My love for pizza is stuff legends are made of. No, seriously, it is a passionate love affair that knows no bounds and is the cure all for all my blues. Although I love all kinds of pizza, Californian thin-crust ones are the one I love, love, love simply because I am a Cali girl at heart and in stomach. NYC style or Chicago style deep dish may be the holy grail, but I am a San Franciscan in love with a good thin crust pizza with no frills. So without further ado, here are my top five SF pizzerias to grab some of that thin crust goodness.
LIST OF FAVORITE SF PIZZERIAS
A) Del Popolo: Starting this list of favorite SF pizzerias bydeclaring my love for Del Popolo, my favorite thin crust pizzeria in town. Del Popolo started off by peddling wood fired pizzas off a glass enclosed Trans-Altantic shipping container on a Frieghtliner truck, which was, in itself, a sight to behold. Now it has its own brick and mortar store and is insanely busy dishing out those same naturally leavened, wood fired pizzas made to perfection. The crust is perfect and the toppings are few and delicious, none of them taking anything away from the awesomeness of the crust. Best SF pizza ever, and even more rad with some wine (we are San Francisco after all). Vegetarian options available.
B) Gialina/Ragazza: These two fog city favorites are sister restaurants and share more or less the same menu of yummy antipastis (salads) pasta and roasts and of course the out of the world delicious thin crust pizzas. The crust is the perfect marriage of chewy and crunchy and wood fired to perfection. Sauces are either tomato or cheese based and toppings are super innovative (don’t think of hipstery broccoli, but spicy Calabrian chilies). Plus they have nutella pizza for dessert apart from the regular, and may I add mouthwatering, Tiramisu. Both SF pizzerias are open for dinner only and are in the sleepy neighborhood of Glen Park (Gialina) and the buzzing Divisadero street in NoPa (Ragazza). Vegetarian options available. My favorite hands down is the spicy Atomica (can be made vegetarian on request at Ragazza).
C) Pizzeria Delfina: What started off with two modestly spaced spots in the city (Mission and Lower Pacific heights) has now spilled over to the Peninsula south of SF, thanks to the insane popularity of this establishment’s pies. Long lines with locals waiting patiently for that thin crust goodness, Delfina is known for its pies with few, unpretentious and extremely tasty toppings. To add to this, they have a neat selection of salads and some yummy home made gelato. One of the must visit SF pizzerias to satisfy your pie cravings!
D) Mozzeria: This brick and mortar place in the Mission sets itself apart from other SF pizzerias in many ways; for starters it is the only pizzeria in town getting the seal of approval for authentic Neopolitan pizza (pizza Napoletana) from AVPN, i.e. Associazone Verace Pizza Napoletana. So you know that the stuff coming out of that gigantic 5,000 lb Stefano Ferrara oven is as authentic as it gets. Second, Mozzeria employs differently abled youth (with speech and hearing impairment) at their restaurant, but that does not deter anyone from ordering what they want. Finally, they also have great selection of pasta, side dishes with locally sourced ingredients (three cheers to our farmers’ markets) and has a well stocked wine bar with tap beer, vintage sodas and yummy desserts to make your dining experience something other than the ordinary SF pizzerias’ offerings. As usual, vegetarian options available.
E) Tony’s: Tony’s is nothing fancy, no artisanal BS here. Just plain old thin crust Napoletana pizza with all the North Beach/Little Italy charm thrown in here be it the simple cheese or the pepperoni or the ever popular veggie version with tons of veggie toppings. Leaving North beach without a slice of this heaven is a sacrilege that deserves no pardon, and chewing on the pie while inside the confines of the restaurant is an eve bigger sin. Simply go the to-go/carry out adjoining section which is even more busy, grab a slice and a beverage of your choice and sit out in the sun to do people watching and enjoying your slice. The taste matches the Columbus Park view and gives you a complete Little Italy experience, one that you can get only in San Francisco.
This rounds up my top five favorite SF pizzerias. There are many more such amazing pie places but these are slightly more special for me. Let me know about your pizza experience (good or bad) and for more noshing ideas in SF , read my eating on a budget post here and my top 6 SF cafes post here. Bon Apetito!
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