The American Southwest isn’t exactly known worldwide as a pizza destination. There just isn’t an iconic style that we all want to race to experience in Arizona like there is in Detriot, Chicago, or NYC. Still, there’s great pizza to be had in the southwestern states and that’s what this list is about.
The best pizza in the Southwest is an amalgamation of all the details and styles that make pizza great. There’s a little bit of Naples alongside a little bit of Detriot and Brooklyn. There are variations and innovations. You’ll find that when pizza isn’t tethered to a hardline of so-called tradition, it can grow and flourish. That’s what makes this region of America so great for pizza — they’re tossing pies like nobody’s watching.
These are the pizza places you need to visit if you find yourself in the American Southwest.
TEXAS: Via 313, Austin
We’re leading off in this region with a Detriot-style pizza joint, based in Austin. We know that may be blasphemous to Texans, but there’s not really a “Texan” style pizza.
Via 313 takes the Sicilian-inspired Detriot Style pizza and knocks it out of the park. The company’s locations around Austin also help make this place a must-visit for any weary traveler looking to fill up on fantastic pizza pie and a well-crafted beer. The three brick and mortars are bolstered by two pizza trailers — one at Buford’s Backyard Beer Garden and another at Craft Pride on Rainey Street. As great as a lot of pizza is around Austin and all over Texas, you really can’t beat the good vibes at Via 313.
Detriot Style pizza is a kind of like pizza in reverse — some people even call it “upside down” pizza. Basically, Via 313’s pizzas are built upon a super soft and chewy crust with a serious crispiness from the pan and the oil it’s baked in. Pepperoni goes on first, then the cheese, then more toppings, and, finally, the sauce. The cheese starts to bubble up through the sauce and sort of emulsify into a brilliant layer of saucy cheese. The last ripple is the rectangular shape. It makes so much sense when you eat it that you’ll almost forget most pizzas are pie shaped.
Try The 500 first. It has naturally cased pepperoni, pickled jalapenos, and full rings of canned pineapple. It’s sweet, spicy, cheesy, meaty, chewy, and crunchy all at once. In other words, it’s a goddamn delight.