Pizzitola's BBQ

Our Ribs Will Bring You In.
Our Service Will Bring You Back.

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Our History in Houston, TX

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As with most historical tales, this one has its share of twists and turns including how a barbecue joint with deep African American roots wound up with an Italian name. It all started back in 1935 when the husband and wife team, John and Leila Davis, opened their modest BBQ restaurant called Shepherd Drive BBQ.
pizzitolas original location
pizzitolas bbq plate

Specials

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Pop A Top Saturdays

$1 DOMESTIC BEERS
All day long – with purchase of entree

Reviews

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A great local and historic BBQ staple inside 610. Really great brisket and Ribs, and the sides are awesome. Step away from the chains and give pizzatolas a try!
Cliff M.
Cliff M.
11:12 23 Jan 21
We came to this spot for a meeting. This spot was recommended to us by a friend. Well, it was a winning. we were warmly welcomed by the crew and we felt very good. The meal was delicious. We had a great time and we shall absolutely come back again. Warmly recommended.
Camden D.
Camden D.
18:27 16 Jan 21
One of the best most authentic bbq places in town. Family operated and they have been in business for over 40 years. Brunch and dinner menu are the best...
Liz C.
Liz C.
14:17 19 Dec 20
Great food and EVEN better service ! I tried the in-between brisket, pork spareribs and jalapeno cheese link, along with potato salad, pinto beans and fresh banana pudding. Can't remember the last time I had banana pudding with the coolies crispy and not soggy from sitting around all day. Kudo's to... the staff for putting the cookies in just before being served. Flavor of the brisket was fantastic.Being cooped up with Covid this year it was great to receive the customer service provided by Cindy and Esmeralda. They made my day!Will definitely go back to this 1935 Houston establishment with so much history.read more
Bill J.
Bill J.
22:53 11 Dec 20
Had a fantastic lunch here today and I’m returning. I had the brisket sandwich, my friend had the ribs. We both had the smoked cabbage and everything was delicious.
Vince S.
Vince S.
18:42 15 Oct 20
Great bbq ribs, great brisket and the Mac and cheese was tasty too!!! Really friendly service and fun atmosphere.
Steve W.
Steve W.
17:18 09 Oct 20
Such a friendly atmosphere and great food. Very happy that they decided to partner with Richard from HeightsBBQ and his infusion ideas.
Fred J.
Fred J.
22:14 26 Sep 20
A great, locally owned, pit BBQ restaurant. I usually get a brisket sandwich with pinto beans and tater salad. Always perfect. I have also had their beef ribs and turkey. Both smokey and perfect. The staff is super friendly and there is plenty of parking.
Daniel B.
Daniel B.
21:39 10 Sep 20
First time visit - will definitely be returning. You don't need to see the historical building marker to know this place has been here for quite some time. Its small and charming and most importantly, the food is delicious and the service is great!
Richard T
Richard T
19:00 09 Sep 20
Great BBQ Ribs and sides. Felt rushed after receiving our food. Waitress almost picked up my plate even when I was still eating my food but I think maybe she was just ready to go home but we were not the only people in the place. Well worth trying again.
Sarah L.
Sarah L.
11:55 03 Sep 20
BBQ, so tasty. it's so delicious. will surely make a return trip. this place has many great reviews for a reason.
Melinda C.
Melinda C.
04:07 01 Sep 20
BBQ and the feeling at this spot is very good. you won't be disappointed in the menu and service. certainly worth a return visit. food is like a restaurant in louisville i liked.
Steve C.
Steve C.
14:39 24 Aug 20
A preferred spot for quality BBQ. It was so delicious. The staff was very kind and attentive. I can see why they have so many great reviews.
Tom P.
Tom P.
03:39 22 Aug 20
I ordered to-go and the people were so nice who took my order. The sliced brisket was Smokey and flavorful! The bbq sauce was tangy spicy and sweet all in...
Hanna D.
Hanna D.
