TGIF has been replaced with TGIPN (thank goodness it’s pizza night).
I’m always so happy when Friday rolls around. It’s not because it’s the end of the week. Nope—I’m a small business owner and put in weekend work hours in between attending birthday parties and doing volunteer projects.
I love Friday because I’ve decided that I don’t cook dinner on Friday. At our house, Friday night is pizza night. It’s the night when there’s no meal prep, when we eat on paper plates so there’s no after-dinner clean-up, and when we get a little bit of respite from the rigors of the rest of the week.
So, when it comes to pizza, what’s our go-to?
We actually love trying out new spots all around town. While most Friday nights with a toddler and a baby mean getting carry out, we will occasionally all head out together to try a new spot, or my husband will go a little out of his way to grab something unique to broaden our pizza horizons.
Here are my top 10 favorite places to get pizza around San Antonio, along with my personal opinions on what makes them the best:
1. Julian’s (Three locations: West Avenue—13444 West Ave., Suite 300, San Antonio, TX 78216; (210) 496-3500 | Alamo Heights—6462 N. New Braunfels, San Antonio, TX 78209; (210) 595-3405 | Bulverde Road—coming soon!)
Julian’s Italian Pizzeria has a great menu of specialty pizzas and does a wonderful job with the basics too. The Alamo Heights location is our neighborhood pizza place so we are probably a little biased, but Tina’s Mediterranean is a popular choice and their pepperoni is hard to beat.
And—this may be cheating a little—can I also say that we love their lasagna?
Best for: carry out goodness, anything with a tomato sauce base
2. Dough Pizzeria Napoletana (Two locations: Blanco—6989 Blanco Rd., San Antonio, TX 78216; (210) 979-6565 | Downtown—518 S. Alamo St., San Antonio, TX 78205; (210) 227-2900)
The best thing about the newest Dough location (at Yanaguana Garden/Hemisfair)? Sitting on the patio, eating delicious pizza, and people watching. Dough’s Pork Love has gotten a lot of love from Food Network. It’s great and has plenty of gourmet toppings to add texture and interest. Also, you must try the burrata. It’s amazing.
Finally, Dough can be extremely family-friendly, especially on the patio. However, our family loves to take our pizza, along with paletas from Paleteria SA, and sit on the grassy field near Yanaguana to have an impromptu al fresco dinner.
Best for: lazy weekends with out-of-town guests
3. Barbaro (2720 McCullough Ave., San Antonio, TX 78212; (210) 320-2261)
Barbaro, in the Monte Vista area, is a pizza place for grownups, and I mean that in the best possible way.
The pizza is delicious and inventive—this restaurant literally made me WANT to order pizza topped with kale and honey. Even better, the drink menu is unique and thoughtful. With two young kids, I’m usually not a big drinker, but I wanted to order three or four options. Since my alcohol tolerance isn’t what it used to be, I had to settle for a Blanche Devereaux (yes, I partly ordered it for the Golden Girls reference) and am planning a return visit soon.
Best for: exotic toppings, craft cocktails, and date night
4. Big Lou’s Pizza (2048 S. WW White Rd., San Antonio, TX 78222; (210) 337-0707)
Can you even call yourself a San Antonian if you haven’t tried a 42-inch pizza from Big Lou’s Pizza at least once? And no, tourists and guests, that’s not a typo.
With pizza served in measurements that might typically be used to discuss big screen TVs and how tall you have to be to ride the Rattler, Big Lou’s has made it totally acceptable to apply those same great lengths to your food.
It seems like you should be able to say the toppings don’t matter, because it’s all about the experience. However, the toppings actually are very good. The barbecue pizza was a pleasant surprise, and the traditional options are all on tap here as well.
Oh, and for those of you who can’t quite manage a pizza that could turn your preschooler into a giant burrito, don’t worry. Big Lou’s also offers a variety of smaller sizes.
Best for: bucket list pizza
5. Freetail Brewing Co. (4035 N. Loop 1604 W., Suite 105, San Antonio, TX 78257; (210) 625-6000)
Freetail is making a name for itself as one of San Antonio’s favorite breweries. However, only the very lucky can say they knew it before it was famous, when Freetail was just churning out exceptionally good beer and pizza on the northwest side.
