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Where to Get a Slice of Pizza in San Francisco

12 spots for a quick, cheesy bite

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The damage done by California Pizza Kitchen to the Golden State’s reputation as a pizza destination is probably irreparable. But looked at objectively, San Francisco’s pizza choices are nothing to cough at: Top-notch Neapolitan pies abound at restaurants like A16, Zero Zero, and Del Popolo.

While local pizzaiolos excel in the fresh ingredient, whole pie game, the quick-and-dirty slice — a New York city staple — has never been the Bay Area’s strong suit. San Franciscans won’t find a dollar slice at 4 a.m. — they’re probably sleeping, and possibly avoiding gluten. But they aren’t completely out of luck. Here are 12 places to get a more-than-halfway-decent slice, some of them in a New York style, others all the Bay Area’s own.

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Golden Boy Pizza

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It might be San Francisco’s foremost slice institution, bringing back vague memories of late North Beach nights with each bite. Founded in 1978 by Peter Sodini, Golden Boy calls its square slice style Sicilian — basically, it’s good focaccia with sauce, cheese, and toppings. Sure, while it might look like school cafeteria pizza, it’s a lot tastier — and open a lot later, with hours until midnight or 2 a.m. nightly.

Za Pizza

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Big, big, big slices with a nice thin crust and a little dusting of cornmeal on the bottom are the story at Za, a long-running Russian Hill spot where the walls are covered in loving crayon illustrations. No custom slices here, just rotating daily specials like “potesto:” roasted red potatoes, roasted garlic, and fresh pesto.

Pizzeria Avellino

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This one’s a longstanding hit for slices at the edge of Cow Hollow and the Presidio. New ownership has rankled some longtime fans, but slices are still on the generous side, and the price remains $4.

Gioia Pizzeria - San Francisco

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Gioia’s new Hayes Valley slice shop, a sequel to their 15-year-old Berkeley classic, is a welcome addition to the San Francisco slice scene. “It’s not an adaptation of the New York style,” says native Brooklynite Will Gioia. “I think it’s a true New York style.” Slices — $4.25 — are reheated to order, crisping up their charred and bubbly crusts. Popular styles include the Julian (house-made Calabrese sausage, lacinato kale, red onion, chili flakes, and mozzarella) and a funghi (roasted cremini mushrooms, thyme parsley garlic oil, tomato sauce).

Slice House

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San Francisco pizza teacher Tony Gemignani wrote a book called the Pizza Bible, which basically makes him a pizza deity. At this slice shop and several others across the city, his team serves very big, very high-quality slices of cheese for $5, pepperoni for $5.25., and some fun topping options like a“purple haze,” with mozzarella, purple potato, pancetta, rosemary, pesto, feta, oregano, romano, and garlic oil.

Slice House

Arinell Pizza

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Arinell serves NY-style slices with a side of NY-style attitude: Employees adopt a charmingly grungy demeanor, and can typically be heard debating the merits of various sub-genres of metal music. A regular slice is $3.50, with 50 cents more for toppings, and a square Sicilian style slice is $4. Sure, that might be more expensive than in New York — feel free to bring it up with the death metal pizza guys, they’d love to chat about it. Open until 2 a.m. on weekends.

Marcello's Pizza

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A late-night Castro pizza spot going strong since 1978, Marcello’s is open until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and the later it gets, the better the slices taste. It’s science. Yes, they know it’s funny that their address is 420 Castro Street, and they lean into it with a “munchies” menu. Slices are priced precisely at $4.38 for cheese, $4.84 for pepperoni, and $5.07 for pesto.

Flour + Water Pizzeria

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Does it count as a slice if it’s not cut at an acute angle? Get this giant offering from Cal-Italian stalwart Flour + Water through a window at their new Valencia Street pizzeria: It’s half a pizza, folded in on itself and stuffed with arugula, plus whatever toppings of the day are in season, and it’s $8 — a price that shouldn’t really raise eyebrows, given the quantity and quality involved. $2 extra for ranch or marinara dipping sauce.

The Pizza Place on Noriega

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David Ashin and Kevin Baryza opened their fun, fresh pizza spot after some serious food experience at places like Acquerello and Blue Plate. Come for the $4 slices (50 cents for your first extra topping 25 cents after, and a dollar for sliced meatballs), stay for the unstuffy, charming atmosphere, patio, and relatively inexpensive wine.

The Pizza Shop

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Thomas Jividen, a Jersey Shore slice-shop veteran, opened the Pizza Shop on 24th Street in 2014, and it’s a reliable stop for $3 and $4 slices whose merits are hard to argue against. Pizzas are sitting in a display case — order a few slices and they’ll heat them up for you. “Believe in pizza again” is their slogan — and the product might well convert SF slice skeptics.

The Pizza Shop

Arizmendi Bakery

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The most Bay Area pizza slice to be found on this list is at Arizmendi, a worker-owned cooperate serving a different slice of pizza every day. It’s sourdough crust, whole-milk mozzarella, and fresh seasonal, organic vegetables, and — just like Cheeseboard in Berkeley — they serve each slice with an extra baby slice on the side. Everybody should do that, to be honest.

