Whether you’re looking for a New York-style slice, Chicago deep dish, or classic Neapolitan, we’ve found the best-tasting pizza in San Francisco.
You might not initially choose San Francisco among the best pizza cities, perhaps thinking the carb-heavy comfort food is out of place in West Coast cuisine.
Maybe you’ve seen the scene in Pixar’s Inside Out, where a glum hipster offers up a sad slice of broccoli pizza and shudders.
In reality, you can find excellent San Francisco pizza places across the city, offering flavors as diverse as the neighborhoods they thrive in, and yes, sometimes they feature broccoli.
In San Francisco, you can find authentic pizza styles from New York, Chicago, and even Napoli. Many of these pizza places have also embraced influences from other cuisines with delicious results.
Of course, the city’s favorite bread, sourdough, is featured in some pies, adding extra tang and chewiness to the crust.
Read on for my hot (and sometimes spicy) take on San Francisco’s best pizza spots.
Regardless of whether you’re looking for a late-night snack, family dinner, or an elegant date night, you’ll love these freshly baked pies. Broccoli completely optional.
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Map of San Francisco Pizza Places
Square Pie Guys
Best restaurant for Detroit-style pizza
Neighborhood & address: Indoor/outdoor dining available at 845 Beach Street, San Francisco, CA 94109 or take-out only from the SoMa location at 1077 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Contact info: (415) 890-2335; [email protected]
Don’t miss: The Pavone pepperoni
They don’t take reservations
Square Pie Guys ditched the traditional round pizza shape in favor of four sides, but they’ve stayed true to the classic pizza flavors.
Their Detroit-style pizzas are square pies with deliciously crispy edges and hearty toppings, like pepperoni over a rich tomato sauce base.
This being San Francisco, you can also get more “out there” toppings at Square Pie Guys, including broccoli, which does NOT ruin pizza, whatever Pixar says.
One thing to note is that the original SoMa location is takeout only. The restaurant recommends ordering online before picking up one of their square pies (one pie works out to be the same size as a 12” round pizza) as the wait time is about 20 minutes.
Otherwise, you can dine in at the Ghiradelli Square location on Beach Street.
Tony’s Pizza Napoletana
Best restaurant for authentic Napoli flavors
In the heart of San Francisco’s Little Italy, Tony’s Pizza Napoletana is the city’s most famous pizza restaurant.
The owner, Tony Gemignani, has won multiple awards for his pies, including the Best Pizza Romana at the World Championship of Pizza Makers in 2011. He was the first American and non-Neapolitan to win.
Tony’s Pizza Napoletana imports all ingredients from Naples and bakes pizzas in a wood-fired oven. In other words, everything about this place is authentic to Italian pizza making.
The restaurant can reasonably lay claim to having the best pizzas in San Francisco’s Little Italy, if not the Bay Area.
The menu draws from a variety of cuisines, such as Mexican, Portuguese, and American.
And the toppings are just as vast, including items like smoked bacon, sweet peppers, caramelized onions, roasted garlic, sausage, pepperoni, and much more.
Tony has created something of a pizza empire in San Francisco and some of his other establishments made it onto this list too.
So, if you’re looking for the best pizza in San Francisco but can’t get a table here, you can still find a slice at Capo’s or Tony’s Slice House.
Goat Hill Pizza
Best restaurant for sourdough pizzas
San Francisco is famous for its sourdough, which makes an excellent pizza base.
Hand stretched and baked in a traditional brick oven, Goat Hill Pizza’s delicious sourdough crusts have been satisfying hungry San Franciscans for almost 50 years. Here, you’re getting a slice of the city’s history.
Go for the special combo if you like your pizza with everything. Hilda’s Favorite, which features creamy goat cheese, pesto, and tomatoes, is also delicious. Or bacon it up with a Porky Pie, which has bacon bits and a decadent creamy garlic sauce.
If Potrero Hill is too far out of your way, Goat Hill Pizza has locations in SOMA and West Portal as well.
Best restaurant for fresh and innovative toppings
Neighborhood & address: The Mission, 3621 18th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110; Pacific Heights, 2406 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94115
Contact info: (415) 437-6800; [email protected]
Don’t miss: Pizza Margherita
They don’t take reservations
Pizzeria Delfina grew out of popular neighborhood eatery Delfina, famed for its focus on fresh California fare.
