The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Great Pizza Debate: Menlo Park’s Best (And Worst) Takeout Pizzas

Staff illustration: Andrea Li and Tatum Herrin

We had one afternoon and one mission… find the best takeout pizza in Menlo Park. Our pizzas were evaluated on the following criteria: cheese, cheese-to-sauce ratio, crust, and value. We gave a combined rating on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being Menlo pizza and 10 being the best takeout pizza. Note: 10 is not the best pizza ever, as gourmet pizza at a higher price point (à la Che Fico — be sure to check out our recent review of that on is not covered under this review, but it is rather the best pizza to order for a birthday party or cozy night in.


Mountain Mike’s: $16.99, 10 in. — 5/10

Sonia: This was our cheapest pizza at $16.99, and that was apparent from the first bite. I was disappointed by the sauce ratio and found that there was far too much crust with not nearly enough sauce. With no tomato flavor, it just felt like I was eating cheesy bread, not pizza. The thick crust was good, but not enough to make me forget the lack of flavor overall.


Geoffrey: The sauce was admittedly drowned out by the inches-thick crust, but the combination of the thick crust and a slightly high cheese-to-sauce ratio kept the cheese from sliding all over my hands without making the cheese layer unnecessarily thick (à la Costco).


Sonia: We should have tried Costco!


Geoffrey: Mock trial has made me so tired of Costco pizza.


Avanti’s: $18.40, 14 in. — 10/10

Sonia: In my opinion, Avanti’s wins for both value and food satisfaction. It was $18.40, our second most expensive pizza but by far the largest. Quality wise, Avanti’s is also the winner. The cheese was high quality, and even though you couldn’t really taste the sauce, it was a result of too much of this decadent cheese, not too much flavorless crust. 


Geoffrey: My cousin once said (and I have since maintained) that Avanti’s tastes like laser tag pizza. Most take that to mean that I look down on the quality of ingredients, but the reality could not be more different. The outer crust strikes the perfect balance between dough and crunch, and under the sauce and cheese the crust is just thick enough to hold its own, preventing grease and sauce from spilling onto laser tag equipment, for example. The sauce-cheese ratio was perfectly balanced, and each brought out the other’s flavors without overloading my palate. Contrary to Sonia’s take, I think their sauce was the only one that shined. With the added bonus of having the cheapest 14-inch pizza, I think we may have found the perfect takeout pizza at Avanti’s.


Amici’s: $17.75, 10 in. — 7/10

Sonia: I always thought Amici’s was overpriced, but compared to Round Table it’s a bargain. At $17.75, it had the best crust-to-sauce ratio by far. It’s certainly a different style of pizza –– far more oily and with a paper-thin crust. But this New York style did not disappoint. You could really taste the quality of the cheese and the brick-oven cooking method. 


Geoffrey: Here, Sonia and I diverge. While I’ve gotten over my “Amici’s tastes like vomit” phase from childhood, the pizza is so thin that there is basically no sauce. Such unique flavors from the cheese need to be balanced by sauce, but too often I felt I was eating a white pizza. And although Sonia raves about the thin-crust, we should disclose that she did not eat any of the outer crust. My guilt about food waste compelled me to eat the crust, but one could hardly call it food. Its cardboard properties made it frustratingly challenging to bite through despite its thin nature. That all said, I enjoy the unique texture and flavor of their pizza (minus the outer crust), and it was certainly better than Round Table and more enjoyable than Mountain Mikes.


Sonia: I admit, the ends of the crust do not compete with the rest of the pizza. But I would go to Amici’s every day (and twice on Sundays) to avoid what we consumed from Round Table.


Round Table: $18.99, 9.5 in. — 2/10

Sonia: There are over 400 Round Table restaurants across the nation, and Menlo Park is blessed to be the home of “The Original Round Table.” But no amount of pizza history can make up for the “pizza” itself. The most expensive pizza, at $18.99, was small and not noteworthy in the slightest. While I could taste the sauce slightly, the crust couldn’t decide if it was supposed to be thin or thick, leading to a most basic, bland pizza. 


Geoffrey: Round Table was a huge disappointment. For one, there was basically no sauce. Like, nada. And the crust, oh my God the crust: with its off-putting taste and cardboard texture, I felt like I was eating cauliflower crust. Not to mention it was simultaneously our smallest and most expensive pizza. It wasn’t as bad as Menlo pizza, but then again, Menlo pizza doesn’t cost $19. Shame on you, Round Table. Shame on you.



We might not have been able to find the best pizza in Menlo Park. That being said, we definitely determined that some places are worth ordering from more than others. If you want the biggest bang for your buck, Avanti’s high-quality pies are the way to go. But if you desire a more traditional New-York-style pizza, the Amici’s sticker shock is not nearly as bad as you may guess. All in all, we recommend you avoid the major chains and stick to the Bay Area’s local establishments.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Sonia Dholakia
Sonia Dholakia, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 3

Favorite aspect of journalism: Working with the entire staff to create a great product and becoming friends along the way.

Interests outside of school: Mock trial, traveling, and listening to Taylor Swift.

Class of 2025

Geoffrey Franc
Geoffrey Franc, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 3

Favorite aspect of journalism: Telling people's stories and learning about the world through them.

Interests outside of school: history, running, and Mock Trial

Class of 2025

Comments (0)

The Coat of Arms encourages dialogue with our audience. We welcome constructive comments that avoid slander, hate, profanity and misinformation. In an effort to give voice to a variety of perspectives, anonymous comments will be considered, but signed comments are preferred. If you would like to submit an anonymous comment, please write "Anonymous" in the "Name" field below. While a valid email address is required, The Coat of Arms will not publish your email address. The Editorial Board will review comments and decide whether they will be put online; the editors reserve the right to edit for concision.
All The Coat of Arms Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *