Interested in trying some new Italian spots in San Francisco? You’re in luck. We’ve found the freshest businesses to fill the bill. Here are the newest places to check out the next time you’re in the mood for Italian food.
Palermo II Delicatessen
658 Vallejo St., North Beach
Palermo II Delicatessen is a classic Italian deli, offering sandwiches and more. As we’ve previously reported, it’s the sequel to the first Palermo Delicatessen, which closed in 2008.
Step up to the counter and choose from sandwiches like the Meatball Drone, made with housemade meatballs, marinara sauce and provolone; the Sausage Matters, made with sausage from the Molinari factory and served with peppers and onions; and the Chicken Parmesan II, made with a Sicilian-style chicken cutlet and served with housemade marinara and mozzarella.
Palermo II Delicatessen’s current Yelp rating of 4.5 stars out of two reviews indicates the newcomer is finding its way, but it’s still early days.
“This little deli makes some great sandwiches,” Yelper Alma F. said. “We ordered a Sicilian and a Don Gaetano. The meats were fresh and delicious, and the people were awesome and helpful.”
Yelper Jenn T., who reviewed Palermo II Delicatessen on August 4, wrote, “Look, a new old place in North Beach. I ordered the Sausage Matters, which is a hot sandwich on Dutch Crunch. It was so tasty and full of flavor. I can’t wait to go back and try the other deli sandwiches in the future.”
Palermo II Delicatessen is open from 9 a.m.–6 p.m. on Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.–5:30 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. on Sunday. (It’s closed on Monday.)
100 Brannan St., South Beach
Cento Osteria is an upscale pizza joint that offers cocktails, housemade pasta, an extensive selection of wine, salads and fancy desserts. Situated in the former Caputo space near the Embarcadero, this fresh haunt is courtesy of restauranteur Donato Scotti, who’s also behind Redwood City’s Donato Enoteca.
It features classic Italian fare like meat ravioli with brown butter and sage; wild boar ragu with pappardelle and peppers; and pizzas with toppings like spicy salami, fresh mozzarella, cured egg yolks and house-made cotto ham.
Cento currently holds four stars out of 70 reviews on Yelp.
Yelper Phillip V., who reviewed it on August 27, wrote, “I was pleasantly surprised with the high level of service, quality, and value of my experience. We ordered the ravioli and pizza bianca, and it took me back years, to vacations in Italy. The ravioli was well-made, flavorful, and cooked to perfection, with delicious bits of pancetta dressing. The pizza bianca was spot-on, with a thin, yet fluffy crust covered in delicious broccolini.”
Yelper Derek S. wrote, “I was pleasantly surprised with this (newish) addition to my old stomping grounds in South Beach. The service was prompt and efficient, and the food was delicious.”
CENTO Osteria is open from 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m. and 5 p.m.–9:30 p.m. on Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m. and 5 p.m.–10:30 p.m. on Friday, 10:30 a.m.–3 p.m. and 5 p.m.–10:30 p.m. on Saturday, and 10:30 a.m.–3 p.m. and 5 p.m.–9 p.m. on Sunday.
Dispensa Italian Charcoal Kitchen
39 Taylor St., Civic Center
Dispensa Italian Charcoal Kitchen is an eatery inside a nearly century-old building, with food cooked in a first-in-the-U.S. charcoal oven that utilizes sustainable, environmentally friendly fuel and eschews both gas and electricity.
Look for a traditional bill of fare that includes Duroc pork belly with roasted eggplant; slow-cooked octopus with cherry tomatoes; grilled pork chops with summer zucchini; and roasted organic Cornish hen with carrots and potatoes.
Dispensa’s current rating of 4.5 stars out of 46 reviews on Yelp indicates positive attention from users.
“Just happened to stumble upon this amazing restaurant on our way to the theater,” Yelper Brenda J. said. “Not your typical Italian. I had the best pork chop ever, very moist, flavorful and a generous portion. The pork belly is also highly recommended, and the desserts were exquisite. This place is a real gem.”
Yelper V Y. noted, “What a find. We had an unbelievable meal before the show. Everything seemed so simple, but extremely delicious. The charcoal was light, just enough to bring out the natural flavor of the good ingredients, and added a slightly rustic feel to the very elegantly presented dishes.”
Dispensa Italian Charcoal Kitchen is open from 5 p.m.–10 p.m. on Tuesday-Saturday. (It’s closed on Monday and Sunday.)