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Best Cheese pizzas?

What are 2-3 restaurants that you think make the best cheese pizza? I'm not a vegetarian, but I've always been curious about how good cheese pizzas could be. When I see one with 4-5 different types of cheeses, can one actually taste them, and do they make a difference?

If the answer is that they're all the same, I can accept that. Or, I'll even accept something like Costco (I've never tried their cheese, so I can't say). From my experience, Costco is ok but sometimes too oily.

From someone's recommendation, I did try the New York Pizza from Amici's, and it was pretty good. It did seem better than other ones I've tried. I think something about how the pizza was thin, and the flavor of the cheeses, just worked.

(I also like deep dish pizzas.)

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    1. re: nuraman00

      Cheeseboard pizza's 4 cheese 3 onion pizza. Pretty much all the top pizza places will give you a great slice of a cheese pizza (in the East Bay, think Gioia, Cheeseboard, and Pizzaoloa to name a few.)

      1. re: heyitsjai

        Does the Cheese Board make plain cheese pies by request? They don't offer any choice, just the pizza of the day, which is usually a mix of vegetables.

        http://cheeseboardcollective.coop/Piz...

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          The Arizmendi in Emeryville does a half bake of a plain cheese pizza.

          -----
          Arizmendi
          3265 Lakeshore Ave, Oakland, CA

    2. At private events I've had some pizzas with burrata that were fabulous, though I don't know of anyplace that has them on the menu.

      Pizza with feta is definitely quite different from the usual. The Cheese Board has some of those in their regular rotation.

      A long-gone place in Rockridge used to make an awesome Gruyere and eggplant pizza.

      I had a slice from a pepperoni pizza from Emilia's at a party the other night and was impressed by the flavor of the fresh mozzarella they use. I'd bet their plain cheese is great.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Berretta makes a pizza with burrata, but I haven't eaten it - I tend to stick with the typical margherita. I am wiht heyitsjay on this, I can't think of anywhere that suprised me with a great cheese pizza, they all seemed to come from great pizza places. Gialina's was particularily good. I also like deep dish chicago pizza with just cheese, that is probably my favorite pizza from Little Star though I have tried many of the other varieties.

        -----
        Gialina
        2842 Diamond St, San Francisco, CA 94131

        1. re: Meredith

          I have had their burrata pizza and can tell you it is very good. However I am boycotting them due to really bad service we received lately. If you want to try a burrata pizza though this is the place to go.

          1. re: lexdevil

            I'll bet it was. Guglielmo was an awesome little place owned by the same guy that started the Rockridge Cafe that is still up the street. I don't remember the eggplant but it had really innovative pizza toppings for its time. We loved the fresh tomato.

        2. Do you like garlic with your cheese? One of our absolute favorite pizzas is the Bianca at Piccino. Three cheeses, crispy thin crust, small amount of red pepper and parsley oil and a whole lot of very thinly sliced garlic that melts right into the cheese. Delicious.

          -----
          Piccino Restaurant & Coffee Bar
          1001 Minnesota St, San Francisco, CA 94107

          94 Replies
          1. re: Joan Kureczka

            I do like garlic with my cheese.

            Thanks for the suggestions. I don't go to those spots in SF regularly, nor do I go to Berkeley regularly anymore. But I will try these places, it will probably just take a few months to get to them all.

            Here are the places, with the pizza type I think I'm going to try (not sure in a few cases).

            I'll try:

            * Cheese Board

            4 cheese 3 onion pizza

            Can I pick this any day? Not sure.

            * Gioia :

            Funghi
            cheese pizza with roasted cremini mushrooms, thyme, parsley and garlic oil

            or

            Formaggio - $3/Slice $21/Pie
            2 types of mozzarella, Grana Padano and tomato sauce ?

            * Beretta - margherita 12 with burrata + 3

            * Gialina - Four Cheese- ricotta, provolone, gorgonzola, pecorino & herbs $14

            * Piccino - Bianca $12

            * Emilia - Mozzarella & Basil? $18

            -----
            Gialina
            2842 Diamond St, San Francisco, CA 94131

            Piccino Restaurant & Coffee Bar
            1001 Minnesota St, San Francisco, CA 94107

            1. re: nuraman00

              The Cheeseboard makes one pizza a day, all day. They have a schedule.
              http://cheeseboardcollective.coop/Piz...

              1. re: nuraman00

                Ok, my first stop on this tour was to Gioia. 18 inch pizza, I was impressed.

                I got the funghi.

                If I compare it to Amici's New York Pizza, the Amici's has a slightly stronger sauce flavor, I believe.

                Gioia's had a more balanced taste. I slightly preferred the crust over Amici's (which I liked too).

                Right now, I'd give an edge to Gioia's, because of the more complex flavor with the thyme, parsley, and garlic oil.

                I do wonder if I should have tried the Formaggio, for a fairer comparison to Amici's New York style.

                1. re: nuraman00

                  Second stop on this tour:

                  Piccino Cafe. I had the Bianca. It was great. Good cheese flavor, and of course I loved the garlic.

                  -----
                  Piccino Restaurant & Coffee Bar
                  1001 Minnesota St, San Francisco, CA 94107

                  1. re: nuraman00

                    3rd stop: Pauline's Pizza & Wine Bar.

                    I had the garlic pizza, and a glass of their wine.

                    The pizza was very good. However, for the purposes of what I was looking for in this thread, especially the cheeses, I think Piccino's and Gioia's have the edge.

                    Also, not that it matters because I did enjoy the pizza as a whole, but FYI, their extra large was 16". If I compare it with Gioia's , theirs was 18" for a similar price (give or take $1.)

                    -----
                    Pauline's Pizza
                    260 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                    Piccino Restaurant & Coffee Bar
                    1001 Minnesota St, San Francisco, CA 94107

                    1. re: nuraman00

                      4th stop: Rotten City Pizza. It was great. I got the Neapolitan. The cheeses were as BernalKC described.

                      Rankings so far:

                      1A: Gioia
                      1B: Rotten City Pizza

                      2. Piccino
                      2B: Pizza Speederia
                      2C: Amici's

                      3. Pauline's Pizza & Wine Bar

                      -----
                      Pauline's Pizza
                      260 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                      Piccino Restaurant & Coffee Bar
                      1001 Minnesota St, San Francisco, CA 94107

                      Rotten City Pizza
                      6613 Hollis St, Emeryville, CA 94608

                2. re: nuraman00

                  5th stop:

                  Emilia's. Robert Lauriston was right. The fresh mozzarella tastes great! They also use both a little bit of tomato sauce, and a little bit of green sauce. So this pizza is still different from the others.

                  The fresh mozzarella is a is a reason to try this one. Thanks Robert Lauriston!

                  Rankings so far:

                  1A: Gioia
                  1B: Rotten City Pizza
                  1C: Emilia's

                  2. Piccino
                  2B: Pizza Speederia
                  2C: Amici's

                  3. Pauline's Pizza & Wine Bar

                  -----
                  Pauline's Pizza
                  260 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                  Piccino Restaurant & Coffee Bar
                  1001 Minnesota St, San Francisco, CA 94107

                  Rotten City Pizza
                  6613 Hollis St, Emeryville, CA 94608

                  1. re: nuraman00

                    6th stop: Gialina's.

                    It was delicious! A bit of a salty taste with those four cheeses, but I liked it.

                    Thanks Meredith and mariacarmen.

                    Rankings so far:

                    1A: Gioia
                    1B: Rotten City Pizza
                    1C: Emilia's
                    1D: Gialina's.

                    2. Piccino
                    2B: Pizza Speederia
                    2C: Amici's

                    3. Pauline's Pizza & Wine Bar

                    -----
                    Gialina
                    2842 Diamond St, San Francisco, CA 94131

                    Pauline's Pizza
                    260 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                    Piccino Restaurant & Coffee Bar
                    1001 Minnesota St, San Francisco, CA 94107

                    Rotten City Pizza
                    6613 Hollis St, Emeryville, CA 94608

                    1. re: nuraman00

                      7th Stop Cheese Board. I had the Asparagus, Montalban cheese, Mozzarella, Gremolata, Garlic olive oil.

                      It was good, but no better nor worse than the other top places.

                      Rankings so far:

                      1A: Gioia
                      1B: Rotten City Pizza
                      1C: Emilia's
                      1D: Gialina's.
                      1E: Cheese Board.

                      2. Piccino
                      2B: Pizza Speederia
                      2C: Amici's

                      3. Pauline's Pizza & Wine Bar

                      -----
                      Gialina
                      2842 Diamond St, San Francisco, CA 94131

                      Pauline's Pizza
                      260 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                      Piccino Restaurant & Coffee Bar
                      1001 Minnesota St, San Francisco, CA 94107

                      Rotten City Pizza
                      6613 Hollis St, Emeryville, CA 94608

                      1. re: nuraman00

                        8th stop: Beretta. I had the Margherita with Burrata.

                        I liked it, the Burrata gave it a light cheesy taste.

                        So what I've felt is that each of their places make good cheese pizzas, and they have their own unique taste to it.