Caleb Pershan

How many slice places have Pliny the Elder on tap? Pi Bar does: Basically, its’ a quality beer bar with a kitchen turning out whole pies and slices. Those are $4.50, with 35 cents for extra for toppings — two and a beer is a square meal.

Golden Boy Pizza

It might be San Francisco’s foremost slice institution, bringing back vague memories of late North Beach nights with each bite. Founded in 1978 by Peter Sodini, Golden Boy calls its square slice style Sicilian — basically, it’s good focaccia with sauce, cheese, and toppings. Sure, while it might look like school cafeteria pizza, it’s a lot tastier — and open a lot later, with hours until midnight or 2 a.m. nightly.

Za Pizza

Big, big, big slices with a nice thin crust and a little dusting of cornmeal on the bottom are the story at Za, a long-running Russian Hill spot where the walls are covered in loving crayon illustrations. No custom slices here, just rotating daily specials like “potesto:” roasted red potatoes, roasted garlic, and fresh pesto.

Pizzeria Avellino

This one’s a longstanding hit for slices at the edge of Cow Hollow and the Presidio. New ownership has rankled some longtime fans, but slices are still on the generous side, and the price remains $4.

Gioia Pizzeria - San Francisco

Gioia’s new Hayes Valley slice shop, a sequel to their 15-year-old Berkeley classic, is a welcome addition to the San Francisco slice scene. “It’s not an adaptation of the New York style,” says native Brooklynite Will Gioia. “I think it’s a true New York style.” Slices — $4.25 — are reheated to order, crisping up their charred and bubbly crusts. Popular styles include the Julian (house-made Calabrese sausage, lacinato kale, red onion, chili flakes, and mozzarella) and a funghi (roasted cremini mushrooms, thyme parsley garlic oil, tomato sauce).

Slice House

San Francisco pizza teacher Tony Gemignani wrote a book called the Pizza Bible, which basically makes him a pizza deity. At this slice shop and several others across the city, his team serves very big, very high-quality slices of cheese for $5, pepperoni for $5.25., and some fun topping options like a“purple haze,” with mozzarella, purple potato, pancetta, rosemary, pesto, feta, oregano, romano, and garlic oil.

Slice House

Arinell Pizza

Arinell serves NY-style slices with a side of NY-style attitude: Employees adopt a charmingly grungy demeanor, and can typically be heard debating the merits of various sub-genres of metal music. A regular slice is $3.50, with 50 cents more for toppings, and a square Sicilian style slice is $4. Sure, that might be more expensive than in New York — feel free to bring it up with the death metal pizza guys, they’d love to chat about it. Open until 2 a.m. on weekends.

Marcello's Pizza

A late-night Castro pizza spot going strong since 1978, Marcello’s is open until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and the later it gets, the better the slices taste. It’s science. Yes, they know it’s funny that their address is 420 Castro Street, and they lean into it with a “munchies” menu. Slices are priced precisely at $4.38 for cheese, $4.84 for pepperoni, and $5.07 for pesto.

Flour + Water Pizzeria

Does it count as a slice if it’s not cut at an acute angle? Get this giant offering from Cal-Italian stalwart Flour + Water through a window at their new Valencia Street pizzeria: It’s half a pizza, folded in on itself and stuffed with arugula, plus whatever toppings of the day are in season, and it’s $8 — a price that shouldn’t really raise eyebrows, given the quantity and quality involved. $2 extra for ranch or marinara dipping sauce.

The Pizza Place on Noriega

David Ashin and Kevin Baryza opened their fun, fresh pizza spot after some serious food experience at places like Acquerello and Blue Plate. Come for the $4 slices (50 cents for your first extra topping 25 cents after, and a dollar for sliced meatballs), stay for the unstuffy, charming atmosphere, patio, and relatively inexpensive wine.

The Pizza Shop

Thomas Jividen, a Jersey Shore slice-shop veteran, opened the Pizza Shop on 24th Street in 2014, and it’s a reliable stop for $3 and $4 slices whose merits are hard to argue against. Pizzas are sitting in a display case — order a few slices and they’ll heat them up for you. “Believe in pizza again” is their slogan — and the product might well convert SF slice skeptics.

The Pizza Shop

Arizmendi Bakery

The most Bay Area pizza slice to be found on this list is at Arizmendi, a worker-owned cooperate serving a different slice of pizza every day. It’s sourdough crust, whole-milk mozzarella, and fresh seasonal, organic vegetables, and — just like Cheeseboard in Berkeley — they serve each slice with an extra baby slice on the side. Everybody should do that, to be honest.

Caleb Pershan

Pi Bar

How many slice places have Pliny the Elder on tap? Pi Bar does: Basically, its’ a quality beer bar with a kitchen turning out whole pies and slices. Those are $4.50, with 35 cents for extra for toppings — two and a beer is a square meal.

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