A Slice of the Pie: Regional Pizzas in America


Greek pizza by shoshanah on Flickr, used under Creative Commons licenseTo somebody in Italy or Greece, America’s version of pizza must seem vastly different than what is typically found in little eateries in Milan, Athens, and Rome. Even Paris would scoff at some of the pizza variations found in America. Of course, adding a uniquely American flavor to food is nothing new. The type of pizza you’ll find in New York, for example, isn’t what you’ll find at most pizzerias in California or Chicago. If you want a true slice of American culture, just take a look at the pizzas found in different regions of the United States.

New England Pizza

If you’re looking for traditional Greek-influenced pizza in America, you are likely to find it in New England. Many Greek immigrants – yes, Greeks love their pizza – arrived in the New England area and some of then decided to go into the pizza business. The result is pizza that is closer to the way the dish was originally meant to be made. Greek pizza has a thicker, chewier crust and is usually baked in a pan. And no, it’s not the same as Pizza Hut’s Pan Pizza. This is like comparing clam chowder from Maine to what you’d find on the Long John Silvers menu. Olive oil is often used to grease the pans. Add to that feta cheese and Greek herbs such as oregano and you’ve got a hearty pizza you won’t soon forget.

Midwest Pizza

It’s not every city that gets its own pizza style named after it. Then again, Chicago isn’t exactly your average American city. Any native resident will tell you that the city has a style all its own. Chicago-style pizza is deep-dish with a crush formed along all sides of the pan. The typical order of ingredients is shuffled around some, with cheese and filling added before the sauce. Some variations feature two layers of crust. If you want to sample some of Chicago’s best pizza, visit the city’s River North neighborhood.

West Coast Pizza

You won’t find sand in your pizza in California, but you will get a pizza that isn’t like anything you’d taste on the east coast. What makes California pizza stand out is the ingredients, many of which don’t normally come to mind when you think of what should go on top of a pizza. Cali pizzas tend to include a lot of fresh produce. Some variations include a chicken pizza with peanut sauce and a taco pizza – that one’s pretty much self-explanatory. For a true California experience, try a pizza with barbecue sauce rather than typical pizza sauce or a pizza topped with bean sprouts and carrots.

This is just a sampling of some of the pizzas you’ll find when traveling across the United States – New York, St. Louis, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Hawaii offer some uniquely delicious regional pizzas as well. Fortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the many styles and variations of pizza you can find in America. Even the shape of pizza can be different. Granted, your choices are basically either round or square, but add texture, thickness of crust and other factors and the possibilities are nearly endless. And when you’re not sampling pizza, you can check out some of the sights to be found across America.

Renee Varney is a freelance blogger and occasionally writes for delivery.com a site she loves using to find local delivered pizza.

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