Though it may not be the first place you think of when it comes to perfect pies and succulent slices, the San Francisco Bay Area is one of the country’s best pizza locations. With a bounty of farm-fresh ingredients, ambitious chefs, and endless creative and classic interpretations of the beloved doughy disk, the biggest challenge is not where to get your next great piece of the pie, but which of the world-class options to pick. (We say get them all, one by one.) Choose from New York slices, New England brick-oven thin crust, airy Neapolitan-style, Detroit rectangular pies, fusion pizzas, Michelin favorites, and more. These are the spots our diners, our editors, and food critics near and far consider the very best.
The original SOMA location, which opened in 2019, brought the Detroit-style pan pizza craze to the Bay Area in a big way. The crusts are light and crisp, with high edges ringed in lacy caramelized cheese. The signature 6x8 features a crown of precisely 48 pepperoni slices (hence the name) and, like all the pies, can be made with gluten-free dough. Look for limited-time collaborations with culinary stars like "Salt Fat Acid Heat" author Samin Nosrat and local icons like Souvla Greek restaurant. The Souvla creation was a salad-pizza mashup, with oranges, fennel, chicken, mizithra cheese, and Granch (Greek ranch) dressing. Inventive takes like this one are what got Pie Guys the Star Chefs Rising Stars Concept Award in 2022.
David White, one of the original partners in Flour + Water Pizzeria, branched out on his own in 2022 with this stunner. Named for the scooter he rides around town, the pizza here is known for its exceptional crust — chewy, crisp-bottomed, and well blistered around the rim — and premium toppings chosen for their balance and complexity. If you want to see just how gourmet a Hawaiian pizza can be, check out the beaut on this menu: It features tasso ham and adds slivered red onion and pickled jalapeño to the mix.
A food-truck-gone-legit success story, Tendernob’s Michelin-approved Neapolitan-style pizza joint is all about the wood-fired oven, and we are all about its pies. Order a perfectly charred floppy-chewy potato pie, topped with creamy Yukon Gold medallions, red onion, and palate-perking rosemary. Or go for the drool-inducing Bacon & Onion, a combo of crispy-chewy house-smoked bacon, umami-packed caramelized onion, Ortler cheese, and creme fraiche.
Although this local mini-chain (Divisadero Street, Valencia Street, Albany) tosses up thin crust and deep-dish, it’s best known for the beloved real-deal Chicago stuff. These hefty creations stand tall, come covered in sweet, thick tomato sauce, and hold a casserole’s worth of cheese in the center. Choose from 9-, 12-, or 16-inch options.
Pizzas come in all sizes and of all persuasions at this bustling Little Italy tavern from 13-time World Pizza Champion Tony Gemignani. He serves all the styles here: New York, Roman, Sicilian, Detroit, Grandma — even “classic American.” What does that all mean? You’ll have to get yourself lost in the menu to discover the crust, oven, and temperature variables that go into perfecting each variety. And if you want to learn more about Gemignani’s process, there’s a pizza kit with your name on it, all ready to be rolled out and baked in your home oven.
James Beard Foundation Award-winning chef Craig Stoll’s frozen pie snagged the highest ratings in a 2023 New York Times staffers’ blind tasting, so you can bet the fresh-from-the-pizza-oven Neapolitan-inspired versions from his Mission District outpost seriously slay. Taste the results of his pro pizzaiolos’ work with the quintessential margherita pizza, slathered with delicately flavored tomato sauce, polka-dotted with house-made mozzarella, and finished with oven-crisped basil. There’s a California Street location too.
Restaurateur Adriano Paganini — of Delarosa, El Techo, Lolinda, and Starbelly fame — turns out thin-crust delights for the hip pizza-loving set at his Valencia Street Italian-comfort hot spot and Divisadero Street outpost. But with access to gooey, brick-thick lasagna made with fresh pasta, well-dressed salads, and fluffy-creamy tiramisu, you may want to make pizza the first course and keep going!
Chestnut Street’s Michelin Bib Gourmand pick is an ode to the rustic cuisine along Italy’s A16 expressway and the region's expertly crafted tender, light, moist Neapolitan pizza. Thin-crust sensations fresh from the wood-burning oven follow the tradition of carefully balanced flavors, like the Vesuvio’s heady combo of tomato sauce, house-smoked mozzarella, pecorino, soppressata, chili, and garlic. There’s a second location in Oakland.
This is Goldilocks pizza, with a crust that’s not too thick or too thin, and toppings that are neither humdrum nor crazytown bananapants. Try the PB&A — prosciutto di Parma, burrata and arugula — or the aptly named Fun Guy, on which gobs of mushrooms, truffle oil, and porcini salt top a ricotta cream base. The salads are also a cut above: Get the LOJ Chopped Salad with beets and goat cheese for starters.
