Taxonomy of regional pizza styles

Discuss

83 Responses to “Taxonomy of regional pizza styles”

  1. CapnMarrrrk says:

    I’m ashamed by my local pie. So many swear by it, but I’m a local who thinks it crap.

    “It’s flatter than a pancake, it’s square, and there’s not a hint of mozzarella about it. What’s something described like that doing on a pizza blog?

    It’s a piece of Imo’s Pizza, the epitome of St. Louis–style pie. This idiosyncratic rendition is characterized by an extremely thin crust with no raised edge, the pie itself roughly cut into 3-inch squares—or as closely as you can get when starting with something round—and the use of Provel* cheese. Detractors, who include most non-native St. Louisans, describe it as Cheez Whiz on a cracker.”

    * Provel, like American processed cheese, is not legally labeled as simply cheese because it does not meet the moisture content requirements that the FDA holds for a food to be considered cheese.[citation needed] Provel is instead a Pasteurized process cheese.

  2. Lexica says:

    I’m going to make a prediction: Nobody from Oakland will post a recommendation because there’s no good pizza here.

    *sigh*

  3. sharkcellar says:

    The best pizza in Milwaukee is made by the Calderone family, hands down. I’ve been a fan of their pizza for decades.

  4. Talia says:

    I find it fascinating how passionate people get about pizza, moreso than most other foods. The regional competitiveness in that regard is fascinating as well (NY vs. Chicago, for instance). I bet there’s some fascinating writing out there on this very subject.. people’s connection to food, and to where they live, and how it all ties together.

    I was inspired by this article to attempt making my own tonight (albeit with a storebought crust). The results were.. interesting. I don’t think it would pass the judgement of all you pizza connoseurs, but it was filling anyway. :p

  5. Keneke says:

    The picture on the page alone is heaven. Look at that thick-sliced meat.

  6. Jeff says:

    For all of you Ann Arbor, U of M people, Cottage Inn’s square, deep dish is the best! And for you local boingboingers that want to eat in Michigan’s First and Only “GREEN” Pizza Parlor, check out Amici’s in Berkley. It’s lunch and I’m out for Pizza!

  7. UrinalPooper says:

    I’m from north jersey (sopranos country), I’ve had pizza all across this country and have yet to experience anything less than disappointment when ordering pizza outside of what I call The Pizzadough Line. Said line encircles a 30 mile radius centered on NYC.

    It’s the sauce and to a lesser extent the quality of the mozzarella (pronounced: moot’sa’rel). Even transplants from this area seem to find themselves adding too much sugar to the tomatoes. I haven’t determined why this is, but it’s possible that tomatoes are more bitter in other parts of the country(?). This would then explain why Chicago pizza has such a bitter sauce im(not-so)ho.

    But that contradicts the fact that I can order delectable pasta in many places and still not get a decent pizza. I haven’t tried pizza in Toronto but I did sample a few in Quebec. With all of their french-inspired culinary magics they were unable to make a decent (expletive redacted) pizza.

    Perhaps my tongue is a bigot? However, my tastes are normally xenomanic, if I haven’t eaten something before I’ll try it just for the sake of trying it (this is how I found myself eating a brain taco in Chicago). Why then the inability to enjoy “foreign” pizza? My experiments will continue until I have an answer.

  8. bookninja says:

    Cory! Massimo’s is fantastic, but for years before I converted (I practiced restraint on my stumble home from the College Street bars back to the upper Annex) I was a Cora’s (Habord and Spadina) man. Did you ever try that?

    There’s a great legend about Cora’s and Papa Ceo’s (sp?), which was right next door. Apparently they were brothers who got into a fight and so split into two stores. I’ve always wondered if that was true.

    Also, out west in the Junction, where I lived in Toronto last, Vesuvio’s is pretty good.

  9. a random John says:

    The strangest/best pizza I’ve ever had was from Pizza Fone in Campinas, Brazil. It was “pizza com frango, milho, e catupiry” which is pizza with shredded chicken, corn, and a brazilian cream cheese.

