Pizza Terms You May See When Ordering At A Restaurant

Posted on: 12 November 2020


Ordering pizza at a restaurant is pretty easy. However, you may see some terms on the menu that you don't quite understand. Having a better understanding of those terms will help you know exactly what you're ordering and order the pizza you're truly desiring.


If you see a pizza advertised as California-style, that typically means it has a very thin crust. The toppings may also be exceptionally gourmet, as is typical in California. Do not be surprised if some of them, such as avocado, are put on after the pizza comes out of the oven.


This is quite different from California-style pizza. It's more like a pie than a typical pizza. The crust is thin, but it is made to line a pie pan-type pizza pan, so it stretches up the sides of the pan. The pizza crust is filled with cheese and other toppings — an inch or more of them! Chicago pizza is really filling, so don't over-order. Most people will only eat one or two slices.

Fior di Latte

If you see that a pizza is topped with fior di latte, this means the pizza is topped with a unique mozzarella cheese made from buffalo milk. This is common in Italy but a bit of a specialty item in the U.S.

Grandma Pizza

You may see grandma pizza being sold at diners and other restaurants that don't really specialize in pizza. Basically, this is pizza made in a sheet pan and cut into squares. It's like Sicilian pizza, but the crust may be softer and less fluffy.

Pizza Bianca

If you love pizza but aren't a huge fan of the tomato sauce typically found on it, then a pizza bianca is for you. It's a white pizza topped with just salt and olive oil. Some might consider it a flatbread, but the Romans certainly consider it a pizza.

San Marzano

If you see that a pizza is topped with San Marzanos, this just means it's topped with a specific type of tomato, or with a sauce made from those particular tomatoes. San Marzano tomatoes grow in a specific region of Italy that goes by this name, and they're widely known to be the best for making pizza sauce.

Hopefully, you can now make better sense of that pizza menu at your favorite local restaurant. If you come across any unfamiliar terms, just ask your server to explain them.