Pizza is one of the most popular food items in the United States, and there are many styles. (WikiCommons)

Two of America’s biggest cities are again embroiled in a food fight – over pizza.

To Chicagoans, their deep-dish pie is the best pizza in the country. New Yorkers like large slices of thin pizza and claim theirs is the best.

The tiff between the cities has been going on for years and recently flared when Eric Phillips, press secretary for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, tweeted a picture of a Chicago pizza, saying, “This is the best pizza in the United States and it’s not close.”

The New York press could not stomach that comment, with the New York Post calling him a “clearly unrepentant city employee.” Phillips didn’t back down, saying New York pizza was “like Salisbury steak vs. actual steak. Sorry.”

According to the American Pizza Community, a coalition of the national pizza industry, some 3 billion pizzas are sold in the United States each year at more than 74,000 pizzerias. The group says there are 34 million possible ways to order pizza. Pizza makes up 17 percent of the entire U.S. restaurant industry, according to the group.

While the debate over which is best will likely never be resolved, there are quite a few more styles of pizza in the United States.

Here’s a list of some of the most well known:


Chicago style

The best way to picture this style is to think of a pizza pie. Chicago style is made in a deep pan with the crust formed like a pie crust. Then, unlike other pizza, it is built “upside down” with the cheese under the sauce and other toppings. That’s because the pizza takes a long time to cook and putting cheese on the top would likely burn the cheese.


New York style

These pizzas are quite large in circumference with a thin crust. It has been called a “bastardization” of Neapolitan style. The pizza is cut into large slices, and New Yorkers say the correct way to eat one is to fold it down the middle. No silverware!


California style

The claim to fame of California pizza is that it uses non-traditional toppings like chicken, barbecue sauce, figs and even pate. The style was so popular it launched a chain of restaurants called California Pizza Kitchen


Neapolitan style

This is likely the original pizza style. The pizzas are generally smaller, with thin, crispy crusts and cooked in a wood oven. They are usually not loaded with toppings and cheese.


Detroit style

This style is unique because it is rectangular instead of round. It is cooked in a well-oiled pan, which gives the thicker crust a slight caramelization. The square shape reportedly originated because the pizza was baked in metal trays that were once used to hold factory parts.


St. Louis style

This is a thin crust style, and the biggest difference is that Provolone cheese is the most commonly used cheese as opposed to mozzarella. The pizza comes out of the oven as a circle, but is cut into square slices.


New Jersey/Philadelphia tomato pie


This type was developed by Italian immigrants, and the difference is that the toppings are capped with tomato sauce rather than the other way around. Also, the tomato sauce is usually chunkier than what is used on other styles. This round pizza is cut into squares.


New Haven, Connecticut style

This style comes with a crust that has been slightly burned, giving it a twinge of a bitter taste. Locals call the style “apizza.” If you want tomato sauce, don’t order a plain apizza because the style doesn’t come with the sauce. Plain for almost any other style assumes tomato sauce and cheese.


Greek style

This style is popular in the northeast of the U.S. in areas where Greek immigrants settled. The style uses tomato sauce and is usually topped with traditional Greek favorites like kalamata olives, artichoke hearts and feta cheese.

(photos: WikiMediaCommons)