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Chicago vs New York Pizza: What’s the Difference?

Summary of key points

The debate between Chicago and New York pizza has been ongoing for years. The primary difference between the two is the crust. Chicago-style pizza, also known as deep-dish, features a thick, flaky crust that is often topped with cheese, sauce, and toppings in layers. New York-style pizza has a thin, crispy crust that can be folded in half to eat. The toppings are often spread evenly on top of the pizza, and the slices are larger than Chicago-style. Both styles have their own unique taste and loyal followers, but ultimately it comes down to personal preference. Whether you prefer a hearty deep-dish or a classic thin-crust, there’s no denying that both cities have perfected their own delicious versions of pizza.

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a heated debate about pizza? Not just any pizza, we’re digging into the big league here. Chicago versus New York pizza.

It’s the showdown that’s been sizzling hotter than a pizza oven. On one corner, Chicago’s deep-dish, a hefty contender that demands a fork and knife. You heard us right. This is not your grab-and-go slice. It’s a pie that’s all about the layers.

In the opposite corner, New York pizza struts in with its iconic thin crust. This one’s all about the fold. You grab a slice, give it a gentle bend, and bam, you’re eating like a local.

We’ve all had those nights, right? Searching through the depths of the internet, trying to settle the score once and for all. Well, we’re no strangers to this culinary standoff. We’ve had our share of pizza debates, ones that ended with no clear winner and a lot of leftover pizza.

What is Chicago Pizza?

Chicago Pizza, or deep-dish pizza, is an iconic dish from Chicago. Its main feature? A thick, buttery crust.

Cheese goes at the bottom, followed by every topping imaginable, and sauce on top.

This is then baked slowly in a pan. Unlike its New York rival, Chicago Pizza takes longer to cook.

Its dough is carefully prepared to create a crispy outer layer that pairs with the cheese and tomato sauce.

Plus, the layers of ingredients create an explosion of flavors. The beauty of Chicago Pizza? Toppings.

From classic combos like sausage and pepperoni, to more daring options like spinach or BBQ chicken – there’s no limit to the creativity.

Each ingredient is chosen and arranged to create a symphony of textures and tastes.


What is New York Pizza?

New York Pizza, also known as NY-style, is a classic.

It has a big, thin crust that is crunchy outside and chewy inside.

It’s usually hand-tossed, then cooked in a deck oven at high temperatures.

What makes it special is its foldable slice.

This lets people enjoy their pizza while moving around – a common sight in NYC.

The generous size of the slices means you get full quickly. The toppings are simple but tasty.

Tomato sauce from San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and some dried oregano – that’s it.

These basic toppings combine to create a delicious masterpiece.

New York Pizza is part of American culture, and has recognition worldwide.

Restaurants across the country try to capture its essence.

Differences Between Chicago and New York Pizza

Chicago and New York are popular for their distinct pizza styles.

Both are iconic, but they have noticeable differences in their prepping, toppings, and presentation.

Dough and Crust

When it comes to pizza, the dough and crust are essential.

In Chicago, the deep-dish pizza is famous for its thick and buttery crust, which is able to hold lots of tomato sauce and toppings.

To get the crunchy outside and soft center, it has to bake for longer.

On the other hand, New York-style pizza focuses on thinness and crispiness.

The dough is stretched thin, making a large, foldable slice.

It’s usually chewy with a char from the high heat ovens.

It’s perfect for toppings like gooey cheese and tangy sauce.

Both styles have their own traits. But, they have one thing in common – passion.

Whether it’s the deep-dish from Chicago or the foldable slice from New York, pizza lovers can agree that dough and crust make these pizzas special.


Pizza toppings can really make or break the experience.

Chicago and New York-style pizzas have unique toppings.

While they both use cheese, tomato sauce, and meat, they have their own signature ingredients.

Chicago-style pizza is known for its deep-dish crust and many toppings.

Italian sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, and black olives are common.

The layers create a flavorful pizza that is usually served with chunky tomato sauce.

New York-style pizza has a thin and crispy crust.

The toppings are usually simple, like mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, pepperoni, and fresh basil leaves.

This allows the quality of ingredients to stand out.

Chicago-style pizza uses a “stuffed” or “deep-dish” crust.

It has cheese or other fillings, then sauce and toppings.

It has a thick, bread-like crust with gooey cheese inside.

New York-style pizza has a thin crust, just the right amount of crunch.

It’s often folded in half for easy eating.

It focuses on the flavors of the toppings without overpowering them.


The mystery of great pizza lies in its sauce.

It’s the spirit of the pizza, bringing flavor that matches the crust and toppings.

In Chicago, the sauce is known for its deep tomato taste.

It’s made with tomatoes, herbs, and spices, giving a hearty base.

On the flip side, New York pizza has a lighter and tangier taste.

It’s made with things like San Marzano tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and herbs, and it highlights the natural sweetness of the tomatoes.

The sauces are different, but they both elevate these iconic pizzas.

The Chicago-style deep-dish pizza needs the robust sauce to balance out the cheese and toppings.

Its bold flavor works with the thick crust.

New York pizza has a thin crust.

The tangy sauce and toppings combine harmoniously in every bite.

The cities each add their sauces to their signature styles.

For Chicago deep-dish pizzas, the sauce is usually on top.

This gives an intense tomato flavor with each slice.

On New York-style pizzas, the sauce is spread on the dough before the cheese and toppings, allowing each ingredient to stand out.

Size and Shape

Pizza aficionados everywhere ponder the details that separate Chicago and New York pizza.

One element that varies is their size and shape.

Chicago-style deep-dish pizza is known for its thick crust, resembling a pie.

It is a solid base for a plethora of toppings, cheese, and sauce.

