The Most Popular Pizza
Pizza has been around for centuries, and over time, it’s become one of the most popular foods in the world. A visit to almost any restaurant today will present you with a vast selection of pizzas that range from classic favorites like pepperoni to new specialty flavors that include mushrooms and artichoke hearts. While pepperoni is still the number one choice among Americans, different countries have their variations of toppings, cheeses, and sauces that make them stand out as popular pizzas worldwide.
In this blog post, we’ll be taking a look at some of the more beloved pizzas on an international scale — just reading through may get your mouth watering!
#1 Pepperoni pizza – USA
Pepperoni pizza is probably the most popular and widely-known pizza in the world. Originating from New York, pepperoni has become a traditional topping for American pizzas. It’s typically made with tomato sauce, cheese, and slices of pepperoni on top.
Discover America’s favorite pizza topping – pepperoni! YouGov America’s survey reveals that pepperoni pizza is the most popular pizza variety nationwide for its savory, salty taste, and perfect texture that complements different sauces, cheeses, and crusts. The name “pepperoni” may have originated from Italian for large pepper, but today it stands for a spicy salami made of beef, pork, and spices.
The rise of pepperoni pizza’s popularity began in the 1950s, and now it’s the go-to pizza flavor for many. While beef pepperoni pizza is the most common, there are other versions like fish and port pepperoni pizza. Although the preparation may vary by state, this pizza is often made with mozzarella, tomato sauce, and the unmistakable taste of pepperoni.
Main ingredients: flour, tomato sauce, pepperoni, mozzarella.
#2 Cheese pizza – Italy
Have you ever wondered which pizza varieties reign supreme and are the most highly favored? Look no further than classic cheese pizza with a tangy marinara sauce, which is adored by pizza enthusiasts across the globe. This delectable dish boasts gooey melted cheese, hints of garlic, and a blend of Italian herbs atop a crispy crust, making it a top pick for any discerning pizza palate.
The classic Italian cheese pizza is simple yet delicious. It uses no toppings, only tomato sauce and mozzarella or provolone cheese. The trick to making a perfect cheese pizza is using the freshest ingredients possible and having an oven that can give it the right amount of heat for a crispy crust.
While many people associate cheese pizza with Italy, this variety of pizza has been around since ancient times in Greece, where it was known as “plakous” or “flatbreads”. This type of dish then spread throughout Europe and eventually became popular in America during World War II when soldiers were stationed abroad and wanted to try something familiar.
Cheese pizza remains one of the most beloved pizzas in the world, with many restaurants offering creative variations like adding herbs and spices, or more robust toppings such as ham and mushrooms. Its simple ingredients make it an easy option for topping up a meal or snack.
Main ingredients: flour, mozzarella or provolone cheese, marinara sauce, garlic, and Italian herbs.
#3 Margherita pizza – Italy
The Margherita pizza is named after Queen Margherita of Savoy and was first created in 1889 by Raffaele Esposito from Naples, Italy. The classic ingredients represent the colors of the Italian flag; tomato sauce (red), mozzarella cheese (white), and basil leaves (green). This combination makes for a light and delicious pizza, yet packed with flavor.
Many consider this to be one of the best traditional pizzas, made with fresh tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. The thin crust is topped off with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh basil leaves that provide a delicious contrast to the creamy cheese and tangy tomatoes.
The origin of this pizza proves it has been around for centuries and continues to be a classic favorite. Whether you’re in Italy or looking for great pizza near you, Margherita is always a reliable option!
The Margherita pizza was created by a chef in Naples to honor Queen Margherita of Savoy during a visit to the city in 1889. The red sauce, white cheese, and green basil leaves are meant to represent the Italian flag. It’s still one of the most beloved pizzas around the globe today and is often considered a classic representation of Italian cuisine.
Main ingredients: flour, tomato, mozzarella cheese, and basil leaves.
#4 Hawaiian Pizza – Canada
Did you know that Hawaiian pizza is a Canadian invention? The classic American-style pie, topped with cheese, ham, and pineapple chunks, was created in Chatham, Ontario in the mid-1960s by a Greek immigrant named Sam Panopoulos. He added pineapple to the dish and served it to the customers of his Satellite Restaurant, who loved it. The popularity of Hawaiian pizza quickly spread across Canada and the United States of America.
Contrary to its name, Hawaiian pizza has nothing to do with Hawaii. It was named after the brand of pineapple that Panopoulos used on his pizza. Despite the ongoing debate among pizza enthusiasts about whether pineapple belongs on pizza, there’s no denying that the sweet pineapple, salty ham or bacon, and savory cheese make for a unique and popular flavor combination. If you’re looking for something different, give Hawaiian pizza a try!
