Man cannot live by BBQ alone -- he needs tacos too, and occasionally it’s necessary to branch out into pizza territory. And since it’s been a couple of years since we last took a long, hard, critical look at the city’s pie situation, we thought it was high time for an update. Here are the best pizza spots in the city right now…
What you’re getting: The Olivia
Austin is all about keeping it weird, and ESP’s ever-expanding menu does just that. It rolls out a dozen or so new menu items a year each with a unique twist. You can go with hummus sauce, black bean sauce, spinach curry sauce, pesto sauce, and a few dozen others to create your perfect pie. All your toppings will go on ESP’s signature thin crust, leaving you a happy customer no matter what you ordered (except the garlic knots).
South 1st St
What you’re getting: The Hot Honey
40 North is a food truck on South 1st St. The wood-fired pizza trailer is BYOB, which puts it a leg up of most others on this list, and it's the perfect afternoon hangout spot. The standout pizza is the Hot Honey, which is topped with Mike's Hot Honey, a chili-infused bee nectar. Still a relative secret, 40 North doesn’t have the lines you may encounter at others on this list.
Hyde Park/North Austin
What you’re getting: The Subterranean
House Pizzeria makes Neapolitan-style pizzas including one particular breed named The Subterranean, which comes with the normal topping suspects mushrooms, caramelized onions, and basil, but also features rosemary roasted potatoes that are worth the price of the pie themselves. If you don’t remember much else from this list, remember that combination.
What you’re getting: White pizza
Many places advertise “New York-” or “New Jersey-style” pizza and really mean “dollar-slice quality.” Luckily, Little Deli isn’t one of those. This quaint spot tucked in a residential neighborhood is one of the elders on the list and its longevity is for good reason. Go for the whole pizza over pizza by the slice. You’ll get the best Little Deli has to offer and leftovers you’ll be glad to have.
What you’re getting: The Works
As the name may suggest, Pinthouse is almost equally well known for its beer as its pizza. It brews its own beer in-house and has dozens of other craft beers on tap. Don’t let that distract you from your pizza mission however. You’re here for the hefty portions of toppings and perfect mid-thickness crust. Specifically The Works, to be enjoyed in Pinthouse’s very relaxed and unpretentious atmosphere.
What you’re getting: Soppressata
A relative newcomer to the Austin pizza scene, Italic is on the fancier side of pizza joints. But don’t let having to put on pants stop you. This Downtown spot is a perfect addition to your evening out. The soppressata pizza balances spicy and sweet in just a way to remind you why you buttoned your shirt in the first place.
What you’re getting: The rocket
Pieous is located at least 30 minutes outside Downtown Austin. It is also consistently rated among the top pizza locations in Austin. Those two facts combined should tell you all you need to know. Not only does it have pizza worthy of an hour commute, it has potentially the best pastrami you’ll find in Austin. So snag a sandwich for your drive back and make a day out of it.
What you’re getting: The Cadillac
Via 313 is Detroit-style deep dish pizza. Meaning, it is square-shaped with deep crust and crunchy edges. Order the Cadillac, a pizza with shaved prosciutto, Gorgonzola, fig preserves, Parmesan and balsamic glaze. You won’t mind the wait, as the Rainey St location is located at the back of Craft Pride, which has dozens of local beers just inside the door.
What you’re getting: Athena
A long-time food truck, Spartan recently opened up a brick-and -mortar store on East 6th St. The seating is around an open kitchen, so you get to see your favorite pie each step of the way. The pizzas all feature one-of-a-kind crusts that are thin, but light and buttery with a bubbly edge. Spartan has vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, to quiet the concerns of the most selective eaters.
East Cesar Chavez
What you’re getting: Fresca
Don’t mind the terrifying windowless bar across the street (shout out Top Dawgs). Or the self-service car wash next door. Or the used car lot behind it. Bufalina is probably the best pizza in Austin, and worth the trip out east. Here you’ll find some of the best crust in Texas, great wine, and all the ambiance you’ll need for that perfect date, even if it’s just between you and a pie.
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Brent Underwood is the founder of HK Austin, a 16-bed co-living and co-working space in the heart of Austin. He can most often be found roaming the streets of east Austin with a variety of foreigners in tow.
1. East Side Pies1401 Rosewood Ave, Austin
2. 40 North1502 S 1st St, Austin
3. House Pizzeria5111 Airport Blvd, Austin
4. Little Deli & Pizzeria7101 Woodrow Ave, Austin
5. Pinthouse Pizza4729 Burnet Rd, Austin
6. Italic123 W 6th St, Austin
7. Pieous12005 HW 290 W, Austin
8. Via 31361 Rainey St, Austin
9. Spartan Pizza1104 E 6th, Austin
10. Bufalina1519 E Cesar Chavez St, Austin
With a rotating, seasonal menu and produce from local farmers, "ESP" offers unique, thin-crust pies (such as The Jamaican—jerk chicken, red onions, pineapple, habaneros, and jalapenos) and a variety of homemade sauces: spinach curry, hummus, chimichurri, tomatillo, pesto, and black bean).
The only thing better than fresh, wood-fired pizza is fresh, wood-fired pizza and the libation of your choice. At this BYOB trailer, patrons can pair their specialty pies with a glass (let's be real—bottle) of fine wine.
House Pizzeria, in Austin's North Loop, puts a sophisticated spin on your neighborhood parlor. A small but innovative selection of Neapolitan style slices are served at this sit-down pizzeria. Hit up the retro juke box while chowing on a goat cheese and rosemary potato slice.
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.
Nothing pairs better with beer than a slice, so get doubly sauced at Pinthouse Pizza: a Rosedale brewery/pie shop whose character's expressed via long community tables and a mural inviting you to relax and have a whale of a good time, though technically that means you can still act like a Dick.
From the team behind 24 Diner, Easy Tiger, and Arro, plus Executive Chef Andrew Curren, is Italic. Housed in the former Bar Louie space, the seasonal menu includes roasted half chicken, Florence-style T-bone steak, and wood-fired pizzas. Italic’s weekday happy hour is from 4:30-6:30.
A classic Austin pizza joint serving up pies from the traditional, to one with BACON MARMALADE. They've also got local brews on tap and WHY HAVEN'T YOU LEFT YET AFTER READING "BACON MARMALADE"?
This brick-and-mortar trailer boasts Detroit-style pizza (arguably the lovechild of Chicago's deep-dish/casserole pizza and the Big Apple's traditional slice), made fresh by two brothers who visit Motown annually for new ideas.
Formerly off Slaughter Lane behind Red Shed, Spartan just arrived at 6th and Waller to peddle mythologically inspired pies like the Apollo (roasted garlic spread, spinach, mushrooms, artichokes, Kalamata olives, herbed ricotta) and the Calypso (marinara, pineapple, red onion, bacon, an jalapeño).
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.