Detroit Style Pizza Hits on Satisfaction & Nostalgia
Detroit style pizza (DSP) is winning the pandemic. Yes, big statement for sure. I mean, can anything or anyone really win the pandemic? Maybe, maybe not. But, if anything comes close, it’s DSP.
What is Detroit Style Pizza?
First thing’s first, let’s answer what Detroit style pizza actually is. Basically, DSP refers to a deep, square pie, traditionally cooked in blue steel pans that were also used by Detroit automotive manufacturers at the time. They have caramelized cheese crusts and a generous pour of sauce on top of the pizza when finished.
For long-time readers, you may remember a story we did on Austin’s very own Via 313 Pizza. Now with multiple locations and no sign of slowing down, they came on the scene with plenty of time to reap the benefits of this trend. Their popularity has been so high, they’ve essentially become a monopoly in the market, with no other restaurants even attempting to edge into their territory.
As we’ve noted during the pandemic, comfort food has been a driving trend, finding its way into fast food, QSRs, and brick and mortar restaurants alike. Right alongside comfort food during this trend change has been pizza. Ubiquitously popular, craveable, and supremely portable, pizza has weathered the storm better than almost all of its culinary counterparts.
So, it makes sense then that DSP, with its thick, yeasty crust, crispy/cheesy frico edges, and quirky sauce-on-top characteristic, has found deep roots with diners across the U.S. Aside from comfort food, Detroit style pizza also matches up with the new found love for yeast and sourdough. All those folks at home who learned how to make their own starter or fell in love with the art of yeasted bread, have found a kindred spirit in Detroit style pizza.
Where is it Gaining Ground?
In some of the best markets in the U.S. In fact, a bevy of new DSP restaurants have opened in Los Angeles, including the likes of Dough Daddy and Schell’s Pizza Hole. And these launched during the toughest parts of the pandemic.
In the last two months in Dallas, three new ghost kitchens have opened slinging the chewy pies. Even the well-renown and highly respected Cane Rosso restaurant group has gotten in the game with their new concept, Thunderbird Pies.
The popularity for this pie has also redoubled in Detroit, its home turf. One of the original makers in the game, Detroit Style Pizza Co., saw their sales triple overnight after popular internet pizza reviewer David Portnoy of One Bite Pizza Reviews gave the pie a stellar rating of 8.5 out of 10.
Denver, Seattle, San Francisco, New York, and Tampa, among many other cities, have all seen DSP restaurants open during the pandemic. Showing you how strong the trend is currently driving. Even major chains like Jet’s, Little Caesars, and Pizza Hut have tested DSP in regional markets, meaning it’s bound to keep gaining steam.
Time will tell. But, for now we know that consumers will be sticking with comfort foods, especially going into the winter. While there’s a push for healthier options, there’s also a strong desire for decadence. Because of that, coupled with our deep love for familiar items with a twist, Detroit style pizza has staying power and it’s a trend worth jumping on.