Man, there are a lot of pizza varieties out there! With a food so universally beloved as pizza, it only makes sense that everyone and their grandmother would have their very own style of pizza-making. You likely haven’t tried them all or even heard of them all, which is why we have compiled a list of the top ten classic pizza varieties.
Trust us, whichever one you choose to have for dinner tonight, you won’t be disappointed.
Is this cheating a bit? Perhaps. Is a calzone technically considered pizza? Who knows, and who cares?
Calzones are delicious, and they certainly deserve a spot on this list. However, we did have to give it the bottom spot, since some may argue that it really isn’t even pizza. But come on. It’s dough, cheese, tomato sauce, and cured meats. Sounds like pizza to us!
The only difference is that the goodness comes from within. Don’t judge a book by its cover, people!
Calzones originated in the 18th century in Naples, so they have quite the long history. If you’ve never tried a calzone before, you are doing yourself a massive disservice. It’s basically pizza folded in on itself and baked in the oven. What can possibly go wrong?
9.) Greek-style pizza
Greek-style pizza is unique, because the dough is proofed beforehand, and the pizza itself is cooked in a shallow metal pan. This gives the crust a spongy, airy, and light consistency that is fairly similar to focaccia but not as thick. Compared to other pizzas, greek-style pizza crust is pretty oily, because the pan it is baked in is typically coated with olive oil.
Despite its unorthodox baking method, greek-style pizza is certainly delicious enough to make it onto this list. It was invented by a Greek chef in Connecticut in 1954, and, to this day, a high percentage of pizzerias in Connecticut serve Greek-style pizzas. If you want to give it a try, you better take a trip to New England.
8.) Sicilian-style pizza
What Americans refer to as Sicilian-style pizza is a very bready, focaccia-esque delicacy. It first became popular in western Sicily in the 19th century as a modified version of traditional Sicilian focaccia. This modification is called sfincione, which roughly translates to “thick sponge.” Yum?
In all seriousness, sfincione is ultra delicious. It’s characterized by its thick, bready crust, and it is topped with tomatoes, caramelized onions, anchovies, bread crumbs, and grated parmesan cheese. In America, “traditional” Sicilian pizza is a bruschetta-like slice of thick, fluffy bread topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and other ingredients.
7.) California-style pizza
This style of pizza is unique to California pizza kitchens, thanks to the wide variety of fresh produce that can be found in the Golden State. California-style pizza combines thin crust with the traditional cuisine that can be found on the United States’ west coast.
The invention of California-style pizza is typically credited to restaurateurs Ed LaDou and Alice Waters, who were encouraged to experiment with pizza styles back in the 1980s. So yeah, compared to some of these other pizza styles, California pizza is still a baby! Well, a forty-year-old baby at least.
Typical Californian pizza toppings include arugula, avocado, chicken, goat cheese, pesto, red onion, and smoked salmon. Yum.
Recommended Read 4 Different Pizza Styles in America
6.) Detroit-style pizza
Detroit-style pizza is known for its rectangular shape and very thick crust. Whereas other pizzas opt for a circular formation, Detroit pizza strives to be different. And we like different! Detroit-style pizza is one of the best types of pizza money can buy, and it is, without question, the number one option for filling an empty stomach.
Rest assured… you’ll be snoozing after eating one of these, that’s for sure!
The unique shape of this type of pizza is the result of being baked in industrial trays that were used to hold small parts and tools in auto shops. What you end up with is a thick pizza that’s crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Next time you’re in Detroit, Michigan, make sure to try out one of these bad boys (see what we did there, Pistons-fans?).
5.) New York-style pizza
Even if you’ve never had New York-style pizza (what’s wrong with you?!), you’d likely recognize it anywhere. This is the stereotypical pizza slice served on a paper plate sold to on-the-move New Yorkers from a packed little pizza shop on the corner of the street. If you’ve been to New York, you’ve definitely seen these, and, heck, you’ve probably seen it in the movies too!
