Houston has never been known as a haven for pizza lovers. However, in the past few years, the cheesy, doughy landscape has begun to take shape. Neapolitan-style, traditional and creative pies are popping up faster than the pizza oven cooks pies at Pizaro's - which is around 90 seconds to be exact. What's it all mean? There are some hot pizzas being taken out of the oven, and here's where you can find them.
There are a few "rules" about eating pizza at Pizaro's, but all of them are designed to give you the best possible experience. First, there's no delivery; second, there's no call-ahead ordering for take-out. If you want one of their Neapolitan-style pies, you'll have to stand in line like everyone else, even if you're taking the pie off-premise. With an oven imported from Naples and housemade dough and mozzarella, there are no rules we wouldn't follow to get a slice. As of 2014, there will be another location of this authentic Italian pizzeria, slated to open in Montrose.
14028 Memorial Dr.; 281-589-7277
Neapolitan-style pizzas are the specialty at this enoteca that's been around since before Neapolitan-style pizza was the trend. The menu and format lend itself to a laid-back evening of nibbling butternut squash pizzas, sipping wine and enjoying any number of salads or sides, though during peak hours, the cozy house can get a little noisy.
500 Westheimer Rd.; 713-520-8222
New kid on The Galleria block, Osteria Mazzantini's pizza is a hot commodity. Good things have been said about the Funghi pizza, topped with wild mushrooms, fontina, taleggio, sweet onions and herbs, though the Polpette with lamb sausage meatballs, garlic, ricotta and mint also looks appealing.
2200 Post Oak Blvd.; 713-993-9898
The Provisions side of The Pass & Provisions is the more casual, sit-down-and-relax-over-some-wine-and-a-pizza side of the upscale dual-concept restaurant. Said pizzas change seasonally, but the burrata/burst tomato version is (hopefully) sticking around permanently. Recent toppings include a pie with duck confit, potato, mustard and pickled currants. Interest piqued.
807 Taft St.; 713-628-9020
Yet another in the Neapolitan-style pizza category is Pizzeria Solario. Pies are cooked in a blazing 800-degree wood-burning oven to achieve just the right amount of char on the crust, and cook in a mere 90 seconds. Pizzas are 6 in. in diameter, so it's possible (and recommended) to try more than one.
3333 Weslayan; 713-892-8100
It's new, it's hot, and it serves spectacular pizza. The sister restaurant to Coppa Ristorante is already proving to be a hit with its laid-back offerings of rustic pastas and oven-fired pizzas. There are 10 variations on the menu, one of which includes air-dried pork shoulder, quail eggs, tomato and Parmesan.
5210 Morningside; 713-522-3535
Pi Pizza Truck
How much do people love Pi Pizza Truck? Enough to get a tattoo with Pi Pizza Truck-branded art during a promotion the truck did to celebrate their one-year anniversary. The mobile eatery rouses devotion with slices from pies like The Noches Borracho, with fire-roasted tomatoes, mescal compote, Mexican Coke- and lime-marinated tri-tip and onion, cilantro and lime salsa fresca.
Various locations; 713-478-0374
Bombay Pizza Co.
The cracker-thin crusts on the pies at Bombay Pizza Co. are barely sturdy enough to hold up all the delicious Indian-accented toppings. Favorites include the Saag Paneer pizza with Indian-style stewed greens and paneer cheese, or the Gateway to India with its tandoori chicken, crab meat, artichoke hearts and cilantro-mint chutney. Go during happy hour and get a discount on any pie.
On the off-chance you find yourself simultaneously craving pizza and waffles, there is now a place for that. While it seems like an otherworldly combination of items, it might help to know the parent company also runs Guru Burgers & Crepes and Japaneiro, a South American-Japanese hybrid restaurant. It's all in good fun, but having some intergalactically good pizza - the namesake pie's got prosciutto, dates, mozzarella, fontina, arugula and a balsamic reduction - is what landed them on this list.
16135 City Walk, Sugar Land; 281-313-1008