Main ingredients: flour, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, pineapple, boiled ham.
#5 Vegan pizza – Everywhere
Vegan pizza has become increasingly popular with the rise of veganism in recent years. The classic pie is still made without any animal products, but it features an array of vegetables and vegan cheeses to make it a tasty treat.
Vegetables like mushrooms, peppers, onions, olives, and tomatoes are often used as toppings for vegan pizzas. To replace the cheese, many people use plant-based alternatives such as cashew cheese or almond ricotta. Many vegan-friendly sauces can be used for added flavor.
Those looking to reduce meat and dairy from their diet can opt for delicious vegan pizza, sans any meat toppings or cheese. Want the cheesy goodness of pizza without dairy? Just ask for a vegan cheese option. vegetarian pizza, or Pizza Vegetariana, is a fan favorite featuring a blend of fresh, seasonal veggies such as zucchini, eggplants, and peppers – all pre-cooked and topped with an array of flavorful ingredients like artichoke hearts, oregano, and more. Finish off your wholesome meal with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh basil. Missing out on the mozzarella? No problem – simply request it to be omitted for a vegan-friendly pizza experience.
Main ingredients: flour, tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, peppers, zucchini, and eggplants.
#6 Buffalo chicken pizza – United States
Buffalo chicken pizza is an American classic. It’s a pie that combines the spicy, tangy flavor of buffalo sauce with the richness of cheese, and the savory crunch of chicken – making it one of the most popular pizzas in the US.
The base for this delicious dish starts with a traditional crust, which is then covered in tomato or barbecue sauce and topped with cooked chicken chunks. A generous helping of mozzarella cheese adds creaminess to the mix, while blue cheese crumbles add just the right amount of pungency. Finally, hot sauce or buffalo sauce is added for a final kick!
Buffalo chicken pizza is perfect for those who love bold flavors and are looking for something a bit different. If you’re not a fan of spicy food, you can always ask for it to be made milder or choose another topping like ham or bacon instead. Either way, this pizza is sure to satisfy your cravings!
Main ingredients: flour, buffalo sauce, mozzarella cheese, chicken, tomato, or barbecue sauce.
#6 Deep-dish pizza – United States
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, Neapolitan immigrants migrated to the USA in pursuit of a better life. Fast forward to 1943, and their offspring, ultimately, Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo initiated Pizzeria Uno in Chicago, launching a unique, deep-dish pizza. The recipe featured an inverted layering of cheese, meat, and tomatoes, baked inside a thick, crunchy crust.
Today, Chicago-style deep-dish pizza is a cultural and culinary trademark, adored throughout the world. You could even say it’s taken on a life of its own, with National Deep Dish Pizza Day observed annually on April 5th. And did you know, Halloween is the second busiest day for pizza orders, preceded by Thanksgiving Eve and New Year’s Eve?
Famously dubbed “Chicago-style crust”, the deep-dish pizza delight has a thick, buttery base that’s more bread-like than its thin-crust pizza peers. Its long-endured popularity stems from its crust ledge that prevents the toppings from sliding off when you dig in, allowing you to savor gobs of sauce, creamy cheese, and an assortment of savory toppings in every bite.
Main ingredient: flour, tomatoes, salsiccia, mozzarella, Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano.
#7 Detroit-style pizza – United States
Discover the delicious taste of Detroit-style pizza with its signature square shape, thick deep-dish crust, and inverted toppings. This mouthwatering pizza starts with cheese directly on top of the dough, followed by a thick tomato sauce seasoned with garlic and spices. Pepperoni is the most popular topping, either on top of the sauce or buried underneath the cheese.
Originating from Buddy’s Rendezvous in 1946, Detroit-style pizza has gained nationwide popularity and is a must-try dish. It’s best paired with beer or wine and features chunky Sicilian-style crusts that are thick and chewy. Plus, it also reverses the layering of traditional pizza, with toppings on the bottom, cheese in the middle, and sauce on top.
Detroit-style pizza is a delicious twist on the traditional Italian dish. It’s made with a thick, rectangular crust that’s similar to a deep dish and topped with cheese, sauce, and other ingredients. The most distinctive part of this type of pizza is its square shape, which makes it stand out from all other pizzas.
Unlike the typical round pizza, Detroit-style pizza is cooked in an oiled pan and has cheese on the edges of the crust. This results in a crunchy, chewy texture with bits of golden brown cheese on top. It’s often served with a light tomato sauce and toppings such as pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, peppers, olives, and sausage.
