The Backspace - Austin
The Backspace - Austin

The Backspace - Austin

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.thebackspace-austin.com/
  • Phone: (512) 474-9899
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 11:00am - 2:00pm
    Dinner: Daily: 5:00pm - 11:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian, Pizzeria
  • Executive Chef: Shawn Cirkiel
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Counter Seating, Fireplace, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Wheelchair Access

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 6th Street
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Street and garage parking are available everywhere in the 6th Street Historic District. We also offer valet parking for $10
A word from The Backspace - Austin
The Backspace, Chef Shawn Cirkiel’s Neapolitan pizzeria directly behind Parkside, is known for its wood-burning Italian brick oven, all Italian wine list, and original Italian antipasti made in house daily.
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The Backspace - Austin reviews from OpenTable diners
85 reviews since July 26, 2014
Overall Rating4.6
  • Food4.7
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4.4
    Noise LevelModerate
93% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (60)romantic (45)neighborhood gem (37)notable wine list (30)special occasion (24)hot spot (21)late-night find (10)great for lunch (9)good for groups (7)scenic view (2)vibrant bar scene (2)great for brunch (1)kid-friendly (1)Show More
  • Almost Great
    CattivoHombre
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    Took out of town guests here for a Sat afternoon lunch. We started with 2 beers, wine and some Mexican cokes. They all came at different times. First the cokes and 1 beer, then the wine, and after about 10 minutes the 2nd beer. We were all waiting to toast our out of town guests...would have been nice not to have everyone gazing thirstily at their beverages while waiting for that last beer. Not a deal breaker, but annoying. We order some baked ricotta, mozzarella, and roasted pears for starters. We got baked ricotta, mozzarella, and white beans. The roasted pears were brought out quickly and the beans were left for us to taste. Not a deal breaker, but annoying. The pizza was fabulous. We ordered one Margherita pizza and one Roasted Squash pizza. I cannot say enough about how perfectly cooked the crust was on these pies...just the right amount of char from the wood burning oven...firm to the bite on the outside and moist and chewy inside. Perfect. The toppings were top notch. I honestly did not expect much from the Roasted Squash pizza. Man, was I wrong...it was a perfect blend of buttery roasted butternut squash with the chicken sausage providing the perfect spark of heat. The best thing on the table? Those freakin Roasted Pears! Roasted pears, red onions, gorgonzola and walnuts...wow. Thanks for giving me something else to obsess about. This was a very good dining experience for our group that could have easily been elevated to a great experience with a little effort from the server. I noticed she turned on the charm and actually smiled...when she delivered the check. This did not go unnoticed by our group. I know everyone has a bad day, and I will be back, but this will be the deal-breaker visit. $150 for lunch is a little steep for lackadaisical service. Even for a pizza joint.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    We took out of town friends to The Backspace on a Friday evening for dinner with a 6:00 reservation. The place is small. Smaller than their online photos make it appear. Glad we made a reservation. We were seated right away. Took advantage of happy hour 1/2 off beer, wine and antipasti. We ordered 2 pizzas. One Bianca, one sausage fennel. Both were delicious! We'll be returning to this restaurant. Just remember to make a reservation!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Expecting more @The Backspace
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    Food was overall good. It wasn't outrageously expensive but I was not surprised or impressed by any means. Was very disappointed that there were no cocktail options, just wine and only 1 beer on tap. Best part about the restaurant is the dinning experience, it is a very small, cozy little restaurant with a wood fire pizza oven.
    Special Features:
    late-night find, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful pizza and more
    SilverSpork
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    Superb thin crust Pizza -- both red and white styles. We tried the antipasti plate, all of which was excellent, although would have been good to know it included Gorgonzola cheese which is not a favorite. The caramel panna cotta may have been the best desert I've had in years. Worth the visit by itself. Even my wife, a chocolate only sort of gal, enjoyed it.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great pizza in a cool atmosphere
    DavidVIP
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    This is a great spot to stop in for a casual night out. After you eat one of the great pizzas (and yes, add the egg), make sure to try the salted caramel panna cotta!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent neighborhood gem
    Robert
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    I went here for dinner at 6:00PM and it was basically empty at that point but started to fill up around 7:00. We shared an appetizer of mozzarella, tomatoes and balsamic which was fantastic. I ended up getting the funnel sausage pizza which was also fantastic. Overall really good experience, and great location being adjacent to 6th Street and all the bars. This place is a must for anyone visiting.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Service could be better
    Laamarc
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    We have been to The Backspace several times and the last could times the service has been very bad. We eat dinner early so there aren't many people in the restaurant. The waiter never smiled and did the minimum required for his job. We were never offered a dessert menu. We felt unwelcomed. Will be our last visit.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • upscale comfort food.
