Five Great New Places for Pizza in San Francisco
San Francisco is a great town for pizza. It’s not the same as New York or Chicago, where one style reigns supreme—San Francisco is all about experimenting with new things, and it shows on our pizza. You’ll find a variety of styles, many of them influenced directly from Italy, creative and seasonal toppings, and, of course, excellent dough. It’s been said that San Francisco’s foggy weather is perfect for dough-making, in fact. Here are a few places where you can taste it for yourself.
Slice House (680 2nd St.)
Tony Gemignani, a bit of a local pizza personality, has opened his latest, Slice House, on 2nd Street near the baseball stadium. You can come by for slices (New York, Sicilian, and grandma-style), and there is also a whole section of the menu dedicated to artisan ancient-grain pizzas (a blend of Tony’s 00 flour, spelt, semolina, sprouted grain, and whole wheat)—available in a 13-inch size. Plus there’s a weekend pizza brunch.
Montesacro (510 Stevenson St.)
Montesacro is an homage to the Montesacro quarter—a hardscrabble Roman neighborhood where owner Gianluca Legrottaglie worked for six years. At Montesacro, you want to order the pinsa, an ancient style of flatbread made with Italian soy, rice, and wheat flour that Legrottaglie imports from Rome. The dough rises for 72 hours, and the dough balls are stretched by hand with rice flour and pressed to order into an oval shape, topped, and baked in the vintage Cuppone oven for 90 seconds—it yields a crisp crust that is also light, with an enduring flavor that is unlike any dough you have tasted. Plus, they have a fun, international wine list with lots of great pours. http://www.montesacrosf.com/
Jersey (145 2nd St.)
For a taste of New Jersey, check out Jersey, a pizza and Italian joint from brothers Mitchell and Steven Rosenthal. The pair hails from New Jersey, and they’ve got two pizza styles on their menu: the Jersey style comes in a 14-inch size, and the crust is just soft and elastic enough, with a developed flavor from the long proof they’re doing. You can also try the California-style pizza, which is 12 inches and cooked in a hotter oven, with more creative toppings. There are also entrées and salads, for some variety.
La Nebbia (1781 Church St.)
You’ve probably met the San Francisco fog, La Nebbia’s namesake (nebbia means “fog” in Italian). This Noe Valley enoteca is a casual and unpretentious place you can swing by for pizza at the counter and a few glasses of delicious wine, and it’s also perfect for meeting up with friends. The pizza recently got an upgrade—it’s always been good, but the new pizzaiolo (previously at Farina) has stepped things up with the dough. The crust has that irresistible balance of chewy and crispy you get from a hot deck oven, plus the well-priced wine list is a beautiful thing.
The Mill (736 Divisadero St.)
For a fun, very San Francisco-hip evening, head to one of Josey Baker’s Monday and Friday night-only pizza parties at The Mill on Divisadero. The evenings started as an occasional pop-up, but became so popular that they are now slinging pies every Monday and Friday night from 6pm to 9pm. The menu has one choice, but it’s always delicious (and vegetarian), so don’t worry about the lack of options. They also offer salads and the housemade soda of the day.
Dana Eastland is the associate editor for tablehopper.com. Marcia Gagliardi is the creator of www.tablehopper.com, a popular insider weekly e-column about the SF dining scene; subscribe for more news, tips, and updates. Follow her on Twitter: @tablehopper.