Located next door to award-winning Delfina, the pizzeria quickly gained a reputation for delicious, Neapolitan-style pizza topped with tasty California produce.
Their simple Margherita is a standout. Fresh mozzarella and fragrant basil leaves make it the best margherita pizza in San Francisco. The housemade fennel sausage is also worth a try.
As with many Mission hot spots, expect to join the line around the block here on a Saturday night, although it’s easier to find a table on weeknights.
Little Star Pizza
Best restaurant for deep-dish pizza
Neighborhood & address: Western Addition, 846 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA, 94117; Mission, 400 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Contact info: (415) 441-1118 (Western Addition); (415) 551-7827 (Mission)
Don’t miss: The Classic
They don’t take reservations
If you’re craving Chicago-style deep-dish pizza, head to Little Star Pizza for a hearty pie with crispy edges and high-quality toppings.
These cornmeal crust pizzas are full of tangy tomato sauce and meaty fillings to satisfy the hungriest of customers.
If you’re not a fan of deep dish, Little Star also serves up some of the best thin crust pizza in San Francisco.
Their classic with sausage and mushrooms is a great place to start. There are salads too, but you may want to order a side of the delicious housemade meatballs instead.
At both locations, there’s space to eat-in at the rustic wooden tables or you can grab takeout to eat at home.
Flour + Water
Best restaurant for fine dining with a casual atmosphere
Head to the buzzy Flour + Water when you’re in the mood for an elegant dinner without spending the big bucks.
Although the freshly-made pasta is the hero at this Italian restaurant, the Neapolitan-style pizza is excellent too and comes with tasty toppings like artichoke and spicy sausage. You also don’t want to miss their deliciously melty mozzarella sticks.
Flour + Water is conveniently open every day, including Mondays when it can be tricky to find anything open in San Francisco.
Although they encourage reservations, the friendly staff always try to accommodate walk-ins.
Zante Pizza and Indian Cuisine
Best restaurant for Indian pizza
Zante Pizza and Indian Cuisine has been serving Asian fusion to San Franciscans since before it was a thing (probably).
It may not be very authentic to pizza’s Neapolitan roots, but the combination of a rich and spicy masala sauce with a crispy pizza base is perfect.
Although the Tandoori chicken pizza is their most popular dish, the vegetarian toppings are especially delicious, like the paneer masala pizza with house-made paneer.
When you’re having trouble agreeing where to eat on a night out with friends, Zante is the ultimate solution.
For some ideas on what to do after dinner, check out our guide on the best things to do at night in San Francisco.
All Good Pizza
Best restaurant for dining al fresco
Enjoy a pizza in All Good Pizza’s spacious beer garden in San Francisco’s sunny Bayview District.
This neighborhood pizza and panini spot is perfect for lunch with friends in the fresh air, especially as outdoor dining can sometimes be hard to find in the city.
All Good Pizza uses a brick oven to create its Neapolitan-style pizza, using seasonal ingredients from local makers like Evergood, and herbs from the garden. The housemade tomato sauce is especially good here.
This spot is perfect for a laid-back San Francisco pizza lunch on a sunny day.
Best restaurant for a classic slice
This by-the-slice takeout pizza joint is the place to head if you’re looking for the best New York-style pizza in San Francisco.
If you’re sightseeing at Pier 39 and looking for the best pizzas on the pier in San Francisco, walk a few blocks away from the tourist traps to North Beach and find Golden Boy instead.
The menu is limited, but the fan favorites of cheese, pepperoni, sausage, red onion and veggies are all there. So far, so New York.
For a San Francisco twist, try the clam and garlic pizza, which is pleasingly full of both garlic and clams.
Find yourself a bench to scarf a slice down or fold it over on itself and walk while eating in true NYC fashion.
Best restaurant for classic Neapolitan pizza
Fiorella is the type of restaurant you can find all over San Francisco: fine dining and good food, but with an everyone-is-welcome atmosphere.
Reservations are encouraged, but there’s always space for walk-ins if you’re willing to wait for a table at this classic Italian restaurant. Fortunately, they have a great cocktail bar for building up an appetite in comfort.
The pizza comes out hot and ever-so-slightly charred from the wood-fired pizza ovens.
