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The Best Delivery Pizza in SF - FOUND!

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niki rothman Aug 10, 2006 09:35 PM

It's Victor's on the west side of Polk near Pine! I should have known. But, it's been years since I ordered from them, so I figured...well, I don't know what I was thinking, but finally I've got my pizza-craving head on straight. There may be a personal weight gain in the works, but hell...I don't care! As somebody once said about something, unfortunately not pizza...Bring it ON!

I CANNOT believe how good this pie truly is. It IS New York pizza! I got an x-tra large vegetarian special, because that is the hardest pie not to ruin...because rapid condensation of the vegetables, as oppposed to meat which is stable, can easily produce a wet delivery pie. This pizza is perfect. Even COLD. I just ate a hot (still melty cheese) slice, then a cold slice - perfecto! Perfect savory light sauce. Somebody even thought to sprinkle oregano on top. Plenty of toppings: well grilled, yet not sloppy or overcooked. Very tasty (perfect again) crust, not too thin, not too thick. Tender dough - did NOT crack upon being folded in half the long way - a crucial test failed by both Delfina and Arinell. A16's pie folds easily, but it's not NY style, and they don't deliver. Victor's delivery time from initial call to Dolores & 14th. st. - just over a half hour.

Price: $25 ($10 less than the inferior Goat Hill pizza with their skimpy toppings, which despite my complaints they failed to increase on the second, and last, delivery). Before he left me alone with the hot pie, I asked the delivery guy whether those notorious (to me) very flirtatious several Italian guys were still working there - YES they are! Victor's, delivering shockingly great pizza since 1954.

I LOVE YOU VICTOR'S PIZZA!

P.S.
Vital style tip for serious chowhounds: as soon as your lovely pie is in your hot little hands, remove it from the box and place on a wire rack. Pull out your oven rack and use that if necessary. This will prevent that dreaded soggy condensation - for best taste, reheat one slice at a time.

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  1. Robert Lauriston RE: niki rothman Aug 10, 2006 09:55 PM

    Victor's is pretty good but doesn't seem New York-style to me. The crust is thicker, softer, and baked California blonde--classic old-school West Coast style.

    They sell slices. 1411 Polk just north of Pine. (415) 885-1660

    11 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston
      n
      niki rothman RE: Robert Lauriston Aug 10, 2006 10:20 PM

      Maybe you're just jaded. Are you from NYC? What does California blonde mean? Underdone? This pie was very charry on the bottom, but pleasantly so.

      1. re: niki rothman
        Robert Lauriston RE: niki rothman Aug 10, 2006 10:38 PM

        Blonde as opposed to dark bake. The top of the crust is golden brown, not dark, with no charred spots.

        West Coast pizza consumers like a lighter bake than New Yorkers. They'll call a properly cooked New York-style pizza burned and send it back.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston
          Chris Rising RE: Robert Lauriston Aug 10, 2006 11:10 PM

          As a New York transplant, help me to understand what Californians mean by New York-style pizza. Is it a slightly crispy, rather thin pie (no slices) from John's Pizzeria in the Village, or a ubiquitous heavy slice from Ray's found on almost any street corner?

          1. re: Chris Rising
            rworange RE: Chris Rising Aug 11, 2006 12:10 AM

            Well, here's my answer and this probably belongs on the General board.

            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

            1. re: Chris Rising
              n
              niki rothman RE: Chris Rising Aug 11, 2006 02:49 PM

              I've eaten in both John's and the many Ray's - lotsa times. John's is more like the A16 pie (on the south side of Chestnut in the Marina) - an upscale skinny crust pie (but pliable - thank God, not crackerlike). Ray's is a little bit too mass-produced tasting and a little thicker than I like, but overall - Ray's is closer to my idea of NYC pizza. I was born in Manhattan and spent my latter childhood no more than a half hour from Times Square. I was engaged to a very cocky Italian American for a while. He would have enjoyed Ray's, John's, A16, Tommasso's, Toto's, AND VICTOR'S. He would have sneered at Arinell (Ak Mak cracker).

