Let’s face it: Even bad pizza is still pretty good. But if you favor a particular style or just prefer the taste of a pizza fresh out of the oven, check out the following Austin pizza purveyors.
With five locations across Austin, Via 313 serves Detroit-style pizza. It’s a messy-looking style: roughly square-ish with sauce splattered on top, but you’ll forget about the appearance once you take a bite. The crust is thick yet almost fluffy. Adventurous types rave about The Cadillac, which is topped with fig preserves, prosciutto, and a balsamic glaze. For more standard ingredients, try The Omnivore, with onion, mushroom, pepperoni, and sausage. Via 313 also operates wildly popular food trailers at The Violet Crown Social Club and Craft Pride.
Little Deli & Pizzeria
If it’s New Jersey-style pizza you prefer, head to the Little Deli & Pizzeria. The pizzas here have thin, crispy crusts. Tired of tomato sauce? Try the White Pizza, with several kinds of cheese, artichokes, garlic and olive oil. Another crowd pleaser, the Bacon Blue features roasted red peppers, gorgonzola, and bacon. The sandwiches are also excellent.
Home Slice Pizza
To continue our tour of major American pizza regions, Home Slice makes the best New York-style pizza in Austin. At times, you may have to wait up to an hour at this buzzing South Congress joint, but the pizza is worth it. Besides, the people watching is always interesting on SoCo. The crusts are somewhat thick yet still crispy. The Margherita and eggplant parmesan pizzas are particularly stellar, but you can’t go wrong at Home Slice.
Serving wood-fired pizza pies, Pieous is best known for the Fat Queen pizza. It has a crispy crust and is jam-packed with pepperoni, sopressata, and sausage. Also notable is the Bacon Bleu, with gorgonzola, bacon, mozzarella and a pile of arugula on top. You probably won’t have room for dessert, but you can order a pizza-sized cookie to go.
It’s hard to beat a pizza joint that also makes its own craft beer. Featuring ales, stouts and IPAs that have won regional and national awards, Pinthouse would still be a great bar even without the pizza. The thin-crust pepperoni and basil pizza is a must-have. If you like a spicy pie, try The Armadillo, which is topped with poblano peppers, ricotta, sausage, and cilantro. While your pizza is being prepared, you can play Pac-Man or one of the other classic arcade games scattered around the dining room. Pinthouse Pizza has two Austin locations.
If you like lumpy, rustic-looking pizza, this place has that down to an art form. While the Neapolitan-style pies may be oddly shaped, the flavor is always on point. The dimly lit 30-seat restaurant is ideal for a romantic date or a low-key business dinner. Traditionalists might prefer the pepperoni Americano, with basil, tomato and mozzarella. If you don’t mind a little salad on top of your pizza, try the bianca, with arugula, ricotta, mozzarella and pecorino romano.
A former food truck that evolved into a brick-and-mortar restaurant, 40 North is known for creative Neapolitan-style pies such as the Hot Honey pizza, with parmesan, ricotta, tomato and honey. Another popular choice, The Barbe, features fennel sausage, tomato, coppa (similar to prosciutto) and red onions. Vegetarians who like a spicy pie will appreciate the eggplant pizza, with garlic, ricotta, olives and chile flakes. 40 North is a casual joint where you order at the counter.
Lovers of crunchy thin-crust pizzas flock to East Side Pies. The restaurant buys all of its meat from Texas-based ranchers and sources much of its produce from farmers around Austin. Even some of the spices are produced in Central Texas. The fresh ingredients really make a difference, judging by East Side’s slightly fanatical fans. Those with celiac disease and other digestive issues sing the praises of the restaurant’s gluten-free crust. There are also plenty of options for toppings, ranging from standard pepperoni to sweet potato.
Featuring wood-fired Neopolitan pizza, Bufalina is an intimate space with an eclectic lineup of pizzas. You can go with a traditional marinara pie, with tomato, garlic and oregano, or get adventurous and try the harissa pizza, topped with peanuts, eggplant, squash, salsa verde and pickled onion. Another oddball, the bacon and blue cheese pizza, is topped with figs, mozzarella and dandelion pecan pesto.
Billed as New York-style, the pizzas here are a little too crispy to be foldable, but they’re tasty nonetheless. The Hades pizza looks more like the moon than hell, with big lumps of ricotta and Italian sausage on a rustic crust. One of the more creative pizzas is the Medusa, with caramelized onion, roasted garlic spread, blue cheese, bacon and red pepper flakes. Nothing spartan about that. For a sweet/spicy combo, try the Calypso, topped with pineapple, jalapeno, red onion, and bacon.
A charming family-owned pizza joint in deep south Austin, Tipsy Pizza has an extensive selection of daiquiris and mimosas in addition to the pizzas. The pizza selection isn’t huge, but they do a few things well, such as Canadian bacon and the multi-meat Big Bertha. The crusts are somewhat thin and crispy with a hint of a buttery flavor. As good as the pies are, they’re almost overshadowed by the flaky, meat-stuffed pizza rolls. They may be listed under appetizers on the menu, but you could easily make a meal out of just two or three pizza rolls.
It might be surprising to find top-notch pizza inside a Valero gas station, but somehow Giovanni’s makes it work. The always-cheerful proprietor clearly loves that moment of surprise when customers sit down at the little patio outside and taste his creations. The Margherita pizza is one of the best, with big slices of tomato, fresh basil and garlic romano cheese. The steak and peppers pizza is mildly spicy, topped with caramelized onions, cilantro, peppers and steak.