    yumfun1
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    We split three different pizza's among four of us(Yes, they are not huge but very filling.) two salads and an appetizer. Great flavor with the chicken sausage and butternut squash pizza. Would add prosciutto to the cheese or the margharita pizza. Mixed greens salad was yummi with light dressing and butternut squash appetizer was tasty. Our server suggested wine and beer selections which were good choices. Busy place, but did not feel rushed. Definitely make a reservation. Pricing was good for a downtown meal. Very enjoyable experience, will definitely go back. Lots more choices to try!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Small, but packs a punch
    EKVon
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    1st time at The Backspace. We knew it was small, but didn't know it was that small. It was a fun experience. Almost like being in a small cafe/restaurant in Rome. The glow of the brick oven greets you as you walk in the door. The walls were a little sparse and could have used some art (maybe from local artists). Food was fantastic. Highly recommend the roasted pears, house made mozzerella and marinated olives from the antipasti portion. Fennel sausage pizza was amazing, but couldn't eat the whole thing after the antipasti, focaccia bread and 2 glasses of wine.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • rynd0c
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    This place is a must stop before any dinner! I love the happy hour from 5-6:30 and usually order a table full on antipasti. Cannot go wrong with the prosciutto and homemade mozzarella.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • F A N T A S T I C
    DLynn
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    Delicious food, excellent service, tasty deserts! FANTASTIC!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Get the Homemade Mozzarella
    HawaiianTravelerVIP
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    Enjoyed dinner with my daughter and her boyfriend. We had several antipasto plates as they are half price during happy hour. We had the foccacia with prosciutto, grilled pears, roasted corn and the homemade fresh mozzarella - all were great especially the mozzarella. For the main course we had the wood fired pepperoni pizza and the lamb meatballs. Both of these were excellent too. Prices were very reasonable (especially at happy hour) and the 3 of us at for $40. We'll be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wood Fired Pizzas and Salads
    AlexvRVIP
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    Somehow I had never noticed this place. It's just off 6th St but tucked away. The pizzas are pricey but very good. It's a great escape from the typical places in this area. The salads are very good. They have other items but that's all I had.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Italian pizza
    Rahenson1
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    My wife prefers traditional Italian pizza to Americanized styles. She loves this restaurant. I like it too even though I am not as much a fan of that style as she is. I saw it listed on a "best pizzas" article and am not surprised at its inclusion. If you like thin crust and more traditional Italian style pizza I am sure you'll love this place. If you don't but take someone who does you will still have a good meal while they have a great one.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great pizza and appetizers!
    kcc1VIP
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    Loved the food and the space! it was maybe just a tad too dark inside, but it set the mood well. Was a welcome break from all of the BBQ places in Austin. Service was great too!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good As Always
    DanF
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    The food and service was delicious as always - the gunaciale pizza was *for real*, as was the whipped lardo! Our table was pretty crowded for 6 people, though, and that definitely impacted the enjoyability of the experience. I'll definitely be back for more amazing pizza and wood-fired appetizers, though!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Favorite Low-key spot in Austin
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    Great low-key ambiance, reminds me of being back in New York. Thoughtful menu, well-executed, good wine selection and friendly service. This has long since been one of my favorite restaurants in Austin and will continue to be.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Big flavors in a small space...
    MeatBallHead
    Dined on 9/27/2014
    Highly recommend this neighborhood gem. The food is outstanding, especially the Farm Egg (poached in marinara) starter and Bianca pizza. The pizza is among the best I've had in Austin. Seek a reservation, if possible, since the dining area is rather small. This will minimize the wait time, even though it's totally worth it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Heavenly wait staff
    FoodMan
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    Jimmy, Jeremy, and Hayden were incredibly helpful. I felt at ease and comfortable the moment I walked in with my date. Jimmy suggested a couple menu items per my request, and the food was incredible. My only regret is that I didn't eat slower so I could eat more! Jeremy checked on us and was very personable and funny. Hayden was well versed in pairing the food with wine. We had an amazing experience! I'll be back ASAP.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Neat Space
    Solomon
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    The Backspace offers you everything you could want in a little pizza dive: cool space, limited tables, and simple pizza.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great spot to try!
