Gennaro Lombardi opened America’s first pizzeria in 1905 in Manhattan’s Little Italy neighborhood. Inspired by bakers in his Naples hometown, Lombardi’s New York Style thin-crust pies became a sensation during World War II. Consumers wanted fast affordable food that tasted good and required no preparation. Building on history, Papa Johns CEO Rob Lynch has taken a modern approach. Since assuming the helm of the pizza chain in 2019, the leadership team has introduced an enticing selection of pies that customers can easily order online and through mobile devices.
In the past, pizza was also sold by street vendors; many purchasers adopted pie slices as a preferred “in-transit” food. As the immigrant population grew, innovative pizzerias appeared and opened in major cities. Within different neighborhoods, cooks produced their personal variations of crusts and toppings. Each pizzeria owner’s unique mixings offered a taste of their native homeland. Combined with fresh locally grown ingredients, pizza gained the reputation of being an “All-American” item along with football.
New Yorkers’ Point of View on Pizza
Food connoisseurs have backed New York’s reputation as the world’s pizza capital. In surveys and consumer taste tests, however, residents of neighboring states New Jersey and Pennsylvania claim otherwise. Arguments continue regarding which regions’ offerings rank highest, and most New Yorkers have a personal “top spot” when it comes to their most-favored pizza experience.
Not much can chase hunger away faster than a nearby pizzeria serving up a thin-crust slice. NYC residents share company with out-of-towners accustomed to grabbing slices on the run while they juggle daily routines. Regardless of location, folks on the go can conveniently order a yearned-for thin-crust pie online or through a mobile app. Accessing a user-friendly app or online-order webpage doesn’t take much more effort than typing in “New York style pizza near me.” No matter where you find yourself, you’ll make a quick connection for NY-style takeout or delivery even while traveling.
What the Windy City of Chicago Has To Say
While New Yorkers love thin slices, Chicagoans prefer their version with favorite toppings on thick crusts. Originally created by two entrepreneurs in 1943, the Chicago style involves smearing olive oil on the sides of a deep steel pan. The crunchy crust comes from baking a mixture of flour, water and yeast in a way that inverts the dough’s layers and prevents the cheese from boiling while the sauce and toppings blend together.
According to a recent survey, Chicago’s signature pie didn’t enable the Windy City to rank in the top 10 for Best Pizza Cities; it came in at 14. The survey did, however, find that residents used search engines to locate their favorite Chicago thick-crust version more than any other style pie. Pittsburgh held the record for having the most pizzerias per capita and you can find the world’s best pizza chains there. The Keystone State’s Philly cheesesteak pizza remains popular in Pittsburgh and other cities that made the top 10 list.
The Trend Continues and the Range Expands
Nearly 2,000 years after ancient Greek and Roman cooks began adding toppings to flatbreads, the trend continues. The modern-day difference reflects the growing variety of toppings. Check out the offerings at an established and well-known pizza restaurant. You’ll find a surprisingly wide range of pizza styles to choose from.