Way back in the pizza dark ages of 2004 (no, seriously), A16 was one of the first places to serve true Neapolitan pies, gorgeous wood-fired char and all. They’re still churning them out a decade later, where they pair quite nicely with Shelley Lindgren’s always on-point Italian wine selection.
The Essential San Francisco Pizza Restaurants
New York City may get all the pizza credit, but San Francisco puts up a mean fight. Pie options here run the gamut from certified pizza Napoletana to saucy deep-dish numbers to thin-crust specialties. Options have especially increased in the last year, with several notable openings now dotting the list, and top-shelf pies all the way from the Outer Richmond to the Dogpatch.
San Francisco, CA 94123
2 Arinell Pizza
The undisputed master of the slice game, Arinell is the place to be at 12 p.m. (for a quick lunch before heading to the park), 12 a.m. (for drunk pizza), and everything in between. No frills, foldable, crisp, accompanied by fruit punch. Little else is required in this life.
San Francisco, CA 94110
3 Arizmendi Bakery
Arizmendi’s one-vegetarian-pie-per-day scheme leads to some awesome (if untraditional) pizza experiences, with the seasonal toppings like mushroom-red onion-goat cheese and artichoke-spinach-lemon-rosemary earning their fans. Check the calendar before you go in, and mark yours for the Super Bowl, the only day of the year they serve two different pies.
San Francisco, CA 94122
This is classic Adriano Paganini, the restaurateur behind this and other pizza-centric spots like Delarosa. Thin crust signature pies like one made with heirloom cherry tomatoes, ricotta, pesto, and scamorza have drawn Mission-dwellers and beyond for years, bolstered by the restaurant’s excellent antipasti and cocktails. (Pro tip: Go at brunch for the excellent carbonara pizza, with bacon, two eggs, mozzarella, pecorino and cracked black pepper.)
San Francisco, CA 94110
5 Del Popolo
This Neapolitan-style pizza shop started as a roving pie vendor with an unmistakable glass-encased truck (which is still on the streets), before turning brick-and-mortar this fall with a Nob Hill location. The wood-fired pizzas are courtesy of Flour + Water alum Jon Darsky, and they’re all beautifully blistered, seasonal, and delicious.
San Francisco, CA 94108
This Inner Richmond spot is much more than a pizza joint, but its pies are beyond reproach. The margherita is of course top dog, but the clam pie is also a must-try. Order a glass of Italian wine to sip while you wait, and ogle the ultimately Instagrammable “Bay Area Toile” wallpaper, featuring Alice Waters, E-40, and other local notables. Bonus: the heated back patio was recently redone, and it’s a joy to sit in when it’s nice out.
San Francisco, CA 94121
7 Gialina Pizzeria
Gialina’s is a friendly Glen Park restaurant with an excellent menu of starters and a daily roast, but its the pizza that inspires a daily line. Thin crust with the right amount of chew, and a selection of composed pies like the wild nettles with pancetta, red onions, and aged Italian provolone (limited nightly), and the Yukon gold pie with poatoes, bacon, red onions, thyme, and gorgonzola. It’s family-friendly, charming, and a tribute to chef Sharon Ardiana’s nonna, Gialina.
San Francisco, CA 94131
8 Gioia Pizzeria
Now offering its thin crust pizzas at the newer Russian Hill location, Berkeley-born Gioia is a reliable option for a pie or a slice, boasting inventive topping combos like radicchio and gorgonzola; spinach, ricotta, brown butter, and hazelnuts; or salami, Castelvetrano olives, and provolone.
San Francisco, CA 94109
9 Goat Hill Pizza
Goat Hill’s original location (it also has spots in West Portal and SoMa), is named after the goats that used to roam Potrero Hill, and is as much of a neighborhood favorite now as it was when it opened in 1975. The pizza is made with a sourdough crust and baked in a traditional brick oven. And while it’s tasty any night of the week, it’s especially great on “Neighborhood Night” (Mondays between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m.) when it’s all-you-can-eat pizza and salad for $12.95. During that time the salad bar is self-serve and the pizza is served by waiters who dole out slices of whatever is fresh out of the oven. — Daisy Barringer
San Francisco, CA 94107
10 Golden Boy Pizza
No one’s going to be submitting Golden Boy for VPN certification, but when it comes to drunk slices, these guys do it right. The Sicilian slices will abate even the most dangerous of oncoming hangovers, the clam and garlic pizza is delicious, and the hours (until 2:30 am on weekends) are right.
San Francisco, CA 94133