you may only include the under-the-crust region as surface if it contains something other than sauce. That last point is very important. Here's why: on a 16" pie with a 1" crust, the FSI is 154. A 16" pie with a 2" folded over crust, filled with two cents worth of sauce, has an FSI of 113. Thats a 25% reduction in area!

    The above scheme invites the criticism that a folded crust has more food than than an unfolded crust. This is an untested assumption. A "more food" argument assumes that the crust density and mass is equated within and across pizzerias. The logistics of that one seem too difficult to test for your common wiki user.

Pizza places

Coho Extra-Large: 6.5" (12:30 PM, Mo, 5-2-05), ...

Mountain Mike's Pizza Extra-Large: 9.1" (7PM, Sa, 5-1-05), Medium: 5.5" (12PM, Tu, 7-27-05),...

Pizza Guys Large: 5.75" (Mo, 6-6-05), 6" (7PM, Mo, 6-6-05), ...

Symposium Medium: 5.5" (6:30 PM, We, 5-4-05), 7" (9:00 PM, Mo, 8-15-05)...

Woodstock's Pizza Large: 5.5" (4-05), ...

The PVI (Pizza Value Index)

The PVI is an alternate index. It is simply pizza area/cost. Size (in inches) is taken from actual (vs. advertised) measurements and goes to the edge of the crust. Rectangular pizzas are calculated using (L*W/$). Cost is in dollars, excluding tax and gratuity (if any). Precision is 2-3 digits. Typical values are around 10. For auditing, the size and cost must be given, not just the PVI.


PVI=3.14*(inches dia/2)*(inches dia/2)/cost


Example: A 16.0" pizza costs $12.00. Compute 16*16*.785/12 yields 16.74666, round to 16.7

Datestamp, source, type, comments, author
16.0" dia.
2005-10-30 09:34 Pizza example Extra-large (16") cheese —SteveDavison *example data*
16.0" dia.
2005-10-28 17:50 Woodstocks Pizza X-Large (16") 1-topping —SteveDavison *example data*
14.0" dia.
2005-10-28 17:52 Woodstocks Pizza Large (14") 1-topping —SteveDavison *example data*
12.0" dia.
2005-10-28 17:54 Woodstocks Pizza Medium (12") 1-topping —SteveDavison *example data*
8.0" dia.
2005-10-28 17:58 Woodstocks Pizza Personal (8") 1-topping —SteveDavison *example data*

(sorted by descending PVI)


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2005-05-01 09:56:58 Please describe the methodology you want used more clearly. How do we handle stuffed or folded crusts in the calculation. We should also document each measurement with a date to see if the pizzarias change over time. Maybe a format of Diameter, Crustless Diameter, Content Diameter would cover most cases? Where Diameter is overall, Crustless is center to crust, and Content is center to end of sauce/and or toppings. —JasonAller

2005-05-01 20:53:33 The greatest thing about this page is that it gives me an excuse to eat more pizza where I otherwise wouldn't, similar to my epic quest to try all the energy drinks and compare them (coming to a livejournal near you as soon as Nugget restocks Wired!). Unfortunately the cost of pizza will probably but a damper on my enthusiasm for this experiment. Maybe we can have official wiki pizza sampling events wherein several of us get together and order a pizza or two from an untested location, thus furthering science and distributing costs... —KrisFricke

  • What better way to further science than eating pizza? A genius idea if I do say so myself. - JonathonLeathers
  • You could think of it as a collective investment— after the investigations are complete, you could limit yourself only to the most economical places. Does anyone have access to any choice pizza coupons? That would certainly make a daviswiki pizza tasting more economical.— CraigBrozinsky
    • If you go to the website for Davis Woodstocks and sign up for their coupons via email, they'll send you a buy-one-get-one-free coupon for signing up. It expires after a month, but, because it's emailed, you could print out more than one if you wanted to. Also, if you go to Papajohns online and try to win a Best Buy gift card, the consolation prize is a coupon for something free w/ purchase (soda, pizza, breadsticks, etc) and you get an additional coupoun for each additional email address you give them. — ss

2006-09-22 14:57:12   Hmm, would it not simply be logical to calculate the food value of the pizza per unit currency by consulting the web to find the caloric content of the pizza? I mean if you really wanted to figure out the food value in the most reliable terms. —DavePoole

2008-10-25 22:16:50   Yes, I agree with Dave that your method is open to question. You're making an assumption about what constitutes the value of pizza (apparently only the toppings). It *is* true that the toppings are the most expensive ingredients. But caloric content could be another valid basis for determining value, as could protein content, which could also be found online. —stephthrasher