Last week we posted my choices for the Top Ten pizzas in the Austin area.
There are many more very good places around and we’ll begin Part 2 by going roughly from South to North and listing my favorites in each area.
The obvious choice here is Brewster’s Pizza a few miles south of the recently refitted Wimberly bridge. This is a family effort headed by ex NFL star Bruce Collie and his wife Holly. Not to mention, their 13 ikids are all involved as well. (And they’re great kids).
My taste runs to the Supreme, a crispy and easily approachable pie with pepperoni and sausage and all the requisite veggies one could think of.
Another choice is the Brewster with pepperoni, beef, bacon, garlic, bleu cheese, onion and mushroom. Great combination of flavors.
My choice here would have been Nona Gina’s in the location where Paul Peterson used to have The Little Bistro. But alas the restaurant has closed. There is a MOD in the vicinity which would be the best offering at this time.
Kyle is not a pizza haven to be sure but Pizza Classics is the best that this community has to offer. The service can be a bit abrasive at times but the pies are good.
It’s independently owned and this means more creativity. The Meat Lovers is a good example of that. Every meat imaginable: sausage, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, breakfast bacon and beef are piled on this. Yet the pie works well!
The Pizza Cave is located right in the heart (so to speak) of Dripping Springs on Highway 290 W at RR 12.
Their pizzas are generally quite good and the stars of their lengthy menu.
The Pepper and Onion pizza is my favorite. The peppers are sautéed and then baked along with the onions, mozzarella and sauce. Beautiful sauce and spot on crispy and chewy crust. It’s a relatively small restaurant but quite comfortable.
I’ve always been a fan of the iconic spot with the strange-looking facade, the Austin Pizza Garden on 290W just before the Y. This spot has been a bellwether for this area since 1994. They’ve never been afraid to branch out into new territory, pizza wise.
I like the Tchoupitoulas which is a Cajun shrimp and andouille sausage extravaganza complete with red onions, red and green peppers and fresh garlic. Never imagined myself enjoying a Shrimp pizza but the flavor sneaks up on you.
Also try the classic Roma with prosciutto, black olives, ricotta cheese and green peppers.
There’s a neat little joint on Highway 71 just near the intersection of RR 620. It’s called Jersey Giant Pizza. The owner Paul is from New Jersey and likes to make big pizzas! Hence the name.
But size notwithstanding the flavor and texture are keys. Try the Pachanga (reminiscent of Dirty Dancing?) which sizzles with sausage, pepperoni, jalapeño peppers, and red onions. Lighter crust but very tasty. Paul has committed himself to this place and it just has the right neighborhood vibe. In my old house down Bee Caves I would have been a regular here! Best of all they’re deliver to the local area.
Mangieri’s is another neat Lakeway joint on RR 620 at Lohman’s Crossing. It’s family owned with the original location at Slaughter and Escarpment. They make a whole wheat pie that is quite good and cuts the glycemic index for those watching but still craving carbs.
They cut their pies into squares (don’t get freaked out: it’s a Midwest trait). Doesn’t interfere with the taste at all.
Past the Galleria near the HEB on Highway 71 is Yaghi’s New York Style Pizza. We enjoyed it when we lived near there and I still pop in there from time to time. They also have locations on William Cannon, Cypress Creek Rd and a bunch of other places.
This is family-style tasty with items like the Bacon Chicken Ranch Pizza (white) which the kids love and the Gyro Pizza with American style pressed beef and lamb and red onions in a white sauce which the adults love. All the traditional NYC style pies as well.
This was tough. Roppolos on W 6th could have easily (and has) been in the Top 10. Love their NYC-style pies. They are big as well. When we used to office on S. Congress we ordered a large meat et al pie (The Godfather) that was so big the kid had trouble getting it up the stairs. Worth it though. The Italian Garden is their veggie extravaganza and it is delicious. Splendid flavors. The Italian Mex is another show stopper. The roasted red and gold peppers blend with the jalapeños for just the right kick.
And their Calzones are to die for!!! Perhaps the best in the entire downtown area. Marc and his crew have delivered year after year and this place is a must visit.
Hoeck’s Death Metal pizza has now moved up another notch to E 6th next to the infamous Dirty Dog Bar. Now working out of a real kitchen the pizza makers continue to build monstrous pizzas like the Gargantually Large 30″ piled with every kind of meat and cheese imaginable. Screaming metal music fills the night (this ain’t no daytime spot) and the twenty + year history of the most Austintatious pizza joint around continues.
