What’s the Difference Between New York, Chicago and California-style Pizza?

Where can you find the world’s best pizza?

The answer depends on not only who you ask, but where you’re standing. From New York to Chicago to California, there’s a major battle being fought over what region is home to the ultimate pizza pie. Let’s take a cross-country trip and attempt to answer the burning question: What’s the difference between New York, Chicago and California-style pizza?

New York-style Pizza

With its thin crust and wide, foldable slices, you can spot the New York-style pizza from a mile away. Originally derived from the Neapolitan-style pizza made famous in Italy, this iconic take on the classic pie is thick in all the right places and has just enough dough to keep the toppings stable. The oversized slices are designed to be folded, not only giving the toppings some much-needed support, but also offering a unique visual that is immediately recognizable. And it’s not just the giant slices that will grab your attention, but also the mouth-watering taste that you can only find in a New York-style pizza.

Chicago-style Pizza

In contrast to New York’s oversized take, the Chicago-style pizza is a smaller pie with a much thicker crust. At first glance, the deep-dish design looks more like a pie than a traditional pizza. But all it takes is one bite to win you over, thanks to a unique cooking technique that sees the pie baked in a round, steel pan. This allows the chef to pack layer after of delicious layer of meats, vegetables and cheeses, giving pizza-lovers from around the world the kind of hearty treat that could only come from the Windy City.  

California-style Pizza

While New York and Chicago fight over pizza dominance, California has been quietly crafting their own unique spin on the pie. A mix-and-match of other popular styles, this West Coast take combines the New York-style thin crust with a healthy variety of creative toppings, such as artichoke hearts, avocado and goat cheese. This is a more upscale pizza that’s often made with the freshest, locally-sourced ingredients. While not as iconic as what you find in New York and Chicago, this California original is known for being innovative and not afraid to take chances. That’s why this irresistible pie can be found everywhere from the California Pizza Kitchen to Spago.