  10. Neon Tooth says:

    Best pizza I’ve ever had in the U.S. is at Spacca Napoli in Chicago. Authentic pizza Napoletana down to the smallest detail including even having the oven built by artisans from Naples with brick, tufo and all materials (food included) imported from the area. I’ve only had as good in Naples myself. One of my buddy’s who was born and raised in Naples says this is the best pizza he’s had outside Southern Italy.

    http://flickr.com/search/?w=all&q=spaccanapoli+chicago+pizza&m=text
    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=8838
    http://spaccanapolipizzeria.com/story.html

  11. timmaah says:

    Very jealous of “TheFirstMan”. Modern rules..

    Now that we have moved out of CT, both my sister and myself have gotten our SO’s hooked on NH pizza. When either one of them is with us visiting my mom, we can’t leave without at least one pizza meal. Bobby’s, Zuppardis, Modern… they are all good.

    I live in VT now and have searched far and wide for a decent hole in the wall joint like you find around New Haven… but nothing.. If I liked to cook I swear I could make a mint selling decent pizza up here.

  12. phreatic says:

    Massimo’s is incredibly delicious. I love the Margarita. So simple but so awesome.
    Now unfortunately I have to head the two blocks to Amato’s for a vegan slice. Oh cheese, how I miss thee sometimes.

  13. Cory Doctorow says:

    I think that Cora’s and Papa Ceo’s and Pizza Gigi all do a really good job on delivery pizza — better, in fact, than Massimo’s does — but Massimo’s has them all beat for slices.

  14. jere7my says:

    Making your own dough is easy-peasy. Here’s the recipe I use:

    Pour a packet of yeast into 1 1/3 cups of warm water. Let it dissolve. Add about 3.5 cups of flour, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 Tbsp. honey, 1 tsp. salt, and maybe some dried oregano or red pepper flakes. Mix with a wooden spoon, then knead by hand for ten minutes until it’s elastic. If it’s too sticky, add up to half a cup more flour whlie you’re kneading.

    Divide it in half — this recipe makes two pizzas. Let the dough balls rise in a warm place for about an hour and a half, covered with plastic or a damp towel, then punch them down and let them sit for ten minutes before pressing them into rounds. Brush with olive oil and top however you like. (I discovered this summer that leftover black bean burrito filling makes a really good pizza, with grated cheddar and fresh cilantro.)

    Bake at 475° for twelve minutes. For best results, preheat a baking stone while the dough is rising, then slide the topped pizza onto the hot stone — that seals the bottom of the crust for you. You’ll want to dust whatever you’re sliding it off of with corn meal, lest it get stuck.

  15. dculberson says:

    Gobo and Bigdaddio, I urge you to shop around for pizza more. As Gobo says, Columbus has a crapload of pizza places, many of which do serve the icky thin crust sweet sauce pizza. But there are many wonderful exceptions:

    HoundDog’s (as I mentioned already) Smokin’ Joe’s crust is a thick, garlic-buttered crust. N High St and Dodridge, just past campus. Their Spicy or Howlin’ Hot sauces are not sweet. Howlin’ Hot is more hot than flavorful.

    Rotolo’s, thick crust, nice thick tomato sauce. 3rd ave in Grandview, I think?

    Adriatico’s has a good New York style deep dish. Very busy because they’re basically on campus. W 11th ave.

    I could go on. There are few amazing pizza shops, dozens of good places and over a hundred marginal-to-lousy ones.

  16. swestcott says:

    OK not from NY but the best I have had is john’s pizza on 39th street yes tourt central but man it was good it is in an old church all wood fired ovens

  17. octave says:

    Pizza pedantry. Hard to resist! For me a few simple statements are incontrovertible:

    Neapolitan style is best

    Wood fire is better than coal

    It’s impossible to make anything resembling pizza at home unless you have some kind of oven that gets to 800 plus degrees

    Deep-dish pizza is an oxymoron

    Pizza can’t be purchased by the slice. That’s something other than pizza you are eating. Sure, it can be pleasant.

