Must-Try

10 Amazing Pizzas You Need to Try Right Now in the SF Bay Area

By Trevor Felch  |  October 17, 2016
Credit: Beretta

It’s a great time to be a pizza lover in the Bay Area. We’re seeing all sorts of intriguing toppings from a unique New Jersey pork product to autumnal squash to a rapidly growing egg-topped breakfast pie movement. None of these pizzas fit a particular style either. Neapolitan, deep-dish and oblong crackery-crust fans will all be thrilled. Here are 10 of the most exciting pizzas being sliced in the Bay Area right now.

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  • Credit: Jersey

    Taylor pork roll at Jersey
    Do you like a meaty story? Head to New Jersey for that or, better yet, this local SoMa pizzeria inspired by the Garden State to learn the tale of the Taylor pork roll, a pork-based cured meat (similar to ham) named for its Trenton, NJ, creator — there's a rich history of regional rivalries and legal battles over the product, dating back to the 1850s. In short, it’s a big deal in the state of Jersey. Here it’s served daily on a pizza with a fried egg, provolone and mozzarella. It sounds like breakfast, but it’s just as great for dinner. Most importantly, you’ll taste an interesting East Coast regional staple that's uncommon in California.

    Price: $23

    145 Second St.; 415-912-1502

  • Credit: Local Kitchen & Wine Merchant

    Funghi breakfast at Local Kitchen & Wine Merchant
    Breakfast pizzas are trending in San Francisco, and in SoMa you can fuel up for a weekday afternoon of work or recover from a rough night with this wood-fired pie that boasts mushrooms in three forms: pioppini, maitake and porcini cream. Arugula and two poached eggs complete the pizza that will power you through the day — or hours after 11 AM since that's when the shop opens. Night funghi owls will be content, as well — a similar pizza is served at dinner, with truffle cream and no eggs.

    Price: $19

    330 First St. #1; 415-777-4200

  • Credit: Jen Siska

    Clam pie at Fiorella
    In pizza-mad New York City, the garlic and clam pizza at Franny’s in Brooklyn is a real standout, an homage to the famous New Haven pie. Luckily for SF, Brandon Gillis (previously at Franny's) now heads Fiorella's culinary operations and brought the pizza with him. The thin, soft crust is a perfect base for the slightly salty, definitely garlic-forward pie, highlighted by the briny and tender steamed and chopped Manila clams. Chiles, oregano and parsley provide depth; pecorino and fior di latte cheese add an intriguing texture and flavor dimension; and it’s rounded out by a subtle hit of acidity from the lemon wedges on top. That’s the Pacific a few blocks away, but you’ll think it’s the Atlantic with this New England-by-way-of-New York classic.

    Price: $18

    2339 Clement St.; 415-340-3049

  • Credit: Capo's

    Boss Hog at Capo’s
    Columbus salami, pepperoni, bacon, Italian sausage and prosciutto — is that quintet enough meat? There are three cheeses on this pizza, as well: mozzarella, provolone and romano, plus a few dashes of oregano and garlic for good measure. This is definitely one of the more loaded pizzas you'll encounter anywhere. The North Beach Chicago-centric restaurant, one of the few neighborhood pizza spots not directly catering to tourists, is a great choice to crash a diet. Willing diners can opt for hearty deep-dish style or stuffed crust pizzas using Chicago’s revered Ceresota flour (the secret to that city’s great pizzas). Or, go lighter with cracker-thin crust or cast iron pan-style pie. No matter what, the Boss Hog truly does have a whole lot of hog and plenty of cheese. It's downright delicious. Come hungry.

    Price: $32

    641 Vallejo St.; 415-986-8998

  • Credit: Megan Bayley

    The '89 at Drake's Dealership
    Don’t call them flatbreads. These are New Haven–style “apizzas” with an oblong shape and a thin crust that veers more towards chewy than brittle. While sitting in the gorgeous Uptown Oakland courtyard of the venerable East Bay brewery's restaurant outpost, be sure to sample a flight of four rare Drake’s beers and munch on this popular pie with Hobbs pepperoni, pickled peppers and marinated onions. Who says that the pepperoni pizza should be strictly for kids? This is a pepperoni pizza with a spicy, tangy twist to appeal to mature palates.

    Price: $14

    2325 Broadway, Oakland; 510-568-2739

  • Credit: Ca' Momi Osteria

    Montanara at Ca’ Momi
    Created by the legendary Pizzeria Starita a Materdei in Naples, the montanara is a fried pizza, but not the kind you'll find at a state fair. And this stylish, industrial-designed osteria, one of the anchors of the red-hot Napa dining scene, is one of the few West Coast pizzerias to serve it. The crust is lightly fried before being topped with San Marzano tomatoes, house-smoked mozzarella di bufala and basil; it's then finished in the blistering heat of the wood-fired oven. Don’t forget to pair it with the restaurant’s own rosé.

    Price: $20

    1141 First St., Napa; 707-224-6664

  • Credit: Gather

    Pork sausage at Gather
    A meaty pizza at a Berkeley restaurant that's often thought of as vegetarian? Yes, please. The menu from chef Charis Wahl is all-around excellent, and pizzas continue to be a strength, whether as a vegan spicy tomato pie with cashew purée or as one topped by housemade pork sausage. The latter is a star with its dramatic puffy crust cradling that sausage and an array of powerful flavors: Walla Walla onions, broccoli di cicco, pickled chiles and mint.

    Price: $23

    2200 Oxford St. Berkeley; 510-809-0400

  • Credit: Pizzeria Delfina

    Chicory at Pizzeria Delfina
    The bitter taste and crunchy texture of chicory lettuce is the focus of a unique evening salad-morning breakfast creation at this quartet of pizzerias in the city and on the Peninsula. While chicory gets a smoky char that tames the sour notes when raw, two poached eggs add richness and the combination of pecorino cheese and the thick herbs and garlic-based sauce agliato make for an intense, extremely enjoyable array of tastes that invite a fork and knife for delightful messiness.

    Price: $18.75

    Various locations

  • Credit: Del Popolo

    Butterball potato at Del Popolo
    You don’t need us to tell you to order the margherita at the TenderNob’s brick-and-mortar restaurant of the Bay Area’s most revered mobile food vendor. It’s the Zuni chicken of our San Francisco pizzas: simplicity and perfection together, with the fervent crowds and accolades that follow. Del Popolo, fortunately, is far from a one-trick pizzeria. This pie is a textural, gooey, even funky and zesty joy with the thin slices of potato playing off leeks, fontina cheese and chile flakes. Better yet, bring a big group, hang out in the new outdoor patio and order this potato pie and as many other pizzas as your table can hold.

    Price: $18

    855 Bush St.; 415-589-7940

  • Credit: Beretta

    Delicata squash at Beretta
    Get into the autumnal spirit with this delicata squash pizza, which receives a superb caramelized char that brings out its sweetness, offset by a dash of panna, shaved ricotta salata and sage over the pillowy, blistered Neapolitan crust. This truly is a delicate, carefully detailed pizza that you’ll want to have all to yourself. Years ago, this Mission favorite pioneered what is now a ubiquitous combination: high-caliber pizza (do also try the off-menu bartender's pizza with burrata, sausage, olives and spicy marinara) and equally accomplished cocktails. As this superb pizza proves, Beretta is only getting better with age.

    Price: $16

    1199 Valencia St.; 415-695-1199