Pizza (credit: Thinkstock)
Pizza is one of the world’s most popular foods and certainly a favorite amongst San Franciscans. But some uniquely talented San Francisco chefs take the art of pizza making to a much higher level. In fact, some gourmet pizzerias feature some of the most celebrated chefs in the Bay Area, including a world champion pizza maker. Here are five of the best places for pizza in San Francisco.
Flour + Water
2401 Harrison St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
This popular farm-to-table Italian restaurant in the Mission District has received plenty of attention since it first opened in 2009. Much of the hype can be credited to Owner and Executive Chef Thomas McNaughton, who previously served as sous chef for two of San Francisco’s top restaurants – Gary Danko and Quince and a three-time Rising Star finalist from the James Beard Foundation.
According to the menu fashioned by courier-like fonts, there are four wood-fired pizzas available, ranging from $15 to $18, and includes the acclaimed margherita, with San Marzano tomatoes, basil, flor di latte and extra virgin olive oil. Due to its celebrated chef and national media attention from the likes of the New York Times and the Washington Post, reservations before 9 p.m. must be planned well in advance. Flour + Water is a 2014 Bib Gourmand selection from the Michelin Guide.
846 Divisadero St.
San Francisco, CA 94117
With two locations in the city, Little Star Pizza has received near perfect ratings from thousands of Yelpers and is also listed among San Francisco’s best spots for pizza by Gayot. Good selections from the menu include the Little Star deep dish pizza, filled with spinach, ricotta, feta, mushrooms, onions and garlic, and the Pesto Chicken thin crust pizza, with pesto base, roasted chicken and red peppers, mushrooms and onions.
Prices range from $19.25 to $26 for deep dish pizzas and $17 to $25.25 for thin crust pizzas. The Divisadero location offers bike delivery within two delivery zones, which includes the University of San Francisco and Alamo Square Park. The gourmet pizzeria is also listed among Gayot’s best for Kid Friendly, Best Takeout and Value restaurant in San Francisco.
3621 18th St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
This small pizzeria is owned by prominent San Francisco restaurateurs Annie and Craig Stoll, whose James Beard Award-winning restaurant Delfina happens to be next door. With moderate prices for New York and Neapolitan-styled pizzas, Pizzeria Delfina has been an enormous success, allowing the Stolls to open three more pizzerias in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights, in Burlingame and their newest addition in downtown Palo Alto.
In 2008, Craig Stoll earned the prestigious Best Chef in California award by the James Beard Foundation. Pizza selections from the original Pizzeria Deflina include Napoletana for $11.75, Margherita for $13 and $17 for their highest priced pizzas – Clam Pie or Prosciutto Pie. The Stolls opened another acclaimed Italian restaurant, Locanda, just a few blocks away in 2011.
1570 Stockton St.
San Francisco, CA 94133
Led by World Pizza Cup champion and Bay Area native Tony Gemignani, this North Beach pizzeria was recently named this year’s Best Pizzeria in America by Forbes. Tony’s Pizza Napoletana uses seven different ovens for Old World and American styles such as Sicilian, New York, Gluten-Free and wood-fired Napoletana. Among the fine pizza selections from the menu are Margherita, Americano the Barcelona and La Regina. Prices range from $12 for a Marinara to $39.50 for a 22-inch New York-style pizza.
Originally from Fremont, Tony Gemignani has won several awards, including eight-time World Champion Pizza Acrobat, first Triple Crown winner for baking at the International Pizza Championships and World Champion Pizza Maker at the Pizza World Cup, the first American and non-Neapolitan to earn that prestigious honor. In July, he opened a new pizzeria at AT&T Park, Tony’s Slice House.
210 11th St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
Another gourmet pizzeria mentioned as America’s best is Una Pizza Napoletana, in the SoMa district near Howard Street. Formerly located in Manhattan’s East Village, Una Pizza Napoletana is led by Anthony Mangieri, whose intricate creations helped his business to be recognized as one of New York’s first of a new generation of pizzerias to specialize in Neapolitan pizzas. Only six different thin crust 12-inch pizzas are offered on the menu, all priced at $25 each, including one named after his wife Ilaria and another after his daughter Apollonia, which is only offered on Saturdays. But each Neapolitan-style pizza is 100 percent handmade, naturally leavened and wood-fired by Mangieri. Una Pizza Napoletana is open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 5 p.m. until “out of dough.”