                        Rankings so far:

                        1A: Gioia
                        1B: Rotten City Pizza
                        1C: Emilia's
                        1D: Gialina's.
                        1E: Cheese Board.
                        1F: Beretta

                        2. Piccino
                        2B: Pizza Speederia
                        2C: Amici's

                        3. Pauline's Pizza & Wine Bar

                        -----
                        Gialina
                        2842 Diamond St, San Francisco, CA 94131

                        Pauline's Pizza
                        260 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                        Piccino Restaurant & Coffee Bar
                        1001 Minnesota St, San Francisco, CA 94107

                        Rotten City Pizza
                        6613 Hollis St, Emeryville, CA 94608

                        1. re: nuraman00

                          9th stop: Primos. I had the Chesse Pizza.

                          It was basic, they only used low-moisture mozzarella.

                          It was good for what it was trying to be. But I prefer the other places that had several different cheeses, especially the more special ones.

                          Rankings so far:

                          1A: Gioia
                          1B: Rotten City Pizza
                          1C: Emilia's
                          1D: Gialina's.
                          1E: Cheese Board.
                          1F: Beretta

                          2. Piccino
                          2B: Pizza Speederia
                          2C: Amici's

                          3. Pauline's Pizza & Wine Bar
                          3B: Primos

                          -----
                          Gialina
                          2842 Diamond St, San Francisco, CA 94131

                          Pauline's Pizza
                          260 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                          Rotten City Pizza
                          6613 Hollis St, Emeryville, CA 94608

                          1. re: nuraman00

                            Not much to add -- just wanted to express my appreciation for your ongoing research.

                          2. re: nuraman00

                            10th stop: A Slice Of NY in Sunnyvale.

                            Pizza:

                            It was basic, they only used mozzarella. Like Primos.

                            This was a lot better though. This wasn't dry, and had a good consistent flavor. The crust was somewhere between chewy and crunchy. The crust was good. 10/10.

                            Garlic Knots:

                            These are round balls of dough with garlic, Parmesan, parsley, basil. They come in orders of 3 or 6, and are fairly large. 10/10.

                            Cannoli:

                            I haven't had cannolis too many times before, but this was good too. The texture wasn't too hard, and it had a good filling. 10/10.

                            Drakes Cakes:

                            I had a Devil Dog. I rarely eat snack cakes. It was ok, but not something I have to have. I wouldn't get it again. But I had just wanted to try them. I was a little annoyed that the Devil Dogs came in packs of two, because I had to eat both of them, haha. They had come from the refrigerator, so I didn't want to leave them out too long and wait until I got home to put them in the fridge. So I ate both of them. They unnecessarily took up space in my stomach.

                            I'd give it an 8/10.

                            Rankings so far:

                            1A: Gioia
                            1B: Rotten City Pizza
                            1C: Emilia's
                            1D: Gialina's.
                            1E: Cheese Board.
                            1F: Beretta
                            1G: A Slice Of NY

                            2. Piccino
                            2B: Pizza Speederia
                            2C: Amici's

                            3. Pauline's Pizza & Wine Bar
                            3B: Primos

                            Remaining List Of Places To Try:

                            East End
                            Bucci
                            Dopo
                            Paisan
                            Tony's Pizza Napoletana.

                            1. re: nuraman00

                              11th stop: East End in Alameda.

                              The location was in an interesting place. It's in a building called "The Market", in which there's about 10 stores. It's like a one-building mall.

                              After I got there, they said it would take an hour, 15 mins - an hour 30 minutes to make it. Yikes. I would have called ahead, but since I'd never been there before, I didn't want to call ahead and then have it be ready before I got there. I didn't know exactly how long it would take me to drive there, find parking, and find the building.

                              They claim its a 14" pizza, but it looked smaller.

                              The pizza was great. Thanks Ruth Lafler. It hit the spot.

                              They even have bottles of hot chili calabrian chili oil available. That was nice.

                              The crust was very flaky on top.

                              Despite the minor quibbles about how long it took to make, and the size of it, it tasted good, so I'd give it a 10/10.

                              Pizza:

                              Rankings so far:

                              1A: Gioia
                              1B: Rotten City Pizza
                              1C: Emilia's
                              1D: Gialina's.
                              1E: Cheese Board.
                              1F: Beretta
                              1G: A Slice Of NY
                              1H: East End Pizza.

                              2. Piccino
                              2B: Pizza Speederia
                              2C: Amici's

                              3. Pauline's Pizza & Wine Bar
                              3B: Primos

                              Remaining List Of Places To Try:

                              Bucci
                              Dopo
                              Paisan
                              Tony's Pizza Napoletana.
                              Pizzeria Delfina
                              Oliveto's

                              1. re: nuraman00

                                Glad you liked it. It doesn't usually take an hour -- they must have been really backed up with orders. It's a pretty small operation (usually just two guys working on the pizza and the oven probably only holds two at a time).

                                1. re: nuraman00

                                  Got a half-baked from East End. It was great and didn't take very long.

                                2. re: nuraman00

                                  12th stop: Tony's Pizza Napoletana.

                                  Ok, I appreciate the prompt responses wolfe and Robert Lauriston gave me, since I was planning to go on 2/12/2012 and their responses were just in time for me to read them and use them.

                                  Now, I got conflicting advice from both of them, haha. wolfe recommended the margherita, Robert Lauriston said not to.

                                  I flipped a coin and went with Robert Lauriston. I got the Classic American Jersey's Original Tomato Pie.

                                  I do want to make sure I'm not ignoring margheritas though. I want to make sure I'm trying enough of them, on this pizza quest, to experience how different pizzerias make them too, and to enjoy them.

                                  It seems so far, I've only had the margherita at Beretta. And in the future places list, someone has only mentioned them specifically at Bucci's. So if I'll only have tried them twice, I'm not sure I'm doing them justice. So if anyone recommends the margherita at any of the future places list, please restate that, thanks.

                                  Ok, onto the pizza.

                                  * Free appetizer bread served at the table: The bread portion itself was soft, but the crust was too chewy for me. The dipping sauces were interesting. One tasted like a combination of garlic and honey. I forgot what the middle was one, I think just olive oil. The other outer dipping sauce in the 3-tray serving tray was some sort of spicy red sauce. It looked like marinara, but had a kick to it. The sauces were good, but the bread just so-so.

                                  * Pizza: This pizza felt "bigger" than it was. I mentioned how when I was eating the East End pizza, it felt smaller than it was? This one at Tony's felt bigger and heavier.

                                  This pizza was different from what I was expecting, and I'm glad, because I like surprises. The layer of tomatoes on top also tasted very sweet. It didn't have that mild tang that most tomato sauces have. And I was glad I got something with a garlic flavor, just because I had been in the mood for it. So I was glad I got it, and it was different and good from anything else I've had so far, which fulfills what this quest is about. It had a few unique traits to it.

                                  The crust was also billed as medium, and that was accurate.

                                  It felt strange that it took me this long to try pizza at North Beach, haha.

                                  rln was wondering whether Pizzetta would make my try list. Pretty much anything suggested has been good, so I trust all of the bloggers on here. But just for the sake of "I can't try everything", I can only pick a few of them. Its nothing personal whether I do or don't pick yours. At this point, I don't think I'll add Pizetta. Also, I just want to finish going to this 2nd wave of places, by this year. This feels like one of those lists that might eventually get too big for me to ever finish, if I keep adding places. I just want try the remaining places so I'll feel like I accomplished something and can cross it off.

                                  With that said, Baonecci has gotten a few responses, and I do think I should try at least one more North Beach pizza, to get the experience of that area.

                                  I was planning on going there this weekend, but when the weekend started, I realized I just wasn't in the mood for pizza so soon again. So I'll probably abstain from adding it, finish remaining 5 places, then consider it again when I'm looking to add a few more places.

                                  I also want to visit one or two of these places again and get something else. But I'll only do that after I have finished this 2nd wave of places.

                                  Mick: No, I have not tried Ragazza. From looking at their website, they look different from what I'm used to, so that's a good thing and I'm sure I'll add them later on.

                                  Rankings so far:

                                  1A: Gioia
                                  1B: Rotten City Pizza
                                  1C: Emilia's
                                  1D: Gialina's.
                                  1E: Cheese Board.
                                  1F: Beretta
                                  1G: A Slice Of NY
                                  1H: East End Pizza.
                                  1I: Tony's Pizza Napoletana

                                  2. Piccino
                                  2B: Pizza Speederia
                                  2C: Amici's

                                  3. Pauline's Pizza & Wine Bar
                                  3B: Primos

                                  Remaining List Of Places To Try:

                                  Bucci
                                  Dopo
                                  Paisan
                                  Pizzeria Delfina
                                  Oliveto's

                                  1. re: nuraman00

                                    i have a question about your rankings - should we consider this a tier type ranking with little discernible difference within tier? Or is 1a better than 1b better than 1c and so on? It seems like the lettered rankings within each tier is based solely on the order at which you tried these places and we should consider this a tiered system where 1 is better than 2 is better than 3, but your agnostic within tier (e.g. you're not doing a comparison between cheeseboard and east end..they're both equally good). thanks in advance.

                                    1. re: majordanby

                                      majordanby,

                                      Yes, this is a tier type ranking. There's little difference between the 1's. Sure, I might still have a few favorite within them, but I enjoyed all of those at a very satisfying level.

                                      If I wanted to compare all of them, I probably should have set up a rating scale, and determined what 4-8 criteria I wanted to judge. For example, I could have specified the following criteria, and assigned a 1-10 value to each: Crust, sauce, cheese, price value, overall (taking into account both food and service).

                                      But it would be unfair for me to introduce such a system now, this far into the pizza quest, because I wouldn't have done it for many of the prior ones.

