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USA Pizza Styles – The A-Z Guide

pizza styles, wood-fired ovens recipes and more by Belforno

a-z pizza styles

We’ve scoured the web to put together the most comprehensive list of pizza styles found in the USA. From your traditional Neapolitan wood-fired affair to the Stuffed, Deep Dish Pies of Chicago, everyone has their favorite in a country obsessed with pizza.

Bar Pizza (Tavern Pizza):

Thin, cracker-like oily crust that’s cooked in a shallow pan. Cheese covers the crust to form a crispy edge. Around 10” diameter, this pizza is common in bars in the Boston and Chicago areas.

California-Style Pizza:

This pie is known for using non-Italian toppings and fresh produce.

Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza:

Thick, moist crust baked in a deep-dish pan. A chunky sauce is added on top of the cheese and toppings and finished with more cheese. The toppings are more like fillings and this casserole style pie is eaten with a knife and fork.

Chicago Thin Crust Pizza:

Pastry-like crust, reminiscent of the bar pizza. Smooth, highly seasoned sauce with toppings under mozzarella cheese. A round pizza cut into a grid of squares.

D.C. Jumbo Slice:

A common style found in Washington that is defined by the oversized slice.

Detroit-Style Pizza:

Square with a thick, deep-dish crust. Common toppings are olives and pepperoni and the sauce is served on top.  The square shape originates from an early tradition of cooking pies in the metal trays originally used to hold small automotive parts in factories.

French Bread Pizza:

Half pizza half sandwich known as “Poor Man’s Pizza”.  Made using a third of a French loaf, cut and spread with pizza sauce and mozzarella and baked until crisp.

Grandma Pizza:

A thin, square pizza with cheese and tomatoes. Made popular on Long Island by Italian housewives who cooked it at home.

Greek Pizza:

Made in pizzerias owned by Greek immigrants. A thicker, chewier crust baked in a pan in a pizza oven. Olive oil is used to grease the pan and top the pizza. Typical Greek toppings include feta cheese, Kalamata olives and oregano.

Grilled Pizza:

Invented in Providence, Rhode Island. A thin crust which is cooked quickly, directly on the grate of a grill then flipped and topped with sauce and thinly sliced toppings.

Italian Bakery-Style Pizza:

Baked in Italian bakeries. Blends elements of Grandma and Sicilian pizza styles. Square and cooked in large sheet pans then cut into rectangular pieces. Varies from one bakery to the next.

Midwest-Style Pizza:

Round or oval shaped. Thin, very crisp and flakey crust. Cut into a grid rather than wedges. Toppings vary from region to region. The Chicago thin based pizza is a variation of the Midwest-style pizza

Neapolitan Style Pizza:

Small, 10” pizza with a puffed cornicone, made in a wood-fired oven. Uses only the freshest ingredients. The Marghertita is made with fresh sauce made from San Marzano tomatoes, fresh buffalo mozzarella or fior delatte and basil.

Download the Perfect Neapolitan Pizza Recipe

New York Neapolian:

The evolution of the traditional Neapolitan, this style is larger, thinner and more crisp.


A style of pizza fritta made from Neapolitan dough that is deep fried. Finished in a wood-fired oven and traditionally using Parmesan or Romano cheese.

New Haven-Style Pizza (Apizza):

Popular in Connecticut. Thin, dark, scorched crust with tomato sauce and grated Romano cheese. Mozarella can be added but is regarded as a topping.

New York-Style Pizza:

Developed my immigrants from Naples, Italy. A larger Neapolitan style, sold in generous slices. Thin and flexible crust topped with marinara sauce and cheese. Slices eaten folded in half.

Ohio Valley-Style Pizza:

A square pizza cooked in a pan and cut into squares. Focaccia bread crust with chunky stewed tomatoes as a sauce. Cheese not completely melted. Toppings are added after the base is cooked and then cooked again. Sold by the slice.

Old Forge-Style Pizza:

Variety of pizza from Pennsylvania. Square with a thick crust. Sauce includes onions and is sweeter than traditional sauce. Often uses American and cheddar cheeses.

Philadelphia Tomato Pie:  

Stretched and baked into sheet pans. Thick, bready crust. Thick, heavy and well-seasoned sauce. No cheese or toppings other than grated Romano or Parmesan.

Pizza Bianca:

Similar in appearance to focaccia. Thin crisp and chewy.  Drizzled with olive sprinkled with sea salt and baked right on the oven floor. Toppings are used sparingly.

Pizza Di Sfrigole:

Lard, flour and salt well kneaded with bits of cured ham incorporated. Flaky, almost pastry like crust.

Quad City-Style Pizza:

Originates from the Quad Cities. Thin crusted dough with a toasted, nutty flavor. Smooth, thin spicy sauce with chili and cayenne. Spread with ground Italian sausage.

Roman Pizza al Taglio (pizza al metro):

Long rectangular pizza sold by weight with portions cut using scissors. Thicker and softer than Bianca with more toppings.


Pizza without sauce similar to focaccia. Schiacciata means “squashed” or “flattened down”. The bread can be baked plain, and then sliced in half, filled, and baked again.


A traditional Sicilian-style square slice. A tall and spongy crust that’s crisp and olive-oil soaked at the base. Thick tomato sauce made with anchovies and onions. Grated caciocavallo (hard sheep’s cheese) but no mozzarella.

Sicilian Pizza:

A square pie with a thick crust derived from Sfincione. Popular in the Northeast, Metro Detroit, and Portland, Oregon.

St. Louis-Style Pizza:

Thin, round, crunchy crust. Provel cheese instead of mozzarella. Toppings are sliced instead of diced. Cut into small squares.

Stuffed Pizza:

A Chicago style similar to deep dish but taller. An additional top layer of crust covers a generous filling of toppings.

Tomato Pie:

Square, thick-crust pizza similar to Sfincione with a chunky tomato sauce and pecorino romano cheese.

Trenton Tomato Pie (Upside Down Pizza):

Round pie popular in Trenton, New Jersey. Dough is topped with cheese, then toppings and sauce last, similar to the grandma and Detroit-style pizzas.

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