Why Detroit Needs To Thank Its Auto Industry For Its Great Pizza

Published on February 3, 2021

Move over, Chicago, because Detroit style pizza is here and is a real contender. With a New York style-like airy crust that’s still thick and and chewy, Detroit pizza has its city’s auto industry to thank for its existence.

If you’re still confused about what Detroit style pizza is like, just take a look at this slice from Loui’s in Hazel Park, Michigan.

Detroit Style Pizza

Detroit Style Pizza

Another thing that makes this pizza unique in addition to its crust is the fact that every slice is a square. The reason behind its shape can be traced back from in 1946 at Buddy’s Pizza, which is often considered to be the home of the Detroit style pizza.

Gus Guerra decided to put some dough into an industrial Blue Steel pan that at the time was ubiquitous to the auto industry in Detroit.

The pans were also used to move around small parts around the shop floor, but once Guerra used it as a pizza pan, the Detroit style pizza was created. Since steel is an excellent heat conductor, it means that the crust comes out crispy and evenly cooked throughout, and of course with crusty cheesy goodness on top.

Like any other food legend, there are people who believe that the whole thing is made up, but many Detroit natives grew up hearing the story.

Auto Workers At The Ford Factory In 1946

Auto Workers At The Ford Factory In 1946

Why would all of their grandma’s lie? The whole area was so affected by and influenced by the auto industry, so is it such a stretch to think that maybe the pizza could have been affected too?

If you’ve never had any Detroit style pizza, you should absolutely try it. Nowadays, you don’t have to travel all the way to Michigan to enjoy it, as popular chains like Pizza Hut are offering up Detroit-style pizza as options.

While this may not be the authentic Detroit style pizza, it can be an introduction to the ideas. Still, if you want the real deal, maybe consider a road trip with your Ford to Buddy’s Pizza on Conant Street.