The Eight Best Pizza Shops in Dallas

Categories: Best Of Dallas

Cane Rosso Marg.jpg
While burgers continue to take over the world (with or without Pat Snuffer), pizza continues to exhibit a much more restrained growth. Maybe a handful of pizzerias have opened in the last year, but a few of them are good enough to slide into our Best Pizza list, with NY-style and Neapolitan duking it out for Dallas pizza supremacy.

Cane Rosso (pictured above)
Cane Rosso is still on our list, of course. We named them the city's Best Pizza in our last Best of Dallas issue, for the third year in a row. I'm starting to wonder how long it will be before a young entrepreneurial pizzaiolo dethrones the great Jay Jerrier. For now, he's quite safe. But there are a number of other pizzerias that deserve some attention too.

*****

zoli-slice.jpg
Grandma slice at Zoli's
Zoli's NY Pizza Tavern
It doesn't get much better than this. A local pizza guru eschews this bread and butter Neapolitan pies to offer New York-style pizza by the slice instead? There's more than floppy slices you have to fold in half to eat though, like the Grandma, slice which is thick and the Sicilian slice, which is even thicker. Don't forget some garlic knots to complete your carbo-overload.

*****

Olivela's pizza Kerens.jpg
Sara Kerens
Olivella's
Olivella's makes a great pizzas across multiple locations in the Dallas area. USA Today named the pizza one of the nation's greatest and I'm not one to disagree. It's not Neapolitan and they clearly say so -- but the soft and blistered crust makes for a damn fine pie.

*****

Thumbnail image for firesidepizza1.jpg
Fireside Pies
Even without one of Dallas' coziest patios, the original outpost of this chain would be the go-to pizzeria for folks who live within craving distance of Knox-Henderson. The wood-fired pizzas have a crust almost soft enough for Naples and a crispy, blistered cornicione (the edge crust). Grab one with Jimmy's sausage for a pizza with some local flair, and be sure to wash it down with a craft beer from the bar.

*****

Grimaldi's Pizza.JPG

Grimaldi's
So maybe the Grimaldi's in Uptown's West Village has a fraction of the charm of the Brooklyn location. The original has so much personality a fraction is more than enough. Grab a seat at one of the red-checked tables and order a carafe of house red and make a night out of it with a massive New York-style pizza. The crust is thin, perfect for that tell-tale half fold, and as crisp as a potato chip.


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68 comments
leebirnbaum
leebirnbaum

I read the article, and most of the reader reviews.

Having tried almost every place mentioned in both article and all user reviews, I have to admit that the article is pretty close to being on target, as are the reader reviews.  

I don't entirely agree with everythign I read, but a large part of the issue is that we're combining all pizza styles into the simple category of "best Pizza".

FOr example, the person that says, "none of these places hold a candle to Louies" - well, I really dont' think you can compare Louis to say, Cane Rosso or Cavelli because the style is soooo different.


I usually categorize pizza into NY style, Chicago style, Italy (D.O.C.) Neapolitan style, Coal oven hybrid style and St. Louis style.

There are other styles (like California, or Dallas/outher hybrids/creations), but I willn't go into them...


Anyway, without spelling out a long list of who I like, and again, I'm happy to see the places already mentioned are mostly what I consider qualified places to mention, I'll just throw out a few not already mentioned.


Probably my #1 choice for NY pizza in DFW is Maranaras in Plano (75 and Park).  I actually rate this sortof dive over all other NY style places (including Zolis - the only NY style place mentioned int he article).


But before I discuss, I want to say a few words about what it takes to create good NY style pizza.

Cheese - the problem in Texas is they seldom use good, whole milk, oily (yes, when it comes to pizza, fat content of cheese is almost everything quality wise).

Lower fat mozzeralla is much cheaper than the mentioned.

Grande brand cheese is kindof a standard, but very few places choose to pay the nearly $3/lb for it, because in Taxes, there's little good pizza competition, and most eaters don't understand the difference.

Same with sauce and dough.


So great NY style pizza means a) the right ingredients, b) the right equipment (e.g. a deck oven, not say a conveyor belt oven), and c) the know how to prepre and cook it (balancing the ingredients and such).


At Marinara's, owner, Sal, from Brooklyn is the real deal.

He knows exactly how to make good pizza crust, and is generous with a great quality cheese.


