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Oct 24, 2007 05:00 PM

Best Pizza in Bay Area

Ok folks, let the debate begin. I've moved here from the DC area recently and have been continuing a year long Neapolitan style/thin pizza comparison. I'm looking for the best in the Bay.

So far I've been to these places in a month or so (based on my impressions of their pizza ONLY and not any other craving-inducing food they might serve):
>Delfina's Pizzeria (twice): Best all around pizza to me. I've had their broc. rabe, and a mushroom special. The best combination to me of toppings flavors, crust flavors, and structural integrity.
>Pizzaiolo (twice). Extremely close w/Delfina. Right now I'm only placing them second because the two pizza's I've had have both been slightly floppier than I prefer. Have had their manila clam/tomato/aioli, and eggplant/ricotta salata/mint/tomato/onion. Flavors are great and absolutely love everything about this place though.
[...the rest I'm indifferent on to rank between, so alphabetically:]
>A16 (twice): Great flavors but structurally and execution-wise the pizzas don't hold up. First time my margherita was burnt. Second time my mushroom pizza was overly topped, wet, and soggy. Would go back for the other food as it's simply delicious, but would be scared to order a pizza again...
>Cheeseboard in Berkeley: have only tried it once and a few slices. Toppings were very interesting and tasty, but this just isn't the kind of crust I like. I found it a bit on the cornbread/crumbly side rather than a doughy chew. Maybe it was an off day?
>Oliveto Cafe: Too thin for me.

Am planning to go Pauline's next, and revisiting Delfina and Pizzaiolo regularly. Pizetta 211 is on the list too, and have been recommended Little Star (even though not for their thin crust). I've read about Gialina's and might try it sometime too. Any others? I realize Chez Panisse supposedly has great pizza, but that's where the Pizzaiolo chef comes from, and let's be honest here: if I get a reservation at Chez Panisse, I'm not going to have enough stomach real estate to order a pizza on top of the rest.

For those who have been around the states, my pizza "resume" includes 2 Amy's (DC), Pizzeria Paradiso (DC), Bebo Trattoria (VA), Rustico (VA), Osteria (Philly PA), Pizzeria Bianco (AZ) favorite out of all those is 2 Amy's with a well done crust.

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  1. I have just returned to the area after a long absence and have yet to try all the fantastic food experiences San Francisco has to offer. Pizza would be at the top of my short list if I had to choose 3 things... so thank you for your recommendations. Try Pizzeria Picco on Magnolia in Larkspur I think it is fab.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Stacey C

      I will if I ever get out there, I don't have a car!

    2. Sorry, but this debate has been ongoing and continuing for several years now! If you do "Search this board" searches for the various relevant pizza joints, you will find numerous posts and discussion.

      If you do like deep dish pizza, I can highly recommend Little Star on Divisadero in SF. The last couple of pizzas I have had at Giorgio's, an old-school pizzeria on Clement St. (also SF), have been rather flavorless.

      Hopefully, Mr. R. Lauriston, a leading authority on Bay Area pizza, will see this thread and post links to prior threads.

      3 Replies
        1. re: DavidT

          It wont be definitive until Robert makes the trek out to Larkspur.

          1. re: DavidT

            this is why i love this site, for great links off like that one. yes I've come across previous discussions, but wanted to see a pulse on who's the best right now and not however long ago. coming from the DC scene, the pizza chefs there were always rotating and bouncing around and crusts were changing etc.

        2. You should definitely try Picco Pizza. It's up there with the best of them. Be sure to get the Strauss soft serve with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt for dessert.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Morton the Mousse

            Agreed on Picco. Perfect combination of crust, cheese and sauce, each done right. Slightly edges out A16. Also a big fan of Bistro Don Giovanni's pizza in Napa, close to Picco but not quite. Picco offers some specialty pizzas with various toppings (all named after mountain bikes) but I'd suggest their margherita to start and then go from there.

            1. re: Morton the Mousse

              I recently tried Picco for the first time and after making the drive just to try it, was totally disappointed. We ordered two pizzas, the Seven and the Trek. I'm a huge mushroom fan, but the Seven is just too heavily loaded with mushrooms and besides the oregano, was completely bland. The Trek had some nice cherry tomatoes that gave it some flavor but the cheese again was flavorless. The crust on both pizzas was also chewier than I normally like.
              Pizzeria Delfina on the other hand is always a treat. Their hen of the woods pizza, in comparison to the Seven, is what a mushroom pie should be. Great combination of mushroom, cheese, thyme and crust. And nothing beats their Margarita with some buffalo mozzarella.

            2. After very exhaustive research - It really all boild down to this list in this order:

              1. Pizzeria Picco
              2. Dopo in Oakland (crisper crust and not like the readed floppy crust at Pizzaiolo
              3. Delfina
              4. Pizzaiolo

              1. The Chronicle's Michael Bauer is on a similar mission. You might be interested in his findings each Friday: