Three words: EAT. THIS. PIZZA. If you haven’t tried the Detroit-style pizza at Via 313 yet, drop everything and go—you’ll have time to thank us later. The pizza is cooked in square pans that are used to hold spare parts in Detroit auto factories—the pans help create a crust that is crunchy on the bottom and sides but perfectly chewy in the middle. Cheese and toppings are placed on the dough all the way to the edge, and a delicious warm sauce is drizzled on top after the pizza comes out of the oven. Try the Detroiter, which comes with double pepperoni, or the Rocket, with hot soppresatta, arugula, and shaved parmesan.
East Side Pies is the king of thin-crust pizza in central Austin. The pizzas have bubbly, crunchy, thin crusts, and many of the toppings are sourced from local farms. The menu features great combinations such as the Damon, with salami, green chili, onion, garlic, and roasted red pepper—or better yet, you can build your own pizza and forego the traditional red sauce in favor of tomatillo, hummus, spinach curry, or chimichurri! Bonus: all three of their locations deliver, so you don’t even have to change out of your pajamas.
1415 S. Congress
Home Slice has been serving NY-style pizzas and slices to adoring crowds since opening in 2005. Don’t let the packed interior sway you—this place is worth the wait. Grab a beer and head outside to the fantastic back patio, which doubles as a music venue during SXSW. For a slice of heaven, order the white clam pizza, which comes with chopped clams, olive oil, garlic, oregano, and Pecorino Romano. If you’d rather get your pie to go, check out More Home Slice, the takeout shop next door—it’s open until 3 AM on weekends!
507 San Jacinto
If Neapolitan-style pizza is your thing, you cannot go wrong at Backspace, a tiny eatery nestled behind sister restaurant Parkside. Once inside the cozy space, you forget that you’re less than a block from the madness of 6th Street. A giant wood-burning oven dominates the rustic interior. The menu is short and sweet, focusing on quality rather than quantity—try the fennel sausage and garlic pizza paired with seasonal antipasti. Reservations are recommended. If you can’t get a table at Backspace, Bufalina and Pieous also do authentic Neapolitan-style pizza.
1305 W. Oltorf
Here’s the thing—you don’t necessarily go to ABGB for the pizza. What you go for is the killer atmosphere, and what you get is a pleasant surprise when you realize that the pizza is pretty damn good too. The Austin Beer Garden Brewing Company (ABGB) is a huge, cavernous space packed with long tables, with a stage at one end. Outside is a shady, dog-friendly patio with tons more seating. It’s a lively place, and you’re liable to make new friends as you wait to order a pint and a pizza. Try one of the specialty pies such as one with duck prosciutto, truffle oil, black garlic, and a fried duck egg. They also serve several great combinations by the slice. Check the ABGB website for music listings.
The Conan’s Pizza near campus at 29th and Guadalupe is the epitome of old-school pizzeria awesomeness. It has been open since 1976 and we suspect not much has changed since. The interior is completely covered in epic drawings of Conan the Barbarian rescuing maidens and fighting mythic beasts. The north and south locations have a similar vibe, but are bigger, with room for video game consoles and extra seating. Conan’s specializes in Chicago-style deep dish pizza, but they also offer regular crust. If you want to stick with the old-school experience, order The Savage, which is covered with every classic topping you can imagine. All three locations deliver to limited areas.
708 Red River
You’ll feel like you’re in New Jersey when you get your huge, greasy, foldable slice from Hoboken Pie. This is THE place for late-night street pizza—you walk in, point at a slice in the deli case, watch them stick it in the pizza oven to heat up, and viola, a few minutes later you have a massive piece of pizza that won’t even fit on the paper plate. You can sprinkle it with garlic salt, oregano, and red pepper, or just fold it and go back to one of the nearby venues before the next band comes on. Expect crowds at bar time.