Detroit is a Detroit-style pizza town. Obviously, those crispy-edged square pies dominate this list — as they should — of the best pizza spots in Detroit available on DoorDash. But there are a few wild cards in the mix for those who require a thin-crust pie every now and then. Or the opposite: a gigantic, cheese-laden, deep-dish Chicago-style pizza. Or maybe you’re in the mood for a Detroit specialty: Bengali pies topped with tandoori chicken. Now, please pass the ranch.
The debate over Detroit’s best Detroit-style pizza is one that’ll tear families apart (until the pizza arrives and peace returns). Shield’s is one of the originals; it has been serving square pies for more than 80 years — from the same recipes. Some might say a perfect order is a pepperoni square pie and antipasto salad. Others might argue, hey, the round pies are just as great.
Buddy’s bills itself as the original Detroit-style pizza, and since 1946 has grown to more than 20 locations across the state. The crispy-cornered pies are culinary innovation at its best, with crusty, cheese-laced edges in (nearly) every bite. Wings, pizza, eight ounces of ranch, and a cold can of Vernors — a perfect evening.
Pizza Papalis makes deep-dish Chicago pies that have a surprisingly lightweight crust. And because it's in Greektown, a Greek side salad just makes sense, with tangy housemade dressing, you’ll want — and can have — a whole bottle of. If you have a crowd who can’t agree on a pizza style, Pizza Papalis also does Detroit-style, thin-crust, and even calzones.
Michigan brewery Jolly Pumpkin makes a comforting thin-but-chewy-crust pizza. The truffle pie topped with fresh spring mix is delightful, as is the South Pacific — it’s the bacon bits and candied pineapple. But if you want Jolly Pumpkin’s signature sour beers to wash it down (and you do!), you’ll need to pick up the pizza in person.
San Morello offers Detroit’s most traditionally Italian pizza and its fanciest, thanks to New York restaurateur Andrew Carmellini (Carne Mare, Locanda Verde). It has a truly thin crust with enviable charred leopard spots from the wood-fired oven. The OG pie, with pepperoni and ’nduja (a spicy, slightly funky spreadable sausage), has a welcome heat that’s nicely tamed by a pint of gelato.
At La Lanterna, your Margherita pie is probably an appetizer or side dish before you dig into a platter of chicken Parm. But still, it’s made with a balanced hand that doesn’t overdo it on the sauce, cheese, or fresh basil. The Rocket, a white pie with spicy arugula and fresh lemon zest, is another favorite. The restaurant also offers gluten-free crusts and vegan cheese.
Jet’s might be a chain, but there’s a reason locals rely on it for pizza night. The deeply caramelized, buttery crust of the Detroit-style pizzas never disappoints, and real ones always know to order the 12-ounce squeeze bottle of ranch because a dipping cup is just not enough. Is Turbo Stix just a cheese pizza cut into bite-size rectangles? Yes, but you’re still ordering some, right?
In Troy, the Italian restaurant Crispelli’s is where you turn to on a pizza night that calls for a traditional white pie or a lovely Margherita topped with adorable pepperoni cups. Perfect order for two or four might look like a pizza with a house salad, with chickpeas and black olives, plus chocolate chip cannoli for dessert.
Upscale pizza spot Bigalora, in Royal Oak, tosses its Neapolitan-style pies into a wood-fired oven, so expect a little char here and there, especially on the side of extra-crispy brussels sprouts — a necessary order, no matter what pizza you get. While there are plenty of fancy toppings to choose from, the simpler offerings, like the pesto Genovese pie, with roasted tomatoes and pine nuts, are usually the best.
Buscemis is a proper old-school pizza spot and local favorite, with rectangular Sicilian-style grandma pies, Detroit pies (with a thicker crust than Sicilian), hand-tossed rounds, plus gigantic subs that are accurately called Torpedos. Start with the Detroit deep dish, with a delectably crunchy, light crust, if it’s your first time.
In Ferndale, Como’s is a local standby for Detroit-style pies with modern flavors, like a pepperoni pizza with jalapeños and honey, dill pickle pizza, and vegan pies loaded with vegetables. Spice lovers seek out The Wimp, which brings the heat with Calabrian chiles, jalapeños, and spicy honey. Everybody else should stick with the Granny, a pepperoni, mushroom, and onion pie with a perfectly chewy crust, thanks to its three-day-fermented dough.
Amar Pizza in Hamtramck has a cult following for its hauntingly hot ghost pepper pizza, the tandoori chicken pie, and the naga pie, featuring sauce made from one of the world’s hottest chiles. It’s the only spot in Detroit where you can find this brilliant mashup of Bengali flavors and pizza and cool that ghost pepper heat with a mango lassi. This is your chance to get adventurous and try the umami-rich dry fish pizza, a favorite of celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern.
Detroit pizza mainstay Cloverleaf was founded by Gus Guerra, who invented square pies with his team at Buddy’s in 1946 and opened Cloverleaf in Eastpointe in the 1950s. The restaurant serves bar snacks like fried ravioli and cauliflower bites, plus traditional Detroit-style pizza for a loyal local audience who definitely knows this history already.
Sicily’s is known for using all halal meats and no pork in their mix of round and Detroit-style square pizzas, all made with a chewy, fermented sourdough crust and house-made toppings. Pair a classic Margherita pie with a barbecue chicken pie, or try the East Coast-style tomato pie if you’re a sauce lover.
Yes, you will start calling mozzarella “Mootzarella” after you order pizza from Mootz — it can’t be helped. The New York-style round pies have playful toppings and names to match, like the five-cheese Holy Cheesus, but the garlic-butter-drenched cheese bread gives the pies a run for their money.
Cloverleaf by Jeff Kuchta