The Backspace - Austin

4.6
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470 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Pizzeria
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. The Backspace accepts a limited number of reservations each night, allowing seats for walk-in guests. Seating is done on a first-come, first-serve basis. All parties must be complete before being seated.
What 470 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.4
service
4.5
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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San Antonio
14 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The pizza was outstanding, true Neapolitan style w thin crispy crust and fresh ingredients. The meatball appetizer and the salad were also great. The place was hopping but the staff was on top of it, with just the right amount of attention vs leaving us alone. Melinda was especially good.

Will definitely tell friends about this place.

NL
1 review
Dined on September 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The white pizza (Blanca) was perfectly balanced. Crust was perfect thickness and texture. The citrus touch on the arugula was just right. Quaint place, delicious food, nice service!

OT
1 review
Dined on September 4, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 3

This place came recommended to us. I reserved our table on Open Table. Upon walking in you notice the amazing smoky aroma of the wood burning pizza oven. The decor is rustic and chic. The lighting is a bit too dim for my preference. The menu was limited but what we ordered was very good. All of this would’ve been the stuff of a pretty good review except the service was such a disappointment. We got a tall skinny male server who, in this tiny restaurant, couldn’t show us to our table but merely pointed! I had questions about the menu but he disappeared and was hard to find so when he finally showed back up, we ordered. Had he suggested appetizers we would’ve ordered them but he didn’t. My artichoke pizza was fabulous and my daughter loved the mozzarella tomato pizza. This is the part that I couldn’t believe: at the end of the meal our waiter brings the check and after a few minutes he starts back to come pick it up. I’m holding it out to hand it to him but the guy at the next table decides he wants to pay now, too. So the waiter stops midway to me, CHANGES DIRECTION, and picks up the ticket for the other customer! I couldn’t believe it. The only thing I could figure is the waiter felt more compelled to serve the single male sitting by himself versus the mom and daughter even though we had been there longer. Unbelievable. Additionally, I paid with a $100 bill and you’d think I paid in foreign currency, it took an excessively long time to receive my change back. I was seriously about to go up to him at the counter to help him out but he FINALLY returned with my change and it was close to correct!

DT
Dallas
38 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 4

Undercooked pizza - the dough was raw under the toppings. If you want to cook pizza very quickly, it can't be thick. After waiting 40 minutes for the pizza, I chose not to have them re-make it. Good ingredients, cool place, servers were nice enough if not stretched too thin. I wish they had stretched the dough that thin, the pizza would have been cooked.

SA
Austin
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love The Backspace! The squash with green goddess dressing and the Bianca pizza are so delicious. They also have 1/2 wine/beer and antipasti during happy hour...a great deal!

CD
Dallas
4 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 1

We have been to The Backspace many times over the last 5-6 years, it has been a staple for us. The food is always fantastic, great vibe, etc. Unfortunately, Sunday night was simply awful. The food was great but the service was horrible. Also, the AC was out, so the restaurant was insanely hot/humid. We sweated it out and ate, but it took forever to get the food and bill, then when she brought it, it was someone elses tab. To which she replied "I know this isn't your bill, but I closed that out for someone else, but this one is around the same price". Truly one of the most ridiculous comments I have ever heard. So I said no, she sent over the manager, who printed out my bill to show me they were the same. (im still puzzled, why they couldn't void that one and give me mine) Then I ask him why they didn't consider informing people that had reservations about the AC issues. (By the way, they had already tried to pipe in cooler air from a swamp cooler, which clearly didn't work, so the issue wasn't new) He almost sounded irritated that I asked, and frustrated that I questioned the bill. Not great management, not good service...just a rough experience overall. Really unfortunate as we have loved this place, but I don't see a return visit.

OT
1 review
Dined on August 5, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 3ambience 1

This is the third time I’ve dined at Backspace. Each and every time it felt as if there was no air conditioning. This last visit is in August and many patrons were using the menu to fan themselves. My friend and I left drenched with perspiration.

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Awesome time we always!

TH
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our waitress was awesome we never ran out of water. Our food was delicious and the prices were extremely reasonable! Great dining experience.

FA
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Lovely little pizza joint in the heart of downtown Austin. The service was excellent, and the food was delicious. Though it is downtown, I felt it was a little expensive for what we got. Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed this restaurant.

OT
Austin
3 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The best pizza I have eaten in America!!!!!!

KC
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing place for a date night. Shared the Bianca waits my husband and finished dinner off with the ricotta cheesecake. Excellent service.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 3

Food was good. Customer service was adequate...once I got seated. When I walked in no one was there to greet me, which is fine they were shortstaffed. However, multiple employees looked at me standing there, and not one smiled, or said will be right with you. I stood there for over five minutes with no interaction.

EM
Austin
1 review
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The staff was lovely and handled our last minute changes so well. We were taken care of, and the food was amazing

OT
1 review
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love the food, service and ambiance!

YF
Houston
1 review
Dined on July 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The pizza was delicious and the service was amazing.

