Best Pizza in Dallas

There are few foods in the world that transcend age, location, and class as pizza seems to do. No matter what country I've been in, after about or week or so I start craving a pizza, and I've easily been able to find a local pizza place without fail. They're all incredibly different and each has their own distinct personality. This got me thinking about how most everyone loves a good pizza, and had me yearning to discover all the great pizza in the culinary melting pot that is Dallas.

With literally hundreds of pizza restaurants in Dallas to choose from, chances are you'll never have a chance to try them all. Which is why I've pared down the list to an elite Top Five of Dallas Pizza.

You're probably asking yourself, "What does this girl know about good pizza', right? Well, it's a good thing you asked, because, as one of the pickiest-eating children ever created, pizza is one of the only foods I liked as a child.  When other kids carried sandwiches in their lunch-boxes, or, heaven forbid, ate in the school cafeteria, I carried pepperoni, cheese, and crackers, and made mini pizzas of my own.  And so began my longest relationship ever: my love for pizza.

The most basic ingredients in a pizza (crust and sauce) are the first things I used to compile this list.  I sampled, among other different selections, a basic margherita pizza at each of these places to most fairly compare and contrast the good and the best.

That being said, there are vast differences between different kinds of pizzas. You're probably familiar with NY style versus Chicago style, but in Dallas there are also a few Napoletana style joints with a dog in this fight.  In case you aren't familiar, Pizza Napoletana (or Neapolitan) is typically made with San Marzano tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. In order to meet the standards of the Associazone Vera Pizza Napoletana, the dough must consist of wheat flour, natural Neapolitan yeast or brewer's yeast, salt, and water. It must then be kneaded by hand or by low-speed mixer.  Then it is hand formed and baked for 60-90 seconds at 905 degrees Fahrenheit in a stone oven with an oak-wood fire.  Who knew a pizza could have so many rules, right?

Enough chit-chat, let's get on with the countdown.

Fireside Pies (Photo by Zachary Harris)

5. Fireside Pies:  I'm not even going to lie to you. The first time I ate at Fireside, I ate so much I got sick. But that was my own fault, as self-control is not something I excel at, especially when impeccable food is involved.  The only thing to blame Fireside for was making that pizza so darned lovable.  One of my favorite pizzas I've eaten is their Hatch chile pepper pie, which only comes around once a year during Hatch chile season. However, every single other item I've eaten at Fireside, I have found to be flavorful and addictive. The Triple Roni, which I'll admit might be heavy on the grease-age, is topped with truffle oil and seems to be quite popular. From the plethora of toppings to the crackling warm crust, I knew from first bite that Fireside would be on my Dallas Top 5 right away.

4. Dough: When asked their best pizza, I was recommended their Margherita and the Preston Hollow.

Tangy tomato sauce, fresh, melt-in-my-mouth mozzarella, and fresh

Margherita Pizza at Dough Pizzeria

basil melted harmoniously atop the fresh Neapolitan crust. The fresh ingredients in Neapolitan pizza make me not feel quite as guilty about eating that whole thing in one sitting. The Preston Hollow pizza is topped with crumbled sausage, pepper, and caramelized onions. Talk about strong flavors, this one threw my breath for a loop, but maybe if I had a toothbrush with me it would have been better. ;)

Also, I probably should mention that the San Antonio location was featured on one of my favorite shows, Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, and it seems, they know they're good and are dang proud of it.  Don't get me wrong, the pizza is stellar, the dough perfectly crisp, the sauce sparklingly filled with flavor- a worthy recipient of in the Top 5 pizzas in Dallas.

