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Jul 27, 2012 12:54 PM

Austinites traveling to SF to find the best pizza, help!

I am a die-hard pizza loving princess who has been spoiled with the best New York style pizza available in Austin for the past year (I work at Home Slice Pizza), so while my boyfriend and I travel to San Francisco for the first time, we would love to discover the best pizza SF has to offer.

I am open to all styles, but I am a vegetarian, please help a sister out!

Thank you!

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  1. We're in a big Italian food moment, so there's lots of places among them. Most are trying to go for more of an authentic Italian style with a twist. These are more Italian or Cal-Italian restaurants, than pizzerias:
    Pizzeria Delfina
    Zero Zero
    Flour + water

    For a variation on Chicago style pizza try:
    Little Star or
    Patxi's in a pinch

    5 Replies
    1. re: goldangl95

      I find Delfina, Flour+Water, Zero Zero, and Cotogna generally similar (and there are a dozen or more other places doing that style), but I like Cotogna the best.

      Chicago deep-dish (not stuffed): Little Star

      Roman: Bao'Necci

      Neapolitan: Una Pizza Napoletana (100% vegetarian), A16, Tony's STG Margherita (only 73 a day, they can run out early)

      West Coast: Pauline's, Tomasso's

      NY "Ray's"-style junk food slice: Arinell

      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        New contender for best NY-style slice: The Pizza Shop at 24th and Mission.

        I think Tony's is trying to do more styles than it can execute consistently. Probably best to go only at off hours.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Research is continuing, but I tentatively prefer the Ruby's- / Viccolo-style deep dish at Urban Putt to Little Star's.

          The Star in Oakland isn't quite as good as Little Star.

      2. I'm a part-time Austinite (and full-time pizzaphile) who spends a lot of time in SF, so I'll help:
        If Home Slice is your standard for pizza bliss, your best bet is Tony's Pizza Napoletana, where you'll have options for several different styles of pizza, all better than what you can get in Austin in my opinion. Its located in North Beach, which is a fun neighborhood to explore for a first-timer to SF.

        Beyond that, if you're on a serious pizza pilgrimage and want to try the city's best, also look at the following (all of which are excellent and most of which are redundant for your purposes):
        Una Pizza Napoletana
        Delfina Pizzeria and Flour+Water in the Mission
        Cotogna at the edge of the Financial District
        Gioia on Polk, which is newer but not necessarily better than any of the above.

        Out of the above (and after you've gone to Tony's), I'd say try Delfina Pizzeria and then afterwards stroll down 18th Street for an ice cream at the Bi-Rite Creamery - which you'll then take across the street to eat in Delores Park. Its all a nice slice of the city, pardon the pun.

        You also might like finding Del Popolo, which is a food truck with its own Neapolitan oven built into a cargo container.

        Also, Cupola in the Wesfield Mall in Union Sq. has a crazy-cheap happy hour, FYI.

        And if you're really going to do it right, take the BART out to Berkeley and hit the upstairs cafe at Chez Panisse at lunch for the pizza that to me best embodies the classic California style. If you order a pizza and skip wine, its not prohibitively expensive and your server should be gracious enough not to care. But you're on vacation so at least share a dessert..

        Other than the fact that you'll miss out on the sublime guanciale pizza I had last week at Delfina, the vegetarian thing won't be a problem're not in Texas anymore, Toto. :)

        Have fun!

        3 Replies
        1. re: Omniverous

          "Several different styles" might be an understatement for Tony's. At my last count they had 12 styles coming out of five different kinds of ovens:

          Chez Panisse I'd rank maybe #6 in the East Bay after Dopo, Pizzaiolo, Nizza, Lanesplitter, and Oliveto.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Your unsolicited rankings of East Bay pizzas notwithstanding, a lunchtime pizza and shared dessert at Chez Panisse would be a lovely meal not to be forgotten for a girl from Texas visiting for the first time and thoughtful enough to ask for constructive advice (not quibbling over diction) here.

            (But go to Tony's and Pizzeria Delfina first, yoliv)

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              Chez Panisse Cafe is of the best and nicest places for lunch in the East Bay. Full props to them for inventing California pizza in 1980, but I don't think the pizza has kept up with the competition. If they hadn't taken the goat cheese calzone off the menu, well, that would be another story.

              The request is for the best pizza. That's not a subject on which you're going to get a consensus.

          2. Those are great suggestions for "fine dinning" pizzas.

            You can go to Tonys and get a zillion different style pizzas

            1. Thank you so much everyone! Now I just need to tag these on a map and we're set!

              1 Reply
              1. re: yoliv

                Just keep in mind that eating in SF can be somewhat of an olympic sport. Waits and lines can be long, and reservations can be hard to get on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights between say 6:00 and 10 p.m.

              2. Lots of great suggestions here, to which I'll add Gialina, a quite individual style of thin crust pizza in Glen Park which is my favorite in the city so far. Avoid Patxi.


                16 Replies
                1. re: mdg

                  I second Gialina! It's my favorite. I'm not a fan of the "limp at the tip" style of pizza that everyone is so fond of here. Gialina's crust is crunchy and sturdier. Your jaws get a work out from that crust.

                  1. re: mdg

                    Ragazza has the same chef/owner as Gialina. Pizza's not exactly the same as there's a different oven and she modified her recipe to suit.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      I live close Gialina and have been there a lot, but prefer Ragazza's crust, it slightly different and more consistent for some reason.

                      As to the OP I'd throw in Pizzahacker and in the East Bay Pizzaiola/Boot and Shoe are worth a BART ride.

                      1. re: sunnyside

                        Pizzaiolo is closest to my house of the best pizza places in the East Bay, and I like it for other things, but I prefer Dopo and Forge for pizza. At both Pizzaiolo and Boot & Shoe the music is sometimes intolerably loud. I don't know of anyplace in SF that does quite their style of pizza.

                        Benchmark in Kensington is also great.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                          I’d agree that one of the reasons I like Pizzaiola/Boot and Shoe so much is that I can get a pizza as an app., get an excellent cocktail and then also get a good pasta, side or other entrée such as the fried rabbit that appears every so often. I have a 6 year old so always go right when they open and haven’t experienced the loud music, maybe they crank it up after the sun sets. Need to try Forge and Dopo (but every time I get out to the East Bay I seem to end up at Pizzaiola or Miss Ollie’s).

                          1. re: sunnyside

                            The fried rabbit I had on my first and last meal at Boot & Shoe almost made up for the permanent hearing loss.

                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                              Is that a compliment or not?... I love rabbit.

                                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                  That is honestly the most ambivalent review of a place I have ever read.

                                  I have no idea whether you liked it or not, haha.

                        2. re: sunnyside

                          What makes this Pizza Hacker guy so good? It sounds really odd. Apparently he uses a bread which he grills at various pop-ups?

                          1. re: BacoMan

                            Well no, now he has a permanent spot with ovens. I wouldn’t say its “so good”, just another place to throw in the mix of the many pizza places that have popped up in the Bay Area in the last few years – the dough has a sourdoughish flavor and texture that I like.

                            1. re: sunnyside

                              Is it better than that Una Pizza Napoletana?

                              1. re: BacoMan

                                Different style I don't think you can really compare them on a better than basis.

                                1. re: sunnyside

                                  What style is Pizza Hacker doing again?

                          2. re: sunnyside

                            yoliv was visiting in summer of '12