Human beings are territorial creatures.  Always have been.  Which leads me to my next point:  YOUR PIZZA IS AWFUL.  No, really, I don’t like the pizza where you’re from.  Be it New York City, Denver, Los Angeles, it’s not my pizza.  It’s yours and it’s terrible.


(Photo via Dan Perlman)

How do you feel, reader?  Angry?  Hurt?  Kind of fat when you think about how much pizza you’ve consumed?  Well, you’re not alone.  Since the dawn of pizza (or time, whichever came first), people have made it their business to proclaim their regional pizza the greatest in the world of worlds.  A lot of this amounts to pride in their hometown, which isn’t a foreign concept to me.  Growing up in upstate New York, outside of Utica, I ate two kinds of pizzas: circular thin pies and thicker square pies.  I naturally gravitate towards the former, probably because I don’t feel bloated after two slices of the thick pie.

When I lived in NYC, I worked near an amazing shop called Koronet that had GIANT slices for a buck fifty.  That’s not bad when you’re broke as shit out of college.  Now I live in Chicago, and although the allure of a thin slice of pizza exists, it is a dream not made for this reality.  Getting pizza by-the-slice in Chicago is a rare thing.  Not an impossibility.  But people prefer getting a pie, and I can’t say I haven’t conformed my taste to Chicago’s style.

I haven’t been to California yet, but I’m sure I’ll hate their pizza.  Freaking pear on pizza?  If I want pears, I’ll eat a goddamn pear.  If I want pizza, I’ll be as close-minded as I damn well please about it.  Give me meat or veggies on that pizza, preferably both please.  Otherwise, get your terrible Wolfgang Puck-endorsed toppings out of my personal space.

Ah, that felt great.  Now I would like to give So Good readers the chance to do the same.  Vote on your favorite regional pizza, and use the comments to either lambaste someone else’s pizza, trumpet your own pizza’s superiority, or just criticize me!  Fun for all ages!  Also, make sure to watch the results.  I will be insulted if California-style beats Chicago or New York.  California, consider yourself pwned.

NYC Pizza – giant tombstone slabs with a minimal amount of sauce and cheese.  They are giant and cheap, and they usually come by the slice.

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza – a true goliath that starts with crust, then finishes with cheese, toppings and sauce in that order.  More of a casserole than pizza to some, heaven to others.

California-Style Pizza – usually akin to NYC pizza, but with hilariously off-beat toppings like pear and Gorgonzola or Mango Tandoori.

Sicilian Pizza – popular in the aforementioned Utica, NY, this pizza has the same cheese-first-sauce-on-top approach of Chicago, although it employs pecorini cheese with anchovies or endives.

New Haven-Style Apizza – weird New England pizza, oh, excuse me: apizza.  That’s not a typo, even though the spell-checker tells me it is.  They call it apizza, and sometimes they don’t even put cheese on it.  SACRILEGE.  It’s essentially NYC-style thin crust, sometimes served with clams.

St. Louis-Style Pizza – yeast-less-thin-crust pizza that is crispy like a cracker, sweet Sicilian-influenced sauce and an interesting choice for cheese: the tangy Provel.  Cut into squares they refer to as “Party Cut.”  Yeah, I’m giggling too.

[poll id=”61″]

The following two tabs change content below.

23 Responses

  1. matt

    But actually the best pizza is made in Canton, OH by the Pizza Oven. Thick bread, sauce, stuff, cheese. Not sweet.

    But I do I like a pizza I had in spokane wa that had a spicy sauce. In the hotness ratings: 3 stars out of 5 range. Enough to let you sweat a little.

  2. Skiff

    1) Mystic Pizza.

    2) Canton, NY – Deep Fried Pizza – thats the stuff.

  3. Brian

    You’ve never been to California? You don’t know what you’re missing. Yeah, we have a budget deficit of $21 BILLION but this is paradise.

  4. rossitron

    california gets a bad rap. sure, it’s not a pizza mecca, but that’s what is so great about it. everyone else moves to california and brings great pizza with them. in san diego, you can find the best pizza from every region. we’re not limited to NY or chicago, or whatever other region you’re in. most of those regions are somewhat limited. we have everything.

    and sure, you can say californian’s put weird stuff on their pizza. for some reason people always say pear. this is most likely because of california pizza kitchen, which isn’t even california pizza. so there. i’ve never had pear on a pizza. i can say, though, that i’ve had pizza that will rival any region on their own terms. you wanna compare NY pizza? i’ll find a place that’ll match it. you wanna compare sicilian pizza? i’ll match it. so there. california is best, in that it is a hodge-podge.

    we just aren’t snooty about our ‘regional’ pizza.