Hoppy beers and Detroit-style pies make magic together at this brewpub at the base of the Bernal Heights Hill. First, order a four-pack of IPA and some Crispy “Cool Ranch” Chickpeas; then it’s time for hard decisions about the gourmet pies, which all feature a mixture of mozzarella and Point Reyes Toma cheese. The Spring Market is a sight to behold, with chopped baby corn, shiso leaf, goat cheese and Mike’s Hot Honey atop a green-tomato-and-cheese-dotted crust; while the Speck comes correct with (surprise!) speck, sliced Meyer lemon, ricotta and green garlic.
This longtime favorite serves New England-style brick-oven pizzas with the thin, crisp crusts Atlantic Seaboard transplants get homesick for. The pizzas come in four sizes and feature toppings like fried eggplant, homemade hot and mild Italian sausages, and even clams and garlic for a New Haven-style treat. If you need a little greenery, add a side of broccoli, which you can get either chilled with olive and lemon or pan-roasted with chili flakes.
Chef Dennis Lee calls his square pies “Detroit-ish,” meaning they have the signature crispy cheese walls but are made with three-day cold-fermented San Fran-style sourdough and a blend of Italian cheeses instead of the usual brick or cheddar. Sunset makes thin, Chicago-style pub pies, too, as well as classic round pizzas with the same great dough. Go for the inspired mashups like a General Mapo — a square pie with mapo tofu and pickled turnips — or the Bulldog — a rounder with bulgogi beef and kimchi.
This small local chain has been operating since 2002 and has outposts throughout the Bay Area and in Sacramento. Bet on pies with a sturdy crust and a generous hand with the toppings. If you don’t feel like thinking, there’s no beating the house special, which features double pepperoni, sausage, salami, mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, and fresh tomatoes. Easy-peasy.
You’ve got to love a shop that understands its customers so well it offers two different pepperonis. Bay Area gourmets will gravitate to options featuring Zoe’s Meats artisan pepperoni from Petaluma. Transplants, meanwhile, might opt for the East Coast Pie, with Ezzo pepperoni that crisps up into little red oil-filled cups in the oven. You want something light? Get the pie topped with arugula and lemon juice. Do you prefer rib-sticking? The Hot Pie comes with plenty of cherry peppers and garlic.
East Coast transplants say this is the floppy slice they’ve been searching for, and even a quick glance at the giant cheesy orbs could transport you, Proust-like, to the streets of NYC. Each pie promises pizza that’s perfect for folding in half vertically, like a real New Yorker. The menu specifies that each 18-inch pie can serve three to four adults, to which we say, “We’ll see about that!”
This Hole in the Wall has something for everyone. If your family is like most, no two people want the same thing. You crave a slice of chicken pesto pizza and a salad, your honey prefers pepperoni, and the kids will not bend from their usual chicken fingers. Rest assured you can get all of this and more: any New York-style pizza by the slice, plus wings, cheeseburgers, and a bowl of nothing but meatballs. Parents of finicky eaters, rejoice!
This Hayes Valley spin-off of a much-loved Berkeley pizzeria is a gem in its own right, with many dishes unique to its menu but with the same focus on local, organic, handmade ingredients. The Julian pie — with housemade Calabrian sausage, kale, red onion, garlic, and chili flakes — might be your new favorite. And if you like to dip your pizza in ranch, try the homemade buttermilk version here. You also can’t go wrong with a massive Chicken Parm Sando.
The pies at this full-service Italian restaurant aren’t pizzas but pinsas: oval flatbreads made with a mixture of wheat, rice and soy flours that are all the rage in Rome and are renowned for their easy digestibility. The Prosciutto, with stracciatella, pesto, arugula, and prosciutto di Parma, is bright and fresh; the Diavola (spicy soppressata, stracchino cheese, and tomato sauce) has more heft.
The pies and slices at this Geary Street spot are no muss, no fuss, just cheesy goodness generously topped with delicious things. You may want pepperoni, marble-sized crumbles of juicy sausage, black olives, green peppers, and more time-tested toppings, but if you're feeling adventurous, the No Hangover Special adds fresh corn, basil, and jalapeños to the mix.
Located in the heart of North Beach, Capo’s may look like a classic SF Italian joint, but, in fact, it celebrates the distinctive pizza culture of the Midwest. In addition to square-cut Detroit pies, it offers the types of pizza generally found in Chicago: deep dish and stuffed-crust pizzas, plus the cracker crust of a tavern-style pie, which is where Capo’s truly shines. If you’re brave, try the spicy Deville (hot pepper oil, soppressata picante, 'nduja, honey, and more), and definitely order some chicken wings on the side.
