The Great Debate: Is Pizza a Sandwich?

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Both pizza and sandwiches are beloved types of food enjoyed by people worldwide. However, an age-old debate rages on: Is pizza a sandwich?

This has sparked arguments and strange thought experiments around the definition of what makes a sandwich.

Let’s examine some key aspects that differentiate pizza and sandwiches while exploring if there are any similarities that could qualify pizza as a sandwich.

The question “Is Pizza a Sandwich?” has no clear answer but makes for an interesting thought exercise and delicious food for thought.

is pizza a sandwich

Is pizza a sandwich?

While pizza and sandwiches share similarities in that they are types of food involving a filling between two pieces of bread or flatbread, there are key distinctions that rule out pizza being a sandwich.

Pizza’s individual slices are not fully enclosed like sandwich pieces, giving pizza a circular shape instead of rectangular.

The toppings and ingredients in pizza are designed to be eaten directly off the slice rather than lifted as one unit like a sandwich.

Ultimately, due to these substantial differences in form, function and preparation, pizza is best classified as its own unique type of food rather than a subtype of sandwich.

What are the differences between Pizza and Sandwiches?

Here are the key differences between pizza and sandwiches:

•Shape – Pizza has a circular shape while sandwiches are typically rectangular. Pizza is served in slices, not halves or quarters like a sandwich.

•Serving style – Pizza is meant to be eaten by hand directly from the slice. Sandwiches are designed to be picked up as a unit and eaten.

•Toppings – Pizza has a wider variety of possible toppings that extend all the way to the crust. Sandwich fillings are more limited and contained between the bread.

•Crust – Pizza has a distinctive crust that is an integral part of the dish. Sandwich bread is simply a vessel to hold the filling.

•Preparation – Pizza involves baking the dough and toppings together at high heat to achieve its unique cooked texture. Sandwiches are simply assembled and do not require high-temperature cooking.

In summary, the differences in shape, serving style, toppings, role of crust and preparation method differentiate pizza and sandwiches as distinct categories of food, with pizza not technically qualifying as a type of sandwich.

Does pizza fit the sandwich criteria?

While pizza shares some similarities with sandwiches as a handheld food involving ingredients between pieces of bread, it does not fully meet the defining criteria of a sandwich.

A key factor in classifying a food as a sandwich is that the fillings are fully enclosed by the bread.

Pizza’s open circular shape with exposed toppings means it fails to meet this critical qualification.

Additional sandwich criteria like being easily picked up as a single unit and having contained, non-spread fillings are also not properties that apply to pizza.

As a result, though the debate continues, pizza ultimately does not fit the requirements to be classified as a “sandwich”.

Related post: How Many Pizza For 20 People?

Do some pizza styles resemble sandwiches?

Yes, some modern pizza styles have taken on characteristics that make them resemble sandwiches more closely.

Calzones, stromboli and pizza pockets, for example, fully enclose the toppings between two pieces of dough, similar to how sandwich fillings are contained between slices of bread.

These “turnover”-style pizzas can be picked up in the hand and eaten like a sandwich.

However, traditional thin-crust and Neapolitan-style pies, with their open circular shape and exposed toppings, bear little resemblance to typical sandwiches in form or function.

Some pizza variations have experimented with sandwich-like characteristics, but most authentic pizzas retain the qualities that distinguish them as a separate category of food.

Are calzones and strombolis sandwiches?

Calzones and stromboli, both types of folded pizza, more closely resemble sandwiches than traditional thin-crust or pan pizzas.

They fully enclose the pizza fillings between two layers of dough, much like how sandwich ingredients are contained between bread slices.

This allow calzones and stromboli to be picked up and easily eaten by hand like a sandwich.

However, some argue they are still more accurately classified as a variant of pizza rather than a true sandwich, due to their pizza dough shell and use of traditional pizza toppings.

Overall, while calzones and stromboli exhibit certain sandwich-like attributes, most experts still consider them a subtype of folded pizza rather than a type of sandwich.

