Homemade Pizza School

Updated: October 30, 2023

Reading Time: 6 Minutes

Is There a Right Way to Eat Pizza?

Pizza is a beloved food, and passionate pizza lovers love to debate everything about pizza. From pineapples to dough hydration to seafood on pizza to cooked or uncooked sauce, everybody has an opinion about pizza, including how to eat it. Is there a right way to eat pizza?

We aren’t necessarily elite pizza snobs (unlike some in those online pizza Facebook groups) and we absolutely love it when pizzaiolos get creative in the kitchen; sometimes it’s amazing, like BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza with tangy coleslaw and other times it’s a miss; we are looking at you, maraschino cherry Hawaiian pizza.

Key Takeaways:

  • There are many different styles of pizza from across the US and other parts of the world, each with distinctive toppings, crusts, and recommended ways to eat them. This includes styles like New York, Chicago, Detroit, Connecticut, California, and others.
  • Certain pizza styles are best eaten with utensils like knives and forks due to thick or messy toppings and sauces, like Chicago deep dish or Detroit thick crust pizza. Others are ideal for eating with your hands.
  • In addition to different styles, the post also discusses unconventional but amusing ways some people like to eat pizza, from folding it like a taco to eating it with eggs. While creativity is encouraged, traditionalists prefer following classic rules for certain regional pizza varieties.

While we don’t like to have any hard rules about pizza and what should or shouldn’t go on it, there are certain rules about how to eat pizza the right way as well as a few wrong ways.

We love asking all the hard pizza questions! How to season a pizza stone? How to keep pizza warm at a party? Why is pizza called pie? How much cheese to put on a pizza?

right way to eat pizza - with your hands!
Photo by Klara Kulikova on Unsplash

Ways to Eat Pizza

There are lots of different ways to eat pizza. You can:

  • Use a knife and fork like a civilized member of society.
  • Opt for hands-only with lots of napkins.
  • Fold it over like a real New Yorker—bah dah bing bah da bam.
  • Eat it crust first like a psychopath.
  • Devour it stoner style in two bites.
  • Blend it in a smoothie and gulp it down; we don’t recommend.
  • Cut into pieces and scramble it with eggs like actress Kristen Bell.
  • Toddler style with all the cheese and toppings scraped off.
  • Alone with the lights off, listening to opera.
  • Naked in bed with your honey watching Netflix; we do recommend.
  • One-handed while driving on a road trip, pizzerias are everywhere, man.

While all of these are the right way to eat pizza, some pizza styles should be eaten a certain way.

How to Eat Pizza the Right Way

Pizza traditionalists have some pizza-eating rules that they follow, and while we aren’t the pizza police, others may give you a public citation if they see you eating any of these styles the wrong way. 

New York Style Pizza

In New York, New York-style pizza is eaten folded over like a taco. New York pizza has a thin crust and is greasy, so to keep all that oily goodness from dripping on your clothes and all over your face, New Yorkers fold their slice and eat it.

Chicago Style Pizza

chicago style deep dish pizza with knife and fork
Caribb on Flickr

Chicago deep-dish pizza, or casserole as some refer to it, is a thick pizza that is built up backward with the toppings on the crust and sauce on top. This soupy messy pizza is impossible to eat with your hands. The whole thing is wet and sloppy and not for eating casually.

Instead, Chicago deep-dish requires eaters to sit down and grab a knife and fork and lots of napkins because that messy thick pizza is going to get all over.

This does not apply to the other Chicago pizza known as tavern style.

Detroit Style Pizza

Detroit, aka Motor City, has a distinct style of pizza. Detroit-style pizza has a thick focaccia-like crust that is spongy and soaks up the oiled pan creating crispy golden edges.

The pizza is made in square pans with layers of toppings and Wisconsin cheese and then covered in a cooked, heavily spiced sauce that is ladled on top to create stripes.

The best way to eat this pizza is with a knife and a fork and maybe some antacid or Pepto Bismol nearby because this mammoth pizza is intense.

