National Detroit-Style Pizza Day – June 23rd

National Detroit-Style Pizza Day is a celebration of one of America’s most beloved regional pizza variations. Originating in the Motor City, Detroit-style pizza has captured the hearts and taste buds of pizza enthusiasts with its unique characteristics and delectable flavors.

This article delves into the history and origins of Detroit-style pizza, explores its defining features, shares tips on where to find authentic versions, provides insight into popular toppings and variations, offers homemade recipes for those eager to try their hand at making it from scratch, and highlights the festivities surrounding this special day dedicated to honoring this iconic pizza style. Join us on a flavorful journey as we honor National Detroit-Style Pizza Day and indulge in the deliciousness of this beloved pizza tradition.

1. Introduction to Detroit-Style Pizza

What sets Detroit-style pizza apart? Well, it all starts with the crust – deep and thick, yet somehow light and airy. The steel square pans, inspired by the auto industry, give it a unique shape and flavor that you won’t find anywhere else. These pans were no ordinary pans – they were made from thick steel that was more like a cast iron skillet. And let me tell you, that thick steel adds a special flavor to the pizza.

When it comes to toppings, Detroit-style pizza does things a little differently. They layer the toppings backward, starting with gourmet pepperoni right on the hand-stretched dough. Then comes a generous layer of Wisconsin Brick Cheese, spread to the edges of the pan. This cheese caramelizes beautifully, creating a super crispy crust. And to top it all off, you’ve got those classic racing stripes of tomato sauce.

Overview of National Detroit-Style Pizza Day

National Detroit-Style Pizza Day is a day dedicated to celebrating this unique pizza creation in all its flavorful glory. It’s a time to indulge in cheesy goodness and pay homage to the Motor City’s culinary contribution.

2. History and Origins of Detroit-Style Pizza

Like a cheesy apparition, Detroit-style pizza didn’t just magically appear out of thin air. It has roots as deep as its dish, originating in the heart of the Motor City.

Origins in Motor City

Buddy’s Pizza, located in Detroit, Michigan, created National Detroit-Style Pizza Day to honor the 75th anniversary of this unique pizza style in 2021. Back in 1946, at a spot called Buddy’s Rendezvous, they whipped up a mouthwatering deep-dish Sicilian-style pizza using blue steel automotive drip pans.

Evolution of Detroit-Style Pizza

From its humble beginnings in the Motor City, Detroit-style pizza has evolved into a beloved dish enjoyed across the country. With variations in toppings and creative twists, this pizza continues to captivate taste buds far and wide.

Buddy’s Pizza is still serving up that same delicious square pizza, keeping the flavor and tradition alive. They’ve been perfecting their square pizzas for generations, starting from the bottom up. Taste what makes them stand out in the Motor City!

In 2021, the folks at the National Day Calendar officially declared June 23rd as National Detroit-Style Pizza Day. So mark your calendars and get ready to celebrate this iconic pizza style every year!

3. Characteristics and Unique Features of Detroit-Style Pizza

What sets Detroit-style pizza apart from the rest? Let’s break it down, slice by slice.

Deep-Dish Crispy Crust

The hallmark of Detroit-style pizza is its deep-dish, rectangular shape that delivers a crispy, golden crust. Baked in well-oiled pans, this crust is a delightful combination of crunchy edges and a pillowy interior.

Reverse Topping Order

In a rebellious twist, Detroit-style pizza flips the script on traditional pizza by layering toppings under the cheese. This ingenious method allows the flavors to meld together, creating a harmonious bite with each mouthful.

4. Celebrating National Detroit-Style Pizza Day

Ready to join in on the cheesy festivities? National Detroit-Style Pizza Day offers a smorgasbord of ways to celebrate this delectable dish.

Events and Activities

From pizza parties to cooking classes, there’s no shortage of events to partake in on National Detroit-Style Pizza Day. Get together with friends and family to share a slice of the action.

Promotions and Specials

Many pizzerias and restaurants roll out special deals and promotions on National Detroit-Style Pizza Day. Keep an eye out for discounts and offers that make indulging in this savory delight even more tempting.

5. Popular Detroit-Style Pizza Toppings and Variations

Traditional Toppings

When it comes to Detroit-style pizza, traditional toppings reign supreme. Think gooey mozzarella cheese, tangy tomato sauce, pepperoni cups that crisp up perfectly in the square pan, and a generous sprinkling of parmesan. It’s a classic combination that never fails to satisfy.