Is pizza an open-faced sandwich?

Based on the traditional definition of a sandwich requiring fillings that are fully enclosed by bread, most pizza styles would not qualify as an open-faced sandwich.

While open-faced sandwiches only cover the top piece of bread, they still fully contain the filling between the two separate slices.

In contrast, pizza features toppings that extend to the edge of the crust and are openly exposed on top rather than fully enclosed.

Given the distinctive differences in form and function between pizza slices and open-faced sandwiches, pizza is generally not considered a type of open-faced sandwich despite some similarities in basic concept.

How to order a sandwich pizza from your Favorite Restaurant

Many pizza restaurants have started offering sandwich pizza options to appeal to customers wanting a cross between pizza and sandwiches. Here are the basic steps to order a sandwich pizza:

  1. Call your favorite pizza place and ask if they serve sandwich pizzas. Some popular options include club pizza, steak and cheese pizza, and Philly cheesesteak pizza.
  2. When the employee answers, tell them you would like to order a sandwich pizza. Specify the type you want by name – for example, “I’d like to order a medium Philly cheesesteak pizza.”
  3. Confirm the cheese, toppings and sauce you want. Most sandwich pizzas allow you to customize them like a traditional pizza.
  4. Provide your contact info and payment method. Many pizza chains now offer ordering through their websites or apps for contactless payment and delivery.
  5. When your sandwich pizza arrives, enjoy a hybrid food satisfying your cravings for both pizza and sandwiches!

How to make your own pizza sandwich at home: Tips and tricks

Making a pizza sandwich at home is easy and fun, giving you full control over toppings and flavors. Here are some tips:

•Start with fresh pizza dough from your grocery store. Roll it out into a rectangle slightly larger than your bread slices.

•Assemble your sandwich fillings first – meats, cheese, sauces, and veggies.

•Place one bread slice on the dough and build your sandwich filling on top.

•Cover with the second bread slice and press edges to seal.

•Brush egg wash or oil on the dough and bake at 425°F until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.

•For a stuffed pizza pocket, fold dough over the filled bread and pinch edges to seal before baking.

•Top with fresh toppings after baking for a finished sandwich pizza.

With these tricks, you can customize your own unique homemade sandwich pizzas, combining the best of traditional pizzas and sandwiches with complete control over toppings and flavors.

Also read: How Long Are Cinnamon Rolls Good For?

Cultural context in food definitions

Food categories and definitions are often culturally dependent, shaped by historical and regional influences.

What one culture considers a type of sandwich may be viewed differently in another.

For example, pizza originated in Italy where it is not traditionally thought of as a sandwich, while the “pizza as sandwich” debate largely emerged in the United States.

Culture and exposure help determine how we classify and conceptualize different foods.

Over time, if more people begin considering pizza a sandwich due to similarities, the very definition of “sandwich” may broaden to encompass pizza and evolve across cultures.

However, food taxonomy remains inherently subjective and based as much on tradition as tangible characteristics.

Other controversial food debates

The “is pizza a sandwich” debate is one of many arguments about how to classify different foods. Other controversial discussions include:

•Are hot dogs sandwiches? Hot dogs satisfy some sandwich criteria like fillings between bread, but the single continuous piece of bread and customary use of condiments sets them apart.

•Are burritos sandwiches? Like pizza, burritos are typically viewed as their own food category in Mexican cuisine, though they do resemble a wrapped sandwich.

•Are tacos sandwiches? Though tacos feature fillings wrapped in a tortilla, the open nature of the taco and use of soft tortillas instead of bread leads most to classify them separately.

•Are breakfast wraps sandwiches? Egg and sausage wraps resemble breakfast burritos but use an outer flatbread more similar to sandwich bread, blurring the lines.

These debates highlight how flexible and blurry our food definitions and taxonomy can be, depending on cultural and individual perspectives.