Connecticut White Clam Pizza

how to eat connecticut style pizza

Connecticut white clam pizza is a thin-crust pizza covered in little neck clams and cheese. The crust has slight char, and the clams are so fresh that you can taste their salty origins. The best way to eat this briny cheesy pizza is with your hands and an ice-cold pilsner

California Style Pizza

California-style pizza is a thin-crust pizza made with locally sourced fresh ingredients. It’s all about the creativity here. You might find fresh asparagus, garlic scapes, broccolini, pea shoots, caramelized ginger, quail’s eggs, freshly foraged mushrooms, heirloom tomatoes, or fish roe just to name a few unique toppings.

The best way to eat California pizza is with a bit of attitude and arrogance to match the gourmet experience.

Pizza a la Calabrese

If you like it hot, then you probably already know your way around a Calabrese pizza with spicy nduja salami. You’ll need a knife and fork for this one, so you don’t get hot chili oil on your hands.

Cafeteria Square Pizza

Nostalgic Cafeteria square pizza slice is best eaten with a group of friends at a long table with a small carton of milk. No utensils necessary.

St. Louis Style Pizza

A slice of St. Louis-style pizza fits right in your hand. It’s like a square cracker with a cheesy topping. The right way to eat this pizza is to grab some napkins and munch it down with a fizzy soda.

Neapolitan Style Pizza

how to eat neapolitan pizza
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

True Italian pizza, the Neapolitan, is so special that you have to have a certification even to claim you are a trained Neapolitan pizzaiolo. This pizza has a thick airy crust with leopard spotted char spots and a gooey fresh mozzarella middle.

You have to use a knife and a fork to come at this pizza. The right way to eat pizza is with a glass of Italian red wine; we suggest a Chianti. Remember, it’s different from Sicilian pizza and pizza al taglio.

Spanish Style Pizza

Smoky chorizo, creamy Manchego cheese, salty olives, and crunchy peppers are key ingredients to a Spanish-style pizza. The best way to eat this thin-crust pizza is with a sexy Spanish amante by your side and good olive oil drizzled on top.

Minnesota Style Pizza

Yes, Minnesota has its own style of pizza. Minnesota-style pizza is a thin-crust pizza where the toppings are first, like freshwater fish from the lakes, and then the whole shebang is covered to the edge with cheese and finally cut into tasty squares.

Toppings can vary, but usually, Minnesota-style pizza has local ingredients for toppings like smoked Walley, lutefisk, fried cheese curds, and Polish sausage. The best way to eat Minnesota-style pizza is with a hat and gloves because it’s damn cold up here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it okay to eat pizza with a fork and knife?

While some traditionalists prefer using hands for certain styles, there’s nothing wrong with using utensils, especially for thick or messy pizzas like Chicago deep dish. Just be prepared for some New Yorkers to judge you!

What’s the best way to reheat leftover pizza?

The top methods are heating slices in a skillet over medium heat until crispy, microwaving on a paper towel for 30 seconds per slice, or popping them in a preheated oven at 350º F for 5-10 minutes.

How do you keep pizza warm for a party?

Try using pizza boxes, warming trays, or putting slices on baking sheets covered with foil in a 200º F oven. You can also make individual pizzas and reheat slices as needed.

For you, what is the right way to eat pizza?

One of our Favorites

Listen, if you’re still using a regular old knife to cut your homemade pizza, you’re living in the stone age. It’s time to join us modern folks and invest in a pizza cutter + fork combo. Not only will you slice through that crust like a hot knife through butter, but you’ll also have the convenience of a fork to lift those ooey-gooey cheesy slices straight to your mouth. So, come on, upgrade your pizza game and say goodbye to the days of struggling with a dull knife. Your taste buds (and fingers) will thank you.

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Pizzelo Brand

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DK & Eliana

DK & Eliana

Thanks for reading about our homemade pizza journey! We're a young married couple who started making pizza at home on our wedding night and haven't looked back yet. We've learned over countless attempts of trial and error how to make the perfect pizza sauce, pizza dough, and exactly which pizza accessories to buy for your home setup...

FYI When you make a purchase or, sometimes, carry out some other action as direct result of clicking on a link at Homemade Pizza School, we will receive a small commission. Gratzie!

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