The North Beach neighborhood in San Francisco is the Italian district of the city. Not unlike in other cities, the North Beach neighborhood is close to Chinatown and also downtown. There are many Italian institutions that have been there for decades. Tony’s Pizza is one of them, serving many, many different types of pies, several of which have won prestigious awards.
The line to get into Tony’s can get quite long, especially on weekends or during festivals. We arrived before opening tine at around 11:45AM on a weekday and found ourselves behind a growing line of people trying to get into the first seating.
The Tony’s menu is pretty easy to navigate. There are several different styles of pizza, as well as pastas, appetizers, and more. I was personally floored at the number of pizza styles in a single restaurant, and even more impressed that multiple styles had won awards. They had, for example,Neapolitan (one of their most famous), Roman, New York, Detroit, St. Louis, and more.
We ended up going with a Neapolitan Marguerita, New York style sausage, and Detroit style tomato and basil. Oh my goodness, they were all really, really good!
The Neapolitan had a nice charred bottom, chewy crust, and flavorful toppings (hello San Marzano tomatoes!).
The New York style was nice and crispy, and the toppings were super flavorful.
Finally, the Detroit style had a lovely charred crispy Parmesan crust that was just perfect. The crust itself was soft and leavened, almost like focaccia. It was also excellent.
For starters we had a “Gigante”, which is a gigantic meatball (one is enough, it is huge!). We also got a Caesar Salad with anchovies, which was solid.
All in all, certainly come here if you want to try many different pizza styles. It’s really fun! It’s best to come with a larger group, since the pizzas are not small. We had 4 people, ordered three pizzas, and probably took at least a whole pizza home. Thankfully, they heat up beautifully and the leftovers certainly did not go to waste.