                                      And think the current system does make things simpler to follow.

                                      Either system is good though IMO.

                                    2. re: nuraman00

                                      IMO the Margherita is much better than the Jersey pie at Tony's! Also, may I reiterate no pizza discussion,challenge etc is complete without including Una Pizzeria Napolitana!!

                                      1. re: mick

                                        " my mother thanks you, my father thanks you, my sister thanks you, and I thank you!"
                                        - George M. Cohan

                                        1. re: mick

                                          mick,

                                          I'll go to Una Pizzeria Napolitana, but I won't add it to the official list until I've checked off the remaining 5. After that, I'll probably add Una Pizzeria Napolitana and BaoNecci.

                                          Question: Which style would you recommend?

                                        2. re: nuraman00

                                          There's no particular neighborhood pizza style in North Beach. The pies / slices at Tommaso's, Golden Boy, BaoNecci, L'Osteria del Forno, and Cinecitta are all totally different styles.

                                          1. re: nuraman00

                                            If you want to try New York pizza from Tony's you need to hike next door where he has a coal fired oven..and try his New York style..then tell us what you think....Ragazza is also very good..it is a sister restaurant to Gialina's and the pizza is similar..more neopolitan-california style...quite tasty....good texture crust the 3 or 4 times I was there.

                                          2. re: nuraman00

                                            13th stop: Bucci.

                                            * Aglio al Forno (roasted head of garlic): When I first got this, I wasn't sure how to eat it. I had never gotten it before. But I saw they had given a few leafs of lettuce and onion. So I squeezed out the roasted garlic from the cloves, and ate it as a salad with the lettuce and onion.

                                            * Margherita: I believe the only other place I've had the margherita, on this quest, was at Beretta.

                                            When I got the one at Bucci, I was shocked. You would think after having eaten this many pizzas, that I would have seen them all by now. But as the prior place, Tony's, and this place, taught me, I really haven't seen them all. This one looked very distinct. Especially the long, skinny way they arranged the basil.

                                            I enjoyed the pizza. TopoTail was right. They do a good job in the way they layer their tomato and cheese. And mozzarella and grana padano was a good combination.

                                            However, the crust was too dry and chewy. I did not like it. While it wouldn't be enough for me to drop it from the #1 tier, it would keep me from naming it my top 2-3 places.

                                            Rankings so far:

                                            1A: Gioia
                                            1B: Rotten City Pizza
                                            1C: Emilia's
                                            1D: Gialina's.
                                            1E: Cheese Board.
                                            1F: Beretta
                                            1G: A Slice Of NY
                                            1H: East End Pizza.
                                            1I: Tony's Pizza Napoletana
                                            1J: Bucci.

                                            2. Piccino
                                            2B: Pizza Speederia
                                            2C: Amici's

                                            3. Pauline's Pizza & Wine Bar
                                            3B: Primos

                                            Remaining List Of Places To Try:

                                            Dopo
                                            Paisan
                                            Pizzeria Delfina
                                            Oliveto's

                                            1. re: nuraman00

                                              Usually roasted garlic is eaten with toast or crusty bread.

                                              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                I should have done that. I should have used it on the free appetizer bread. Thanks for the suggestion.

                                            2. re: nuraman00

                                              13th stop: Pizzeria Delfina.

                                              * Margherita: This one had a great fresh mozzarella taste. It was good.

                                              I would still give Bucci a slight edge, despite me not liking their crust.

                                              * Baba Rum: This was my first time having this dessert. It was pretty good, but probably wouldn't make my top desserts list.

                                              Rankings so far:

                                              1A: Gioia
                                              1B: Rotten City Pizza
                                              1C: Emilia's
                                              1D: Gialina's.
                                              1E: Cheese Board.
                                              1F: Beretta
                                              1G: A Slice Of NY
                                              1H: East End Pizza.
                                              1I: Tony's Pizza Napoletana
                                              1J: Bucci.
                                              1K: Pizzeria Delfina

                                              2. Piccino
                                              2B: Pizza Speederia
                                              2C: Amici's

                                              3. Pauline's Pizza & Wine Bar
                                              3B: Primos

                                              Remaining List Of Places To Try:

                                              Dopo
                                              Paisan
                                              Oliveto's

                                              1. re: nuraman00

                                                14th stop: Oliveto's Cafe.

                                                * Farm Egg with Arugula: Thanks wolfe and rebonga. Both the white part of the egg, as well as the yolk, created a tasty combination on the pizza.

                                                I was a little confused about the appetizer bread, it appeared that some customers were offered it, and some weren't. I wasn't offered it.

                                                Rankings so far:

                                                1A: Gioia
                                                1B: Rotten City Pizza
                                                1C: Emilia's
                                                1D: Gialina's.
                                                1E: Cheese Board.
                                                1F: Beretta
                                                1G: A Slice Of NY
                                                1H: East End Pizza.
                                                1I: Tony's Pizza Napoletana
                                                1J: Bucci.
                                                1K: Pizzeria Delfina
                                                1L: Oliveto's

                                                2. Piccino
                                                2B: Pizza Speederia
                                                2C: Amici's

                                                3. Pauline's Pizza & Wine Bar
                                                3B: Primos

                                                Remaining List Of Places To Try:

                                                Dopo
                                                Paisan

                                                1. re: nuraman00

                                                  It's something of a trend to serve bread only on request. Lots of people don't eat it.

                                                2. re: nuraman00

                                                  FYI, I messed up with my numbering, I had #13 twice. Which means I should be on #16 now.

                                                  Also, I'm going to change my rankings to a tier system.

                                                  16th stop: Howie's Artisan Pizza.

                                                  I know this wasn't on the list, but I went there last weekend. I had the Bianco. It had smoked Mozzarella.

                                                  It was very good.

                                                  My friend, who loves the Cheeseboard, even liked it as much as the Cheeseboard. I was surprised he agreed to try the Bianco in the first place, but he did.

                                                  I'm glad we found another place on the peninsula side, other than A Slice Of NY.

                                                  Rankings so far:

                                                  Tier 1:

                                                  Gioia
                                                  Rotten City Pizza
                                                  Emilia's
                                                  Gialina's.
                                                  Cheese Board.
                                                  Beretta
                                                  A Slice Of NY
                                                  East End Pizza.
                                                  Tony's Pizza Napoletana
                                                  Bucci.
                                                  Pizzeria Delfina
                                                  Oliveto's
                                                  Howie's Artisan Pizza

                                                  Tier 2:

                                                  Piccino
                                                  Pizza Speederia
                                                  Amici's

                                                  Tier 3:

                                                  Pauline's Pizza & Wine Bar
                                                  Primos

                                                  Remaining List Of Places To Try:

                                                  Dopo
                                                  Paisan

                                                  1. re: nuraman00

                                                    17th stop: Una Pizza Napoletana

                                                    I had the Ilaria. I asked if they could make it without the cherry tomatoes, but the server said "sorry, he's been making it the same way so long, he can't change".

                                                    It was good. The crust was good. Was it the best crust I've ever had? I'd say there have been others on this pizza quest that have been just as good, including Howie's Artisan Pizza's crust.

                                                    So I'd say it was good, but still not one of the one of the absolute best. Worthy of being on this quest, yes. One of my absolute favorites from tier 1, no.

                                                    Rankings so far:

                                                    Tier 1:

                                                    Gioia
                                                    Rotten City Pizza
                                                    Emilia's
                                                    Gialina's.
                                                    Cheese Board.
                                                    Beretta
                                                    A Slice Of NY
                                                    East End Pizza.
                                                    Tony's Pizza Napoletana
                                                    Bucci.
                                                    Pizzeria Delfina
                                                    Oliveto's
                                                    Howie's Artisan Pizza
                                                    Una Pizza Napoletana

                                                    Tier 2:

                                                    Piccino
                                                    Pizza Speederia
                                                    Amici's

                                                    Tier 3:

                                                    Pauline's Pizza & Wine Bar
                                                    Primos

                                                    Remaining List Of Places To Try:

                                                    Dopo
                                                    Paisan

                                                    1. re: nuraman00

                                                      I wanted to clarify a few things.

                                                      Mick and Topo Tail had mentioned the dough, not just the crust. And that's what I meant to say when I said the "crust" (wrong word) was good, but Una Pizza Napoletana wouldn't make my absolute favorites just because of that.

                                                      I do want to go back, though. So much has been said about the dough, that I want to try it again. Also, when the server told me they couldn't make the Ililaria without the cherry tomatoes, I think I was a bit dismayed and let it affect what I thought of the pizza. I don't think I was thinking objectively anymore.

                                                      I'd probably try the Margherita or Filetti next. If someone on here recommends one over the other, let me know.

                                                      Also, I didn't think the smoked mozzarella had much of a smoky taste. It wasn't like the smoked mozzarella at Howie's Artisan Pizza in Palo Alto.

                                                      Also, I'm not sure I thought the cheese flavor was that special. I thought Topo Tail's other recommendation of Bucci, for example, had a better cheese flavor. I would probably put it in between Tier 1 and Tier 2. But the pizza was of a great overall quality, that I rounded up. And since I plan to go back one more time, I'll let the next time weigh more strongly what I think of it.

                                                      1. re: nuraman00

                                                        nuraman00

                                                        well thats how it works, not going to get anyone to universally agree on anything let alone pizza! I love UPN, but thats just me and some others.

