Cheers to Friday! Do you have any big plans this weekend? I’m pretty pumped for a weekend with very little on the agenda; after the last two weekends of traveling, I’m ready for a few days in Austin to drink a few pints, go cycling, hang out in a coffee shop with a good book, and maybe….grab a few slices a PIZZA!
I was actually vegan for a couple years of my life right after college, and I’m not sure I could pull that off now because my devout love for pizza has blossomed into a full-blown love affair. I love pizza. I crave it constantly, and Austin has so many great pizza places, so I indulge all the time. (Probably way too often…I have this “wedding” thing in 7 weeks…)
Here’s a list of what I consider the best 5 places to get a slice of pizza in Austin right now in February, 2017. There are a few honorable mentions at the bottom, because it was too hard to pick just 5!
1. Austin Beer Garden Brewing Company
One of THE best places to hang out on a Saturday night in Austin, Austin Beer Garden Brewing Company (aka “ABGB”) makes a mean thin-crust style pizza with seasonal toppings. The menu is constantly changing, so expect something fantastic! And their beer is nothing to complain about, either; ABGB is the proud title owner of multiple Great American Beer Festival gold medals. My favorite? The “Hell Yes” helles with a slice of margherita pizza! The indoor stage hosts a bunch of bands, even on weekdays, so be sure to check their calendar for the schedule.
1305 W. Oltorf, Austin TX 78704
2. Via 313
Oh my…THIS PIZZA. If you eat an entire pizza, you’ll feel like you can’t move for at least two hours. If you go halvsies and split it with a friend, you’ll hate the stupid person who gave you the advice to split it. You just can’t win, folks. Via 313 is Detroit-style pizza, meaning it’s a rectangular, thick-crust pizza cut into four equal pieces. What started as a trailer is now two trailers as well as a brick-and-mortar. Expect a long wait at any of the three locations…this is a popular place, and for good reason!
3. Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza
Although it’s a little bit of a trek outside of Austin, visiting Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon. The wood-fire oven outdoor pizza stand is on the property of Jester King, an award-winning farmhouse brewery about 25 minutes southwest of downtown Austin. The outer crust is charred and crispy, and the inside is doughy and chewy…the perfect pizza! Side note: I almost had my wedding here, but it’s become so popular that they’re no longer able to close down on a Saturday night to rent out the venue for a wedding! Plans for an event space on site are apparently coming soon…
13187 Fitzhugh Road, Austin TX 78736
This little gem from the eastside of Austin recently opened its second location in north Austin. Good thing, too; the place is always packed! And while they don’t accept reservations, the 45-minute wait can be worth it because the small, thin, oven-grilled pizza are t-t-tasty! It’s an adorable little restaurant with lots of communal dining tables, a few single tables, and an impressive wood fired oven at the side of the room. The wine and cocktail list is impresive, and pizzas are what I like to call boutique pizzas – they’re kind of fancy! Try the harissa – eggplant, shallots, peppers, pistachio, herbs.
Two locations: E Cesar Chavez and N Burnet
5. Pinthouse Pizza
In full disclosure, I might have saved my favorite for last. If you want to know how to make me happy, buy me a pint and a pizza from Pinthouse, and I’m a happy lady! The original location in north Austin was a favorite of mine, and then when they opened a second location in south Austin just down the road from me, I knew we had trouble…in the best way! I go here way too often. The pizza is a thin, chewy crust, and the pies are listed under “Classic Pies” (pepperoni and basil, hawaiian, margherita) and “Specialty Pies” (one of my favorites is the “Ooh La La”: red sauce, house cheese blend, fresh mozzarella, pepperoni, baby arugula, spicy local honey, peppadew peppers, and Parmesan cheese). This is a brewpub, so you can try somewhere around 10-15 taps of their own brews in addition to 30ish guest taps of some of the best craft beer around the country. When Nate and I are doing a bad job with meal planning (we try to cook and eat together most nights of the week, but that doesn’t always happen when we’re busy) and it’s 8 pm and we’re both starving, we’ll text something like this:
Kelsey: Done teaching and I’m STARVING!!!! Dinner plans?
Nate: Just leaving work
Nate: Meet you there!
Y’all, this is no exaggeration. It’s a problem, and we need an intervention. Pinthouse, thanks for moving to south Austin, but….I kind of want to look awesome for my wedding pictures, and you’re getting in the way of that happening.
Two locations: S Lamar and N Burnet
And because Austin is a booming foodie town with too many great pizza options, here are my honorable mentions:
- Homeslice Pizza. How could I not mention this one, right? Google “where to eat in Austin” and this place will pop up on almost any list. It’s a quirky little shop on S. Congress with the slogan “In Crust We Trust” with a walk-up window next door. The pizza is New York style, so it’s thin and floppy and you have to fold it in half to take a bite.
- I think of Unit-D Pizzeria like a cousin to Bufalina: they’re both eastside Pizzerias that use wood-fired pizzas, serve small pies, have good wine lists, and are great places for a more formal date (versus a casual weekend hangout like ABGB or Pinthouse). The pizza is good and I like the beautiful style of the interior of the restaurant…I just haven’t been there often enough to feel it’s earned a ranking in my “top 5” list.
- Disclaimer: this one isn’t awesome pizza. But for those nights when you’re binge watching a tv show and need some take-out pizza and a 3 buck chuck from Trader Joes, Southside Flying Pizza is your jam. Similar to a Pizza Hut or Papa John’s style of fast food pizza (but much better, I promise!), this isn’t what I would call “great pizza.” It’s just the right type of pizza for those nights when you really need some food to eat while you watch “The Most Dramatic Season Of The Bachelor Ever!!!!!”
Yay! That was fun! Ok, now it’s your turn. Spill. What are the best pizza places in Austin, in your opinion? There are so many good ones!
Happy weekend, friends!