Friday, October 12, 2007

Best Pizza in Detroit

New York and Chicago are known as the two pizza-havens of America. I don’t have a problem with that considering pizza in America began in New York; and Chicago introduced the monstrosity that is “Chicago Style Stuffed Pizza.” Both locales earned their reputations. Lost in the love-fest for New York and Chicago, though, is the phenomenal array of pizza put out in Metro Detroit. New York boasts giant slices of thin pizza and the “fold” technique. Chicago boasts stuffed, pie-like pizza that often requires a fork and knife. Detroit offers its own version of the deep dish that you won’t find in Chicago or anywhere else. The phrase “deep-dish” encompasses a lot of styles. To know one is certainly not to know them all. Detroit’s deep-dish is square—not stuffed—and doesn’t sacrifice the quality or quantity of its major pizza components—cheese, sauce, crust, and toppings—to get its point across.

Buddy’s, Shield’s, Cloverleaf, and Loui’s are four Detroit-giants that essentially came out of the same kitchen but have evolved to form their own unique recipes. The first three have 50+ years of history while the latter is the youngest and best of the bunch. All four brands have their own version of how Detroit’s deep-dish began and what part their restaurant played in that history. The rich tradition of pizza in Detroit is truly an unheralded American treasure. Unless you’ve lived in Detroit long enough to figure this out for yourself, this is all probably news to you. Detroit and “pizza” have never been synonymous outside of the “pizza chain” world. The rest of the country probably views Detroit as the birthplace of Little Caesar’s and Dominoes. It would be a shame for Detroit to be identified by the various pizza-chains that have started out of Michigan. Little Caesar’s and Dominoes have been great for pizza delivery across America but both products pale in comparison to what Detroit pizza is really about.

While Detroit-style deep-dish rules the city, that is hardly the only perfected-style you will find in the area. If you know where to look, you will find all sorts of varieties and unique takes on pizza. Among the fabulous styles of pizza you will find in Detroit are; Detroit-style deep-dish, traditional round, Northern Italy/New Haven, CT style, thin, and even a Detroit take on the Chicago deep-dish. You will find a truly unmatched mesh of pizza styles and tastes in Detroit. If you live in Detroit and have only experienced the cookie-cutter, quickly-thrown-together, chain pizza, I highly suggest you seek out the places listed below. If you plan on visiting Detroit from out of town, your view of the city will be altered permanently after trying some of the places below.

As always, my opinions are just that: opinions. I love pizza. I am not biased in my “style” of preference but this list is littered with biases everywhere else. I have been to each of the places listed below multiple times as well as countless other pizza places in the area. I have lived in Metro Detroit for 20 years and to the best of my knowledge, the following is a list of the best pizza Metro Detroit has to offer.

Metro Detroit's Best Pizza

1). Loui's Pizza

Loui’s pizza is the best pizza Detroit has to offer, IMO. The actual “Loui” opened his pizza outfit 27-years ago. Before gracing Detroiters with his unbeatable pizza, Loui spent time at Buddy’s and Shields. Loui’s version of the square, deep-dish pizza is often lumped in with his two previous employers but, believe me when I say, they are nothing alike. You’ll probably find a higher percentage of patrons eating their pizza with a fork—something I do not condone under any circumstances—at Loui’s. The pizza is thick. Unlike Shield’s and Buddy’s, though, Loui doesn’t jip on the sauce or the cheese. Even more important, the sauce and cheese are of a tastier variety. While Buddy’s and Shields have a tendency to cook their pizza’s well-done, Loui’s pizza is cooked perfectly. The crust is crisp on the outside and soft in the middle. The ingredients are premium starting with thick pepperoni. I have always enjoyed Buddy’s and Shields but since I discovered Loui’s, I have not been able to look at those establishments in the same way. The only negative that I have come across is the inexplicable absence of the all-important cheese bread. If I’m ordering pizza, there’s a 95% chance I’m ordering cheese bread. The 5% of the time I don’t order it is when I’m having Loui’s.

Location(s): Hazel Park

Style: Detroit-style deep-dish

Recommendation: This pizza is heavy and slightly expensive. If you’re an average eater, then 2-3 slices will do. My personal preference at Loui’s is pepperoni, sausage, and onion. Don't be afraid to dine-in. The parking can be a littley dicey (not enough spots) but the atmosphere is excellent.