                                                        Tried the margherita at Ragazza recently, a pretty decent neopolitan style pie. Not the greatest, didn't wow me so wouldn't make a special trip to go back but it was good. Nicely charred crust, cheese and tomatoe blending taste reminiscent of many others like Delfina and Cupola.

                                                        Also tried Rotten City which I mentioned earlier was just that not sure how it garners followers but its pizza cant all agree. To be fair, I only had a slice of cheese not a whole pie, and depending that can make a big difference.

                                                      2. re: nuraman00

                                                        Hahaha, substitutions at Una Pizza Napoletana. That'll be the day.

                                                        Dough and crust are the same thing raw and cooked.

                                                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                          Agree! UPN is a different culture, don't think I would try and ask for subsitutions.

                                                          1. re: mick

                                                            I just didn't think I was asking for a "substitution", but more of a "removal" of an item. (Cherry Tomatoes).

                                                            Also, what do you recommend more, the Margherita or Filetti? Or, do you think the Ililaria is so much better, I should have it again?

                                                      3. re: nuraman00

                                                        18th stop: Dopo

                                                        I had the mozarella di bufala and oregano. It was great, the mozarella di bufala did have this distinct taste.

                                                        The crust was interesting, along the edge of the pizza, the outer edge seemed crispier and the inner edge seemed chewier. It was good.

                                                        The pizza felt a little small, but I didn't mind since it tasted good.

                                                        Rankings so far:

                                                        Tier 1:

                                                        Gioia
                                                        Rotten City Pizza
                                                        Emilia's
                                                        Gialina's.
                                                        Cheese Board.
                                                        Beretta
                                                        A Slice Of NY
                                                        East End Pizza.
                                                        Tony's Pizza Napoletana
                                                        Bucci.
                                                        Pizzeria Delfina
                                                        Oliveto's
                                                        Howie's Artisan Pizza
                                                        Una Pizza Napoletana
                                                        Dopo

                                                        Tier 2:

                                                        Piccino
                                                        Pizza Speederia
                                                        Amici's

                                                        Tier 3:

                                                        Pauline's Pizza & Wine Bar
                                                        Primos

                                                        Remaining List Of Places To Try:

                                                        Paisan
                                                        BaoNecci
                                                        Una Pizza Napoletana (2nd attempt)

                                                        1. re: nuraman00

                                                          19th stop: Una Pizza Napoletana (2nd visit)

                                                          I had the Margherita, which had San Marzano tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, extra-virgin olive oil, fresh basil, sea salt. (tomato sauce).

                                                          I agree, this is the best dough I've tasted. And I like how it came from a wood oven, it has that nice char texture.

                                                          The buffalo mozzarella was nice.

                                                          But something about Dopo's pizza with buffalo mozzarella just clicked with me more.

                                                          Una Pizza Napoletana still goes in the 1st tier. It's a well-made pizza. But it wouldn't be among my top picks from that first tier.

                                                          Rankings so far:

                                                          Tier 1:

                                                          Gioia
                                                          Rotten City Pizza
                                                          Emilia's
                                                          Gialina's.
                                                          Cheese Board.
                                                          Beretta
                                                          A Slice Of NY
                                                          East End Pizza.
                                                          Tony's Pizza Napoletana
                                                          Bucci.
                                                          Pizzeria Delfina
                                                          Oliveto's
                                                          Howie's Artisan Pizza
                                                          Una Pizza Napoletana
                                                          Dopo

                                                          Tier 2:

                                                          Piccino
                                                          Pizza Speederia
                                                          Amici's

                                                          Tier 3:

                                                          Pauline's Pizza & Wine Bar
                                                          Primos

                                                          Remaining List Of Places To Try:

                                                          Paisan
                                                          BaoNecci

                                                          1. re: nuraman00

                                                            20th stop: BaoNecci

                                                            I had the 4 Formaggi, which had mozzarella, pecorino, gorgonzola, parmigiano.

                                                            It was great. None of the other multiple cheese pizzas I've had tasted like this.

                                                            The crust is cracker-thin and crunchy. I haven't had another crust as thin and crispy as this. I don't have a preference for the type of crust, as long as its well-made.

                                                            Rankings so far:

                                                            Tier 1:

                                                            Gioia
                                                            Rotten City Pizza
                                                            Emilia's
                                                            Gialina's.
                                                            Cheese Board.
                                                            Beretta
                                                            A Slice Of NY
                                                            East End Pizza.
                                                            Tony's Pizza Napoletana
                                                            Bucci.
                                                            Pizzeria Delfina
                                                            Oliveto's
                                                            Howie's Artisan Pizza
                                                            Una Pizza Napoletana
                                                            Dopo
                                                            BaoNecci

                                                            Tier 2:

                                                            Piccino
                                                            Pizza Speederia
                                                            Amici's

                                                            Tier 3:

                                                            Pauline's Pizza & Wine Bar
                                                            Primos

                                                            Remaining List Of Places To Try:

                                                            Paisan

                                                            1. re: nuraman00

                                                              21th stop: Paisan

                                                              I had the Roasted Mushrooms, and Molto Aglissimo. These pizzas are smaller, only 10 inches I believe.

                                                              Roasted Mushrooms: This had caramelized onion, goat cheese, fontina, oregano. Great flavor, loved the caramelized onions too. It fit in well with the cheeses.

                                                              Molto Aglissimo: This had roasted garlic, roasted green garlic, fresh chopped garlic, spring onion, parmesan, fontina. This was a great garlic pizza, with many different styles of garlic. One of the best garlic pizzas I've had.

                                                              Imperial Stout Beer: I had the last one on their beer menu, I can't remember the brewery anymore. It was good.

                                                              Thanks wolfe.

                                                              Ok, I think I'm done trying new places for a while. It's been a good run, 20 new places in about 23 months. I've tried a lot of great places during this span, and I want to take a break. I've crossed off these places on my list, and I won't have an active list of a new place I have to try, for a while.

                                                              One thing I wish I had done differently was I wish I had taken a pic of all of these pizzas. I thought about doing that a few months ago, but thought I would just start doing that next time when I started with a fresh list of new places.

                                                              My super favorites from Tier 1 would be all EXCEPT FOR Gialina, Cheese Board, Beretta, Pizzeria Delfina, and Una Pizza Napoletana. I would still recommend those, as they're well-made pizzas, but would give the edge to the others.

                                                              I might go to Baonecci sometime again and try their Monte Biacno, but it's probably not going to be for a while.

                                                              Rankings so far:

                                                              Tier 1:

                                                              Gioia
                                                              Rotten City Pizza
                                                              Emilia's
                                                              Gialina's.
                                                              Cheese Board.
                                                              Beretta
                                                              A Slice Of NY
                                                              East End Pizza.
                                                              Tony's Pizza Napoletana
                                                              Bucci.
                                                              Pizzeria Delfina
                                                              Oliveto's
                                                              Howie's Artisan Pizza
                                                              Una Pizza Napoletana
                                                              Dopo
                                                              BaoNecci
                                                              Paisan

                                                              Tier 2:

                                                              Piccino
                                                              Pizza Speederia
                                                              Amici's

                                                              Tier 3:

                                                              Pauline's Pizza & Wine Bar
                                                              Primos

                                                              1. re: nuraman00

                                                                22nd stop: Cotogna

                                                                I had the Burrata, squash blossom, lime & capers pizza.

                                                                The Burrata was nice. They put a dollop of it on every slice.

                                                                The pizza had a little too much sea salt.

                                                                But, this was the best crust I've had. I could tell what the wood-fired oven did. Yes, it's even better than Una Pizza Napoletana. Similar taste to the crust, but this was a little more buttery. And I liked the topping and proportion of toppings on this pizza more.

                                                                I was deciding between this pizza that I got, and the Sausage, castelvetrano olives, ricotta &
                                                                gypsy peppers pizza.

                                                                Robert Lauriston or others, how would you compare this crust to Una Pizza Napoletana's?

                                                                Rankings so far:

                                                                Tier 1:

                                                                Gioia
                                                                Rotten City Pizza
                                                                Emilia's
                                                                Gialina's.
                                                                Cheese Board.
                                                                Beretta
                                                                A Slice Of NY
                                                                East End Pizza.
                                                                Tony's Pizza Napoletana
                                                                Bucci.
                                                                Pizzeria Delfina
                                                                Oliveto's
                                                                Howie's Artisan Pizza
                                                                Una Pizza Napoletana
                                                                Dopo
                                                                BaoNecci
                                                                Paisan
                                                                Cotogna

                                                                Tier 2:

                                                                Piccino
                                                                Pizza Speederia
                                                                Amici's

                                                                Tier 3:

                                                                Pauline's Pizza & Wine Bar
                                                                Primos

                                                                1. re: nuraman00

                                                                  Epic work, nuraman00! Proud to "know" you.

                                                                  You started you mission with a question: "I'm not a vegetarian, but I've always been curious about how good cheese pizzas could be. When I see one with 4-5 different types of cheeses, can one actually taste them, and do they make a difference?"

                                                                  Have you reached and final conclusions?

                                                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                    Hey Ruth Lafler,

                                                                    Nice to hear from you, it had been a few months. :)

                                                                    Yes, I've some conclusions.

                                                                    The fresh mozzarella they use (as opposed to the low moisture kind), pecorino, gorgonzola, parmigiano, grana padano, smoked mozzarella, buffalo mozzarella, goat cheese taste unlike anything I used to have on pizza, prior to 2 years ago. They are different, in a good way.

