Daily Slice: Armenian Pizza at Royal Market & Bakery, San Francisco

Slice: San Francisco

Pizza reviews in the San Francisco area.

Daily Slice gives a quick snapshot each weekday of a different slice or pie that the folks at the Serious Eats empire have enjoyed lately.


[Photographs: David Kover]

Often, dishes that non-Italian cultures call their 'pizza' turn out to be, well, not pizza at all. But at least the Armenian pizza they served me at Royal Market & Bakery passes a quick look-test. (It's round.)

Called lahmajun when it doesn't need to be explained to foreign consumers, these discs of flatbread have been spread with finely ground beef that tastes of paprika, cooked red pepper, and Middle Eastern spices. No cheese here, but I'm pretty sure tomato made its way into that meat as well.


The lahmajun sits piled in plastic bags behind the counter, but they'll reheat it for you on request, and this mostly revives the super-thin, soft, flatbread base. I imagine the edges would have an inviting crispness when fresh, though this hadn't survived the time on the shelf.


Royal Market also offers a treasure trove of other Eastern European and Middle Eastern specialties. For $1.25, I recommend getting yourself a lahmajun so you have something to munch as you carry home your booty of kebab, or pickles, or obscure vodka.

Royal Market & Bakery

5335 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121 (map), 415-221-5550; royalmarketbakery.com