Buffet: no

2). Pizza Papalis

Pizza Papalis is known as the place to get “Chicago Style Pizza” in Detroit. While I have to admit that PP’s stuffed pizza is quite tasty, PP only shows up this high on my list because of its thin pizza. I brought a former Shield’s pizza-maker to PP recently who had only previously had PP’s Chicago-Style. He gave me the go-ahead to order whatever I wanted so figured I’d blow his mind with an extra-large, thin, meat lover’s. An hour later as we were leaving, he exclaimed without a hint of doubt in his voice, “this is the best pizza I have ever had in my life.” I know that there are a lot of pizza fans in Detroit who have been to PP and not had the thin. I was one of them for years. I simply looked at PP as a place to get some “Chicago Style Pizza” from time to time. However, since I was turned onto the thin pizza, PP is now my pizza of choice, bar none. The ingredients are phenomenal. The ham tastes like slices of honey baked ham you might find at an Easter dinner. The pepperoni comes layered with as many as five pieces stuck together. I can’t begin to do justice to the quality of PP’s thin pizza. I can only recommend that you make a trip to one of the two full-service locations in metro-Detroit.

Location(s): Multiple

Style: Chicago Style Deep-Dish and Thin

Recommendation: Order a small Chicago Style—I recommend the “Papalis Gourmet” minus black olives for a spectacular combination of flavor—just to get a taste of it but order an extra-large, meat lover’s, thin pizza to ingest possibly the greatest pizza you will ever taste. The breadsticks and garlic bread are worth ordering in tandem.

Buffet: yes

3). Tomatoes Apizza

“Tomatoes” is a truly unique experience. In fact, you will find no other pizza-joint in Metro Detroit quite like it. The pizza here is of the “East Coast” variety. The pizzaiola—or pizza-maker—has crafted a masterpiece of a recipe in the style of Frank Pepe’s legendary pizza in New Haven, CT. It is the antithesis of the thick, deep-dish pizzas that Detroit’s pizza history is rooted in. I cannot make a better recommendation as far as introducing yourself to “Tomatoes” than to simply go to its pizza buffet served weekdays at lunch. The day I made that decision goes down as one of the greatest dining experiences of my life. Think of this pizza buffet as a “Grand Finale” at a fireworks show. But, instead of it lasting a minute or two, this lasts as long as you’ve got room left in your stomach. Unlike many other pizza buffets where cold pizzas with unwanted ingredient-combinations litter the buffet-line, “Tomatoes” is constantly filled with some of the most spectacular pizza combinations you’ll ever see. The owner, Mike Weinstein, makes the pizza himself taking great pride in every slice that is eaten at his restaurant. I have never actually met a person who has heard of Tomatoes Apizza which tells me that too many Detroiters are missing out on this pizza-haven. If you’re reading this and you’ve never been, make plans today. You won’t regret it. The only negative aspect of my visit(s) to Tomatoes came when an arcane policy of charging any child who is able to walk came to my attention. I have no problem charging children—of any age—who eat. In this instance, my son was charged the children’s price (I believe it was $4.99) and he didn’t eat. I explained to the owner that my son was two-years old and despite our wishes to the contrary, he doesn’t eat pizza. He said it didn’t matter. I’m not sure how a place can legally charge someone for not eating. We have been on somewhat of a silent boycott since said experience.

Location(s): Farmington Hills (2)

Farmington Hills

Style: Classic East Coast Neapolitan Style Pizza

Recommendation: Do yourself a favor and introduce yourself to all the magical combinations Mike Weinstein offers at his weekday lunch buffet. He is at the Middlebelt/14-Mile Rd. location. You’ll find everything on the menu at the buffet. I highly recommend not ordering take-out or delivery. In fact, if you can’t make it to the restaurant, then you’re better off passing all together. I have not been to the Halsted location but I can't imagine it's anything less than spectacular as well.