09:28 04 Aug 20
This is absolutely the best BBQ I have eaten in Houston! by far!!!! I eat BBQ almost every week, and there are some pretty good places. The problem with most of them is they have to over season the meat to make up for not knowing how to cook the meat. Yeah it taste ok, but this places knows how to... COOK the meat. I’m blown away! Highly recommend it!read more
B B
B B
23:50 30 Jul 20
Great spot for spare ribs in Houston as this has been here forever.Great taste, great sauce. Pizzitola's is a staple here in Houston.For other types of...
Matt S.
Matt S.
15:35 12 Jul 20
Had a brisket sandwich and potato salad. The staffers were really nice and I got the food quickly. The sauce was a little tangy for me, but the meat tasted very good.
Derek G.
Derek G.
18:32 10 May 20
I came here from New Orleans with my employer and his wife. He currently has brain cancer and was very sick for three weeks. It was touch and go. This is important because when he started talking again all he could say was John’s Barbecue. After a week he explained more and we found out about John... and Lela Davis, Shepherd Drive Barbecue Stand, the history, how it changed hands and is now Pizztola’s. Of course I ordered a rack of ribs immediately and y’all made him the happiest man alive!! They were everything he remembered and then some. Pizztola’s has carried on the tradition built by the Davis family with excellence. That is not an easy feat with barbecue. Thank you so much for making the meal he has wanted for months extraordinary. We will be back in a few days.read more
teriw989
teriw989
21:07 03 Apr 20
This place is definitely one of the finest place to eat in the neighborhood. Every time I come there I am deeply satisfied. They always keep their high standard service and the highest level of food they serve. You surely will enjoy this this restaurant. Highly recommended.
John B.
John B.
13:24 17 Mar 20
It was good. Sauce could have been better but meat was good. If I was in the area again I would stop in again
shannen T.
shannen T.
22:53 26 Feb 20
You want a real Texas bbq experience? This is your place. The grub is sooooo damn good. The atmosphere in there is exactly right. One of my favorites.
Alicia H.
Alicia H.
13:55 04 Feb 20
I'm glad to learn that you're reducing prices. I think the ribs are outstanding, but the prices have kept me away. A rib lunch at Pizzitola's is a budget-buster!
Tom G.
Tom G.
15:17 21 Jan 20
Love this place! Great staff. These ladies are very friendly and go out of there way to serve you. Food is amazing, at decent prices. Highly recommended! If your a BBQ LOVER YOU WILL LOVE PIZZITOLAS.
Melissa L.
Melissa L.
01:17 21 Nov 19
As always, the service was friendly and quick. The ribs are definitely in a class of their own. The best barbecue in town.
Lawrence R.
Lawrence R.
20:45 15 Nov 19
This should be your go-to spot for spareribs in Houston, no doubt about it. This place has been a Houston BBQ institution for years and once you experience...
Cynthia V.
Cynthia V.
05:36 06 Nov 19
People here are all super friendly and the food is great. If you wanna try some old-fashioned style food, you cannot miss this place!
吳冠霖
吳冠霖
04:26 13 Oct 19
Old fashioned atmosphere. Simple menu. Great food! The ribs were perfect and I love their BBQ sauce.
Jeremy M.
Jeremy M.
01:19 06 Sep 19
Best barbecue I've ever had in my life and I've traveled all over the South looking for your barbecue. I would highly recommend to anybody and everybody, even vegetarians.
Brandon MadViking B.
Brandon MadViking B.
13:13 18 Jul 19
Nice quaint building with a very country atmosphere located in the Heights area of Houston. Excellent & friendly service.I had the ribs, pinto beans and...
Royce C.
Royce C.
14:55 18 Jun 19
This place don't just serve one of the best BBQ in Houston, it servers all the good memories you had eating here with people you care!
sam M.
sam M.
19:48 12 Jun 19
This place has been around longer than all the cute trendy BBQ spots poppping up and still better. The menu is small and simple, family run, staff is great.NOTHING beats the chicken here. Seriously, nothing.
Benjamin G.
Benjamin G.
