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Is Chicago-Style Pizza Better Than St. Louis-Style Pizza?


If you’re a true pizza connoisseur, you know that not all pizzas are created equally. Pizzas around the country showcase the area’s culinary culture, from Chicago’s generous portions of mozzarella cheese and sauce to St. Louis-style pizza’s thin, crispy crust and Provel cheese blend. Some people prefer the indulgent nature of Chicago-style pizza, while others prefer the St. Louis-style pizza’s lighter, crispy texture.

While both pizza styles have roots in Italy, each has a distinct flair. St. Louis-style pizza is better, as far as we’re concerned, but we at Dogtown Pizza are obviously biased. Still, when it comes to pizza, the choice is yours! Let’s compare.

Italian Pizza Styles

Italy is the pizza capital of the world. This food staple dates back to the 18th century. There are two main types: Sicilian and Neapolitan. Sicilian pizza crust is a mixture of olive oil, water, flour, and yeast. After the dough rises, it’s pressed into a square baking pan. The spongy dough becomes crisp as it bakes and soaks up the olive oil, creating a crispy bottom and a soft and spongy middle.

Neapolitan-style pizza is simple. It features a dough made with refined Italian wheat flour, fresh brewer’s yeast, water, and salt, which becomes a thin, crisp, and chewy crust when baked. The most authentic version is topped with fresh basil, fresh San Marzano tomatoes, and extra-virgin olive oil. Another classic uses a marinara of oregano, garlic, olive oil, and pureed San Marzano tomatoes.

Pizzas Around the Country

pizza-around-the-countryEvery region has its own type of pizza, usually featuring a specific kind of crust and local ingredients. New York is the official birthplace of the American pizza restaurant. A New York-style pizza is hand-tossed and offers large, floppy slices. While the crust is thin, it’s not as thin as the Neapolitan-style it mimics.

New Haven-style pizza, with smaller slices, looks a lot like its New York counterpart. The dough ferments overnight, making it more relaxed and stretchy. The finished crust is thinner and crispier than the New York-style pizza. It features sauce and no cheese or a light dusting of pecorino romano. Another defining feature is its charred edges.

Detroit-style pizza is rectangular, with tomato sauce slathered on a focaccia-like crust. The crust is thick but light, with toppings pressed into the dough, sprinkled with cheese, and topped with sauce to prevent it from becoming soggy.

California is a melting pot. Much of the region’s pizza, such as the Thai chicken pizza, can only be called fusion. There isn’t a specific dough, crust, or way of cutting the pizza, either. California-style pizza is about seasonality and local produce, with toppings like house-made sausage and goat cheese.

Chicago vs. St. Louis Pizza 

Pizzas around the country are typically spin-offs of the Neapolitan or Sicilian styles. Either way, the crust is a pizza’s foundation. If you’re looking for a thicker crust and layers of mozzarella cheese slathered in sauce and toppings, you’re looking for a Chicago-style pizza.

Unlike traditional Sicilian-style pizzas, the cheese takes center stage. Chicago-style pizza is typically made with mozzarella cheese layered beneath the sauce to keep the dough from getting soggy. Additional ingredients might include sautéed onions, anchovies, tomatoes, sausage, oregano, and spices.

On the other hand, St. Louis-style pizzas showcase the artistry of simplicity. They mimic a Neapolitan-style pizza with a cracker-thin crust. St. Louis-style pizza is also cut into square pieces, a nod to its culinary roots. This pizza style adds a one-of-a-kind cheese blend with a light layer of sauce to underpin the flavor.

Provel Cheese Blend: Distinctly St. Louis

Provel cheese is unique to St. Louis pizza and is a big part of the city’s culinary identity. This combination of provolone, cheddar, and Swiss cheeses has a smooth, creamy texture and a slightly tangy taste. Its unique flavor profile and melting properties give it a distinctive taste and texture. It forms a deliciously gooey layer.

While its origins are up for debate, Provel cheese gained prominence in the mid-20th century as a key ingredient in creating St. Louis-style pizza. This cheese blend can also be found in regional dishes, such as toasted ravioli and cheese bread. Its versatility and melting capabilities make it a favorite ingredient in many St. Louis kitchens. Classic toppings like sausage, pepperoni, and vegetables enhance the flavor and texture of the pizza’s cheese and crust, creating a truly unique, specifically St. Louis-style taste.

Hand-Made From Scratch

Dogtown pizzas are not just frozen pizzas. They are the freshest, highest-quality frozen pizzas available in the St. Louis and surrounding areas. From their cracker-thin crust and proprietary Provel blend to the sauce with fresh basil, aromatic oregano, and a bit of red pepper. We top our St. Louis-style pizza with fresh veggies like onions, peppers, mushrooms, and tomatoes.

We source our meats from local family-owned farms and businesses, using only ethically sourced meats. Our classic pepperoni pizza boasts 35 pieces of pepperoni, and we add sweet, tangy pepperoncini peppers to the classic if you want to level up. Italian salsiccia, crispy cooked bacon with mushrooms, and sweet yellow onion make up our deluxe pizza. Our tangy Provel blend with sweet red onion, bell peppers, and mushrooms tops the veggie lovers’ list.

The Final Call

Pizzas around the country differ, but it often comes down to a thick or thin crust and the cheese you like. So, the question remains, “Is Chicago-style pizza better than St. Louis-style pizza?” The answer is yes if you like piles of cheese sauce and plenty of toppings. (Or if you’re in Chicago).

St. Louis is the only place you can find Dogtown Pizza, making it a unique and special treat for those who live here or visit. Why would you pass up made-from-scratch St. Louis-style pizza dough with its crispy texture? If you’re a pizza lover in the St. Louis area looking for high-quality, convenient frozen pizzas, you’re in luck. Drop by Dogtown Pizza and experience the taste of St. Louis.

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