  18. Moon says:

    Make your own pizza. Then you don’t have to settle for anything. It’s easier than you think (you might be surprised to find out how little work goes into making most of the pizzas in the pizzeria near you – slap some sauce, add some mozzarella and oregano and BAM! That’s it.)

    I use 3 kinds of cheese, a simple base sauce over a real simple dough and then several spices, depending on my mood.

  19. arkizzle says:

    this is gonna sound sooo petty, but i know lots of people who agree with me, so i’m going to let it out..

    i HATE it when i hear pizza described as ‘pie’, it’s only pie in the weakest technically correct manner.. (like a tart or a quiche)

    now don’t get me worng, i’m not telling anyone how to talk, or coming down on regional colloquialisms, it just grates so much to hear the phrase ‘pizza pie’.

    silly huh?

  20. Pipenta says:

    New Haven Pizza:

    1. Sally’s: They’ll treat you like dirt, but they tend their oven like a master potter doing a raku firing. The ingredients are simple and excellent. There is no better sauce, no better crust. You can actually order a red pie (yes, pie) here without cheese and it is still fabulous, it is that good.

    2. bar: This is where I take out of towners, this is where I hang out. Word has it they learned their craft at Sally’s. The pizza is wonderful. The beer, which they brew on site, is even better. A word to the wise: skip the mashed potato topping. You see it on the menu and think, How weird, it must be excellent? Right? Wrong.

    3. Modern: A decent pizza, but I’ve had better in NYC. It has kind a cult following of yale grad students and their ilk. And we all know grad students don’t get out much.

    4. Pepe’s: They’ve got the rep, but the pizza is only okay. Well, anywhere else but New Haven where we have more pizza places than gas stations, it would be terrific. You want to get grossed out? Order bacon as a topping. They do not precook it. You have tip each piece on its side and drain the bacon fat. Glurt! And you’d better do this while it is still piping hot. Really seriously overrated.

  21. airship says:

    Pagliai’s Pizza in Iowa City, Iowa.

    Cracker-crisp thin crust, stretchy mozzarella, and sauce to die for. They don’t deliver, but out-sell the places that do. It’s hard to get in and sit down with the constant stream of people picking up to-go orders.

  22. flashfirenze says:

    I’m born and raised in NYC, and lived in Italy for over 5 years.

    Italy invented pizza, and Naples still has the best in the world, hands down.

    To suggest that the best pizza comes from Toronto is hilarious. Stick to DRM fighting Cory

  23. buddy66 says:

    I heard NYC guys in the Army talk about ‘pizza pie’ and what it was all about. When I was discharged in CA in 1952 I stopped in Chicago and was taken by a buddy to a restaurant for pizza. It was deep dish pizza, of course, and I loved it. In my hometown, Flint, MI, there was NO pizza. All Midwest pizza either evolved from Chicago or was transplanted from NY in the late 50s or early 60s, and it soon became the national dish. It was that fast! It was an overnight phenomenon.

  24. Neon Tooth says:

    Pgei, I think you’ll find that pizza (in its modern incarnation) was invented in New York by Italian immigrants.

    I’d say original Italian pizza is close enough to modern U.S. pizza to cancel out any claims of invention in NY. Maybe a decline in quality……

  25. JG says:

    Interesting to note that of all the features posted on Boing Boing during the past few weeks this topic ‘PIZZA’ seems to have garnered the most comments.

    Good to see that we all have our priorities in order!

    “God made Pizza because he loves us and wants us to be happy,” to paraphrase Ben Franklin

  26. jahknow says:

    @DCER — Jumbo Slice is the Plague of 18th Street

  27. insomma says:

    “…tracing the hereditary links between different styles as different groups of Italian immigrants spread across the nation.”

    At first I wanted to post in order to defend my fellow Italians/Ex-pats who posted above, but then I re-read the title.

    So, ok. I agree that the only pizza is in Italy, and when I go to the States, the stuff grosses me out. But when I consider that Chinese food here is made with spaghetti instead of noodles, I think, ‘well how authentic could it really be?’ All immigrant cultures in a new home must ‘domesticate’ their cuisine in order to sell it to people there. So in the end I guess that pizza types in America should just be accepted, like language differences between old countries and new ones.

