Metro Detroiters have always counted Buddy’s among the best pizza places in town, maybe even in the U.S. It’s so good, “Detroit Style Pizza” is now a thing—just like Chicago Deep Dish and New York Thin Crust. Buddy’s is a Motown original, dating back 67 years.
I recently had the pleasure of stopping at the original Buddy’s, near six mile and Conant, for something on the healthier side of the menu. Turns out, I was still able to sample six (mostly) guilt free pies, and walk away feeling pretty darn good about things.
So with the new year, and countless resolutions to lose weight or stick to a sensible diet, metro Detroiters can feel comfortable stopping for their favorite pizza. Over the years, even before it became fashionable, this family-owned restaurant evolved their menu to match customers’ tastes. Items like ‘gluten-free’, lower sodium and fat options, and multi-grain crust have been worked on behind the scenes until they match the quality and consistency that Buddy’s is famous for.
“In an increasingly health conscious world, people want to know what they’re eating – they value transparency with restaurant recipes and want to trust the claims made,” said Wesley Pikula, Buddy’s Pizza vice president of operations. “Nutritional facts about our menu items are listed on our website which makes it very easy for guests to see exactly what they are getting. We consistently maintain and update the website to keep our guests informed.” Pikula feels strongly about his stewardship of this well loved brand, knowing that each decision is important.
So whether you want gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, or simply a thinner original or multi-grain crust, Buddy’s has you covered. The following are pizzas that I sampled:
Antioxidant - brick cheese, spinach, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, roasted garlic and tomato basil sauce, served on Buddy’s multi-grain crust with a lemon wedge. Excellent pie, with piping hot cheese, roasted garlic notes, and a flavorful crust.
Florine Mark – An old favorite created in consultation with Weight Watchers Founder Florine Mark. Brick/Fat Free cheese blend, spinach, mushrooms, tomato, roasted garlic and black olives. The Buddy’s pizza you love, but with a healthy assortment of veggies, rather than pepperoni or sausage.
Tuscan Vegan – Daiya cheese, cannellini beans, diced red onion, roasted garlic, parsley, oregano, tomato basil sauce and extra virgin olive oil, served on Buddy’s multi-grain crust with a lemon wedge. Daiya Cheese is dairy, soy and gluten free, so it’s perfect for Vegan diets and those with lactose intolerance. It has a satisfying creaminess and stretchiness that could make you forget you’re skipping the cheese. And Buddy’s doesn’t up-charge for the Daiya or for gluten free options, like some other places do. You won’t be penalized for having a restricted diet!
Mediterranean—Red onion, spinach, beets, tomato basil sauce, fresh dill and feta. This one surprised me. It sounded like salad toppings and I was ready to dismiss it. Glad I tried it though! The flavor combo worked so well, with the beets adding a delicious layer of taste.
Spinach Lovers Gluten-Free – Mozzarella-Parmesan blend and Asiago cheeses, sautéed spinach, fresh garlic, tomato basil sauce and Buddy’s Spice, served on Buddy’s gluten-free crust. Buddy’s unique recipe, three years in the making, uses rice, tapioca, and potato flour, and is endorsed by the Tri-County Celiac Support Group. Gluten-free dough is made in a separate, clean area, free of any flour. It is stored separately, and baked on foil, to avoid contact with anything that may have touched regular flour.
Cheese Free pie – This was surprisingly tasty. A buddy’s thin multi-grain crust topped with spinach, broccoli, red onion, and tomatoes. Sprinkle some parmesan and hot pepper flakes if you like, and maybe even a little homemade salad dressing. Great flavor, and you won’t feel overstuffed.
Of course, Buddy’s welcomes you to create your own pie, using any of their crusts, cheeses, and meat or veggie ingredients. Other nutritious menu items include specialty salads as well as Buddy’s homemade soups, made fresh daily with hand-cut vegetables and meats.
Sixty-seven years since the introduction of the first square pizza, Buddy’s Pizza thrives in metro Detroit with 10 locations that serve the loyal clientele who have consistently made the brand a favorite nationwide. Buddy’s has been recognized as one of the Nation’s Five Best Pizza Places by the Food Network; dubbed the Hottest Independent Pizzeria in the Nation by Pizza Today; One of the best 25 Pizzas in America by GQ and One of the 25 best pizza spots in the US by Food & Wine Magazine. Follow Buddy’s Pizza on Facebook and Twitter