New York pizza is easily recognizable, thanks to its comically large size and hand-tossed crust. Often topped with crushed tomatoes, lightly-seasoned sauce, and mozzarella cheese, this za is sold all over New York, often for a dollar per slice. Now, that’s a steal!
4.) Roman-style pizza
More commonly referred to as Pizza al Taglio (which translates to “by the cut”) or simply Italian pizza, this traditional pizza style is, in some ways, the precursor to New York-style pizza. It’s typically sold by the slice to busy Italians in small pizza shops. However, Pizza al Taglio did it first, so we’re putting it higher on the list.
Roman pizza is typically sold in square-shaped slices. The crust is light and fluffy, and the toppings are fairly minimalistic as well. It’s perfect for a quick, delicious snack on the go. Unfortunately, you might have to visit Rome if you want to give it a try!
3.) Chicago-style pizza
While Chicago is known for a couple of different styles of pizza (including thin-crust pizza), you already know what we’re really talking about when we say “Chicago-style pizza.”
That’s right. Deep-dish pizza!
Earlier we said that Detroit pizza was the primo option for filling empty bellies, but one could argue that this is the true choice. However, we think that a Chicago-style deep-dish pizza is really more of a team-effort than a one-man endeavor. You’re not eating this one by yourself (and if you do, then you must be some kind of superhuman…).
Claimed to have been invented in Chicago by Pizzeria Uno in 1943, deep-dish Chicago pizza is known for its deeeeeep pie-like crust and loads of cheese, tomato sauce, and pizza toppings. These guys take a long time to bake, so set aside an evening and grab a couple of friends. If you mess with this bull by yourself, you’re gonna get the horns (see what we did there, again?).
2.) Neapolitan-style pizza
Neapolitan pizza is basically the grandfather of all other pizza varieties. Just like calzones, the origins of classic Neapolitan pizza can be traced back to the 18th century in Naples. So, maybe that makes Neapolitan pizza and calzones cousins…? Look, we’re trying.
In any case, you can’t get any more traditional than this, and you’d be hard-pressed to find anything more delicious. Neapolitan pizza is extremely popular amongst street-vendors, and it is well-known for it’s charred crust, which is a result of being baked in a wood-fired oven. This practice gives Neapolitan pizza a very distinct flavor that is hard to find anywhere else.
However, the guidelines for what exactly classifies as a Neapolitan-style pizza are quite fastidious! For one, it has to be wood-fired. If it’s not, then it’s not Neapolitan.
The ingredients used are also pretty picky (to say the least). It can only be made with Roma or San Marzano tomatoes, which are grown on the volcanic plains near Mount Vesuvius, and the only cheese that can be used is Mozzarella di Bufala Campana. This cheese can only be made from the milk of water buffalo that are raised in the marshlands near Campania and Lazio.
So yeah, like we said, stingy! Getting your hands on some authentic Neapolitan pizza might be a little tricky, but there are options throughout the U.S. that are close enough to the real thing.
Recommended Read A Brief History of Cheese
1.) St. Louis-style pizza
Yeah, you probably saw this one coming.
We make St. Louis-style pizza! How could it not be our number one pick? Sure, we may be a little biased, but there’s no denying that St. Louis-style pizza is delicious enough to warrant the top-spot. Plus, it truly is one of the most unique styles of pizza you can find in the United States.
St. Louis-style pizza is instantly recognizable, thanks to its crispy, wafer-thin crust. Because of its brittle nature, St. Louis-style pizza is traditionally cut into squares, as opposed to triangles (that’s okay, you can cut it into triangles if you want! We won’t judge… out loud).
Most importantly, this style of pizza is made with Provel, a type of cheese that is very prevalent in St. Louis cuisine. Legends have it that Provel was invented specifically for St. Louis-style pizza, but we can neither confirm nor deny that.
What we can confirm, however, is that Dogtown Pizza offers the best St. Louis-style pizza that money can buy. Whether it’s a classic Cheese Pizza, 4 Meat, or our special Tomato Basil Garlic, our frozen pizzas will have you heading back to the grocery store for more!