Food & Drink

The Best Pizza Places in Austin

Published On 09/05/2013 Published On 09/05/2013
Unit-D pizzeria Austin
Dan Gentile/Thrillist

Tacos and barbecue may form the foundation of Austin gluttony, but even the most dedicated migas and brisket addicts will concede that pizza is a crucial third of the not-particularly-healthy ATX food pyramid. From massive NY-style pies to delicate wood-fired Neapolitans to outliers like Detroit squares, Austinites love a slice of pepperoni almost as much as a slice of fatty brisket. Here are the 10 best pizza spots in town, with a little extra cheese.

Flickr/ichbinkai

Home Slice

South Congress

The Home Slice employee pilgrimages to New York's most iconic pizza shrines are the stuff of legend, so you know they're not just dollar slice carpetbaggers. The slices are as big in size as the staff is in personality -- even the Friday 2:30am counter dudes are surprisingly cheerful in the face of belligerent spillover from the Continental Club. They have reason to be with pizza this good, classic margherita, pepperoni with the perfect level of grease, and white pies heaped with balloons of ricotta that give their still-great mozzarella a run for their money. The Sicilian pies are a perfect answer to the case of the Mondays.

Dan Gentile/Thrillist

Via 313

Rainey St (& other locations)

Many an evening has ended early due to the gluttonous temptation of Via 313. Their Detroit-style pies are four square slices of thick, pillowy crust, given extra crunch thanks to a light caramelization of cheese. Two pieces make a perfect bar snack and three a full meal, but that fourth slice is a one-way, direct ticket to bedtime. For the full experience, go with the double pepperoni Detroiter, but even the arugula-topped Rocket is in strict violation to most diets.

Bufalina

Bufalina

East Cesar Chavez (& other locations)

The wait for a seat may be long, but the pizzas pop out of their post oak-fired oven in 60 seconds flat. The crust of their Neapolitan pizza is so delicate you might hurt its feelings just by picking it up. Ask for penance because you'll want to pick up many, many slices, from classics like margherita and calabrese, to experimental pies like the harissa (cauliflower, green olives, pistachio, herbs) and chorizo & potato (mozz, jalapeño, crema, pickled onion, marjoram). Bonus points for perhaps the most swipe right-worthy clientele of any pizza joint in town.

Dan Gentile/Thrillist

East Side Pies

East End (& other locations)

East Side Pies might be the most Austin-y pizza shop on this list. A visit to the claustrophobic original Eastside location feels like a step back into the '90s (although it opened in 2006), before interior design consultations were requisites for opening even the tiniest of hole in the walls. The attitude is also decidedly slacker, walking the thin line between a no fucks given attitude and thoughtful ingredient sourcing. The crust is cardboard thin and doesn't pack the wow-factor of spots like Bufalina or Via 313, but the creative sauces (chimichurri! squash!) and gratuitous toppings of local produce more than make up for a sometimes floppy slice.

Little Deli & Pizzeria

Crestview

It doesn't get much more wholesome than Little Deli. Tucked into a quaint Crestview strip mall that's quizzically on an otherwise residential street, this sandwich shop excels at big northeast-style slices cooked in two inch stone hearth ovens. There's nothing fancy going on here, just an old-school dough recipe executed to craveable perfection, although they've got new-fangled diners covered as well with an option for Ancient Grains gluten-free crust.

The Backspace

The Backspace

Dirty Sixth

With the exception of Hoboken (and a few acceptable chains), the local Downtown pizza game is dismal. Thankfully Backspace upped the ante in 2010 when it opened behind Parkside, bringing some of the city's first and still finest wood-fired Neapolitan pies. It's app game is the most robust on this list, with an impressive selection of shared plates (lamb & pork meatballs, baked ricotta) and antipasti (spicy cauliflower, house-made mozz), but the pizzas are obviously the main draw. The ingredient combinations tend to be minimal, keeping knockouts like fennel sausage and picante salame from withering under piles of unwanted veggies.

Flickr/bruthanick

Stanley's

Dripping Springs

Jester King boasts some of the best brewery food in the country thanks to Stanley's, whose pizzas are almost reason enough alone to warrant the trek to Dripping Springs. They use produce grown on-site whenever possible (like Logro's oyster mushrooms on their bechemel sauced Beatrice), the thin Neapolitan-style crust is hand-tossed with care, and the pies are served with a side of adorableness, courtesy of the owner's children who can regularly be seen putting on a clinic of folding pizza boxes.

Dan Gentile/Thrillist

Hoboken Pie

Red River

The king of our Downtown slice ranking, Hoboken boasts being “proud like the pigeon”, a fitting tagline since many of its late-night clientele have been reduced to the level of mindless scavengers. But the Jersey-style pies deliver a satisfying experience, to both Dirty Sixth zombies and clear-eyed diners alike, thanks to a can't-miss crust, some of the most flavorful cheese in town, and a no-nonsense approach to to-go slices.

Dan Gentile/Thrillist

Lucky's Puccias

Old West Austin

Boasting a massive wood oven made by revered Dallas-by-way-of-Italy pizza master Renato Riccio, Lucky's recently upgraded from a trailer operation outside the Tiniest Bar in Texas to a brick & mortar a few blocks further west on 5th St. The pies aren't strictly Neapolitan, but rather a slightly thicker crust inspired from the owner's hometown of Taranto in Southern Italy. The main offering is the puccia sandwiches, but the pizza is just as much of a draw, with bonkers options like the Americana (crispy prosciutto, egg, fries) or more traditional choices like the Crudo & Arugula (prosciutto, mozz, Parmigiano-Reggiano, tomato, arugula).

