September 30, 2017


The Great Pizza Debate: NY vs Chicago vs West Coast


Photo by Brenan Greene on Unsplash

Ah, pizza. The mere mention of the word conjures up images of pure ecstasy, as life with pizza is a happy life well worth living. Pizza comes in many shapes and sizes, and can be topped, pretty much, with whatever you like. And yes, before we go any further, pineapple is a perfectly acceptable topping if that is what you enjoy (that should spark a few lively discussions). Pizza in the US is a topic of many heated debates. The forefront of this debate is the question, ‘who has the best type of pizza’? Is it NY style, Chicago style, or West Coast style? Well, before we can get to the bottom of which, if any, is the best, let’s get a better understanding about each one.

Buffalo Slice and Margherita Slice

"Buffalo Slice and Margherita Slice" by Afshin Darian

NY style – To begin with, we’ll get our great pizza debate up and running by looking at New York style pizza. New York style pizza is considered by many Americans to be synonymous with New York itself. The pizza is traditionally very thin, with wide and long slices that are crispy yet can easily be folded and eaten by hand. The traditional topping is simply tomato-based sauce, and grated mozzarella cheese on top of a thin and crispy base made from fresh dough. Despite this, many pizzerias use a wide variety of toppings, including cooked meats, vegetables, and seafood. Commonly, a whole pizza pie is 18 inches in size and is cooked in a wood or coal-fired oven, though some places use standard gas nowadays. NY style pizza is hard to recreate in other parts of the country because many enthusiasts are convinced that the minerals found in NY’s water are responsible for creating the unique and delicious taste.

Chicago Style Pizza

"Giordano's Pizza" by A Gude

Chicago style – Chicago is a city that takes great pride in its pizza pies, and this most certainly shows. When we say pizza pie, that is exactly what we mean as Chicago style pizza isn’t the regular style of pizza you’re probably used to. The most popular style is deep dish, which is made with a very moist, oil-rich dough that lines the base and sides of a deep dish pizza pan. Next, slices of fresh mozzarella are placed on the dough, before generous portions of  sauce and any other toppings required, go on top. Yes, the sauce does indeed go on top of a Chicago-style pizza. The pizza pie is then baked in a hot oven until the dough forms a crust and the cheese and sauce are all melty and gooey. Stuffed pizza is also common in Chicago, which contains an additional thin layer of dough on top of the first layer of cheese.

California Style Pizza

"All Good Pizza" by Dale Cruse

West coast – West coast style is also known as California style pizza, and although lesser known, it is still equally as delicious as the other two styles on our list. California style pizza is best described as being a fusion of many different styles of pizza with very thin crusts. The Californian element comes in the form of the toppings. You see, because of the hot sunshine and great climate, California is perfect for farming and agriculture. California style pizza is often topped with aromatic herbs and sometimes organic produce that tastes divine and is locally sourced and produced. Servings are also much smaller. There are even a number of vegan options now available.

Pepperoni Pizza

"Pepperoni Pizza" by Brian Shamblen

So, which is better? – Put simply, they’re all equally as great as one another, so make sure you try them all and make up your own mind.

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