Move Over, Deep Dish, Thin Crust is the Real Pizza of Chicago

Deep dish pizza has drawn worldwide acclaim, but Chicago Thin Crust pizza may actually be the more popular choice for locals. It’s decidedly different from its casserole-like sister, but it’s just as delicious and revered in its home city.

What’s the difference between Chicago Thin Crust pizza and New York pizza?

Not all thin crust is created equally – the level of thickness, or lack thereof, varies wildly within the phylum, and so can the texture.

A slice of New York pizza is soft enough to be folded for grab-and-go convenience. The crust of Chicago Thin Crust pizza, on the other hand, is crispy. Forget the fold, Chicagoans say. This tavern-cut slice has bite and character thanks to its crunch.

How do they manage to make Chicago Thin Crust pizza so crispy?

As you may have guessed, Chicago Thin Crust pizza is baked longer than a typical pie, allowing it to get extra crispy in the oven. The pizza also gets its crackle from the dough being rolled super thin rather than hand-stretched or tossed. The end result is a deliciously paradoxical bottom layer that is both dense and thin.

What else is different about Chicago Thin Crust pizza?

Deep dish pizzas are laced with a chunky blend of tomatoes, but the Chicago Thin Crust pizza relies on a fine and zesty tomato sauce. And, even though the pie is round, it is sliced into inexact square tiles. The portions within a Chicago Thin Crust pizza will vary, but it’s a crowd-pleaser for groups that contain both “inside” and “outside” slice lovers.

Is Chicago Thin Crust the city’s true pizza?

If you think the debate between New York-style pizza and deep dish is fierce, you need to prepare yourself for a hotly-contested intra-city argument in Chicago. Some in Chi-Town insist that thin-crust pizza is the city’s true calling card.

Chicago’s thin pizza predates the deep dish, according to Chicago Pizza Tour proprietor Jon Porter. Born on the South Side of Chicago, the thin pies were issued gratis in area bars, encouraging patrons to stay a bit longer and buy a few more rounds of beer. Tourists flock to Chicago for superbly cheesy deep dish pies, but many Chicago residents favor the thin variety.

“I didn’t even really have deep dish until I was almost in high school,” Porter told NPR. “So I truly do feel that the thin-crust tavern-style is the true Chicago style.”

We say, why choose? With countless Chicago-Style Thin Crust and deep dish pies available on Slice, you can try both and make up your own mind. Or, better yet, stay out of the fracas and enjoy them in equal measure.