Food And Drinks

Where to Find Detroit-Style and Sicilian Square Pizzas in Portland


Regardless of what some obnoxious pizza snobs might say, square pizzas can be found all over Italy, from pizza al taglio, which is sold by weight in Rome, to sfincione with tomato and anchovy in Sicily. Italian immigrants brought recipes for these square cakes with them when they came to the United States and created versions of old classics using the materials they found in their new hometowns. New York pizzerias began selling Sicilian platters, and Detroit Italian-Americans began making square cakes in various blue steel pans topped with Wisconsin brick cheese. Here in Portland, we have our own versions of these types of cakes, from the Nonna or Grandma cakes at Baby Doll and Scottie’s Pizza Parlor, to the cheesy crusty, bombastic cakes at Ranch, to the various bars and breweries that sell their pizza Detroit way.

Local pizzaioli have tried to meet the high demand for these specialty pizzas, but their ability to get square cakes into the hands of hungry customers is due to the lengthy process of proofing and baking, the amount of steel pans they own, and the oven space limited. Ex Novo Brewing built a restaurant in Beaverton equipped with pizza ovens to increase production and make larger cakes. Other spots are still working on logistics or making tough decisions in response to the ongoing pandemic: Pizza Donais is closed but will reopen as a new pizzeria under the same ownership. It is uncertain whether square cakes will be part of the new pizza menu.

This mismatch between supply and demand means that those who are still selling their popular deep dish pies often sell out, especially on weekends. All pizzas eaten for this menu were available if ordered on a Wednesday or Thursday at the time the restaurant opened. For weekends or special occasions it is helpful to order in advance. Currently, most of these places are takeaway only, so professionals plan on traveling with the pizza or finding a nearby place to park and eat. This card is not classified; Rather, it is organized geographically.

A number of Portland restaurants have resumed on-site service. The level of service is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as an endorsement for restaurant dining as there are still safety concerns. Please visit the Oregon Health Authority’s COVID update page for the latest information on coronavirus cases in your area. Studies show that there is less risk of exposure outdoors, but the risk associated with terrace dining depends on restaurants that follow strict social distancing and other safety guidelines

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Note: The restaurants on this map are listed geographically.


Dusty Kennedy