Cravings Culture

Apparently Deep-Dish Pizza Is Only One Of 10 Different Pizza Styles In Chicago

Just from reputation alone, I’ve always believed that New York City offered the best pizza in the United States. Biting into those phenomenal pies, I’ve often wondered if there was anywhere else in the US that could square up against those massive New York slices.

One man decided to put in the delicious work and settle the debate on which city really does offer the best pizza.

Steve Dolinsky is a 13-time James Beard Award winning TV and radio personality based in Chicago. Dolinsky hosts a segment for ABC 7 called “The Hungry Hound” where he seeks out and reviews the best restaurants in the city.

Photo: Huge Galdones

Dolinsky is also the author of the upcoming book Pizza City, U.S.A: 101 Reasons Why Chicago is America’s Greatest Pizza Town. In it, he sets out to prove that Chicago is irrefutably the best place to get pizza in the country.

During his experience, he explains that there are actually ten different types of pizzas the city is known for. Over the course of six months, Dolinsky went to 185 different pizzerias in Chicago and 56 in New York to be able to properly judge between the two cities.

He came to the conclusion that Chicago’s pizza was the superior of the two metropolises for two reasons: variety and depth.

“Not everyone likes stuffed, but some do. Not everyone likes deep, but many do. We also have tavern style and more Detroit places per capita than New York City. Quite simply, diversity wins.”

Dolinsky’s process was methodic. He wanted a baseline as to what to expect from the pizzas, so he would go in asking the style they were known for and then just order two common toppings: pepperoni and sausage.

“That was always the order when I was doing the initial assessing,” he explained. “I wanted to compare apples to apples. I didn’t think it was fair that some guy could have, even if it was a longer fermented dough, broccoli rabe and porchetta versus something that’s just pepperoni.”

In doing so, Dolinsky was able to experience the many different styles of pizza Chicago had to offer. So what else was there other than what we know as Deep Dish?

Check out the ten different styles of Chicago pizzas below.


Photo: Huge Galdones
  • Much longer dough fermentation time, a minimum of two days.
  • A relatively more moist dough that allows for a better chew.
  • Gourmet toppings.
  • Typically everything is made in-house, which includes sauces, dough, meatballs.


Photo: Huge Galdones
  • A pan pizza.
  • Uses brick cheese instead of mozzarella.
  • Cheese pushes to the edge of the pan and caramelizes.
  • Two racing stripes of tomato sauce only.


Photo: Huge Galdones
  • Also known as Chicago style thin.
  • Always square cut.
  • Cheese and sauce are pushed to the edge.
  • Thin and crispy, in some cases it’s almost saltine cracker thin.


Photo: Huge Galdones
  • Wedge cut.
  • Crust is thicker than Tavern style, but not crispy.
  • Similar to New York style in terms of chewiness.
  • Not a pronounced heel (rise in the crust), an even height.


Photo: Huge Galdones
  • Lots of cheese and tomato sauce.
  • Three ingredients.
  • The dough resembles leopard spotting.
  • Wood burning oven with 850-900 degrees F.

New York

Photo: Huge Galdones
  • Giant wedge.
  • Foldable with three fingers.
  • A little crispy underneath.
  • In Chicago, if you ask for sausage, it comes crumbled rather than in slices like New York.
  • There’s a lot more fennel and oregano in the sausages offered in Chicago.


Photo: Huge Galdones
  • Has a thin, extra top layer of dough.
  • A lake of tomato sauce on top of that.
  • Great for cheese pulls.


Photo: Huge Galdones
  • Two-inch height.
  • There’s a layer of mozzarella cheese on the bottom to protect the slice from getting soggy.
  • Chunky, strained tomatoes in the sauce.
  • Baked for 45 minutes.


Photo: Huge Galdones
  • Essentially “Pizza Tapas”.
  • Cooked in long rectangular pans.
  • Two day fermentation of the dough.
  • Baked in a special handmade oven at 580 degrees.
  • Topped with fresh, seasonal ingredients — up to 60 flavors.


Photo: Huge Galdones
  • Made in a shallow pan
  • Crunchy base.
  • The cheese and toppings cook for hours first before adding the sauce.
  • Served in squares.

Pizza City, U.S.A: 101 Reasons Why Chicago is America’s Greatest Pizza Town releases this upcoming September.


11 U.S. Beer Bars You NEED To Visit Before You Die

We all have those special bars that we just love, but some bars are not only special to us, they’re incredible no matter who you are. These are bars that are worth seeking out, if only to enjoy just one pint. The experience and the journey is worth it. Here are 11 of those such bars. Grab a bar stool at one of them soon.


The Brickstore – Atlanta, Georgia


Arguably the bar that taught Atlantans to drink good beer, this place is a mecca for anyone that loves beer, especially of the Belgian variety. The darkly lit interior is reminiscent of an old abbey, and the staff is incredibly knowledgeable. Plus the food is pretty delicious as well.


Kennedy School – Portland, Oregon


Located in a converted elementary school, McMenamins bought the school and converted it into a hotel, restaurant, bar and brewery. It makes for one of the most unique drinking experiences you’ll ever have, especially when you wind up in a bar named “detention.”


Burp Castle – New York, New York


All hail this temple of suds where you aren’t allowed to speak above a whisper. Seriously…other patrons will shush you.


Draught House – Austin, Texas


Whether you choose to hang out in the parking lot in your own chair, as the regulars do, or head inside to sample one of the 70+ beers on tap, you’ll have a hard time not having fun here.


Father’s Office – Los Angeles, California


One of the best complements to a good beer is a fantastic burger, and this place has one of the best around – the rumors are true. Plus their selection of beer is incredible. These guys are basically the ambassadors of craft beer in LA.


El Bait Shop – Des Moines, Iowa


When you pull up to this bar, you may think it’s more of a hangout spot for bikers than a place for beer, but they take their suds extremely seriously, even claiming to have the world’s largest selection of American craft brews on tap – there are over 100.


124 Old Rabbit Club – New York, New York


Head down a set of metal stairs just off Macdougal street and press the illuminated buzzer. If there’s room inside the door will open and you’ll be treated to a geeky selection of beer you won’t soon forget.


HopCat – Grand Rapids, Michigan


There are a few HopCats that have opened in recent years, but you want to head to the original, which is responsible for helping introduce the public to some of the best craft beers the state of Michigan has to offer, including mega hit Founders.


Palm Tavern – Milwaukee, Wisconsin


This bar can be a bit tough to find – which locals love, and is why they aren’t too keen on places continuing to talk about it – but once you do, you’ll also find one of the best beer lists in the country, especially if you’re a fan of brews made in Belgium.


Ebenezer’s Pub – Lovell, Maine


This bar is located in the middle of nowhere, seriously, you are only going to Lovell, ME for this bar and this bar only — there is nothing around for miles. But Ebenezer’s has one of the best beer selections in the country – over 700 bottles – and you get to consume those beers while hanging out in an old converted farm house, so the trip to the middle of nowhere is totally worth it. There is a reason it has been named best beer bar in America several times.


The Thirsty Monk – Asheville, North Carolina


Asheville is currently the most exciting place in the country for craft beer, and this bar is ground zero. Head here to sample all North Carolina has to offer, and more.

Written by VinePair