Well, we beg to differ. Bad pizza is bad. We’ve all had it by now, either by our own hands or someone else’s, and we’re solely talking about pies at this point, but bad pizza happens. Which makes good and great pizza a thing to celebrate.
Travel to Italy on a Budget...
Dough Pizzeria Napoletana: When Dough first burst onto the SA scene with its hotter-than-Hades, straight-from-Naples oven, its pizza with actual rules of composition, its hand-pulled mozzarella and creamy-hearted burrata, some of us predicted a lingering death at best. The location at Blanco and 410 was wrong; locals are more interested in extra cheese than extra-careful ingredient selection, we thought. But no.
Dough is still very much with us, it has expanded, and it has had a tangible influence on pizzerias to follow: SoBro opened espousing a semi-Neapolitan creed; Michael Sohocki’s Il Forno would have been less likely without Dough’s way-paving. Yes, we still go for stuffed crusts and other silliness, but we also have come to embrace the outrageously meaty Pork Love, the pristine aglio y olio, and the one pizza where truffle oil really seems to work: the arugula y prosciutto di San Daniele. There’s no better Italian wine list in town, either. Dough Love after all. 6989 Blanco Road, (210) 979-6565. — Ron Bechtol
If You Hate Pizza Bones...
Francis Bogside: As much as I love bread (insert Oprah’s Weight Watcher’s commercial here), I can also see the benefit of a nearly crustless pie. At Francis Bogside, the city’s very own pizza renegade Halston Connella, is wooing patrons into the pub with his topping-happy pizzas. As the mind behind Rebel Pizza, Connella’s pepperoni pie might be his tamest offering, especially when paired next to the French Onyx with black pepper sausage, olives, gruyere, mozzarella, razor-thin fennel and rosemary or the best-selling Hipster Pig with house-made bacon, smoked gouda, Brussels sprouts, green apple slices and a delicate drizzle of Sriracha honey.
Vegetarians aren’t relegated to cheese either (though that pizza is also clutch), with The Florist (pesto, mascarpone, fontina, kale, squash, broccoli, cherry tomatoes and olive oil) or the recent eggplant parmesan pizza dotted with buttermilk-soaked eggplant morsels that are golden fried, seasoned and topped with fresh-grated parmesan. 803 S. St. Mary’s St., (210) 988-3093. — Jessica Elizarraras
If You're Feeding a Crowd...
Big Lou’s Pizza: After 13 years in San Antonio, I finally gathered up a solid number of pals to try Big Lou’s 42-inch pizza on a recent weeknight. (Side note: The legendary 62-inch pie must be ordered at least two weeks in advance, so we chose the second-most outlandish option). Our wait was minimal given that it was a Wednesday, and we had a two other newbies in tow.
Some 20 minutes later, our magnificent pizza was delivered to our table. Is it a gimmick? Yes. Is it ridiculous and awe-inspiring? Yup. And it’s surprisingly good, pliable and cheesy, like all good things tend to be. It makes sense that there were three different birthday parties also in attendance while we tackled our slices. We left armed with at least a slice tucked safely away in traditional pizza boxes, and feeling just that much more San Antonian. 2408 S. W.W. White Road, (210) 337-0707. — JE
For When the Munchie's Strike...
Pizza Classics: Though any dedicated pizza shop will satiate a serious case of the munchies, Pizza Classics has some obvious choices when you need them most such as the mac n’ cheese pizza, the nacho pizza, and the meatball pizza. The nacho pizza, a true game changer, may be the most stonerific thing there and it’s technically a secret menu item you have to ask for. With a layer of refried beans in place of sauce, layer of melted cheese, chorizo, jalapenos and cilantro, it knocks out the craving for pizza and nachos at the same time. For a more traditional munchy remedy, the meatball pizza has a thick layer of melted cheese topped with meatball halves — a simple and delicious combination. Employees also added that the traditional pepperoni works out well when inebriated, as nothing is quite as perfect as the combo of a three layers of cheese sprinkled with pepperoni. 3440 N. St. Mary’s St., (210) 225-3355.
— Karah Carmack
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