Buffet: yes

4). Green Lantern Lounge

The Green Lantern has the best cheese-bread in metro-Detroit and I’m not sure it’s even close. In fact, “Lantern’s” cheese bread is better than 95% of the pizza in metro-Detroit. Luckily, you don’t have to go anywhere else to find a pizza equal to the task since “Lantern” has that, too. There is no question that the pizza is greasy. There’s no way around that. Some people have issues with greasy pizza. If everything else was equal, I would probably go with a non-greasy pizza over a greasy one. The problem is that everything else isn’t equal. You will not find five better pizza-joints within the state of Michigan. “Lantern” offers a deep-dish and a normal crust and both come round. The cheese is stellar. The cheese that makes the cheese-bread so good is also what powers that taste of the pizza. The toppings are also excellent. The only negative is that the inside of the Green Lantern often resembles a smoker’s convention. The obvious easy fix to that problem is to pick it up and take it home.

Location (s): Madison Heights

Style: Round Deep-Dish and Traditional round

Recommendation: The round Deep-Dish is almost the exact same as the Traditional round except it’s heavier without more taste. You get more taste in each bite without having to eat as much so traditional round is my style of choice. The cheese makes the pizza but the toppings are also excellent. I would recommend a meat lover’s.

Buffet: no

5). Alibi

There is nothing flashy about Alibi. I lived in Rochester Hills for five years and never even heard of the place. It wasn’t until my second stint in Rochester Hills that I came across it. I heard from a friend that it had excellent pizza among other things. I gave it a go and the pizza was phenomenal. Like the restaurant, there is nothing flashy about the pizza. It isn’t a gut-buster like many of the other pizza-joints on this list. It is a round, traditional pizza with a ridiculous amount of flavor. One of the things I use to judge a pizza is whether I eat the crust or not. When I was a kid, I never ate crust. For me, the best part of the pizza is the cheese, sauce and toppings. I would eat the crust of square, deep-dish pizzas every now and then but I never at the crusts of traditional, round pizza. Well, I mowed through every last ounce of Alibi’s pizza-- crust and all. I keep going back and forth between the Green Lantern and Alibi as to who has the best, traditional, round pizza. I ended up giving Green Lantern the edge because of its unbelievable cheese bread. You cannot go wrong with either. If my mom were making this list, I suspect Alibi’s would be number one with ease. There is a well-known negative with regards to Alibi’s. If you’ve ever done a search for Alibi’s on the web, you have likely found the lengthy list of negative comments with respect to Alibi’s service. I have to admit that I have never had a bad experience at the restaurant but I know people who have. I don’t think it’s a matter of a few angry customers either. No other elite pizza place has anywhere near the number of negative-service related comments. So, keep that in mind as you’re stuffing yourself silly with pizza.

Location: Troy

Style: Traditional round

Recommendation: Alibi hits you with the basics so you don't need to load up on toppings to get a great taste. A pepperoni pizza would do you just fine. However, if you like toppings, you can’t go wrong with a meat lovers.

Buffet: no

6). Shield's Pizza

Shield’s has excellent pizza. There is no other way to say it. Shield's serves thick, deep-dish pizza. Its main competitors in that niche in terms of best pizza are Loui’s and Buddy’s. It is my opinion that Shield’s falls firmly in between the two. I cannot say, with good conscience, that Shield’s is better than Loui’s. I don’t believe that to be true. My number one complaint with Shield’s is that each slice teases you with sauce. Instead of a layer of sauce that encompasses the whole pizza, you’ll find patches that may only cover 1/3 of the slice. You won’t find that at Loui’s. My friend--the former Shield’s employee--is convinced Shield’s is the best pizza around (at least until his Pizza Papalis experience). I am certain that some bias goes into that opinion so take it for what it’s worth.

Location(s): Multiple

Style: Detroit-style deep-dish

Recommendation: You can try ordering extra-sauce but chances are you still won’t have enough. It doesn’t hurt to try, though. A “pepperoni and sausage” pizza does the job at Shield’s. It is not the sort of pizza that flourishes with extra toppings. The magic of shields lies within the crust, sauce and cheese.

