The fabled pizzerias of the East Coast -- the tiny smoky places with aged ovens and dusty pictures of wrestler Bruno Sammartino on the walls -- are nowhere to be found in Houston. But if you take away the bright, airy feel -- and, please, the "Take-Ah De Order Here" pidgin-Italian signs -- Romano's comes pretty darn close. The thin-crust pizza doesn't come with a hundred goofy toppings, but it does come with the genuine taste of a New York pie. The standard dinner dishes -- lasagna, ziti, chicken provolone -- are cheap, filling and as good as you're likely to get outside of a fancy sit-down place. The owner and the guys doing the cooking have a bit of an attitude, too, which only helps with the ambience. Since this is Houston, Romano's is tucked into a strip mall, but if you close your eyes and breathe deep, you could swear you were in Jersey or Brooklyn.
Readers' choice: Star Pizza