The Backspace - Austin

4.7
463 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 Insiders Are Saying

The Infatuation
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A cozy pizza place with an excellent location next to 6th.

The Infatuation is an app and website which uses a small team of local editors who dine anonymously to rate and review restaurants. We are partnering with them to bring you their smart, helpful, trustworthy reviews of restaurants on OpenTable
What 463 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.5
service
4.6
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
90% of people would recommend it to a friend
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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
22 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
15 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.

t
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The Backspace has been our favorite restaurant in Austin for years now. Of all of the Neapolitan-style restaurants we've tried locally and while traveling, only The Backspace in Austin and 2 Amys in Washington DC are the only ones that taste like the best pizza in Naples. The clarity and intensity of flavor in their pizza sauce makes the pizza, in my opinion; you have to use excellent quality ingredients to get that flavor in such a simple sauce. I had the margherita and my husband had the pepperoni americano (both delicious!), and we loved both of the desserts on their dessert menu. It was a bit busier this time than when we've visited in the past since we went later in the evening than we typically do. My favorite time to go is for an early dinner when not all of the tables are full, yet, and there aren't many people waiting for bar seating. Nonetheless, even when the restaurant was busy, dinner here still felt cozy and conversations felt intimate (whether you're going for date-night intimate or catching-up-with-friends intimate).

L
Orange County
21 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We love Backspace. It is our pre-race dinner every year before the Austin marathon! Bummer the salad with the picketed veggies were not on the menu. Still love the backspace!

LM
Birmingham
3 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 3

Not their best day....

KR
Austin
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Pizza was the best I’ve had in Austin! I really liked our server, super kind and hospitable. We sat at one of the little 2-person tables near the back. It was a perfect Valentine’s Day meal!

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Yum. I have tried to get a table here whenever I’ve been in Austin. I was able to make a same day reservation and it was worth the wait! Excellent meatballs. Good wine list and the pizza reminded me of the pizza in Naples.

AC
Austin
34 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We came for lunch to celebrate the office's Galentines and what a delightful experience. We ordered three antipasti (the beets, the olives and the butternut squash) and some focaccia. It was delicious. The service was amazing the whole time. As for our main entree, we all ordered pizzas to share and a delicious salad. It was exceptional. We will be definitely coming back.

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