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Papa John’s Pizza Nairobi: Review, Menu & Photos

This is a review of the Papa John’s  Pizza restaurant in Woodvale, Westlands in  Nairobi. This review offers an in-depth look at the unique charm of this renowned American  Pizza brand which is the third largest globally after Domino’s and Pizza Hut.

Papa John’s is finally in Kenya, operated by Express Kitchen Ltd, who are the franchisers of Papa John’s and Chicken Cottage restaurant brands in the region. The first launched location was at Westland’s Woodvale in September 2023 and opened its doors in late December 2023.

Papa John’s Pizza Menu 

Papa Johns Nairobi Menu
Papa Johns  Nairobi Menu

I apologize for the blurry menu, but this is the best I could get by going ultrawide on bad lighting. But below is the menu explained:

Papa John’s has 3 tiers of pizza ordering;( just like in  Pizza Inn with classic, deluxe, and supreme). Papa John’s has Classic, Specialty, and Signature.

The unique thing about Papa John’s is that their pizza prices are almost the same across all the 3 tiers, unlike in  Pizza Inn where the price difference is marginal.

Small pizzas are 8″ and start at just KSh 800 and some options start at KSh 900. Small pizzas just like everything small are not economical, so just get a medium if you are one person.

Medium pizzas start at KSh 1,000 and they are 10″ some options cost upwards of KSh 1,100. Meanwhile, large options start at KSh 1,300 to 1,450 and they are 12” in size.

The  Pizza Types at Papa John’s can be simply broken down as;

  •  Classics: Margherita, Pepperoni, Hawaiian, Piri-Piri and Garden Special
  •  Specialty: All The Meats, Hawaiian Chicken BBQ, Chicken BBQ, Spicy Chicken Ranch, and Spicy Garden Special
  •  Signature: Buffalo Chicken, Spicy Italian, Six Cheese, Super Papas and Little Italy

All these pizzas are basically the same, the difference being the sauce applied and the topping choices. The sauce can be either pizza sauce or ranch sauce, but in 9 out of 10 pizzas, it will be pizza sauce.

The Garden Special and Spicy Garden Special are the only vegetarian pizza options at Papa John’s.

You also have the option for a custom pizza where you choose the crust; thin, original, or authentic thin then next you choose the meats, vegetables, and cheeses you want to go into your pizza.

It costs much the same as the already pre-established pizza types, I expected custom pizzas to cost much more but they surprisingly don’t.

Pizzas aside, there are other menu options like dessert, sides, and drinks.

  •  Sides: Cheese Sticks, Bread Sticks, Potato Wedges, Chicken Wings, and Pepperoni Rolls
  •  Drinks: Fanta’s, Coke, Sprite, Minute Maid, Dasani, Stoney, Krest
  •  Desert: Chocolate Scrolls, and Papadias

That’s it for the menu. I personally went basic here, the signature Spicy Italian small size and a Coke. I know, I know, I know, shouldn’t have ordered a small one, but now you know.

Papa John's 8" Small Pizza
Papa John’s 8″ Small  Pizza

Papa John’s Pizza Review

Better Ingredients, Better  Pizza is Papa John’s slogan. Let’s see if that is actually true. 

Papa Johns Spicy Italian 8"
Papa Johns Spicy Italian 8″

Perhaps what I was more excited to try than the actual Pizza is the garlic sauce. It comes complimentary with every pizza order. As you can see pizza looks decently done, cheese and toppings are generous and importantly, toppings are spread evenly and homogeneous so you are sure to get that consistent satisfying taste with every bite.

The pepperonis are perfectly cooked and crisp, you know they are cooked decent went they cup inwards in the middle, and the crust looks just crisp, without touching it or tasting it yet. 

Papa Johns Pizza and Garlic Sauce

I said it before, I’m more curious about the garlic sauce than the pizza itself, so let’s get the excitement out of the way by ripping it off, consistency is a smooth and creamy mayo-like sauce, it is thick but not overly thick, thick that it doesn’t flow off easy, just thick enough for dipping, you are sure it’s gonna stick on your pizza whenever you dip it.

Papa Johns Garlic Dipping
Papa Johns Garlic Dipping

 Pizza is as decent in taste as it looks, went through the first slice without even noticing it; as every bite was satisfying making you drool for the next, at the end was the outer rim of the crust left, and since it is just dry dough with no toppings, this is the best use of the garlic dipping sauce. 

They really go well together! The sauce tastes just complex, don’t expect to taste the garlic only, actually, I didn’t even taste any garlic, probably because it has a lot of depth in its taste notes.

On the next slice of trying the dip with the pizza toppings; the only thing it did was add creaminess, so in my scenario, I found the dip good for the pizza rims.

Papa Johns Airy Dough
Papa Johns Airy Dough

Besides the dipping, the other iconic thing about Papa John’s is their dough and crusts, they are so good, undoubtedly the best crusts of any pizza chain in Kenya. 

 Pizza Hut crusts used to be my favorite, but not anymore, Papa’s are just next level, and this is not surprising as the pizza dough is freshly made and not frozen in like other establishments, also the dough is hand-tossed ( I literally saw them do that). 

The tossing makes the pizza crust uniform and can achieve the thinnest crust that you wouldn’t be rolling. The resulting crust in the pizza is just light and airy(refer to the image above)  which I love, not dense and compact.

Papa Johns Crunchy Crust

The underside of the crust is uniformly well-cooked and sturdy, instilling confidence that the pizza won’t succumb to sogginess, particularly if left to sit, especially during delivery. Its satisfying crunch perfectly complements the airy texture of the dough and the succulent toppings crowning it.

One aspect that falls short of expectations at Papa John’s is the ratio of toppings and cheese to the crust. Despite previously praising their crust as the best among current pizza chains, the overall pizza experience leans more towards savoring the crust rather than embracing a holistic pizza encounter.

In conclusion, Papa John’s  Pizza offers a distinctive and positive pizza experience, showcasing a unique style. Despite the slight imbalance in toppings, it stands out in a good way. On a pizza chain scale of 1 to 5, I would confidently rate them a solid 4.6.

Papa John’s is decent but not decent enough as artisan pizza restaurants in  Nairobi

Read: The 12 BEST Nairobi Pizza Spots According to Reddit

Read: Mambo Italia’s Pizza Review, Menu & Prices

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