19:11 30 May 19
Place is okay. GREAT pepper shaker! Food was okay, you can tell it’s been sitting in a pot of swamp juice for a few hours. Cyndee is great! Super nice lady. The band sucked I think they were called the banditios. Hot towel after the experience, will never forget.
Nick T.
Nick T.
17:49 27 Apr 19
bbq and service at this location is great. Staff treated us so kindly. Ambience reminds me of Colorado Springs area.
Kaden W.
Kaden W.
19:20 20 Apr 19
I love this place, warm atmosphere, I like the barbecue, very tasty. Mostly a lunch place, can get busy then! Sometimes they run out of this or that late in the evening.
Chris W.
Chris W.
19:47 16 Apr 19
You got to try the ribs here. It's a great place for a casual lunch or dinner with friends and family or business associates.
Jeff R.
Jeff R.
16:24 05 Apr 19
BBQ and the setting at this place is super good. i love eating here. i'll return family next time. the place has a good feel to it.
Rachel C.
Rachel C.
06:04 17 Mar 19
Place rocks. Real Texas bar-b-cue in a real bar-b-cue joint. Sample platter is a real value. Taste it all.
Allen S.
Allen S.
01:00 14 Mar 19
Truly an experience.Amazing BBQ, I can't pick a favorite as everything was very good.The restaurant really is a classic BBQ place, with lots of great memorabilia and an authentic experience.
Scott J.
Scott J.
22:14 27 Feb 19
I loved it, the staff was nice the food was good and it very much reminded me of eating here with family years ago. You must have the banana pudding.
Darren S.
Darren S.
15:31 14 Feb 19
Me and a couple of my barbecue buddies recently headed to a seriously old-school barbecue joint in The Heights area of Houston called Pizzitola’s Bar B Cue. The sign out front says “Serious Bar B Cue Since 1935” (oddly, the sign on the side of the building says “since 1934” – not sure which is... correct. But either way, that is a long time). Any place that has been open that long has to be doing something right, so we had to try them. Entering the building, the first thing we noticed was how truly old-school the place is. It definitely looks and feels like it has been around for a long time. Another thing that is different from most BBQ joints I’ve been to was that they had table service – they actually seated us and gave us menus. Very interesting, and definitely not like so many Hill Country meat market-style joints.The other sign out front, but directly on the building, says “Houston’s Home for Spareribs”. So naturally I had to give them a try. And since this is a Texas BBQ joint, I had to try brisket as well. The waitress came and took our orders, and strongly recommended the beans as a star side dish. So I ordered both the beans and potato salad.The brisket – I was very happy to have gotten some lean and some moist. It was hard to judge the bark, given the way it had been sliced in the back and plated (I always prefer to see the meat being sliced). Even so, the smoky flavor was excellent, and the fat was well-rendered. Given how challenging it is for them to cook briskets on their ancient pits, I was impressed. You see, the fire in these pits is right at the edge, not off in a firebox separated from the cooking chamber, like so many modern offset pits. The heat nearest the fire is way too hot for the cooking a brisket low-n-slow. So all throughout the cook, the pit men and women have to rotate the briskets back and forth from the near end to the far end in order to not cook them too quickly or dry them out. Pizzitola’s pits are Houston’s last remaining “grandfathered in” open brick pits from a bygone era.The pork spareribs – in a word, they were sublime. The simple salt & pepper rub was all they needed to be delicious (from what I saw/tasted, they don’t mop them). The meat was so tender and flavorful, with perfectly-rendered fat. Bite after bite pulled away from the bone cleanly, but did not just fall off like happens with oversteamed ribs.The beans, as recommended by our waitress, really were very tasty, with plenty of salty flavor and some good chunks of meat. The potato salad was fine – nothing to write home about, but certainly nothing to complain about either.If you haven’t taken the opportunity to try Pizzitola’s, they are definitely worth the drive to experience this unique old-school barbecue joint from another era. They’re not even hard to get to – less than a quarter mile south of I-10 on Shepherd.read more
Dave P.
Dave P.
