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Why St. Louis-Style Pizza Is a Must-Try for Pizza Lovers

st. louis-style pizza

Is there any food group with more variations than pizza? We certainly don’t think so! Pizza varieties are often primarily identified by their crusts, ranging in thickness from thick-thick Chicago deep dish to thin-thick Sicilian pizza to thin crust Tavern style pizza and beyond!

When it comes to your Pizza Bucket List, we’d like to take this moment to draw your attention to St. Louis-style pizza, a truly unique and must-try variation on this iconic food. It’s unlike any other pizza you’ve had before, and we’re not just saying that because it’s our favorite!

Keep reading to explore why Dogtown Pizza’s St. Louis-style pizza is an unmissable treat for all pizza aficionados!

The Unique Characteristics of St. Louis-Style Pizza

What do you think of when you imagine unique pizza styles? It probably starts with a doughy crust and mozzarella and is cut into triangles, right? Perfect, now wipe that from your mind and start over because that’s not St. Louis-style pizza!

Instead, St. Louis-style pizza is known for all the ways it refuses to be put into that same (pizza) box. Its crust is thin-thin, its cheese is a secret blend often unique to the shop it’s from, and its sauce is truly something else! Don’t even mention the edge-to-edge toppings; you’ll get those without even asking.

Exploring the Thin Crust Phenomenon

St. Louis-style pizza crust is for people who look at New York pizza crust, Chicago thin crust, and New England tavern-style pizza crust and then decide that all those other pizza crusts are far too thick.

For those who prefer thin and crispy pizza crust, St. Louis-style pizza is the platonic ideal of thin crust pizza! It’s made from a few simple ingredients, along with using a dough press set to 11, resulting in an ultra-thin, cracker-like crust.

The Signature Provel Cheese Blend

Imagine combining provolone, white cheddar, and Swiss cheese, then adding a hint of liquid smoke. That’s Provel cheese, and that’s what gives St. Louis-style pizza its iconically gooey cheese without the stringy, messy cheese-pulls.

Compared to more traditional mozzarella, Provel cheese is smokier, gooier, and totally worth burning your mouth on when it’s fresh out of the oven and lava hot. The best part? Its texture won’t change if you fridge and reheat it: your leftover morning pizza slices for breakfast will finally be just as good as your freshly baked pizza dinner slices the night before.

Specially Prepared Tomato Sauce

St. Louis-style pizza sauce is made by slow cooking it’s a red sauce to perfection until it’s not too thick and not too thin. The flavor is sweet (but not too sweet) and enhanced with a special blend of seasonings. While we’re not in a rush to give up all the secrets in our sauce recipe, we’ll tell you oregano is kind of a big part of it.

st. louis pizza

The History and Origins of St. Louis-Style Pizza

While pizza was first brought to America by Italian immigrants, with pizza restaurants moving into cities across the country as Italian Americans moved there for factory jobs, pizza’s mainstream popularity increased after World War II when soldiers returned home after enjoying pizza in Italy.

Pizza’s popularity increased across the country because pizza is a perfect food, and anyone who tries it instinctively knows it, just like the people of St. Louis did when they tried it.

Roots in the Gateway City

St. Louis’ first pizza parlor wasn’t originally a pizza parlor; it was Melrose Café (later Melrose Café & Pizzeria), opened in 1945 by a second-generation Italian American opera singer named Amadeo Fiore who had initially moved to St. Louis from Chicago to sing with The Muny Opera Theatre.

Pizza was added to the menu after a hotel manager and friend of Fiore told him hotel guests from New York and Chicago were asking where to get pizza pie in St. Louis. Fiore was happy to make that happen, and his pizza—along with his savvy marketing decisions—set the stage for the St. Louis-style pizza we know today!

Cultural Influences and Evolution

Fiore’s original pizza was made in the Neapolitan style with a thin, yeasted dough topped with tomato sauce, provolone cheese, and limited topping choices like anchovies and olives. This prototype of what would eventually become St. Louis-style pizza was cut into squares with shears, the way pizza was cut in Italy.

After Fiore gained more recognition by way of a newspaper feature about his pizza, other Italian Americans opened pizza shops in St. Louis serving the same style of pizza. That was no accident: Fiore trained some of them himself!

St. Louis-Style Pizza vs. Other Pizza Styles

St. Louis-style pizza’s crust is thinner and sturdier than any other style of pizza, and its cracker-like texture helps hold far more toppings than other thin-crust pizzas. The Provel cheese is much gooier and smokier than the typical mozzarella or mozzarella-provolone blend used by other styles of pizza. Its sauce and the traditional toppings are uniquely St. Louis-style and perfectly complement the style of crust and sauce, unlike other pizzas that weren’t made with the same considerations.

From the crust to the cheese to the sauce to the toppings, St. Louis-style pizza is a unique and essential experience for pizza lovers everywhere. This is one style of pizza that truly deserves its place on your Pizza Bucket List!

The best way to explore this style is by visiting St. Louis, where you can sample our most iconic contribution to pizza history! If you won’t be out this way anytime soon, try making a St. Louis-style pizza recipe yourself at home. Just don’t blame us if it’s so good you start making plans to visit so you can try it locally!

Toppings and Variations: Customizing Your St. Louis-Style Pizza

When it comes to toppings, the only real rule is the toppings go all the way from edge to edge. If some toppings don’t fall off in the oven as a necessary sacrifice in the name of topping your pizza properly, something has gone wrong.

Cheese and pepperoni are go-to classic options, especially for kids or picky eaters. But if you’re going to get a St. Louis-style pizza, at least half the point is loading it up with more toppings than that.

An especially favored combination on St. Louis-style pizza is sausage, bacon, bell peppers, and onions. We call this “The Works.” The best part about it is the crisp bacon is almost as crisp as the crust!

Here at Dogtown Pizza, we’re no strangers to flavorful experimentation and we encourage you to try new things, especially when it comes to your pizza! Keep St. Louis-style pizza’s essence in mind when you choose your toppings and follow your inspiration to a new delicious flavor experience!

Discover the Unique Taste of Dogtown Pizza’s St. Louis-Style Pizza

At Dogtown Pizza, our St. Louis-style pizzas are a culinary masterpiece, combining crispy crusts, fresh, all-natural ingredients, and a variety of mouth-watering flavors. Whether you’re a fan of classic cheese and pepperoni or looking to explore unique offerings like Hot Chicken and Tomato Basil Garlic, we have something to tantalize your taste buds.

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