Austin is filled with several great pizza joints but what’s the best? Here’s my guide to the Neopolitan, Detroit, New York and everything in between that’s not just the basic pepperoni.
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My newest pizza obsession in Austin is Dough Boys, a new food truck parked in East Austin that serves Italian wood-fired pizzas! I loved the Italian vato and Eastside trip pizza!
Tony Curet and Max Tilka have teamed up to bring their first food concept to Austin’s East Side with Dough Boys, a pizza truck that will be serving up fresh dough straight out of an 800-pound Italian wood-fired oven. When another recent project of Tilka’s led to unexpectedly owning a new food truck, the team knew it was the time to finally launch their first project together.
1108 E 12th St, doughboysatx.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!
Jester King Brewery quickly opened up a takeout, drive-thru only option as the realities of the worldwide pandemic surfaced, and has pivoted its offerings ever since, even opening up a “Country Store”, which has available a medley of grocery items from the Jester King Kitchen. Jester King’s latest offerings now include par-baked pizzas made with slightly undercooked dough, so customers can finish baking the meal in their own ovens as they enjoy at-home activities. Additionally, the brewery created Hill Country sourdough kits, complete with Texas flour from Barton Springs Mill, Jester King native yeast culture, and baking instructions. (Water not included).
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
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.
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
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
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
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
There was an hour wait at Bufalina when they first opened in East Austin. People love Bufalina for their Neapolitan pies with artisanal ingredients. Opt for the classic red pie with tomato, double garlic, double parm and chili flake or fresca with mozzarella, prosciutto, and arugula.
What to order: red pie, pepperoni, and anchovy.
Happy hour: Every day from 4pm – 5:30pm with 50% off all pizzas and $5 house wine by the glass, and more drink specials.
1519 E Cesar Chavez St #200 & 6555 Burnet Rd #100, bufalinapizza.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,
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
- Pinthouse Pizza – (4729 Burnet Rd) this brewpub is known for their pours and pizzas
- 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.