What Qualifies as New York Style Pizza?

This can be a hotly debated topic, and can be very hard to quantify.  Sometimes its easier to say what is NOT New York Style Pizza.  For example:  If it comes in a pan, it’s not.  If it is cooked on a conveyer belt, it’s not.  Sometimes it’s best just to judge it the same way that the Supreme Court determines if something is pornographic.  According to Justice Potter in 1964, “I won’t attempt to define it further, but I know it when I see it.”  

Well, I know it when I see it, but I will go ahead and attempt to define it anyway.  I know that my opinions may generate some controversy and maybe even some confusion, but what I’m trying to do is help an individual find a good pizza place, particularly when travelling to a distant land.  So here are my initial criteria, up for discussion and debate.  I will elaborate on each of these in later posts.

Thin Crust Pizza (40%)
PIzza by the Slice Availability (10%)
Large Slices (10%)
Traditional Pizza Ovens (10%)
Sicilian Pizza Availability (10%)
Run by Italians (10%)
Red & Green or Italy Theme or Name (5%)
Pizza or Pizzeria in Title (spelled correctly!) (5%)


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One Response to What Qualifies as New York Style Pizza?

  1. Emmett says:

    I’m not a NYer, but as a guy who almost exclusively likes NY and old-California style (which is similar), here are my own criteria for NY style (neopolitan):

    * Ultra-thin crust
    * Sauce is just crushed tomatoes (vital for the right taste)
    * Very small amount of cheese
    * Oven has to have baking stones regardless of oven type (in order to crisp the bottom of the crust)

    The differences with old style Californian pizza (what I grew up with) is about 30% thicker crust, 1.5-2 times the cheese, and a sauce made from tomato paste and spices with a bit of zing. The best chain for this is probably Pizza My Heart.

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