19:26 04 Jan 19
Quality meats. and has flavorPrompt sevice. Atmosphere is quiet.Could be that it is 3 days after Christmas. Will recommend this place craving for barbecue.Will eat here again.
Alice B.
Alice B.
03:04 29 Dec 18
Great food!!! Josh & the staff were super friendly & gave us all kinds of samples to try! Just a real "feel good" restaurant with great food! We'll definitely come back! Prices were very reasonable as well! 💖
Barbara W.
Barbara W.
00:20 07 Dec 18
BEST BBQ EVER! This was my first visit but will not be my last! I had co-workers visiting Texas for the first time and they asked to have BBQ. My boyfriend suggested Pizzitola's as a Houston staple and we were all grateful for the recommendation. The staff was very friendly and the atmosphere was... authentic. I had brisket, potato salad, slaw, and banana pudding. It was all delicious but there are no words for that brisket..."delicious" does not even come close. I may be completely ruined for BBQ anywhere else forever! Will definitely take all out of town guests here from now on.read more
Amber A
Amber A
03:58 09 Nov 18
Great brisket and turkey! Hands down the best banana pudding in Houston - it’d be a mistake to skip out on dessert.
Kaleena B.
Kaleena B.
18:13 05 Oct 18
One of my favorite BBQ joints n Texas. They do things a little different here which makes them all the better. They offer de-boned chicken that has great flavor thru and thru, and so much easier to enjoy off the bone. Their dry rubbed short ribs are the specialty of the house and the best I have... ever had...moist and little fat if any. Practically meat candy! They also offer smoked/grilled fresh veggies that are delicious. Try one of the old school desserts...my favorite is the yellow cake w white icing and coconut...yum.read more
renegadegeeK
renegadegeeK
16:32 02 Oct 18
Ordered the brisket and ribs plate, brisket had smoke ring & tender enough to cut with your fork, asked for lean brisket & got it... ribs tender and smoked, great flavor.... Cole slaw, like homemade, fresh, pinto beans great flavor, not mushy... Service was excellent, not too crowded, like next... door at Jax Grill... will definitely be returning, when in the area...read more
Steve F.
Steve F.
05:13 23 Sep 18
I just love this place. Food is amazing, service is excellent. They are so friendly and they mean it. Nice country atmosphere, makes me feel comfortable and peaceful.
Farnaz F.
Farnaz F.
01:26 20 Sep 18
The food was good just a little small in portion.... The service was great the manager, owner came and checked on us.
Laura H.
Laura H.
19:20 14 Jul 18
I managed to hit this place before the dinner rush. The two waitresses (both Cindy's I think?) sat and chatted with me for a few minutes while I waited for the some of most delicious rib, brisket and sausage I've had.90 years of experience shined through all the way to my belly. A MUST EAT... place if you're eating your way through Houston.read more
Chad O.
Chad O.
22:44 13 Jul 18
Good place, lots of food. They are on Groupon. Had live music on Saturday afternoon. Not having the option of traditional BBQ sauce is my reason for 4 out of 5 stars.
Brian B.
Brian B.
19:09 16 Jun 18
They have TERRIFIC barbeque, a wonderful selection of sides (6 or 7 different ones) and an awesome service. The barbeque is moist and has excellent flavor. The sides include standards like potato salad, coleslaw, and beans, but they have added some amazing and inventive options as well, such as... spicy cabbage (it is awesome even for folks who don't normally like cabbage), barbeque baked potato, and seasoned grilled vegetables.It is an old-style barbeque place with nice beer selection. They are adding craft beers soon as well.They are busy during lunch and added Groupon to increase their dinner traffic, so if you don't see a lot of cars in the parking lot, don't hesitate to go on in --- this place is SUPER!!!!!read more
Barney G.
Barney G.
14:47 08 Jun 18
Incredible food and great staff and atmosphere. When I went during lunch rush, the owner personally greeted me and took my order. I couldn't recommend this place enough!
Zachary C.
Zachary C.
19:56 04 May 18
I have been eating bbq here for many years. The deboned chicken, the brisket and the links are great. The ribs are absolutely the best in Houston. Jerry and staff know how to do it right.....