    An funny thing though- one thing you hear all the time here spoken by American tourists: “Peppers? I asked for a pepperoni pizza!” Be advised- in Italian, pepperoni literally means big peppers. And that’s exactly what you’ll get- even if they know perfectly well what you’re intending.

  28. sally599 says:

    How is Chicago style a variation of midwest pizza? It is deep dish like 2 inches thick. Frankly I’m not a huge fan of it but I’ve lived all over the midwest and its not comparable to anything else I’ve ever had. If you are the kind of person who likes a pizza that it all topping and sauce then Chicago-style is for you. You just can’t get that much topping without using a deep dish pan and most midwest deep dish just adds crust to fill up the pan providing a similar level of topping abundance.

  29. jredmond says:

    @CapnMarrrrk: it’s OK, I forgive you. Cecil Whitaker’s does a better job on the local style than Imo’s, though I’ll still take the Blackthorn over the local style any day.

  30. Takuan says:

    Viewing this thread helps me understand the incredible rise of Pastafarianism

  31. vespabelle says:

    what, no listing for Vancouver’s famous $2 pizza?

  32. FAC33 says:

    Holy crap, guys, that cheap Pizza Pizza they brought in for lunch at work is sitting in my stomach making it crave Massimo’s and Cora’s even more. Must find an excuse to get over there.

    I grew up in Columbus, however, and I love the regional style. Donato’s makes a decent version, but what’s that damned pizza place on 5th ave? Rotolo’s. That’s it. Love that stuff.

    And Adriatico’s on campus. different style, but gooey and sloppy and wonderful, if I remember right.

    But I would also kill for good Chicago-style pizza in Toronto once and awhile. Columbus now has it (up at Wholly Joe’s) but I haven’t even found a knockoff in TO since Uno’s died.

  33. Sue Grant says:

    Oh I really miss Massimo’s now. That was my favourite pizza place ever and now I’m so far away :)

  34. Jeff says:

    For those of you who do not have a good pizza joint, Trader Joe’s frozen pizza from Italy is great. Just doctor a plain cheese pizza up and bake it. Hint: wrap the edge crust with tin foil because it will burn without it.

  35. MrSoyBoy says:

    I’ve tried some of the ones mentioned above.

    Portland, OR – A true foodie’s town has artisanal pizza at its best at Apizza Scholl’s. Strictly limited toppings are top quality and fresh. The perfect crust, but expect a killer wait.

    Ann Arbor: Cottage Inn’s Spicy Med is unusual but a great one. Thicker, Sesame-seed coated Crust, Feta, pepper Rings.

    NYC – Too many to mention, can’t go wrong with most slices in the Village. They pretty much set the standard for me.

    South Beach, Miami – Killer Slices available for and by the the many NY transplants. Predictably NY-Style.

    San Antonio – Pizza Roma makes it old-world style in the ‘burbs

    Washington DC – As mentioned, Adams Morgan’s escalating pizza war offers possibly the world’s greasiest slices from trash can lid-sized pies. Very edible when drunk at 3 a.m. on an empty stomach, but not advisable in the light of day. Go to Faccia Luna or Two Amy’s for world class ‘za.

  36. mokey says:

    Didn’t expect to see any comments about Columbus, OH, let alone several. Someone is making a documentary about Columbus pizza, and there’s an amusing discussion on the punk/diy forums about it.

    http://columbusdiy.freeforums.org/viewtopic.php?t=376

  37. twig says:

    I know this is just going to turn into a pointless ‘best pizza’ survey… but I’m ok with that.

    DeLuca’s deep dish in Lansing, Michigan.

  38. RSJ says:

    You cannot get a good pizza in the south. Florida not included. Just about anything I’ve had in Georgia, Tennessee, and Texas is thick crusted, lightly warmed, bready, lacking any real representation of sauce, and covered in cheese that is so generic tasting that you couldn’t give a name to it. The best pizza I’ve ever had was from Edwardo’s, couldn’t give you the exact location, but there are a few scattered across Chicago/Indy. They even had a little garden where they grew all their herbs, really great deep dish.

