Diner Most-Loved

The 27 Best Pizza Restaurants in San Francisco

From gourmet creations to ginormous party pies, there’s a pizza for every appetite.

16 min read
6/4/2022
Sunset Squares Pizza - market pie

San Francisco counts as one of the country’s best pizza cities thanks to variety and the way locals have embraced all styles. Look for New York slices, New England brick-oven thin crust, and everyone’s new favorite — Detroit-style rectangular pies. All get the California treatment thanks to excellent local produce and artisans. These are the spots Caviar diners consider the very best.  

Square Pie Guys - pepperoni pizza

1. Square Pie Guys  

The original SOMA location, opened in 2019, brought the Detroit-style pizza craze to the Bay Area in a big way. The crusts will arrive light and crisp, with high edges ringed in lacy caramelized cheese. The signature 6x8 will arrive with precisely 48 pepperoni slices crowded on its surface. Look for collaborations with such stars as Samin Nosrat and local icons like Souvla Greek restaurant. The latter is like a salad-pizza mashup with oranges, fennel, chicken, Mizithra cheese, and Granch (Greek ranch) dressing.

2. Cellarmaker House of Pizza

 Hoppy beers and Detroit-style pies make magic together at this brewpub at the base of the Bernal Heights Hill. Order a four-pack of IPA, and then it’s time for hard decisions among the gourmet pies, which all use a mixture of mozzarella and Point Reyes Toma cheese. The Camaron pizza promises a kick with salsa macha and prawns, while the roasted broccolini pizza contains broccolini, spring onions, and red miso “bagna cauda” to put it over the top.

Amici-s East Coast Pizzeria - white clam pizza

3. Amici's East Coast Pizzeria  

This longtime favorite serves New England–style brick-oven pizzas with thin, crisp crusts that East Coast transplants rely on. The pizzas come in four sizes and feature such toppings as fried eggplant, homemade hot and mild Italian sausages, and even clams and garlic for a New Haven-style treat. If you need a little greenery, broccoli comes both chilled with olive and lemon and pan-roasted with chile flakes.  

4. Sunset Squares Pizza

Chef Dennis Lee calls his square pies “Detroit-ish,” meaning he uses a blend of Italian cheeses and a three-day cold-fermented sourdough starter. He also makes thin, Chicago-style pub pies as well as classic round pizzas with the same great dough. Go for the inspired mashups and try a square pie with mapo tofu and pickled turnips or a round one with bulgogi beef and kimchi. 

Seniore's Pizza - seniores special

5. Seniore's Pizza

This small local chain, with outlets throughout the Bay Area, is where you go for the kind of pizza you’ve loved since you were a kid — a pie with a sturdy crust and a generous hand with the toppings. Honestly, there’s no beating the house special, with double pepperoni, sausage, salami, mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, and fresh tomatoes. Get a couple of them, and you’ll be back at a fifth-grade sleepover watching a scary movie.  

6. Casey’s Pizza

You’ve got to love a pizzeria that understands its customers so well it uses two different pepperonis. Bay Area gourmets will gravitate to the fresh-tasting pie with Zoe’s Meats artisan pepperoni from Petaluma. Pizza mavens, however, might opt for the East Coast Pie, with Ezzo pepperoni that crisps up into little red oil-filled cups in the oven. You want light? Get the pie topped with arugula and lemon juice. You want some rib-sticking? The Hot Pie comes with plenty of cherry peppers and garlic.  

Presidio Pizza Company - garden pizza

7. Presidio Pizza Company

It’s all about classic American comfort at this 10-year-old spot — thin-crust pies with the toppings you’ve loved since you were a kid staring down your first slice. Everyone loves the Widowmaker, which comes with all the meats — and then more meat. Or try the vegan Garden Pizza, a colorful, cheese-free option with arugula, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and black olives.

8. Uva Enoteca

 This Lower Haight wine bar has an impressive menu, with all the salads, salumi and cheese boards, and classic pastas you could want with a glass of wine. But it’s also a stealth pizzeria, with European-style pies ennobled by San Marzano tomatoes and fior di latte mozzarella. Consider the one with a whole ball of burrata for you to cut open and spread over the surface. Add in a fantastic chopped salad, and you’ve got a perfect dinner for two.  

