What’s the best thing to eat when you’re in San Francisco? Some might say it’s sourdough bread, but we know the answer is really pizza….. and garlic. Lots and lots of garlic. In fact, there’s a whole restaurant devoted to this pungent herb: The Stinking Rose.
In a city full of amazing food options, it can be hard to stand out. But The Stinking Rose in San Francisco does just that – and with its unique name, it’s been a landmark since the 1990s. This restaurant is known for its garlic-infused dishes, it even has garlic appetizers and 40 cloves of garlic chicken. But if you’re in the mood for some truly delicious pizza, then this is the place for you.
The Stinking Rose is a kitsch collector’s dream come true with all the unique kitchenalia decorating the red interior walls with vintage and retro themed boxes and bottles of pastas and tomato sauces and the hanging salamis and garlic braids. There is even a garlic lady mannequin on the way to the restrooms that is dressed in a garlic bulb hat!! This Italian eatery is a feast for the eyes and the stomach!!
The Stinking Rose was located a block down the street in San Francisco’s Little Italy neighborhood and just re-opened across the street from Caffé Greco. There are lovely Italian tile tables out front for outdoor dining and inside there are lots of tables and booths, black and white tile floors, and the décor has that kitschy old-school flair and the delicious aroma of garlic that floats in the air.
My hubby and I stopped into The Stinking Rose for a late afternoon lunch and ordered a Cesar salad to start with and Zoe’s Pepperoni pizza. There are a lot of dishes with loads of garlic and then there is also a nice selection of dishes without garlic too so, something for everyone, you can view the menu here. And, they even have garlic ice cream!! We will back to taste that.
The restaurant has a lovely looking pizza oven and our pizza arrived and it is sort of flatbread style but a little thicker and enough for two people. The taste is marvelous with a zesty tomato sauce (I taste garlic but not overpowering) the pepperoni slices are big and tasty, very savory, the cheese is well balanced. The crisp and crust are perfect. This is a very tasty pizza, and it goes down deliciously.
Bonus: If you are visiting San Francisco’s Little Italy neighborhood, there are a lot of Italian pastry shops caffe’s (yummy cannoli) and Italian pottery and ceramics shops too like Biordi (a favorite of mine)
Let’s rate The Stinking Rose on a scale of 1 (being lowest) to 5 (being highest):
Style/Crust : Oven baked pizza – 4.5
Sauce: Tangy red sauce – 4.5
Location/Staff: 5 (service was great, staff was very attentive)
If you’re in the mood for some delicious pizza, San Francisco is definitely the place to be. And if you’re looking for an extra-special experience, The Stinking Rose should definitely be on your radar. With its unique atmosphere and top-notch food, this restaurant is sure to leave a lasting impression. Thanks for following our journey through San Francisco’s best pizza spots! Be sure to visit us again soon.
Keep up with our San Francisco Pizza Tour of 2021/2022 where we are regularly visiting pizza restaurants in San Francisco to find the best and tastiest pies – www.crazy4pizza.com Instagram @crazy4thepizza and https://www.facebook.com/crazy4thepizza