              1. re: Chris Rising
                Robert Lauriston RE: Chris Rising Aug 11, 2006 04:30 PM

                A16 does a classic wood-oven Neapolitan-style pizza. The dough is thin and relatively soft.

                John's uses a coal oven. Compared with A16, the dough is thicker, the pie is larger, it comes out crispier / crunchier, and most of the toppings are of inferior quality.

                Not all Ray's-type places make equally good slices.

                1. re: Chris Rising
                  n
                  niki rothman RE: Chris Rising Aug 11, 2006 04:48 PM

                  New York pizza is proletarian food. A slice of Ray's and a small coke is lunch for thousands of working-class New Yorkers. That's why Ray's has been around so long and is as popular as it is. Kind of like Nathan's Famous or Junior's cheesecake or Jahn's Kitchen Sink sundae - not the BEST - but they ARE belly bombs that do the job their Creator intended them to do.

                  Victor's is nowhere near as thick as Ray's, but just as pliable and as generous, with excellent toppings, light yet hearty sauce, and first class mozzarella.

                  Bad California pizza claiming to be NY pizza is Cybelle's thick, doughy, poofy, sodden-center/tough crisp bottom surface - I ate the toppings off the crust pretending it was a paper plate - it tasted like a paper plate. Then there's Arinell on Valencia, those out and out frauds with their gaudy "NY style" sign. That sign gave me high hopes, which were immediatly dashed. For the first and only time in my life I THREW AWAY PIZZA.

                  1. re: Chris Rising
                    Robert Lauriston RE: Chris Rising Aug 11, 2006 04:59 PM

                    I agree that Arinell is bad but many expatriate New Yorkers like it. My theory is that they're pining for a particular style of mediocre greasy junk food pizza and Arinell has more or less duplicated it.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston
                      d
                      dunstable RE: Robert Lauriston Nov 13, 2006 11:40 PM

                      I wouldn't go as far as saying we "like" it. It's just that Arinell's is as close as SF gets to a typical Ray's slice, although quite frankly, it's not even as good as a typical Ray's slice (although I've not been to Victor's yet). Either way, I eat there all the time, and in much the same fashion -- if I'm in the mood for a slice and I'm in the area, I have a slice.

                  2. re: Robert Lauriston
                    belgand RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 7, 2007 04:59 PM

                    I've lived almost my entire life in the Midwest and for me a pizza with any dark spots is burnt (then again, this is my opinion on any food). My parents, New York transplants, never corrected me on it either.

                    1. re: belgand
                      ChowFun_derek RE: belgand Feb 7, 2007 10:51 PM

                      When I went to school in the Midwest..they served white bread at Chinese restaurants!

              2. b
                BlaineResident RE: niki rothman Aug 10, 2006 11:22 PM

                I am with you all the way. I have been eating Victor's for 12 years and find it really delicious, and much better than many nouveau pizza places that have sprung up here in SF. Francisco is a genius server - he's the one with the mustache there. Try the Victor's Special. Outrageously tasty.

                1 Reply
                1. re: BlaineResident
                  Melanie Wong RE: BlaineResident Aug 10, 2006 11:54 PM

                  I like it for a fast food slice. The sauce has a bit too much dried oregano for me to enjoy a whole pie.

                  Jan 2005 thread on Victor's Pizzeria -
                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                2. TexasToast RE: niki rothman Aug 10, 2006 11:45 PM

                  I once had a really, really good pizza up on a hill somewhere behind Post, but have no idea what it's called. Somewhere above Post and Jones. A tiny, tiny place, very Italian, tons of people waiting.

                  Any ideas?

                  TT

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: TexasToast
                    tvham RE: TexasToast Aug 11, 2006 06:48 AM

                    Are you thinking of Uncle Vito's? I've only had delivery from them, pretty good...actually, my two delivery pizza choices are Victor's and Uncle Vito's.

