Chicago vs New York Pizza

Chicago vs New York Pizza

The early history of pizza is much disputed, with many claims made about when and where it was first made. One of the earliest documented examples of a dish resembling pizza dates back to 997 AD in Gaeta, Italy (located on the west coast of Italy). In Gaeta, an official document from the archives describes how a man named Panormita obtained permission from the local government to build wood-fired ovens near his house so he could make “baked foods” that were requested by customers.

Pizza has a long history of being eaten as a form of street food and was sold by vendors in Naples to the city’s inhabitants. The dish is thought to have been popularized by Italian immigrants who brought it with them when they came to America in large numbers at the end of the 19th century.

The popularity of pizza increased during the 1960’s and 1970’s when it was sold by street vendors in the United States. It subsequently gained popularity worldwide as a fast-food meal offering from chains such as Pizza Hut, Dominos, and Papa Johns. Today the most debated topic in the world of pizza is Chicago-style pizza versus that of New York-style pizza. 

We're here to give you the facts so you can decide for yourself, but rest assured, they are both amazing in their own way! We encourage you to try them all yourself, as there's no such thing as too much pizza!

Order today at and experience the nation's top pizza within the comfort of your own home. 

Chicago Style Pizza History

What started as an ancient culinary tradition and inherited by Neapolitan immigrants from overseas, pizza has emerged as a Chicago food staple. Chicago pizza was invented officially in the year 1942, by Rix Riccardo and Ike Sewell. They both open their restaurant name Pizzeria Uno located on the north side of Chicago city. From this point on the future of Chicago-style pizza changed, as they began experimenting and branching out with a more Americanized version of pizza. Up until this point pizza was typically associated with thin slices and flatbreads. As a result of their experiments and incredible creations they received an outpouring of love from the people of Chicago.

The idea for a deep-dish style of food originated with ancient customs whereby a vast majority of the population at the time were from the poorer, working class of society. This combined with the lack of necessary ingredients from World War II forced the people to come up with creative solutions to sufficiently feed their families, and that’s where the pie-like texture and thickness came into play.

Today top pizzerias in Chicago include: Pequod's, Giordanos, My Pi Pizza, Pizzeria Uno, Lou Malnati's, George's Deep Dish, Paulie Gee's and more. On RedCarpet™ we're proud to brag that we feature many on this list, so go ahead and enjoy authentic Chicago-style Deep Dish in the comfort of your own home. We ship the top rated pizzerias in the nation, direct to your door, and delivered in days.

New York Style Pizza History

It is said that the first pizzeria in New York was opened by Gennaro Lombardi in 1905, whose famous pizzeria today is known as Lombardi’s. Now at the beginning of the 20th century most pizza in New York City was cooked in gigantic coal-fired masonry ovens that were originally manufactured for the purposes of making bread. And so with this type of oven is where the advent of New York-style Pizza by Lombardi came into the scene. Gennaro Lombardi used this type of oven at the original Lombardi’s location on 32 Spring Street in New York, NY. Today this location is still home to the famous Lombardi’s restaurant and pizzeria, whereby millions of visitors dine each and every year to experience authentic New York Pizza.

One might ask, “Why Coal?” Well according to Lombardi himself bakers used hard coal instead of wood to make the pizza because coal took up less space and burned more efficiently (to the tune of 800 to 1,000°F or 427 to 538°C), making it a much cheaper fuel for the pizzerias. By the turn of the 20th century, the pizza restaurant industry in New York City had grown to over 200 restaurants, nearly all run by Italian immigrants.

Now at the time selling whole pizza pies was the norm because of the benefits of cooking and baking with a coal-oven. It wasn’t until 1934 that an Italian immigrant named Frank Mastro came up with a new more efficient way to bake pizzas in an oven, using gas instead of coal. Frank Mastro’s discovery of the gas-fired pizza took New York City and the pizza world by storm, as cooking via the gas-fired method resulted in a more evenly cooked pizza with a longer shelf life, all while cooking under low temperatures. This allowed Frank Mastro to sell pizzas in a way never done before: by the slice.

By the late 1950’s pizza shops selling pizza by the slice became the norm. This movement became so popular that it became known across the United States as the First Golden Age of the Slice.

Today top pizzerias in New York include: Lazzara's Pizza, Lombardi's, FUMO, Joe's Pizza, Di Fara Pizza, Scarr's Pizza, Grimaldi's Pizza, L&B Spumoni Gardens, Prince St. Pizza and more. Lucky for you we feature Lombardi's, so go and Order Today!

Characteristics of Chicago-Style Pizza

Chicago-style pizza is baked in a pan. Because it is deep, the crust is chewy with a dense crumb and a strong wheat flavor. The thickness of the dough (1/2" to 1") gives you room to add a lot of toppings. The tough shell on the outside of the crust is what supports all those toppings.

