The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Pizza
For the next 20 weeks, we'll be rounding up the runners-up to our 2012 Best of Houston® winners. In many categories, picking each year's winner is no easy task. We'll be spotlighting 20 of those categories, in which the winner had hefty competition from other Houston bars and restaurants.
Photo by Troy Fields Luigi's pizza is best served with a side of chicken wings.
Earlier this year, we asked: "Is Great Pizza in Houston Finally on the Rise?" The answer, six months later, appears to be a resounding yes.
Not even a year ago, our Top 10 Pizza list (compiled to go along with our 2011 Best of Houston® issue) didn't even feature half the entries you see below. It's not that some of them didn't exist, mind you; it's that restaurants across the city have stepped up their pizza game -- whether they're a pizza place or not. In fact, much like this week's list of the Top 10 Restaurants in Montrose, 10 slots wasn't nearly enough to chronicle all the great pizza we've got going on right now. It's a great problem to have.
And if this welcome trend continues, 2013 may well be the Year of the Pizza in Houston. It's been a long time coming.
Honorable Mention: Luigi's
Luigi's is your classic mom-and-pop pizzeria, baking New York-style pizzas in a wood-burning oven for a reasonable price. The neighborhood eatery has a bocce ball court, is BYOB and offers plenty of patio space for you and your dog. The menu also includes tasty calzones, cheesesteak sandwiches and daily specials like tortellini in lamb sauce, but it's really all about the pizza here (even if -- like me -- you have to get your slice with a side of Luigi's irresistible jumbo buffalo wings). Be sure to save room for dessert, too; the gelato is as much of a draw as the pies.
10. Bombay Pizza Co.
Photo by Troy Fields Saag paneer pizza at Bombay.
What could be more Houston than an amalgamation of Italian, American and Indian concepts into one fantastic dish? At Bombay Pizza, located on the ground floor of the Commerce Towers downtown, owner Viral Patel has combined his Indian background with an affinity for making great pies, and the result is dazzling. The Saag Paneer is exactly what it sounds like: a pizza topped with spicy greens and paneer (Indian cheese) along with goat cheese and mozzarella on a delicately crispy crust. Think of a spinach pizza, but with a South Asian twist. And don't fret about missing breadsticks with your order. Bombay Pizza has something even better: a Kati Roll, fresh naan filled with cilantro-mint chutney and a choice of fillings.
Frank's features superb hand-tossed pizzas, each topped with a homemade sauce. Traditional toppings are a cut above those of the chains, but no pizzeria comes close to Frank's specialties such as pesto spinach or chicken fiesta. For those not pining for pies (there's always one sourpuss in the group), Frank's packs a punch with Philly cheese steaks, Reubens, burgers and buffalo wings -- and it's one of the few places to reliably deliver to downtown residents after hours.