This unique pizza style is becoming increasingly popular due to its delicious taste and distinct shape. Whether you’re looking for something new or just craving a classic pizza night at home – Detroit-style is sure to satisfy your cravings! Serve it up with some garlic breadsticks or salad for a complete meal. Enjoy!
Main ingredients: flour, tomato sauce, pepperoni, mozzarella.
#8 New York-style pizza – United States
Indulge in a slice of New York-style pizza for a satisfying and convenient snack on the go. This pizza boasts a crispy outer edge and a soft, pliable inner crust that guarantees a mouthwatering experience.
Originating from classic Neapolitan-style pizza, New York-style pizza was introduced to America by Italian immigrants during the early 1900s. It gained popularity with the opening of America’s first pizzeria, Lombardi’s, where the owner Gennaro Lombardi served extra-large and wide pizza.
Easily manageable for consumption while on foot, New York-style pizza features large and wide slices, ensuring a filling treat. Some attribute the unique crust texture to minerals found only in New York City’s tap water. Typically, the pizza is covered with mozzarella and heavily-seasoned tomato sauce, while toppings such as vegetables or sausage come on top of the cheese.
Experience the authentic taste of New York with a slice of delicious New York-style pizza.
Main ingredients: flour, mozzarella, tomato sauce, olive oil, garlic, oregano, basil.
#9 Pizza Napoletana
Enjoy a light and crispy pizza experience with the popular thin crust known as the Neapolitan crust. Often found on Margherita pizza, this style of crust is a favorite among pizza enthusiasts.
The genuine Neapolitan pizza is a culinary icon of Italy, made with simple ingredients and available in two delicious variations – marinara and Margherita.
Marinara is a Neapolitan classic, featuring a tomato-based sauce flavored with garlic and oregano. Discover the origins of Marinara, a delectable Neapolitan pizza that features a tantalizing blend of tomatoes, oregano, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil. Contrary to popular belief, this scrumptious dish does not contain seafood. Its name is a nod to the fishermen who first enjoyed the pizza upon their return from fishing in the Bay of Naples.
Marinara is such an iconic dish that it is now part of protected Napoletana pizzas, with specific rules concerning its production process, dough, and ingredients. Some even believe it was first created at Pizzeria Port’Alba, the oldest pizzeria in the world, way back in 1734. Dig in and savor the rich history and flavor of this must-try dish!
Margherita is a delightful combination of tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil leaves, presenting the colors of the Italian flag. Give in to the authentic taste of Naples with your next pizza order.
The thin base and puffed-up sides of Neapolitan pizza result in a light and airy crust with characteristic leopard spotting when properly baked. This iconic dish can be traced back to the early 1700s when Italian chef, writer, and philosopher Vincenzo Corrado first described what we now know as pizza marinara in his treatise on the eating habits of Naples.
Main ingredients: flour, mozzarella, tomato, olive oil, salt, yeast, oregano, and basil.
#10 Neapolitan Pizza – Italy
The original pizza, dating back to the 18th century in Naples, Italy, was a hit with the city’s poorer citizens who craved cheap, quick bites. Neapolitan pizza became widely available through street vendors, becoming a staple that resonates with pizza lovers even today. Learn more about pizza history with insights from Chef Shantanu.
Treat your taste buds to the classic flavors of a Neapolitan pizza. Originating in Naples, Italy, this traditional style of pizza uses simple and fresh ingredients to create a delicious and mouthwatering treat.
The classic Neapolitan pizza is traditionally made with local tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, extra virgin olive oil, and basil or oregano for seasoning. The dough is typically soft, thin, and slightly charred from the wood-fired ovens used to bake it. While they are often served as individual slices, traditional Neapolitan pizzas are usually around twelve inches in diameter and cut into eight triangular pieces.
The secret behind the perfect Neapolitan pizza lies in the simplicity of its ingredients. High-quality ingredients combined with a unique baking process lend this classic dish its distinctive flavor and texture.
Whether you’re enjoying a slice on the go or ordering a whole pizza to share with friends, the perfect Neapolitan pizza should have a thin and airy crust that is lightly charred around the edges. The sauce should be rich and flavorful, while the cheese should be creamy and melted just enough to hold together large slices of fresh tomato and fragrant basil.
Main ingredients: flour, mozzarella, tomato sauce, olive oil, oregano, basil.
#11 California Pizza
In 1980, an innovative pizza was born, created by Ed LaDou and chefs at the renowned Chez Panisse restaurant. Combining the best of New York and Italian thin crusts, with unconventional and delightful toppings, the delectable pizza is light, airy, and tender.