Creative Flavor Combinations

For those feeling a bit more adventurous, Detroit-style pizza offers endless possibilities for creative flavor combinations. Imagine toppings like BBQ pulled pork with pickled jalapenos, buffalo chicken with blue cheese crumbles, or even a veggie lover’s dream featuring roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, and spinach. Let your imagination run wild and create a unique Detroit-style masterpiece!

6. Where to Find Authentic Detroit-Style Pizza

Notable Detroit-Style Pizza Restaurants

If you’re craving an authentic Detroit-style pizza experience, look no further than renowned establishments like Buddy’s Pizza, Loui’s Pizza, or Cloverleaf Bar & Restaurant. These iconic restaurants have been perfecting the art of square pizza for decades, and each bite is a delicious homage to Motor City’s culinary heritage.

Regional Variations and Specialties

While Detroit-style pizza has its roots in the Motor City, its popularity has spread far and wide, leading to regional variations and specialties. Whether you’re in New York, California, or even overseas, you can find unique interpretations of Detroit-style pizza that incorporate local ingredients and flavors. It’s a testament to the versatility and universal appeal of this beloved pizza style.

7. Homemade Detroit-Style Pizza Recipes

Detroit-style pizza is known for its thick, chewy crust, crispy edges, and generous toppings of cheese and sauce. Here’s a step-by-step recipe to make your Detroit-style pizza at home.


For the Dough:

  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (110°F)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

For the Toppings:

  • 12 ounces Wisconsin brick cheese (or a mix of mozzarella and Monterey Jack), cut into small cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups pizza sauce (homemade or store-bought)
  • Pepperoni slices (or other toppings of your choice)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Fresh basil or oregano (optional)


1: Prepare the Dough

  1. In a large bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let it sit for about 5 minutes until it becomes frothy.
  2. Add the flour, salt, and olive oil to the bowl. Mix until a shaggy dough forms.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 5-7 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  4. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

2: Prepare the Pan

  1. Generously oil a 9×13-inch baking pan or Detroit-style pizza pan.
  2. Once the dough has risen, punch it down and press it into the prepared pan, stretching it to the edges. If the dough springs back, let it rest for a few minutes and try again.

3: Add the Cheese and Toppings

  1. Preheat your oven to 500°F (or as high as it will go).
  2. Spread the cubed cheese evenly over the dough, making sure to go all the way to the edges. This will create the signature crispy edges.
  3. Arrange the pepperoni slices (or other toppings) over the cheese.

4: Bake the Pizza

  1. Place the pizza in the preheated oven and bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and the edges are crispy and browned.
  2. While the pizza is baking, heat the pizza sauce if it’s not already warm.

5: Add the Sauce

  1. Once the pizza is out of the oven, use a spoon to spread the warm pizza sauce in three thick stripes lengthwise across the pizza.
  2. Sprinkle-grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil or oregano over the top if desired.

6: Serve

  1. Let the pizza cool in the pan for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
  2. Cut into squares and enjoy!


  • Using a mix of cheeses that includes Wisconsin brick cheese will give you the best flavor and texture, but you can substitute it with other cheeses if necessary.
  • For an extra crispy crust, you can sprinkle a little bit of cheese directly onto the oiled pan before adding the dough.
  • Feel free to customize the toppings to your preference. Popular choices include sausage, mushrooms, onions, and green peppers.

Enjoy your homemade Detroit-style pizza!


As National Detroit-Style Pizza Day comes to a close, let’s savor the memories of indulging in square slices of cheesy goodness and celebrating a pizza style that has captured the hearts of food enthusiasts around the world. Looking forward to future National Detroit-Style Pizza Days, where we can come together once again to honor this iconic dish and revel in its deliciousness. Cheers to pizza, Detroit-style!

On National Detroit-Style Pizza Day, we reflect on the deep-dish delight and culinary craftsmanship that has made this pizza style a cherished tradition. Whether you’re savoring a slice from a local pizzeria or mastering your homemade version, the spirit of Detroit-style pizza continues to bring people together through a shared love for good food and great company.

As we look forward to future celebrations of this iconic pizza style, may the crispy crusts and flavorful toppings of Detroit-style pizza always hold a special place in our hearts and on our plates. Cheers to National Detroit-Style Pizza Day, and here’s to many more delicious slices to come!

Image by freepik


1. What makes Detroit-style pizza different from other pizza styles?

2. Where did Detroit-style pizza originate from?

3. Can I make Detroit-style pizza at home even if I don’t have a square pan?

4. What are some popular toppings that pair well with Detroit-style pizza?

Urza Omar
  • Urza Omar
  • The writer has a proven track as a mentor, motivational trainer, blogger, and social activist. She is the founder of a blog intended for avid readers.

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