In conclusion, the debate of whether pizza is a sandwich or not will likely continue to divide opinion. While some people may view thin-crust pizzas as sandwiches due to their dough-based composition, others would disagree and see them as two distinct dishes. Legally speaking, definitions can also vary depending on jurisdiction; with certain tax exemptions applying only to sandwiches in some states while other local laws consider variations like calzones part of what constitutes a pizza. At the end of the day though it seems that most people agree that calling a pizza a sandwich is stretching things too far!

Read more:Why is Pizza Hut So Expensive?


Is pizza a sandwich?

No, pizza is not a sandwich. While some people may view thin-crust pizzas as sandwiches due to their dough-based composition, others would disagree and see them as two distinct dishes. Legally speaking, definitions can also vary depending on jurisdiction; with certain tax exemptions applying only to sandwiches in some states while other local laws consider variations like calzones part of what constitutes a pizza. Ultimately it seems that most people agree that calling a pizza a sandwich is stretching things too far!

What ingredients are typically found in sandwiches?

Sandwiches typically consist of two pieces of bread or one wrap filled with ingredients such as cheese, vegetables, meat (and/or seafood), condiments (like mustard or mayonnaise) and sometimes spreadable fillings like peanut butter or jam. However there are many variations you can find around the world – from open-faced “tostadas” in Mexico to “smørrebrød” from Denmark – so the possibilities for creating your own unique sandwich combinations are endless!

How do I know if something counts legally as a sandwich?

Whether something counts legally as a sandwich will always depend on local legislation and individual interpretation. In the United States, sandwiches are considered quick service restaurant items which enjoy certain tax exemptions from state sales taxes in many states – while pizzas do not. Furthermore under New York’s “sandwich shop” law enacted in 2019, no sales tax should apply to foods between two pieces of bread unless they contain reheated meats – when purchased to-go (as opposed to eating it inside). However definitions can vary between jurisdictions so it is best to check with your local authorities if you want a definitive answer.

What is the difference between a sandwich and a wrap?

The main difference between a sandwich and a wrap is the type of bread used. Sandwiches typically consist of two slices of bread (e.g., thick or thin white, wheat, sourdough) while wraps are usually made with ingredients like tortillas, lavash, pita or other flatbreads that can be rolled up to contain the fillings. In terms of taste though there isn’t much difference between them as you can easily create your own unique combinations using either type of bread!

Are sandwiches served cold or hot?

This really depends on your preference as both cold and hot sandwiches have their advantages. Cold sandwiches tend to keep well in the fridge making them ideal snacks for picnics and travel while warm ones can be more satisfying when it comes to filling you up. While it may come down to personal preference which one you prefer, most people would agree that having both options available makes eating out much more convenient!

How do I make delicious sandwiches at home?

Making delicious homemade sandwiches is easy once you know what ingredients work well together. Try using different types of breads, cheeses and meats to create variety in your sandwiches, or experiment with spreads like hummus or pesto for a more interesting flavor. Make sure to mix up the textures by adding crunchy vegetables like cucumber or carrots, and if you’re feeling adventurous you could even try incorporating unusual ingredients like pickles or olives. Most importantly though don’t forget to have fun while making them!

Can I make healthy sandwiches at home?

Absolutely! Sandwiches are incredibly versatile so you can easily create delicious and nutritious sandwiches with the right ingredients. Start off by selecting a whole grain bread to provide more fiber, vitamins and minerals compared to white bread. Use lean meats such as chicken or turkey, combine with fresh vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers for added crunch, and top it off with your favorite spreads – peanut butter or avocado being some healthy favorites. With these simple steps you’re on your way to creating nutritious sandwiches in no time!

What other sandwich fillings can I try?

The possibilities are endless when it comes to sandwich fillings – from traditional deli meats and grilled cheese combinations, to fun combos like egg salad topped with bacon or pesto mozzarella melts. You could also think outside the box when creating your own unique sandwich combinations – using creative toppings like sprouts, hummus or roasted peppers. If you’re looking for something healthier why not opt for light tuna fish salad instead of mayonnaise-based dressings? Remember there’s no limit on creativity when making your own personalized sandwiches!


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