From shrimp and asparagus to smoked salmon and other seafood, the ingredient options tantalize the tastebuds. Other unique toppings include peanut sauce, goat cheese, pineapples, and more. The perfect pairing for this California-style pizza is beer or white wines, particularly sparkling varieties.
The mastermind behind this culinary revolution was Chef Ed LaDou, who in the late 1970s, crafted an exceptional pizza recipe using mustard, ricotta, pate, and red pepper. Impressed by LaDou’s innovative pie, Wolfgang Puck invited him to be the head pizza chef at his restaurant. LaDou then created 250 uniquely satisfying pizza recipes that eventually became the menu for California Pizza Kitchen.
Discover a range of irresistible toppings for your California-style pizza, such as juicy chicken, mouth-watering peanut sauce, tangy barbecue sauce, creamy goat cheese, and exotic pineapples. To enhance your culinary experience, pair your pizza with the perfect drink – whether it’s a refreshing beer or a crisp white wine, including bubbly sparkling varieties. Enjoy a delicious meal with a perfect pairing every time.
Main ingredients: flour, shrimp, asparagus, seafood, pineapples, peanut sauce, barbecue sauce, goat cheese.
#12 Greek pizza
Discover the Greek-inspired pizza that’s taking America by storm! Created by Greek immigrants in Boston in the 1960s, this unique dish features a thick and chewy crust cooked in a shallow oiled pan. The result? A perfectly crispy, almost deep-fried bottom that’s sure to satisfy your cravings.
But it’s not just the crust that sets this pizza apart. The toppings are equally innovative, with favorites like artichokes, feta cheese, and Kalamata olives perfectly complementing the rich tomato sauce and greasy cheese. And while pepperoni is a popular choice, there are plenty of other delicious options to choose from.
Just be sure to consume it within 15 minutes of baking, as this dish isn’t known for reheating well. So why not indulge in a slice of history with this mouth-watering Greek pizza?
Main ingredients: flour, tomato sauce, feta cheese, Eliá Kalamatas, Artichoke, Oregano.
#13 St. Louis-style pizza
This pie is all about the crust. The crust of St. Louis-style pizza is what sets it apart from other varieties. It has a thin, cracker-like texture with a crunchy bottom and an oily top. The distinguishing characteristic? A thin layer of cornmeal between the cheese and the dough gives it an unforgettable flavor and texture.
The signature toppings for this style of pizza are Provel cheese (a mix of cheddar, Swiss, and provolone) and thinly sliced rounds of pepperoni or Italian sausage. To make this delicious dish even more irresistible, add onions, mushrooms, olives, or bell peppers to your topping lineup — just be sure to keep everything thin!
Characterized by a thin, unleavened, cracker-like crust cut into squares or rectangles, this pizza makes it easier to eat on the go. Chef Shantanu shares that the secret lies in Provel processed cheese, a gooey blend of Cheddar, Swiss, and Provolone.
Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, and surrounding areas, this one-of-a-kind pizza still allows for endless topping combinations, boasting its distinct taste. Inspired by Imo’s popular pizza chain, many have attempted to recreate this unique and delicious dish.
Main ingredients: flour, Provel cheese, pepperoni, or Italian sausage.
#14 Capricciosa pizza
This Italian-style pizza has been around since the early 1900s and is an absolute favorite amongst pizza lovers. The name “Capricciosa” literally means “caprice” or “whim” in Italian, which perfectly describes the unusual combination of toppings on this classic dish.
The Capricciosa pizza name means “whimsical,” and it lives up to its name by featuring a varying array of toppings depending on the region. This pizza typically offers a combination of ingredients like tomatoes, mozzarella, ham, olives, and sliced hard-boiled eggs.
In central and northern Italy, it may also contain capers, sausages, and even anchovies. Despite being one of Italy’s most loved pizza types in the 1980s, Capricciosa has made a comeback and is rapidly regaining popularity.
Typically, you’ll find a delicious blend of sliced ham, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, olives, and tomatoes on top of a thin layer of mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce. This combination creates a unique flavor that’s sure to tantalize your taste buds! And if you’re feeling adventurous, why not add some roasted eggplant or ricotta cheese for an extra special touch?
This classic pizza is best enjoyed with a glass of Italian red wine and friends. So why not give it a try and indulge in this delightful Italian feast?