The burrata pie is creamy perfection, but the clam pie is delicious too. It’s best to visit more than once to try both–or bring a friend to split a couple of pies.
Best restaurant for an ever-changing menu
This tiny pizzeria is another Richmond gem.
There are just four tables inside and a few small tables on the street. The cozy interior is ideal for a date, where you can share one of the thin-crust pies on the menu, which changes bi-weekly to keep things fresh.
Weeknights are easier to find a seat quickly than weekends, when you may have to wait your turn with a drink.
Takeout is also an option. With the beach only a few blocks away, it could be perfect for a romantic picnic.
Best restaurant for Chicago and Detroit-style pizza
Capo’s is Tony Gemignani’s second North Beach pizzeria, dedicated to Chicago and Detroit-style pizza.
The restaurant is a tribute to Italian-American culture, from the decor to the dishes. They even source the flour for the pizza dough from a mill in Chicago for an authentic flavor.
Capo’s is the best place to find a real Chicago deep dish pizza or a true Detroit-style pizza cooked in a 10×14 pan.
You’ll find the best Chicago-style pizzas in San Francisco here: Deep Dish, Cast Iron Pan, Stuffed, and Cracker Thin.
Some of the Chicago-style pies, like The Dillinger, are designed for sharing family-style, while other pizzas are smaller for eating individually.
Vegetarians, beware: some of the crusts use real English lard, which creates a buttery crust, but is an animal product. Instead, you can order vegetarian crusts as an alternative for some of these pizzas.
Best restaurant for a bite after shopping in Union Square
If you’re staying in Union Square, it can be hard to find somewhere non-chain to eat (unless you’re really in the mood for Cheesecake Factory, no judgment here).
Del Popolo, with its delightfully chewy crusts and flavorful toppings, is easily the best pizza in Union Square.
Del Popolo serves Neapolitan-style pies with classics like Margherita and salami, but my favorite is the contrasting flavors of spice and fresh mint in the Diavola.
There’s outdoor seating on the lush back patio. It’s a peaceful oasis in the most crowded part of the city.
Tommaso’s Ristorante Italiano
Best restaurant for classic North Beach Italian fare
Neighborhood & address: North Beach/Little Italy, 1042 Kearny Street, San Francisco, CA 94133
Contact info: (415) 398-9696
Don’t miss: Pepperoni or the burrata, cherry tomatoes, and basil pizza
They don’t take reservations
Tommaso’s has been open since 1935, which is an impressively long time for a city constantly reinventing itself.
Tommaso’s brought the first wood-fired, brick pizza oven to the West Coast, serving Neapolitan pizzas from secret family recipes.
Almost a century on, it’s still one of the best places for wood-fired pizza and has some of the best pizzas in North Beach, despite fierce competition in this area.
Tommaso’s serves classic Italian food, so you can expect superb Margherita, pepperoni, and sliced Italian sausage.
However, the Burrata, cherry tomatoes, and basil pizza is a fantastic twist on the Margherita and definitely worth a try.
Best restaurant for grabbing a quick slice of sourdough pizza
Arizmendi Bakery is a worker-owned bakery in the Mission, serving fresh bread, pastries, and one type of pizza from 10 am daily.
The thin, tangy crust begins with a sourdough starter and is a sturdy base for the toppings, which are many and varied.
I can’t tell you what they are exactly because they change weekly, but the recent slice I had involved cherry tomatoes, kale, mozzarella, and a kick of fresh salsa verde.
Currently, there’s no seating inside, so this is a grab-and-go bakery. You can take away a slice, a box, or a partially-cooked pie to finish off at home later.
Although it doesn’t necessarily go with the pizza, I highly recommend adding their Mexican hot chocolate to your order simply because it’s fantastic.
Best restaurant for robust toppings
Damnfine is just blocks from the beach in San Francisco’s Sunset district.
In fact, sunset is an excellent time to visit, so you can watch the sun dip into the Pacific from the streetside seating (provided it’s not too foggy).
Damnfine’s wood-fired pizza will keep you warm, especially if you opt for hot honey drizzled over your slice (which you absolutely should).
This restaurant offers a great classic pepperoni and sausage pizza, but I think The Sunset, a veg-based pie, is the one to go for here.
