Regional Pizza Styles: A Journey Through Chicago, Detroit, California, and Connecticut

Over the years, pizza has taken on various forms and flavors as it traveled across the globe, capturing the hearts and taste buds of people worldwide. While the classic Italian pizza remains a favorite, different parts of the United States have put their unique twist on the iconic offering. In this blog, we embark on a delicious journey exploring some of the most popular regional pizza styles: Chicago-style, Detroit-style, California style, and Connecticut thin-crust hot oil pizza from Colony Grill, also known as a bar pie or tavern style.

1. Chicago-style Pizza: Deep-Dish

When it comes to hearty and indulgent pizzas, Chicago-style reigns supreme. This iconic pizza is known for its deep, buttery crust that cradles generous layers of toppings. The pizza is assembled in reverse order compared to traditional pizzas, with cheese lining the crust followed by meats, veggies, and a chunky tomato sauce on top. The deep dish is then baked to perfection, resulting in a thick and satisfying slice.

2. Detroit-style Pizza: A Motor City Marvel

Inspired by the automotive industry's metal pans, Detroit-style pizza boasts a unique rectangular shape with a thick, airy crust that is crispy on the edges and tender inside. The dough is typically proofed in the pan, allowing it to rise and create a light, fluffy texture. This pizza is all about the cheese, which is spread all the way to the edges, resulting in a delightful, caramelized crust. A dollop of tomato sauce, often applied after baking, complements the cheesy goodness.

3. California-style Pizza: Crusty Creativity 

California-style pizza is a reflection of the state's laid-back and adventurous spirit. Unlike its deep-dish counterparts, California-style pizza is characterized by a thin, crispy crust that provides the perfect canvas for innovative toppings. From artisanal cheeses to exotic veggies and fruits, this pizza style encourages creativity and experimentation. Common toppings include arugula, goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and even barbecued chicken.

4. Connecticut Hot Oil Pizza: The Famous Colony Grill Bar Pie

Colony Grill, established in Stamford, CT in 1935, is renowned for its unique "hot oil" bar-style pizza. The hot oil, spicy and chili-infused, gives the pizza a distinctive and addictive kick. The "bar pie" is extremely thin crust, smaller in diameter than a traditional pizza, and not too much cheese or sauce so that slices can be easily managed with one hand, fittingly leaving the other hand free to hold a drink.

In addition to its signature 'hot oil" pizza with personal toppings, guests can opt for a breakfast pizza with choice of breakfast meat, eggs, and cheese, or the popular salad pizza, baked with a touch of olive oil & sea salt, topped with hearty mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers & carrots; tossed with balsamic vinaigrette.

So, the next time you take a bite of pizza, whether it's the saucy, cheese-loaded deep-dish of Chicago, the crispy and cheesy delight of Detroit, the inventive flavors of California, or the fiery thin-crust of Connecticut’s Colony Grill, savor the cultural journey that led to that delicious slice on your plate.