KJ
San Diego
21 reviews
Dined on July 4, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

I was surprised by the high rating this restaurant got. We were really looking forward to simple perfectly baked brick oven pizza. I love a restaurant that has a tight focus with a simple menu - if what they offer is all done very well.
We ordered the margarita and topped it with prosciutto and arugula. The pizza crust had an odd flavor and a char that was bitter instead of pleasing. My thought was the crust recipe needed a little tweaking. The margarita tomato sauce was spiced with a heavy hand so all you could taste was dried oregano.
We ordered two salads which were fine but could have been a little more authentic. The beet salad was better than the caesar.
Finally, we ordered the meatballs and they were at best not prepped in house but like the meatballs you get at the grocery store. I have been to many restaurants with similar offerings and they got it right.
Stay with the narrow focus but up your game on the ingredients and authentic taste. When people see a brick oven they expect great pizza and sauce no excuses.
Service was friendly and prompt.

J
Milwaukee
8 reviews
Dined on June 28, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great food, excellent ambiance and an impressive staff

EB
Austin
1 review
Dined on June 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best pizza I've ever had, very close to pizza flavor in Italy

S
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great! Such good pizza!

AB
Austin
2 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was great. Very attentive service.

DK
Austin
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Backspace is truly an Austin gem. Their mushroom pizza is my favorite pizza in the world and the hazelnut chocolate dessert is heaven. Love coming to Backspace when we get the chance.

SI
Austin
5 reviews
Dined on May 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Ever since we moved to Austin 12 years ago, our foodie friends have insisted that Backspace has the best Neapolitan pizza in Austin, but we were dubious. We finally went this week, and they were right—it is the best thin-crust pizza in town. We ordered one margarita and one pepperoni to share, along with a kale Caesar salad, roasted fennel salad, and butternut squash appetizer. Everything was delicious, along with a good glass of wine that didn’t break the bank. Topped off with both the key lime and chocolate hazelnut desserts, split 3 ways. The ambience of Backspace is inviting and casual, in a small space set off by a pair of beautiful old stained glass windows. We, the newbies, sat next to a table of regulars—and we now understand why they keep coming back. We’ll be back, too, soon!

OT
Washington DC
23 reviews
Dined on May 20, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Pizza was very good but salad was tasteless. Service was efficient but indifferent. Menu saying we needed to vacate our table in one hour fifteen minutes was off putting.

OT
Austin
6 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience and some of the best did in Austin!

n
Austin
5 reviews
Dined on April 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic as always! I love the ambiance and food here.

OT
Baton Rouge
1 review
Dined on April 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

You have to get lamb & pork meatballs!

OT
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on April 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The service is outstanding and the ambience is perfect for a casual evening date. I’m glad we made reservations because it was more busy than I was anticipating on a Tuesday night! The pizza was delicious!

k
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Simply my favorite!
Don't skip the hazelnut chocolate budini. Trust me.
XO

AM
Austin
2 reviews
Dined on April 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Came here to celebrate my birthday. It was happy hour, which was an amazing deal! Delicious food and wine, great ambience, great service.

HR
Chicago
4 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great, as always!

r
New Mexico
4 reviews
Dined on March 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

2nd time to Backspace for the wife and I. Fantastic pizza, wine selection, and ambiance. Will return again next time we’re in town.

OT
Austin
17 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Service is always a little slow, but this is the best Neapolitan pie in town.

OT
San Antonio
12 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great brick-oven pizza in a great location! Very professional staff and great service.

OT
1 review
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent tapas, pizza, desert, service, drinks every single time. We always bring our out of town friends to the back space.

PC
London
5 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

We were very late but still managed to find a seat for us.

M
London
4 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Pizzas are sooo yummy.

OT
Austin
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

We were late for our seating by 10 minutes and when we arrived the host was truly exasperated and put out that we were late. He seated us with a condescending tone telling us that we had one hour for dinner since they had a table coming in. The waitress was a young girl that also raised her voice at us when I tried to tell her we needed to also put our order in soon along with the drink order, she was flippant and rude and took the drink order and walked off. We ended up leaving after drinks instead of dealing with the management. I did tell the host on the way out that they really should space their reservations out, he blamed us for being late.
So we ended up at Stella San Jac next door, they actually apologized that a table wasn’t quite ready for our last minute reservation but had found a place for us in the lounge, and really we would have had no problem waiting for a table that they had not turned over yet! Had a great girls night that wasn’t cut short by an angry rude manager. Not sure of any other restaurant in town only offers 70 minute time slot dinners. He did tell us that it is written on the menu so people make sure you read the menus??????!!!?? Not sure I will go to Parkside and Olive and June now.

L
San Diego
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Such a nice change after all the booming base echoing from 6th street - pizza and antipasti were excellent and service was great - a fantastic option if you're ready for something else beyond BBQ and Tex-Mex! Great recommendation by the server to try the roasted parsnips, beets and butternut squash options for antipasti. Loved the fennel sausage pizza as well.

SG
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Food and service were awesome, but the severely overpriced wine (which sucked) was rediculous. $11/glass or $45/bottle, really?? It’s all screw top bottles, and wasn’t tasty. In their defense, we got to taste the wine before ordering it, so that’s on us, but we were hoping it would taste better with the food, and it didn’t. Unless you are familiar with their specific wines, be careful. Otherwise it really was fantastic food.

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