Club Deluxe, $16 to $20
You’d never guess from the nondescript exterior of this low-profile Haight Street lounge that inside is a dimly lit adult playground filled with live jazz, freshly squeezed cocktails, and delectable handmade pizza. In the back of the house, pizza master Giovanni is hard at work creating his signature Neapolitan pies featuring fresh tomatoes, Italian meat and cheeses, and roasted cloves of garlic. While this is definitely a great date spot, we recommend waiting until the third or fourth. You're welcome.
Club Deluxe, 1511 Haight Street (between Ashbury and Clayton streets); 415-552-6949.
Gioia, $3 to $25
Pronounced "joy-a," this Berkeley family favorite is the neighborhood go-to for slices. And S.F. folks rejoice — it just opened its doors in Russian Hill! Like any normal pizzeria, you will find cheese, pepperoni, sausage, and some sort of mushroom option on the menu as mainstays. Meanwhile, the seasonal influences set the tone for its specialty pies. Major cute factor: The married owners named a pie Julian after their son and the ingredients change every couple of months, depending on his temperament!
Gioia, 1586 Hopkins Street (between McGee and Monterey avenues), Berkeley; 510-528-4692. 2240 Polk Street (between Vallejo and Green streets) San Francisco; 415-359-0971.
Zachary’s, $15.40 to $29.25
It’s no secret that East Bay favorite Zachary’s hallmark Chicago-style stuffed pizza is good, since it has been lauded by every major player in the food world. We’d say it’s even worth S.F.er’s making the trip across the Bay. While you wait for your stuffed pizza (for up to 40 minutes), you can ogle at all the interesting art that sprinkles the wall that customers just like you made! Wait, did we mention the pizza is stuffed?
Zachary’s, 5801 College Avenue (between Birch Court and Chabot Road), Oakland; 510-655-6385. 1853 Solano Avenue (between Colusa and Fresno avenues), Berkeley; 510-525-5950.
Pizzeria Delfina, $10.75 to $17
The perpetually packed Delfina is obviously doing something right. At the Mission's bustling epicenter of 18th and Guerrero (who knows, it probably created the epicenter!), this joint kills it nightly both in its restaurant and bordering pizzeria, so much so that the owners had to open a second location in Pacific Heights. With six pies on the menu and two rotating specialty pizzas, the Italian favorites with a California spin never seem to go out of style.
Pizzeria Delfina, 3611 18th Street (between Guerrero and Dolores streets); 415-437-6800. 2406 California Street (between Fillmore and Steiner streets); 415-440-1189.
Golden Boy Pizza, $2.75 to $3.75
S.F. institution Golden Boy has been slinging Sicilian slices at its North Beach counter for over thirty years. The thick, greasy, sinister squares come in cheese, pepperoni, sausage, clam and garlic, pesto, combination, and veggie options. And it's open late on Fridays and Saturdays for the after-bar crowd. Your hangover will thank us. Your waistline may not.
Golden Boy Pizza, 542 Green Street (between Columbus and Grant avenues); 415-982-9738.
Photo: Courtesy Of Cafe Deluxe
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