Pizza has become an American staple – served at birthday parties, movie nights, family gatherings, and nights out with friends. Although its origins are in Italy, many U.S. cities have taken liberty with the classic pie, creating their own, regionally influenced pizza. Confused by all of the choices? We break down what you’ll find in various regions across the country.
New York Style: This style of pizza is often sold by the slice extra large pieces that come from an oversized hand tossed pie. Those in-the-know will often fold their pizza in half so toppings don’t slide around. New Yorkers claim this is the best pie around, like they do with most things that originated in the Big Apple.
Photo by: @thehungrytruffle
Chicago Style: Although Chicago is most known nationally for its deep dish, amongst locals it’s still a hot debate. If you ask Chicago residents, many of them actually prefer thin crust to the gut-busting thick pie. Read more about all of the different style pies here. You can also grab Chicago’s very own Home Run Inn thin crust pizza to have at home when the craving strikes.
Quad Cities: The Quad Cities are made up of four counties that include two in Northwest Illinois and two in Southeastern Iowa. The hand-tossed, scissor-strip cut pizza has a malt crust so it often tastes a little sweeter. The sauce is usually a little spicy and spread on pretty thin. All toppings go under the cheese, and you’ll often see sausage as a signature topping.
Photo by: @jilleatschicago
Detroit-Style: This Sicilian-style square pizza is known for its crisp, caramelized crust corners. The pizzas, which are made in blue steel pans (that used to hold auto parts) are topped with a combination of Mozzarella and (Wisconsin) Brick cheese. A deep red sauce drizzled on top of the cheese. If you order peperoni, it’s always tucked underneath the cheese to prevent too much charring.
New Haven Style: This traditional coal fired pie that hails from New Haven, Connecticut, is often known as a tomato pie as it’s topped with tomato sauce, olive oil Oregano, and a few shakes of pecorino – no mozzarella. You can add on the traditional cheese, but it is considered a topping. New Haven is also home to the white clam pizza, made with no sauce, but fresh clams, cheese, olive oil, garlic and oregano.
Photo by: @zupps
St Louis Style: This pizza isn’t often a fan favorite for those outside of Missouri, but those who grew up with it love it. The cracker thin crust (it’s made unleavened, most pizza dough is leavened) is topped with their signature cheese called Provel, a combination of flavors of provolone, Swiss and white cheddar. The extra gooey processed cheese that is similar to American cheese, has a very distinct taste. The pie is sliced into squares or rectangles and is usually loaded with toppings.
Photo by: @sarahbmorgan
California Style: Although the actual pizza doesn’t have any distinct characteristics, the creative toppings are what has given California credit for its own style pizza. Californians really started the trend of topping their pizza with healthier and more creative ingredients like artichokes or eggplant, goat cheese or feta, and even Thai peanut chicken.
Photo by: @zpizza_atx