Buffet: no

7). Buca Di Beppos

The most unheralded pizza in the country is found at Buca Di Beppo’s. Buca’s is not specific to Detroit but it is one of the best pizzas in the area regardless. I’m not sure that most people even realize that Buca’s serves pizza. It is a fantastic “Italian” restaurant. It isn’t regarded as a “pizza joint” so it’s superior pizza is hidden from the pizza-loving public. Buca’s is one of the rare places that when I am eating the pizza, I literally shake my head in disbelief at how fantastic it tastes. I could attempt to describe what makes this pizza so good but the best thing I can say is that after every experience, I am convinced that the ingredient that makes the pizza so good is something different than what I thought the previous time. My wife insists that it’s the sauce. I have left thinking it was the cheese, the sauce, and the toppings. My final verdict is that the "moneymaker" is the gorgonzola cheese. The only negative experience at Buca’s occurs every visit and it’s the feeling of loss when the last bite is eaten. That is undoubtedly a sad event for me.

Location(s): Multiple

Style: Italian thin

Recommendation: You couldn’t pay me $100 to go to Buca Di Beppo’s and order anything but the Spicy Arrabbiata pizza with half sausage/half sun-dried tomatoes. This combination—for reasons I cannot fully explain—is heaven on Earth. Also--and this is crucial--ask for gorgonzola cheese instead of mozzarella on any pizza that you order. Buca's has seven different pizzas but only the "Arrabbiata" comes with gorgonzola. For an extra bit of flavor, order a side of Alfredo sauce to dip your pizza in. The perfect compliment to their outstanding pizza is the “Pan Fried Fresh Mozzarella.” A better cheese-stick appetizer does not exist in this world.

Buffet: no

8). Kruse & Muer

Former Shield's cook/friend was also a cook at Kruse & Muer. This guy certainly has experience making great pizzas which makes his endorsement of Pizza Papalis’ thin crust pizza even more believable. Kruse & Muer is one of the truly great restaurants in Michigan. It is known more for its fantastic seafood and pasta dishes than it is for its pizza. However, that’s not to say the pizza isn’t the best thing on the menu. The truth is that this place is more of a fancy outfit; so I think the pizza gets neglected a bit. Those who have been to Kruse & Muer know that it serves unbelievable bread. That same bread is the dough for the pizza. It is thick and airy. The toppings are of the premium variety. The sauce is truly fantastic. This pizza is like no other pizza that I’ve had. The best way that I could describe it is “home made”. No pizza looks the same. You can tell this place takes great pride in each pie it serves. If you’re ever in the area, feel free to stop by and sample a slice as Kruse & Muer almost always has a pizza sitting out at the take-out counter for customers to try.

Location(s): Multiple

* The Rochester Chop House does not serve pizza.

Style: Round deep-dish

Recommendation: Kruse & Muer features premium toppings so you can’t go wrong with your selection. My pizza of choice is pepperoni, ham, and caramelized onion. The sausage is sliced Italian-sausage which doesn’t go well on pizza in my opinion. The thickness of the pepperoni varies according to who is cutting it so if you have a preference, make sure you tell the waiter/waitress or be prepared for the possibility of pepperoni three times as thick as you’re used to.

Buffet: no

9). Buddy's Pizza

Buddy’s is probably the most recognizable pizza name in Detroit outside of the chains. It has a reputation of being the best pizza in Detroit and for a lot of people, that is true. I like Buddy’s but I do not love Buddy’s. I need more sauce and cheese on my pizza. I don’t need extra of either. I just need it to cover the entirety of the dough sans the crust. You won’t find that at Buddy’s. Even when I ask for extra sauce, it rarely makes a difference. I get the feeling that Buddy’s pizza-makers ignore extra-sauce requests on principle alone.

Location: Multiple

Style: Detroit-style deep-dish

Recommendation: Buddy’s has faltered lately in my last few visits. I love the pizza but it’s not in the top five the area has to offer. So, I’ve been giving some of their specialty combinations a try. I’ve struck out with the “Greek Pizza” and the “Margherita Pizza.” The “BBQ Chicken Pizza” is OK but I can’t say I dream about it at night. The “Hawaiian Pizza” is probably the worst of the bunch because of the sweet and sour sauce. If you’re looking for multiple toppings, I would recommend either going with the tried and true “Meat Deluxe Pizza” or the “Super Pizza” which has a little bit of everything. If you don’t like a teaspoon of sauce per slice, then you will want to order extra sauce on the pizza before the pizza arrives--and even then, that might not do you any good. If you wait until after the pizza arrives to ask for extra sauce, you will be served a cup of Buddy’s sauce in it’s cold, runny, pre-cooked form. Disapointment doesn’t come in a greater form than that.

