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Aug 10, 2006 09:35 PM

The Best Delivery Pizza in SF - FOUND!

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.


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. 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

      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

        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

          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

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


            1. re: Chris Rising

              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

                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

                  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

                    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

                      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

                    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

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

              2. 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

                  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 -

                2. 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?


                  6 Replies
                  1. re: TexasToast

                    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

                      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.


                      1. re: tvham

                        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

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


                      2. re: TexasToast

                        Front Door on California? Packed on Pitcher nights.

                        1. re: Chris Rising

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


                      3. 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

                          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. 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.