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Contrasting Chicago and Detroit-Style Deep Dish Pizza Varieties

The Difference Between Chicago And Detroit-Style Deep Dish Pizza

When it comes to pizza, there are countless variations and styles to choose from. Two popular styles that often spark debates among pizza enthusiasts are Chicago-style deep dish and Detroit-style deep dish pizza. While both styles are known for their thick crusts and generous toppings, they each have their own unique characteristics that set them apart. In this article, we will delve into the key differences between Chicago and Detroit-style deep dish pizza, exploring their origins, crusts, toppings, and overall eating experience.

Origins of Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza

Chicago-style deep dish pizza is truly iconic and has become synonymous with the city itself. This famous pizza style originated in the 1940s at Pizzeria Uno, a restaurant in downtown Chicago. It was created as a way to satisfy the cravings of pizza lovers who desired something more substantial and hearty. The thick crust, tall edges, and layers of toppings make it stand out from other pizza styles.

Origins of Detroit-Style Deep Dish Pizza

On the other hand, Detroit-style deep dish pizza traces its roots back to the Motor City in the 1940s as well. According to popular belief, it originated at Buddy’s Rendezvous, a former speakeasy turned pizzeria. The story behind this style involves reusing old automotive parts trays, resulting in a rectangular shape and unique texture. The cheese is spread all the way to the edges, creating a caramelized and crispy border.


The crust is one of the most crucial aspects when comparing Chicago and Detroit-style deep dish pizzas. In Chicago-style, the crust is typically thick, buttery, and flaky, resembling a pie-like pastry. It acts as a sturdy base that can hold a considerable amount of cheese, sauce, and toppings without becoming soggy. The edges are tall and slightly crispy, providing a delightful contrast to the soft and doughy center.

On the other hand, Detroit-style deep dish pizza features a unique crust that is thick, rectangular, and airy. It is made using a special dough and then baked in a well-oiled pan, creating a crunchy and caramelized exterior while maintaining a light and fluffy interior. The edges are often the highlight with their cheesy, crunchy texture that adds an extra layer of indulgence to every bite.


Both styles of deep dish pizza pride themselves on generous and delicious toppings, but the way they are layered sets them apart. In Chicago-style, the traditional order of toppings begins with cheese, followed by any meats or vegetables of choice, and finally, a layer of chunky tomato sauce on top. This method allows the sauce to slowly seep into the crust, infusing it with flavor.

Detroit-style deep dish pizza takes a different approach by reversing the order of toppings. The cheese is spread all the way to the edges, creating a crispy, cheese-filled border. This ensures that every slice has a crispy layer of cheese on the bottom, acting as a protective barrier against the sauce and toppings. The thick layer of sauce is then spread on top, followed by the desired toppings.

Eating Experience

The eating experience of these two pizza styles is also distinct. Chicago-style deep dish pizza is known for its fork and knife approach due to its substantial size and thickness. Each slice becomes a small meal in itself, with layers of cheese, sauce, and toppings tantalizing your taste buds. The combination of flaky crust, melty cheese, and tangy tomato sauce creates a harmonious symphony of flavors in every bite.

Detroit-style deep dish pizza, on the other hand, offers a unique, yet equally satisfying experience. The rectangular shape allows for easy slicing into squares, often known as “party cuts.” The crust stands out with its crispy and cheesy edges, while the toppings and sauce burst with flavors. The light and airy interior create a delightful contrast against the caramelized cheese border, making every bite a delightful combination of textures.


Despite both being referred to as deep dish pizzas, Chicago-style and Detroit-style pizzas have distinct characteristics that make them stand out. The thick and flaky crust of Chicago-style pizza, combined with its layered toppings, create a hearty and indulgent experience. On the other hand, the rectangular shape, crunchy edges, and reverse toppings of Detroit-style pizza offer a unique and delicious twist.

So, whether you’re a Chicago-style enthusiast or a Detroit-style devotee, these two deep dish pizza styles provide a feast for the senses that is sure to satisfy any pizza craving. Whichever style you prefer, the love and passion put into crafting these iconic pizzas are evident in every bite.


Written By

Avi Adkins is a seasoned journalist with a passion for storytelling and a keen eye for detail. With years of experience in the field, Adkins has established himself as a respected figure in journalism.

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