This North Beach staple has perpetual long lines snaking out the door, and that’s as good a reason as any to instead choose delivery or pickup. The square-cut pan pizzas travel well, arriving with their ooey-gooey cheese, toppings, and sturdy crusts intact. One fan likens the Golden Boy pie to the platonic version of a Pizza Hut pan pizza, which we see as the highest compliment (and totally accurate). The clam and garlic is a Bay Area icon, so if you haven’t tried it, you need to rectify that, stat.
This 40-year-old stalwart in the Richmond District offers pizzas and calzones ranging in size from individual to invite-the-whole-team. The XL Rossi calzone — with its lush filling of spinach, artichokes, mushrooms, and ricotta — is like having the world’s best artichoke dip for dinner. Whatever you land on, order sides of meatballs and chili-garlic Broccoli G-Style for the table, so everyone gets their protein and veggies.
The name says it all. The crusts here are made with everyone’s favorite crucifer, perfect for the gluten-averse or -phobic. Bonus: You can also make any za vegan, which means Daiya mozzarella-style shreds in place of dairy. There are even prepackaged marshmallow puffed-rice treats and fresh-made cookies so you can have your pie and eat desserts too.
Here is one of the first U.S. restaurants to serve pinsa Romana — a style of pizza that has grown popular in Europe and Asia. These oblong flatbread crusts contain a mixture of wheat, soy, and rice flour, resulting in a one-of-a-kind texture that’s extra crisp on the outside and fluffy within. Excellent toppings range from buffalo mozzarella to San Daniele prosciutto. There’s even a vegan option.
What’s a bizza? For starters, it’s one of the many excellent pies to be found at Sam Husary’s Upper Haight joint. It’s also the Mediterranean way of pronouncing pizza. Look for fresh za’atar-flecked thin crusts and all your favorite gyro-shop flavors, pizza-fied. The lamb gyro Bizza holds meat slices, feta cheese, and tzatziki, while the falafel pie features the popular chickpea fritters with tahini, pickles, and a drizzle of hot sauce. But there are plenty more familiar toppings too, along with vegan cheese for those who want it.
The choice is yours: You can order any of the pan pizzas on the menu by the pie or slice, Detroit or Sicilian style. The former has high, crackly cheddar cheese edges, while the latter is baked in duck fat, which gives the fluffy, well-risen dough an extra-crisp, flavorful crust. The caramelized onion pie, with Gruyere and garlic-ricotta cream, is the most popular, but the Thai curry chicken and bulgogi meatball kimchi are also must-haves.
This 30-something-year-old spot is where you go for a late-night slice when you want to feel like you’re in New York. But the at-home experience is just as sweet thanks to no-frills pizzas with custom toppings. The large pies allow for floppy slices perfect for folding in half like a true New Yorker, and the filling Sicilian pies are pricey but worth the occasional splurge (and will give you meals for days).
This fast-food pizza option skimps on the price, not the ingredients. Organic sprouted-wheat dough (or a gluten-free option if you prefer), organic tomatoes, and Mary’s Free Range Chicken all grace these 10-inch pies, which cost about the same as a Whopper. The BBQ Chicken and Pepperoni pizzas are popular, but for a buck or two more, try the Forestiere, which has mushrooms, roasted potato, caramelized onions, mascarpone, and thyme.
This easy-to-miss slice shop does a big business that belies its small size. The pizzas come in 12-, 14-, 16-, and 18-inch options, and although the toppings don’t get any crazier than, say, pineapple on the Hawaiian, they always hit the spot. This is the place for when you need a stack of boxes for a party or just a couple of simple slices for an easy, quiet night in.
It’s all about classic American comfort at this 10-year-old spot: thin-crust pies you’ve loved since you were a kid staring down your first slice. The Widow Maker is to die for — it’s got all the meats (and then more meat) — or try the vegan Garden Pizza, a colorful, cheese-free option with arugula, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and black olives.
No need to squeeze into north Berkeley’s tiny counter-service space for the giant, fantastically floppy ’n’ flavorful 18-inch New York-style pies from this food-critic favorite. Bring home the gioia — Italian for joy or pleasure — with a classic pepperoni or more creative Julian pie: a green dream of sautéed Tuscan kale, perky house-made Sicilian sausage, and more premium ingredients. Add a salad (every one is amazing) and the famed cannoli. Instant gioia.