  5. Cary

    Rossitron, you are victim of the Catch-22 that is Regional Pizza:

    “Most of those regions are somewhat limited.”

    “We just aren’t snooty about our ‘regional’ pizza.”

    That’s a pretty snooty comment unto itself.

    Also, most regions have their staple pizza, and then have other options. Chicago has great thin crust pizza, and I know there’s some great Sicilian pizza joints in NYC.

    This is a battle of staple regional pizzas, and unfortunately California-style pizza is looked down upon by the masses.

    Hey, at least it ain’t New Haven-style.

  6. DAVE ID

    When I lived lived/worked in Chicago last year we ordered from this pizza place called Leona’s they had this awesome thin pizza but with Pasta on it. It was bang your head on the table good.

  7. Eick

    Cary, I would like to point out that the New Haven style pizza place by my apartment is actually quite fantastic. I haven’t had any weird toppings, but I like how the crust is chewy on top but really crispy on the bottom.

  8. euphrosini

    Don’t discriminate. I have never met a slice I couldn’t find some beauty in.

  9. Cary

    Oh no, don’t get me wrong, I love a good slice of white pizza with clams on it. I’m just saying popularity-wise, New Haven-style pizza is the last kid picked for dodgeball.

  10. La4j

    I voted NY, I am from California, currently living in Georgia and have not had a “real” slice of pizza since arriving here 2 yrs ago. I do agree with euphrosini -as I too ” have never met a slice I couldn’t find some beauty in.” simply because it is my absolute favorite food in the whole wide world!!

  11. Youppi

    NY Stylez 4 life!

    Skiff – I’m jonesing for a canton Fat Sack (? or Phat sack? Phat bag? Fat Bag? I dunno… but you do?)

  12. ratbuddy

    You forgot the best style. Greek pizza. Square cut pan cooked, nothing to do with spinach and feta.

  13. Raiders757

    New York style by a country mile.

    I like all the varieties of pizza, and have traveled to a lot of the main so called pizza regions of the U.S. New York City and the surrounding areas have the best pizza.

    Chicago? Sure, the thin crust is alright, but that deep dish monstrosity, can it really be called a pizza.

    The St. Louis cracker crust pizza is pretty good to, but still can’t hold a candle to N.Y.

    California? I have never understood why California gets any attention for their pizza. It’s no different than anywhere else. A copy of the main regions. Hardly worthy of being considered a pizza region on it’s own. Good stuff to be had out there, but putting funny toppings on a pizza isn’t something limited to the West Coast.

    I’ve had “apizza” as well. They do make a good pie just north of N.Y.C., I’ll give them that.

    Where I live in the South East, one can find every style of pizza. There are some great mom & pop N.Y. style shops near me, that do a great job. Not quite as good as N.Y., but far better than anything I have had in Chicago or anywhere else. I’m not saying that because these places are from my home town. I say it because these places are damn good, and I have yet to find anything better, baring the places I have been in the North East.

    For the record, Greek pizza is good eats, and there is good pizza to be found in Georgia, if one looks hard enough.

  14. MattHurst

    Don’t buck it until you try it: Saint Louis style pizza is unique and delicious. Of course I like almost every style of pizza on this list, but STL style will always be my fave. But i think you micharecterize the slice: In my 18 years in St. Louis, I have never heard the square slice refered to as “party cut”. Plus provel is a unique cheese to the Saint Louis area, but is not the only chesse in a pizza blend there.

  15. Azhure

    What about Carmen’s stuffed pizza? It tastes so much better than the traditional Chicago deep dish. In this case, Chicago does have the best pizza!
    And, Carmen’s in Rogers Park does sell pizza by the slice. I buy them often.

  16. Cary

    I want this Fat Bag. Like, a lot. And Canton isn’t that far away from my hometown…


  17. shatraw

    dude, imagine a giant totinos pizza bite. only deep-fried and with actual pizza ingredients in it — not that really hot red shit that always burns your tongue.

    fat bag, dude. fat bag.

  18. willrun4food

    Along the lines of Greek pizza is Deroit-style: Think the best parts of greek and Sicilian put together. Buddy’s was the best at it (though I also jones for Papa Romano’s every now and then.)
    Having been born in Chicago, I gravitate more toward that. Which is why being in the St. Louis area the past 6 yrs has been Pizza Hell.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.