Tony’s Slice House
Best restaurant for pizza by the slice
If you’re an East Coaster feeling homesick for the mighty New York pizza slice, Tony Gemignani is here with the best pizza by the slice in San Francisco.
These incredible Neapolitan-style pizza slices are perfect to fold without cracking, so you can stride down the street while eating–because you’re a New Yorker and too busy to sit down.
The menu, while not as expansive as Tony’s sit-down restaurants, still has a lot of choices, including Chicago-influenced crusts and Sicilian pies.
A simple NY cheese is a solid choice for an on-the-go lunch (less to drop). However,the most popular toppings from the original North Beach restaurant make appearances here as well, such as the Big Boise Boy with potato and smoky bacon.
Best restaurant for pizza and cocktails with friends
Is it a cocktail bar or a neighborhood pizzeria? It depends on the time of day, but you’re always welcome and pizza is always on the menu.
Families gravitate here around brunch when this causal spot is quieter, while the young professional crowd descends late into the night when the music turns up and the lights go down.
Start with the walnut bread doused in mushroom-truffle honey, then move on to the Margherita burrata pizza or Italian sausage.
You can add extra toppings if you can’t find a pizza style that matches your cravings.
The Pizza Place on Noriega
Best restaurant for vegan and gluten-free options
With each pizza hand-tossed individually to order, this is not fast food, but it’s well worth the 25-minute wait.
It’s best to eat pizza fresh out of the oven, even if you burn the roof of your mouth in the process. Between the back patio and the front parklet, there are ample outdoor seating options where you can enjoy a piping hot pie.
Having said that, The Pizza Place on Noriega is also one of the best delivery pizza places in San Francisco if you prefer to do your waiting in the comfort of your own home.
Big Wave Dave is my pick if you like a sweet kick of pineapple alongside salty feta and crispy bacon.
All pizzas are available with gluten-free, vegan dough. They also have vegan options without cheese, so your dairy-and-wheat-avoidant friends can join in for pizza night. Hooray!
Best restaurant for Neapolitan pizza with a buzzy atmosphere
A16 delivers Southern Italian style to the Marina district with their incredible Neapolitan pizza that uses fresh California ingredients.
Pull up a stool at the long bar and peruse the even longer wine list, which has won awards for the restaurant.
The wood-fired, thin-crust pizza flavors skew toward classic Italian, with some seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients and others from Southern Italy.
Reserve a table for a Saturday night to avoid waiting, but weeknights are fine for walk-ins.
Best restaurant for New York-style pizzas with California ingredients
Pizza and salad is a classic combo, and Gioia Pizzeria in laid-back Hayes Valley serves it with style.
Pair the Caesar salad–with its cheesy croutons and fried anchovies–with one of the Neapolitan pizzas hot from the oven.
Their thin crust slices are for folding New York-style, so you can order takeout and watch the skateboarders at Patricia’s Green if you can’t get a seat inside.
Save some space for the house-made cannoli, it’s a real Italian treat.
Che Fico Alimentari
Best restaurant for fine Italian dining at a great price
Che Fico Alimentari is an extension of the popular Che Fico upstairs.
The space is partly a sit-down restaurant combined with a wine bar and an Italian grocery store–so if you enjoy something on the menu, you can buy more to take home. The high-quality olive oil makes a great San Francisco souvenir.
Although more casual than the fine dining restaurant upstairs, the food quality is the same–despite the very reasonable prices.
The pizza selection leans toward classic Neapolitan pizza flavors, like the Napoletana with San Marzano tomatoes and anchovies.
Best restaurant for Neapolitan pizzas in an upscale setting
This lively cocktail bar and pizzeria is a major hit with the after-work crowd in trendy SoMa.
Zero Zero designed their menu for sharing, so bring your friends for the Neapolitan-style pies. While waiting for a seat, indulge in a cocktail or glass of wine at the lively bar.
The menu features a good range of thin-crust, wood-fired pizzas: from a classic Margherita with fresh mozzarella to the more offbeat Fillmore, a white pie featuring leeks and mushrooms.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sarah McDonald is a travel writer based in the Bay Area. She writes for the national parenting website Red Tricycle and on her own family travel blog, Tiny Trailblazers. She loves exploring California’s outdoors and has a weakness for a national park gift shop.
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