I Tried Boston Pizza For The First Time Ever & It Just Made Me Question Canadian Taste

Can't say I get the hype. 🍕

Charlie Hart at Boston Pizza. Right: Food at Boston Pizza.

Charlie Hart at Boston Pizza. Right: Food at Boston Pizza.

This Opinion article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

Boston Pizza is one of those really well-known restaurant chains in Canada that everyone and their mother has been to at least once, but having recently moved here from the U.K., I hadn't ever actually stepped foot in one ... until now.

I'd only heard relatively mediocre things about Boston Pizza, yet still, some of my Canadian friends had this nostalgia-driven loyalty to the restaurant. Despite this, all they could really tell me was that it was just your average family-friendly chain restaurant with sub-par food and lots of kids.

The massive pizza chain — which actually started in Edmonton — apparently has over 380 locations across Canada, so it's fair to say it's pretty popular.

After hearing about the love/hate relationship some people in this country have with Boston Pizza, I went on a one-woman solo mission to see what it's like from an outside perspective.

Overall, I'd say I had a pretty on-brand Boston Pizza experience, right down to the sticky menu. Am I Canadian now?

The atmosphere

Inside Boston Pizza.Inside Boston Pizza.Charlie Hart | Narcity

I headed down to Boston Pizza on a pretty average Tuesday afternoon, however, it did also happen to be Valentine's Day, so there were some vaguely-themed decorations up for the occasion. But I couldn't help but think that if my date took me here, it would probably be the last one.

When I spoke to the host, they offered me a seat in the main restaurant or in the bar area, the main difference being the second option was kid-free, so that worked for me.

Neither had very many customers as it was a Tuesday afternoon, but I can only imagine the chaos on a weekend when the joint is packed to the brim with rowdy families.

When I sat down at my table, I was genuinely shocked by the number of TVs and how aggressively loud the music was for such a quiet afternoon. There was also a man yelling into his phone at the table behind for the duration of the meal to really add to the ambiance.

My server – who was super friendly and definitely a redeeming factor – handed me a sticky menu and I set about working out what to order.

The food

Food at Boston Pizza.Food at Boston Pizza.Charlie Hart | Narcity

Being a complete Boston Pizza menu novice, I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was more to the menu than just pizza, with pasta, salads and other distantly Italian dishes on offer.

As pizza is in the name and I was a first-timer, getting the actual pizza made sense to me. I ended up opting for the Bourbon BBQ Chicken as it was on a deal that day for $13.

The pizza itself was super tiny, and I realized at that point it's probably way more cost-effective to get a large. Though, after eating a slice, I was glad I didn't.

I've definitely had worse pizzas in my life, and if I'd picked up a slice of this on my way back from a night of drinking, I would have been very happy with my choice.

However, in the cold light of day, it really wasn't hitting the spot. The BBQ sauce was so sweet that it just overpowered everything else, and the crust was pretty bland.

The overall experience

Outside Boston Pizza.Outside Boston Pizza.Charlie Hart | Narcity

From my first experience at Boston Pizza, I'd say the overall consensus of it being mediocre across the board is about right. The food and the vibe were both equally flat.

While it's not somewhere I'd actively look to go back to, I can see where Boston Pizza serves a purpose for families. It's a very basic menu with everything a kid is likely to eat, from pizza to chicken fingers.

I just don't envy the parents who have no choice in the matter.

Take away the childhood nostalgia, and all you’re left with is some very meh pizza.

Charlie Hart
Charlie Hart is a Creator for Narcity Media focused on Alberta news and is based in Calgary, Alberta.