Bill D.
Bill D.
00:13 14 Apr 18
Pretty good bbq. The waiter was also very nice and friendly. Definitely will recommend and be going back.
Carlos L.
Carlos L.
02:26 07 Apr 18
Have eaten here 3 times. Nice old school feel, with very friendly wait staff. Pretty good BBQ. Love the BBQ baked potatoe, have had the chicken and the brisket. Both are great! If you like BBQ give them a try!
T C
T C
20:12 27 Mar 18
This was my 1st time there and I loved the atmosphere. That staff were so friendly and helpful. The food was amazing. Loved the place
Rick V.
Rick V.
21:14 24 Mar 18
After having driven by far too often, we tried it tonight and were definitely impressed, both with the delicious BBQ and the amazing enthusiasm and friendly way of Josh, the manager. He loves BBQ and his restaurant and it shows. I'm glad we tried it out. Josh said it's usually very busy around... lunch. We came in about an hour before closing and were able to relax and take our time. Will definitely be back.read more
M. C.
M. C.
01:27 16 Mar 18
We met some friends here and it was a nice place to sit, have great bbq and visit. I had the full plate so I had everything. By far the best item were the ribs but the sausage and the brisket were also tasty. Well worth a visit.
Tom J.
Tom J.
11:41 25 Feb 18
By far the best bbq i have tasted so far the owner is very kind he actually came and sat with our table conversated their ribs are the bomb ...great hospitality ......
my fav rubio R.
my fav rubio R.
22:05 03 Feb 18
Chance drop in. Was greeted with a warm welcome +1. The owner (?) welcomed me as well and made friendly small talk. Reminded me of growing up in the country where everyone knows everyone and they're all friendly 😊 service was prompt and order came out quickly. Brisket was great! Cooked to... damn near perfection. Sausage link has a great balance of spice and seasoning. Portions were ample. The accompanying sliced white bread is normal for bbq but did not interest me. The coleslaw had a but much mayo. The ice cream scooped potato salad reminded me of school cafeteria food but tasted better than it looked. Lose the ice cream scooper! The same gentleman came by with a free "dessert" sample: 1 rib. Dammit - this rib is AMAZING. Now i regret not having ordered them. I know what I'm getting when I return. I'll be dragging my crew in here with me. Excellent job! Wish I had found this place sooner.read more
Daniel R.
Daniel R.
20:43 25 Jan 18
Located in an older part of town, inside is a bit nostalgic, and the awesome restaurant staff offers old school friendly mom and pop service. Brisket was great!! And we couldn't have enough of their potato salad. I'm a foodie and love good food. This place definitely have good food.
Al I.
Al I.
08:29 18 Dec 17
Some off the best pork spare ribs in the area the brisket is also great parking can be a challenge during lunch but well worth the effort for the barbeque and friendly staff
MICHAEL S.
MICHAEL S.
23:01 12 Dec 17
Really good BBQ. Sauce a bit salty for my liking but good. Place itself could use an overhaul...not as clean as I feel it should be seeing as it's a restaurant. Decent price for what you get.
Cynthia B.
Cynthia B.
22:05 22 Oct 17
The absolute best bbq I've had. Toured the state trying local bbq favorites in every city, and this place was by far the best taste and service. Both owners were very friendly and passionate about their business. Even let us see the smoker in the back of house. Customer for life.
Chuck W.
Chuck W.
18:26 27 Aug 17
The customer service was amazing from the phone call to the pickup of my order. Everyone spoke to me and helped. Very welcoming place!!
mia G.
mia G.
21:35 07 Aug 17
I wished I had found this place earlier! I was brought here by Groupon, and had the mind blown experience. I ordered the mixed brisket and sausage and it was so tender! The potato salad was also very good, definitely coming back.
Julia N
Julia N
01:06 05 Aug 17
I absolutely loved this BBQ restaurant!!! The ribs were perfect, the sides were amazing, and the people serving and cooking were the best part. I've never felt so welcome at any restaurant. I can't recommend it enough.
