The real difference between Detroit-style pizza and Chicago-style pizza

An estimated 13 percent of Americans eat pizza every day, according to the USDA (via South Florida Reporter). The majority of this pizza hails from large chains, small mom-and-pop pizzerias, and home kitchens across the country. Traditional, hand-tossed crust, like you would find at most chain pizzerias, tends to be the most familiar, but nearly every region of the country also specializes in its own pizza style. One of the most famous pizza styles, behind New York's, is Chicago-style deep-dish pizza. The other, growing in popularity over the last decade, is Detroit-style pizza. In 2019, Esquire called Detroit-style pizza one of the hottest food trends across America.

What makes Detroit-style and Chicago-style pizza different? The first noticeable difference from traditional hand-tossed pizza is the thickness. They are both baked in deep pans that allow for additional height. They also feature their sauce on top of the cheese instead of underneath (via Slice). That's where the similarities end. What are the major differences?

How to tell the difference between Chicago and Detroit-style pizzas

Chicago deep-dish pizza, round in shape, is like a deep "dish," not a super-thick crust. The dish of the crust accepts a massive amount of cheese (usually whole milk mozzarella) and toppings, before that last layer of sauce goes on. It's because of this that it can take more than 30 minutes to bake a Chicago-style deep-dish pizza (via Slice).

Traditional Detroit-style pizza is square in shape. It features a thick, airy crust that's similar to Sicilian pizza. It bakes inside an oiled steel pan, and comes out crispy and light, according to Slice. The classic Detroit-style pizza is simple: local Brick cheese, sauce, pepperoni, and fan-favorite signature caramelized cheese edges (via Pure Michigan). Both Chicago-style deep-dish pizza and Detroit-style pizza are designed for bigger appetites. One slice of authentic Chicago deep-dish pizza clocks in around 420 calories (via Eat This Much), and a square of Detroit-style pizza will set you back 327 calories (via Buddy's).