Where To Get Detroit-Style Pizza In SF
For when crispy cheese walls are calling you.
These days, there are more spots to take down cheesy, fluffy, Detroit-style pizzas than ever. And we’re not complaining—among the many fantastic pizzas in SF, we gravitate toward Detroit-style pies at least once a week. From casual pizza joints serving them topped with a garden's worth of vegetables to casual breweries where you can also order square slices of pepperoni, here are six great spots to get some.
photo credit: Square Pie Guys
Square Pie Guys
The casual SoMa spot has Detroit-style pizza down to a science. The baked cheddar edges of each hefty slice are crispy perfection, toppings are presented like art, and there are plenty of creamy dipping sauces like cilantro crema and ranch. Our go-tos are the 6x8 with exactly 48 pepperonis, or the Big Von, a stunner loaded with sausage, gooey hot honey, and garlicky ricotta cream. Fantastic Szechuan dry-fried wings, fries, and salads will round out your meal.
photo credit: Melissa Zink
The pies from Joyride Pizza are encyclopedia-thick behemoths that are surprisingly light—the focaccia-like crusts stay airy underneath a mountain of toppings, and the crisp bottoms crackle when you bite into them. Toppings range from classic pepperoni and Italian sausage to things you’d find at a farmer’s market stall—brussels sprouts, arugula, and fig jam. And the slightly sweet tomato sauce is so good you’ll want to order even more on the side for dipping. Joyride has a takeout-only slice shop in the Mission, but we prefer the Yerba Buena location, which includes seating overlooking the gardens.
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Cellarmaker House Of Pizza
For pizzas with sponge-like crusts, head to Cellarmaker House of Pizza. Like Square Pie Guys and Joyride, the laidback Bernal Heights brewery focuses on Detroit-style pies, which you can order by the slice. Our move is to grab a seat at the long bar, order a pilsner, and strike up a conversation with whomever’s sitting next to us. But any of the high tops in the dining room will get the job done if you come with friends and order a big spread of food that requires more table space. The pepperoni, with slightly chunky tomato sauce, golden-brown cheese walls, and thick pepperoni cups spilling off the top, is the best pie on the menu—we never leave here without at least a slice.
photo credit: Melissa Zink
Long Bridge Pizza Co.
Long Bridge Pizza in Dogpatch specializes in sourdough pies. The crust has a nice snap (never too chewy or hard), and you can really taste the tang of the sourdough. But zero in on this casual spot on Thursdays when they also serve Detroit-style pizza. The first thing you'll notice when this pie arrives is the baked yellow and white cheese on the rim of the fluffy sourdough bread. It’s decadent but not in an overly oily sort of way. Like any great neighborhood spot, this is a place to post up in one of the three dining rooms and gab about how today was the best or worst day ever. A game will probably be on one of the many large TVs. Order from the counter and let the beer and rectangular pies come to you.
photo credit: Sarah Felker
When we have 30 minutes to spare or need a pick-me-up in the form of carbohydrates and cheese, we swing by the mostly-takeout spot in SoMa (there are a couple of tables out on the sidewalk) for a quick Detroit-style slice. This counter-service place has all of their Detroit (and Sicilian) pies on display behind a glass wall, and are warmed up and served to you within minutes. You can’t really go wrong with the toppings—our favorites are the tried-and-true combinations like pepperoni and red onion or garlicky clams, but they also have more creative blends like ground beef with refried beans and lime crema, or the Thai curry chicken pie finished with fresh cilantro. Don’t forget to grab a side of their creamy house-made ranch to drizzle all over each slice on your way out.
Tony's Pizza Napoletana
The menu at Tony’s Pizza Napoletana in North Beach reads like a lengthy pizza dissertation—the many sections detail the 12 types of pizzas you can get (they’re all cooked at varying temperatures and in different ovens), from Neapolitan to Sicilian to Roman. There are also square pies with corners leveled up with garlicky butter, and heaped with gooey Wisconsin brick cheese and white cheddar. Get yours topped with soppressata, ‘nduja, and hot red pepper oil, and kick back in a curved booth with wine and beer.