Kirkwood Pizza Power Rankings

At Big Rush Marketing we’re always looking at data. Most of it is advertising data. We love digging in and figuring out what’s working and what isn’t for our clients so that we can spend their budget as efficiently as possible. What kind of demographics of people are reacting to the message we’re putting out? Is there a time of day where someone is more likely to make a purchase? Is one platform seeing more results than another? These are the questions we’re asking for our clients every day!

This interest in data spreads to other areas of the office as well. For instance, we keep “power ranking” systems for ping-pong and shuffleboard games played in the office to measure our performance. About three months ago we decided to apply our data curiosity to another area: pizza.

Since we work in Downtown Kirkwood, there are a LOT of places to get pizza within a short walking distance. In fact, when we started our project there were twelve (!) places that we could walk to get pizza.  (There are now 11. R.I.P. Kirkwood Station Brewery). We decided that every Friday, we were going to go pick up pizza from a different place and bring it back to the office. We’d then fill out a short survey about the different components of the pizza and our overall feelings about it.

As an equalizing factor, we decided that we’d order a pepperoni pizza at each location. Each week we measured on the following factors:

  • Pepperoni quantity

  • Pepperoni quality

  • Cheese

  • Sauce

  • Crust

  • Overall

All components were ranked on a 1-5 scale with 1 being “very bad” and 5 being “very good”. We then took all of the scores from each component and averaged them out. We used the Average Response rather than the overall marker to rank our pizzas from best to worst. After 12 weeks… the results are in!

Because we are in this for fun, we’ve anonymized the bottom 9 participants (most of which were still tasty), but we’d love to tell you about our 3 favorite Pepperoni Pizzas in Kirkwood, counting down from #3 to #1.

#3 Racanelli’s New York Pizzeria


Since 1994, Racanelli’s has been serving St. Louis a reliably delicious slice of New York style pizza. They are also the closest pizza option to the Big Rush office and their pizza-by-the-slice is very convenient so you see their boxes a lot around the Big Rush office.

We all like their pizza-by-the-slice, which I believe is a mostly cooked cheese pizza that they throw whatever toppings you ask on it and put it back in the oven for a few more minutes. This works great with pepperoni but can leave vegetables a bit…still raw. I want to reiterate that this is still a very good pizza option, but it wasn’t one that we were expecting to crack our top 3 of 12 eligible establishments.

When you order a whole pizza though, and the make the whole thing from the ground-up and the results really elevate the pizza. The crust, which can get a little chewy on the cook-top-cook by-the-slice option really shines in the whole pizza option.

The pepperonis were also a huge winner, gaining the highest score, or a tie for the highest score in both pepperoni categories. Racanelli’s is good by the slice, but it is great when you order a full fresh pizza.

#2 Mike Duffy’s Pub & Grill


None of us saw this one coming! Jon used to play trivia at Mike Duffy’s on a weekly basis a few years ago, but didn’t remember much about their pizza. Clayton & Megan had never had it before. All 3 of us were blown away by how delicious it was.

This is one of the best St. Louis Style Pizzas in St. Louis. The sauce was a standout, tying with another establishment for the best rankings in that category. We all also loved the crust, which scored 2nd in that category. If we were ranking the pizza only based on what we put in the “overall” number, Duffy’s would have won with a 4.333 (5, 4, 4). so you could make an argument that we thought this was the best pizza in Kirkwood. However we’re giving that distinction to…

#1 Dewey’s Pizza


If you had asked us to guess who was going to win this competition going into it… we probably all would have guessed Dewey’s. Maybe if we do this again we’ll have to figure out a way to do a blind tasting. But the pizza is just so good!

We ranked 12 pizzas in 6 categories (72 total rankings) and Dewey’s crust was the only one to get a 5 from all 3 participants. And the rest of the pizza is so solid as well! Dewey’s came in tied for 1st or 2nd in all categories except for sauce where it came in tied for 3rd.

You probably can tell in the picture, we got a 1/2 and 1/2 on this one, and the other half is Jon & Clayton’s favorite: The Porky Fig. So if you’re looking for a more adventurous recommendation next time you’re at Dewey’s check that one out.

Thank you Dewey’s, for being so delicious and so close to our office.

Other Thoughts

Here’s a chart of all the rankings, but only the top 3 finishers labeled:

Screen Shot 2019-04-29 at 2.07.37 PM.png

OK, if you’re still reading though, you deserve to know all of the other places that were considered. As you can see, the vast majority of them were serviceably good pepperoni pizza. Here are all 12 contestants in alphabetical order:

  • Bar Louie

  • Billy G's

  • Crushed Red

  • Dewey's Pizza

  • Imo's Pizza

  • Kirkwood Pizzeria

  • Kirkwood Station Brewery (Has since closed)

  • Mike Duffy's Pub & Grill

  • Mod Pizza

  • Pickleman's Deli

  • PJ's Tavern

  • Racanelli’s New York Pizzeria

So there’s a mix of national chains, regional chains and local establishments in there. Some were bars, some were pizza places, and some were sandwich places that just happened to have a pizza on their menu.

We should also note that we had a few guest reviewers each pizza with us, and we let them fill out our form. Generally we kept those results if they weren’t complete outliers.

This was a very rewarding project. If you have another similar one you’d like to see us tackle, let us know!

Jonathon Becker