Detroit-style pizza

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Detroit-style pizza
Small Detroit-style pizza from Green Lantern Pizza in Detroit, Michigan.
Type Pizza
Place of origin United States
Region or state Detroit
Main ingredients Pizza dough, tomato sauce, cheese
Cookbook: Detroit-style pizza  Media: Detroit-style pizza

Detroit-style pizza is a style of pizza developed in Detroit, Michigan. It is a square pizza similar to Sicilian-style pizza that has a thick deep-dish crisp crust and toppings such as pepperoni and green peppers, but is served with sauce over the cheese.[1][2] The square shaped pizza is the result of being baked in a square pan, which is often not a pizza pan.[3] Rather, industrial parts trays are often used, which were originally made to hold small parts in factories.[3]

The crust of a Detroit-style pizza is noteworthy because in addition to occasionally being twice-baked, it is usually baked in a well-oiled pan to a chewy medium-well-done state that gives the bottom and edges of the crust a fried/crunchy texture. Some parlors will apply melted butter with a soft brush prior to baking. The resulting pizza has a chewy texture.


The origins of "Detroit-style" pizza can be traced back historically to Buddy's Rendezvous, which later became Buddy's Pizza. Over the next several decades, the chain grew and developed, cooks moved on, and in some cases they opened their own pizzerias. Cloverleaf, which was later founded by Gus Guerra as an Italian restaurant in Eastpointe, serves Detroit Style Pan Pizza as does Luigi's "the Original", Tower Inn in Ypsilanti, the Shield's Pizza chain, and Loui's Pizza in Hazel Park. In 2009, both Buddy's Detroit-style square pizza and Luigi's "the Original" of Harrison Township, Mich were singled out as two of the 25 best pizzas in America by GQ magazine food critic, Alan Richman.[4]

Niki's in Greektown, Little Caesars in Detroit, Jet's in Sterling Heights, Tower Inn in Ypsilanti, Papa Bella's in Ortonville, Green Lantern in Madison Heights, The Gathering Place & Marinelli's in Troy, and Detroit Style Pizza Company are among Detroit's specialty pizzerias with deep dish pizza and or Detroit-style pizza in Southeast Michigan. The pizza at these restaurants is square or rectangular, with a thick crispy crust. Other restaurants that serve square specialty pizzas, similar to Detroit style, but more closely related to Sicilian style include Benito's Pizza, Cottage Inn, and Alibi in Troy (only offered in round however, making it a questionable member of the Detroit-Style market). In April 2013, Detroit-based Little Caesars launched the first Detroit-style deep dish pizza that is available nationwide; and also offered a version edging its crust with bacon. [5]

In other cities[edit]

In recent years this style of pizza has seen a growth in popularity around the United States as native Detroiters have relocated to other cities. Outside of Detroit, Detroit-style pizza can be found in Cedar Rapids, Iowa at Tomaso's Pizza, Tampa, Florida, at Pizza Squared with two locations in the Tampa bay area; Austin, Texas, at Via 313 Pizza; Grand Junction, Colorado, at Junct'n Square; Telluride, Colorado, at Brown Dog Pizza and Denver, Colorado at Blue Pan Pizza, both founded by former Birmingham, Michigan, native and University of Michigan football player Jeff Smokevitch; Boca Raton, Florida, at Grande & Augy's Pizza; Raleigh, North Carolina, at Klausie's Pizza; Las Vegas, Nevada, at Northside Nathan's; Columbia, Missouri, at Pizza Tree; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at Pizza Shuttle; Grass Valley, California at KJ's Pizza; Buffalo, Minnesota, at Norm's Wayside; Hampton Roads, Virginia, at Union Brothers; and Louisville, Kentucky, at Loui Loui's Authentic Detroit Style Pizza; Seattle, Washington, at HotelHotel PizzaBar; and Bellefontaine, Ohio, at 600 Downtown; and Pompano Beach, Florida, at Rocket Pizza.

Pizza companies based in Detroit[edit]

Southeast Michigan is also known as the headquarters of some of the largest pizza chains in the United States, including Domino's Pizza (Ann Arbor), Hungry Howies (Madison Heights), Jet's Pizza (Sterling Heights), Happy's Pizza (Southfield), and Little Caesars (Detroit). Little Caesars is playing into a growing awareness and curiosity about the Detroit deep-dish pan pizza approach, noting that recent studies and an article in GQ magazine have mentioned Detroit-style pan pizzas favorably, in comparison with other approaches, such as Chicago-style deep-dish pizzas that are mostly round and often have stuffed crusts.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Giesler, Jennie and Gerry Weiss. "Poke around in Michael Moore's past." Erie Times-News. October 2, 2009. Retrieved on February 13, 2010.
  2. ^ Haurwitz, Ralph K.M. "Chaps' fight for football title pays off." Austin American-Statesman. December 22, 1996. A1. Retrieved on February 12, 2010. "deep-dish, Detroit-style pizza with the sauce under the cheese,"
  3. ^ a b Rector, Sylvia (January 23, 2011). "Shortage of steel pans has Detroit-style pizza makers scrambling". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved November 23, 2012. 
  4. ^ 25 best pizzas around the country, May 22, 2009
  5. ^ "Sandwich Monday: Little Caesars' Bacon-Wrapped Crust Pizza". NPR. 23 February 2015. Retrieved 2 January 2016. 

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