There are a handful of food items on this planet that are much more than just the sum of the fat, protein and carbs they’re made of. Among them are avocados and bacon, and pizza — especially pizza. From the way you eat it, to the topics you prefer, pizza is a Myers-Briggs of the culinary world.
It has a personality of its own, and by ingesting it, you absorb those traits. Pizza eaters are fun! Carefree! A person of the people! It has to be said that as of 2021, this is a bit of a misnomer. Pizza is far more nuanced now. We’re talking cauliflower crust, gluten-free, dairy-free, Neapolitan, Detroit, pizzaiolos (the people who make them) and so on.
Our methodology in choosing these pies was to represent a wide swatch, in terms of cost and varieties. That said, here are our picks for the best pizza in San Francisco.
Featured Photo: Tony’s Pizza Napoletana
An indisputable success ever since its Mission location opened in 2008, Beretta is known for its consistently spot-on thin crust pizzas — Prosciutto di Parma one is our fave — killer cocktails, savory sides as well as vegan and veggie options. Quick note on that: guests would be remiss to skip the walnut bread burrata when ordering, it is transformative. The pop-up location opened off Divisadero in the middle of the pandemic and offers all the same goodness at exceptionally fair prices for the city. Hours are 5:30pm to 10pm Wednesday through Sunday. berettasf.com
A newcomer on the pizza scene, Laura Seymour opened Damnfine in early 2021 to much fanfare. Among the reasons for the hype: a 5,500-lb wood-burning oven that pumps out pies in minutes, a location steps from the beach in a burgeoning neighborhood, and one of the most inventive drink menus around — Damnfine has a full liquor license. The range of pizzas here include the humble margarita and racy Acapulco, topped with spicy red sauce, sausage, pineapple, jalapeño, mozzarella, pickled onion and habanero, queso fresco and cilantro. Hours are 4pm to 9pm daily, closed Mondays. damnfine-107887.square.site
Atop Russian Hill or in the foggy Outer Richmond, dining at Fiorella is always a great choice. Serving perfectly crispy yet chewy-crust pizzas from its wood-fired oven at both locations, this place is a neighborhood darling and tourist destination. Go with a friend and share to get a better lay of the land — while the pies are phenomenal, the salads, wings and sides also shine. Some of our favorite items are nonna’s meatballs, the OG baby lettuce salad, and the salami pie with provolone and red chili. Hours are 5pm to 9:30pm Monday through Thursday, 5pm to 10pm on Friday, 4:30pm to 10pm on Saturday, and 4:30pm to 9:30pm on Sunday. fiorella-sf.com
Golden Boy Pizza
A long-standing favorite of post-drinks crews, these bountiful squares are excellent for sopping up booze and so much more. It all started with Peter Sodini’s vision in 1978 of a fresh baked, delicious, focaccia with pizza toppings. A runaway hit that spawned another location and wholesale contracts, the business is now run by Peter’s sons. Traditionalists will love the cheese and pepperoni, but the adventurous types should definitely opt for the clam and garlic — stinking for a day after is worth it. Hours are 12pm to 8pm daily. goldenboypizza.com
Square Pie Guys
A very substantial style of pie that’s been making big moves in the San Francisco pizza scene in recent years may have seemed like a clap back at waif-like Neopolitan pizza at first, but with numerous brick and mortar spots now dedicated to these robust blocks, it’s clear that this supposed fad is here to stay. Baked in pans originally used to carry automotive parts, Square Pie Guys pizza has a crunchy bottom, fluffy middle, and crispy, cheesy edge. Be sure to pour on plenty of Mike’s hot honey. Hours are 11:30am to 9pm Monday through Thursday, 11:30am to 10pm Friday and Saturday, 11:30am to 8pm on Sunday. squarepieguys.com
Italian for “girl,” Ragazza is the sister restaurant of Glen Park’s Gialina, a treasured place since 2007. In 2010, chef and owner Sharon Ardiana took her magic over to the Lower Haight and opened Ragazza. With helpful servers, an approachable wine list in terms of price and selection — they offer carafes — and a well-rounded menu of Neapolitan-style thin crust pizzas, salads and sides, there’s just an ease here. Bigger parties: take advantage of the gazebo in the back. Hours are 4pm to 8pm Sunday through Thursday, 4pm to 8:30pm Friday and Saturday. ragazzasf.com
Tony’s Pizza Napoletana
Tony’s where 13-time World Pizza Champion Tony Gemignani creates his masterpies. Located in San Francisco’s Little Italy, you will most certainly wait to eat here, as “No Reservations. No Exceptions,” is a prominent slogan, but it is worth it. All of the ingredients are imported from Napoli, the “Pizza Capital of the World.” Yes, that’s a thing. Order the gold-medal winning Cal Italia — asiago, mozzarella, Italian gorgonzola, Croatian sweet fig preserve, Prosciutto di Parma, parmigiano, balsamic reduction, no sauce — and the signature Negroni. Hours are 12pm to 9pm Monday and Tuesday, 12pm to 10pm Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, 12pm to 11pm Friday and Saturday. tonyspizzanapoletana.com