Gusto Pinsa Romana - diavola

9. Gusto Pinsa Romana 

Here is one of the first U.S. restaurants to serve pinsa Romana a style of pizza that has grown popular in Europe and Asia. These oblong flatbread crusts contain a mixture of wheat, soy, and rice flour, resulting in a one-of-a-kind texture that’s extra crisp on the outside and fluffy within. Excellent toppings range from buffalo mozzarella to San Daniele prosciutto. There’s even a vegan option.  

10. Bizza 

What’s a bizza? For starters, it’s one of the many excellent pies to be found in Upper Haight. It’s also, according to owner Sam Husary, an Eastern Mediterranean way of pronouncing pizza. Look for fresh za’atar (a Middle Eastern spice mixture comprising sesame, marjoram, and salt) flecking the thin crusts, and then think of all your favorite flavors from a gyro shop pizza-fied. The Lamb Bizza holds gyro meat, feta cheese, and tzatziki, while the Falafel Bizza has those great chickpea fritters with tahini, pickles, and a drizzle of hot sauce. But there are plenty more familiar toppings, too. 

Napoli Pizza - fresh mozzarella slice

11. Napoli Pizza

This easy-to-miss slice shop does a big business that belies its small size. The pizzas come in 12-, 14-, 16-, and 18-inch sizes, and while the toppings don’t get any crazier than, say, pineapple on the Hawaiian, they always hit the spot. This is the place from which to order a stack of boxes for a party or just a couple slices for a quiet night.  

12. Arinell 

 Everyone knows this 30-something-year-old restaurant is where you go for a late-night slice to feel like you’re in New York. But it’s also the no-frills pizza you want to order in. All pizzas come custom-topped, and for the true New York experience, order the large so you can fold the slice before you eat it. Sicilian pizzas, too.  

13. apizza

This fast-food pizza option skimps on the price, not the ingredients. Organic sprouted-wheat dough, organic tomatoes, and Mary’s Free Range Chicken all grace these 10-inch pies that cost about the same as a Whopper. The BBQ chicken and pepperoni pizzas are popular, but for a buck or two more, try the Forestiere, with mushrooms, roasted potato, caramelized onions, mascarpone, and thyme. 

Pizza Squared - caramelized onion slice

14. Pizza Squared

The choice is yours. You can order any of the pan pizzas on the menu Detroit style or Sicilian style. The former has high, crackly cheddar cheese edges, while the latter is baked in duck fat, which gives the fluffy, well-risen dough an extra crisp and flavorful crust. The caramelized onion pie, with Gruyère cheese and garlic-ricotta cream, is the most popular, but this restaurant nails the more out-there options like Thai curry chicken or bulgogi meatball kimchi. 

15. Pazzia Ristorante Italiano

A classic Italian restaurant that also puts out a mean pie? That’s a place you want to order from. Start with a salad, fritto misto of prawns and calamari, or an order of coccoli — those fried pizza-dough rolls you split open and fill with prosciutto and stracchino cheese. Then split a European-style pie from the trim menu. Try the pizza funghi e salsiccia with mushroom and sausage, or the capricciosa with artichokes, olives, and more prosciutto. 

16. Oz Pizza

 East Coast-style pies with quirky toppings keep fans happy at this Castro favorite. The Figgy Piggy unites sliced figs with bacon, goat cheese, arugula, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar for a sweet-tart treat. Alligator and ostrich also make appearances on various pies. This is a shop that watches out for vegetarians, too: The Sweet, Salty & Sexy pie combines kalamata olives, pineapple, and pesto for a bold bite. 

Santino’s Vino - margherita pizza

 17. Santino’s Vino 

“Don’t worry, guys, we still have pizza,” the menu promises. The former Dino and Santino’s Pizza was renovated in 2018 to make room for a broader menu of comfort dishes and Mediterranean wine. Old fans can still count on the basil-strewn Margherita and the Greek pie with salami, olives, peperoncini, and feta cheese. They may also appreciate the newer items like the warm eggplant salad and trio of Greek dips. 

