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Tony’s Pizza Napoletana in North Beach

Cheap Date: Tony’s Coal-Fired Pizza and Slice House

Some people have it in their blood,” says Tony Gemignani, owner of Tony’s Pizza Napoletana in North Beach. “Other people are just making pizza.” Suffice it to say, Gemignani—who resembles a pizzaiolo sent straight from Central Casting—considers himself in the former category. His pizza career spans nearly two decades (he and his brother own Pyzano’s in Castro Valley). He’s won the World Pizza Cup in Naples (slaying his Italian competitors) and he can toss dough with the best of them. At the year-and-a-half-old San Francisco flagship restaurant, he serves pizza in all its permutations—thick Sicilian, thin-crusted Romana (sold by the meter), classic American, classic Italian, and a very special margherita, of which he makes 73 a day.

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