                    1. re: tvham
                      TexasToast RE: tvham Aug 11, 2006 09:48 AM

                      I could be. All I know is there was a wait fora table, and it was almost like being in a house. You could eat upstairs as well and the tables were really small (so you could pack more people in) and they brought out the pizza on large metal pans and sat them on the table on those tall candlestick looking things, so that you could use more of the table top for dining.

                      TT

                      1. re: tvham
                        h
                        himbeer RE: tvham Aug 11, 2006 11:41 PM

                        I've never eaten at Uncle Vito's myself, but a cable car brakeman does, cuz we had to wait for him to pick up his dinner. another passenger enthused about it, especially the white pizza. and said athletes frequented the place.

                        on a different cable car ride, the gripman recommended luella.

                        your intrepid MUNI employee food recommendations reporter

                        1. re: himbeer
                          Gary Soup RE: himbeer Aug 12, 2006 01:41 AM

                          Another current thread has 10 Muni drivers headed into New Moon for Chinese roast pork. Maybe we need a whole "Muni recommends" thread.

                          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                      2. re: TexasToast
                        Chris Rising RE: TexasToast Aug 11, 2006 03:38 PM

                        Front Door on California? Packed on Pitcher nights.

                        1. re: Chris Rising
                          TexasToast RE: Chris Rising Aug 12, 2006 02:22 PM

                          I don't know. It was so long ago and it was a one time visit.

                          TT

                      3. Gary Soup RE: niki rothman Aug 11, 2006 12:01 AM

                        I'll say this, Victor's certainly has legs. I use to get pizza there in the '70s. Do they still toss pizzas in the front window?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Gary Soup
                          Pei RE: Gary Soup Aug 11, 2006 01:52 AM

                          Heck yea! That's half the fun. They'll flirt shamelessly with you too, if you're a gal between the age of 18 and 80...heck, probably even older than that.

                          In addition to the pizzas, I like Victor's when I'm in the mood for pasta without any fuss. Good marinara, decent minestrone, plenty of bread and salad for free, etc.

                        2. h
                          himbeer RE: niki rothman Aug 11, 2006 01:54 AM

                          yes and gesture at the ladies walking down the street to come on in.

                          my pie of choice is za's or amici's.

                          in the city college area, monterey pizza did a decent one.

                          bravo pizza at mission/geneva is okay, the filipina waitress is the best and there is usually a table or two of cops to make it seem safer.

                          1. n
                            niki rothman RE: niki rothman Aug 11, 2006 04:09 PM

                            Victor's pie thickness report: I just measured my breakfast slice (tender, melty, veg. still crisp but well cooked...luscious!)
                            3/8" on the edge, 1/8" in the center.
                            What's not to like?

                            1. JoyM RE: niki rothman Aug 11, 2006 05:15 PM

                              Anyone have any idea what the delivery radius is of Victor's, or for Uncle Vito's? Specifically, do they deliver as far as City Hall?

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: JoyM
                                s
                                SteveG RE: JoyM Aug 11, 2006 07:31 PM

                                Niki's at 14th and Dolores, so yes. City Hall's probably half the distance from Niki, and she got her pie hot.

                                1. re: SteveG
                                  ChowFun_derek RE: SteveG Aug 11, 2006 09:28 PM

                                  I hope they deliver to the Duboce Triangle! I definitely want to give them a try!!!
                                  I order my delivery pizzas 'partial bake', and UNSLICED and finish them in my oven on a pizza stone....unsliced is important, or the cheese can burn and stick to the stone!!!
                                  Thanks for the headsup Niki!

                                  1. re: ChowFun_derek
                                    n
                                    niki rothman RE: ChowFun_derek Aug 11, 2006 09:47 PM

                                    You're very welcome, Derek. You are as close to Victor's as I am. Maybe, to close the deal, have a female friend start flirting with them over the phone.
                                    P.S.
                                    I just ate my second slice of the day for lunch. How many hours to dinner? My husband is having mac n' cheese, broccoli, and a burger, salad (with heirloom tomato) and garlic bread. Well, it's his choice. More pizza for me!

