The 26 Best Pizza Places In San Francisco guide image

photo credit: Mary Lagier

SFGuide

The 26 Best Pizza Places In San Francisco

The top 26 pizza places in SF, according to us.

We’ve eaten a concerning number of slices and pies to bring you our guide to the very best pizza San Francisco has to offer. And there is a lot to offer, despite what the bitter New York transplants in your life have to say about us and our pizza. This guide includes wood-fired Neapolitan pies, crispy Sicilian slices, and enough sourdough pizzas to feed ten wolf packs, a hungry soccer team, or both.

THE SPOTS

photo credit: Carly Hackbarth

Outta Sight Pizza review image
8.5

Outta Sight Pizza

$$$$

422 Larkin St, San Francisco
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This Tenderloin pizza place nails every element necessary to a perfect slice. There’s a chewy yet crisp crust that’s foldable without getting soggy. Satisfying, bright orange grease drips out of the creases. And toppings are packed with flavor, whether you opt for the smoky pepperoni cups or slightly sweet vodka sauce paired with globs of gooey mozzarella. Devouring it all in the company of E-40 bobbleheads and Giants foam fingers on the wall is an easy way to spend a quick lunch or an after work snack and beer. Grab a seat at one of the big round tables, gaze lovingly at your face-sized slice, and pat yourself on the back for making the great decision to come here.  

The proliferation of Detroit-style pizza shops in San Francisco over the last few years has been pretty staggering. Square Pie Guys in SoMa is leading the pack, and making one of the city’s best rectangular-shaped pizzas. Each one is small but mighty—8x10 and serves 1 to 2 people. The thick but light crust has cheddar baked on the outside giving a cheesy crunch to every bite. And the presentation of pepperoni cups and other toppings like garlic ricotta cream and hot honey is a work of art. Square Pie Guys is also very casual, which is why you’ll find chicken wings, salads, and fries, and a well-oiled takeout operation.

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The wood-fired pizzas at this Sunset spot near the ocean are a better beach companion than your friend's dog who won't stop sucking on your shoelaces. The crust is bubbly and charred, and the topping combinations are creative and balanced. We love the one with pancetta, pesto, and purple potatoes that add mild creamy starchiness, and the classic pepperoni with little cups that crisp up at the edges. Split a couple of pies with someone you want to impress (always get hot honey and ranch), or eat one by yourself at the bar with a blood orange spritz. They have the occasional live DJ, too, which is another reason to become a regular.

Shuggie’s in the Mission makes grandma-style pizzas using blemished or surplus vegetables, off cuts of meat, byproducts, and basically any ingredient that would usually end up in the trash. The results are rectangular pies with surprising topping combinations that keep things interesting. The somewhat sweet crust (made from whey and oat flour) with blackened edges might be piled with wilted greens, salmon belly conserva and relish, or pepperoni and ricotta fluff that tastes like whipped cream. These pies can turn into a gooey mess (the crust is super thin), but for pizza this good, we’ll gladly wear a bib any day.

Like never bothering to cross the bay to Alcatraz, standing in line for Golden Boy is a local rite of passage. As is ordering one of their fluffy Sicilian focaccia squares with a crispy bottom. This North Beach institution (est. 1978) with its iconic red neon finger sign makes some of the thickest and cheapest slices in town, starting at $3.50. There are also only six kinds on the menu, but we zero in on the pepperoni or the meaty combo with sausage. Inside, punk music blares, the walls are covered with stickers, plenty of beers flow from the tap. But for now, hop in the line and keep it moving. Golden Boy is temporarily takeout-only.

This city loves great Cal-Ital, so we welcome Norcina—and their pillowy, charred, and chewy crust. There are a handful of Neapolitan pizzas on the menu, and we like the spicy Za’ Matriciana with pancetta and Calabrian chilis. And unlike Pixar, we fully embrace the one with broccoli—this one comes with gooey fontina and mozzarella. Norcina is also one of those Cute, Chill Spots in the Marina, so prepare to eat your pie surrounded by bright lemon wallpaper, dried floral arrangements, and woven chairs. 

Despite looking like dense bricks, the Detroit-style pies at Joyride Pizza have an airy crust that avoids a soggy fate under a mountain of toppings. And we really do mean a mountain. Pies are covered with what feels like an entire garden’s worth of vegetables like brussels sprouts, tomatoes, or arugula, or have thick stripes of tomato sauce running across the top. Crispy outer cheese walls caramelized to deep golden-brown and slightly sweet house tomato sauce we’d gladly funnel into our mouths are other reasons to love these pies. There’s a takeout outpost in the Mission (slices are available), but we like the Yerba Buena spot, which has a patio overlooking the gardens.

Head to the Dogpatch and you’ll spot plenty of white boxes making their way down 3rd Street or hanging out with a pint at Dogpatch Saloon. All roads lead to Long Bridge Pizza. The casual spot does sourdough pies right. They have a nice snap—never too chewy or hard. And you can taste the tang of the sourdough, separate from the high quality toppings. 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 pizza come to you. 