Buffet: no

10). Cloverleaf Bar and Restaurant

After researching the best pizza in Detroit, I came across an unfamiliar name. Cloverleaf is not in the ideal location for most of metro-Detroit. My wife’s parents live about as close to the Cloverleaf as anyone I know and it still took 20 minutes to get there. My first experience was of the carry-out variety. I was mildly impressed. The 40-minute drive round trip probably took away from the experience but I had no complaints afterwards. I was not convinced that this was the best pizza that I had ever tasted but I was also pretty sure it was among the 15 best pizzas I’ve ever had in Detroit. For my second try, I made the decision that I was going to have a dine-in experience. This time, I was able to appreciate a piping hot pizza in all it’s glory. The crust is sweet in a way that words cannot describe. The story goes (at least Cloverleaf’s version anyways) that the owner of the Cloverleaf was the originator of the Buddy’s pizza recipe. He sold the recipe to Buddy’s and per the agreement, was not allowed to open a pizza place within a certain amount of miles from Buddy’s. That’s why the Cloverleaf ended up in Eastpointe. So, it stands to reason that the Cloverleaf and Buddy’s taste virtually the same—and they pretty much do. One thing I noticed from my dine-in experience is that the Cloverleaf offers a buffet which is a definite plus for any pizza-joint.

Location: Eastpointe

Style: Detroit-style deep-dish

Recommendation: If I’m eating Detroit-style deep-dish and it’s not Loui’s or Shield’s, my default pizza is a meat lover’s. Cloverleaf’s pizza is good enough where pepperoni will do the trick if that’s your preference.

Buffet: yes

11). Cottage Inn

A conservative estimate of how many Cottage Inn pizzas I ate in college falls somewhere around 200. Needless to say, I like the pizza. The deal of choice back then was called, "The Late-Night Special." If I remember correctly, it was not available until after 10pm thus the name. During my freshman year, Cottage Inn did not permit its traditional round to be part of the late-night special. This prompted many ill-fated attempts at explaining to the Cottage Inn crew how ridiculous that rule was. By my sophomore year, traditional round was fair game. Ironically, it was then that the deep dish became my style of choice. If that's not an example of "you want what you can't have" then I'm not sure what is. I have grown to appreciate both styles equally. If you twisted my arm hard enough, I'd probably go with the square. Cottage Inn is the King of gourmet/specialty pizzas. Cottage Inn has fantastic toppings so the more the better.

Location(s): Multiple

Style: Detroit-style deep-dish and Traditional Round

Recommendation: Some locations around Ann Arbor offer an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet. If you're like me and your ears perk up at the sound of "pizza" and "buffet" in the same sentence, then it would behoove you to find one of those locations. Also, Cottage Inn offers flavored crust like Hungry Howies. You can't go wrong with butter garlic and parmesan crust.

12). Jet's Pizza

It’s too bad that all Jet’s are not created equal. I have had great Jet’s pizza and I have had mediocre Jet’s pizza. Your odds of receiving a good pizza from Jet’s is not based on luck; rather it is based on the location in which you order the pizza from. Good Jet’s locations almost always produce brilliant pizza. I can personally vouch for the Jet’s on Auburn Rd. in Rochester Hills. I firmly believe that the pizza I received on a weekly basis from this Jet’s location was among the two or three best pizzas I’ve ever had in my life. The crust is so crisp. The cheese is cooked to gooey-perfection in the middle and slightly-burnt near the crust. The sauce is simply unbelievable. Eating that pizza was a surreal experience. I made the mistake of telling everyone I knew that Jet’s had the best pizza around. I realized this mistake when I started to have Jet’s at other locations. One of the more disappointing food-related experiences in my life came when I ordered from the Jet’s in my new neighborhood. I was all ready to re-visit that amazing experience and then I took disappointing bite after disappointing bite. I cannot place a pizza-joint in the top five if only a handful of its locations are of the elite variety. Every Jet’s pizza in America should find out what the Auburn Rd. location is doing and duplicate it to a T from the temperature and consistency that it serves its ranch dressing to the way it cooks its pizza.

