Dallas diners are well aware of the glut of Italian restaurants that debuted in the last year, with more on the horizon in 2023. But this fall, the city has also experienced a mini-deluge of new and relatively expensive pizza joints — more costly than a dollar slice place, at any rate. Eating at all of them is probably a no-go, so what’s a diner to do?
Eater Dallas did the dirty work of trying pizzas at all four new spots: Mister 01 in Highland Park, Pizzana on Knox, Poco Fiasco in the Harwood District, and Andrew’s American Pizza Kitchen in Plano. Read about the pizzas, the crusts, the atmosphere, and the parking situation to know before you go — or pare it down to a list of spots you want to try and ones you’ll skip.
Mister O1 Extraordinary Pizza
3838 Oak Lawn Ave., Suite P175
The brief: The hook of this place, which originates in Miami from the mind of a chef born in Southern Italy, is the star-shaped pizza stuffed with ricotta cheese. It also serves thin-crust pizza, and many of its ingredients are sourced from Italy and local vendors.
Decor and ambiance: The small-ish space in Highland Park is easy to get into and easy enough to park at, but it fills up quickly. It’s bright and family-friendly, with primarily small tables. Floor-to-ceiling windows surround diners, so it’s easy to see outside. The staff don’t seem to mind if you hang around awhile to finish a lingering glass of wine while reading a book. Service is quick and friendly without being overbearing.
Crust fermentation time: 72 hours
The pizza: I got the Star Luca, a basic star-shaped pizza with Calabrian spicy salami — or a pepperoni pizza served on a large, white, ceramic plate. It was flavorful, with a robust sauce, a crust light and thin enough that it didn’t feel like a weight in my stomach later, and spicy salami. For some, the ricotta-stuffed crust may be too much cheese. I found it easy to eat the entire plate on an empty stomach, which is probably for the best. Thin-crust pizzas typically don’t make the best leftovers, even less so when stuffed with extra cheese. Of course, I also had a couple of glasses of wine from the excellently curated Italian wine list.
3219 Knox St., Suite 150
The brief: This pizza joint, from Sprinkles Cupcakes founders Candace and Charles Nelson and master pizzaiolo Daniele Uditi, has been the talk of LA and was even featured on a Netflix series. It is pizza for gourmets with a Neapolitan influence. This is its first location outside of California.
Decor and ambiance: My dining companion and I were not prepared for the date-night vibe in this spot, even on a Monday. It’s also tight, with tables packed together and pizzas served on stacked attachments to save space. You will hear the conversation at the neighboring table, but they turn the music up way too loud to help avoid that a little. Service was quick and exceptionally helpful, which is good because many items on the menu are unorthodox and need some assistance to navigate. You probably already know the drill about parking on Knox.
Crust fermentation time: 48 hours
The pizza: In the spirit of the place, we ordered adventurously. The menu changes daily, so what you get one time may not be there the next or may look a little different based on the seasonal availability of items. Of the two pies we got, one was a home run, and the other was loaded with too many leeks. Neither made for good leftovers. It’s fun but unpredictable.
2823 McKinnon St.
The brief: As imagined by the Harwood Hospitality Group, the minds behind several restaurants in the tiny little Harwood District, this one means to evoke small, family-run Brooklyn pizzerias. The crust is New York style: crispy and foldable. And they suggest pairing a martini with your pizza, offering several takes on the classic cocktail. If you’d rather have wine, there is a nice selection.
Decor and ambiance: Of course, the decor is on-point. It has every type of seating, including a large patio and a walk-up window to get slices late at night. The interiors are an approximation of old-world New York Italian style run through a modern-day aesthetic that Dallasites can handle but it’s still comfortable and handsome. The music is ear-busting pop, however, and that’s so not how Brooklyn Italians do it. Parking is, of course, a complete nightmare.
Crust fermentation time: Not part of their press release or angle for these pies
The pizza: My dining partner and I each ordered small pies and ate almost all of them. This is another spot where the crust is thin and crispy enough to go down all at once, and it’s a good thing because they would be a little too greasy for great leftovers to reheat. I got the Donkey, which was as spicy as promised, and my companion got the margherita and shared a slice — it was well-proportioned with sauce and cheese. We both want to return to try other pies, namely the spinach and artichoke with its pesto sauce and the Fig and Favor, which combines Levantine flavors and lamb shavings. And I will slowly try every martini they’ve got — each one sounds delightful.
Andrew’s American Pizza Kitchen
1401 Preston Rd.
The brief: Up in Plano, this family-friendly pizza spot from co-owner Andrew Albert, who ran Picasso’s Pizza and Grill for some 30 years, aims to be everything to everyone. The types of pies you can get are seemingly endless: New York, Chicago, Detroit, tavern, and Dallas-style pizzas are all on the menu. The replies on Instagram when I posted my Dallas-style pie indicate I was not the only person who didn’t know there was a Dallas-style pizza.
Decor and ambiance: The late ’80s into pre-grunge and early ’90s exploded here and brought its soundtrack. You’re not here for the decor. It does feature excellent and attentive service and a massive parking lot with plenty of space.
Crust fermentation time: “Our doughs are rolled fresh all day long.”
The pizza: From the endless options on the massive menu, I had to get a Dallas-style, simply a thin crust made with love. You can embellish it with a butter crust or a cheese-stuffed crust. My Dallas-style pie got better as I let it cool — when it was fresh out of the oven, the cheese and all the toppings (pepperoni cups, white onion, and green peppers) slid right off. As it cooled and things solidified into place, the bites got a lot easier to manage. It was yummy, but this is kid-friendly pizza. The bar menu offered all the expected things, including takes on an Aperol spritz and an espresso martini, but the drinks and wine selection were a bit lackluster. This is the place to go if you want a solid pizza done in the traditional way or with a large group (it has huge booths that can accommodate big parties easily) where everyone wants something different.