Main ingredients: flour, mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, artichoke hearts, olives, Prosciutto Cotto, Champignon
#15 Quattro formaggi pizza
This Italian-style pizza is the ultimate cheese lover’s dream! Quattro formaggi, which means “four kinds of cheese” in Italian, is a traditional recipe with four types of cheese piled on top. Typically made with mozzarella and three local varieties, such as Gorgonzola, Fontina, and Parmigiano-Reggiano. The quattro formaggi pizza is one of Italy’s most popular pizzas and it’s easy to see why.
This delicious pie combines the best flavors of all four kinds of cheese – the mild creaminess of mozzarella, the rich nutty flavor of fontina, the sharp bite of gorgonzola, and the salty nuttiness of parmesan.
All this creates a unique flavor that can’t be replicated with any other pizza. The Quattro formaggi pizza is usually topped with tomatoes, though some prefer to omit them. This allows the cheeses to stand out and be the star of the show!
The secret to making this delicious dish even more irresistible is adding a few extra ingredients like mushrooms, roasted red peppers, or arugula. These will add flavor and texture to the pizza without overpowering the cheese.
To take this delicious dish up a notch, many serve it with fresh basil and juicy sliced tomatoes.
The unique flavor of the four cheeses is beloved by foodies worldwide and is sure to satisfy even the most discerning of palates.
Main ingredients: flour, mozzarella cheese, fontina cheese, gorgonzola cheese, parmesan cheese.
#16 Caprese Pizza
Enjoy the taste of Italy with Caprese Pizza, a traditional Italian pizza topped with cherry tomatoes, mozzarella di bufala, olive oil, and fresh basil leaves.
Not only does it put your leftover tomatoes to good use, but for an extra touch of flavor, some prefer to add a drizzle of balsamic reduction on top. Indulge in a memorable Italian experience with every bite.
This Italian-style pizza is made with a light and airy dough, fresh tomatoes, creamy mozzarella cheese, and fragrant basil leaves. The classic caprese pizza is simple yet flavorful and it’s one of the most beloved pizzas in Italy!
The Caprese Pizza was born in Naples over 120 years ago but it has since become a classic favorite all across the world. This dish features a thin layer of tomato sauce topped with slices of ripe tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella cheese, and freshly chopped basil – giving it an unmistakable Mediterranean flavor.
To make this pizza even more delicious, many top their pies with a drizzle of olive oil or pesto sauce for extra flavor. When served hot from the oven, the Caprese pizza is sure to tantalize your taste buds!
Main ingredients: flour, mozzarella cheese, cherry tomatoes, basil leaves, olive oil.
What is Provel cheese?
Provel cheese is a processed cheese blend made from cheddar, Swiss, and provolone cheeses. It’s commonly used in St. Louis-style pizza, as well as other dishes like salads and sandwiches.
How do you serve Quattro formaggi pizza?
Quattro formaggi pizza is best served with fresh basil and juicy sliced tomatoes. This will add flavor and texture to the pizza without overpowering the cheese. Alternatively, you can serve it with a side of salad or roasted vegetables.
What is the difference between Caprese pizza and Margherita pizza?
The main difference between Caprese pizza and Margherita pizza is that the former includes buffalo mozzarella cheese while the latter use regular mozzarella. Additionally, Margherita Pizza usually has a thicker layer of tomato sauce than Caprese Pizza.
What is the best cheese for pizza?
The best cheese for pizza will depend on your personal preference. Popular choices include mozzarella, cheddar, provolone, parmesan, and gorgonzola. A popular combination is the Quattro Formaggi Pizza which combines four different types of cheese – mozzarella, fontina, gorgonzola, and parmesan.
From classic pizza recipes like Margherita to more modern gluten-free options, this list shows some of the most popular pizzas in the world. Whether you’d prefer a thick Neapolitan crust on your slice or a cracker-thin Sicilian one, there’s something for everyone here. Experiment with toppings and consider making a few of the unusual topping combinations.
With so many delicious varieties, it’s almost certain that everyone can find a favorite pizza! After all, when you think about it, what’s not to love about pizza? A Personal pan cheese pizza? Bring it on! Maybe even add some olives and anchovies.
The possibilities are endless when you start digging into this world of flavor. So try one soon and let your taste buds indulge in one of life’s greatest creations, an unbeatable classic: Pizza!
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I’m Vance Douglas, and I love making pizza. In fact, I love it so much that I decided to build my own oven to make it in. It’s a brick oven that I made myself, and it’s the best pizza oven you’ll ever find.
Making pizza is a passion of mine, and I’m always looking for new ways to make it even better. I’ve been making pizza for years, and I continue to learn more about the art every day. My goal is to create the perfect pizza, and I’m getting closer and closer every time.