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Pizza Chain: Pizzerias Recommend Their Favorite Pies

When they're not dining at their own spots, where do Bay Area pie experts (namely, the owners, chefs, or GMs of pizzerias) go to get their fix? Tony Gemignani professed his love for Tommaso's earlier this week, while Una Pizza Napoletana, Ragazza, and Pizzeria Delfina dominate the pizza ranks on Chefs Feed's listings. For more intel, we decided to start a pizza chain, kicking off with Zero Zero and following the recommendations we got around the Bay from expert to expert. Some are sick of pies, and in one case, extremely allergic to gluten. Others are willing to trek across the bridge (both Bay and Golden Gate) in the quest for their favorite slice. Here's the results of our pizza chain.

Philip Evans, GM, Zero Zero: "Little Star—it has my favorite crust made of cornmeal. The one in the Mission on Valencia has a good atmosphere and dark ambiance, similar to ours."

Wes Middleton, GM, Little Star Pizza (Mission): "I've been eating pizza for 10 years and don't tend to go out a lot for it, which bums out friends. But I will say one of my favorites is Pizzetta 211 in the Richmond. I like their stress on quality and the fact they will only make X amount of pies. When it runs out, it's out, and they're not treating the masses—just doing what they do well."

Amy Berry, Manager, Pizzetta 211: "I don't eat a lot of pizza that's not from here, but I like Pizzeria Picco in Larkspur. I think they have a similar aesthetic to ours with seasonal ingredients. It's a great place to stop after a bike ride from the city, where you can reward yourself with pizza and a beer. I last did it a month ago."

Ryan Heis, GM, Pizzeria Picco: "I love Pizzeria Delfina in Pac Heights. I used to live right up the street—that's how I stumbled across it. It's a cool location on the sidewalk in the middle of the city. And the food, of course, is fantastic."

Phillip Killian, Manager, Pizzeria Delfina (Pacific Heights): "I personally can't eat pizza—I have a very bad gluten allergy—but I used to be able to. The problem is that most pizzerias don't have an oven specifically for gluten-free pizza, so it gets contaminated. The last time I could eat it, I would say I really liked Pizzaiolo in Oakland."

Adan Gutierrez-Gallegos, GM, Pizzaiolo: "For my personal pizza, I like to go to two places. Boot & Shoe Service is our sister. I really love the way they have a wood-fired oven as well. The other is East End in Alameda—their pizza has a really great cheese blend, and the tomato sauce is awesome."

Jacob Alioto, chef/partner, East End: "I either go to Pizzaiolo or Boot & Shoe Service—it's a similar product, kind of like the style of our pizza. Ever since [opening] I've never eaten at the usual spots I used to eat for pizza; now I have to have airy, artisan [pizza]. I'll add that my partner Paul, our pizza chef, has taught me everything I know."

Alyson Vitt, Asst. Manager, Boot & Shoe Service: "For me, it's Golden Boy in the city. It's delicious and more like focaccia-style: thicker and cheesy, with great toppings. I almost always get it as a snack if I'm in the city."

Anonymous Manager, Golden Boy Pizza: "I can't talk, I'm slammed. I don't ever eat pizza that's not my own."

—Tierney Plumb

· All Pizza Week 2014 posts [~ ESF ~]

Boot and Shoe

3308 Grand Ave., Oakland, CA 94610

Zero Zero

826 Folsom Street, , CA 94107 (415) 348-8800 Visit Website


3621 18th Street, , CA 94110 (415) 552-4055 Visit Website