    SBURMAN
    Dined on 9/23/2014
    Honestly the only issue we had was with service. Our waiter was perfectly polite but they were understaffed and he could only be in so many places at the same time. But the food and wine are absolutely wonderful and fairly priced for downtown Austin.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Loud and not very exciting
    AnujVIP
    Dined on 9/22/2014
    The appetizers were OK. Second bar and kitchen has similar appetizers that taste much better. Only one beer served (Peroni) and no Cocktails. Pizzas were good bit the place is very loud. The hostess forced 8 of us to squeeze into a place for 6 people. Our server did get us an extra chair when we requested for it.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fantastic Pizza
    easel
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Truly stands out from anything else in Austin, highly recommended
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best Pizza By Far in Austin
    paulforPeople
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Simply no comparison between the fantastic pizza at Backspace and any other pizza available at a restaurant in Austin.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Perfect spot to meet up w/friends
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    Found this little gem and had pizza with friends. You need reservations as it only seats 30 and it was busy. Awesome rustic/urban look, wonderful staff...very friendly, helpful and attentive yet did not intrude.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Killer Pizza Naples style in Austin
    DamionL
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Love love love this place, bring my out of town guests here as one of my top 3 places in Austin. Best pizza, best staff, love the whole experience!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delicious
    Tina
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    We added Prosciutto to our pizza, and it was melt-in-your-mouth delicious! Very nice dinner. We should have ordered bread to go with our white bean appetizer.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Relaxed yet intimate
    DinerBoy
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    This is a great place for a date or catching up with friends over amazing food and wine. The menu is limited but everything on there is done exceptionally well. The only thing that was not as expected was a potatoe antipasti that was cold when we expected it hot, knowing that we would have chosen something else. That's the only very minor complaint.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great New Spot in Austin
    yummfood
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    The Backspace is absolutely a place I will return to. We made reservations (which is recommended due to the small dining area) and we're seated right away. The staff was friend and the food was amazing! The wait staff was helpful when it came to choosing a wine that was a good fit for our meals. The freshly sliced meat and brick oven pizza were delicious. Great spot!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very pleased
    lashadi
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    I was in town for a bachelorette party and we wanted a nice Italian dinner. This is perfect. Unprentious while having delicious food, a beautiful ambiance, and great service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 55 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 26, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.6
    • Food4.7
    • Ambiance4.4
    • Service4.5
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 95 reviews are from the The Backspace - Austin reviews archive.
  • Wood burning authenticity
    ThatFoodieDad
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    What a delightful find. Backspace is a small, intimate space filled with vibrancy and great food. Try the specials and the great olives with focaccia bread. The bread is toasted in a cSt iron skillet in the same wood burning oven that will bake your pizza to perfection. We had the pizza special that had arugula and heirloom tomatoes. A great combination that paired well with the mozzarella and San Marzano base. Crisp, thin and full of flavor. We are looking forward to our return visit.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Expeditious yet Agreeable
    pkrkid73
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    Enjoyers of Neapolitan pizza will likely find their distinctive preparation of this type of food to be well worth a savour. Utilizing a wood-fired brick oven at temperatures of 482-538 degrees Celcius, they quickly concoct a pizza at once delicate yet chewy. The base of these dishes bears a resemblance to a crêpe. It should be of absolute interest to any aesthetes of the gastronomical variety. On to more practical matters: expect to secure a reservation well in advance if visiting during peak periods. Should one find themselves preferential to pleasing their senses to the palette of wine, take notice that a special arrangement might likely need to be sought if this activity will consume much more than an hour's worth of time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very good food, lackluster service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Pizza and antipasti were very good. However, the staff does an excellent job making you feel unwelcome upon arrival, even if you hold a reservation. I would hate to see how they treat walk in customers. The indifferent hipster thing gets kind of old - go back to the basics of providing warm, welcoming hospitality to your customers.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Best Pizza
    Jo308VIP
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    Great food inc. Interesting small ate appetizers. Laid back vibe, yummy desserts. One of our favorites.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    We took a large group of ladies there for lunch this week. The service extremely attentive & very happy to accommodate any & every request. There is currently some construction in front of the restaurant, but do not be deterred...fabulous setting & fabulous food!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Just not the same
    Foodpenn
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    The waitress took forever to greet us. Then she started to work on her side work. In fact, when we received our bottle of wine she was in such a hurry that she didn't realize she didn't fill everyone's wine. Slammed it down back on the table and rushed to go polish silver wear. We had to physically stand up for just about everything that we needed to pull our server from her side work. (That is of course when she was actually in backspace and had not disappeared into park side) I even got so frustrated halfway through that I asked her if she was waiting tables at park side too. She remained oblivious to the fact that we were upset and giggled. The closing manager would walk in and out but did not walk by and ask how we were. Food was so-so
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Delicious but not overwhelming
    getnmybelly
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    The food was very good but did not blow our socks off-perhaps it was overhyped to us before we came though. Still-very very tasty and a good price! The pizza was fresh and full of flavors and the anti pasti was all very interesting. The dessert which was a salted caramel panna cotta was very very good and did wow us! The wine was fantastic.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great spot
    EJinAustin
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    Atmosphere is perfect...not many tables and overall a small place. Food and service are very good.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The best pizza and great dessert!
    cddiner
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    Amazing pizza and excellent dessert! The place is very small and located on a small street off busy 6th street so can be hard to find and impossible to park at. We arrived at 8:30 on a Saturday night and they did offer valet for $10. However, since it is 6th street the streets are were closed down as we were leaving. The tables are snug for 6 and I couldn't see fitting more but don't let any of that scare you away. The pizza is worth it and the dessert tops it off. The bianca pizza was my favorite. The roasted mushroom and the sausage were also fantastic.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • seen better days
    murphmeister
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    we have been to backspace several times before and were surprised by the quality of the pizza this time. we noticed everyones pizza coming out had a lot of black char on it. ours was no different and it was also a little soggy. ususally the food is always amazing so hopefully it was on off night. 2 pizzas, 1 appetizer and 1 reasonable bottle of wine ($37) was over $80. felt a little expensive for the quality that night.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic