Slideshow: Six Flatbreads in San Francisco that Raise One Big Question

Slow Club
Slow Club
We found this grilled flatbread at Slow Club for brunch. It came with sheep's milk mozzarella, shaved brussels sprouts, caramelized onions, and a baked egg at its center. The crust somewhat resembles pita, which is considered part of the flatbread family, so we're inclined to agree with the flatbread label on this one.

Slow Club: 2501 Mariposa Street, San Francisco, CA 94110(map); 415-241-9390; slowclub.com

20120501-204398-Absinthe-Flatbread-primary.jpg
20120501-204398-Absinthe-Flatbread-primary.jpg
NOPA
NOPA
The flatbread at NOPA—topped with spicy fennel sausage, puree of garlic confit, crescenza cheese, and spring onions—comes out of the oven looking a lot like something we'd call pizza. They then pre-slice it, pile it on the plate, and shower it with pickled red onions, arugula, and cheese. That sounds like a lot of stuff, but none of these flavors overwhelm, and the whole package sits atop a crust that has been nicely charred in the wood-fired oven.

NOPA: 560 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117 (map); 415-864-8643; nopasf.com

Absinthe
Absinthe
Looks like a pizza to us! When we visited Absinthe, they topped their crunchy crust with the classic combination of gorgonzola, pear, and drizzle of balsamic vinegar. They've since moved on, topping their current flatbread with soppressata and broccoli rabe.

Absinthe: 398 Hayes Street, San Francisco, CA 94102(map); 415-551-1590; absinthe.com

Universal Cafe
Universal Cafe
Universal Cafe is the winner for making their flatbread thinner than all the rest. The crust is so thin that it can resemble a tortilla, making the whole thing a bit like an open-faced quesadilla. They change their toppings regularly, but here we're looking at caramelized onions, broccoli rabe, goat cheese, and mozzarella.

Universal Cafe: 2814 19th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110 (map); 415-821-4608; universalcafe.net

Coco500
Coco500
Coco500's ultra-thin flatbread has been painted right up to the edge with a layer of earthy mushroom puree and reggiano cheese, along with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. These toppings have been baked onto the crunchy crust, creating an effect not unlike an upscale Doritos chip.

Coco500: 500 Brannan Street, San Francisco, CA 94107 (map); 415-543-2222; coco500.com