                                                                  2. re: nuraman00

                                                                    Cotogna's pizza's pretty good. You gotta a lotta makin up to do for 5.5 years of no anchovies! I like your quest but Rotten Pizza? Try Cupola, my guess will end of in middle of the pack.

                                                                    1. re: mick

                                                                      mick,

                                                                      The items within a tier aren't ordered by how much I liked them. So, for example, Rotten City isn't 2nd place on Tier 1, and Cotogna isn't last.

                                                                      They're just ordered by when I visited them. So the ones on top were the first ones I visited, and the ones at the bottom are the most recent.

                                                                      I do have some favorites within a Tier, I'd probably take about 1/2 of them and give them a 1/2 step up. But overall, there's not too much of a difference, I'd recommend all of the ones from Tier 1, and very strongly recommend about 1/2 of them even harder.

                                                                      Thanks for the suggestion on Cupola. I think I'll like it.

                                                                      http://cupolasf.com/cp_menus.html

                                                                      Given that buffalo mozzarella is hard to find, I think I'd go for the margherita extra. I've only had buffalo mozzarella at Dopo, and at Una Pizza Napoletana.

                                                                      What do you think?

                                                                      Margherita Extra - buffalo mozzarella, San Marzano tomatoes, "sweet 100's", olive oil, basil 14.50

                                                                      The Zucca looks interesting too.

                                                                      I like how it has a wood fired oven. :) I might like it as much as Cotogna.

                                                                      Also, I'm glad to have found something else good to eat in that area of SF. Usually I'd go to Louisiana Chicken on 6th street, or Custom Burger Lounge on 7th. This is pretty close, just a few blocks away.

                                                                      Is it inside a mall?

                                                                      Also, if you know of a good pizza place with anchovies, let me know, maybe I'll try it.

                                                                      1. re: nuraman00

                                                                        You skipped the anchovies at Paisan a top tier place?
                                                                        Napoletana tomato sauce, calabrian chile, anchovies, mozzarella

                                                                        BTW Did you miss my Just in Beaver reference on another thread?

                                                                        1. re: wolfe

                                                                          Haha, I see the Just In Beaver thread now. Thanks for pointing it out.

                                                                          Yeah, I skipped the anchovies at Paisan. I did have two pizzas there that day though. I also don't think it was there, on their lunch menu. Right now, on their website, I only see it on the dinner menu.

                                                                          http://www.paisanberkeley.com/#dinner

                                                                        2. re: nuraman00

                                                                          Yeah, it's in the Westfield on Market

                                                                    2. re: nuraman00

                                                                      23nd stop: Tony's Pizza Napoletana

                                                                      I had the STG Margherita.

                                                                      It was good. However, I liked Bucci's even more (minus Bucci's crust).

                                                                      Also, I liked Cotogna's wood-fired crust more than Tony's.

                                                                      Rankings so far:

                                                                      Tier 1:

                                                                      Gioia
                                                                      Rotten City Pizza
                                                                      Emilia's
                                                                      Gialina's.
                                                                      Cheese Board.
                                                                      Beretta
                                                                      A Slice Of NY
                                                                      East End Pizza.
                                                                      Tony's Pizza Napoletana
                                                                      Bucci.
                                                                      Pizzeria Delfina
                                                                      Oliveto's
                                                                      Howie's Artisan Pizza
                                                                      Una Pizza Napoletana
                                                                      Dopo
                                                                      BaoNecci
                                                                      Paisan
                                                                      Cotogna

                                                                      Tier 2:

                                                                      Piccino
                                                                      Pizza Speederia
                                                                      Amici's

                                                                      Tier 3:

                                                                      Pauline's Pizza & Wine Bar
                                                                      Primos

                                                                      1. re: nuraman00

                                                                        24th stop: BaoNecci

                                                                        I had a 1/2 Monte Bianco, 1/2 Truffle Salame.

                                                                        Monte Bianco ingredients: San Marzano tomato, fresh mozzarella, prosciutto parma, mascarpone

                                                                        Truffle Salame ingredients: San Marzano tomato, truffle salame, truffle oil, arugula

                                                                        I had the truffle salame first. It was ok, worth trying once. I wouldn't get it again. Truffle salame flavor was pretty good.

                                                                        I liked the Monte Bianco a little more. But again, it was worth trying once, but I wouldn't get it again. They just have so many other options I would try those.

                                                                        I liked the 4 formaggi last time well enough to get that again, it had a more unique taste.

                                                                        Rankings so far:

                                                                        Tier 1:

                                                                        Gioia
                                                                        Rotten City Pizza
                                                                        Emilia's
                                                                        Gialina's.
                                                                        Cheese Board.
                                                                        Beretta
                                                                        A Slice Of NY
                                                                        East End Pizza.
                                                                        Tony's Pizza Napoletana
                                                                        Bucci.
                                                                        Pizzeria Delfina
                                                                        Oliveto's
                                                                        Howie's Artisan Pizza
                                                                        Una Pizza Napoletana
                                                                        Dopo
                                                                        BaoNecci
                                                                        Paisan
                                                                        Cotogna

                                                                        Tier 2:

                                                                        Piccino
                                                                        Pizza Speederia
                                                                        Amici's

                                                                        Tier 3:

                                                                        Pauline's Pizza & Wine Bar
                                                                        Primos

                                                                        1. re: nuraman00

                                                                          25th stop: Cupola

                                                                          I had the margherita extra without cherry tomatoes.

                                                                          I loved it. Good charred crust from a wood-fired oven, and the buffalo mozzarella had that mild tang that Dopo's had.

                                                                          I think Cotogna's crust was still a little better, but this was still very satisfying.

                                                                          I liked this margherita beter than Tony's.

                                                                          Great pizza in a mall, who knew? But in all seriousness, it's a real restaurant and bar in the mall. It's not a booth with a window where you pick up your order.

                                                                          Thanks mick.

                                                                          Rankings so far:

                                                                          Tier 1:

                                                                          Gioia
                                                                          Rotten City Pizza
                                                                          Emilia's
                                                                          Gialina's.
                                                                          Cheese Board.
                                                                          Beretta
                                                                          A Slice Of NY
                                                                          East End Pizza.
                                                                          Tony's Pizza Napoletana
                                                                          Bucci.
                                                                          Pizzeria Delfina
                                                                          Oliveto's
                                                                          Howie's Artisan Pizza
                                                                          Una Pizza Napoletana
                                                                          Dopo
                                                                          BaoNecci
                                                                          Paisan
                                                                          Cotogna
                                                                          Cupola

                                                                          Tier 2:

                                                                          Piccino
                                                                          Pizza Speederia
                                                                          Amici's

                                                                          Tier 3:

                                                                          Pauline's Pizza & Wine Bar
                                                                          Primos

                                                                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                              The thread has gotten so long that you forgot what the rankings mean. He liked all the tier 1's better than the tier 2's with no particular favorite designated, I think.
                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7155...

                                                                              1. re: wolfe

                                                                                About 1/2 of the ones from Tier 1 are a little better than the others, but I don't want to make a special designation for them.

                                                                                I think there would be too many categories if I did.

                                                                                Maybe I can put an asterisk or # next to them in Tier 1.

                                                                                1. re: nuraman00

                                                                                  I love the more specific rankings like "That was the 2nd best torchon of foie gras I've had since the one I had in a small cafe in Strasbourg in 1997." Please rank the top tier from 1 to 19.;-)

                                                                                  1. re: wolfe

                                                                                    Ok. I'll try to do something like that the next time I update them.

                                                                                    The only part that worries me is that it's hard to remember some of the finer details of how something tasted 1+ years ago, and how it differed from others.

                                                                                    But I'll try to have a more orderly ranking in the top tier, along with a comment for most, and let me know if it makes the rankings better.

                                                                                    Also, when I started in July 2010, I had never eaten a pizza like what I had at Gioia's, as well as what followed. I was so new to eating non Americanized pizza (Americanized = Round Table, Pizza Hut, Pappa Johns, Costco) that for the first few, I probably just tried to get the bigger picture of how different it was.

                                                                                    It wasn't until later that I could taste the more subtle differences.

                                                                                    1. re: nuraman00

                                                                                      Please don't. I was kidding. It's fine as it is. I am perfectly happy with I liked this,I liked this less, I didn't like this. We don't need a Robert Parker pizza numerical rating system.

                                                                                      1. re: wolfe

                                                                                        Haha, ok. You got me good with your earlier post.

                                                                                        Robert Parker has so many wines ranked 100. That's worse than my 19 pizzas in Tier 1. :)

                                                                                        http://www.wine-searcher.com/robertpa...

                                                                          1. re: nuraman00

                                                                            26th stop: Tony's Pizza Napoletana

                                                                            I had the St. Louis style with sausage.

                                                                            It's good, but it has a HEAVY cheese taste. I got tired of it before the end. I wouldn't get a whole pizza of it for myself again.

                                                                            And yeah, the crust is cracker-thin and the sauce has the right amount of sweetness.

                                                                            Anderson Valley Oatmeal Stout: It was ok, I've had better oatmeal stouts. A little thin. (My favorites are Ninkasi's, and Firestone's Velvet Merlin. BJ's Brewery isn't bad either.)

