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!
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. :)
"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.
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)
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.
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:
Flour + water
For a variation on Chicago style pizza try:
Little Star or
Patxi's in a pinch
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
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