The dough wizards at Papa John's hand toss circular masterpieces with original and thin crusts made from high-protein flour to support warm bouquets of toppings. Hand-cut produce crowns all of Papa John's pizzas, mingling with the sun-soaked sweetness of sauce made from fresh, California-grown tomatoes. By adhering to its brand promise of "better ingredients, better pizza," Papa John's grew from a back-tavern pizzeria into more than 3,500 restaurants within three decades' time, or the amount of time it takes to grow a single pizzeria from a small seed.
Extreme Pizza is not your run-of-the-mill, ma-and-pa pizza shop. Here, the cooks pile their house-baked crusts with a slew of uncommon combinations, including the ginger-peanut-sauce-marinated chicken strewn across the Kickin? Chicken pizza, which is also topped with peanuts, green onions, swiss, fontina, mozzarella, and fresh cilantro. The Paia Pie may seem standard with pineapple and Canadian bacon, but the addition of mandarin oranges and its mozzarella-cheddar blend make it more unique than a unicorn with two horns. As an alternative to the pies, freshly baked calzones, creatively loaded salads, monster subs, and chicken wings also populate the menu.
Sila Italian Restaurant & Bar has been slinging up Italian-American classics for more than 50 years?practically an eternity in the restaurant industry. After all this time, Sila's pizza is still one of the most popular items on the menu, with chefs loading up thin and deep-dish crusts with traditional toppings of sausage and pepperoni, as well as gourmet alternatives such as eggplant and shrimp. They also tuck cheese inside manicotti noodles and toss meatballs and sauce atop submarine sandwiches. To pair with these stick-to-your-ribs creations, the bar pours red and white wines, soft drinks, and beers by the glass, pitcher, or wheelbarrow.
The pizza industry can be a crowded kitchen; it's tough for any particular pie to stand out above the field. But don't tell that to Shield's Pizza. Founded in Detroit in 1937, Shield's quickly gained a following for the pizza that remains its signature item: deep-dish pies, served in square-shaped portions. The restaurant has followed the same recipes and techniques since its inception by making the dough fresh daily, using fresh meat and produce for toppings, and loading up pies with layers of Wisconsin cheese. Mindful of the way appetites have evolved in the last half-century, they also craft hand-tossed, round gluten-free and multi-grain pizzas in addition to its traditional crust.
Shield's menu also extends beyond its pizza perfection. Homemade soup, pasta, burgers, ribs, and sandwiches offer savory alternatives, as well as appetizers such as nachos and buffalo wings. Pours of draft beer help wash down bites or scrub pizza sauce out of your silk ascot.
Radio-show host Ron Cameron has been a sports-radio personality for more than 40 years, so it’s no surprise that his restaurant’s name—All-Star Grill and Pizza—pays homage to the field. His restaurant’s menu, though, veers from sports-style food in favor of Italian dishes such as pizza, paninis, and pasta stirred with a gondolier’s oar. Chefs also fire Angus-beef burgers and hot dogs.
Pizza has been the main draw at Tania's Pizza since the restaurant opened in 1987. That's not much of a surprise, but this place does have a few tricks up its sleeve. Chief among these are the creative specialty pies, which include the Sam's Hawaiian (ham, pineapple, bacon, and onion) and the Royal Oaker topped or stuffed with cheese, pepperoni, ground beef, onions and banana peppers. The eatery complements its signature dish with oven-baked calzones, meatball subs, and other traditional dishes hailing from the quaint town of Italy, Michigan.