Updated Feb 2023
Austin is filled with several great pizza joints but what’s the best? Here’s my guide to the Neapolitan, Detroit, New York and everything in between that’s not just the basic pepperoni.
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Bufalina has just reopened in East Austin at 2215 E Cesar Chavez St – a few blocks down from their original location. Bufalina Due in North Austin is still open. To be honest, I haven’t always been a big fan of Bufalina – it was always soggy for me so I didn’t understand the hype around these wood-fired pizzas.
However, with the reopening of Bufalina with chef Grae Nonas – I am very impressed. We started with our meal with the pane rustico with fancy butter. Sounds simple but this was quite possibly the most delicious bread with indeed, fancy butter. We had the taleggio pizza with sausage, mozzarella, scallion (added extra garlic) and it was *chefs kiss*. Ended the meal with vanilla ice cream and sherry.
I’ll be back for more.
2215 E Cesar Chavez St & 6555 Burnet Rd #100, bufalinapizza.com
Jester King Brewery
Did y’all know that Jester King makes their own pizza? I didn’t know they have their own restaurant on the property! Jester King makes their own food from scratch using farm, fermented or foraged ingredients. The pizza dough contains 100% Texas grains and is leavened with the same wild yeast they use to ferment our beer.
I loved the Hannibal pizza iwth red sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, pancetta, house-made meatballs, and chili oil.
Jester King has reopened their 165 acres of land in the Texas Hill Country with hiking trails – you can even see their goats!
Takeout hours: open 7 days a week, from 12-8pm.
What to order: Hannibal pizza with a couple of beers
13187 Fitzhugh Rd, jesterkingbrewery.com
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Home Slice Pizza
Of all of these pizza places, I could eat a slice of margherita and pepperoni pizza from Home Slice Pizza any day! Home Slice Pizza is famous for their New York Style pizza by the whole pie or by the slice at their convenient walk-up window on South Congress.
So what is NYC pizza? NY-style pizza has a crisp, stone-baked Neapolitan crust from Naples, Italy.
Whether you’re looking for a quick bite on the go while you tour South Congress or hoping to bond with family and friends over the best pizza in Austin according to Austin American-Statesman, you can count on Home Slice to have what you need. The restaurant’s location on South Congress has plenty of tables and curbside seating for those exploring the popular shopping and nightlife district to stop in for a quick bite of some authentic N.Y.-style pizza; while the new location near North Loop, which opened earlier this year, has a full bar, including fresh new cocktails available exclusively at the North Loop location, as well as a bermscape that’s kid-friendly for children to play on while parents dine and relax in the restaurant’s old-school Italian restaurant-inspired aesthetic.
Tip: Ask for the Sicilian style pies if they’re not already sold out that day. It’s a square crust that resembles focaccia in style and texture, with a soft top and a crisp bottom that’s been dusted with a little cornmeal and fried in olive oil for crunch. If you’re wanting something that’s not marinara, try their white clam pizza.
Order a whole pie for dine-in or carry-out, or walk up to the window at More Home Slice to order a single slice for a quick lunch.
What to order: Meatballs, margherita pizza, and the pepperoni pizza
1415 S Congress Ave & 501 E 53rd St, homeslicepizza.com
Of all the spots on this guide to the best pizza in Austin, my favorite is The Backspace. The Backspace is this small Italian pizza restaurant tucked in the alley of San Jacinto Blvd that’s by the group behind Parkside.
The Backspace was the first Neapolitan pizzeria to open in Austin with their thin-crust pizzas and unique pizza options. Their vegetarian Bianca pizza with arugula, mozzarella, ricotta, and pecorino is my favorite pizza in Austin. I also love their pepperoni americano with picante salami, tomato, mozzarella, and basil.
Located literally in the backspace behind chef Cirkiel’s iconic Parkside, the Backspace is Austin’s first Neapolitan pizzeria. Open for lunch and dinner, the Backspace highlights the best of Italy. Start with Backspace’s amazing selection of antipasti and salads, followed by pizzas and now paninis, cooked in the brick oven, the centerpiece of the dining room. Guests can complement their dining experience with an all-Italian wine list, including classic Peroni on tap. Buon appetito!