  39. clifford says:

    The best pizza in NYC is very rarely in Manhattan. You need to go to the outer boroughs.

  40. Neon Tooth says:

    Trader Joe’s frozen pizza from Italy is great.

    Seconded,
    Best frozen pizza I’ve had.

  41. TheFirstMan says:

    I live in New Haven, a block away from Modern. I’ve eaten pizza from everywhere. It’s Modern FTW!

  42. stewmeat says:

    #31 and subsequent STL pizza bashers, you guys are truly insane. To start off I am not originally from here but the tri state area and grew up eating east coast style pizza. When I moved here and I had the pizza for the first time I was shocked that it tasted so different but never thought it tasted bad. As a matter of fact the pizza here really is outstanding. And how you can compare the cheese to cheese whiz? This just proves that you have no ability to judge cheese or anything cheese releated. The beauty of Provel or even better provolone, is the flavor, it actually has some!! Mozzarella cheese is pretty much tasteless unless you get it fresh which on most pizza it is not. Anytime the wife and I have had a pizza that has mozzarella on it we always think, this pizza might have been good if was made with provel.

    Also while Imo’s is decent it is still just a chain, the truly great st.louis style pizzas are found from non-chain restaurants.

    oh and chicago deep dish is not a pizza it’s a casserole so get over yourselves.

  43. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    I’m in mourning, having been reliably told that Patsy Grimaldi’s is nowhere near as good as it used to be.

    This Massimo’s sounds good, but I was startled by Brian Damage (14) describing a pizza margarita as “cheese, sauce, and rosemary.” That’s weird — rosemary, but no basil?

  44. musicpsych says:

    #51 – That was my initial reaction, too. But the site talks about “Chicago thin crust,” and that’s what that line was referring to.

    As someone from the Chicago area, I’d argue that there’s no such thing as “Chicago thin crust.” It’s just thin crust, with nothing to distinguish it from most thin crust pizza I’ve had anywhere else. “Chicago-style” always refers to deep dish, with crust, followed by cheese, followed by toppings and tomatoes. Lou Malnati’s is my favorite, followed by Giordano’s.

  45. Bibliotrope says:

    Gobo @ #17 — by “Ohio Valley” he means the Steubenville/Weirton area. People in this area seem to think this is the only part of the valley that ever uses that term. (The Toronto referred to in his comment thread is Toronto, Ohio, a small town just north of Steubenville and not to be confused with the one where Cory lives. I’ve been to both. Heck, I’ve eaten pizza in both.)

    I’m originally from the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh (only 55 miles east of Weirton, where I live now) and find the local pizza heavy and greasy. But it’s good in its own way, now and then. And buying by the slice — the local custom — is a good idea. The slices tend to be small, too, and the pepperoni is usually good. Pepperoni is *the* topping, by the way; you can have either it or just cheese. The pizzas where I grew up were more your average Midwestern style.

    I read this post just before lunch and got so croggled by all the various styles of pizza mentioned that I had a hot dog instead! Then I came back to eat in the staff lounge and my coworkers were talking about just this subject — pizza, and how it differs in different areas. One person told about when she and her husband bought pizza in Little Italy in New York City. She preferred the Steubenville style. “It’s all what you’re used to,” was the consensus.

  46. dculberson says:

    Twig, I’m right there with ya’ – no problem with a “favorite pizza” survey.

    In my native Columbus, OH: HoundDog’s Three Degree! Order thusly: Smokin’ Joe’s crust, spicy sauce, fresh garlic and tomato toppings.

    In Detroit, MI: Pizza Papalis. Deep dish. Amazing. 35-40 minute wait, and yet totally worth it.

  47. mrfitz says:

    Nice. I wondered what kind of pizza was the “pie” type. Now I know it’s Chicago.

  48. pork musket says:

    Mmmm…. pizza. Good article!

    My current favorite is NY style with beef and onion. Hard to beat, and the best NY-style pie I’ve had in Colorado comes from Boardwalk Pizza in Northglenn.

    I really need to make it to the east coast sometime soon!

