What makes San Francisco stand out the most above all other pizza restaurants is the cracker crust effect. Practically every pie joint in the Bay has an extremely thin layer of crust on the menu. If that’s not your thing, there are plenty of doughy options packed full of flavor. Here are my top 5 recommendations for where you can find some of the best pizza pies in San Francisco.
We open our Top 5 Pizza Places In San Francisco with a legendary pizza place in San Francisco.There are two Delarosa locations in the Financial District downtown and the marina. Both are late-night hotspots for unique cocktails and Roman-style pizza. They offer a wide-variety of pies from the classic Margherita to pizza with more complex flavors including clams, chorizo, sofrito, and vegan cheeses. I tend to visit the location on the Marina more often as it’s open until 1 a.m. on the weekends.
At Delarosa you can always expect delicious house made pastas and a family-friendly atmosphere with communal-style seating. I come here often for the appetizer of frittomisto of calamari, shrimp, and vegetables, and the hot salami, coppa, marinara, and diavolicchio pizza. Delarosa is located close to the Presidio, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Crissy Field. Locals flock here during the week for happy hour from 4 to 6 pm for small bites, craft beer, Californian wines, and cocktails.
4. Za Pizza
Za Pizza is a small neighborhood eatery that’s well-known for its thin crust pies. Located in Russian Hill, Za has been tossing cornmeal dusted crusts for over 20 years. Each pizza is named after a famous artist from centuries past, and the walls are decorated with art from their fans. No matter how you slice it, Za Pizza only uses fresh ingredients, homemade pesto and tomato sauce, sun dried tomatoes, and slow-roasted meats.
It’s one of the few places in San Francisco where you can get a pizza and a craft beer for under $10. I recommend the Vincent Van Dough topped with fresh garlic, Roma tomatoes, and fresh basil. Or, enjoy the Monet’s garden salad with generous amounts of season greens, fresh vegetables, and their house made honey mustard dressing.
3. Tony’s Pizza Napoletana
Chef and founder Tony Gemignani is a 13-time World Champion Pizza Maker. Forbes once named this restaurant “The Best Pizzeria In America.” So what makes Tony’s so special? He cooks his pizza using five heat sources at seven temperatures. It’s also the only place where you can customize your pizza one of over 90 ways.
The pizzeria only uses authentic ingredients mostly imported from Napoli, Italy. Whether you choose the standard pepperoni with sausage, or the eclectic muenster, fried kale, honey, and bacon pizza, Tony’s won’t disappoint. Aside from pizza, Tony’s serves up authentic Italian dinners, domestic and imported wines, and a menu of specialty cocktails to enjoy. Tony’s Pizza Napoletana is located in San Francisco’s Little Italy. This is one of the most loved Pizza Places in San Francisco.
Capo’s is a sister company of Tony’s Pizza Napoentana serving up Chicago-style pizza made with Ceresota flour. You can order any one of the four crusts such as stuffed, deep dish, extra thin, and cast iron pan. You’ll want to get there early since one of their award-winning pizzas is cooked just 20 times a day. Capo’s is known for their Chicago-style fare that only uses fresh authentic ingredients.
My ultimate favorite house made specialty is the sweet fennel sausages and calabrese. The Mostaccioli and Conchiglie are baked pastas that are filling and delectable. Capo’s also has a full cocktail menu that includes whiskey and cognac from around the world including Yoichi from Japan, and Koval from Chicago.
The walls are donned with Prohibition-style art and memorabilia. The bar is decorated similar to the Golden Gate Bridge and the red leather booths resemble the era of Chicago mobsters. The restaurant features two brick ovens to create their pizza masterpieces and one wood-fired oven for baking pastas and other specialty pizzas.
1. Golden Boy Pizza
We close out our Top 5 Pizza Places In San Francisco with an amazing pizza place. My all-time favorite pizza joint was opened by a 19-year-old in 1978. It’s the go-to hangout on the North Beach where you can order their pizza by the sheet or the slice and dine there until 2:30 a.m. on the weekends. Golden Boy Pizza is a family-owned operation run by the original “Golden Boy” and his wife and four children. Unlike most pizza restaurants, Golden Boy has a limited menu keeping it simple and sweet.
They are unapologetic and prefer to create the best product possible instead throwing the standard pepperoni and cheese in the oven. Eating at Golden Boy Pizza feels like you’re dining with family and I will continue to eat here for years to come.