By Paul Smirl
Special to TravelWisconsin.com
No matter where you go in America, you're going to be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't like pizza.
The rich sauce. The crispy, fluffy or buttery crust. The delicious meats. The fresh vegetables and the mouth-watering cheese. Pizza's origins can be traced back to as early as the 18th Century, and it seems as though it will survive even when humans are gone.
So where can you find pizza in Wisconsin? The answer is almost everywhere. In the cities, towns and rural areas, pizza pervades our state. Here are five pizza places with great stories, welcoming atmospheres and outstanding pies.
Started back in the hippy-dippy days in 1970 when the joint would deliver till 4 a.m. and throw in a quart of free Pepsi, Pizza Man has endured success, change and a massive hardship. After being in business for 40 years, Pizza Man burned down in 2010, went through a three year hiatus, and reopened in a new location in 2013.
Having greatly surpassed its take-out beginnings and late-night delivery fame, Pizza Man is now an adventurous restaurant with an extensive wine list and unconventional specials like duck pizza. Looking for a fantastic place to host an event? Put a checkmark next to Pizza Man on that front as well!
After a day of slipping and sliding at one of Wisconsin Dells' premier water parks, you and your family are bound to be hungry. Thankfully, Pizza Pub is there to feed your pizza need.
"A Dells tradition since 1983," Pizza Pub is the perfect spot for a van-full of family to conquer some fiercely tasty 'za, presenting a menu of reasonably priced gourmet pies including the house special of sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, green peppers and onions.
Looking for something a bit heartier? Look no further than the "All-Meat Barbeque," a pie equipped with five different types of meat including the rare combo of ground beef and Canadian bacon.
Touting themselves as "the finest pizzeria in the Northwoods of Wisconsin," Butch's Pizza North does not let down Up-North visitors hungry for a scrumptious thin-crust pie. Butch's boasts no artificial fillers in the 100% mozzarella-topped pies that are made to order.
Want to try a Butch's speciality pizza? Check out the delectable "Chicken Ranch" or the almost too-hot-to-handle "Fire Alarm Pizza," with sausage, pepperoni, crushed red peppers, jalapenos and onions.
Stanley might be a small town, but it's home to one of Wisconsin's brightest pizza establishments: Martino's Restaurante.
Serving up fresh pies with locally grown ingredients, Martino's puts forth a legendary half-inch "original" crust, a crisp quarter-inch "thin" crust and a mural of flavors in their specialty pizzas that range from "Alfredo Delight" to "Baked Potato," "Philly Steak," to "Chicken Bacon Ranch."
Started nine years ago by Stanley's own Ron Haas, Martino's signature pizza just might be "Ron's Original," a pie piled high with meat and their singular blend of Wisconsin cheeses.
Philip Polito opened his first pizza restaurant in Brooklyn, N.Y., shortly after World War I, using his Sicilian roots as the basis for the famous "New York Tomato Pie." Popular specialty pies today include "Spinach Feta," "Steak Ranchero" and "Chicken Parmigiana."
Generations later and a few states over, the Politos are still making unparalleled Italian treats and crafting their family recipe pies. Since opening its first Wisconsin location in Stevens Point in 2007, Polito's has seen ambitious growth to seven more cities across the state.
How about a slice served up Wisconsin-style? Check out these five pizza farms across the state!