Windsor, often overshadowed by its automotive prominence and neighborly connection with Detroit, is a hidden gem for both food enthusiasts and adventurers. This city, a vibrant tapestry of cultures, boasts an extraordinary culinary scene that extends far beyond its auto-industry fame. While you can find diverse cuisines from African to Mediterranean, Windsor's most celebrated delicacy is undoubtedly its pizza.
Prepare your taste buds for a journey through Canada's pizza paradise, where every pie is a testament to the city's unique pizza culture. When you're in Windsor, one culinary adventure you simply can't miss is exploring its world-class pizza offerings.
The Unmatched Legacy of Windsor Pizza
The story of Windsor pizza is an intriguing blend of tradition, innovation, and passion. While its origins remain a topic of debate, one pizzeria stands out in the annals of history – Volcano Pizzeria.
In the 1950s, cousins Gino Manza and Frank Gualtieri, Italian immigrants who made Windsor their home, embarked on a culinary journey that would shape the city's pizza landscape. Legend has it that Gino honed his pizza-making skills working at his cousins' pizzeria in Detroit. This experience ignited the spark to establish their pizzeria in Windsor.
The cousins named their eatery after Mount Vesuvius, nestled near Naples, Italy. Initially, it operated as a humble Italian diner. However, it wasn't until the early 1960s, with the installation of four-deck pizza ovens, that Volcano Pizzeria gained fame. This marked the beginning of a pizza revolution in Windsor.
At its zenith, Volcano Pizzeria boasted a fleet of 20 delivery vehicles, all iconic Volkswagen Beetles. In 1986, the last pizza left their ovens as the location transitioned to the Downtown Mission Centre, ending nearly three decades of pizza perfection. However, the legacy of Volcano's pizza endured. Former employees, inspired by its success, ventured out on their own, taking the art of pizza-making with them. While not every pizzeria in Windsor has roots in Volcano's, it undoubtedly played a pivotal role in shaping the city's pizza culture.
Unraveling Windsor Style Pizza
So, what sets Windsor style pizza apart from the rest? While cities like Chicago have their deep-dish pies and New York boasts its iconic slices, Windsor's pizza tradition is a distinctive and delicious journey of its own.
Windsor style pizza can be described as a medium-thick, Neo-Neapolitan style, bearing some resemblance to New York-style pizza but with a unique twist. The slices here are slightly smaller and rectangular, especially when you opt for a Queen or King size.
The most cherished pizza in Windsor is the Classic Super, featuring shredded pepperoni, green peppers, canned mushrooms, and mozzarella cheese (often sourced from the renowned Galati Cheese Company). While you can certainly customize your pizza with various toppings, here's what makes Windsor pizza stand out:
Now, let's embark on a tour of some of Windsor's most iconic pizza joints, where culinary artistry meets tradition.
1. Antonino's: A staple of Windsor's pizza scene, Antonino's serves up classic Windsor style pizza with a reputation that speaks for itself.
2. Armando's: A name synonymous with quality, Armando's is known for its delicious interpretations of Windsor-style pizza, appealing to pizza purists and adventurers alike.
3. Arcata: Offering a diverse menu, Arcata is the place to explore unique toppings and pizza creations that push the boundaries of tradition.
4. Capri: A local favorite, Capri specializes in crafting mouthwatering Windsor style pizzas that deliver on both flavor and tradition.
5. Naples: With a name that pays homage to the Italian city of pizza's birth, Naples offers a taste of authentic Windsor pizza with a classic twist.
6. Bullseye: For those craving a no-fuss, delicious pie for pickup or delivery, Bullseye is your go-to destination.
7. Sam's Pizzeria & Cantina: This beloved eatery serves up classic wood oven-fired Neapolitan-style pizzas for a traditional pizza experience.
8. Vito's: If you're seeking a cozy place to savor a delightful Neapolitan pizza, Vito's offers a warm ambiance and mouthwatering pies.
9. Wineology: For a slice of gourmet Neapolitan pizza in a relaxed setting, Wineology combines the best of both worlds.
Windsor's pizza scene is an ode to tradition, innovation, and an undying passion for perfecting the art of pizza-making. Whether you're a dedicated pizza aficionado or simply someone seeking an extraordinary culinary experience, Windsor's pizza offerings promise to leave an indelible mark on your taste buds.