You know what they say about pizza: even when it's bad, it's good. No need for such compromises in San Francisco, where you can find freshly topped Neapolitan pies and killer slices alike. Here are our 10 favorites the city has to offer.
① Ragazza in the Lower Haight
For a California-style pie done right, there's simply no beating Ragazza. Their Neapolitan-style crust has a hint of sourdough flavor; upmarket toppings include wild nettles, pork belly, and runny-yolked farm eggs. Don't miss the Amatriciana ($17) or the Bianca ($16).
② Tony's Pizza Napoletana and Capo's in North Beach
Tony Gemignani is such a pizza presence in San Francisco that we have to give both of his spots props. Stop by his eponymous restaurant for an encyclopedic sampling of pizza styles from around the world (we dig the butter-crisped Detroit version, $23); head to Capo's for serious old-school Chicago-style pies, lard crust included (prices vary).
③ Pizzeria Delfina in the Mission
You can't turn a corner in this town without tripping over a Neapolitan-style pizzeria, but Delfina was one of the first, and remains one of the best. We love the Salsiccia ($15.75), topped liberally with rich house-made fennel sausage.
④ PizzaHacker in Bernal Heights
From hacking a Weber grill to opening his own restaurant, Jeff Krupman has become a pizza staple. His crust is based on the Tartine folded-dough bread method and his playful topping combinations (see: The Heavy Nettle, $15, with nettles and lamb) are as delicious as they are creative.
⑤ Zante's in Bernal Heights
"Indian pizza" has the potential to flop, but Zante's pies ($18.99 to $30.99) do fusion flavors right. A hearty crust is loaded up with Indian toppings like homemade paneer, tandoori chicken and fragrant masala sauce in lieu of marinara. Better yet? They offer free delivery all across the city.
⑥ Una Pizza Napoletana in SoMa
If pizza is a religion, then Anthony Mangieri is the high priest of the Neapolitan style. Mangieri's pies ($25) are studies in austere pizza perfection—toppings are limited to some combination of tomato, cheese, olive oil, garlic and basil, with a meat pie available on Saturdays only. Devotees show up early—the oven shuts down when the dough runs out.
⑦ Arinell Pizza in the Mission
Everyone needs a dependable slice joint, and Arinell is ours. Best eaten late at night, Arinell has earned cautious praise from transplanted New Yorkers who deem the drippy, salty cheese slices ($2.75) the closest thing San Francisco has to the Gotham classic.
⑧ Little Star Pizza (multiple locations)
Little Star has long claimed a devoted following thanks to its California take on Chicago-style deep dish. The key is the crust—a pastry-like, cornmeal-crusted shell; you can't go wrong with a classic Little Star pie ($19 to $26) stuffed full of spinach-spiked ricotta, feta, mushrooms, onions, and garlic.
⑨ Golden Boy Pizza in North Beach
After a night trolling North Beach bars, a hefty square slice ($2.75 to $3.75) from Golden Boy is all but required to stave off tomorrow's hangover. Thick Sicilian-style pieces of focaccia-like crust are loaded with toppings that range from pepperoni to clams and garlic. It'll be the best decision you make all night.
⑩ Pizzetta 211 in the Outer Richmond
This pocket-sized gem is as delicious as it is charming. Seasonally-inspired thin-crust pies ($13 to $16.50) rotate bi-weekly and could include fresh toppings like summer squash and piquillo pepper sauce, or walnut-arugula pesto and hot coppa.
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