Craig and Annie Stoll may get people in the door at Pizzeria Delfina with their cult-followed Neapolitan-style pies, but patrons keep coming back for the meatballs. Many of our city's best pizza dealers have a similar tactic, filling out the sidelines of their pizza-heavy menus with a stellar lineup of sides to create a meal. Here now, five of our favorite pizzeria menu items that are not pizza, and not to be missed.
Pizzeria Delfina's meatballs
A perfect prelude to any of the thin-crust pizzas on Delfina's menu, the kitchen's large, yet surprisingly light meatballs are made with a mixture of pork, veal, beef, breadcrumbs and ricotta cheese, all heavily cloaked in a sweet-tangy tomato sauce. The best part about these meatballs is a crusty exterior that forms when they're heated in the pizza oven, just before serving in a cauldron-hot cast iron skillet.
Tony's Pizzeria Napoletana's Burrata Burger
From Margherita to California-style to classic Italian, Sicilian, and Detroit-style, the pizza options at Tony's are the best kind of overwhelming. Making it even harder to order, owner and pizzaiolo Tony Gemignani puts together a damn fine burger using some of the best cheese he's got on hand. A Niman Ranch patty is topped with smoked pancetta, caramelized onions, creamy burrata, arugula and reduced balsamic vineagar to cut the richness.
Beretta's squid ink and calamari risotto
With award-winning cocktails and reliably solid pizza pies constantly cranking out of Beretta, the buzz never seems to die at this four-year-old Valencia Street staple, but chef Ruggero Gadaldi's risotto also has a cult following. Get the jet-black squid ink version with calamari: Flavors are nuanced and the presentation is a show-stopper.
Gioia Pizzeria's fried chicken
Karen and Will Gioia's Russian Hill pizzeria is a runaway sucess thanks to its Italy-meets-California pizza style, and the fried chicken is the sleeper of the menu. Made with Hoffman Farms birds, the juicy meat is served with Savoy cabbage salad and Calabrian chili oil for a side of heat.
Zero Zero's taleggio stuffed arancini
A simple combination of carnaroli rice risotto made with grana and filled with an oozy taleggio center, chef-owner Bruce Hill's arancini are breaded in feathery light panko then fried to crisp in rice bran oil and served with a black garlic aioli.