East Coast Pizza vs. West Coast Pizza

Everyone has their favorite style of pizza. As we covered in our previous article, there are many different styles in which to eat one of America’s favorite foods. However, there seems to be a constant battle among pizza lovers about whether East Coast or West Coast pizza is better and these people have strong opinions. To better understand this battle, you need to first understand the differences between East Coast and West Coast pizza.

What is East Coast Pizza?

East Coast pizza is traditionally thought of as New York and New Haven style pizza which are both very similar. They’re both made up of relatively thin crispy crust which is charred, large slices, and high quality mozzarella cheese. Pizza in America originated on the East Coast when many Italian immigrants introduced the food to the United States. The food gained popularity when places like Totonno’s Pizzeria Napolitana in New York City and Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana in New Haven made pizza well known to the public. East Coast pizza tends to be more traditional, made with marinara sauce, mozzarella, and toppings such as meat and vegetables. It’s a classic, and usually what comes to mind when one thinks of pizza.


What is West Coast Pizza?

West Coast pizza tends to be less traditional than its East Coast counterpart and focuses heavily on toppings and unique creations. The crust is usually thin but it is not as chewy as an East Coast style pizza crust. The big difference in style is with the sauce and toppings. West Coast style pizza doesn’t always have marinara sauce as its base. It can have a variety of sauces such as barbecue, alfredo, pesto or even something exotic like spicy chipotle sauce. Toppings are usually inspired by California cuisine like lobster, avocado, and goat cheese. Not all pizzas always come with mozzarella. It is harder to find good quality mozzarella on the West Coast than on the East Coast. When it comes to West Coast pizza you can really put anything on it. The slices are smaller than East Coast pizza and pizzas often come in “personal size” servings.


So, which is better?

Which pizza is better is really up to you. East Coast pizza carries a tradition and has high quality ingredients. It is well known around the country and the East Coast takes pride in their “slices of pie”. If you prefer variety and interesting toppings, West Coast pizza might be the choice for you. Of course, you don’t have to choose one. Don’t pick a side and enjoy both styles, because life is short and you can never have enough pizza.