Which Japanese convenience store sells the best pizzas?【Taste test】

Lawson, Family Mart and 7-Eleven go head-to-head in a cheesy showdown. 

To celebrate Pizza Day in Japan on 20 November, in honour of the birthday of Queen Margherita of Italy, our Japanese-language reporters decided to celebrate in the best way possible: by comparing margherita pizzas from the top Japanese convenience store chains.

So, without further ado, the three contenders for this frozen pizza showdown are:

  • Family Mart — Mother’s Cafeteria Premium Hand-stretched, Wood-fired, Kiln-baked Margherita Pizza (498 yen [US$4.32])
  • Lawson — Pizza Margherita (298 yen)
  • 7-Eleven — Seven Premium Gold Golden Margherita (537 yen)

▼ Left to right: Family Mart, Lawson, 7-Eleven

The prices are as varied as the pizzas themselves, but what makes this a level playing field is the fact that each one is an own-brand frozen margherita that represents each chain. So let’s start by assessing the look of each pizza straight out of the bag.

The 7-Eleven pizza contains Italian tomato sauce, mozzarella and extra virgin olive oil. It looks pretty authentic, which isn’t surprising as it’s been created under the supervision of a famous chef.

Family Mart’s offering has also been supervised by a famous chef and it contains three types of cheese: Cow’s milk mozzarella, buffalo mozzarella and grana padano.

The Lawson pizza is the only one that hasn’t been created in conjunction with a famous chef, and it shows in its simple appearance. Still, it’s markedly cheaper than the others, so it does have that going for it.

▼ After judging their appearances, it was time to heat these up and get down to the real tasting.

Our taste-testers for today are: Yoshio Ueda, Masanuki Sunakoma, Seiji Nakazawa, and Mr. Sato (who’s behind the camera here).

These taste-testers were hungry for pizza, and they weren’t messing around either, because after scoffing down a slice of each one, it didn’t take them long to unanimously agree that the best pizza of the day was…

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▼ 7-Eleven!

What made this the outright winner was the quality and overall balance of flavour, which were both outstanding. Our taste-testers had a hard time believing you could get this level of flavour from a frozen pizza, as the aromas were amazing as well, thanks to the fresh basil leaves on top.

▼ The long-fermented dough created an excellent crispy-yet-chewy texture that was similar to what you’d get at a pizzeria.

And now, in second place, we have…

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▼ Family Mart!

The Family Mart pizza also had a well-rounded balance of flavours, and the three different types of cheese in the topping were a perfect match for the chewy dough. The taste of tomato sauce was a lot more subdued here, as was the basil, due to it appearing as a sauce rather than fresh leaves, making the cheese the real highlight.

▼ A slice of heaven for cheese lovers.

▼ That means the pizza in third place belongs to…Lawson.

Well, considering the price difference, it was pretty inevitable that the Lawson margherita wouldn’t be able to hold a flame to the ones from Family Mart and 7-Eleven, which didn’t skimp on quality ingredients and attention to detail.

Still, it’s not a bad deal for 298 yen, and according to our taste-testers, this one tasted like a pizza you’d get at a family restaurant — nothing fancy but a reliable flavour, and a size that’s just right for eating as a snack.

So there you have it — the clear winner, when it comes to convenience store margheritas, is 7-Eleven. When it comes to convenience store fried chicken, though, there’s a different winner, although that hangs in the balance now that stocks are running dangerously low.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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