By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Nov 04, 2022 at 1:01 PM Photography: Lori Fredrich

In this series, we’re exploring various types of pizza –from crackery thin Milwaukee style pies to Chicago-style deep dish – and sussing out the secret sauce behind each one. View the full list of features in the Knead to Know series here.

Every pizza technically has roots in Italy. But New York style pizza is a closer relation: a cousin, if you will. It grew out of the Neapolitan style pizza which was first brought to New York City by Italian immigrants like Gennaro Lombardi, who opened America’s first pizzeria in 1905 in the Little Italy neighborhood of Manhattan. 

Made with a characteristically large, hand-tossed crust, New York style pizza is thicker and crisp only around its edges, but soft, thin and pliable beneath its toppings allowing it to be folded in half to eat. Unlike its Neapolitan style cousins, the pies are topped with an often heavily seasoned tomato sauce and grated, low-moisture mozzarella cheese. Any additional toppings – of which there are usually few – are placed on top of the cheese. 

Since slices of the pizza are large (an 18-inch pizza is almost always cut into just 8 slices), most spots that make New York style pizza will offer it up both by the pie or the slice, making it a popular choice for a quick meal on the go.

To learn more, we paid a visit to Milwaukee’s own Classic Slice where co-owner Jason (jTodd) Zbichorski walked us through the process of creating their signature New York style pies. [Video: Courtney Bondar]

Classic Slice
2797 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., (414) 238-2406

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More New York style pies

Brick 3 Pizza
1107 N. Old World 3rd St., (414) 224-6040

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E&F Pizzeria
Egg & Flour at Crossroads Collective
2238 N. Farwell Ave., (414) 763-9081

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Kim's Pizza Pub
N67 W33395 County Road K, Oconomowoc, (262) 727-7210

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Leonardo’s Pizza 
11051 N. Port Washington Rd., Mequon, (262) 241-8557

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Sal’s Pizza 
2974 N. Oakland Ave., (414) 967-8040

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Transfer Pizzeria Cafe
101 W. Mitchell St., (414) 763-0438

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Ask co-owner John Rosetti about Transfer’s pizza and he’ll quickly identify New York style as the most accurate description.  “Although we don't sell in large slices, which is common to New York style,” he says, “It is a hand-tossed thin crust (slightly thicker and crispy near the edges) and you can easily fold it in half to eat it.” 

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.