  49. horsepj says:

    TWIG, you are right, and here is my contribution: Micheal’s in Elkhart Indiana. It’s basically an old railroad town 100 miles due east of Chicago. A lot of Italians worked on the railroad so there were a lot of immigrant residences, much to the benefit of everyone, especially the realm of pizza. Their style fits in with the “midwest” style, hand tossed and baked in a kiln style oven (as opposed to the conveyer oven). Just thinking about it I can taste it.

  50. Gloria says:

    Toronto? Terroni’s, man.

  51. Aaron says:

    I’ve been blogging a lot of pizza lately and I thought that Slice’s list was rather New York-centric in thinking. Then I remembered that New York is the center of the world. :-)

  52. License Farm says:

    Oh, you silly people. Everyone knows New York has the best pizza in the world. Possibly the best in the entire city is Two Boots, especially since they also run a little arthouse movie theatre. Now that’s added value.

  53. bigdaddio says:

    I was shocked moving to columbus ohio and finding the midwest style. I grew up in cleveland, moved around the country and ended up in columbus. The pizza is unlike anything I have ever had. In cleveland we had a large immigrant population, only 150 miles away we are stuck in farmland with ketchup on a kracker for pizza.

    Weird how distinctly cultural borders are drawn.

  54. alejroth says:

    Pizza survey should translate into a pizza suggestion page¡ So,

    If you come by Montreal, you MUST try Amelios Pizza, particularly their white (5 cheese pizza). Amazing just does not cover it.
    Amelios is at Saint Famille corner with Milton (not far from McGill University).

    If you go to Santiago, Chile. The must-try is Pizzería Roma, at the corner of Larrain and Paula Jaraquemada (West by the Plaza Egaña Metro station).

    good luck!

  55. mdhatter says:

    Antonio’s of Amherst, MA and a 2nd one in College Stn, TX.

    They have a ‘meat pie’, and Each slice weighs in at almost a pound. They have tortellini on pizza. They have chicken and -anything- on pizza. They have a webcam too.

    Hilarious at midnight, when the surrounding bars let out, but just watch those drunk kids inhale that pie and you’ll know it’s worth going a little out of the way for.

  56. wlockhart says:

    Here’s a few interesting pizza facts that I ran across…

    Americans eat approximately 100 acres of pizza EACH DAY, or about 350 slices per second.

    In the U.S., there are about 61,269 pizza parlors.

    93% of Americans eat AT LEAST one pizza per month.

    Americans eat more pizza on Super Bowl Day than any other day of the year.

    62% of Americans prefer meat toppings on their pizza, while 38% prefer vegetarian toppings. (Source: Bolla Wines.)

    Gourmet toppings are gaining ground in some areas of the country such as chicken, oysters, crayfish, dandelions, sprouts, eggplant, Cajun shrimp, artichoke hearts and tuna. More recent trends include game meats such as venison, duck and Canadian bacon.

    Pizza is a $30+ BILLION per year industry. There are approximately 69,000 pizzerias in the United States. Approximately 3 BILLION pizzas are sold in the U.S. each year. (Source: Blumenfeld and Associates)

    Found these over at http://www.homepizzachef.com/blog/

  57. flashfirenze says:

    What the hell is provel?

  58. Halloween Jack says:

    #10: Two Boots does serve a decent pizza, but it’s the exception to the rule that most pizza in New York is soggy, greasy crap. Chicago deep dish FTW, folks.

  59. Brian Damage says:

    I gotta agree with Cory – Massimo’s at College and Spadina is the city’s best. It’s so good that I can’t bring myself to order anything fancier than their most basic Margarita slice – cheese, sauce, and rosemary.

  60. stratosfyr says:

    @66
    Making your own is my preference as well. That way you get it exactly how you like it. It makes it easy at a party: just get the ingredients together, get a few crusts, and make the pizzas on request.

    Pepperoni, tomato sauce or pesto, grated cheese, feta, chicken, hot peppers, sweet peppers, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, olives… Be generous with everything but sauce and cheese, use thin crusts, cut smallish slices so everyone can try them all. Make every pizza different.

