In San Francisco, finding a really great bowl of pasta for less than $20 can be harder than meeting someone who isn’t “trying to get into climbing.” Unless you head to Barzotto, a restaurant in the Mission that checks all of the boxes we want in a reliable, reasonably priced neighborhood spot.
Whenever we go to Barzotto, we can usually get in and out—drinks included—for about half the price we would at other Cal-Ital spots in the city. Their house wines clock in at around $10 a glass (plus, they have a two-for-one deal daily). And all of the dishes on the menu, including appetizers like brussels sprouts or chilled octopus, and larger plates like chicken piccata, are decently sized and decently priced.
The pastas here also happen to be really excellent. Exhibit A: The spaghetti with meatballs. No matter what you do, you must order this when you come to Barzotto. We stay up late at night thinking about the slightly sweet tomato sauce that clings to each noodle, the perfect, well-spiced meatballs that practically melt in your mouth, and the simplicity of flavors in every bite.
Affordable price and consistently delicious pastas aside, what makes Barzotto a place we always return to is that it’s one of those spots you can pull out for virtually any occasion. Solo glass of wine and amatriciana at the bar? Check. A 9pm date night on a random Thursday? Yep. Meeting your coworker’s partner for the first time? Barzotto gets it done. So next time you’re in need of a quality bowl of pasta that won’t cost the equivalent of your weekly grocery budget, know that this is your spot.
These brussels sprouts are mixed with a housemade ‘XO’ sauce with anchovy, salt cod, and prosciutto. They’re a great option if you want some vegetables on the table.
In case you skipped the body of the review and came straight to the food rundown: this is the best pasta on the menu. Don’t let its apparent simplicity fool you. The slightly sweet sauce has juicy chunks of tomato and an ample amount of parmesan, the pasta is cooked perfectly, and the meatballs are soft and well-spiced.
This is another great pasta. The sauce has a great kick to it thanks to the hot chili peppers, and the guanciale adds a salty bite.
Barzotto’s softball-sized slice of tiramisu is light, not too sweet, and a great way to cap off a meal here.