The Backspace - Austin

4.7
444 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 444 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
4.8
food
4.5
service
4.6
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Washington DC
22 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
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.

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

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

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

You have to get lamb & pork meatballs!

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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!

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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

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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.

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

Great, as always!

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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.

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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.

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OT
San Antonio
11 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.

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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.

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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.

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

Pizzas are sooo yummy.

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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.

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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.

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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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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).

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L
Orange County
20 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!

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

Not their best day....

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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!

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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.

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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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B
Austin
12 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Very cool location and atmosphere with awesome service! The beer was amazing!

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k
Austin
1 review
Dined on January 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best sauce in town. Loved the fennel sausage pizza with a farm egg on top.

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D
Phoenix
2 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

My favorite pizza in Austin! Love the sauce, the cheeses, and the crust. This is the only place I can eat all my pizza and not have a stomach ache after. There is something great about their seasonal menu and their limited offerings are fine because they are always delicious. They have a great view of the Frost Bank building and downtown, it is a hidden gem. Management is always nice and accommodating. Service is ok, but not bad. The food is what really always brings me back. I highly recommend trying them if you are a pizza lover.

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DG
Dallas
7 reviews
Dined on January 22, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

The restaurant is more of a pizzeria. We shared several starters. Favorites included the spicy cauliflower. I highly recommend - it was excellent! We also had the baked ricotta which was also good. The focaccia it came with was my favorite. We also shared the roasted beets. They were just ok.

The 3 of us shared a margherita pizza and the bianca pizza. Both were good. Not great, just good.

The restaurant is smaller and a nice space. Not loud, which I like. We were promptly seated.

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C
Austin
4 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food is always great! They were running a little late for our reservation but the owner/manager gave us some champagne while we were waiting which was so nice. We love this place!

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JT
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Cozy and convenient in an unexpected location (off the craziness of 6th Street) it's best to make a reservation as the micro space fills up fast. There's a roaring wood-fired pizza oven yet the cheese on my pizza was well under done.

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F
San Antonio
10 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was perfect! We had lamb and pork meatballs, the margherita pizza (the best crust ever) and the hazelnut chocolate cream for dessert ♥️

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Had a reservation, arrived 5 minutes early, seated right away, only ones in restaurant, ordered right away, took an hour to get food. Not sure what took so long, our party was not large and yet tables all around received food before us. Most finishing before we received ours. Table next to us were even comped dessert for their long wait. Again, we were first ones there and did not get our food until after comped table finished. Odd. I don’t want to talk bad, everything was great but that service experience was a bit off. I would have expected a bit more communication and at least an attempt to address the long wait. Especially when you are clearly communicating with others.

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JB
Austin
7 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love this place!! Food is always great and never a long wait for food or a table. Reservations recommended. Get the fennel sausage pizza-its the best in town!

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F
Austin
12 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

All was great! We were there early. Our only recommendation would be to have the music volume down just a bit.

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MM
Austin
2 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great date night dinner in downtown Austin! Steps away from 6th street attractions, like the piano bar next door with darts, or many other live bands playing around 8 after you finish your meal! I recommend valet in front of the restaurant and walking to see some live music if coming from a distance away! Get reservations, it’s quiet and cozy.

Really enjoyed our focaccia bread, sweet potato and homemade mozzarella antipasti. Had the popular margarita pizza and chocolate budino pudding desert. No complaints on the meal or service, we plan on returning!

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AW
Austin
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our server let us know we caught the tail end of happy hour and the food was amazing! Ingredients on our Bianca pizza were so fresh and I highly recommend the sweet potato appetizer/ small bite dish.

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OT
Kansas City
2 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

The restaurant was closed when we arrived despite confirming our reservation time. Then they proceeded to give us credit for eating there even though they clearly close before they were supposed to.

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DG
Houston
28 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Even though I was able to make a reservation via Open Table, this restaurant was closed! Epic reservation fail particularly after walking to the restaurant. Clearly a communication breakdown.

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SD
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

I made a reservation for January 1st a couple of weeks in advance. When I arrived at the restaurant it was closed, it wasn't even open that day. How can that happen? I don't know if it was an Open Table issue or Backspace issue, either way pretty poor service. I'll think twice before using either in the future.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Restaurant was closed when we arrived. I understand and respect a restaurant’s choice to be closed on New Years - it’s a holiday and people deserve days off! - but you shouldn’t allow people to make reservations for days your restaurant is closed

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NP
Mississippi
6 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Wish they had more variety in wine, particularly what is available by the glass. Cute place, love it!

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ME
Austin
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beets and pizzas are awesome.

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