"Welcome to Michigan--Pizza Capital of the US!"

How come no one ever says that? They should!

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How Pizza Became Popular in the US

Even though pizza's been around in the United States since the early 1900s, its popularity exploded after World War II. Soldiers fell in love with the Italian delicacy while they were stationed overseas, and drove a national craving for pizza that's never let up.

It was that push that initiated a proliferation of pizzerias all around the United States. Different regions began to produce different variations. Chicago developed its famous deep dish pizza. New York's hand-tossed, thin-crust, foldable slices broke away as an East Coast favorite. Detroit went square and put the marinara sauce on top.

Independent mom-and-pop pizzerias eventually gave birth to the major chains we know and love today.

How Can Michigan Claim to Be "Pizza Capital of the US"?

Did you know that two of the three largest pizza chains in the United States got their starts in Michigan?

Pizza Hut barely edges out Domino's as the largest pizza chain in the United States. According to the latest data available, Pizza Hut has 6,604 locations in the US, as compared to 6,571 for Domino's. Little Caesars is a distant third, with 4,177 American locations.

RELATED: 11 Wild Domino's Pizzas You Won't Find in Michigan

Pizza Hut started in Kansas, but both Domino's and Little Caesars trace their beginnings to Michigan!

via Getty Images North America
via Getty Images North America

Domino's began in 1960 in Ypsilanti, when brothers Tom and James Monaghan purchased a local pizzeria named DomiNick's near the campus of Eastern Michigan University. Additional locations were soon added, and the name officially morphed into Domino's in 1965.

via Getty Images North America
via Getty Images North America

The launch of Little Caesars goes back a year earlier to 1959. Originally called "Little Caesars Pizza Treat", it started in Garden City, outside Detroit. Franchisees began to sign on in the early 1960s, and soon Little Caesars would become one of the fastest-growing pizza brands in America.

Both Domino's (Ann Arbor) and Little Caesars (Detroit) still call Michigan their home headquarters.

Say what you will about chain pizza vs. local pizzerias, but there's no denying Michigan has made an indelible mark on pizza consumption in the United States. That deserves nationwide recognition.

Old Michigan Pizza Joints

Most Interesting Pizza Topping Combos in the Lansing Area

Pizza has to be one of America's favorite foods. As Americans, we consume around 3 billion pizzas each year, which evens out to about 23 pounds per person per year. And that's a heck of a lot of pizza. With so many people eating so much pizza, of course, we're going to see some awesome variety when it comes to toppings, from the standard to the wacky. If you want to step outside of your comfort zone and take your tastebuds on an adventure, check out some of these Lansing area restaurants that have the most unique pizza topping combos around.

East Lansing Needs A 24-Hour Pizza Vending Machine Like These Ones in Jackson

East Lansing is a college town, home to MSU. And because of that, there are a bunch of young adults around town; living, working, going to school, and going out to the bar. That's why East Lansing needs a 24-hour pizza vending machine like these ones in Jackson.


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