                                                                            Rankings so far:

                                                                            Tier 1:

                                                                            Gioia
                                                                            Rotten City Pizza
                                                                            Emilia's
                                                                            Gialina's.
                                                                            Cheese Board.
                                                                            Beretta
                                                                            A Slice Of NY
                                                                            East End Pizza.
                                                                            Tony's Pizza Napoletana
                                                                            Bucci.
                                                                            Pizzeria Delfina
                                                                            Oliveto's
                                                                            Howie's Artisan Pizza
                                                                            Una Pizza Napoletana
                                                                            Dopo
                                                                            BaoNecci
                                                                            Paisan
                                                                            Cotogna
                                                                            Cupola

                                                                            Tier 2:

                                                                            Piccino
                                                                            Pizza Speederia
                                                                            Amici's

                                                                            Tier 3:

                                                                            Pauline's Pizza & Wine Bar
                                                                            Primos

                                                                            1. re: nuraman00

                                                                              I love this thread.
                                                                              At some point, you have to re-visit all the tier 1 places and rank them based on your expanded palate. Use whatever metric works for you.

                                                                              1. re: steve h.

                                                                                Thanks, steve h. Also, if I do that, I'd also want to take a pic of them.

                                                                                That's one thing I regret not doing, taking a pick of the pizza and uploading adding it to my posts. Because some of them definitely have a unique look to them.

                                                                                I could separate them into a 1A and 1B, to help that rankings process. I might do that next time.

                                                                                It took over 2 years to go to all of these places, so it would take a while. And I wouldn't be going as often as I did then.

                                                                                1. re: nuraman00

                                                                                  I think you should start a new ranking process. What are the tiers and what are the numbers and letters. Yes photos would be good, you could perhaps just go and tke photos of other peoples pizzas, that would be quicker and cheaper than revisiting them all. I can wait another year plus.

                                                                            2. re: nuraman00

                                                                              27th and 28th stop: Rotten City Pizza.

                                                                              I had a half CALABRIAN and half ACCIUGHE.

                                                                              CALABRIAN

                                                                              TOMATO SAUCE - CHEESE BLEND - HOUSEMADE ITALIAN SAUSAGE
                                                                              GAETA OLIVES - CALABRIAN CHILIES - ROASTED FENNEL SEEDS

                                                                              ACCIUGHE

                                                                              BAGNA CAUDA SAUCE - CHEESE BLEND - SALT-CURED ANCHOVIES - CHILI FLAKES

                                                                              * Calabrian: There wasn't a ton of sausage on there, but what was on there was good. Nice touch with the roasted fennel seeds.

                                                                              * ACCIUGHE: This was my 2nd time eating anchovies ever. mick and wolfe will be happy, haha.

                                                                              I liked this more than the previous time I had pizza with anchovies. Pretty good. While this won't be one of my favorite toppings, it's something I wouldn't mind eating occasionally.

                                                                              I had a half PORCHETTA and half BIANCO VERDE:

                                                                              PORCHETTA

                                                                              FRESH MOZZARELLA - RICOTTA - PARMIGIANO - PORK BELLY PORCHETTA - SALSA VERDE

                                                                              BIANCO VERDE

                                                                              FRESH MOZZARELLA - RICOTTA - PARMIGIANO - CHILI FLAKES - ARUGULA PESTO

                                                                              * Porchetta: Great pizza. The porchetta pieces were good. The cheeses and Salsa Verde were also good.

                                                                              * Bianco Verde: Great pizza. Great cheese flavors and pesto.

                                                                              Seeing as how Rotten City Pizza makes some unique combinations that aren't too common, and does them well, this has to be up there in the rankings. They do a great job with their specialty pizzas too, and all of the ingredients are high quality.

                                                                              I'll fix the rankings another time. :)

                                                                              Rankings so far:

                                                                              Tier 1:

                                                                              Gioia
                                                                              Rotten City Pizza
                                                                              Emilia's
                                                                              Gialina's.
                                                                              Cheese Board.
                                                                              Beretta
                                                                              A Slice Of NY
                                                                              East End Pizza.
                                                                              Tony's Pizza Napoletana
                                                                              Bucci.
                                                                              Pizzeria Delfina
                                                                              Oliveto's
                                                                              Howie's Artisan Pizza
                                                                              Una Pizza Napoletana
                                                                              Dopo
                                                                              BaoNecci
                                                                              Paisan
                                                                              Cotogna
                                                                              Cupola

                                                                              Tier 2:

                                                                              Piccino
                                                                              Pizza Speederia
                                                                              Amici's

                                                                              Tier 3:

                                                                              Pauline's Pizza & Wine Bar
                                                                              Primos

                                                                               
                                                                               
                                                                              1. re: nuraman00

                                                                                29th stop: Pi

                                                                                * I had the White Pizza.

                                                                                White Pie – Mozzarella, Ricotta & Reggiano

                                                                                This was good, you could taste the cheese blend. The crust was crunchy. I got the 21" pizza.

                                                                                You have to take into account that this is a bar first, then a pizza place. So the pizza isn't trying to be one style or another. But the taste and ingredients were good. If you're expecting it to be authentic to a region, then you'd probably be disappointed in the crust.

                                                                                Russian River Consecration: Similar to the Russian River Temptation, it's another sour beer. And again, it's interesting. I don't hate it, but I don't think it's my thing either.

                                                                                Ale Industries Orange Kush: Came back the next day because I forgot something. Pretty interesting, very different from Buffalo Bill's Orange Blossom, which is sweeter. A little bitter, but not like an IPA. I like it because it's different.

                                                                                I'll fix the rankings another time. :)

                                                                                Rankings so far:

                                                                                Tier 1:

                                                                                Gioia
                                                                                Rotten City Pizza
                                                                                Emilia's
                                                                                Gialina's.
                                                                                Cheese Board.
                                                                                Beretta
                                                                                A Slice Of NY
                                                                                East End Pizza.
                                                                                Tony's Pizza Napoletana
                                                                                Bucci.
                                                                                Pizzeria Delfina
                                                                                Oliveto's
                                                                                Howie's Artisan Pizza
                                                                                Una Pizza Napoletana
                                                                                Dopo
                                                                                BaoNecci
                                                                                Paisan
                                                                                Cotogna
                                                                                Cupola
                                                                                Pi

                                                                                Tier 2:

                                                                                Piccino
                                                                                Pizza Speederia
                                                                                Amici's

                                                                                Tier 3:

                                                                                Pauline's Pizza & Wine Bar
                                                                                Primos

                                                                                 
                                                                                1. re: nuraman00

                                                                                  30th stop: Cupola

                                                                                  * I had the Carne.

                                                                                  Carne – housemade sausage, sopressata, calabrese salumi, sweet onion

                                                                                  Pretty good. I think the fennel sausage was better at Rotten City's (but Rotten City put less).

                                                                                  And after having the wood fired crust a 2nd time here, I still think Cotogna's is better.

                                                                                  They put a lot of meats and onion (for a thin crust pizza), and I liked the Italian meats and onion. It wasn't overwhelming, but I'm glad I could taste all of meats.

                                                                                  Wine Tasting - They give you 2 whites and 2 reds for $14.

                                                                                  From the tasting sheet they gave me:

                                                                                  * Uvaggio Vermentino
                                                                                  * Pushback Sauvignon Blanc
                                                                                  * Jupiter Sangiovese
                                                                                  * Calavares 5 (not sure what that means).

                                                                                  I only liked the Calavares 5.

                                                                                  Panna Cotta - First time I've ever had a panna cotta. It was pretty good. I liked the flavors of everything. And I am a fan of lemon flavored deserts in general.

                                                                                  I'd get something else next time though. Or perhaps nothing. I didn't like it so much that it would become a "favorite".

                                                                                  Also, I'm kicking myself right now. I just realized I had my camera on me, and didn't take any pic. I could have gotten the pizza, the wines, the dessert. Here I had a streak of 3 straight pizzas with pics, and I've already slipped up.

                                                                                  I'll fix the rankings another time. :)

                                                                                  Rankings so far:

                                                                                  Tier 1:

                                                                                  Gioia
                                                                                  Rotten City Pizza
                                                                                  Emilia's
                                                                                  Gialina's.
                                                                                  Cheese Board.
                                                                                  Beretta
                                                                                  A Slice Of NY
                                                                                  East End Pizza.
                                                                                  Tony's Pizza Napoletana
                                                                                  Bucci.
                                                                                  Pizzeria Delfina
                                                                                  Oliveto's
                                                                                  Howie's Artisan Pizza
                                                                                  Una Pizza Napoletana
                                                                                  Dopo
                                                                                  BaoNecci
                                                                                  Paisan
                                                                                  Cotogna
                                                                                  Cupola
                                                                                  Pi

                                                                                  Tier 2:

                                                                                  Piccino
                                                                                  Pizza Speederia
                                                                                  Amici's

                                                                                  Tier 3:

                                                                                  Pauline's Pizza & Wine Bar
                                                                                  Primos

                                                                                  1. re: nuraman00

                                                                                    31th stop: Pizza Bocca Lupo

                                                                                    http://www.pizzaboccalupo.com/menu.html

                                                                                    * Margherita with buffalo mozzarella and roasted garlic.

                                                                                    * Margherita with cipolle, roasted bell peppers, and cured prosciutto.

                                                                                    Pizza Bocca Lupo is in the San Pedro Marketplace in downtown San Jose.

                                                                                    We decided to customize our pizzas rather than pick from one of the 5 named combinations.

