It was just a few days, but we managed to squeeze a fair amount of great food. Here are some of the highlights.
Since we hadn’t been to San Francisco for some time I thought it best to read up on what restaurants people were taking about. It wasn’t hard to decide that we would have to visit Tony’s Pizza Napoletana. Located in North Beach there’s a reason that this pizzeria is popular with both locals and tourists. It seems that Tony was the first non-Italian to win the Margherita Pizza championship in Naples and so we knew what we’d be ordering. They only make 73 a day so it’s best to go early. Don’t worry if you are too late for a margherita as there’s an entire menu dedicated to other types of pies cooked in various ovens at various temperatures-New York, California, Roman, Sicilian, Napoletana and more.
The pizza was as good as the hype. The crust was chewy, flavorful and held up to the sauce and cheese. My one piece of advice is to start with an order of the meatballs. They were so tasty that I considered going back just to order them again. They reminded me of my grandmother’s, which is certainly saying something.
Tony’s is also known for having a line out the door so be prepared to wait. We arrived around 12:45 (weekday) and were told it was an hour, but it ended up only being about 25 minutes. I noticed that by 1:30 you could just walk right in. Whatever time you go, it’s worth the wait.
Other places we visited were Delfina in the Mission District for Italian, where I ordered bucatini with guanciale in a puree of fava beans. It reminded me of a dish you would find in a trattoria in Italy. Next morning found us back on the same block for a visit to my favorite bakery-Tartine-with another line out the door. Everything in the pastry case will entice you, but I can’t seem to get away from their famed “morning bun”-a spiral of croissant dough with a bit of orange and cinnamon, dusted in sugar. I did however take a box of other goodies to go.
Seeing that our hotel was a few blocks from Chinatown we decided to dine there one evening. With advice from our hotel we headed to R & G Lounge, known for it’s Cantonese food. After a fairly long wait we were directed upstairs to a dining room where we were the only non Chinese patrons. We were seated at the one two top in a room full of Chinese families seated at banquet tables. Our meal was good, but perhaps we should have consulted with someone at a nearby table as to what they were ordering. Trouble was that everyone was speaking Chinese!
Tony’s Pizza Napoletana 1570 Stockton Street
Delfina 3621 18th Street
Tartine 600 Guerrero Street
R & G Lounge 631 Kearny Street
Next up: The Ferry Building