Popular pizza styles include the New York thin crust slice, Chicago deep dish, and classic Neapolitan. These pizzas can be topped with traditional ingredients like tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni – or serve as a springboard for a whole new combination.
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The Origins of Pizza
Pizza remained a delicacy that was largely confined to Italy until the 1900s. Around the turn of the century, Italian immigrants came to the U.S. – and brought their cuisine with them. The first pizza shops in the U.S. opened between 1905 and 1925 and quickly spread throughout the country. As pizza became more popular, different regional variations began to emerge.
These styles varied considerably, from the well-known Chicago deep dish style pizza to the lesser-known Ohio River Valley pizza – which involves putting cold toppings on a pizza that is hot from the oven. Americans’ preferences for pizza style are often based on where they grew up, although some types – like a New York style thin slice – are popular throughout the country.
Today, 13% of the American population will consume pizza on any given day. If you own a pizzeria, that’s great news for your bottom line. Below, read more about the most popular styles of pizza – as well as some topping ideas that you may not have considered adding to your menu.
The Most Popular Types of Pizza
New York Style Pizza
These pizzas typically have a thinner crust and are made in a large circular shape. A New York style pizza is topped with tomato sauce and a low moisture mozzarella. You can usually buy this type of pizza by the slice or as a whole pie.
Chicago Style Pizza
While deep dish pizza may be more famous, Chicago has a second style that is often preferred by locals: thin crust or tavern style pizza. This pizza has a thin crust that is rolled into a circle before being baked. The thinness of the crust means that it’s often as crisp as a cracker. It is topped with sauce and cheese before being cut up into squares.
Roman Style Pizza
Roman pizza is traditionally cooked in a long, rectangular pan. It has a thin crust, plenty of sauce, and little cheese. It is also served in a unique way. Rather than ordering by the slice or pie, you specify how much of the pizza you want the worker to cut for you. That’s why it is often referred to as pizza al metro in Italy, or pizza by the meter.
Sicilian Style Pizza
The American version of Sicilian pizza is different from the type that originated in Italy. The Italian style had a more complex sauce that included onions, herbs, and anchovies. It was topped with breadcrumbs and an optional grating of hard cheese like parmesan. The reason for the difference in cheese is simple – most of the milk produced in Sicily comes from goats and sheep, rather than cows, so mozzarella was generally not available. When Italian immigrants came to New York, they used what was available – including mozzarella cheese.
Neapolitan Style Pizza
The dough for this pizza is made using a special double zero flour before being kneaded from the center out, which creates a fluffy crust. Cheese is then distributed over the dough and then topped with peeled and hand-crushed tomatoes. These pies are cooked briefly in a super hot wood-burning oven, giving them a nice char on the outside of the crust.
Detroit Style Pizza
The pizza dough is placed in one of these pans that has been coated in oil, then topped with sauce, toppings, and cheese. More toppings and tomato sauce are added on top. The cheese tends to melt and become caramelized, which gives a nice crispy texture to the pie.
St. Louis Style Pizza
St. Louis style pizza is incredibly polarizing, which is why you probably won’t find it outside of the region. That being said, if you grew up on it, you probably have a special fondness in your heart for this unique pizza.
New England Style Pizza
The use of so much olive oil on these thinner crust pizza results in a crispy and (some would say) greasy slice. It’s usually cooked in an electric oven, so it lacks the char that you may find with a Neopolitan pizza. The sauce also contains olive oil, which results in a much thinner sauce than is typical.
California Style Pizza
A California pizza might have anything from artichoke hearts to barbeque chicken to salad. While these more unusual toppings aren’t for everyone, they are definitely something different – and give chefs the opportunity to get creative in the kitchen.
Buffalo Style Pizza
Miami Style Pizza
Calabrian Style Pizza
New Haven Style Pizza
The dough for New Haven style pizza is fermented, proofed overnight, and then baked in a coal oven with tomato sauce (and cheese, if you request it). You can also choose a white clam style pizza if you are into seafood. While it may appear to be burnt if you aren’t familiar with this pizza, it has legions of followers throughout New England.
Favorite and Unique Pizza Toppings
- Pineapple (controversial, yet delicious)
- Chicken Tikka Masala
- Goat cheese
- Caramelized onions
- Tandoori chicken
- Black olives
- Green pepper
- Barbeque chicken
- Sweet onions
- Fresh basil
- Garlic and olive oil (for a white pizza)
- Canadian bacon
- Hot sauce
- Balsamic vinegar reduction
- Ground beef
- Ricotta cheese
- Banana peppers
- Thai sweet chili sauce
- Shredded brussels sprouts
- Jalapeno peppers
- Thinly-sliced potato
- Zucchini or squash
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Roasted red peppers
- Taco meat and fixings
- Feta cheese
These toppings can be offered individually, or you can come up with your own specialty pizzas. Whether you decide to stick with the classics or go out on a culinary limb, your customers will appreciate your dedication to delicious, high-quality pizza.
Help Your Pizza Shop Thrive with Budget Branders
At Budget Branders, we aim to help pizzerias stand apart from competitors with high-quality, custom disposable products. Our products are affordable, and available in quantities that are manageable for an independently owned and operated pizza shop. Whether you want custom napkins, plastic cups, or wax deli paper, we have the products that you need at prices that work for you.
Custom-printed disposable products are a simple way to boost your restaurant’s marketing efforts. If you want to learn more, fill out a contact form or send us a quote request for one or more of our products. Have questions? Simply press the live chat button to get started.