He makes excellent NY round, Sicilian and grandmas, as well as some of the best garlic knots (even better than the average NY knot), and makes his own italian ices.


One thing that I've found in Dallas, in spite of all the new attention to good pizza, is that the sauces are still more pungent/sour, and not as tomatoey as found in NY.

Why?  I'm told it has something to do with difficulty in getting the right ingredients here...  ?

The Neopolitan style D.O.C. places, using san morenzo tomatos seem to do a better job, but not NY places.


Maranaras falls under this same curse, but not to the extent of the others.

His sauce, while not as "tomatoey" as many places in NY, it's still good, and better than the others here in Texas, making it overall pretty darn good.


Another place, not mentioned yet, I'm going to give 2nd place to is Ferrari's in pizza in Plano.  Same sauce issue, but he makes a great NY round pie (though often skimpy on cheese, easily correctable by requesting extra cheese).


As for Italy Neopolitan style, I'm going to add a relatively new place - Fire Crust.

This is the same style, and quality level as places like Cavalli and Cane Rosso, but is a bit cheaper especially if you look for their groupon.

Ironically, it is a Canadian chain, now with 2 DFW locations - Dallas and Plano.

But the price, speed, and clean easygoing environment,a nd their willingness to please and make the pizza the way you like it makes it my current go-to place for this style.


Regarding Chicago style - I totally agree with what most people say - that there is no outstanding places here.  All the ones mentioned (Rosattis, Chicago Street, Chicago's Finest, etc...) are all between OK to boarderline good, but not great.


There WAS one place that was truely great (Pizza by Alex in Garland), sadly, now closed down.

Their website is still up, and says they plan to relocate, but it's been a year or so now, and they haven't.  :(


This place spoiled me, and made me not care to eat chicago pizza here anymore because I got too accustomed to the good life, now gone...

They truely had a buttery layered crust, thick thick fresh mozzarella (1/2-3/4" thick) and perfect home made sauce.

It was the real deal, not just coming close, but there.

Sad, gone.  :(  :(  :(

Hope and pray they really do reopen.


iardito
iardito

You guys totally forgot about Cosmo's Bar & Lounge. They have amazing pizza! 

A-pie
A-pie

It is delightful that DFW has come such a very very long way in the food world since I moved here in '84. I'm particularly jazzed about the wonderful pizza options. I've had most of the selections on the list, and they are indeed all deserving contenders. But there is one which has been overlooked time and again. It is off the beaten path a bit, but 15 minutes to the east of Dallas, right off of I30, in beautiful downtown Rockwall, you will find the pie house of pie houses. Now granted, pies are not all that is served, but may it be noted that the ENTIRE MENU is cooked in one of their 2 Renato Wood fired Pizza ovens (Which, BTW are made right here in Garland, TX). Yes the entire mennu is cooked in a straight wood (no gas assist) oven. No saute, no gas oven, not even an induction burner. The name of this GEM in Rockwall is ZANATA's.


Try it. You will love it.

A-Pie

jamoentertainment
jamoentertainment

New York Pizza & and Pasta in Valley Ranch is better than all. Even the mood is so New York Italian.. Best kept secret .. 

the_dude47
the_dude47

i always found it hard to get a decent slice & a beer- most indy's can't afford a beer license or something and i will not go to "the chains". Serious pizza on elm is hands down the best place to get a NY style slice & a beer, for like $8! these other smarm fests get $15 for whatever it is plus $8 for a beer/wine.....spare me. any place else sell beer & a slice for something reasonable in this town? i'm all ears, and not afraid to ride! 

B1ng
B1ng

Carmine's on Spring Valley.

xmantx
xmantx

why does DO regurgitate the same lists over and over? in a few days it will be burgers again and again. so funny reading comments.... This is better, no this is better!!! It's all personal taste people, get over yourselves. But seriously, Louie's is hard to beat :)

xmantx
xmantx

why do you regurgitate the same lists over and over? in a few days it will be burgers again and again

JustSaying
JustSaying

Marinara Pizza in Plano is the best NY pizza in the metroplex. It seriously changed my life.

kfries1
kfries1

There are two spots that make real pizza that (almost) nobody ever talks about. Carmine's on Spring Valley and Montfort and Brothers Pizza & Pasta on 35 & Sandy Lake/Whitlock. .
I grew up about a mile away from the best Pizza places in Philly and these two are as close as you'll get.
Gack, I see "D"ouche Magazine found out about Carmines. There goes the neighborhood. Oh well, Brothers is still great.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@kfries1 Is the Carmine's on Spring Valley owned by the same peops as the one in downtown?