                                                                                    The Margherita with buffalo mozzarella and roasted garlic was pretty good. However, it got cold fast. I went to the counter to pick it up after the pager buzzed. It took less than 2 minutes from the time I picked it up at the counter, to when I placed it back on the table and ate a slice, and it wasn't hot anymore.

                                                                                    Also, it did come from a wood-fired oven, but the crust wasn't charred to my liking, a little under-done in terms of char. It did have the right balance between chewy and crispy, though.

                                                                                    For the Margherita with cipolle, roasted bell peppers, and cured prosciutto, this one stayed hot. However, I felt the cipolle and bell peppers were undercooked a little. And the cured prosciutto was ok, but I've had better at Cupola or BaoNecci.

                                                                                    So I would say the feeling of underdoneness, and the crust not quite being charred to my liking, would keep this from being a great place. It's still good, I would recommend people try it a few times. And I like how you can customize your pizza for a fair price.

                                                                                    The service was fast though, 10 minutes for the first pizza, maybe 5-6 minutes for the next.

                                                                                    No pics this time, forgot. :(

                                                                                    * Sangioevese wine: No. It was bad.

                                                                                    * IMAX movie "To The Arctic" at the Tech museum: My first time in that theater. The dome is nice. This IMAX is better than most I've seen.

                                                                                    The movie was also good, a little short, 40 minutes.

                                                                                    I'll fix the rankings another time.

                                                                                    Rankings so far:

                                                                                    Tier 1:

                                                                                    Gioia
                                                                                    Rotten City Pizza
                                                                                    Emilia's
                                                                                    Gialina's.
                                                                                    Cheese Board.
                                                                                    Beretta
                                                                                    A Slice Of NY
                                                                                    East End Pizza.
                                                                                    Tony's Pizza Napoletana
                                                                                    Bucci.
                                                                                    Pizzeria Delfina
                                                                                    Oliveto's
                                                                                    Howie's Artisan Pizza
                                                                                    Una Pizza Napoletana
                                                                                    Dopo
                                                                                    BaoNecci
                                                                                    Paisan
                                                                                    Cotogna
                                                                                    Cupola
                                                                                    Pi
                                                                                    Pizza Bocca Lupo

                                                                                    Tier 2:

                                                                                    Piccino
                                                                                    Pizza Speederia
                                                                                    Amici's

                                                                                    Tier 3:

                                                                                    Pauline's Pizza & Wine Bar
                                                                                    Primos

                                                                                    1. re: nuraman00

                                                                                      32nd stop: San Francisco Pizza (in Oakland)

                                                                                      http://mypizza.com/restaurant/menu/514

                                                                                      I had the Quatro Cheese pizza.

                                                                                      Quatro Queijos (Four Cheese) Pizza Mozzarella, Parmesan, Cheddar Cheese, Provolone, Virgin Olive Oil and Oregano

                                                                                      It was ok, something about it tasted a little weird. Couldn't put my finger on what.

                                                                                      This pizza was thick.

                                                                                      Not as good as BaoNecci's 4 cheese.

                                                                                      If you're in the neighborhood, it's not a bad place to try, especially since they're open until 3am. But it wouldn't be among my favorites.

                                                                                      I'll fix the rankings another time.

                                                                                      Rankings so far:

                                                                                      Tier 1:

                                                                                      Gioia
                                                                                      Rotten City Pizza
                                                                                      Emilia's
                                                                                      Gialina's.
                                                                                      Cheese Board.
                                                                                      Beretta
                                                                                      A Slice Of NY
                                                                                      East End Pizza.
                                                                                      Tony's Pizza Napoletana
                                                                                      Bucci.
                                                                                      Pizzeria Delfina
                                                                                      Oliveto's
                                                                                      Howie's Artisan Pizza
                                                                                      Una Pizza Napoletana
                                                                                      Dopo
                                                                                      BaoNecci
                                                                                      Paisan
                                                                                      Cotogna
                                                                                      Cupola
                                                                                      Pi
                                                                                      Pizza Bocca Lupo

                                                                                      Tier 2:

                                                                                      Piccino
                                                                                      Pizza Speederia
                                                                                      Amici's
                                                                                      San Francisco Pizza

                                                                                      Tier 3:

                                                                                      Pauline's Pizza & Wine Bar
                                                                                      Primos

                                                                                       
                                                                                      1. re: nuraman00

                                                                                        "It was ok, something about it tasted a little weird. Couldn't put my finger on what."
                                                                                        Cheddar

                                                                                        1. re: wolfe

                                                                                          Good observation, maybe that was it. I normally don't see cheddar with the rest of other cheeses they had.

                                                                                          Normally if a pizza has cheddar, it has Monterrey jack too, and just those two.

                                                                                          Also, the bad taste was kind of like oregano gone bad, if that makes any sense.

                                                                                          1. re: nuraman00

                                                                                            I think La Val's had cheddar and it always seemed "off." I don't think from what I just saw on the net that oregano goes bad, unless stored improperly, but it does get weaker

                                                                                            1. re: wolfe

                                                                                              i think cheeseboard had a pizza with cheddar, mozzarella and butternut squash.

                                                                                              1. re: majordanby

                                                                                                Another pizza that is not high on my list unless I feel a need dine al fresco on the grassy plaza in front of the store. Cheddar is for grilled cheese sandwiches with bacon and bread and butter pickle chips.

                                                                                                1. re: wolfe

                                                                                                  wolfe, did you name the pizza that was not high on your list in the above post?

                                                                                                  Or were you referring to La Val's again, in your post on Mar 16, 2013 01:33 PM?

                                                                                                  You originally referred to La Val's on Mar 16, 2013 11:59 AM.

                                                                                                  1. re: nuraman00

                                                                                                    "i think cheeseboard had a pizza with cheddar, mozzarella and butternut squash."
                                                                                                    Cheddar as an ingredient on any pizza. Cheeseboard pizzas specifically.

                                                                                                    1. re: nuraman00

                                                                                                      Cheeseboard from majordanby's post

                                                                                        2. re: nuraman00

                                                                                          33rd stop: Blue Line Pizza (in Mountain View)

                                                                                          http://bluelinepizza.com/menu/

                                                                                          I had the Pesto Chicken but in deep dish pizza. On the menu, it's available as thin crust, but we asked for it as deep dish.

                                                                                          PESTO CHICKEN
                                                                                          Pesto, roasted chicken, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, onions

                                                                                          It was good. Both my friend and I thought they were light on the pesto, they used swirls but it still felt too light. Paxti's does a better job with the pesto, in both of our opinions.

                                                                                          Overall though very good pizza.

                                                                                          Their onions were caramelized great! Had that perfect combination of slight crispness and flavor.

                                                                                          Garlic bread: Great flavor.

                                                                                          Beer:

                                                                                          * Goose Island Honker's Ale, from the bottle. It's an English bitter. It's ok, worth trying, but I wouldn't get it again.

                                                                                          * Goose Island Sophie, on tap. It's a Belgian ale. It's good, I liked it.

                                                                                          Ok, finally, new rankings. Breaking up Tier 1.

                                                                                          Rankings so far:

                                                                                          The Best:

                                                                                          Gioia
                                                                                          Rotten City Pizza
                                                                                          Emilia's
                                                                                          A Slice Of NY
                                                                                          East End Pizza.
                                                                                          Howie's Artisan Pizza
                                                                                          Dopo
                                                                                          BaoNecci
                                                                                          Paisan
                                                                                          Cotogna

                                                                                          Pi (take into account that this is a bar first, that serves pizza, by those standards it's very good

                                                                                          )

                                                                                          Blue Line Pizza

                                                                                          Very Good:

                                                                                          Gialina's (It's been so long I just don't remember anymore, I'll have to go back to this one.)

                                                                                          Beretta (It's been so long I just don't remember anymore, I'll have to go back to this one.)

                                                                                          Tony's Pizza Napoletana

                                                                                          Bucci (chewy crust dropped it)

                                                                                          Pizzeria Delfina

                                                                                          Cheese Board.

                                                                                          Oliveto's (Farm egg pizza is unique, have to try it)

                                                                                          Una Pizza Napoletana

                                                                                          Cupola (good toppings and wood-fired crust)

                                                                                          Pizza Bocca Lupo

                                                                                          Tier 2:

                                                                                          Piccino
                                                                                          Pizza Speederia
                                                                                          Amici's
                                                                                          San Francisco Pizza

                                                                                          Tier 3:

                                                                                          Pauline's Pizza & Wine Bar
                                                                                          Primos

                                                                                          Reviewing these, it seems that I haven't found the "perfect" margherita yet.

                                                                                          Bucci's was great except for the crust.

                                                                                          Delfina's was good, liked their mozzarella, but Bucci's was still better. Different styles though, I think Delfina's was a lot thinner.

                                                                                          Tony's STG was good but I still liked Bucci's better.

                                                                                          Una Pizza Napoletana's was good but their style is too minimalist for me.

                                                                                          Cupola's is good but I don't think I love that place enough to be a frequent visitor, given all of the choices that exist.

                                                                                          Pizza Buco Lupo was too undercooked.

                                                                                          Given how much I like Rotten City Pizza, they would probably be my best bet. East End, and Paisan probably make good ones too that I should try.

                                                                                          Dopo's "mozzarella di bufala" could probably be considered a "margherita extra", so that's probably the best margherita I've had. Still, I'd like a few more to be on the topmost tier. And I'd like to say a few of the places make the best regular margherita, not margherita extra.

