Become Part of Joe’s Team | Apply Now

Download our New Rewards App       Android | Apple

Check Out Our Spring Merch Collection

Sicilian and Grandma-Style Pizza: Which One Should You Get?

Jan 19, 2021 | Press

Pizza is beautiful in all its forms, and there are pizzas that you may not have even heard of but are nevertheless delicious as all pizzas are! Some people can’t help but have their favorites, so much so that they’ll go to great lengths to defend why it’s better than another similar pizza. 

Two such pizzas that often go head to head are grandma-style pizzas and the famous Sicilian pizza. While they look nearly identical, there are differences between these two favorites. If you’re browsing Joe’s Rotiesseria menu and get stuck between these options, then knowing why each pizza is special can help you choose which one to get. 

The History of Grandma-Style and Sicilian Pizzas

Sicilian pizzas may sound like something straight out of Sicily, but that isn’t really the case. The version that is well known by Americans is a pizza that was born in Manhattan’s Little Italy neighborhood, where pizzerias produced unique creations by tweaking and experimenting with traditional recipes. Thus, the Sicilian pizza of New York was born!

On the other hand, the Grandma-style pizza was made famous by Italian grandmothers baking it in their kitchens until New York shops popularized it in pizzerias. There, it gained a cult-like following that exists until today. 

Which is Which?

Several things seem like the same thing, even though they aren’t. Crocodiles are commonly mistaken for alligators, Katy Perry and Zooey Deschanel could be the same celebrity, and Grandma-style pizza could pass as Sicilian pizza! 

Here’s what makes each pizza different and unique—the crust.

The Beauty of Each Crust

Biting into this famous dish and relishing in the texture of the crust is different for every type of pizza. 

The same can be said for Sicilian and Grandma-style pizzas. While the latter has a much thinner profile, Sicilian crusts are noticeably thicker and denser. Both of them are stretched over pans lined with olive oil, but the time the dough is given to proof is shorter for Grandma-style pizza dough. This allows it to develop a thinner base than its Sicilian counterpart. Cooked in a square pan with dough that’s given plenty of time to rise, Sicilian pizzas sometimes create a crust layer resembling focaccia bread more than NY style pizzas!

Olive oil has another function apart from greasing the pan to prevent dough from sticking after it has been baked. Not only does it make the pizza easier to separate from the pan, but it also ensures that the bottom layer of your crust develops a nice crisp texture. It makes the fried bread more delicious and provides a sturdier surface for the sauce, cheese, and toppings to go on top. 

What Makes Them Unique: The Order of Cheese and Sauce

Traditionally, the sauce goes onto the pizza dough before being sprinkled with a layer of cheese and topics. Grandma-style pizzas reverse that order, placing cheese on the pie before adding the sauce. This prevents the cheese from being overcooked or burning! In that same vein, Sicilian pizzas also layer sauce on top of their cheeses. 

It’s important to note that this isn’t a hard or fast rule for these pizzas, but some pizza parlors consider it to contribute to a different texture and taste that is unique to the kind of pie that is being cooked. Since neither pizza style was originally developed in Italy, there isn’t one way to properly layer either of these pizza flavors. 


Whether you decide to order a Sicilian pizza, a Grandma-style pizza, or even a calzone pizza, remember that you are eating a little slice of history. Generations of Italians have taken the skills and recipes that come from their roots and transform them into modern-day creations that combine the flavors of the past with all the exciting possibilities of the present. Knowing the history of these amazing dishes can give pizza lovers a better appreciation of what it took to get a humble yet delicious slice of pizza on their plate.

If you’re looking for the best pizza in New Jersey, then look no further than Joe’s Rotisseria, where we serve unique food creations you won’t find anywhere else! From triple threat pizzas to our custom creations, there’s a pizza for everybody to enjoy. Contact us to order your pizza today!

My cart
Your cart is empty.

Looks like you haven't made a choice yet.