kfries1
kfries1

@ScottsMerkin @kfries1 If you go on the Carmine's web site which is for the SV and Montfort location, they clearly state they only are affiliated with that location. Some people have complained about the one on Campbell Road on various food sites but they are denying any association with them. I suppose that applies to the downtown one. 

http://carminespizza.net/

I lucked out when I moved here in 1997 as they were around the corner from me and are still the best in the area as far as my taste buds are concerned. I later moved just north of the Cowflops HQ in Coppell and found Brothers when I wanted BBQ from what used to be a Soulmans BBQ next door. 
At the time, Pastazio's in Addison was touted but I couldn't see the comparison. 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@kfries1 ah, well the Carmine's in downtown has the best stromboli Ive had.  

kfries1
kfries1

@ScottsMerkin @kfries1 Not all that familiar with downtown, no reason to go there. As far south as I ever get is the Granada or Lakewood unless I want PA Dutch Goodies at the Heritage Bakery in Kemp. If you go out that way, order a shoofly pie in advance. If you never had one, you're in for a treat. (Think "molasses pie" and you're close.)
http://www.yelp.com/biz/heritage-market-and-bakery-kemp
It's soul food for this Philly boy. Lots of other killer stuff too.

Grouch
Grouch

Personally, I hate the neo pizza trend. Thin crust doesn't have to be floppy. Check out Chicago's Finest in Plano. Best thin crust in the metroplex.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@Grouch IS that an oxymoron, how is that possible, Chicago and thin crust in the same sentence?

shadeano214
shadeano214

Excuse me, but Serious Pizza should definitely be on this list!!

MattL11
MattL11

We need two categories of the "best pizza": the pies that are best when you're (relatively) sober (i.e. Cane Rosso) and the pies that are best when you're drunk (I think of Elbow Room and BST, but there are others). 

crb819
crb819

@MattL11 i think Elbow blows BST's outta the water but thats just me...damn i need some pizza now!


J_A_
J_A_

I love Cane Rosso & Zolis. Grimaldi's comes in 3rd. Coal Vines was underwhelming and still need to try Cavalli. I'm just thankful we have some great pizza options.

crb819
crb819

@J_A_ Cavallis is greatness! on par with Cane Rosso for sure!

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

To the idiot on the FB page who said Campisi's belongs on the list, please branch out and try something new.  

JustSaying
JustSaying

@ScottsMerkin  Yeah, but the same thing could be said for city of ate. I knew which pizza places where going to be on this list before I even opened it.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@JustSaying This is true, they have been falating the same shops for over a year now, but damn they are good.  Let's try a top 5 local pizza joints you may not have heard of and are missing out on

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

You are the bestest. Thank you!

indysigner
indysigner

Italia Express on Continental Ave at Riverfront. Cheap and awesome.

zappas.stache
zappas.stache

None of those listed can hold a candle to Louie's. Cane Rosso especially is about as bland as Frisco. Which maybe is why so many people around here like it. Eno's used to be decent but the last 2 times there has been like eating cardboard with a cheese stick melted on it. Bryan Street Tavern has really good pizza but it is too greasy for some people.

pizzocharles
pizzocharles

Wow, a white pie with sage? Thanks for running that photo of Dough Pizzeria Napoletana. I will definitely go check that out! 

JoeyBeeObservin
JoeyBeeObservin

I'm gonna throw this out there, feel free to throw it right back at me... Bryan Street Tavern??

jrhinkson
jrhinkson

Absolutely the best pizza in Dallas @bryanstreettav

crb819
crb819

Where's Elbow Room? The sicilian is damn good boozy bar food!

notallofeastdallasislakewood
notallofeastdallasislakewood

If Olivella's is one of the best pizza shops in Dallas, then pizza in Dallas has a long way to go.  Eno's thin crisp cracker crust is very good, and a nice change of pace.  The Pizza Lounge has some interesting toppings and used to be good, but we stopped going due to quality and consistency issues.

crb819
crb819

Agree about olivellas. It's pretty terrible.

mm32
mm32

@crb819 I have never seen what the fuss about Olivella's was all about.

crb819
crb819

i tried to like it, so i went twice. both times it was a waste

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