Location(s): Rochester Hills and everything else

Style: Detroit-style deep-dish

Recommendation: If you didn’t catch the hint in the summary, make your way to the Jet’s on Auburn Rd. in Rochester Hills. Order a Meat Lover’s and pad your walls so you won’t hurt yourself when you jump for joy after the first bite. Also order Jet’s pepperoni bread with extra ranch. Use the ranch liberally. It is phenomenal.

Buffet: no

13). Guido's Premium Pizza

Guido’s is another pizza-joint that I was unaware of until recently. To be fair, I spent the first five years of my adult life out of state and out of country. It wasn’t until my return that I was able to devote the necessary resources to adequately pursue my dream/goal of finding the best pizza-joints in Michigan. The first thing I noticed when I opened the Guido’s pizza box was the sheer amount of toppings on each slice. It was the most impressive display of topping-coverage that I have ever seen. Guido’s is right in line with Buddy’s and Cloverleaf.

Location(s): Multiple

Style: Detroit-style deep-dish

Recommendation: If you like meat, your best bet at Guido’s is to go with a meat lover’s pizza. You will be blown away when you open the box and the volume of toppings is revealed to you. It is almost picture-worthy.

Buffet: no

14). Pizza House

When I was in college, Pizza House was my 4am meal of choice. To be honest, though, my order usually featured a combination of three or four appetizers rather than pizza. My pizza choices back then were either a “Late-Night Special” from Cottage Inn or a misprinted Marco’s coupon that yielded one of the great college feasts you’ll ever have for a mere $6.00. It wasn’t until my wife and I were shacked up at the University Hospital staring at our new baby girl that I got a formal introduction to Pizza House’s pizza. I had it a few times before but it was just your typical pepperoni pizza with a group of friends. This time around, I went big and boy was I rewarded. My specialty pizza of choice turned out to be the Spicey Mediterannean minus banana peppers plus pepperoni. That ends up being extra mozzarella, muenster, and feta cheese along with pepperoni. It was heaven in my mouth. We also ordered the Feta Bread which is just another form of awesomeness. That experience was so good that we ordered the exact same thing two nights in a row. We also tried the Chicago Style. It wasn’t bad but their money maker is the traditional round.

Location: Ann Arbor and East Lansing

Style: Traditional round, Chicago-style, and thin.

Recommendation: Skip the Chicago-style. It’s a poor man’s Uno’s which is a poor man’s Chicago-style pizza in my opinion. Order the round with your toppings of choice. Pizza house allows you to get freaky with a laundry list of unique toppings. If you are inclined to experience pizza at it’s pinnacle, then I suggest a Spicy Mediteranean minus banana peppers and add pepperoni. This is a truly phenomenal concoction.

Buffet: no

15). Frank’s Pizzeria

Frank’s has a loyal following as evidenced by its number one position on the Detroit City Search’s best pizza in Detroit for 2006. However, Frank’s was nowhere to be found in the top 10 the previous two years. So, I’m guessing that Frank’s top position in ’06 was due to an anomaly or a concerted effort by Frank’s to get its patrons to take part in the voting. Regardless of how Frank’s got to number one, it piqued my interest. So, I made the trek to Wyandotte to see for myself. Frank’s is a humble outfit located on Wyandotte’s downtown strip. The smoking and non-smoking sections are both located in one average-size room. That pretty much means if one person is smoking, the whole restaurant is the smoking section. There was a person smoking for the first 15 minutes and thankfully that was it. The pizza “looked” like old-fashioned, homemade pizza. The pepperoni was the curled-cup variety where a small amount of grease sits inside. The pizza is traditional round. I enjoyed it. I can see why so many locals rave about it. However, better pizza exists and it exists closer than Wyandotte. If you’re making your way south for any reason, you might want to consider stopping off of I-75 on your way out or on your way back into town. It’s worth a try. I would rather have Green Lantern, Alibi’s, Pizza House, and Kruse & Muer’s when it comes to the traditional round style of pizza.

Location: Wyandotte

Style: Traditional Round

Recommendation: Frank’s doesn’t accept Credit Card. There are banks just around the corner than you can walk to if you forget. The pizza is also on the greasy side. If this is a problem, you may want to dab your napkin over each slice.