Regular pie slice from Coal Vines

3. Coal Vines: This one is a tad bit tough for me to explain. The individual parts of the whole pizza didn't wow me, but the combination of them all creates a stellar pizza.  Sauce is used sparingly, thankfully, because it was a bit too tomato-ey for my palate. The crust, though amazing when piping hot and fresh, lost its allure after the first couple of slices.  But somehow, the sauce, the crust, and the hearty toppings come crashing together for a to-die-for collision of tastiness. Always a huge fan of spices, I love that they topped their regular pie (seen here, reheated) with oregano. There are very few foods I will eat reheated, but pizza is the best, and I'll say hands down that Coal Vines pizza tastes the best reheated, even though the crust loses its allure. Coal Vines cooks their pizza in a coal fired oven at about 700 degrees. I like this style less than the Neapolitan ones cooked at a higher temp, it feels that it burns in more flavor in the other type ovens as well. While they claim NY style pizza, it seems the crust is a little crunchy and the pizza not greasy enough to be called that.  Another menu highlight at Coal Vines is their White Pizza - with mozzarella, ricotta, parmesan, and oregano. This pizza is on a level all its own. If you're not in the mood for normal pizza, definitely give their White Pizza a try.

Grimaldi's pizza; Credit: star5112,

2. Grimaldi's: Is it NY style? I'm really not sure, it feels sort of New York-y but has traits of a mixture of styles. So I don't know what to call it, besides fabulous. Think thin, floppy crust, and more toppings than you can count on all your fingers and toes.  While you may have to wait a while for your pie, it will be hot, bubbly, and fresh from the oven, and just begging you to sink those pearly whites into it.  The red sauce is slightly spicy, which is so much more exciting than all those ketchup flavored ones around town. The only negative thing I have to mention is that their prices are pretty stinkin' high.  I've ordered the same exact pizza at Coal Vines, Cane Rosso, and others for about 8 dollars cheaper, so I'm not sure how they get away with it, but I'll say sometimes it's worth the splurge for a date night.

1. Okay guys, I just couldn't do it. There are more than 5 staggering pizzas in Dallas. Therefore my quest for top pizzas ends with 2 places in the number one spot. That's right, a tie. These two places both knocked my socks off and rightfully shall share the privilege of being declared the best pizza in Dallas.

So, in no particular order:

Delia Pizza at Cane Rosso

Cane Rosso: I was skeptical after I heard all the hype, after all, I'm the girl who refuses to watch Star Wars, Harry Potter, Twilight, or anything else that is overly hyped.  But I folded on this one, for the sake of you readers. And man, was it ever worth it. Of course I had to try their "Delia" pizza (what a rockin' name, btw), topped with fresh mozzarella, roasted grape tomatoes, arugula, and spicy bacon marmalade.  It lived up to it's name. What a spectacular fireworks show of contrasting flavors! Their crust has a perfect consistency, their toppings taste like they came from the farm in the back yard, and the sauces are perfect complements to them all.  This hype is well-deserved. Cane Rosso's Neapolitan pizza is sure to continue satisfying Dallas residents' tummies for years to come. I might just hafta watch Star Wars now, the hubby will be thrilled!

Truffle pizza at Olivella's

Olivella's: I didn't happen upon this little gem until near the end of my research, and I am so incredibly happy I found it.  I would've hate to have missed Dallas co-titleholder for best pizza.  Let me start by raving about their Truffle pizza, seen to the right. This was the most intense, perfect pairing of ingredients I've seen in ages. Truffle oil, mozzarella, mushrooms, and sundried tomatoes created a  heavenly experience some people only dream about.  The place is small, tucked away near SMU. But the pizzas are larger than life.  You can watch them prepare it as you prepare your taste buds for a euphoric occasion.

Well, friends, there you have it. Delia's rundown on the best pizza in Dallas. Feel free to comment and let me know your thoughts and/or any places I might have skipped.  Peace, love, and mozzarella.

22 Responses to “Best Pizza in Dallas”

  1. Delia Jo,

    You MUST try Louie's on Henderson and Eno's in Oak Cliff, hands down, the 2 best pizzas I have ever had, even when in Italy.

    1. Gabe,
      Thanks for these tips. I tried Louie's once a couple of years ago and the pizza was almost too thin for me. Maybe I hit them on a bad night, I recall it was pretty busy that night and the waitstaff was almost oblivious to my existence! I still need to try Eno's, though. What kind should I try there? :)
      Delia Jo

    2. Gabe,
      I liked Louie's but didn't love it, maybe because it was a busy weekend night I didn't get the prime experience. Still need to try Eno's, thanks for the tip!