The use of fennel and garlic in the sauce, cheese, sausage, and other toppings helps create a more sophisticated flavor than your typical normal pizza. It’s drenched in hearty gravy, and as a result of all of this labor and love Chicago-style pizza can take some serious time to make.

Chicago pizzas are usually cut into squares or rectangles (instead of triangles) so that every piece contains both crust and filling. Chicago-styled pizza is a great option for a filling meal that satisfies the senses. Chicago-style pizza is tasty and filling, with lots of different flavors!

Types of Chicago-style pizza

Pan pizza and stuffed pizza are the two main varieties of Chicago pizza. The sauce used in all types of Chicagoan pizza is thick and usually consists of tomato chunks.
The other similarities in Chicagoan’s pizza is baked in a deep dish with having a coating of olive oil.

1. Pan Pizza
Pizza Hut was the first who make pan pizza truly popular and mainstream. These pizzas have thicker crust, as the pizza is cooked in a pan coated with oil. This technique gives it extra crisp on the outside and makes it chewy on the inside. 

2. Stuffed Crust Pizza
As the name would suggest it's stuffed with cheese and meat in the crust, creating a beautiful pie like creation. The toppings may contain different meats and cheeses and are rolled in the dough edge creating the unique stuffed crust. The pizza is then topped with other sauces, meat, veggies, and cheese to finishing taste. 

Characteristics of New York-style pizza

New York–style pizza is a classic American dish, and it's one of the most popular types of pizza around (as well as more widely known). The pizza crust is hand tossed in the kitchen and its sold as whole pizza or as wide thin slices after cooking. Though the crust is thin and crisp along its edges the pizza is thought of as thin and soft versus that of it's Chicago-style cousin.

As mentioned previously, New York-style pizza crust is slightly crispy on the outside. It gets its unique flavor and texture from minerals and high-gluten flour that is present in the waters of New York. In fact, many attribute the unique taste of New York pizza to the water in New York.

Over time New York–style pizza has evolved into a much more diverse cuisine over the years, with a variety of options available across the city.

The most popular types of New York–style pizzas are called "pizza slices," which are thicker than typical New York pies but still thin enough to fold in half without breaking apart when you eat them, and are sold as slices individually versus that of a traditional entire pizza. 

Ingredients and Preparation:
Let’s break down more about the ingredients and preparation of both Chicago-style pizza and New York-style pizza

Table 1 - The Ingredients:

Pizza Ingredients

Chicago Style Pizza

New York Style Pizza


Chicago is deep-dish pizza. It is more of a sit-down meal that one might eat with a fork and knife.  

The thin crispy crust allows you to easily fold it in half and eat it on the go, or multiple slices if you're really hungry!


Chicago-style pizzas use chunkier sauce. It has a more delicate flavor since the sauce is added in generous amounts.

A thin layer of tomato sauce is added on top of the crust. The quantity used is small relative to Chicago-style pizza.


Thick and dense dough is used

Dough is high in gluten and minerals


Due to dense dough, high quantities of toppings can be used

Due to its triangular shape only 3-4 toppings can be used in slight amounts


Different varieties of cheese are used across the many layers.

Mozzarella cheese is used creating a high moisture content in it's grated form


Oil is distributed evenly helping the crust stay drier rather than pooling at the bottom like it's New York counterpart.

Oil is used in a way that it drips down to the bottom


Table 2 - The Preparation:


Chicago Style Pizza

New York Style Pizza

Shape of slice

It is usually square shape

It is a normal triangular shape

In terms of Appetite

Extremely filled with cheese and topping, one portion is enough for some people

Eaten as a snack since they are lighter

Enter RedCarpet™

RedCarpet™ was founded by two best friends turned entrepreneurs in 2021 in the height of the covid-19 pandemic. Michael Mulé and Sean Bandawat set out to do something never done before, provide nationwide access to the best pizzerias in the United States, all within the comfort of your own home. 

Here at RedCarpet™, We Ship America's Greatest Pizza Nationwide.

Pizza is not just a food, Pizza is delicious. It’s a way of life. Its part of the American culture and you can eat pizza anytime, anywhere! Pizza is good for the soul: when you make your own dough at home or grab one from one of many local pizzerias around town, or order pizza from far away places using RedCarpet™, you'll feel like something special has been put into your hands—you're not just enjoying food, you're enjoying an experience. 

As you can see in our blog post, both Chicago and New York have their own unique flavors and attributes making them equally special in their own respective way. While one is known for its deep-dish pizza, the other is known for its thin crust with lots of toppings.