New York City style pizza, we’re sure you’ve at least heard of this city’s iconic pizza with perfectly crunchy, thin crust, and layered with delicious toppings. NYC style pizza has been around since the 16th century and has evolved greatly since then. But who invented the OG NYC style pizza? Surely it wasn’t just some neanderthals sitting around a campfire, munchin’ on flatbread with tomato sauce on it… right? (kind of yes!) What are the main ingredients–better yet, what makes a New York style pizza a New York pizza? Here at Empire Slice Shop in Nichols Hills, we might be a little biased when it comes to the best New York Style pizza in the OKC area, but we truly believe that we are the best NYC pizzeria in Oklahoma. Keep reading to learn the history of NYC style pizza, the ingredients that make it, and why Empire Slice Shop- Nichols Hills is THE SPOT for all you NYC pizza lovers. 

New York Style Pizza History

The invention of NYC style pizza is highly disputed amongst ancient Greece and the Egyptians who each independently created their own form of the NYC pizza. The main numerator being flatbread covered in oils and herbs. Believe it or not, Mr. and Mrs. Neanderthal created the very first pizza BY MISTAKE! Originally on a quest to make a pie, but due to lack of ingredients, the pizza pie was made instead! Going back to the 16th and 17th centuries, Naples is where it all started and by the 1800s, there were pizzerias all over Italy. The United States wouldn’t join the pizza train until the 20th century when Gennaro Lombardi and his employee, Antonio Totonno Pero traveled to the U.S. from Italy  and started selling pizzas in grocery stores. Their pizzas were so popular, they had no choice but to open their own pizzeria where Lombardi’s continues serving their Neapolitan pizzas just a block away from their original location–taking the proud title as one of the best pizzerias in New York’s 5 boroughs.  


New York Style Pizza Ingredients

So what makes New York City style pizza so dang good? New York City natives will tell you that it has to do with the texture and flavor of the crust, which can only be perfectly achieved through minerals that are found in New York City’s water. That could be the reason it’s so difficult to replicate the consistency of the crust, even to the point where chefs around the nation have shipped truckloads of NYC water to their own businesses in an attempt to recreate this perfect pizza style. Today, you are easily able to spot a New York City style pizza thanks to the tradition of pizza being around 18 inches in diameter with hand-tossed, high-gluten deliciousness with the perfect crunch that is achieved via a coal-fired oven. However, in more recent years, most places use a regular gas oven. The tomato sauce is typically heavily seasoned with olive oil, garlic, salt, oregano, basil, crushed red pepper, and even a little sugar, opposed to the original Neapolitan sauce which was uncooked crushed tomatoes and salt. The cheese on a NYC style pizza is always low-moisture mozzarella, and of course you are able to add your own toppings to your liking. 


Eat NYC Style Pizza at Empire Slice Shop in Nichols Hills

Here at Empire Slice Shop in Nichols Hills, we aim to recreate this iconic pizza style with a twist. However, we also hold true to traditions and offer a classic New York City style pizza for those who like to keep it classic. We have monthly pies available at all of our 4 locations (and a 5th one in the works!). Check out our website to find a location closest to you, to view our full online menu, to learn more about who we are, and to see our gallery of some of our fav pizza pies! Want to work with Empire? Fill out an application online and someone from our pizza shop will be in touch with you shortly. Make sure to follow us on Instagram to stay in-the-know of all things Empire like our pizza of the month, unexpected closures, special offers, and more. We have a saying around here that goes, “Live Free, Pie Hard”. So, live free, pie hard, and we’ll see you real soon!


Phone Number




1125 NW 63rd St.

Nichols Hills, OK




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