                                    1. re: ChowFun_derek
                                      n
                                      niki rothman RE: ChowFun_derek Aug 11, 2006 09:50 PM

                                      Derek,
                                      Ask them to bring you a menu for future orders. I don't know if they automatically include one or not.

                                2. ChowFun_derek RE: niki rothman Aug 11, 2006 11:48 PM

                                  Thanks, I'll do that since they don't have a website, and I couldn't find a menu online!

                                  1. c
                                    chilipalmer RE: niki rothman Aug 12, 2006 12:47 AM

                                    Glad to see that Victor's is still making pizza-hounds happy. My kids "cut" their teeth on those crusts back in the 80's. The Anastasio family owned the place and were proud to be voted among the most popular places for years and years. I would opine that the best Victor's pie compares quite favorably with the best Topmmaso's pie, slice for slice.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: chilipalmer
                                      Robert Lauriston RE: chilipalmer Aug 12, 2006 06:32 AM

                                      Victor's is pretty good for gas-deck-oven pizza but it can't compete with Tommaso's.

                                    2. n
                                      NoeMan RE: niki rothman Aug 12, 2006 03:56 AM

                                      Nuthin beats the New Yorker from Haystack in Noe Valley

                                      7 Replies
                                      1. re: NoeMan
                                        n
                                        niki rothman RE: NoeMan Aug 12, 2006 05:08 AM

                                        I'll try it. But, a New York pizzeria would never name a pie "The New Yorker" unless it's a plain pie without any toppings, and let's face it you're not going to give that any cute names. Because orthodox New York pizza is just sauce and cheese. No topppings at all.

                                        1. re: niki rothman
                                          Robert Lauriston RE: niki rothman Aug 12, 2006 06:38 AM

                                          "Old New Yorker Special: Mushrooms, Sausage, Salami and Pepperoni" - Chelsea Pizza, 217 W 14th

                                          1. re: niki rothman
                                            n
                                            NoeMan RE: niki rothman Aug 12, 2006 02:20 PM

                                            Haystack is just sauce and cheese, reminds me of Ray's. May not be identical but it is a great attempt to be authentic. I guess the cutesy name is to let you know what style it is. I hope you like it.

                                            1. re: NoeMan
                                              n
                                              niki rothman RE: NoeMan Aug 12, 2006 06:28 PM

                                              Thanks, Noe Man! I love a hot new NY pizza tip that's so close to where I live. I can't wait to have an excuse to head to 24th. street. Hmmm...The Bell Market has good meat, maybe I'll go over there and check out what's on sale next week. I think Haystack, like Victor's, has been around for a long time - a good sign.

                                            2. re: niki rothman
                                              rworange RE: niki rothman Aug 12, 2006 04:27 PM

                                              >>> a New York pizzeria would never name a pie "The New Yorker" unless it's a plain pie without any toppings, and let's face it you're not going to give that any cute names <<<

                                              Yeah

                                              As much as I loved the sausage pizza at Nizza La Bella, I'd never order the New York, New York again ... no matter how much the place has improved.

                                              1. re: rworange
                                                Robert Lauriston RE: rworange Aug 12, 2006 04:54 PM

                                                The New York, New York is a plain pie--tomato sauce flavored with garlic and herbs and topped with cheese.

                                                If you're ever there when owner Evelyne Slomon's in the house you should talk with her about the history of New York pizza and its various styles. She's something of an expert on the subject:

                                                http://www.pmq.com/mag/2006january-fe...

                                                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                  rworange RE: Robert Lauriston Aug 12, 2006 05:28 PM

                                                  The point was that it wasn't what I was looking for. I am sure that I would love to listen to Ms. Slomon and would learn about NY and other pizza. But this isn't about that.

                                                  Reading the thread on the general board, it seems that more people, using SF terms, are craving the Victor's type of NY pizza rather than the Nizza La Bella type.