Amidst all the fast-casual chains and overpriced tourist traps around Union Square, Del Popolo is a bright spot. Their incredible Neapolitan-style pizza draws us in, even when we aren’t in the area picking up our laptop from the Genius Bar or touching expensive duvet covers at Macy’s—the wood-fired crust always comes out gorgeous and chewy. There are eight options to choose from, but whichever route you go, the toppings, like spicy sausage and olives or garlicky mushrooms, are excellent across the board. We love coming to this relaxed spot for double-dates or after-work pizzas at the bar—or, if you want a quieter dinner, request a table on the plant-filled patio out back. 

Pizzetta 211 is thin-crust pizza royalty. The lowkey Richmond spot earns the title based on evenly golden-brown crust alone. What goes on the pies depends on what’s in season, and rotates every other week. So expect super fresh ingredient combinations like gooey eggs and asparagus or braised short rib with garlic confit. The pies serve one, but the ideal way to eat here is to come with a date or a few friends and split as many as will fit on the table (which could mean ordering all six pizzas). And save room for dessert—the dense flourless chocolate cake is a neighborhood gem, as is anything with their brown butter shortbread.

Tony’s offers twelve pizza styles ranging from Sicilian and Neapolitan to Roman and Detroit, all cooked at one of seven temperatures, using five kinds of heat sources. If that felt like a riddle, just know this North Beach spot takes their pies seriously. And even though the menu looks like a pizza experiment with way too much going on, Tony’s still makes some of the best pies in the city. Zero in on the coal-fired New Yorker loaded with sausage and pepperoni, or the thin-crust Eddie Muenster with fried kale, bacon, and squeeze of lemon on top. Coming here to sit in the always bustling bar and dining room or patio ensures we have a pick of a variety of doughs, shapes, and toppings. Prepare to be overwhelmed in the best way possible.

Goat Hill Pizza in Potrero Hill has been around since 1975, and here’s why—the brick oven-fired pizzas have thin sourdough crusts that are so good we practically hear angels sing when we eat one. That, and the fact that the red-checkered tablecloths and goat drawings and statues make us feel like we’re at a quirky relative’s house for Sunday night dinner. There are 14 combinations on the menu, or you can build your own. We usually go for the Porky Pie with bacon and red onion, plus enough roasted garlic and garlic cream to single handedly keep the breath mint industry in business. And because there’s no such thing as too much garlic, get a side of toasted garlic bread. 

Pizza and beer are an ideal combo, whether you’re pregaming or just craving tomato sauce and a pilsner on a random Tuesday. Luckily, Cellarmaker House of Pizza in Bernal Heights has a lengthy list of beers on tap to enjoy over Detroit-style slices. The deceptively small square pizzas are sponge-like with crunchy cheese crusts and slightly chunky tomato sauce on top. Get any one with thick pepperoni—they’re so good you'll want to harvest them and bust some out later for a midday snack. If you just want to pop in for a slice, the casual spot has bar seating, a few high-tops perfect for small groups, and a parklet.    

Where To Get Detroit-Style Pizza In SF guide image

SF Guide

Where To Get Detroit-Style Pizza In SF

Casey’s Pizza in Mission Bay makes great Neapolitan-style pies. Start with the burrata, which comes with crostini and a nice lemony arugula salad, before making your way to the pizza list. They make everything from margherita to pepperoni and arugula to a funghi pizza loaded with mushrooms and fresh thyme. The crust is perfectly charred, has a good snap if you fold it, and we can bet you and your friends will be fighting over the last slices of Zoe with mini pepperoni, or the sausage pizza that’s heavy on the fennel. And extra plus, this place has beer (bottle and draft) and tons of wine—basically everything you need to create a casual pizza-centric night.

For their Neapolitan-style pies, Pizzeria Delfina in the Mission uses a few simple ingredients and allows each one to shine. It’s also a spot that relies on broccoli rabe, scallions, and other notably fresh toppings—we expect nothing less from a place affiliated with Cal-Italian restaurant legend, Delfina. The crust is charred and bubbly. The sauce has a nice tang. And if you get the margherita (the best pie here), thick mozzarella rounds are complemented by a handful of basil leaves with the stems attached. Just a heads up—these are on the smaller side, so everyone should plan on getting a personal pie.

Multitasking is difficult to figure out (we have the stained white pants we wore while trying to drive and eat chocolate at the same time to prove it). Unlike us, Pizza Squared, a slice shop in SoMa, has mastered the skill—they're making Sicilian and Detroit-style pizzas with ease. Both styles highlight more unique flavor combinations, from bulgogi meatballs and Thai curry chicken to ground beef and refried beans. Where things differ: The Sicilian slices are baked in duck fat and light and crispy enough to be used as a life raft, and the cheese walls of the Detroit-style pies are perfectly crunchy. Whichever one you get, know that you’re in very good hands. 

