A good Italian meal is easy enough to come by in San Francisco. But a great Italian meal, now that's a little harder.
And then there's the Italian meal sooo good that Anderson Cooper broke his no-food-on-Instagram rule to share a taste of the pizza. Welcome to Che Fico.
The newest addition to the ever-bustling Divisadero corridor, Che Fico's second story location could easily be overlooked by oblivious passersby. And that would be too bad, because they're truly serving some the best rustic Italian food we've had. They should put a sign over the door: Pizza Orgasms Here. (Sorry, Pizza Orgasmica.)
Ascend the long narrow staircase and enter to a vibrant scene where you're likely to notice the wallpaper first. Strewn with quirky illustrations of figs, the wallcovering is a nod to the restaurant's name, which literally translates to "What a Fig." Che Fico is also Italian slang for "Oh, that's cool." And it is.
Massive skylights peer down from soaring ceilings; there's a large L-shaped bar where you will inevitably wait for a table (reservations are already booked a month out); and a glass-walled salumi room offers a peep at the cured meats—which reminds us, you're here to eat.
Chef David Nayfeld and James Beard Award–winning pastry chef Angela Pinkerton met while working at NYC's Eleven Madison Park (read: that's a big deal); Nayfeld also opened Joël Robuchon's restaurant at the MGM Las Vegas (another BFD). The team has been laboring over this restaurant for the past four years, and you can taste the effort in their perfect handmade pastas, pizzas, and pastries. Click through below for some of the best, must-order dishes. Tip: Order a bit of it all.
(Photography by Sarah Chorey)
Not that one ever needs coaxing to order a pizza, but rest assured, Nayfeld's pies are out of this world. The dough is made with a very specific sourdough yeast starter and whole grains from the West Coast, and then fired to perfection with just the right amount of char on the crust to create a firm base—no flimsy, floppy pizza here. The result is what Nayfeld calls "San Francisco–style" pizza. Opt for the pineapple and red onion pizza with fermented chili and you'll be one happy camper.
// Che Fico, 838 Divisadero St. (Fillmore), chefico.com