The Best Pizza in the Bay Area
We’re not here to debate the merits of the Bay Area’s pizza; we’re here to celebrate this tasty delight, straight up. Show your support for the West Coast at some of the Bay Area’s best pizza joints, ranging from greasy, cash-only spots to put-an-egg-on-it upscale restaurants. The Bay Area has it all when it comes to everyone’s favorite meal, so we’ve hand-picked some of our hand-tossed favorites.
It’s lit. Yep, Lit-tle Star is truly a shining star of the SF pizza scene, best known for its Western Addition location on Divisadero. Their pizzas are simple but diverse, offering both deep dish and thin crust pies and a cornmeal crust to write home to mom and dad about. Try their namesake with a caprese salad and you’ll be good to go for hours.
(1919 Hyde St // Russian Hill)
Art-inspired pizza names make you feel like you’re eating something fancy, but it’s really just some damn good pizza. The Salvador Dali features roasted chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh pesto and red sauce and Da Vinci’s Palette has bright red and green peppers, sausage, and onions. Eat your greens with Monet’s Garden Salad that looks just as good up close as it does from afar.
(542 Green St // North Beach)
Golden Boy Pizza, where it’s “hip to be square.” This local pizzeria has been squaring up to the competition since 1978 with its large pizza sheets. It’s definitely reminiscent of what you see on the streets in Italy, and in their SF location, their foccacia, cheese-piled pies are displayed in the window to lure in passersby. But it’s worth it! If you’re in the mood for a simple bite that reflects the area, try the clam/garlic. Make sure to bring cash!
(1077 Mission St // SoMa)
Ever wanted more of that crispy crunch crust? You might be more of a square pie-guy with Detroit-style pizza. From your regular ol’ cheese to the Mean Green Sausage Machine, and from gluten free crust to vegan cheese, they’ve got enough pizza to go around for everyone. Their pizza crust-based desserts aren’t half bad either if you’re really hungry.
(211 23rd Ave // Outer Richmond)
Farm eggs, man. What pizza do they not make better? They’re almost like two eyes smiling up at you as you prepare to devour your ham and gruyere pizza from Pizzetta 211. This quiet cozy spot fills up quickly on the weekends, so come early or snatch a bar seat, and pair their gourmet pizza with a salad or a fresh-made cake. Mmmmmm. It’s completely worth the trek.
(509 Valencia St // Mission)
New York-style greasy, thin-crusted pizza induces buckets of nostalgia for so many people, and Arinell’s is a joint that has the approval of native New Yorkers and locals alike. This tiny spot with counter seating is the perfect place to satiate a craving when you have a few extra bucks in your pocket. The only catch: if you want to eat it there, you’ll have to watch yourself in the wall to wall mirrors while you do so.
With two locations in San Francisco, it’s easy to hit up one of the trendiest pizza joints in the Bay Area. Long, communal tables give you the option to make friends while munching on the thin and crispy Roman-style pizza. Premium toppings like calabrese peppers and spicy coppa keep things delicious and interesting; vegan sausage and cheese mean all of your friends can find something they like.
(64 14th St // Mission)
The daughter of the great La Coco’s, Pink Onion fuses all things amazing to keep their menu interesting. Serving 13+ pizzas, pastas, and appetizers, Pink Onion is sure to keep your taste buds satisfied while your belt buckles suffer. It’s a small and popular restaurant, but rotating beers and wine on tap are always present to keep you and your party company.
(1570 Stockton St // North Beach)
Standing tall at the corner of Stockton Street and Columbus Avenue, Tony’s Pizza Napoletana is well known far and wide. The Margherita and New Yorker pizzas earn rave reviews nightly, as do the scrumptious meatballs and uber cheesy Detroit Red Top. Fair warning: The mega-popular joint is rarely without a line, so join the waitlist before heading over if you want a shorter wait.
(5008 Telegraph Ave // Oakland)
“Down home, human-made” food: that’s what Pizzaiolo stands for. With their fresh ingredients and down to earth attitude, they make some of the best pizza outside of Italy with new takes on classic Italian fare. The marinara, sausage, hot peppers and panna pie is a classic meat combination, but have you seen cream on a pizza before? Yum. If you’re looking for something simple, give the margherita a try.
Gioia (joy-a) might have the biggest cult following of any pizza place in Berkeley. For 12 years, the homey hole in the wall has been whipping up delish slices and pies, like Formaggio and Spinaci Aglio (Spinach Garlic), for just about every kind of customer. Since the Berkeley location is on the smaller side, take out is an ever popular option.
Thick, saucy, cheesy, chunky: Chicago-style deep dish pies are fiercely debated among regional pizza communities. Whether or not you’re a thin-crust, eat-with-your-hands pizza loyalist, Zachary’s whips up a good deep dish that satisfies with only one or two slices. The ingredients are fresh and stacked on in hefty portions, including the Carne (sausage, pepperoni, bacon, salami) and the Super Veggie.
