More than 50 years go, Mike Ilitch was poised for major-league glory. An up-and-coming shortstop for the Detroit Tigers, his baseball finesse was blossoming when an injury derailed his sports career. But although the wound stunted his athletic aspirations, it steered him toward a new path, and on May 8, 1959, he and his wife opened the first Little Caesars location, a then-unheard-of carry-out-only joint. The career shift and novel technique eventually proved triumphant. Today, the pizzeria's iconic, toga-clad mascot adorns storefronts on five continents. In each shop, staffers forge the signature Hot-N-Ready pizza, a freshly baked pizza designed for instant pickup, and warm, garlicky Crazy bread. With a storied half-century under their belt, Mike Ilitch and his family strive to give back, supporting local organizations and creating their own charitable programs.
Paisano’s Pizza's sauce slingers create the menu's specialty thin-crust pizzas, Stromboli, and hoagies. Breadsticks escort 16-inch signature pizzas ($19.99) such as the mediterranean pie, whose artichoke hearts sidle up to olives and feta, and whose sun-dried tomatoes resolve to avoid the sun during their next trip to the beach. The tuscan disk unites canadian bacon and fresh basil, and the taco specialty brims with tortilla chips and seasoned beef under a layer of cheddar. Bright yellow and green walls wrap around group tables, where diners can bite into hoagies ($7.29) and look out wide windows. A high red counter with individual seating supports original, vegetarian, or pepperoni Stromboli ($6.99), and allows guests to bring along their laptops, books, or imaginations.
Everyday at Eden Pizza, the kitchen buzzes with activities that are crucial to each pizza’s tempting taste. Behind the scenes, the eatery’s team routinely chops fresh veggies for toppings and makes fresh dough from scratch. Diners can order pizzas with traditional toppings such as sausage, pepperoni, and green peppers, or taste the culinary creativity in specialty pizzas such as the Gunslinger with hot sauce, pickles, banana peppers, and a holster for each slice. Aside from pizza, visitors can also take a bite out of salads, chicken wings doused in 15 different sauces, and cool breezes, if they’re eating outside on the patio.
The cooks at Restaurante La Laguna craft housemade Mexican dishes each day. They fill 14-inch flour tortillas with meats, mozzarella cheese, and fresh salsa for their signature burritos, and they serve skirt-steak strips with onions, tomato, and jalapeños to create another specialty, bistec a la Mexicana.
When a national chain delivered him a pale imitation of a pizza, Eddie Lane thought, “I can do better than this.” The winner of more than 37 Minnesota State Fair ribbons put his money where his mouth was, laboring away until he perfected Pizza Three's stone-cooked thin-crust pies. Eddie and his culinary team craft more than 10 specialty, veggie, and chicken pizzas ranging from classic pepperoni to a loaded-baked-potato pizza topped with garlic mashed potatoes and bacon. Their culinary innovation extends to dessert with the s'mores pizza, a chocolate-, graham-cracker-, and marshmallow-topped pie that evokes memories of sitting around campfires in the Coliseum. Chefs also fold pizzas into calzones, douse wings in award-winning barbecue sauce, and whip up pastas from some of Eddie's Blue Ribbon–winning recipes.
Though Little Venetian opened in 2002, the family behind the operation has been treating locals to Italian flavors since 1928, when Mama and Papa Vitale opened a modest vegetable stand. Now, decades later, diners can enjoy their fresh produce whipped up into hearty meals, made in accordance with Vitale family recipes. Pastas and pizzas come coated in slow-cooked marinara or alfredo sauces, and plates of chicken parmigiano and Italian sausage warm forks and souls with homemade flavor.