What to order: Bianca pizza, pepperoni americano pizza, classic caesar salad, and chocolate hazelnut budino.
Happy hour: 4:30pm – 6:00pm from Tuesday to Saturday with ½ off antipasti, beer & wine by the glass.
507 San Jacinto Blvd, thebackspace-austin.com
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Delucca Gaucho Pizza & Wine Austin
All-you-can-eat Brazilian pizza experience at Delucca Gaucho in North Austin for $25 with 16 different kinds of pizzas. I did actually eat all 16 different kinds of pizzas and it was not bad.
Inspired by their travels, Mallmann and Caregnato created a refined menu that captured their adventures. As such, Delucca offers diners a fixed five-course menu for $24.50 that embodies an upscale, continuous Brazilian dining experience. The menu includes chef-made lobster bisque, a rocket arugula salad, housemade Kobe beef meatballs, and a selection of nearly 20 handcrafted savory and dessert pizzas. At Delucca, guests can discover unique combinations, such as the Mexican Elote with crema and cilantro, Indian Chicken Tikka Masala or the Turkish Lamb with sumac onions. Delucca also offers staples such as the Classic Pepperoni, Hot Sopressata with honey and Truffle Four Cheeses. For dessert, this upscale pizzeria offers decadent dessert pizzas like the Dulce de Leche with caramel dulce de leche and toasted coconut as well as the Nutella Pizza with sweet vanilla mascarpone and powdered sugar.
Following Italian tradition, Delucca prides itself on its daily housemade Fior di Latte mozzarella for a lighter, tastier cheese. The pizzeria also forms each pie with Italian dough made with non-GMO Italian 00 flour, water, sea salt and yeast – and nothing else. The dough is then fermented for a minimum of 36 hours to allow the yeast to eat away excess sugar; this process makes Delucca’s pizzas easier to digest and lowers its glycemic index while elevating the flavor profile.
To elevate its innovative five-course experience, Delucca offers an extensive and deliberate wine list. Mallmann and Caregnato select each wine and only showcase labels they believe in. Their list of high-end wines have origins ranging from Italy and France to Napa Valley, California. The couple aims to bring more awareness to the exceptional pairing of pizza and craft cocktails as well. Delucca’s cocktail menu features multiple twists on classics such as the Raspberry Lemon Drop and Maple Old Fashioned. The house specialty cocktail is the Classic Caipirinha made with premium Brazilian Cachaça, natural lime juice and sugar cane syrup. Diners can also enjoy a selection of boozy desserts like the Peanut Butter Shot and Vanilla Espresso Martini.
4200 W Braker Ln, delucca.com
East Side Pies
I’ve only ordered takeout from East Side Pies a long time ago and never dined-in so I can’t speak for this Austin pizza restaurant. East Side Pies has a wide variety of different kinds of pizzas with not just red sauce but ricotta, black bean, pesto, and even chimichurri.
All pies include 100% whole milk mozzarella with a dash of romano. Vegan or no cheese are available upon request.
1401 Rosewood Avenue, 5312 Airport Suite G., & 13265 N HWY 183, Suite B., eastsidepies.com
If you’re wondering if Pieous is worth the drive out to West Austin, it is.
Try the Rocket Pizza – a white pie with arugula and prosciutto di parma or the Fat Queen Pizza with tomato sauce, pepperoni, house-smoked Italian sausage, and soppressata. Looking at the menu right now online, the House On Fire Pizza with spicy tomato sauce, salami calabrese, spicy onions, Calabrian peppers, and chile flakes sounds really good.
Don’t miss the pastrami as it’s made in house and the giant chocolate chip cookies.
What to order: Rocket pizza, Fat Queen pizza, or House On Fire Pizza, pastrami, and chocolate chip cookies.
166 Hargraves Dr Bldg H, pieous.com
Everyone loves Via 313 for their Detroit-style pizza (different from Chicago-style) – a thick crust that is somehow crispy and not heavy with flavorful toppings. The Detroiter with smoked pepperoni under the cheese and natural casing pepperoni on top is every pepperoni lovers favorite like me!
Gluten-free pizza crusts are available along with dairy-free cheese.
What to order: The Detroiter, The Cadillac, and The Carnivore.
