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A highlight on the Metro Detroit Pizza Tour

I have picked up a Shield’s pizza a time or three to bring home, and have always thoroughly enjoyed the warmish pizza at my own kitchen table, dutifully resisting the urge to break it out on the drive home.

But to give Shield’s a completely fair shake, I had to go in and have the entire dining experience.

Shield’s has several locations around Metro Detroit – four to be precise – and the one I’ve been going to is in Southfield. I’ve always appreciated the ambiance of the attached bar as I’ve gone in to pick up my pizza at the take-away counter. It seems darkish – the right lighting for a bar, in my opinion – and somehow cozy and intimate, like a place where you can hang with your friends and make new ones. The thing I like the most is that there’s plenty of Detroit pride on display, with Old English Ds and proud Red Wings emblems (a far cry from the brightly lit Pizza Papalis bar that wants to be in Chicago). Don’t go here thinking you’ll have a quiet, romantic evening. This bar’s for hanging out and catching the game.

But the dining room is another story. Very family friendly. In fact, there was a clown on duty that night, and I spent much of the evening dreading that it might come near my table and make me a balloon animal. But I think it sensed my clown aversion (and age inappropriateness) and thankfully stayed away.

Sheild's Detroit-Style Pizza

The Pizza! Witness the Gold Medal specialty pie – highly recommended if you like a little spice in your life.

On to the pizza: as I’ve mentioned, the pies I’ve brought home were always darn good – more than adequate. With that characteristic Detroit-Sicilian square shape that produces those delectable carmelized cheese edges (that I’ve tried to capture on film here). In the past we’ve enjoyed our perennial make-your-own favorite – sausage, onion and mushroom – as well as their oh-so-delicious Shield’s Super specialty pizza (pepperoni, brick cheese, mushrooms, onions, green peppers and ham). But this time we went for the Gold Medal: brick and Romano cheeses, Italian banana peppers, sweet red bell peppers, topped with Italian pear tomatoes sautéed in garlic. And as if this were not enough to make you swoon: add the optional (but recommended!) Italian sausage and you’ve got a truly amazing pie, as everyone at the table agreed!

Shield's Detroit-Style Pizza

See those carmelized cheese edges? Perfect example of the Detroit-style breed! Best in show!

I would be remiss in my blogger-informant duties if I did not mention that Shield’s also has a fairly extensive non-pizza menu – including a better-than-average kid’s menu. I can not yet vouch for any of these items, but I have to say that the pasta and sub sandwiches on other people’s tables were looking mighty appetizing.

Bottom line: Shield’s pizza truly rocks and is an excellent specimen of the Detroit Pizza style. I have to stop short of saying that this pizza is better than Buddy’s – there is something about Buddy’s crust that is so far unparalleled in my pizza adventuring – but it is certainly on par with Buddy’s and without a doubt worth coming back for. Shield’s deserves all the praise it gets, and all the business you can give it. Bring the kids.

Shield’s of Southfield

25101 Telegraph Rd.

Southfield, MI 48076


Other locations in Macomb Township, Rochester Hills, and Troy.

Here’s the challenge: devour Detroit, one pizza at a time.

Inspired by a story on the best pizzas in metro Detroit, I have landed on a noble goal: get an accurate education in Detroit pizza.

My curriculum: two pizzas a month (at least) for a year.

My coursework: this blog.

Detroit Pizza

Pizza Pizza Pizza

In my research on Detroit pizza, I was pleased to discover that Detroit is considered by James Beard Award-winning food journalist Alan Richman to be the 3rd best pizza city in the nation, just behind New York and San Fran, and perhaps surprisingly (though not to me) above #4 Chicago.

Little known to Detroit dwellers and outsiders alike, there is a Detroit-style pizza. But the mix of cultures and influences means that there’s a great variety of pies available in the metro area, so our selection is not limited to this one execution — though it is a fine style, and one of my favorites.

We all know sharing is caring; I plan to share with you my impressions as I sample all the pizza I can get my mouth around. I am starting out with a list of pizza places that will undoubtedly grow as time goes on. Please send your suggestions for places to visit, and I’ll add them to the destinations list!

  1. Buddy’s Pizza
  2. Amici’s Pizza
  3. Loui’s Pizza
  4. Crust Pizza and Wine Bar
  5. Luigi’s Original
  6. Supino’s
  7. Sheild’s
  8. Dan Good’s
  9. Cloverleaf Bar
  10. DiNoto’s Genuine Italian
  11. Green Lantern
  12. Tomatoes Apizza
  13. Jet’s
  14. Hungry Howie’s
  15. Lucky Duck’s
  16. Fresh Farm’s Market
  17. Cottage Inn
  18. Georgio’s
  19. Brooklyn Pizza
  20. Pizza Cutter
  21. PizzaPapalis
  22. Bricks (added 9/10)
  23. Royal Oak Brewery (added 9/10/09)
  24. Red Devil (added 9/11/09)
  25. Bob’s Pizza (added 9/11/09)
  26. Papa Ramano’s (added 9/11/09)
  27. Little Ceasar’s (added 9/11/09)
  28. Nikki’s (added 9/21/09)
  29. Aubree’s (added 9/26/09)
  30. Jerusalem Pizza (added 9/28/09)
  31. Frank’s Restaurant and Pizzaria (added 11/5/09)
  32. Sportsmans Pizzeria (added 11/5/09)
  33. Geno’s Pizza (added 1/31/10)