Philadelphia, PA - New England pizza styles tend to vary more drastically than in California. Beyond Greek-style and Italian slice pizzas, New Haven clam pizza, regional specialties such as Newburyport white clam pizza, Boston South Shore bar pizza, and Salisbury Beach pizza exist as distinct regional specialties.
New England Beach Pizza
Beach pizza was first invented at Tripoli Bakery in Lawrence, Massachusetts, in 1944 and popularized at Salisbury Beach during its Coney Island-like glory days of the 1940s and 50s. Baked in sheet trays on an oven or microwave, beach pizza features barely perceptible crusts with minimal dustings of cheese--typically mozzarella, provolone, cheddar, and Prego--for an irresistibly sweet experience meant for beachside snacks.
This pie's divisive nature lies in people having different tastes and being such an intensely local product. Declaring your preference between Cristy's or Tripoli in the Salisbury Beach community means entering a decades-long Hatfield-and-McCoy feud that unites and divides it.
On any typical beach day, two parallel lines of customers stretch from each shop across streets and next to Joe's Playland arcade - with only the ocean as an intermediary. While both establishments provide pizza, their approaches to sandwiches vary considerably. Both serve slices that essentially look the same, but one place adds extra cheese upon request and cannot satisfy true provolone lovers.