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Upper Crust

The openings of Pizzeria Delfina (, Little Star (, which recently expanded with a second location in the Mission) and Bruce Hill’s Picco in Larkspur ( in the past year or two had everyone touting SF’s “pizza renaissance.” As an East Coaster—who lived in Italy and in New York City for a few years—I still don’t think most of the ‘za here holds a candle to NYC. I’m not a pizza authority, but most of what I’ve tasted (with some of the exceptions listed above) have been lackluster.

There’s hope, though: Two less-buzzed-about spots are serving great thin-crust pizza that reminds me of the real-deal Italian ones I used to eat years ago. The pizzas aren’t hoity-toity (no house-pulled mozzarella or organic/artisanal toppings) but they have the right amount of sauce and a nice crunch. And, because they’re under the radar, you don’t have to wait to get in.

In Hayes Valley, Il Borgo ( serves a superior Quattro Stagione pizza topped with artichokes, prosciutto, mushrooms and olives, and SoMa’s Pazzia makes a paper-thin crust that’s just delicious. My favorites there are the sausage-and-mushroom and prosciutto-and-arugula versions (pictured above). Though it’s low on ambiance, Pazzia is a great spot for a midday lunch of pizza and salad with a glass of Pinot Grigio. I might head over there this afternoon.

337 3rd St.