                                                                                           
                                                                                           
                                                                                           
                                                                                          1. re: nuraman00

                                                                                            "Una Pizza Napoletana's was good but their style is too minimalist for me."

                                                                                            A margherita is by definition minimalist. Add anything extra and it's no longer a margherita.

                                                                                            Using mozzarella di bufala is traditional.

                                                                                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                                              Right, but it wasn't about the number of ingredients with Una Pizza Napoletana. They had what I expected (olive oil, mozzarella, sea salt, basil).

                                                                                              I just thought those portions themselves were a little low.

                                                                                              Actually, this pic from their website looks better than the two pizzas I had last year (Ilaria; margherita):

                                                                                              http://a3.4ormat.com/vfs/46797/thumbs...

                                                                                              I remember 1/3 as much.

                                                                                              I also just read a review from May 2013 on Yelp, that says compared to her experience a year ago in 2012, she's noticed some changes, such as a lot more edge crust, and a lot more toppings too.

                                                                                              Maybe they've changed?

                                                                                              Comparatively speaking, here's Dopo's margherita:

                                                                                              http://s3-media4.ak.yelpcdn.com/bphot...

                                                                                              I'd post a pic of Bucci's margherita if I could find it.

                                                                                                1. re: drewskiSF

                                                                                                  Haha, awesome! Funny that I chose to put it in my post, out of all the available pics.

                                                                                                  1. re: drewskiSF

                                                                                                    So does Dopo use a wood-fired oven? Because that pic makes it seem like it's a wood-charred crust.

                                                                                                    1. re: nuraman00

                                                                                                      Yeah, I think it's a wood burning oven. Not positive though.

                                                                                                      1. re: nuraman00

                                                                                                        Ok looks like gas, unless they changed it out at some point.

                                                                                                        http://insidescoopsf.sfgate.com/blog/...

                                                                                                        1. re: nuraman00

                                                                                                          Dopo has a gas deck oven. I used to think wood ovens made the best pizzas, but Dopo has changed my mind. Theirs is first-rate.

                                                                                                2. re: nuraman00

                                                                                                  34th, 35th, and 36th stop: Zero Zero

                                                                                                  http://www.zerozerosf.com/menus/lunch...

                                                                                                  Have gone there 3 times in the past 3 months.

                                                                                                  34th stop: Margherita (see 1st pic

                                                                                                  )

                                                                                                  I liked their wood-fired crust, and their regular mozzarella actually tasted like the buffalo mozzarellas I've had at other places (Dopo; Una Pizza Napoletana; Cupola; Pizza Bocca Lupo).

                                                                                                  35th stop: Margherita extra (see 2nd pic) and Watermelon Smash:

                                                                                                  Watermelon Smash:
                                                                                                  Watermelon, Lemon, Mint, Lemon Bitter Soda

                                                                                                  Watermelon Smash drink: I liked it, the combination of watermelon and lemon was good. I'd get it again.

                                                                                                  Margherita extra: I'd asked if they could do a 1/2 and 1/2 with the Mergherita and Margherita extra, but they said no. Part of the reason was because they don't put the cheese on until the end, and they also said the buffalo mozzarella was in medallions, which also made it different.

                                                                                                  No matter, I got the margherita extra anyways. Again, I liked everything about it. I didn't taste a difference between their buffalo mozzarella and regular mozzarella, other than the texture of this one being the aforementioned medallions. The medallions would usually come off in one bite, haha.

                                                                                                  If I compare this place to Cupola, in that both are on 4th street (only separated by about 3 blocks), and both have wood-fired crusts, I'd choose this one every time. Zero Zero is now a favorite place, and I think they along with Dopo make my favorite margherita. I like their crust, I like the proportion of their toppings.

                                                                                                  36th stop:

                                                                                                  I had the chickpea bruschetta, and the Fillmore pizza.

                                                                                                  Chickpea Bruschetta, Rosemary, Burrata:

                                                                                                  As I mentioned in a post later in this thread, I didn't taste much from their burrata, it was just very thin. But I liked the appetizer as a whole, with the chickpeas and bruschetta.

                                                                                                  Fillmore Pizza:
                                                                                                  Hen of the Woods Mushrooms, Leeks, Mozzarella,
                                                                                                  Grana Padano, Pecorino, Fontina, Garlic, Thyme

                                                                                                  Again, I liked their pizza, everything about it. And they gave lots of mushrooms. :)

                                                                                                  Rankings so far:

                                                                                                  The Best:

                                                                                                  Gioia
                                                                                                  Rotten City Pizza
                                                                                                  Emilia's
                                                                                                  A Slice Of NY
                                                                                                  East End Pizza.
                                                                                                  Howie's Artisan Pizza
                                                                                                  Dopo
                                                                                                  BaoNecci
                                                                                                  Paisan
                                                                                                  Cotogna

                                                                                                  Pi (take into account that this is a bar first, that serves pizza, by those standards it's very good
                                                                                                  )

                                                                                                  Blue Line Pizza
                                                                                                  Zero Zero

                                                                                                  Very Good:

                                                                                                  Gialina's (It's been so long I just don't remember anymore, I'll have to go back to this one.)

                                                                                                  Beretta (It's been so long I just don't remember anymore, I'll have to go back to this one.)

                                                                                                  Tony's Pizza Napoletana

                                                                                                  Bucci (chewy crust dropped it)

                                                                                                  Pizzeria Delfina

                                                                                                  Cheese Board.

                                                                                                  Oliveto's (Farm egg pizza is unique, have to try it)

                                                                                                  Una Pizza Napoletana

                                                                                                  Cupola (good toppings and wood-fired crust)

                                                                                                  Pizza Bocca Lupo

                                                                                                  Tier 2:

                                                                                                  Piccino
                                                                                                  Pizza Speederia
                                                                                                  Amici's
                                                                                                  San Francisco Pizza

                                                                                                  Tier 3:

                                                                                                  Pauline's Pizza & Wine Bar
                                                                                                  Primos

                                                                                                   
                                                                                                   
                                                                                                   
                                                                                                   
                                                                                                   
                                                                                                   
                                                                                                  1. re: nuraman00

                                                                                                    37th stop: Pizzetta 211:

                                                                                                    I had the Farm Egg pizza: Farm Egg, Spanish Chorizo, Pimento Pepper, Caramelized Onion, Manchego

                                                                                                    I liked it, it had a lot of flavor. And a bit of spiciness too.

                                                                                                    Hmm, I don't think there was Chorizo on mine. Oh well. I liked this one more than the Oliveto one, but that's because this had a lot of different flavors, while the Oliveto's was simpler but also good.

                                                                                                    There were a few bites where I think the egg and manchego had a nice distinct taste, the combination of which I haven't had before.

                                                                                                    This was a great place.

                                                                                                    Rankings so far:

                                                                                                    The Best:

                                                                                                    Gioia
                                                                                                    Rotten City Pizza
                                                                                                    Emilia's
                                                                                                    A Slice Of NY
                                                                                                    East End Pizza.
                                                                                                    Howie's Artisan Pizza
                                                                                                    Dopo
                                                                                                    BaoNecci
                                                                                                    Paisan
                                                                                                    Cotogna

                                                                                                    Pi (take into account that this is a bar first, that serves pizza, by those standards it's very good)

                                                                                                    Blue Line Pizza
                                                                                                    Zero Zero
                                                                                                    Pizzetta 211

                                                                                                    Very Good:

                                                                                                    Gialina's (It's been so long I just don't remember anymore, I'll have to go back to this one.)

                                                                                                    Beretta (It's been so long I just don't remember anymore, I'll have to go back to this one.)

                                                                                                    Tony's Pizza Napoletana

                                                                                                    Bucci (chewy crust dropped it)

                                                                                                    Pizzeria Delfina

                                                                                                    Cheese Board.

                                                                                                    Oliveto's (Farm egg pizza is unique, have to try it)

                                                                                                    Una Pizza Napoletana

                                                                                                    Cupola (good toppings and wood-fired crust)

                                                                                                    Pizza Bocca Lupo

                                                                                                    Tier 2:

                                                                                                    Piccino
                                                                                                    Pizza Speederia
                                                                                                    Amici's
                                                                                                    San Francisco Pizza

                                                                                                    Tier 3:

                                                                                                    Pauline's Pizza & Wine Bar
                                                                                                    Primos

                                                                                                     
                                                                                                    1. re: nuraman00

                                                                                                      Also tried Pizzetta 211 last weekend, and liked what we had. Highlight was the mushroom pizza. I liked the thin crusts. Also had a farro salad w/ a variety of ingredients, which was a nice appetizer. Tiny place, but good food.

                                                                                                3. L'Osteria del Forno

                                                                                                  -----
                                                                                                  L'Osteria del Forno
                                                                                                  519 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

                                                                                                  1. nizza la bella

                                                                                                    -----
                                                                                                    Nizza La Bella
                                                                                                    827 San Pablo Ave, Albany, CA 94706

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: majordanby

                                                                                                      just came back from Nizza. we had the Pizza Reina, which has fresh mozz and tomatoes. It was very forgettable. On the whole, i think Nizza has gone downhill.

                                                                                                      I love Gialina's pizza! Hope you like it . . .

                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                      Gialina
                                                                                                      2842 Diamond St, San Francisco, CA 94131