                                                  I get more raw, sheer bliss from the humble $2.50 slice from Parry's in American Canyon than the $15 pie at Nizza. That slice is about the size of half a Nizza pie.

                                                  I LOVE Nizza. I admire everything about it. I love the care, thought, quality of it. I will eat lots more of it.

                                                  Yet ... The craving is satisfied by Parry's ... by neighborhood pizza, not the pricy special event pizza of the NY equivalent of Nizza.

                                                  And even from reading your posts on the general board, that you have lived in NY and enjoyed and reveled in all the great styles in that city ... it is not the same thing as growing up with it ... as having it a part of your deepest pizza-loving soul.

                                                  I feel bad that I can't describe this better. I don't get back East often enough, but next time I do, I'll pay more attention and take some notes. All I remember from the last time I was there was the revelation of taking a bite of the pizza and all the pleasure of that slice making me once again disatisfied with SF pizza. Parry's is the closest to satisfying that craving. For some reason, as fine as it might be, Tomasso's never did. There is just something off there.

                                                  Parrys
                                                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                                                  There was some NY actor talking about the lack of good Italian sandwiches and pizza in LA. When he goes back, it is the no-name neighborhood joint he goes to the minute off the plane.

                                                  And that is what it is about ... red and white table cloth, family, the smell and taste that is close to something your Italian neighbors would make. It is about craft, but in a different way. It is about soul.

                                                  And it isn't just atmosphere. Even Bucca di Beppo can hang the decorations. It is just about flavor ... simple and pure deliciousness ... the very essence from my understanding of Chowhound.

                                                  And that type of place would never have on its menu a pizza called "The New Yorker" or "New York, New York". It doesn't need to. It is.

                                                  It is not much different than any ethnicity ... the fatty delicious inexpensive Chinese soup, the lard-laden simple beans of Mexico. the five spice bursting with flavors type of curries of Curry Corner. Do I appreciate Fonda and Slanted door and those of that ilk ... sure. There are top restaurants in any country that make me want to swoon.

                                                  But those top places aren't how people eat every day, the things that reach into their hearts and satisfy deepest flavor yearnings.

                                                  It isn't about intellectualizing or studying pizza. It is primal taste and it is personal.

                                          2. Husky RE: niki rothman Aug 12, 2006 06:27 PM

                                            OK, we get it...my authentic is better than your authentic. My pizza soul is deeper than yours. Enough of this - let's all shut our pizza pie holes...

                                            1. j
                                              Jim RE: niki rothman Aug 12, 2006 06:44 PM

                                              I second that!

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: Jim
                                                rworange RE: Jim Aug 12, 2006 10:03 PM

                                                I'm more than happy to. It isn't as if every time pizza gets mentioned on the board it has to have papers of authenticity. If someone likes the pie, let it go at that. If that is NY to them, let it go. If it tastes like their trip to Italy, why challenge them about what part of Italy if you know what the pizza tastes like. It tastes like Italy to them. They like it.

                                                1. re: rworange
                                                  Robert Lauriston RE: rworange Aug 12, 2006 10:10 PM

                                                  With regard to pizza, "authentic" usually means "the way they used to make it at my favorite pizzeria."

                                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                    rworange RE: Robert Lauriston Aug 12, 2006 10:13 PM

                                                    You make me laugh, Robert ... sometimes.

                                              2. z
                                                zesyma RE: niki rothman Nov 13, 2006 07:30 AM

                                                "Nuthin beats the New Yorker from Haystack in Noe Valley"

                                                If you get this, ask for 'light on the cheese' and it'll be the perfect amount - just enough so that it doesn't weigh down the pie and make the crust soggy.

                                                7 Replies
                                                1. re: zesyma
                                                  ChowFun_derek RE: zesyma Nov 13, 2006 03:31 PM

                                                  Are you a "New Yorker"??? Just checkin'....'cause New York Pizza means too many things to too many people, and I don't want to get my hope's up too much!
                                                  At least Haystack will deliver to the Duboce Triangle....Victor's will not!