Hoboken Pies on Red River has been firing up takeout and delivery orders since 2008 (which was in that three-year window when pizza joints literally proliferated in Austin). For those locals who are unaware that Hoboken is a city in New Jersey now you know!
And their Jersey-style pies please the palate. I recommend The Hoboken Supreme with pepperoni and sausage along with mushrooms, mozzarella, green peppers and basil. The crust is spot-on and the flavors are captivating.
Another trailer to brick and mortar transition has occurred at The Spartan at 1007 E 6th. I liked what they were and I love what they are now. The names of the pizzas are cleverly reminiscent of the Trojan War such as the Perseus (Hector’s priestess cousin) which I really like: this is a firm crust with cilantro pesto, sundries tomatoes, red onion, artichoke and Feta cheese.
The Hades (the Greek afterlife) with Italian sausage, marinara sauce, green olives, and a killer (no pun intended) herbed ricotta. Very interesting melange of flavors. This is at the bottom of The Corazon.
Numero 28 is a funky little spot in the Warehouse District. I like the Pizza Rustica which is simply constructed while packing a flavor punch. The tomatoes, sausage, mozzarella and green peppers really work well: the crust is equally well made with a shade of crispy char and a nice texture. The namesake Numero 28 is a white pizza with speck, mushrooms and an intoxicating truffle cream sauce. Very neat little joint.
No description of downtown pizza would be complete without a mention of Brick Oven on Red River (also Jollyville). Stan Adam’s creation may have the longest lineage of any owner operated joint in town (along with Milto’s).
I still love their Veggie Pizza which rocks to this day, probably because of the great texture. Another favorite is the Sausage, Mushroom and Onion. This brings back great memories of my kids fighting to dip each bite in Ranch dressing: anathema to us but wonderful to them. Still my oldest daughter’s favorite.
Gotta like Winflo Ostreria on W 6th. Wish they’d pair back the menu a bit and focus more on their Neapolitan pizza: it’s that good!
I like the Pepperoni Olive pie. The San Marzano tomatoes and the Rosa Grande pepperoni and of course the Pepperoncini peppers with the olives. This is much more subtle than it would first appear and that’s appealing.
And while you’d never see this in Pepe’s menu, the Carbonara pie is delicious. The crisp pancetta mixes with the Romano cream sauce and the Parmesan with the over easy egg. Just substitute the crust for the linguini!
Also on W 6th is Rounders, one of that group that exploded on the scene about ten years ago. The place derives its name from the Matt Damon poker movie.
But you don’t need to spot a tell to know that Rounders is the real NYC deal.
First, they have the best Garlic Knots in town. Now on to the pizzas.
Unusual but very tasty is the Casablanca. This features a nice crispy crust with mozzarella, ricotta, Parmesan and critically for the taste of this one, no sauce!
Their sauce pies are also good: I like The Casino which simple but appealing: homemade red sauce, mozzarella, Parmesan and oregano. This is 14″ of damned good pizza.
Milto’s is considerably north of downtown but it feels like a downtown joint and like Brick Oven, it takes you back. You have to love the Milto’s Pizza. This features fresh mushrooms, onions and green peppers, pepperoni, Italian sausage, ham, black and green olives and (drum roll please) anchovies. Btw, they will hold the anchovies on request.
They also have a Greek Pizza not unlike the one that Yaghi’s offers and equally tasty.
Frank and Angie’s is another long-time downtown staple. They are located adjacent to Hut’s. I first stumbled on to them courtesy of Don King (not the boxing one) who is a serious foodie.
Their White Pizza is a family favorite. This is smothered in Alfredo sauce along with a tasty blend of herbs and spices. And who would be creative enough to name a pie after director Sergio’s Leone’s (Good,Bad, and Ugly)brilliant Oscar-winning composer Ennio Morricone. This pie features Cajun spiced chicken and BBQ sauce and it’s quite good. NYC pies abound at F&A as well.
One of my favs is House Pizzeria on 5111 Airport. Neapolitan is the word here and the classic homage is the Napoletana. It’s got Kalamata olives and anchovies for a little extra kick along with fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, and fresh oregano. Very appealing pie with nice airy crust. The Asparagus and Prosciutto is another good one. Really authentic flavors here.
Then head down Manor to the 10-month old Unit D Pizzeria. This began when the owners redeveloped an old office space and saved a unit for themselves which became the Pizzeria. They installed an Acunto Mario wood-burning oven (thanks Virgina Wood) from Naples and voila.