I have a soft spot for Freetail because it was a favorite hangout for my husband and me when we were young and childless. We spent quite a few hours there watching football and soccer and hanging with friends on the patio.
The barbecue pizza and the margherita are at the top of my list, but you really can’t go wrong with many of their menu choices, from pizza to sandwiches to mac ‘n’ cheese.
Best for: casual hangouts, good beer, sports watching
6. Mellow Mushroom (115 N. Loop 1604 E., Suite 2100, San Antonio, TX 78258; (210) 370-9219)
If your pizza has tons of healthy toppings, does that mean you can feel guilt-free about getting a second (or third) slice? Mellow Mushroom may be a chain, but it brings another unique option to the San Antonio pizza scene.
Mellow Mushroom offers plenty of vegetarian options, featuring mushrooms, of course, as a star player. And, the restaurant also offers gluten-free crusts as an option for those with food sensitivities.
Best for: vegetarian options, gluten-free options
7. Figlio’s (18816 FM 2252, San Antonio, TX 78266; (210) 967-6000)
The northeast side of San Antonio has recently added some build-your-own-pizza chains, including Mod Pizza and Urban Bricks. Figlio’s in Bracken, however, is a trusted mainstay of the northeast area, and pizza just happens to be one of the best options on their menu.
The restaurant is no frills and no nonsense, but it has a great outdoor patio. As far as pizza goes, you can’t go wrong with the basics, and the chicken pesto is a great option as well.
8. Fralo’s (23651 W. IH-10, San Antonio, TX 78257; (210) 698-6616)
As far as overall land area goes, San Antonio is HUGE. This city has so much to offer and is so spread out. However, San Antonians all over the map love their food, so it’s no surprise that just when you think you’ve driven as far as you can go, really good restaurant options still abound.
Fralo’s falls into that category. It’s on the far northwest side in Leon Springs, but it’s worth the drive. The outdoor space is great and often features live music. Oh, and did I mention the pizza? Lots of unique options here, but my personal favorite is the Grant’s Pear 2.0, which features pears, prosciutto, and arugula.
Best for: groups, friends’ night out
H-E-B never disappoints. Just when you thought your favorite grocery store couldn’t get any better, here they go, saving us all from eating frozen pizza or falling back on making PB&J sandwiches.
SoFlo’s pizzas are tasty and affordable, and sometimes come with a happy hour special. They don’t offer a wide range of toppings, but they’ve got the basics covered.
Despite its name, SoFlo isn’t only available at the South Flores H-E-B (Southtown area), but is actually offered at multiple H-E-B locations, both throughout San Antonio and across Texas.
Best for: saving you from the leftovers in your fridge
10. Little Italy (824 Afterglow, San Antonio, TX 78216; (210) 340-2060)
Little Italy is a little hidden away, and that’s how fans like it. Those who’ve tried the restaurant want to make sure they can score a table at the popular Italian spot.
Pizza isn’t all they offer; the restaurant has a full menu of Italian goodness. However, you can get a great pizza here. The Four Seasons is a guest favorite, with each quadrant of the pizza offering a different topping combination.
Best for: family night out
Other Pizza Spots to Check Out
Trilogy (19141 Stone Oak Parkway, Suite 113, San Antonio, TX 78258; (210) 404-1818)—Get coast-to-coast goodness with New York-, California-, or Chicago-style pizza options.
Sapore’s Pizza (6422 Babcock Rd., San Antonio, TX 78249; (210) 733-5503)—Don’t let the strip mall atmosphere fool you. This pizza is the real deal.
Capo’s (8522 Broadway, San Antonio, TX 78217; (210) 362-1901)—The restaurant’s chef/owner is a transplanted New Yorker with a flair for subs and a passion for bringing authentic East Coast pizza to San Antonio.
Deco Pizzeria (1815 Fredericksburg Rd., San Antonio, TX 78201; (210) 732-DECO)—Unique options like the N’awlins complement the usual toppings; Sunday brunch includes breakfast-themed options as well.
Playland (400 E. Houston St., San Antonio, TX 78205; (210) 908-9362)—everything renowned local chef Stefan Bowers creates is inventive and delicious; the cool vibe is worth checking out too. And, honestly, even if the food weren’t outstanding, the pizza names are: Cremini a River and Shotgun Wedding are among the cleverly named goodness.