THE WINDSOR
PIZZA CLUB

The Windsor Pizza Club was created by Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island to celebrate the much-loved Windsor-style pizza. In partnership with Canadian Experience Fund which goals are to celebrate unique cultural aspects of a region, the Windsor Pizza Club will educate visitors and locals alike on our unique style of pizza, it’s heritage in the region, and what makes it so tasty!

Membership to the club is free – and the club has perks! Just pick up your FREE card at any of the 8 participating locations. Make a purchase and get it stamped – then head back here to redeem your card. We’ll ship you a FREE Windsor Pizza Club shirt once you’ve visited all 8 spots.

Select locations will also offer you deals and have other special offers for being a member. Grab your card today!

WHAT MAKES WINDSOR-STYLE
SO UNIQUE

So, what is Windsor style Pizza? Chicago has a deep dish, Detroit too and New York has a large Neo Neapolitan style. Windsor Pizza style can be best described as a medium-thick, Neo Neapolitan, very similar to a New York-style, except the slices are not as wide and big, but rather are made in a smaller rectangular shape, if you order Queen or King size.

DYK Windsor-style pizza won best in Canada (2019) and
3rd best in the world (2018)

The most popular pizza in Windsor is a Classic Super with pepperoni (shredded), green peppers, canned mushrooms and mozzarella cheese (from Galati Cheese Company). Of course, you can order any pizza toppings you like, but here is a breakdown of what Windsor does differently:

  • Shredded pepperoni. Unlike your large circular pepperoni toppings, in Windsor, we shred our pepperoni. Rather than having some pizza slices with more or less pepperoni on it, the shredded pepperoni is equally spread across the pizza giving each slice the juicy savoury pepperoni taste your taste buds require.
  • Canned mushrooms. Most toppings are locally sourced including vegetables, meats, and cheese. However, Windsor pizzerias have stuck with canned mushrooms.
  • Galati Cheese Company. Many Windsor pizzerias depend on Windsor made mozzarella cheese by Galati Cheese Company. A large sticker from the company can be found on the pizza boxes, certifying quality cheese and quality taste. It just isn’t the same without Galati.
  • Sauce. Traditionally oregano heavy with a mixture of various spices, the sauce differs from pizzeria to pizzeria and is the key differentiator of each pizzeria.
  • Stone Deck Ovens. In every true Windsor Pizza, you will find the crust to be crispy and on the thin side, providing you with more pizza and less dough. Stone deck ovens give the pizza a crispy artisanal taste and feel.
  • Toppings. A true Windsor Pizza has its toppings applied on top of the cheese and never underneath.

THE HISTORY
OF WINDSOR PIZZA

Where Windsor Pizza originated is unclear. If you ask any Windsor Pizza fanatic, they will most likely say Volcano Pizzeria.

Volcano Pizzeria was started in the 1950s by cousins Gino Manza & Frank Gualtieri, Italian immigrants who settled in Windsor. Rumour has it, Gino worked at his cousins’ pizzeria in Detroit. This is where Gino learned to make pizza dough and the decision to open a restaurant in Windsor came.

The cousins named the restaurant after Mount Vesuvius, near Naples Italy. When it was first opened, the restaurant was just an Italian diner. It wasn’t until the early 1960s, when they installed four-deck pizza ovens, that they started to serve pizza. This is when the restaurant gained notoriety, and Windsor experienced a pizza boom.

At its height Volcano Pizzeria had a fleet of 20 delivery vehicles, all iconic Volkswagen Beatles. Volcano’s last pizza was served in 1986, with the location being sold to the Downtown Mission Centre, ending almost 30 years of serving pizza. Their pizza legacy did not end there, though. As is with any restaurant’s kitchen, it can be a revolving door. Many former employees saw the successes of Volcano’s and ventured on their own, taking the pizza craft and replicating the recipe with them. Of course, not every pizzeria in Windsor started at Volcano’s, but it was a major influencer in the city and the backbone of many local pizza chains.