by Allie Pape - 10 Reviews - 45 List
Only a few years ago, San Francisco had a reputation for mediocre pizza, but a recent boom of top-notch pizza restaurants has changed all that. While we'll never match New York (especially on the issue of good slices), fans of Neapolitan, deep-dish, and everything in between can find a San Francisco pizza to fit their needs.
Updated: August 29, 2011
This hip, friendly trio of pizza joints (the others are in the Mission and Albany) offers both thin- and thick-crust options, but it's known for deep dish. Try the signature Little Star, with a blend of spinach, mushrooms, onions, garlic, ricotta and feta. If you're a meat-eater, add sausage to make it a Brass Monkey.
Anthony Mangieri has a monastic devotion to pizza, and he's more than earned his reputation as San Francisco's answer to the Soup Nazi. Una Pizza Napoletana is open only four evenings a week, takes no reservations, offers just five choices of toppings (no meat), and boasts surly service, to boot. All that might be forgiven, however, when you bite into one of Mangieri's creations; topped with San Marzano tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella, with plenty of oven char, they're beyond delicious. Don't come here if you're on a budget, though--a pizza feeds one, and goes for $20 a pop.
This Neapolitan-style pizzeria is so popular that it spawned a sequel, the nearby Boot and Shoe Service. Both restaurants boast creative, seasonal toppings and outstanding cocktails (try anything with the house-made tonic). Pizzaiolo's Oakland location also allows it to have a wood-fired oven (a San Francisco rarity), resulting in a thin, crispy crust.
The Bay's best-loved deep-dish palace, Zachary's boasts three locations across Oakland and Berkeley. There's nearly always a line at all three, and for good reason: This is some of the best deep-dish you'll find outside of Chicago. The flaky, buttery crust is complimented by a heavy dose of chunky sauce, thick with fresh tomatoes.
Bruce Hill's Pizzeria Picco (in Larkspur) has made quite a splash over the years. Zero Zero brings his signature Neapolitan pies to downtown San Francisco. Named for the highly refined 00 flour used in their making, these pizzas, from the basic margherita to the mushroom-inflected Fillmore, are seriously good. For those who don't feel like pizza, the menu also boasts a good selection of appetizers and pastas--and everyone should save room for the olive-oil-and-sea-salt-topped Straus soft serve.
For the closest thing to an authentic New York slice, head to Arinell. Located right near the 16th Street bars, this metal-blasting dough joint offers all the basics until 1am, perfect for soaking up an evening's sins. There's very little seating, so plan on taking your slice to go.