                                                  Thanks

                                                  1. re: ChowFun_derek
                                                    larochelle RE: ChowFun_derek Nov 13, 2006 05:17 PM

                                                    Welcome to my world, Derek. The chowhound sword cuts two ways: you can get tips to some great food you would not find on your own but you can also get tips that are wild goose chases ending in disappointment.

                                                    I have never found decent New Mexico or Texas-style tamales in the Bay Area. Every time some random person on this board posts something about "really good tamales" I have a long internal debate about how hopeful I should get, how hard the place is to get to, how soon I should follow up or if I should bother at all.

                                                    Luckily, Spring tamales are really easy to make. Unfortunately, my friend who used to host a Holiday Tamalada just moved out of the Bay Area so now it looks like I'm going to have to do it if I want good tamales for Christmas.

                                                    1. re: larochelle
                                                      ChowFun_derek RE: larochelle Nov 14, 2006 03:52 PM

                                                      I know....you are still looking for 'real' chicken fried steak, and now grits! (and ofcourse real Texas beef BBQ!)

                                                      1. re: larochelle
                                                        ChowFun_derek RE: larochelle Nov 14, 2006 05:29 PM

                                                        I'm beginning to "resent" the East Bay!!!! They seem to have the kind of places that would be rewarding to try!!!

                                                        1. re: ChowFun_derek
                                                          rworange RE: ChowFun_derek Nov 15, 2006 12:48 AM

                                                          There are so many unreported SF places. Everytime I have to go to the city I have more places I want to check out than time to try them. I was going to list all the places I'm dying to try in SF but lack the time. The salads always greener on the other side of the bay, eh?

                                                    2. re: ChowFun_derek
                                                      n
                                                      niki rothman RE: ChowFun_derek Nov 14, 2006 10:51 PM

                                                      I'm shocked they deliver to me on Dolores btwn. 14 & 15 but not Duboce Triangle. It's really exactly as far from them. But, maybe if you've got a woman friend who could place the call?

                                                      1. re: niki rothman
                                                        ChowFun_derek RE: niki rothman Nov 15, 2006 07:38 AM

                                                        That must be the problem!!!
                                                        ...when I placed my order for pizza, I also added 2 dinner entrees...but when they heard where I lived they said no...I will definitely try again.... maybe they were having a difficult night!

                                                  2. Lori SF RE: niki rothman Feb 8, 2007 08:04 AM

                                                    As much a I love A16 it would be a undeliverable piizza, that pizza needs to be eaten right out of the oven.

                                                    I think most people have different expectations on pizza that is delivered vs eating pizza in a restaurant. So perhaps Victors is really good pizza that is delivered, there are so few that are even worth while eating. I like Bambino’s Ristorante for delivery it's also only several blks from my house so it delivers well, especially the “Tre Fromaggi”, which is a thin crust pizza without sauce. But, I would not go to Bambino's for pizza, I would go to Little Star or A16. IMO you just can't compare pizza you would go out for vs pizza you would have delivered.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: Lori SF
                                                      celeste RE: Lori SF Feb 8, 2007 01:43 PM

                                                      I agree mostly, though I often get Little Star to go and eat at home. It travels/weathers time going by really well. So if Little Star delivered, then it would be the best of all the pizza paradigms. :-)

                                                      Interesting that you mention Bambino's. I also live nearby but gave up on their delivery many years ago. Maybe I should try them again.

                                                      1. re: celeste
                                                        Lori SF RE: celeste Feb 8, 2007 01:57 PM

                                                        My bf and I said Little Star must do a delivery!!!

                                                        As far as Bambino's I like the thin crust selections better than the others.. to mix things up we do Tre Fromaggi with pepperoni or carrmalized onions, it's not cheap.

                                                        1. re: Lori SF
                                                          pane RE: Lori SF Feb 8, 2007 01:59 PM

                                                          First let's get them to accept credit cards, then we'll work on delivery. I don't know how many times I've thought "Mmm...Little Star. Oh, man--no cash!"

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