Here’s what you need to know about Tony’s Pizza Napoletana: they serve 12 different styles of pizza, cooked at seven different temperatures, using five individual heat sources. There are multiple shapes and varieties of dough, toppings, and each style of pizza has its own dedicated oven. Some pizzas are only available in limited quantities per day. Even then, some aren’t available during certain hours. Here’s what else you need to know - even with all of this going on, Tony’s still makes some of the best pizza in SF.
Tony’s is the San Francisco equivalent of that one pizza place that’s in every small town - it doesn’t matter how many others pop up around it or how good they are, Tony’s feels like it’s more a part of the city than anything else. That’s still true even if you count the gigantic lines of tourists that are here all the time. You’ll still see couples at the bar who have been coming here for years, grandparents sitting at tables with their grandkids playing with Legos instead of listening to what SF used to be like, and young tech workers waiting outside for their turn to get a slice and unwind from trying to make the world a better place every day. But everyone still has one thing in common, they’re all here to order pizza one of approximately 92 different ways.
The menu at Tony’s has so much going on that we wouldn’t be surprised if Major League Baseball set up a recruitment booth for statisticians in the back, scouting for people whose heads aren’t spinning after reading through all of the options. The pizza combinations are seemingly endless, and because of that, you can find the right one for whatever you need in the moment. The margherita neapolitan pie with a soft crust and the right amount of char sets the standard that other places aim to replicate, the New Yorker loaded down with sausage, pepperoni, and cheese will remind you that pizza is great when it’s just trying to be pizza, and the Eddie Muenster with fried kale, bacon, honey, and muenster is much better than you’d expect from any pizza with kale on it.
There’s no denying that this place is ridiculous - from the long lines outside and the Pizza World Championships Smackdown trophies, to the framed pictures of Rachel Ray and the dizzying menu itself. But for a place making more types of pizza than Sean Combs has had stage names, it’s impressive that what they’re serving is just as good and even much better than what a lot of places that only serve just one type of pizza have. So while you’re sitting here confused at first, reading about oven temperatures and dough fermentation times on the menu, know that you’ve already made the one decision that matters - when you wanted pizza, you came to Tony’s.
This is a very solid margherita pizza. It won’t transport you to Naples, but that’s because it’s food and not an Einstein-Rosen Bridge. Order this while you wait for science to catch up with your dreams.
The crust on this is thick and almost cakey, and it has cheese both melted under and over the sauce. There’s no shame eating this with a knife and fork.
This is a little greasy from the muenster, but it’s still a really good pizza. Sweet from honey, hot from calabrese peppers, meaty from bacon, healthy from kale, and unhealthy from the fact that that kale has been deep fried beforehand. Make sure to squeeze some lemon over the top.
This is pizza. It’s nothing insane, but it’s spicy and good and the ricotta cools it off a little. It’s what you want with a tall beer watching a game.
This is fine, but you’re here for pizza, so order pizza.