The lines in this war are thicker than the accents from which these pizzas call home. New Yorkers cling to the crown as thin-crusted pizza monarchs while deep-dish Chicagoans disagree with howling winds that rattle their skyscrapers. This week, they go crust to crust in a mozzarella and marinara fueled food fight for the ages.
Deep Dish: As a New Yorker, it pains me to say that most of the deep dish pizzas I’ve laid my eyes on (I’m talking the likes of Lou Malnati’s, Pizzeria Uno, Giordano’s, and Gino’s East) have inspired significant stomach lust. Something about the containment of all the toppings pleases this writer’s eye, and I’m not ashamed to say it.
Thin Crust: To be clear, we’re not talking about bougie New York pizza here. The fight here refers to the $2-a-slice, hand-scorching, mozzarella-grease-laden pizza. You’re damn right it looks disgusting and no, you will never get that grease stain out of your coat.
Taste and Consistency
Deep Dish: Crusts vary from pastry-like to almost full-on bread, but they’re all coated with a mysterious mixture of olive oil and seasonings that make you wish they’d make breadsticks out of the stuff. The toppings themselves quickly find themselves all over your plate, but you’re surprisingly never overwhelmed by a single one of them. Sadly, some pizzas seem almost completely devoid of cheese. Can you trust a pizza like that?
Thin Crust: To burn or not to burn: that is the age-old New York pizza crust question. If freshly burnt, the crust is like an old friend who gave up on their art but has still found solace in their real estate job. Doughier crusts serve the late-night crowds better by assisting the grease in its attempt to soak up alcohol, bad report cards, and weird subway interactions.
The sauce almost always has a perfect dough to cheese ratio because middle-aged Italian men know you didn’t come for the tomatoes. No matter where you are or how hot the pizza is, the cheese tends to know exactly where to snap so that you still look a human being while piling its stringy goodness into your mouth.
One of the main reasons pizza exists is so Italian workers could have an easy to carry lunch, so we’d be remiss if we didn’t consider these pizzas’ heft.
Deep Dish: Unless you’re a professional eater with zero heat receptors on your hands, tongue, and face, you have to eat a deep dish with a knife and fork. Depending on your BMI, a slice or two will have you ready to take a nap in no time, which I’m sure your boss will appreciate.
Thin Crust: You dab just enough grease off the slice with a napkin, and that paper plate will support your caloric indulgence across streets, through construction work, someone else’s messy break-up, and even an argument with a cabbie. Your pizza’s there for you when you have places to go and strangers to yell at.
Winner: Thin Crust Pizza
Before you claim New Yorker bias, let’s be real: deep dish pizza is a damn casserole. A delicious casserole, but a casserole nonetheless. Pizza anywhere else in the world gunning for New York’s crown got the memo – you’re either thin – or you’re out. Now, that being said, Chicago’s thin crust is nothing to sneeze at, but that’s a battle for another day.