We hope we make Detroit proud with this roundup of places serving up their delicious and signature style pizza.
Detroit-style pizza all comes down to its pan. Baking them in heavy, steel pans is what gives the crust that crispy and chewy texture with cheese, usually Wisconsin, that crisps up along the edges. It’s also what gives them their square-shape. The first ever Detroit-style pizza was concocted in 1946 at Buddy’s by Gus Guerra, and since then, Detroit has become the home of this Sicilian-inspired deeper dish pizza now known as Detroit-style.
Detroit-style pizza wouldn’t reach other parts of the state until 2010, with restaurants in Austin and New York recreating Detroit-style pizza as homage. Still, Detroiters have been doing it best since its origin, so we’ve rounded up a list of restaurants serving up pies that we feel pay the best tribute to the historic and trademarked Detroit-style.
Crispelli’s may not make strictly Detroit-style, but the one that they do make is definitely a contender. While they do offer up an authentic Italian style, the Detroit-style is what we’ll be focusing on. Crispelli’s style is all about mixing gourmet with traditional, and they’re offering ‘create-your-own’ pizzas in Detroit-style, with two subcategories of toppings: traditional and gourmet. Mix up traditional pepperoni with camrelized onions or chorizo sausage with mushroom. It’s all up to taste. And if you want strictly pepperoni and brick (or, Wisconsin) cheese, they’ve got that too.
Where: 28939 Woodward Ave, Berkley, MI 48072
If crispy edges are your favorite part of about Detroit-style, Palazzo Di Pizza has got you covered. Pallazo’s has been serving up Detroit-style since 2019, so they’re definitely newer than some of the other pizza shop’s we’ll get to later. That doesn’t make them any less delicious. Palazzo only does Detroit-style, but they do so in a variety of fun and tasty variations. Spicy Sausage and Peppers, Carbonara, or Buffalo Chicken are some of the types they’re cooking up, but they also do standard pepperoni in their Double Pepperoni Pie.
Where: 1222 E Eleven Mile Rd, Royal Oak, MI 48067
Grandma Bob’s is settled in Detroit’s oldest neighborhood, Corktown, and has been serving pies since in traditional and unique styles. Grandma Bob’s (we love the name) has taken Deep Dish and done some new things to it. The Big Mack is a vegan pie with Impossible burger crumbles and vegan cheese drizzled with vegan thousand island. They’ve also got a Detroit-style gyro-inspired pie plus a sausage and pistachio that’s pictured above.
Where: 2135 Michigan Ave, Detroit, MI 48216
Another Corktown resident is Michigan & Trumbull, a restaurant made by Detroit-natives Nathan Peck and Kristin Calverley after their quest for home-style Detroit pizza. Named after the intersection where the store resides, this pizza place separates their pies into two categories: white and red. The red pizzas have a couple of vegan options paired with some traditional (like pepperoni and sausage) while the whites are a little bolder with pies like the Farnsworth Funghi which has whipped goat cheese.
Where: 1441 W Elizabeth St, Detroit, MI 48216
Green Lantern has been around since 1955, offering traditional pizza in a late night, old-school diner setting. They offer pizzas in a round, square (that would be the Detroit-style) or Thin Crust. Try the Chicken Siciliano with flavors that pay homage to Detroit-style’s Sicilian roots, or try their takes on classic pepperoni, meat lovers, or everything pizza.
Where: 28960 John R Rd, Madison Heights, MI 48071
Another pizza joint that’s been apart of Detroit history for a while is Shield’s Pizza, who have been around since 1937. Since then, they’ve been apart of the trademark stops for Detroit-style, and have expanded across Metro Detroit. The Shield’s Super and Gold Medal pies are two of the best, with the latter being an award winning pizza. The Shield’s Super’s got brick cheese, homemade Shield sauce, pepperoni cups, mushrooms and peppers. The Gold Medal changes things up with their brick and Romano cheese blend, banana peppers and sweet red peppers, and Italian pear tomatoes sautéed in garlic.
Where: 25101 Telegraph Rd, Southfield, MI 48034
We’ve reached the final four, or the four corners of pizza perfection in Detroit. Detroit Style Pizza is one of those corners. A staple in the world of Detroit-style pizza, co-owner Shawn Randazzo was credited with coining the term “Detroit Style” and bringing it to the masses when he entered the Detroit-style pizza in a competition and won in 2012. Randazzo, who used to be a delivery driver for Clover’s, another famous pizza joint we’ll get to in a minute, helped popularize the style across the coasts, and the store continues to serve great pies here in Detroit.
Where: 28630 Harper Ave, St Clair Shores, MI 48081
8. Loui’s Pizza
Loui’s Pizza in Hazel park is owned by the long-time chef of Buddy’s (the OG Detroit-style pizza place we’ll get to soon), so you know it has to be good. The old-school feeling really comes through with the empty chianti bottles hanging from the ceiling. They’ve even been named one of the best pizza places in the country by Food Network, so we’d definitely recommend going with the classic cheese and pepperoni for your first time.
Where: 23141 Dequindre Rd, Hazel Park, MI 48030
Coming in second is Cloverleaf Pizza, a pizzeria that’s been around since 1946. Created by the same owners as Buddy’s, Cloverleaf Pizza is best known for its reputable Detroit-style pie that’s been made the same since its opening. Pies are made with hand-carved meats, fresh brick cheese, hand-picked vegetables, and topped with homemade Cloverleaf red sauce, all made in the iron pan that makes Detroit-style have that crispy, yet soft crust its known for. Cloverleaf has also won 1st place for best North American pizza and 1st for the International Pizza Challenge Competition.
Where: 21728 Harper Ave STE A, St Clair Shores, MI 48080
We couldn’t create a list of Detroit-style without listing Buddy’s, the home of Detroit-style. The story goes that owner, Gus Guerra in 1946, asked his wife, Anna Guerra, for some inspiration on a new type of pie, so she took a page from her her Sicilian roots. The crust is a big distinction between Detroit-style and other styles. Plus, they press the pepperoni into the crust, underneath the cheese and space. Then, Guerra got innovative with the method of baking and used a steel pan borrowed from the neighboring automotive shops to create the square-shaped, deeper dish pizza Detroit knows today. Buddy’s has been doing it the same ways since the beginning in terms of preparation, but there’s so many ways to customize your pie that it creates a unique and delicious experience every time.
Where: 17125 Conant St, Detroit, MI 48212
source: facebook / buddyspizza