Pizza is one of the most popular foods in the U.S. Since the first pizzeria opened in 1905, Americans have been fans of this popular dish. There are now over 70,000 pizzerias in the country. Some of these are chain restaurants, and some are small businesses. As pizza has increased in popularity within the United States, some regions have put their own spin on the dish. There are several well-known regional pizza styles, each with its own fans who claim their choice is the best.
The first pizzeria in the U.S. opened in New York City’s Little Italy in 1905. Although the pizza was created to help homesick Italian immigrants feel more at home, the pizza differs in style from the Neapolitan pizza found in Italy.
New York-style pizza has a crispy crust, especially the bottom. This comes from the way it is cooked in gas or coal ovens. It is also topped with shredded or sliced mozzarella. The amount of cheese used on New York-style pizzas would shock most visitors from Italy; their pizzas are much less cheesy.
One characteristic that New York-style fans rave about is the ability to fold the slice in half lengthwise, making it easier and cleaner to eat. This is a true test for any pizzeria quality in New York.
Chicago’s deep-dish pizza is one of the most well-known, well-loved, and also most decisive pizza styles. Unlike New York’s love for mess-free slices, the deep-dish pizza is almost guaranteed to make a mess. It begins, like most pizzas with a crust. The difference is that instead of a flat crust, the deep-dish crust is set in a round, deep pan. The next layer of the pizza is the cheese. Then vegetables, meats, and other traditional “toppings” are added, and the pizza is topped with a layer of tomato sauce.
The first restaurant thought to serve this pizza style was a local Chicago pizzeria, Pizzeria Uno in about 1943. The dish was so successful that the restaurant became a popular national chain, Uno Pizzeria & Grill.
Detroit-style pizza began in 1946. It is similar to Chicago’s deep-dish style although there are some important differences. To begin, the dough is added to a pan that is just a couple of inches deep. On top of the dough is a layer of pepperoni slices. This is followed by an ingredient unique to Detroit-style pizzas. Instead of mozzarella which is typically used for pizza cheese, Detroit-style pizzas use sharp cheese more popular in the midwest. This is all topped with three large stripes of tomato sauce. The pizza is then cut into triangles instead of the more traditional wedge slices.
Although this pizza has been wildly popular in its home city for many years, it did not have much national recognition until recently. In 2012, a Detroit pizza maker won the Las Vegas International Pizza Expo. As a result, the style has become more well-known and is emulated in pizzerias around the country.
|Alabama||Slice Stone Pizza and Brew|
|Alaska||Moose’s Tooth Pub and Pizzeria|
|California||Cheese Board Pizza|
|Colorado||Blue Pan Pizza|
|Connecticut||Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana|
|Georgia||Antico Pizza Napoletana|
|Hawaii||Sophie’s Gourmet Hawaiian Pizzeria|
|Indiana||Jockamo Upper Crust Pizza|
|Iowa||Great Plains Sauce & Dough Co.|
|Maryland||Joe Squared Pizza|
|Michigan||Licari’s Sicilian Pizza Kitchen|
|Nebraska||Yiayia’s Pizza and Beer|
|New Hampshire||Alley Cat Pizzeria|
|New Jersey||Brooklyn Square Pizza|
|New Mexico||Giovanni’s Pizza|
|New York||Grimaldi’s Pizzeria|
|North Carolina||Lilly’s Pizza|
|North Dakota||Blackbird Woodfire|
|Oklahoma||Empire Slice House|
|Pennsylvania||Earth Bread + Brewery|
|Rhode Island||D. Palmieri’s Bakery|
|South Carolina||Village Idiot|
|South Dakota||Dough Trader Pizza Company|
|Tennessee||Big Ed’s Pizza|
|Texas||Big Lou’s Pizza|
|Virginia||Bottoms Up Pizza|
|West Virginia||Backyard Pizza and Raw Bar|
|Wisconsin||Harry’s Prohibition Bistro|
|Wyoming||Pinky G’s Pizzeria|