When we were kids, the ultimate moment was when someone said, “pizza party.” Finding out that we were going to watch a movie in class, or that it was Parachute Day in P.E. was never as great as knowing we were about to eat our weight in pizza (or die trying). It’s been a long time since we felt that level of excitement. But when we go to Flour + Water Pizzeria, we get pretty close.
Flour + Water Pizzeria is the second restaurant from the people behind Flour + Water, one of our favorite places in the city to get pasta. Here, the pizzas will make you as happy as playing MASH with your friends. They don’t take reservations, and unless you’re here with a school bus full of people, you usually get seated in around 15 minutes. Considering that going out for great pizza in SF usually involves waiting in line for around an hour - or giving up .0325% ownership of your company - being seated faster than it takes a five-year-old to blow out birthday candles is a small miracle.
But a short wait doesn’t justify bad pizza, and at Flour + Water Pizzeria, theirs is fantastic. The crust is chewy and crispy. You could pick it out of a lineup while blindfolded, especially after it’s dipped in their incredible homemade ranch. There are ten pizzas to choose from that change from time to time, with toppings like speck and lemon oil, eggplant and capers, or sausage and rosemary. You’ll question why your favorite as a kid was just plain cheese. Then there’s The Big Slice, which is only available from their small to-go window in the back. But this isn’t a quick, single slice you might need to order two of - The Big Slice is half a pizza folded onto itself. It counts as a whole meal and is awesome.
It’s not just the pizza that makes us excited to come here. The burrata is creamy and comes with chili oil, pistachios, and nectarines that work so well together you’ll find an excuse to talk about it the next day. The homemade mozzarella sticks are perfectly melty and you can actually taste the cheese through their near-perfect marinara sauce. The only thing that would make these more exciting is if each order came with a free pair of light-up L.A. Gears. The food is all great in any context, but it’s even better in a place where it’s easy to get a table and nothing costs more than $20. By the time you make it to dessert, you’ll be enjoying yourself so much that you’ll ask for rainbow sprinkles on your soft serve - just like you did when you were a kid.
What comes with the burrata changes, but expect things like chili oil, pistachios, endive, arugula, pears, or nectarines. It’s a step up from the pesto and crostini you see everywhere.
These pork and beef meatballs are dense but tender. They come with marinara, ricotta, and a pizza crust, and will remind you of assembling your own Lunchables pizza - only way better. Order these, but get a white pie to balance things out.
This small vegetable dish is served cold. The squash is grilled before it’s chilled, and it’s perfectly cooked and creamy. There’s also just enough balsamic to taste it on the radicchio, and the pepitas add some crunch. It’s a good side to split between courses.
These are the mozzarella sticks we imagine Frasier eating as a child. They have melty, stretchy cheese, crust you could eat on its own, and marinara dipping sauce you’ll want to put on everything. Order these.
This caesar salad has crisp lettuce, amazing cured anchovies, a soft-cooked egg, and high-quality cheese. It has all the right answers to being a great salad, it just isn’t shouting them at the top of its lungs. Share this with the table.
This pie has a ton of mushrooms and garlic, and it’s incredible. Order this with confidence.
There’s nothing crazy going on here - just tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella coming together to become a very good version of a margherita pizza.
The best thing about this pizza isn’t the spicy sausage or the olives - it’s the rosemary on top. Order this.
The eggplant comes is thin ribbons that still have some chew to them. Combined with the garlic and smoked mozzarella, this is a meaty vegetarian pie. If you get one too many capers in a bite, though, it can be a little too salty.
The Big Slice is only available from the small takeout window in the back of the restaurant. It’s called a slice, but it’s really half a pizza that’s folded over. The toppings change, but it’s just as good as anything on the sit-down menu - only faster.
They make their own ranch for dipping the pizza crust in. It’s light and tangy, and has a lot of dill. Even if you hate ranch and are in some sort of anti-ranch-on-pizza league, you need to get over yourself and try this.
They have two flavors of soft serve: fior di latte, that’s like a very creamy vanilla, and salted caramel. Both are so good that toppings aren’t necessary and may just get in your way. They also have this at the takeout window and we’d stop here just to a cup of it.