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

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yoliv Jul 27, 2012 12:54 PM

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!

  1. g
    goldangl95 Jul 27, 2012 01:06 PM

    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
    Cotogna
    A16

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

    2 Replies
    1. re: goldangl95
      Robert Lauriston Jul 27, 2012 02:20 PM

      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
        Robert Lauriston Feb 28, 2014 10:32 AM

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

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/965113#8753365

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

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6322...

    2. o
      Omniverous Jul 27, 2012 01:36 PM

      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 anywhere...you're not in Texas anymore, Toto. :)

      Have fun!

      3 Replies
      1. re: Omniverous
        Robert Lauriston Jul 27, 2012 02:10 PM

        "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:

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6322...

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

        1. re: Robert Lauriston
          o
          Omniverous Jul 27, 2012 02:51 PM

          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
            Robert Lauriston Jul 28, 2012 01:04 PM

            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. smatbrat Jul 27, 2012 01:38 PM

          Those are great suggestions for "fine dinning" pizzas.

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

          1. y
            yoliv Jul 27, 2012 02:46 PM

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

            1 Reply
            1. re: yoliv
              g
              goldangl95 Jul 27, 2012 03:27 PM

              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. m
              mdg Jul 27, 2012 02:54 PM

              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.

              Michael

              16 Replies
              1. re: mdg
                s
                srr Jul 27, 2012 03:22 PM

                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
                  Robert Lauriston Jul 27, 2012 04:26 PM

                  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
                    s
                    sunnyside Feb 28, 2014 10:49 AM

                    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
                      Robert Lauriston Feb 28, 2014 11:03 AM

                      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
                        s
                        sunnyside Feb 28, 2014 11:17 AM

                        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
                          Robert Lauriston Feb 28, 2014 11:39 AM

                          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
                            b
                            BacoMan Feb 28, 2014 12:06 PM

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

                            1. re: BacoMan
                              Robert Lauriston Feb 28, 2014 12:28 PM

                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6744...

                              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                b
                                BacoMan Feb 28, 2014 12:34 PM

                                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
                        b
                        BacoMan Feb 28, 2014 12:05 PM

                        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
                          s
                          sunnyside Feb 28, 2014 12:10 PM

                          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
                            b
                            BacoMan Feb 28, 2014 12:35 PM

                            Is it better than that Una Pizza Napoletana?

                            1. re: BacoMan
                              s
                              sunnyside Feb 28, 2014 12:50 PM

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

                              1. re: sunnyside
                                b
                                BacoMan Feb 28, 2014 01:40 PM

                                What style is Pizza Hacker doing again?

                                1. re: BacoMan
                                  Robert Lauriston Feb 28, 2014 02:06 PM

                                  PizzaHacker topic:

                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/961926

                        2. re: sunnyside
                          bbulkow Mar 1, 2014 01:47 AM

                          yoliv was visiting in summer of '12

                    2. s
                      steveb Jul 28, 2012 07:33 AM

                      For kitschy old school, try a Bruce Special at Gaspares in the Richmond.

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