From the classical New York pizza to California’s gourmet style, Musement takes you coast-to-coast with 11 regional pizza styles across the country.
Whether you’re with the family on a Friday night, enjoying a beer at the bar, or in need of a quick bite, you can never go wrong with pizza. The simple, yet so delicious Italian food has become such a popular food in the US. Similar to hot dogs, many regions across America have added their own twist; with different toppings and ways of cooking pizza.
1. New York Style Pizza
When one hears pizza, they think of the classical New York style pizza. A bigger version of a Neapolitan pie from Italy, this pizza was first introduced to the Big Apple by Italian immigrants in the late 19th century. Typically sold in large triangular slices, it consists of a thick, chewy crust from the hand-tossed dough, topped with a marinara sauce, and melted mozzarella cheese. Slices are often folded in half when eaten, making it easier to enjoy on the go!
With origins from Connecticut, apizza gets its name from the dialect spoken in Naples. Cooked in a hot brick oven until charred, New Haven-style pizza is served with a very thin crust and topped with grated Romano cheese. Mozzarella cheese is considered a topping here so it must be ordered separately.
2b. White Clam Pizza
Fish lovers will be craving this masterpiece. White Clam pizza is New Haven-style pizza when it comes to the crust but without the tomato sauce. Instead, white clams are spread on top with doses of garlic, olive oil, oregano, and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Advanced eaters add bacon on top for some extra flavor! This pizza was created at Pepe’s Pizzeria and was voted as America’s #1 pizza in 2018.
3. Bakery Pizza
Don’t judge a book by its cover. Bakery pizza is rather “simple”, but has been popular in Rhode Island for over 100 years. Prepared in large rectangular trays, the end result is a thick doughy crust baked and smothered with a thick tomato sauce on top. Cut into rectangular strips, this pizza is unique in that it’s usually meant to be served at room temperature. Once found only in Italian bakeries, these pizza strips have since become a hit everywhere!
4. Ohio Valley Style Pizza
Cold cheese? Yes, you read that right! A different approach in making pizza, toppings and the cheese are added after the pizza is done cooking, using the steam to help warm up the toppings. Ohio Valley-style pizza pies come with a thick, crispy crust cut in square shapes. It is recommended to eat this pizza quickly before the cold cheese completely melts, offering more flavor. Popular toppings include sausage, olives, and mushrooms.
5. Detroit Style Pizza
Known as the Motor City, the auto industry also played a role in the way pizza was made in Detroit. Back in the 1940s, the original pizza was made in rectangular steel automotive pans, giving the pizza its shape. Wisconsin brick cheese is layered on top of the fluffy but crispy crust, leaving a buttery texture. Topped with pepperonis, marinara or tomato sauce is the last ingredient added to the tasty Detroit-style pizza.
6. Deep-Dish Pizza
The renowned deep dish pizza is no joke, it’s for those with a big appetite. Baked in a steel circular pan, the pizza from the Windy City consists of a thick, pie looking crust, with meaty toppings. Due to its long baking time, the toppings are prepared “upside down” to avoid the cheese from burning, with tomato sauce layered on top. If you’re feeling extra hungry, order the stuffed pizza when visiting Chicago, which is a deep-dish pizza, but includes another thin crust that separates the cheese and toppings from the sauce, Yum!
7. St. Louis Style Pizza
A distinct, yet common pizza from the Midwest, St. Louis-style pizza has an extremely thin, cracker-esque crust. Cut into small squares or rectangular slices, the pizza is topped with a sweet tomato sauce and Provel cheese; a blend of cheddar, Swiss, and provolone all in one. Put your tastebuds to work and add toppings as you please.
8. Quad City Style Pizza
Not your traditional pizza in any shape, or form (pun intended). Centered from the “Quad Cities” regions of Illinois and Iowa, this pizza’s medium-thick crust is made with malt, giving it a darker color and nutty flavor. Cayenne and red chili flakes are added to the tomato sauce in order to spice things up! Served in long strips, the traditional Quad city pizza includes a heavy dose of cheese layered on top of your additional toppings. Fennel sausage is the most common, although Canadian bacon and taco toppings are also a big hit.
9. Colorado Style Pizza
Pizza lovers who are indecisive about what to add on top, why not just put them all on?! The regional pizza style from Colorado consists of a thick, hand-braided crust, tomato sauce, lots of mozzarella cheese, and an array of toppings! Indulge in whatever your taste buds crave, or ask the house for their specialty. A side of honey is served on the side to dip your crust in afterward, leaving you with a sweet dessert. Now you’re ready to ski in the Rockies!
10. California Style Pizza
Similar to the New York pizza with its thin crust, California style pizza adds a twist by including toppings from the California cuisine. These innovative dishes were created in the 1980s by chefs Ed LaDou and Alice Waters and rose to fame shortly after. Known for its use of healthy ingredients such as avocados, artichokes, and goat cheese, these gourmet pizzas are a must try when visiting the West Coast. Don’t forget to try the iconic BBQ Chicken pizza at Reno’s in Los Angeles.