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Pizza Please!

We will be driving from SFO to Sebastopol - need a place to stop on the way for good NY pizza. In SF or on Hwy 101. Any ideas. Need a good NY pizza fix from an ex-NY'er now in the vast pizza wasteland of Chicago!

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  1. These threads may give you a few ideas. If you try one of the places please report back on your thoughts on authenticity.

    3 Replies
    1. re: wolfe

      Yeah, but that doesn't help someone driving up 101.

      First of all when will you be driving. Certain places are only open certain times.

      Second, what does NY pizza mean to you? Is it your neighborhood place or the places with the celebrity that tourists must visit?

      San Rafael has a number of options.

      Napoli is the neighborhood type of place. Pretty good pizza but skip the sausage. It is ok.

      Lots of people think SF's Gaspare's is good and they have a branch out here.

      If you are driving up on a Sunday there's a pizza stand at the San Rafael farmers market, but I don't know if they are NY style.

      If you replace Petaluma with "San Rafael" in the search, that would be another logical stopping point but I don't know how good those places are.

      There's more but unfortumately search doesn't work any more so it is dropping a lot of places like PIcco in Larkspur which would be the Bay Area equivalent of destination pizza but not NY style.

      1. re: rworange

        Just pointing out the NY, NY controversy. If there are too many conditions, NY Style, 2 blocks from an off ramp to 101 you can certainly limit the choices.

      2. re: wolfe

        As an ex-New Yorker, I've always enjoyed the California style pizzas at:

        Pizza Gourmet
        1415 Fulton Road
        Santa Rosa, Ca 95403
        Phone: 707-575-1677

      3. Hmm. Does it have to be NY-style?

        The only place I've tried in the Bay Area with a really good NY-style slice is Gioia in Berkeley, although I haven't tried many places in SF proper. Of the places I've tried in SF, I thought Goat Hill Pizza was similar to Two Boots (which I'm not crazy about), and Escape from New York - their pizza's comparable to a mediocre street slice.

        Pizzeria Delfina has great California-style pizza (thin crust, but the puffy crust around the rim distinctly resembles artisanal bread more than a NY crust), and Arizmendi has delicious slices that only resemble NY pizza in shape (they're generally sauceless and meatless, on a sourdough crust, but they're really good). Pizzeria Picco in Larkspur, as rworange mentioned, is also good (and California style). They also have fantastic house-made soft serve with El Rey "Magic Shell". And they're pretty close to 101.

        1. Gialina is good too. It's very close to off/onramps for 280. Not hard to get to from 101 depending on the time of day. If you are in rush hour it'll suck driving anywhere. Gialina makes a Neapolitan style pizza with fresh, in season ingredients. Not really a NY style, but very good. It's a sit down, casual neighborhood place.

          2842 Diamond St, San Francisco, CA 94131

          1. from the specifications of your OP I'd say Gaspares San Rafael is a great choice. They are very close to 101 on your way to Sebastopol and would be categorized as NY style. Check the thread, it's there

            1. I think Beretta might be close to NY style pizza but I think they're only open for dinner. Then Pizzeria Delfina is a nice alternative.

              1 Reply
              1. re: singleguychef

                Beretta does brunch on Sat and Sun...I had a fantastic lardo pizza there a couple of weeks ago.

                IMO, SF is a great city for Neapolitan pizza but not so great when it comes to NY style. Maybe Arinell? I'm not a big fan and it's not very freeway friendly but others seem to love it.

              2. There is a place in Santa Rosa called I Love NY Pie.

                I Love NY Pie
                65 Brookwood Ave, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

                1. Toto's in S. San Francisco- close to the airport.

                  We usual get sausage and red onion pies. Basil and garlic is good too.

                  Toto's Restaurant & Pizzeria
                  1690 El Camino Real, San Bruno, CA

                  1. Definite thumbs up for Gialina. Great pizza.

                    But if you're looking for pizza on the run, and more of a NYC slice experience (even if its not quite NY) get some slices at Marchello's on Castro, park yourselves on some seats by the door, and take in a bit of the Castro street scene. I like their pizza by the slice. And its not really out of your way and takes you on a more interesting arc through the city. Open pretty much all hours.

                    Marcello's Pizza
                    420 Castro St, San Francisco, CA 94114

                    1. wow! thanks to all for the recommendations. We'll report back on our visit. appreciate the feedback.

                      1. SFO the airport or the city of San Francisco?

                        I love Pizzeria Picco. It's a lovely stop midway to Sebastopol, and you can sit outside. They serve dinner except on the weekends when they're open during the day. It is Italian pizza, not California style.

                        Pizzeria Delfina is definitely worth a stop if you want a break in San Francisco, although don't limit yourself to pizza.

                        Arinell on Valencia serves an authentic greasy cheap NY slice which you eat standing up or in your car. It's the antithesis of Picco or Delfina, and quality varies from good to really good. Still for $2 you can't go wrong.

                        A detour would be Bovolo in Healdsburg, but the pizzas are worth it.

                        Gialina's pizza is expensive, not NY style, and nothing special. They're dinner only. It's also on the south side of the city and you're headed north. Other places I woudn't choose based on your description: Gaspare's on Geary, Arizmendi, which isn't NY style, nor is Pauline's. Goat Hill isn't particularly good.

                        Please do report back.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Windy

                          Arinell makes greasy slices in the Ray's tradition that seem to satisfy some expatriate New Yorkers' cravings for their hometown junk food.

                        2. Escape From New York pizza on Polk street just off 101 (Van Ness) in SF (Russian Hill District). iirc, the cross street is Broadway.