On the other hand, New York-style pizza has a thinner and crispier crust.

It’s wide and pliable enough to be folded in half.

Chicago deep-dish pizzas are well-known for their thickness.

The dough is pressed into a deep pan, creating a crust that can hold lots of toppings.

This style celebrates layers of melty cheese, chunky tomato sauce, and ingredients between each layer.

When eating a slice, one can expect a filling meal.

Conversely, New York-style pizzas have a different experience.

They have wide slices with thin and foldable crusts.

The dough is rolled thinly and cooked on hot stones or in deck ovens for that classic crispy texture.

This lets people fold them while eating without dropping any toppings or flavor.

Both styles have distinct attributes when it comes to size and shape.

It ultimately comes down to personal preference.

Some may prefer the hefty nature of Chicago’s deep-dish pizza and its combined layers.

Others may opt for the convenience and portability of New York’s foldable slice while exploring the city.

Eating Style

Eating pizza? Chicago and New York have unique styles.

Chicago has deep-dish pizza – thick crust, cheese, and toppings.

New York is well-known for thin-crust pizza with flavor-packed sauce, cheese, and toppings.

Eating styles differ too.

Chicago’s deep-dish requires a knife and fork. NY-style can be folded and eaten on the move.

Toppings also set them apart.

Chicago piles them beneath cheese to avoid soggy crusts. NY-style has fewer toppings but top-quality ingredients.

Whether it’s Chicago’s indulgence or New York’s on-the-go, pizza lovers can experience a satisfying and delicious adventure.

Similarities Between Chicago and New York Pizza

Chicago and New York have pizzas with their own styles.

They are both loved around the world for their thin-crust pizza.

This pizza is cooked in a hot oven to get a crunchy crust.

Delicious ingredients such as tomatoes, cheese and herbs are used to make the flavors amazing.

The effort and skill put into making the pizzas is amazing.

Chicago is known for its deep-dish pizza.

It has thick crust and layers of cheese, meat and sauce. It’s like a delicious pie.

New York-style pizza is famous for its large and foldable slices.

The thin crust supports gooey cheese and tangy sauce.

Each bite is a unique mix of flavors that is special to New York.

The Pizza Culture in Chicago and New York

Pizza culture in Chicago and New York sparks debate among foodies.

Both cities boast unique styles and flavors.

Chicago pizzas are famous for their deep-dish, tall-edged crusts.

Toppings like sausage, onions, peppers, and mushrooms make it hearty and indulgent.

New York-style pizzas have thin, foldable slices.

The outside is crispy, with a chewy inside.

The large, floppy slices are perfect for on-the-go eating.

Toppings are typically classic – pepperoni, cheese, and basil.

Chicagoans usually eat their deep-dish pizza with a knife and fork; New Yorkers fold theirs and eat with their hands.

Famous pizzerias include Lou Malnati’s in Chicago, with its buttery crust and chunky tomato sauce, and Di Fara Pizza in Brooklyn, serving perfectly blistered thin-crust pies made by an Italian immigrant.

What Makes Each Style Unique and Loved

Chicago and New York are renowned for their different pizza styles.

They have unique characteristics that people around the world love.

Chicago-style deep-dish pizza is popular for its thick, buttery crust.

This type is baked in a deep pan and has a crispy outside and soft dough inside.

The toppings are layered in reverse, with cheese on top and then sauce.

This prevents the crust from becoming soggy and adds a special twist to the taste.

On the other hand, New York-style pizza has thin, foldable slices.

The crust is thinner and crispier than Chicago-style.

New York pizzerias focus on a balance between a chewy center and a slightly charred outside.

The cheese is spread evenly on top of the sauce, making each bite a mix of flavors.

In addition, there’s a difference in how they’re served.

Chicago-style is sliced, while New York-style is sold as whole pies cut into bigger slices.

Also, the ingredients differ.

Chicago-style pizzas usually have Italian sausage or deep-fried peppers as toppings.

Meanwhile, New York-style pizzas have pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, and bell peppers.

But, no matter the preference, both styles are beloved classics.

Chicago’s deep-dish allure and New York’s iconic thin-crusts will remain timeless favorites.


After analyzing the two cities’ pizza offerings, it’s clear there are distinct differences between Chicago style and New York pizza.

Chicago-style pizza is an embodiment of Midwestern culinary ingenuity, with a thick, stuffed crust that’s deep enough to hold mounds of meaty toppings, as well as a delicious sauce and melted cheese on top.

By contrast, New York slices are just as robust in flavor and substance, but with much thinner crusts that can easily be devoured in one or two bites.

No matter which variety you choose to enjoy, both are incredibly delicious options filled with American culture and tradition.

Ultimately, both offer unique experiences that make them difficult to pick definitively better than the other; it simply boils down to individual preference as each city has their own loyal fan base.

As cheesy lovers around the world gather for World Pizza Day each year on February 9th, we can all take a moment to appreciate the divergent forms of this beloved Italian classic –from Chicago to New York–and everything in between.

Chicago vs New York Pizza: What’s the Difference?

Craving a pizza showdown? Delve into the age-old debate of Chicago vs. New York Pizza and unravel the delicious distinctions between these iconic styles. Explore the unique characteristics of each, from Chicago's deep-dish indulgence to New York's thin and foldable slices, and make an informed decision on your pizza preference.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course This vs That
Servings 1 Serving


  • Chicago Pizza
  • New York Pizza


  • Choose between Chicago-style and New York-style pizza based on your pizza preference.
  • Order or make your selected pizza style using the recommended ingredients and techniques.
  • Enjoy the distinct flavors and textures that make each pizza unique.
  • Share your pizza experience with friends and family, and savor the regional pizza traditions.
Keyword Chicago vs New York Pizza
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