New Yorkers claim that the thin crust pizza pie is the only way to enjoy this Italian favorite, while Chicago foodies insist that deep dish is the way to go. If you’ve been baffled by ordering pizza that’s either made Chicago style or offered as a taste of New York, fret no more. Here are the eight key differences between the two styles:
1. The Crust: New York pizza is made with a thin and crispy crust. The classic New York style is topped with a thin layer of tomato sauce, cheese and toppings and the crust is crisp in the center and chewy around the edge. Chicago style pizza, especially the deep dish variation, may have a thick and crumbly crust with a few inches of tomato sauce and toppings.
2. Foldability: New York pizza is designed to fold into a ‘pizza sandwich.’ Ideal for cab drivers, travelers, and other city trekkers where food on the go–with minimal fuss–is a top priority. Chicago style pizza, on the other hand, may require a knife and fork.
3. The Crust to Cheese Ratio: New York style pizza contains minimal crust with more focus on the cheese (stringy mozzarella seems to be a winner), while the Chicago style pizza doubles up on both crust, cheese, and toppings.
4. Oil Content: New York style pizza has become famous for its oil-dripping value; authentic New York pizza slices often feature a ‘pool’ of oil on the top of each slice, whereas the Chicago style pizza’s oil content is distributed within.
5. Cut and Serving Style: New York style pizza can be cut in the traditional triangle or a grid to offer pizza squares. The thin crust makes it easy to cut completely across the pie into a square-like pattern, whereas the Chicago deep dish sticks with the standard.
6. Topping Density: Toppings on the New York style pizza are limited to cheese, a thin layer of zesty tomato sauce, and a scattering of toppings. Chicago style pizza, especially the 4″ deep dish styles, offer layer up on layer of rich toppings on top of a dense crust.
7. Type of Dough: Chicago style pizza dough can be both thick and chewy, or crumbly with the addition of butter and oil for a shortbread-like texture on the deep dish pie. New York Style pizza makes use of a basic oil, flour, and yeast mixture that can be chewy but never doughy; the very thin crust versions can also be crispy.
8. Chew Factor: New York Style pizza can be eaten on the go, both as a snack and a meal. The thin crust that folds over makes the perfect sandwich, and it’s a quick bite for a busy day. Chicago style pizza is the sit-down pizza; rich, heavy, and dense, it’s rare to find this one eaten in a New York minute.