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Pizzeria Uno

This Chicago institution permanently altered our culinary history with the invention of deep-dish pizza. When people think of Chicago, they often think of deep-dish pizza: layers of toppings piled high and baked into a bucket of crust that customers need a knife and fork to dig into. The source of this often-imitated (and, some would…

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Grotto Pizza

Dominick Pulieri co-founded this Midatlantic powerhouse when he was just 17 years old and has since expanded it to nearly 20 stores in three states. After honing his skills as a teenager at his brother-in-law’s pizzeria in Pennsylvania, Dominick Pulieri opened a tiny slice stand with his sister and brother-in-law, Joe and Mary Jean Paglianite,…

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Zuppardi’s Apizza

Founded more than 80 years ago, this legendary pizzeria has been singled out on major TV networks and in travel guides as the best pizza in Connecticut. More than 80 years ago, Dominick Zuppardi, an immigrant from Italy, opened a bread bakery in New Haven, Connecticut, with his wife, Angelina. By the time his son…

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Luigi’s Apizza

The owner of this Connecticut mainstay has a passion for experimentation—think hot dog and potato pizzas and triple-stacked fried pies. In 1956, Joseph Abate opened up Luigi’s Apizza (luigisapizza.com), named after his father, in North Haven, Connecticut; his oldest son, also named Joseph, was three years old. The business moved in 1960 to North Haven,…

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O’Scugnizzo’s Pizzeria

Eugeno Burlino rose from “street urchin” to owner of a legendary pizzeria. Eugeno Burlino came from Naples in the late 1800s and settled in Utica, New York, where he worked as a pastry chef. To supplement his income, he also attended the frequent feasts held in the predominantly Italian area and sold simple pies made…

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Mario’s Restaurant & Pizzeria

Mario Simoni quit his day job at General Motors to start a new life in the pizza business. Mario Simoni worked days at a General Motors plant and nights at a friend’s pizzeria when he decided to strike out on his own. An Italian immigrant, he opened Mario’s Restaurant & Pizzeria in Flint, Michigan, in…

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Little Caesars

Michael and Marian Ilitch took a chance on a little-known snack food called pizza and built a carryout empire. When Michael and Marian Ilitch opened a single pizza shop in Garden City, Michigan, with their $10,000 life savings, they were taking a chance on a little-known snack food called pizza—and on a carryout-only model that…

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Domino’s Pizza

James Monaghan sold his share in DomiNick’s—precursor to the world’s second-largest pizza chain—to brother Tom for a Volkswagen Beetle. With a $75 down payment and a loan of $500, brothers Tom and James Monaghan bought their first pizza store, called DomiNick’s, in Ypsilanti, Michigan, in 1960. James ended up selling his stake in the company…

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Cloverleaf Bar & Restaurant

It’s hip to be square at this Detroit-area institution, whose owner helped pioneer the city’s legendary square style. In 1944, Gus Guerra formed a partnership with his wife Anna’s uncle to open Buddy’s Rendezvous in Detroit—at first a bar only. “Profits from the bar business weren’t enough to live on, so Grandma Passalacqua told my…

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Buddy’s Rendezvous Pizza

According to legend, a Buddy’s waitress from Sicily invented the square pizza that would become forever associated with Detroit. When Buddy’s Rendezvous Pizza (buddyspizza.com) served its first pie in 1946, the Detroit (and U.S.) pizza scene was forever changed. Legend has it that a Sicily-born waitress named Connie, employed by then-owner Gus Guerra, developed the…