16). Como's Restaurant and Pizzeria

Como’s has decent pizza. There are more than a few people who are convinced that Como’s is the “best” pizza. Everyone has their own opinion but Como’s isn’t anywhere near the best, IMO. I’m not sure enough people outside of Ferndale have even heard of Como’s to call it overrated. Just don’t get your hopes up. It’s a tasty pizza and nothing more. It certainly does not compare to Alibi’s or Green Lantern. Como’s offers two types of round: deep-dish round, and thin round. I’ve tried them both and I really don’t have much of a preference. Whereas the thin-round at Green Lantern is much more taste-effective than the deep-dish, you can go with either at Como’s. One thing that I do like about Como’s is the number of ingredients it offers. If you want a certain ingredient on your pizza, chances are Como’s has it. The menu is way too pricey for the caliber of pizza served. I’m not sure pizza should ever be $20 for a large but if it is that much, it better be the best around which Como’s is not. Como’s is a Ferndale tradition sporting a vintage neon sign of yesteryear.

Location: Ferndale

Style: Round Deep-Dish and Traditional Round

Recommendation: Don’t trek to Ferndale for Como’s pizza alone. If you’re on your way to Detroit or spending the day at the Detroit Zoo, then take advantage of the proximity. Also, don’t go to Como’s during the Woodward Dream Cruise unless you want to watch the Woodward Dream Cruise because that’s what you’ll be doing.


Anonymous said...

long live the late night special and the Marco's misprint.

Still can't believe they honored that coupon for so long.

Sara said...

Damn you like your pizza. This was very helpful!

Jessica said...

Moving here from Chicago, I was excited and scared about what Detroit had to offer in the way of pizza. So far, (a month into my move) I am convinced that Detroit has the worlds worst pizzas. Our first night was some "special" placed on the door. Special needs maybe. Then the dreaded Comos. It looked all fancy and "hip" so we decided to stop in. Hip it is, tasty it is not. I'd rather have little ceasers...or pizza hut.

But your post left me feeling optomisitc once again and I will be ordering louies pizza from hazel (something) tomorrow. Really would like to see if it's the "best pizza of detroit" or if I should just stop trying and order frozen pizzas shipped from chicago.

Jake said...


Let me know how Loui's goes. There is a lot of good pizza in Detroit. Unfortunately, there is even more bad pizza. The best part about Detroit pizza is the diversity. Loui's is one extreme. It's thick and heavy but it's very good. Tomatos Apizza is the other extreme. It's thin but packed with taste. Please try Tomatos before rendering a final verdict on Detroit pizza. Alibi and Shields should be on your short list as well. The best chain pizza in the Detroit area is Cottage Inn. If there's one by your house, give it a shot. Their gourmet pizzas are really good (go for deep dish or thin--not traditional round). Anyhow, I wish you luck in your pizza endeavors. I've had quite a bit of Chicago pizza (Aurelio's thin crust is what sticks out the most) but good pizza definitely exists outside of the windy city.

Take care!

Unknown said...

If anyone is ever out in the West Bloomfield, Commerce, Walled Lake area then take some time to stop by C.J.'s Brewery in Commerce Township located on Richardson Road between Haggerty and Union Lake Roads. On top of this being a microbrewery where if you ask any of the local "muggers" the Summer Brew is a thing of legend, you can find one of the best square deep dish Detroit style pizzas in the area. My personal favorite, the large deep dish supreme featuring pepperoni, ham, italian sausage, green peppers, onions and mushrooms will run you in the neighborhood of $18 but believe me it's worth it.

Jessica said...

I waited all night and then all day today to get my louies pizza. Closed on Monday & Tuesday!! I was really devestated. Now I need to find another place for tonight and will definitely pick off of your list.

I was truly excited to see you mention Aurelios as it is my very favorite from chicago (though more of a suburban thing than a chicago thing.)

Now knowing how important pizza is to you, and knowing that you know what a good pizza is, I am just DYING to eat at louies.

Jake said...

Fortunately for me, I've never attempted to go to Loui's on a Monday or a Tuesday. It's a trek from my house so it's weekends only. Wish I would've known. Sorry! Good luck on your second choice!

Unknown said...

Jake - I was reading this not knowing it was you at first. What gave it away was the Marco's pizza and Cottage in stuff. I'm laughing my ass off right now. Not sure if you still read this stuff. Jamey


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