Unit-D Pizzeria

Unit-D Pizzeria

Cherrywood

For nearly a decade Manor Rd has been the breakfast taco epicenter of Austin, but the rest of the eats have finally caught up to the migas. Hiding behind Dai Due, Unit D is the newest addition to the street and makes a strong case for the Manorhood as the premiere culinary block in town. The oven, created by a Naples-based oven maker in the biz for over 100 years, cranks out bubbly crusted Neapolitans in winning combinations like the pepperoni primo (tomato, pepperoni, bresaola, lardo ibérico, mozzarella, spicy Calabrian peppers), which are taken to the next level thanks to fresh side garnishes like oregano sprigs and crushed chiles.

Sign up here for our daily Austin email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in town.

Dan Gentile is a freelance writer based in Austin, TX who can't resist the fourth slice of Via 313. Follow him to his couch at @Dannosphere.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
1. Home Slice Pizza 1415 S Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704 (South Austin)

The Home Slice employee pilgrimages to New York's most iconic pizza shrines are the stuff of legend. The slices are large, homemade, and hand-tossed. All the classics are delicious, like the Margherita or pepperoni pizza with the perfect amount of grease, and the white pies are heaped with balloons of ricotta.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
2. Via 313 1111 E 6th St, Austin, TX 78702 (Central East)

Detroit-raised brothers Brandon and Zane Hunt are bringing their hometown's deep-dish pizza style to Austin at Via 313. The pizza is made the authentic Detroit way, which means square-shaped pies with Sicilian crust, a layer of pepperoni, cheesy edges, and a tangy red sauce. The pies come in slices of four, and if you'd like a more, er, mainstream pizza, thin-crust rounds are also available. Aside from pizza, Via 313's two full-service restaurants serve salads and a few appetizers, like cheese bread and house-made meatballs.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
3. Bufalina 1519 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX 78702 (Central East)

All it takes is 90 seconds for one of Bufalina's delicate Neapolitan pizzas to bake in the 900-degree wood-burning oven. The East Cesar Chavez restaurant knows how to deliver delicate and charred 12-inch pies; some come in classic margherita and marinara varieties, while others, like the chorizo and potato variety, are truly experimental. No matter, Bufalina will satiate any and all thin crust cravings.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
4. East Side Pies 5312 Airport Blvd, Austin, TX 78751 (Hyde Park)

East Side Pies is a small little shop on the Eastside with a 90's vibe. The attitude is also decidedly slacker, but the pizza's are not. The pies are all made with top-notch ingredients. The crust is cardboard thin,the creative sauces like chimichurri and squash, plus gratuitous toppings of local produce more than make up for a sometimes floppy slice.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
5. Little Deli & Pizzeria 7101 Woodrow Ave, Austin, TX 78757 (Crestview)

It doesn't get much more wholesome than Little Deli. Tucked into a quaint Crestview strip mall that's quizzically on an otherwise residential street, this sandwich shop excels at big northeast-style slices cooked in two inch stone hearth ovens. There's nothing fancy going on here, just an old-school dough recipe executed to perfection, plus gluten-free options.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
6. The Backspace 507 San Jacinto, Austin, TX 78701 (Downtown)

The Backspace is a local Downtown gourmet pizzeria behind Parkside, serving some of the city's finest wood-fired Neapolitan pies. The menu also focuses on appetizers, with an impressive selection of shared plates (lamb & pork meatballs, baked ricotta) and antipasti (spicy cauliflower, house-made mozzarella cheese), but the pizzas are the main draw.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
7. Stanley's Farmhouse Pizza 13187 Fitzhugh Rd, Austin, TX 78736 (West Austin)

Stanley's Farmhouse Pizza in Dripping Springs boasts some of the best brewery food, including handcrafted pizza. This spot uses produce grown on-site whenever possible (like Logro's oyster mushrooms on their bechamel sauced Beatrice), the thin Neapolitan-style crust is hand-tossed with care, and the pies come with a great selection of toppings.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
8. Hoboken Pie 718 Rred River St, Austin, TX 78701 (Downtown)

Hoboken Pie is a small, tucked away pizza joint in downtown Austin's Red River Cultural District. Customizable New York-style pizza with just the right amount of bend act as a transport for nostalgic East Coasters. This spot also boasts vegan options, plus great lunch specials that vary on a daily basis.

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
9. Lucky's Puccias & Pizzeria 1611 W 5th St Ste 175, Austin, TX 78703 (Clarksville)

Boasting a massive wood oven made by revered Dallas-by-way-of-Italy pizza master Renato Riccio, Lucky's is serving up delicious pies all around. The pies aren't strictly Neapolitan, but have a rather slightly thicker crust inspired from the owner's hometown of Taranto in Southern Italy. The main offering is the Puccia sandwiches, but the pizza is just as much of a draw, with crazy options like the Americana (crispy prosciutto, egg, fries) or more traditional choices like the Crudo & Arugula (prosciutto, mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, tomato, arugula).

Previous Venue Next Venue Venue Description
10. Unit-D Pizzeria 2406 Manor Rd, Austin, TX 78722

Unit-D Pizzeria offers wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas, small plates, salads, and a dynamic craft beer and wine list at this modern spot on Manor Road. The oven, created by a Naples-based oven maker that has been in the business for over 100 years, cranks out bubbly crusted Neapolitans in winning combinations like the pepperoni primo (tomato, pepperoni, bresaola, lardo ibérico, mozzarella, spicy Calabrian peppers), which are taken to the next level thanks to fresh side garnishes like oregano sprigs and crushed chiles.

Clickbait