Established in 2019, this Fourth Street standby swiftly rose among the pie-slinging ranks with Roman-style pizza al taglio — “by the cut” rectangular pies with a thick, impossibly airy and crispy-surfaced crust. The secret is the dough: Restaurateurs Kayta and Jon Smulewitz cold-ferment theirs for 72 hours. Topped with classic sauce and cheese and meatballs, or prosciutto, house-made ricotta, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh arugula, these are a true slice of heaven. Note: All pies need to be finished in an oven, so bake in some extra time when you order.
With 12-inch, 16-inch, gluten-free, and vegan options, it’s organic wood-fired pizza for all at Southwest Berkeley’s Italian osteria! The menu’s fresh housemade pastas, salads, soups, tiramisu, and cannoli make choosing a challenge, so keep it easy: Start with the bar-setting margherita or the Fiori, a pie topped with mushrooms, arugula, and truffle oil, then fill in the gaps.
If you can’t snack your way through the streets of Italy, this College Avenue spot is the next best thing. Its tribute to the country’s affordable, handmade street food includes a unique take on pizza al trancio (or al taglio) — a fluffy-crispy-crust focaccia-pizza hybrid topped with seductive, top-quality combos of sauce, mozzarella, basil, arugula, San Daniele prosciutto, and more. Panini, supplì, and lasagna make any meal molto bene.
With five locations (including Lafayette and Oakland) that rank on most best-of lists, the all-vegetarian Bay Area pizza chain with vegan and gluten-free options promises much more than a sliver of pizza pleasure. The self-professed “healthier alternative to the mainstream pizzeria” means you’ll get your daily dose of veggies in the form of the pizza of the day, perhaps a palate-awakening melange of corn, baby heirloom tomatoes, red cabbage, mozzarella, and Bulgarian feta, finished with lemon-cilantro zest and a drizzle of garlic olive oil. Finish with a pie-shaped chocolate chip cookie.
Downtown Berkeley’s wood-fired Neapolitan pizza stop leverages a top-secret proprietary blend of Italian-milled flours, traditional culinary methods, and a fancy Stefano Ferrara brick oven to create irresistible fresh neo-Neapolitan pies. Sub a house-made gluten-free crust or vegan cheese if you like. No matter what, you’ll be treated to pizza excellence in the form of perfectly blistered, thin-yet-sturdy red and white pies. For the full experience, add a Negroni for two and tiramisu.
This critics’ choice local chain does Detroit-style deep-dish pan pizza right, delivering hearty, light ’n’ hunky, cheese-and-toppings-laden 6-by-8-inch pizzas with famously crunchy bottoms, fluffy middles, and crispy, cheese-laced edges. Partner a pie with the equally revered tongue-tingling dry-fried Sichuan wings, plus a salad or crispy Brussels sprouts for a munch made in heaven. For dessert, it’s Double Rainbow ice cream all the way.
Digging into a deep-dish pizza from this employee-owned East Bay minichain has been a Berkeley rite of passage for 40 years. The draw? Stuffed Chicago-style pies — a thin layer of cornmeal-dusted dough, topped with cheese and toppings, followed by another thin dough layer and a finishing blanket of hearty tomato sauce, cooked to bubbling, rich perfection. Bonus: There’s a gluten-free crust option and thin-crust pies, too.
Vegetable-forward pizza lovers, get ready to pie one on! This popular MacArthur Avenue spot, run by two veterans of pizza palaces Cheese Board Collective Pizzeria and Sliver, serves up one type of creative vegetarian pie each day — available in vegan, GF, half-pies, and par-baked variations. Plain cheese is always available too.
Owner Davina Dickens and chef Matt Molina, a three-time World Pizza Champion, are behind the generously topped New York- and Grandma-style pan pizzas, chewy garlic knots, and golden-crusted calzones at this Old Oakland favorite. If that’s not reason enough to tag Graffiti for your next pizza order, here’s another: A vast array of beers is also available for delivery.
Family-owned Namaste (which has a second location in Fremont) is a meditation on made-to-order Indian-fusion pizza. Find nirvana in the classic pepperoni’s lively flavor combo of organic housemade tomato sauce, freshly grated mozzarella, and thinly sliced salumi, or experience the spiritual dining journey of the best-selling chicken pizza masala; with a creamy garlic sauce base and chicken, red onions, and tomato toppings, it’s totally “Om-M-G.” There are vegan and GF options, plus masala wings too.
