City Cast

A Regional Pizza Style Breakdown

Peyton Garcia
Peyton Garcia
Posted on September 28, 2022   |   Updated on August 16
What’s your favorite pizza style? (Juan Villamar; LauriPatterson; Brent Hofacker; Judith Haeusler / Getty Images)

What’s your favorite pizza style? (Juan Villamar; LauriPatterson; Brent Hofacker; Judith Haeusler / Getty Images)

Thin crust, deep dish, hand tossed? It’s easy to get lost in the sauce when it comes to the seemingly endless list of different pizza styles — so here’s a regional pizza breakdown to add to your cache of hot pizza knowledge.


Some pizza savants call this style “the original pizza,” which hails from 18th century Naples, Italy. The crust is notoriously thin and the toppings are typically fresh and simple — bonus points for adding preserved fish (just like the people of Naples like to!). A fork and knife are encouraged.


Brought to the U.S. by Sicilian immigrants in the 19th century, the dough in this pie is thick-cut and “pillowy.” Most notably, Sicilian pizza comes baked in a square, instead of the traditional circle.

Chicago Deep Dish

This slice of heaven is thought to have originated in the Windy City in the early 1900s. American entrepreneur Ike Sewell is often credited with inventing this “pie-inspired” pizza. The crust is thick and the toppings sit in reverse of the traditional order: cheese, meat, veggies, then a generous layer of crushed tomatoes.

Chicago Tavern-Style

We can’t mention deep-dish without mentioning its hometown rival, the tavern-style. My sources say that this is the pie Chicagoans more deeply identify with. It’s a circular pie cut into square slices, with a thin, crispy crust.

New York-Style

Giant, greasy, and droopy — in all the best ways. This type of pizza is likely what you think of when you think of late-night, by-the-slice, pizza counter ’za. True New Yorkers suggest folding the pizza for easier plate-to-mouth transition.


Rumor has it, this style of pizza was first baked in a square automotive parts pan — a reflection of Detroit’s deep auto industry roots. This style is notorious for being thick, crunchy, chewy, and uber cheesy. Like Chicago’s deep dish pizza, the ingredients are layered: cheese, toppings, then sauce.

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