Although the specific origin of pizza is unclear, it likely developed from the flatbreads that had toppings on them and were sold by restaurants or street vendors in Naples, Italy. This inexpensive food initially became popular in the late 18th century.
Similar to the pizza found today, flatbreads were topped with items like olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, anchovies and cheese. A visit to the city by Queen Margherita and King Umberto I led to pizza becoming more popular. While there, the queen was treated to a dish known as "pizza mozzarella," which featured fresh tomatoes and basil leaves topped with soft cheese. Afterwards, the concoction became known as "pizza Margherita." Immigrants from Naples brought the recipe for pizza with them to the United States, where the dish became wildly popular, especially in large cities like New York.