    If I’m just cooking for myself I use pita bread (crunchy, very thin crust; foldable) or naan (more chewy or bready–comes in garlic!). For more people, a flatbread or pizza crust. I’ve got to learn to make my own crust. I keep a jar of bruschetta sauce on hand for quick tomato-and-whatever pizza lunch.

  61. Takuan says:

    what is the correct way to build a pizza oven?

  62. flashfirenze says:

    What the hell is provel?

  63. Cory Doctorow says:

    Brain Damage, I admire your reserve. I go to Toronto once or twice a year and I ALWAYS go to Massimo’s and usually have at least three slices so I can try all the varieties, then usually have a fourth of whichever I liked best. Then I lie down and curl up into a ball and go into a starch coma.

  64. spinach says:

    Massimo’s is good but my vote definitely goes to Vesuvio’s in the Junction. It is, without a doubt, the best pizza in Toronto. It has a nice, crispy, thin crust with a truly fantastic, bright, simple sauce. But alas, I live 2 blocks outside their delivery area and have to go to my girlfriend’s place to order it.

  65. gobo says:

    I grew up in the Ohio Valley (Columbus, home of more pizza places per capita than anywhere else in the US, bizarrely) and I’ve never seen what the link calls “Ohio Valley Pizza”. Most pizza in Ohio is cracker-crust “Midwest” pizza with a characteristically sweeter sauce.

    My plug for the best pizza ever would be Dewey’s Pizza of Cincinnati.

  66. JG says:

    Blah, Blah, Blah….
    I have traveled to every state and all the provinces of the great white north and I can tell you, without fear of any reasonable contradiction, that there simply is not a descent pizza west of Little Italy NYC.
    Sorry folks, everything else pales by comparisons.
    I’m sure that all of my paesanos agree.
    Everyone else, enjoy your doughy rounds soaked in red goo and piled high with ham, raisins, pineapple, Passion fruit, Ho-Hos and cat treats, I’ll take a ‘pop and a slice” at a stand-up joint any day!!!

    Cin-Cin!

    ~>don’t get tooooo bent this is all in fun<~

  67. Chris Schmidt says:

    My favorite pizza style doesn’t seem to be represented on this list – and I’m I’m not sure what region it hails from either.

    Very think crust (not deep dish), slightly crispy on the outside, but chewy on the whole. Light sauce with a decent amount of cheese, and toppings on the top (crispy pepperoni). The thing will weigh a ton and take forever to bake. It’s usually served in little neighborhood places with a 20 year old pacman machine in the back to kill time while you wait. My favorite is Piezano’s in Lincoln, Ne.

    Any ideas what this style is called? Whatever its name – they don’t make it in Des Moines… ::grumble grumble::

  68. DCer says:

    This site ignores the relatively new Washington, DC Jumbo Slice. The Jumbo Slice was apres bar food sold in the Adams Morgan neighborhood and really didn’t exist in any serious way until about 1994. It’s a regular wedge slice taken from a 30-40 inch pizza, so the slice is pretty much as large as a regular small pizza. Imagine a slice that was 12-18 inches long. You have to fold it New York style because it’s like street food.

    In general, however, it’s more of a drunken novelty than quality pizza. I do not consider it the “best” pizza even remotely, but these slices, along with the Washington, DC half-smoke, are representative of a modern Washington, DC regional style and for a city that rarely contributes to regional cultural totems, sort of a big deal.

  69. pgei says:

    hi
    this phrase sounds very strange: “Slice, the pizza blog, has a good roundup of US regional pizza styles”

    I’m from Italy and I thought that pizza had only a genuine italian style… since pizza s one of our specialties

    have u eever heard of an italian regional hot-dog style?

    bye
    PGei

  70. DCer says:

    I was a little surprised that Philadelphia pizza wasn’t given it’s own style. I found that there were many pizzas I had there that were very very thin, very very crispy like a cracker-style crust, but otherwise new york style. Perhaps they were left out or perhaps too similar to another pizza.