(1512 Shattuck Ave // Berkeley)
The idea is simple: the worker-owner collective takes dough and cheese from their bakery/cheese joint next door, piles on fresh veggies from the market nearby, and whips out a different vegetarian pizza Thursday through Saturday to adoring, hungry guests. For the most authentic Cheese Board Experience, grab a slice and a friend and sit on the grassy median across the street.
This New York transplant is the closest thing to east coast ‘za around, and is sure to please. Go for their namesake Artichoke with spinach, cream sauce and artichoke hearts, stay classy with a Margherita slice, or try their Staten Island with meatballs, red sauce and ricotta cheese. Whatever you do, come hungry — in true NY fashion, these slices are huge!
(12343 San Pablo Ave // Richmond)
This family-owned and operated business fuses Italian and Mediterranean cuisine in the form of craft pizzas. Try their Chicken Shawarma made with sesame crust and special sauce or go green with their Cali Veggie. If you somehow manage to leave room for dessert, they also serve up cookies and brownies in pizza form.
(3265 Lakeshore Ave // Oakland)
From fresh baked bread, pastries, and (of course) pizza, Arizmendi is your one-stop-shop for all things carbs. Their sourdough crust is the perfect vehicle for their pizza of the day with toppings varying from goat cheese to spicy harissa sauce to sweet potatoes. Drop by on Sundays for their breakfast pizza topped with egg custard and golden hash browns.
It all starts with the cool atmosphere: high ceilings, an impressively well-stocked bar, and a view of the wood ovens where all the pizza magic happens. Some favorites among customers are the fennel sausage and margherita, and they even boast a breakfast pizza with an egg plopped on top. Whatever you choose, Pizza Antica will make it with great care and precision.
(6770 Washington St // Yountville)
This cute and casual Italian ristorante is located a few blocks down from Michelin-starred French Laundry, but they don’t let that overshadow their stellar food. Fun fact: their location is a converted Italian grocery! The family-owned restaurant serves fresh food harvested in part from their own farm and vineyard, and the pizza is the fork-and-knife kind: soupy, delicious, and subtle, with options for every craving. For the best experience, sit at the Negroni Bar.
(1260 Main St // Napa)
Pulled hot and fresh from a beautiful brick oven, Azzurro’s rich, thin-crust pizza was born to be paired with the wines its hometown is so famous for. The fungi and speck pizzas are consistent favorites — add an egg for extra goodness — and the meatballs, iceberg wedge, and baked rigatoni are also worth a taste in between slices. Azzurro’s Neapolitan grub is straightforward without being bland and it is oh so good.
South Bay + Peninsula
This popular pizza restaurant can be found all across the Bay Area (and even in Southern California), but Palo Alto was their first location, opened back in 2004. Patxi’s is known for their deep dish pies made for IG-worthy cheese pulls, but they also whip up piadinas — Italian flatbread sandwiches — burrata bruschetta, and even a s’mores pizza to satisfy your sweet tooth.
(2022 Broadway // Redwood City)
A perfect South Bay date night spot, Vesta serves up Italian comfort food in a candle-lit, high-ceilinged space. Folks rave about the burrata and basil and the sausage and honey (!) pizzas. Is there anything better than the creativity of these ingredient pairings atop that transcendent thin crust? As a bonus, their tapas might as well be the nectar of the gods, especially the mushroom toast.
(202 N Santa Cruz Ave // Los Gatos)
This place converted a non-pizza person (who knew that was a thing?) on Yelp, so it must be the real deal. Their menu features some wild pizza names, like Commissioner Gordon and Scotty 2 Hottie. But beyond that, they bring the pizza game to the top-notch with ingredients like honey, anchovies, and caciocavallo (a pulled cheese curd). Thin crust lovers in the South Bay, take note.
With locations in South Bay and San Francisco, Pizzeria Delfina is a well-known and widely-beloved Neopolitan spot that serves up farm-to-table pizzas and pasta dishes. With a full menu of red and white pies, there’s something for everyone. If you’re feeling creative, you can add ingredients like house-made fennel sausage to any pizza to really make it your own.
When you need a no-fuss slice you can depend on for gooey cheese and a perfect sauce to crust ratio, this is your jam. From The City to the Munchie Lunchie, any of their classic pies will surely satisfy any pizza craving. Plus, they’ve got calzones, stromboli, cannoli, and NY cheesecake, so you’ll feel like you’re grabbing a meal in the Big Apple.
Call us cheesy, but Toto’s Pizzeria holds the key to our heart. It’s one of America’s oldest family-owned pizzerias, originally opened in Brooklyn after the owners emigrated from Naples — also known as the homeland of pizza. After five generations, their authentic Neopolitan pies are as magical as ever, whether you choose one piled high with veggies, or stick to a simple cheese.