The Italian restaurant in NoPa added pizzas to the menu during the pandemic, and now their puffy sourdough pies are undeniable breakout stars, like Kelly Clarkson circa 2002. The crust is slightly tangy, covered in olive oil and parmesan, and super charred on the bottom. Ordering a side of pureed Calabrian chili and garlic to dip it in is non-negotiable. We’d also eat the quality toppings on their own—like the melt-in-your-mouth prosciutto and arugula showered with parmesan, or the broccoli rabe that comes in a big enough portion to qualify as a side salad. And you should know that phenomenal pizza runs in the family—Che Fico, the slightly fancier sister restaurant on the second floor, also has parmesan-dusted pies that would stop traffic. Whether you're upstairs or downstairs, this is Cal-Ital pizza at its finest. 

This Glen Park pizzeria churns out the crispiest thin-crust pies in the city. Bite into one and a near ear-splitting crunch will probably be detected all the way in the Presidio. The bottom is also more structurally sound than a mechanical bull. Whenever we come here, we go for the amatriciana with pancetta and a runny egg on top, and the mushroom pie with caramelized onions, truffled fontina, and preserved lemon. No meal is complete without the decadent Nutella dessert pizza topped with squiggles of mascarpone. The relaxed spot can easily function as a weeknight double date destination and a place we'd take a youth soccer team to carbo-load after a game.

photo credit: Krescent Carasso

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Montesacro

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There aren’t many places in the city specializing in pinsas, so novelty alone is one reason to head to Montesacro in SoMa (there's a second location in the Marina). The other is these oval-shaped Roman-style flatbreads are incredible. The crust is charred, bubbly, and light, making it entirely doable to have several pieces without sweating it out on the couch later. We love the maranella, which comes with spicy pork sausage, broccolini, and some of the creamiest burrata we’ve ever had. Also consider ordering the tormarancio that has thinly sliced soppressata and very thick tomato sauce. 

We love fermented dough like the city loves ultra-light down, which is why we come back for PizzaHacker’s sourdough pizzas at least once a month. The gorgeously charred, slightly tangy crusts nail the stretch factor—chewy on the inside and a crisp exterior. Don’t overlook the specials written on the chalkboard wall, like the Forbidden Fruit. It’s essentially a Hawaiian pizza with jalapeños and red onions that will please even the most stubborn pineapple-on-pizza haters. The Bernal Heights spot has picnic benches and jeans-and-t-shirt casualness, making it an ideal place for family dinners or weeknight group catch-ups.

Next time your friend’s roommate who used to live down the street from Joe’s starts complaining about the lack of New York-style slice spots in SF, point them in the direction of Gioia. Their massive, thin-crust slices are meant to be folded (the directive is outlined on the box), and are best eaten while standing on the curb and debating whether or not you’d be able to survive an actual winter. Toppings stay pretty classic—think pepperoni, sausage, and mushroom—and you can (and should) dress up slices with ranch or chili oil.   

The square pizzas from this pop-up-turned-brick-and-mortar in SoMa are about as subtle as a NYFW runway show. Exhibit A: the Bulldog—a behemoth loaded with bulgogi, kimchi, bulldog sauce, kewpie mayo, and bonito flakes, and the General Mapo with mapo tofu, Sichuan peppercorns, and cheese. If you’d rather stick to something classic, go with pepperoni or mushroom—these pies complement the thick sourdough crust nicely. But the menu doesn’t stop here. The Chicago-style pub pies (go for one with honey butter, potatoes, and leeks) have snappy thin crusts that are lighter compared to the heftier squares. The spacious beer hall also doubles as an NFT gallery, so you can ponder the pros and cons of finally breaking into crypto while sipping on some cider.

San Francisco isn’t exactly cranking out deep dish pizza, but we do have Little Star in the Mission. The Chicago-style pies are meaty and filled with tangy tomato sauce. But what keeps us coming back is the buttery cornmeal crust you can easily cut into. Go for the classic with sausage and mushrooms, or the Little Star with ricotta and feta and call it a night, or build your own. These are some of the heartier pies in town. 

The worker-owned cooperative bakery cranks out vegetarian thin-crust pies with tangy sourdough crust. The catch is they make a different one each day, and get creative with the toppings—it’s part of the appeal. They’ll have a pizza with potatoes, masala curry, and spinach one day, and a version covered in mushrooms, parsley, and sesame-ginger-garlic vinaigrette the next. If the element of surprise isn’t your thing (what horrific clown encounter ruined your childhood?), look to the online pizza schedule. Unlike toppings, you have some control with the order: full or half-baked, and whole pies or by the slice.  

A16 has been holding it down on Chestnut Street with Neapolitan-style pies, buzzy energy, and an extensive wine list since 2004. Look around and pretty much every table will have a pizza on it, thanks to wood-fired crusts that are always thin and chewy. Other things that come out of the oven are also worth your attention, like the broccolini, or juicy roasted corn with shavings of ricotta salata. Keep this place in your back pocket for spontaneous coworker hangs or Saturday nights when you forget to make a reservation.

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