  2. I have had all of these except for Olivella's. I have to agree with your assessment.

    1. Thanks Neil! :) And i finally got the comment thing to recognize me! :) woooo

  3. Louie's and Eno's are great. I'd also recommend Piggie Pie's off of Greenville if you're looking for a more informal dining experience (or takeout).

    1. Mike - I'm not sure what Delia Jo thinks, but I actually love Eno's for the atmosphere. The pizza IMO, really isn't something to write home about. Their truffle cheese bread gives me nice dreams though.

    2. Still gotta try Piggie Pie's and Eno's! Louie's I thought was good but not list-worthy at this time. :p

  4. First off, as someone who lived in NYC and spent a fair amount of time in Italy (Rome, Amalfi, Naples, etc.) I'm pretty biased towards a certain style of pizza, namely the kind with a thin, crunchy-but-chewy crust. If I had to sum it up, I'd say I favor pizza that veers towards the Napoletana style or the NYC style (which share some similarities and are more common than not when compared to other styles like Connecticut, Chicago, St. Louis, or Detroit style pizzas).

    What's crazy to me is how many places in Dallas advertise themselves as Napoletana or NYC style (places like Cane Rosso, Grimaldis, etc.), yet, when you go, what you get is not something crunchy-but-chewy, but a sloppy sopping soggy mess of near-liquid dough in the center. So many pizza places are not only so soggy that you're required to use utensils just to eat it, but you almost need a spoon, not just a knife and fork. It'd be like if you went to a frozen yogurt joint and they served you a cup of Yoplait.

    So my question is why do Dallasites not only accept this, but lavish praise upon the places that do it?!

    It makes zero sense to me. Off the top of my head, within just a few blocks from each other in Austin I can think of two places (Homeslice and Southside Pizza) that both beat the pants off anything here simply by realizing that pizza should not have a soupy mixture of dough and sauce in the center. If places can figure this out just a few hours away, why can't they here in Dallas?

    It really boggles my mind.

    And you know what? I don't think you got sick from Fireside Pies just because you ate too much. My girlfriend got sick from Cane Rosso. I think it's just one of the possible side-effects of eating an uncooked-sauce-dough soup that passes for pizza in this town.

    1. Hahaha your funny...Well if you are looking for great pizza my mother was inlove with a place called Big Joes pizza in Euless, TX. She is also from NY, Jamaica Queens to be exact. I love the place and Im sure you will also.

    2. Bada bing, bada boom!

    3. I totally agree with you.. Ive been to Cane Rosso and for all the hype I was not impressed. Grimaldi's too. Not impressed and WAY over priced. I studied pastries and wine in Florence, Italy for 6months and I've had my share of STELLAR pizzas. Its not Napoli, but they had some DARN good PIZZA and there are only a few places that get remotely close here in the DFW area.. I havent been to Euless, so I cant vouch for that place, but so far my 3 faves are Sfuzzi's on McKenny Ave in Uptown, Valentino's Ristorante Italiano in Rowlett, TX on Lakeview Parkway and Olive Oil's Pizzeria in Garland TX off I30. Hands down great pizza places.

    4. Since writing this post, I've tried Olivella's and Eno's. Both were pretty decent. I also got a small pizza from the Cane Rosso truck one day and it wasn't so bad. If I were to do it over again, I'd probably reduce the level of vitriol in my comment above. I still find Dallas pizza to be subpar and I still don't like Grimaldi's, Cane Rosso (the restaurant proper), Fireside Pies, or other places that seem to be popular. But, I will say that there are a couple places that aren't half bad. I'd probably say Olivella's is the best thus far from what I've tried.

    5. I'm from NY as well, and live for pizza.
      I've been in Dallas for many years now, wait and waiting for the area to catch up with, at least the standard most big city's have adopted, and finally, in recent years, there's signs of hope.

      That said, agreed on the many styles of pizza, though myself, I actually like a few of them IF THEY'RE GOOD, mainly NY (ofcourse), Italy (D.O.C.), and Chicago thick crust.

