These Restaurants Bring Wood-Fired Heat To The D

By: Karen Dybis | February 18, 2022

If your favorite descriptions of food include juicy and smoky, then restaurants that offer wood-fired items on their menus are likely among your favorites. Having a wood-fired oven to cook with opens up a world of options for chefs and a world of flavor for customers.

What makes wood a great way to cook is the heat, which cooks things quickly, as well as the smoke. The smoky flavor appeals to our palate in a way that is satisfying just like having marshmallows over a campfire. They’re warm, crispy and a little bit burnt, but in the best possible way.

If you want to find a restaurant that specializes in wood-fired foods, all you typically need to do is check the menu. This kind of cooking takes special equipment, like a wood-fired oven, so the establishment is likely proud of what they’ve invested in and will talk about it everywhere. 

Try a variety of foods through this cooking method as well. Things that are savory, like steak or chicken, are great via a wood-fired grill or oven. But so are sweet items, like pineapple or other kinds of fruit. Adding fire and that bit of smoke once again puts the flavor profile into the next level, and it is well worth checking out at your next meal. 

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Here are five places that offer wood-fired foods that are sure to inspire your taste buds. 

Oak & Reel 

Oak & Reel is a contemporary Italian restaurant with a primary focus on seafood. It also is known for its emphasis on local foods as well as Italian classics. According to its website, you can expect “bright, clean, bold flavors accentuated by a kiss from our wood-burning hearth.” Its latest effort is a Turbot, a fish that is unique to the restaurant and is great to cook over a wood fire.

Photo courtesy of Oak and Reel.

Tomatoes aPizza

If you’ve never tried New Haven-style pizza, then get over to the pizza buffet at one of the three Tomatoes aPizza in Metro Detroit. It features a Neapolitan-style pizza but with the New Haven flavor in its coal-fired brick ovens. The buffet lets you try every kind of pizza all at once. You’ll leave stuffed to the gills but happy for the experience. 


This pizzeria in downtown Detroit is not serving New York-style pizza; it is New York in every sense of the word. It is noisy, busy and full of wood-fired ovens that make amazing pies. Try the Bee Sting with NYC pizza sauce, pepperoni, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, hot honey. Another great one is the Uptown & The Bronx, featuring Pepperoni, NYC pizza sauce, parsley, mozzarella, pecorino, shaved parmesan.

La Noria

Southwest Detroit is best known for classic Italian and Mexican dishes but also has a great pizza offering. Try its Pepperoni Margherita, which is available on weekends only. It is a Neapolitan-style pizza made with classic San Marzano tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, pepperoni, topped off with basil and extra virgin olive oil.


There’s a reason why people love this local chain of restaurants, created by Chef Luciano Del Signore. These wood-fired cucinas offer pizza and contemporary Italian dishes within a casual setting. The food is fresh, made without preservatives and cooked over fire whenever possible, making the whole menu something worth trying over the course of multiple visits.