Responsible drinking is important. It's imperative to always have a designated driver, know when you've had a few too many and make sure you're at a bar that bakes a good pizza to soak up that premium booze.
Fortunately, crave-worthy post-drink pies abound in this city. And although the line between bars that offer pizza and restaurants that offer drinks is nebulous, with places like Crisp and Witchcraft Tavern serving up great pizza with standout craft beer menus, this list is made up of places that serve up serious food offerings wherever you went for a stiff drink.
Because when you've had a few too many, forks are just too fussy and Pizza Hut is a no-go because there are plenty of better-than-they-have-to-be pizzas baked up fresh at your favorite bar.
While this Montrose hangout is relaxed and laid-back, its food is anything but. This spot really blurs the line between bar and restaurant with Rishi Singh upping his menu, from winter's bone-warming curries to this impressive lineup of pizza made to suit spring and summer herbs and attitudes.
The return of a revamped pizza menu has caused much excitement after a hiatus forced upon this little Fairview favorite by city permitting problems, which temporarily shut down the major pizza operation. The standout for me, and one that I'm starting to crave as I write this, is the Dutchie, an addictive pie made of Sriracha, aleppo, fresh basil and toasted ribbons of pancetta. Also, the atmosphere here is hard to beat on the patio or in the red-hued interior.
Don't question the authenticity of this Irish hotspot; just give in to the melted cheese that melds into the crispy thin crust so well, you'll think you're having a pancake. It also won't make you feel guilty in the morning when you realize you never did share a slice with anyone else. While the pizza here is a thin-crust-lover's dream, the bar isn't known for its diverse or particularly fresh ingredients, so simple is best when ordering your pie here. But it's definitely the best pub pie I've had in town -- and the only one that offers corned beef as a topping.
Over in the Galleria area is a red-tile-roof patio bar with live music most nights of the week and well-mixed cocktails that are enough to lure almost anyone into a Loop 610 traffic jam they won't soon regret; however, the pie alone is worth the drive, too.
The standouts here are the Steakhouse with gorgonzola dressing, skirt steak and bleu cheese crumbles; the Pina Picante Spicy with Tabasco-infused pineapple, barbecue sauce, smoked Gouda and cilantro; and last, the Capone's with prosciutto, d'Anjou pears, drunken goat cheese and a drizzle of white truffle oil -- my favorite of the bunch. Ranging from $12 to $18, these are on the higher end of the pie price scale, but the menu is the most extensive and diverse I've seen at a bar. And the live music is a definite pairings winner.
Considering that this absinthe bar is next door to the owner's other spot, Bowl, bar patrons will be able to enjoy the fresh salad toppings baked into their pie late at night. Artist-inspired names and a satisfying hand-tossed crust that isn't too bready will fill you up after one slice or two. All of the pizzas are made with different flavor profiles in mind; from the pineapple and smoked gouda on the Renoir to the salami and prosciutto with olives on the Gaudi, there's a pie on the menu for any one of your friends. At $11 a pizza, you'll be able to sip on more than one Czech-prepared glass of Pernod and munch on a few rounds of pies.
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Okay, I'm going to get called out for including this in a bar pizza roundup, but I'm willing to read the scathing comments on here because this food truck delivers pizzas to bars all over the Inner Loop -- primarily Montrose -- that I'd drive out of my way for. It's technically there for you at most bars you frequent, and it doesn't merely "do the job"; this spot impresses even the most discerning pie critics.
For those who complain that the prices are too high for a food truck: Lamb isn't cheap, dudes. And neither is the creativity behind the menu with options like the Herbivoracious for vegetarians, which is topped with roasted garlic oil, almond pieces, lemon zest and chile flakes. My personal favorite is the Arabian Nights with pistachio and mint pesto, spiced lamb, feta and tzatziki sauce. Plus, the humor they inject into their menu and attitudes is hard to beat and makes them the cool "older brother [who] smokes and drives a Camaro."