Ranking when it's fresh: 4
The best way to eat the leftovers: Zapped in the microwave
The hero of college kids and moms hosting big sleepovers on a budget, Little Caesars is a tricky beast to pin down. Get it at the right time (the photo above is the exact right time), and it's the perfect chain pizza, all bubbles and stretchy cheese and flashbacks to childhood. Get it at the wrong time, and it's a flat, dense hunk of cardboard that makes Boboli seem like Pizzeria Bianco.
Which weirdly makes the microwave the great equalizer. Due to the pizza's weird alchemy, the frying pan -- great for thin-crusted, fancy Neapolitans, but an enemy to thicker-crusted concoctions -- gives you a crackery bottom and a doughy top. The toaster oven manages to transform the cheese -- with a mix of mozz and Muenster, it's the best of the chains -- into a dangerous sheet of potential third-degree burns while morphing the crust into something far more brittle and unpleasant. Cold? Well, no. Just no.
But the microwave -- provided you don't go 10 seconds too long -- does something weirdly magical… it changes the crust into something close to the consistency of Crazy Bread. (Why Little Caesars hasn't perfected a "Crazy Bread pizza" is beyond me.) When the pizza's at its worst, the microwave actually makes it better. When it's at its best, it makes it… slightly less good. But still, this is the closest to Crazy Bread pizza you can get now, and that beats the shit out of pretzel pizza. Pro tip: throw a glass of water in when you're heating it to get a little extra texture. But you're not going to do that, because you're eating leftover $5 pizza on a Sunday.