The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Pizza

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Photo by Troy Fields
Luigi's pizza is best served with a side of chicken wings.
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.

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.

See Also:
- 10 Most Useless Kitchen Gadgets
- 10 Deceptively Easy Dishes
- 5 Delicious Foods with Disgusting Ingredients

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Photo by Troy Fields
Saag paneer pizza at Bombay.
10. Bombay Pizza Co.

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.

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Photo by Kevin Rigdon
9. Frank's

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.

Location Info

Pizaro's Pizza Napoletana

14028 Memorial Drive, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Luigi's Pizzeria

3700 Almeda, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Bombay Pizza Co.

914 Main St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Frank's Pizza

417 Travis, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Coppa Ristorante Italiano - CLOSED

5555 Washington, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Pi Pizza Truck

, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

J. Black's Feel Good Lounge

110 S. Heights Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Music

Arturo Boada Cuisine

6510 Del Monte Dr., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Dolce Vita Pizzeria & Enoteca

500 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Piola

3201 Louisiana St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

The Pass

807 Taft St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
36 comments
nbarengo
nbarengo

Guys, if you like wood fired pizza you need to try oliva wood fired pizza, www.olivapizza.com. Best pizza in town!


ryan02732
ryan02732

I'm actually good friends with the owners of Frank's. A shame that Bambolino's didn't make the list since they have some good pizza too.

salynch
salynch

@starpizzahou @EatingOurWords The fact that you guys aren't there is a sign of how fantastic pizza has become in Houston in the last year.

Janie
Janie

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.

J. Black's....GREAT EXAMPLE to support your thesis. 

 

tom.chretien
tom.chretien

Where is Original Napoli Pizza by Papa Zack? 20 years in Houston and a local tradition!

KevinRomeis
KevinRomeis

@starpizzahou the Ben was great tonight as usual

aggiehns
aggiehns

@starpizzahou for shame. I think your fab.

BrianCarothers
BrianCarothers

@starpizzahou haven't had some of those places, but when I read it earlier, my jaw hit the floor.

Janie
Janie

Typical Houston Press....

Serena Godwin
Serena Godwin

Olives Anchovies Ham feta cheese Yummmmmmy....

mag1124
mag1124

My new go to place in Brothers on N. Shepherd.  Really good pizza for whats in my area

jimbo1126
jimbo1126

I tried the pizza at Pizaro's recently and really, really liked it. Definitely Top 3 in the city. But last week I had one at Provisions and it was mind-blowing, game-changing. My new personal number one.

Jessie Groetsch
Jessie Groetsch

How about the new Mellow Mushroom that just opened in Spring?!! Yes!!

Shanna Jones
Shanna Jones

Yeah, Pink's is always one of my faves and a notable mention for "That Pizza Place on Ella"; but this is a great list.

Kylejack
Kylejack topcommenter

Thanks for the honorable mention of Luigi's. I love to take a nice bottle of beer to that place and just hang out for a while with a pizza. Totally agree about Pizaro's at number 1. They truly are the gold standard in this town. I only wish we had a legitimate Chicago style deep dish in Houston.

 

I used to go to Frank's on a regular basis, but was very disappointed that they came out against relaxing food truck restrictions on trucks like Pi, so I've stopped going.

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard topcommenter

I told a friend about Pizarro's who thinks the pizza at Napoli's is the best, so he immediately stated we go there to try it.  We had the prosciutto & arugula along with the Calabrese.  The pizzas were woefully soggy and couldn't even hold the weight of the prosciutto, and while the taste was good on the Calabrese, the arugula pizza was damn near tasteless, which is odd because arugula and prosciutto are typically strong flavors.    I truly wanted to like this place, but it really was nothing special.  I'm not sure what y'all are seeing in this place.

Jobplotter
Jobplotter

@CSSully @HoustonPress I have my next three months booked due to the best of

gossamersixteen
gossamersixteen topcommenter

Chuckles; no pinks, nor star.. Great list overall, has me wanting to head downtown for a slice of the slumdog at bombay...

Jonathan Babin
Jonathan Babin

The fact that Romano's on West Gray didn't even make the list of the top ten is a travesty, especially considering it is the best in Houston.

the.gelt
the.gelt

EXTREMELY reassuring to hear that pizaro's is busy. whew. love that place. 

nguyenhm16
nguyenhm16

I would swap Frank's for Luigi's. I live near Luigi's and work near Frank's and eat at both regularly. Frank's is frankly (har har) mediocre mall pizza at best.

 

One thing about Luigi's though, I think they need to cook their pizzas longer and I always ask them to -- it turns out much much better.

captainobvious
captainobvious

 @FattyFatBastard

 look up napoletana! the pizzas are slightly wet in the middle and supposed to be limp.  Thats like saying your sushi was undercooked.  It is ITALIAN pizza not american.   

Jalapeno
Jalapeno

 @FattyFatBastard

 Thank you for this.  I feel the same way, you can't pick up a piece, it's too soggy.  Maybe an additional minute and a half in the oven would help.

Kylejack
Kylejack topcommenter

 @FattyFatBastard I'm trying to understand how someone could remove the taste of arugula from arugula. Please explain.

conebaby
conebaby topcommenter

 @nguyenhm16 100% agree--must request Luigi's pie crispy. Other commenters have given me the same recommendation.

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard topcommenter

 @Kylejack The same way an onion can be tasteless or a tomato can be mealy.  Different vendors can affect quality also.  Have you never been to a farmers market?  With vegetables, freshness is paramount. 

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