My favorite pie, in part because it incorporates smoked beef sausage from neighbor Dai Due, is called The Sausage. The chef has nailed this one with a white sauce, kale, radicchio, sage and aged maple vinegar. This is one of the best I’ve tasted in some time and I suggest you try it!!
Another East 6th newbie is Burn Pizza, the latest offering from Bridget Dunlop, the so-called Queen of Rainey Street.
One of my favorites is The Devil. This features a tangy marinara, spicy salami, cappicola and mozzarella. The flavors are authentic and terrifically intriguing, Try it! Another slam dunk on the pizza front is the Lustre Pearl. This has an intoxicating mix of artichoke, mushroom, olive and prosciutto on a solid base of marinara and mozzarella. I really like the subtle flavors of this one.
Pinthouse Pizza is a very cool brew pub and pizza joint on 4729 Burnet (with a new location on S. Lamar).
This is a locally owned collaborative effort between some serious pizza dudes and just taking a look at the May special will show you what I mean. It’s called the Ooh La La and it’s the brainchild of Ned, one of the owners. You start with a nice sauce, add mozzarella and pepperoni. Then a drizzle of honey infused with Serrano, jalapeño, and habanero peppers. As they describe it you get “sweet, spicy, smoky and salty.” Hell of a pie.
Over on W Anderson the coolest new place has opened called Rebel Pizza Bar ( within the year). It’s rooftop location above Suzi’s Chinese affords a neat view, both of the local scene and of the original art decorating all the walls
Frank and Nina Seely’s son and CIA-trained chef Alex has designed the pizzas. And they are good! I like The Contender! This is a crispy and airy crust with a really mellow marinara, pancetta, Italian sausage, pepperoni, prosciutto, Bufalo mozzarella and some amore as well!
Also try the Pig and Fig. This one just oozes taste. Olive oil, fig, jam, red onion, goat cheese, arugula, prosciutto and lemon Parmesan. Does this work? I mean does this work? What did I tell you? Does this work? What did I tell you? ((doing my DiNiro impression).
Another recommendation is the Piedmont [an iconic area for food and wine in northern Italy]. This has mozzarella, bacon and cherub tomatoes with a very engaging but not over-the-top sauce. Another knockout is The Italian. This has homemade Italian sausage, onions, and roasted red peppers. This is exquisite.
Another strong north central candidate is The Parlor in Hyde Park. Not to be confused with the Parlor Room on Rainey. This dates back to 2000 and they claim to have served the first Vegan pizza in Austin. I have tried it and it’s quite good. I also like the Autumn Deluxe which has enough goodies on it to impress even the most fastidious vegan.
A long-time family favorite off Research is Reale’s. This tight-knot family gets it! They also know how to make an authentic cannoli!
But the Pizza ala Reale is my favorite. It’s got pepperoni, Italian sausage, black olives, Canadian bacon, and a wonderfully crispy yet chewy crust. Reale’s has stood the test of numerous construction upheavals in the area and it’s still rocking along. The 2nd generation has taken over the store and it remains solid!
Cedro is in Lakeline Mall adjacent to the Alamo Draft House. Owner James Sun is Chinese but that doesn’t stand in the way of him making great pizza. I love the Fig and caramelized onion along with exotic cheeses on a Flatbread pie. Unusual, yes? Tasty? Amazingly so.They have also opened a second location at the Domain called Mia Italian Tapas and Bar which features a wide and tasty selection of their artisanal grilled pizzas.
Another far north staple is the venerable Brooklyn Pie Co on La Frontera with several other locations..This is a tiny little joint but don’t let the size fool you. This place can make pizza, The slices are humongous and everything is fresh. The Meat Lovers pie takes two hands to hold. And it is a killer. Italian Sausage, pepperoni, smoked ham, Genoa salami, and fresh minced garlic. You want flavor? Here it is.They make their dough using US #1 dark northern unbleached flour. Works for me.
Then there is the inimitable Cajun Pizza Place on McNeil. You want creativity and Crayfish all in the same pie? They do it here. And a lot more. Didn’t think I’d care for it but the Cajun spices, derived from those rich Acadian heritage sauces, work like gangbusters. They use a thin crust that works surprisingly well with all those rich Cajun embellishments. You can get regular NYC pizza as well but why would you want to?
Dallas-based pizzeria Cane Rosso has opened at the site of the former St, Phillips Bakery on 4715 S. Lamar near Brodie. This is their seventh store in Texas and they claim to have AVPN centification with the usual wood fires et al.for Neapolitan Pizza.
They’ve gotten loads of awards in Dallas, but this is Austin, so we shall see!
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