Popular Styles of Pizza Explained

Image of authentic Italian Pizza from Ironside Pizza Miami.

When you arrive at an Italian restaurant or pizza shop, you may be a bit overwhelmed by all the options that are available. You may have thought that there was only one style of pizza and a few toppings. However, the innovations being developed continue to change this favorite cuisine all the time. Here is a brief overview of the various styles of pizza available and how to order pizza with all the new possibilities that are available to today’s diners.

Styles of Pizza

Chicago– also known as deep-dish, Pizzeria Uno of Chicago created this thick crust favorite in 1943. The toppings of a traditional Chicago-style pizza are found underneath a layer of chunky tomato sauce, which is different from other styles. The traditional Chicago-style pizza toppings include ground beef, sausage, pepperoni, onions, mushrooms, and green peppers.

New York Style– similar to Neapolitan pizza, NY pizza has a thin crust but thick enough that eaters can fold it in half, which is one of the trademarks. Another aspect, that many people believe, that makes this pizza so good is the minerals in the water of NY that gives the dough its amazing taste. There are no “classic” topping variations associated with this style, so go wild with your choices.

Sicilian– this thick, square crust style of pizza may get confused with the Chicago variation, but the crust is significantly spongier and has to be square. A traditional Sicilian style pizza is topped with a tomato sauce, onions, herbs and anchovies and then covered in breadcrumbs. However, you can order just about any topping your heart desires.

Greek– despite being named after the country, it has no origins there. Greek immigrants that came to America were introduced to Italian pizza and developed this style of pizza. Supporting a puffier, chewier crust that falls somewhere between thin and thick, a blend of mozzarella and cheddar cheese and uses a tangy tomato paste that has a heavy oregano flavor.

California– while it doesn’t have a special crust like the others mentioned above, California-style pizzas are know for their unique and unusual topping combinations. Chef Ed LaDou came up with over 250 unique recipes while the head pizza chef for Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant and eventually created the California Pizza Kitchen chain. There are no limits to this style of pizza from thick or thin crust; sauces like tomato, Alfredo, barbeque and pesto; and cheeses like ricotta, mozzarella, or Parmesan.

Tomato Pie– this style was derived from the Sicilian pizza and features thick, square-cut and crispy focaccia dough that is smothered in a sweet and tangy tomato sauce. Traditionally, the only other thing added to this simple style is a sprinkling of Parmesan.  

Neapolitan Pizza– there are some strict specifications that restaurants must follow when creating and selling authentic, ultra-thin crust Neapolitan pizzas. There are three official variants of this style of pizza –

  • Pizza Marinara- tomatoes, garlic, oregano, and extra virgin olive oil.
  • Pizza Margherita- tomatoes, sliced mozzarella, basil, and extra virgin olive oil.
  • Pizza Margherita extra- tomatoes, mozzarella from Campania, basil and extra virgin olive oil.

Other Popular Variations-

  • Romana- anchovies, capers, olives, oregano, tomato, mozzarella fiordilatte.
  • Regina- cherry tomato, arugula, parmigiano, prosciutto crudo, mozzarella fiordilatte.

Calzone, Pizza’s Cousin– it is human nature to turn something that was already great into something of perfection. The calzone is a very close relative of traditional pizza, considering it basically is just a pizza folded in half. Here are a few of the most popular calzone variants:

  • Calzone Napoli- tomato, ricotta, provola, salami, black pepper
  • Calzone di Casa- basil, mushrooms, olives, eggplant, red pepper, zucchini, tomato, mozzarella.
  • Calzone Parma Cotto- parma cotto, mushrooms, tomato, mozzarella.

You can find these popular styles of Neapolitan pizza, calzones and so much more at Ironside Pizza in Miami. Offering gluten free crust option for all pizzas and even vegan mozzarella cheese, there is a pizza on the menu that everyone will enjoy! For the best pizza in Miami, check out Ironside Pizza’s menu.

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