Thin Crust vs. Thick Crust Pizza: Thin New York Crust and Thick Chicago Crust

Which is better: thin-crust or thick-crust pizza?

It seems like the Big Apple and the Windy City are constantly at odds: the NBA Bulls-Knicks rivalry, the fight to have the nation’s top hot dog, and — of course — the duel for pizza supremacy. New York dominates the thin crust arena while Chicago takes the lead with thick. “There are many different secrets in every dough,” says CIA Chef Giovanni Scappin. “But generally thin crust uses the same amount of dough as thick, it’s just stretched more and gets crispier. Thick crust is doughy.”

Here are more of the particulars of the thick-versus-thin crust debate:

New York Crust

  • Cut into triangular shapes that are easily folded for eating on the go
  • Drenched in oil
  • Limited to small layers of toppings so they don’t fall off
  • Usually only has one type of cheese at a time
  • Where to get it: Anywhere. Our area is a little biased in NYC’s favor

la bella pizza bistroThick-crust pizza from La Bella Pizza Bistro in New Paltz, NY

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Photograph by John Simpson

Chicago Crust

  • Cut into square portions and eaten with a fork, casserole-style
  • Not much oil
  • Loads of toppings that can stay on the thick dough
  • Usually has a multitude of cheese types
  • Where to get it: Though not true Chicago-style, La Bella Pizza 
Bistro’s deep-dish pan pizza is probably the closest you’ll find in our area. These pies are a couple of inches thick and can hold a copious amount of toppings. Customer favorites have proven to be the meat lovers (pepperoni, meatball, and fennel sausage, with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese) and potato au gratin (house-made mashed potatoes, caramelized onions, and cheddar, mozzarella, and Parmesan).

» Try thin-crust pizza at Plaza Pizza in Kingston, NY
» Try thick-crust pizza at La Bella Pizza Bistro in New Paltz, NY
» Return to Pizza and Pizzerias in the Hudson Valley feature story
» Find a Hudson Valley pizzeria


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