Jeremy M.
Jeremy M.
20:14 28 Jul 17
The food was excellent and the potato salad was great, but my favorite one was BRISKET...I loved it... I recommend this place to any one who loves the BBQ.
Laura M.
Laura M.
22:03 12 Jul 17
Amazing BBQ, they know what they're doing!! Not to mention the service and the treatment from the staff! Groupon lead us here but we'll be back many times!!
Dustin F.
Dustin F.
19:00 17 Jun 17
First time here, great experience. I was boring a got a brisket baked potato but it was really good. Prompt service and the manager, maybe an owner, came around to.check on me. I'll be back for dinner so I can try more BBQ.
Eat D.
Eat D.
19:31 31 May 17
Spectacular bbq and great staff. I've been to a lot of great bbq places, but they treat you slightly better than the cattle they are serving. This place has FANTASTIC bbq and they are the most friendly staff I've ever dealt with. Must check out.
Chris R.
Chris R.
19:55 26 May 17
Service was awesome. Smiles and very helpful people. The ribs taste amazing as does the turkey. Both were tender and flavorful, while the latter was cooked perfectly; juicy not dry.
Tim W.
Tim W.
15:31 13 Apr 17
WOW WOW WOW. This place is absolutely great. If you leave hungry it's your own fault. Tried as much as I could but couldn't try everything. What I did have was very flavorful, cooked just right, and just wonderful. This place will be in my top 5 of places to eat or entertain friends and family from... out of town, and in town ones too. The atmosphere was very relaxed. Take your time and enjoy this place.read more
Johnnie Jones I.
Johnnie Jones I.
18:23 10 Mar 17
Some of the best pork ribs in town. Jerry Pizzitola will most likely come to your table to check on you. Old time bbq joint makes you feel right at home.
Ramon R.
Ramon R.
22:07 01 Mar 17
Absolutely fantastic. Brisket was very tender and flavorful. The spare ribs were excellent and the staff was very friendly.
John T.
John T.
18:19 29 Dec 16
Probably the friendliest places you would ever want to go. Ribs are very tender and tasty. Got to give them a try!
Phillip H.
Phillip H.
00:51 25 Oct 16
Amazing sampler plate.. ribs, brisket and sausage links were all so savory!! Def recommend this place. Plus, they had great country live music playing during the lunch hours!
Melissa S.
Melissa S.
19:04 23 Apr 16
OVERALL: Iconic Texas bbq joint with killer sausage links, juicy and tender chicken, and friendly service where you'll leave happier than you arrived.THINGS TO KNOW: Dine in to get the full experience. It's not cheap. If it's your first time, bite the bullet and get a sampler platter.CONS: 4.75... for a small cup of banana pudding and 4.95 for a st. Arnold beer = prices worth it for the experience, but not a place I'll be a regular at.read more
Andrew E
Andrew E
01:00 10 Jul 15
Third time here. Really good as usual. Got the sampler w/ ribs, beef, and sausage.Good service and attitude.This is a destination BBQ joint worth driving for.
Jason H
Jason H
01:14 13 Apr 14
Very Good Food! The deboned chicken, ribs and sausage without the sauce was delicious. Sides were great, friendly at home atmosphere.
Ashok R.
Ashok R.
05:42 09 Apr 14
Ribs, chicken, and brisket were seasoned to perfection. Didnt need bbq sauce. Also had sausage. Finished with the banana pudding. Long story short, I will be back! Staff was nice. Owner even gave me a tour of the place. All around nice people.
Rick H.
Rick H.
17:02 04 Jun 13
Some good barbecue... the sausage is good, the brisket had a good flavor but varies in tenderness, and the ribs are delicious and need no sauce. The sides are adequate, not the best, but mostly tasty. They offer grilled vegetables, which is nice too. The sampler dish turns out to be a good... selection of whatever you want, I think.The staff is all super nice and will make anyone feel right at home. If you haven't been here, it's probably worth a visit.read more
Jonathan N.
Jonathan N.
07:22 18 May 13