3016 Guadalupe, Suite 100, 1802 E 6th St, 61 Rainey Street, and 6705 Hwy 290 no. 503,
Everyone LOVES Pinthouse Pizza and I can see why. I was actually first a big fan of thew brewpub for their Electric Jellyfish sour beer.
The classic and speciality pies come in 10″, 14″ and 16″. I loved the Ooh La La with spicy local honey and pepperoni and the Shroomin’ Goat with roasted mushrooms and local goat cheese. You can get it half and half too. Vegan cheese and gluten-free crusts available.
Pinthouse does have a lunch special: 10” Personal Pizza, Pinthouse or Caesar Side Salad, and a Drink or Full Pinthouse or Caesar Salad, Pizza Roll, and a Drink for only $14.99*.
4729 Burnet Rd, pinthouse.com
Central Machine Works
While Central Machine Works isn’t technically a pizza restaurant, it’s a brewery, they do make really good pizzas.
There’s three to choose from – The Primer, The Machinist, and The Fulcrum. Gluten-free crust available with an ancient grain crust.
4824 E Cesar Chavez St, cmwbrewery.com/menu
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Phantasma Kitchen is the newest pizza spot to open in Austin but it’s not available to dine it, it’s only a ghost kitchen. I was very skeptical but decided to try it out and was pleasantly surprised. The pizza crust was light and crunchy with very unique toppings like broccoli rabe. The Poltergeist pizza with house-made mozzarella, provolone, house-made sausage, broccoli rabe, and chili flakes is my third favorite pizza in Austin aside from the margherita pizza from Home Slice Pizza and bianca pizza from Backspace. What to order: Poltergeist pizza and disappearing act pizza. 3403 S Lamar Blvd, phantasma.kitchen
Temporarily closed until they find a new location
40 North started as a wood-fired, Neapolitan pizza trailer years ago and now has a brick and mortar space on West 10th in a cute little bungalow. While the pizza is good, I really love their farro salad, labneh with a za’atar yogurt dip, and crispy potatoes. I always ordered the hot honey pizza with Mike’s Hot Honey and ricotta. 40 North also does specialty pizza partnerships with local Austin restaurants like their spicy pickle bbq pizza with La Barbecue that has housemade pickles and pickled garlic with mozzarella, fontina, parmesan, Fresno, and dill. 40 North, a family-friendly pizza restaurant is located in downtown Austin at 900 West 10th Street. Helmed by Chef Clint Elmore, 40 North offers thin-crust Neapolitan-style pizza, hot sandwiches, salads, vegetable-focused small plates, a selection of desserts, beers, and a curated boutique wine list in a casual, family-friendly, neighborhood atmosphere. Chef Elmore – after deciding to leave a successful career practicing commercial litigation in New York City to pursue his love for pizza – trained under legendary pizza master Enzo Coccia in Naples, Italy. Elmore also apprenticed as with beloved Paulie G’s in Brooklyn, New York. The 1,500-square-foot space, which seats 44, is a renovated 1930s bungalow which highlights the cozy, at-home feel. Decor features old family photos, Scandinavian minimalist music posters, sourced vintage plateware, and custom-made multiple wood species furniture from Litmus Industries. What to order: farro salad, labneh, crispy potatoes, and hot honey pizza. 900 W 10th St, 40northpizza.com
I want to give Austin’s Pizza a shout out for helping donate 7 days and raising $4000 for Hundred For Hospitality during COVID-19. Hundred For Hospitality was a restaurant fund that I launched with Mylk Collective to help provide meals from Austin restaurants for service industry that were laid off by a restaurant affected by COVID-19 in Austin. We raised over $15,000 and donated 100% of it back into the local restaurant economy!
What to order: Super pep thin-crust
Multiple locations, austinspizza.com
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Other pizza restaurants in Austin
I haven’t tried these but they’re on my list:
- Little Deli & Pizzeria (7101 Woodrow Ave) – Jersey-style specialty pizzas in Crestview
- DeSano Pizzeria Napoletana
- ABGB (1305 W Oltorf St)
What’s your favorite pizza joint in Austin? Unfortunately, we don’t have deep-dish pizza in Austin anymore.
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