18. Marina Pizza & Pasta

 The thin-crust pies here occupy that sweet spot between Neapolitan and New York styles. The quality ingredients, from San Marzano tomatoes to finely milled 00 flour, speak to the old country, but once you start piling on the toppings and order an extra-large 18-inch pizza with foldable slices, you’re in New York. Check out the specialty combinations, such as the Shepherd with spinach, feta, artichoke hearts, and sun-dried tomato. 

19. Baiano Pizzeria 

Hand-tossed pies and calzones show off some California flair and creativity without straying too far from tradition. Look for a variety of red and white pies from a classic Margherita to a shiitake version with goat cheese, thyme, and truffle oil. Good salads, jalapeño poppers, and buffalo wings are perfect add-ons for a party. Remember to specify thin crust if that’s what you’re looking for.  

thrive kitchen - cauliflower pizza

20. Thrive Kitchen

 Keto warriors rejoice. This health-conscious SOMA spot has cauliflower crusts that are super low carb, gluten free, and as keto friendly as it gets. Reduced-fat mozzarella and turkey pepperoni and sausage keep the calories down but not the flavor. Vegans can choose from a variety of pies made with animal-free cheese and Impossible beef.  

21. Acquolina

 Open in North Beach since 2015, this Tuscan restaurant serves a broad menu of pastas, salads, and appealing appetizers. Executive chef and co-owner Marco Avila uses imported Italian flour and San Marzano tomatoes for his pizzas, some of which are named for the regions of Tuscany. The Maremma combines sausage and white mushrooms with Italian black truffle cream, while the Bolgheri offers a winning combo of Felino salami, sun-dried tomato, and red onion.  

academy bar & kitchen - chefs special

22. Academy Bar & Kitchen

 Imported ingredients, such as San Marzano tomatoes and burrata cheese, make the pizzas here a step above. Try the chef’s special, with San Daniele prosciutto, cherry tomatoes, and arugula for a fresh and lively flavor. But fans also love the pastas, particularly the penne alla vodka, so remember this place for those times when a big order will keep everyone in the family happy.

23. Papa Steve’s Sourdough Pizza

 This Bay Area chain was making rectangular pies before locals ever heard of Detroit-style. Yet these are all Californian with their sturdy, tangy crusts and fresh toppings. The Pizza Bruschetta comes topped with the tiny mozz balls called ciliegine,grape tomatoes, shredded basil, and a sweet-savory pizza sauce. Buy a few for a party.   

All Good Pizza - prosciutto pizza

24. All Good Pizza

Neapolitan-style pizzas come out of the brick oven bubbly and blistered. Nice touches abound. A prosciutto pie has arugula and a bit of goat cheese for creaminess, and the now de rigueur kale pizza adds some thinly sliced onion and white truffle oil for a welcome kick. Don’t overlook the panini.  

25. Milan Pizza

No-frills is the name of the game at this Tenderloin slice and delivery shop that delivers until 2:30 a.m. to satisfy all cravings. The pizza will do the trick, and there are mozzarella sticks, jalapeño poppers, and crispy wings to add on to your order.  

Abe’s Pizza - persona vegetarian

26. Abe’s Pizza

 “Make Pizza Not War” reads the sign at Abe’s. If that seems like a callback to the Bay Area’s post-hippie days, you should know that Abe’s uses the same recipe introduced by cult-favorite Blondie’s in Berkeley more than 40 years ago. Count on the crust being puffy and crisp, the toppings traditional, and the cheese the sort that pulls when you dive in for a slice.  

27. Credo

 Chef Larry Finn uses local produce and imported Italian specialty items at this Financial District favorite. The pizzas are few but distinguished by primo ingredients. The mushroom pie comes with mild crescenza cheese and an impressive selection of cultivated mushrooms, while the sausage pie features gypsy peppers and whole roasted cloves of garlic. The marinated olives are a worthy add-on. 

Author

Caviar Staff

Caviar Staff