  71. License Farm says:

    @#19 JG: I’ll take a ‘pop and a slice” at a stand-up joint any day!!!

    You are no New Yorker, sir. No self-respecting New Yorker uses the term “pop.” It’s soda. Your cover is blown due to shoddy research.

    @#22 PGEI: I’m from Italy and I thought that pizza had only a genuine italian style… since pizza s one of our specialties

    Sorry to break it to you, but like hamburgers, they’re more American now than their countries of origin. As I’m led to understand, actually Italian pizza bears only a passing resemblance to what we know here as pizza, for better or worse, and our particular take, for all its regional variations, is what has been marketed to most of the world.

  72. W. James Au says:

    For the Bay Area, here’s a vote for Arizmendi Bakery, masters of what might best be described as “hippy pizza” (vegetarian, all organic, made in a worker-owned kitchen.) Got branches in Oakland and Sunset district of SF:

    http://www.arizmendibakery.org/

    Thin crust, insanely good. Like if I need to go to Oakland Airport, I’ll take a 30 minute detour off the Lakeside exit to stop there.

  73. Lex10 says:

    Sandor’s Pizza – rotating glass oven and the cheese is in a spiral + heavy use of corn meal in the crust. Always toothsome.

    There used to be two:
    One that was in a hole in the staircase wall of the Margaret-Orthodox EL stop in Philly – you couldn’t not buy it – the smell took over reason, and Gravina’s in Absecon, NJ where he deliberately cut the slices irregularly so as to quash arguments about who got the biggest slice. Both gone. Eat it while you can, people.

  74. JG says:

    #19
    I agree but it’s in quotes it’s a big sign next to
    Gambols Pizza and yes it was in Little Italy!
    Even they appeal to tourists!

  75. Jenn says:

    Oh man, they included Old Forge style pizza – it never fails to amaze me when my little hometown makes it on the web. :) Since the author admits to knowing the least about it, I direct you to a blog post where one man logs his attempts to make an authentic Old Forge white pizza, which is one of the most delicious foods I’ve ever had: Stephen Cooks OF White Pizza. Just looking at the photo makes me want to go back and visit my family.

  76. hanzith says:

    6000 miles away? i’m thinking i should go to massimo’s today for lunch, just for you, man.

  77. Mindpowered says:

    In the Canadian section, in Vancouver we have the rebellious tomato and flying wedge.

    The rebellious tomato has the most original style being thin crust, made of spelt with very little cheese and lots of veggies, seafood and westcoast fusion-y style toppings. It’s a very light pizza.

  78. Craigers! says:

    Little off topic but this picture proves how hard food photography is. That picture is disgusting…

    On topic: NYC pizza is the best. The hype is true.

  79. pyota says:

    i agree with #14 that new york is not the pizza heaven its made out to be. perhaps many years ago it was, back when there were more brick oven pizza ovens or something, but it is certainly not the case today.

  80. Cory Doctorow says:

    Pgei, I think you’ll find that pizza (in its modern incarnation) was invented in New York by Italian immigrants.

  81. mokey says:

    there’s a pizza place called ha ha’s in yellow springs, OH, home of the notorious antioch college. rumor has it that long ago, you could order a pizza with mushrooms and receive a pizza with [i]special[/i] mushrooms for an extra fee. it doesn’t seem too unlikely a story. couldn’t find anything on google about it, but i’ll keep looking.

  82. romulusnr says:

    What’s interesting too is that this is one of those things that people who have only lived in one region don’t realize that there are any differences. A lifelong Northwesterner doesn’t have any idea that Godfathers is any different than Uno’s or Papa Gino’s (etc.), if they even know those places exist in the first place.

    The one thing you should be sure to do for a person visiting from out of state is to take them to a local pizza joint. (Also a local Chinese joint.)

  83. cubby96 says:

    Cory, my wife and I moved to Toronto 3 months ago and have been bemoaning the lack of a decent pizza place here – Pizza Pizza is awful awful and Amato’s is merely okay. We tried Massimo’s for lunch today, and it was great. Thanks for the suggestion. Better news: we’re in the delivery area!

Leave a Reply