San Francisco is an American food mecca, but their place as a real player in the pizzaverse is relatively new. Unlike the Italian immigrant communities on the East Coast made up of pizza-making southern Italians, the California population of Italian-Americans are from the focaccia-centric regions of northern Italy. But it was only a matter of time before a city so food-, and specifically, bread-focused would hone in on perfecting a doughy vehicle for showcasing the agricultural bounty of the state.
Although the pizza revolution has experienced its most rapid expansion over the last couple of years, the tone was set when Alice Waters installed her wood-burning oven at Chez Panisse and laid the groundwork for artisanal pie-making in Californina to draw from the abundant produce selection and incorporate the finest local ingredients. That influence is very clear in the topping focused style of pies that are most prevalent in the rising pizza capital of the West. The Neapartisanal pies that have emerged in the Bay Area represent an American re-interpretation of classic Italian pies and evidence new ways to successfully build off of established, traditional techniques.
And, oh, what options there are! So many, that limiting this list to just eight seems a crime, but you have to draw the line somewhere.While there are many, many worthy pies in and around San Francisco, here are some of the most memorable ones that we've tried to date.
Click through the slideshow above for photos of each one (or just click a link below to jump straight to an individual slide).
- Pizzaiolo's Wild Nettle and Pecorino Pie
- Delfina's Magic Pie
- Liguira Bakery's Pizza Focaccia
- Una Pizza Napoletana's Filetti
- Pizzeria Picco's Margherita
- Tony's Pizza Napoletana's Margherita with Sausage
- Flour + Water's Bone Marrow Pizza
- Emilia's Sausage with Onion
With the West Coast's oldest wood-fired oven, Tomasso's holds a place in San Francisco pizza history, and they still turn out pizzas with great crust, albeit a little cheese heavy. For Chicago deep dish Little Star gets high marks for their deeply satisfying cornmeal crust. In the toppings department, Ragazza has got it figured out. Particularly when it comes to their Moto, topped with Calabrian chilies, mushrooms, red onions, sausage, and mozzarella. And as the pioneer for the Bay Area's pizza frontier, The Cafe at Chez Panisse deserves a nod, as does A16 for making some of the finest VPN certified pies we've ever tried. With so much expansion in the pizza department the list of places that need mentioning is ever growing.
Now it's your turn. Where do you guys get pizza in San Francisco?