The food menu at North Oakland’s beer garden is overflowing with boldly flavored salt-and-fat favorites. Conquer cravings with char-bottomed brick-oven pizza — like the Hella Hawaiian, which is festooned with drool-inducing toppings such as umami-laden shoyu ham, jalapeños, and pineapple; or the Elote, which features the signature roasted yellow street corn, tajin, cotija, poblano peppers, and garlic sauce. Then add finger-lickin’ sweet potato tots, wings sauced to your liking, or garlic fries, because YOLO.
Sure, you can order one of the revered char-dappled wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas featuring organic, local ingredients from Temescal’s hip and lively pizza-and-pasta joint. But why not build and bake your own? The pizza kit comes with dough, housemade sauce, and grated cheese, plus optional toppings like prosciutto di Parma, Calabrian peppers, and farm-fresh eggs. Add the double serving of red or white wine to say "salute" to your perfect meal.
The sister to the Michelin-ranked San Francisco flagship upholds the same high standards for its thin-crusted Neapolitan-style pizzas, but Rockridge’s outpost is no copycat. You’ll find trademark pies, like the soppressata-smothered Vesuvio, and get to sink your teeth into the unique-to-this-location lightly breaded, totally addictive fried Castelvetrano olives and velvety budino tart, with bitter-chocolate mousse, sea salt, and olive oil.
The legendary sage pizza with browned butter, garlic, grana, and fresh mozzarella isn’t the only thing that’s green at this decade-old destination. The restaurant, run by Oliveto alums Melissa and Peter Swanson, is a certified green business and uses only renewable energy and sustainable practices to produce its noteworthy neo-Neapolitan-style pizzas. Along with thin, blistered, char-dotted crusts, expect almost everything — including the cheese, sausages, condiments, and pasta — to be made in house with local, sustainable ingredients. Antipasti, soft serve, wines, and jarred cocktails complete any Italian feast.
San Francisco’s popular Chicago-style pizza maker brought its cornmeal-crusted sensations to Solano Avenue, allowing easy East Bay access to its cherished high-crusted, deep dish, and blister-edged thin-crust pies. Taste its star power in the trademark Deep Little Star: a creamy-savory blend of spinach, ricotta, and feta mixed with mushrooms, onions, and roasted garlic buried in tangy tomato sauce. Gluten-free crust and vegan cheese are available too.
Sometimes there’s nothing better than a huge, hand-thrown, floppy thin-crust New York-style pizza shimmering with melty cheese and pepperoni. Other times may call for a Bianco Verde — a white pie blanketed in the melty goodness of chili-flake-spiced fresh mozzarella, ricotta, and parmigiano and finished with a hypnotic swirl of arugula pesto — or juicy meatball sub. If you’re on your own and medium-hungry, consider a Fat Slice, roughly a quarter-pie in width. No matter what you want, E’ville’s preferred pizza joint, named after the city’s Depression-era reputation, will spoil you rotten.
The San Francisco Chronicle has deemed pro skateboarder Brad Staba’s New York-style pizza post one of the Bay Area’s best. In person, slices reign supreme, but ordering in means you can treat yourself with a mushroom pizza fancied up with a generous swath of garlic and olive oil, shredded mozzarella, ricotta, thyme, and white truffle oil — or create a pie built to your specifications. Whether or not you ollie in appreciation is your call.
There is no Q about it: This place can manage your munchies. The star of the Mediterranean comfort food menu is thin-crust pizza made in accordance with Islamic dietary law — i.e. humane animal-product production and no use of pork. But you can also cozy up to gyros, wraps, and kabobs. Plus, where else can you partner a pepperoni or lamb pizza with wings, honey-laden baklava, and a creamy mango lassi?
The Bay Area sister spot to Michelin-faves Spruce and Selby’s is all Italian heart and California soul (with other locations in Mill Valley and San Jose). This means that along with your thin-crust pie you can score a bounty of creative salads, gluten-free pizzas, housemade pastas, and bottled cocktails and wine. Start with the umami-bomb Brussels sprouts salad, served warm and embellished with bacon, hard-boiled egg, caramelized onions, and croutons. The rich, moist chocolate olive oil cake drizzled with Guittard chocolate sauce is a must-order grand finale.
If you can’t decide between Indian and Italian, get the best of both on a single pie. Choose classic 14- or 18-inch; regular or thin crust; Italian-style, Indian-food-influenced; or otherwise (like Hawaiian and Mexican); or swing multiple ways with a half-and-half pizza, perhaps with traditional margherita toppings on one side and chicken tikka — tikka chicken, creamy white garlic sauce cheese, vegetables, and herbs — on the other.
Courtesy of Gusto Pinsa Romana
Courtesy of Del Popolo
Courtesy of Passione Emporio
Sunset Squares Pizza by Dan Lee