      It's funny you mention Grimaldis, because they (the original one under the Brooklyn bridge) used to be one of my favorites anywhere. When Patsy Grimaldi ran with the ball and started opening them all over the country, naturally, quality slipped. Compared to the Brooklyn location, while the ingredients matched, the cooking here lacks inspiration, and the pizza ends up dryer and cardboard like, and often, crust inconsistent and too think. But the funny thing is about Grimaldis is that the original one, not that long ago, closed down, and then soon reopened in a new location, still in Brooklyn and still on Fulton st, just a few doors away from the original location. THe lines are just as long as before, except the big difference is that if you talk to people on line, you'll learn that it's all visitors from out of town. THe natives that loved Grimaldis are all gone, and it's not surprising because my last visit to there revealed that it was just as "sloppy" as tasted just like the satellite locations, such as the ones here. ...sad day.
      If fact, I would actually rate it lower than Lombardis in NYC (which I always hated even though they claim to be the "oldest pizzeria in America).

      Anyway, back to Dallas.
      You also mentioned Cane Rosso. I wouldn't exactly lump Grimaldia and Cane Rosso together style wise because Cane attempts to be authentic Italy DOC style pizza (as is Cavalli's which you should try if you haven't done so yet), where as Grimaldis has the attitude that they're their own pizza, and why in the would you want anything different. LOL

      Besides Cavalli, I also encourage you to try Dough Pizzeria Napoletana (Preston and Forest).
      Again, not quite up to par with the best, but I think the best Dallas has to offer in this style.

      FOr true NY style (true by Dallas standards of course...), the best place I've found (closest to true NY) is Luigis in Frisco, and Siciallianos in Garland as a runner up (great when the hit the spot, so-so when they mess up), where as luigis is consistant.
      Many many other places, all over rated, like Salli's in Garland, Paztazzios, Napolis (several locations), Lover's pizza, Sals, the list goes on and on.
      I'll give honorable mention however to Eddie's in Plano.
      THey have a brick oven and use good quality ingredients (like whole milk stringy mozzeralla and home made sauce, etc.). They, like many of the "better" places in DFW are Albanian (not Italian), but the way I look at that is that Albania is a hell of a lot closer to Italy than Texas. LOL

      Moving on to Chicago style - not my favorite, but when done right, is still good.
      Done right = use of high quality gooey fresh mozzarella (and LOTS of it), home made really chunky sauce, and a layered (almost pastry-like) crust, crunchy on the outside, chewy inside, and not that thick (the thickness in Chicago style is supposed to be from the massive amounts of cheese, and chucky thick sauce on top).

      There are a number of places here now offering this style, but the only one I feel is authentic is a place called Pizza by Alex in Garland.
      THe family came from Chicago and own a relatively famous and successful joint there.
      WHen the portion of the family came here, they really wanted the same type of 900F wood burning oven they use there, but didn't pull that off, so it's lacks a bit behind their Chicago location, but in my opinion, blows the doors off any other Chicago style here.

      I can go on and on, but being a bit of an old thread I'm posting on, I might as wekk stop here.

      BTW - I'll throw a monkey wrench in the pizza concept before closing:
      My all time favorite pizza that I've tried ANYWHERE is actually, of all places, in Washington DC (which is actually arguably the Italy DOC sytle hub of the nation). It's called "2 Amy's". If you're ever in town, I strongly urge you to check it out.


  5. Can someone please fix the its vs. it's?

    1. Done. Thanks for visiting the site Ron Paul (your email). I look forward to your next debate. : )

  6. [...] Dallas just came across a post from I Live In Dallas, where author Delia Jo ranks her Top 5 pizzerias in Dallas. Judging by her [...]

  7. I love the article. Good insight. Just kind of wondering why Cavalli in Irving wasn't included. I feel they should be at the top somewhere. They were the original neapolitan pizza restaurant in Dallas I thought. I've been eating there way before some others you listed. Just being inquisitive I guess. Can't wait for the next post though. Late.

  8. I actually like pizza by marco. I never been to fireside because they are always full with a huge line so I know they are good. just havent enjoyed it. :)

  9. We need some Detroit-style pizza places here.. you know of any good ones?

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