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.
In 1972, the Mannino family got a Christmas gift they’ll never forget: a pizza parlor. Today, it’s still operated by the family of Joseph and Pietrina Mannino and continues to serve pizzas, pastas, and barbecue chicken and ribs. Their carryout and delivery menu, available seven days a week, makes hosting game day parties rather easy, and the catering menu accommodates larger parties. For instance, their taco bars and pasta platters can feed the entire city of Detroit, if 99% of Detroit’s citizens go on vacation at the same time.
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.
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.
A pizzeria is generally the last place you might take someone with a gluten allergy. But at Renee's Gourmet Pizzeria, not only do gluten-free folks have options, they have their run of the menu. From meat-stuffed calzones to the prosciutto and goat cheese pizza, everything that comes out of the oven is 100% gluten- and nut-free. This helps prevent any cross-contamination or dish-to-dish peer-pressure, and makes it easy for families to enjoy the same pizza, appetizers, and dessert together.
The cooks at Dan Good Pizza understand that everybody has their own favorite style of pizza, so they load their menu with seemingly limitless options. They start with a base of five crust varieties: thin and crispy flatbread, hand tossed traditional, round or square pan pizzas, Chicago-style deep dish, or gluten-free. They then decorate the dough canvas with sauces and any combination of their 34 toppings. Tried-and-true creations come in the form of specialty pies, including the Mediterranean, which is topped with spinach, red onion, marinated tomatoes and feta cheese. To complement their pizzas, they offer cheddar and bacon bread sticks with a garlic and herb cream cheese spread and jumbo bone in butter-parmesan and jamaican-jerk wings, which come by the piece for convenient sampling.