For today’s post on our The Great San Francisco Pizza Tour of 2021 we are going to try Tony’s Pizza Napoletana in San Francisco’s Little Italy located in the North Beach neighborhood. Tony’s is a spot that we wanted to try a year ago but were too hungry to wait an hour in line with so many other Italian eateries and pizzerias around. Tony’s Pizza Napoletana’s claim to fame is chef and owner Tony Gemignani who you might remember from the Food Network and Travel Channel as winning the pizza throwing championships and pizza making competitions around the world. But, was it all just hype and marketing about making the best pizza in San Francisco, or are his pizzas really that good to have people waiting in hour long lines regularly. We were about to find out.
It was a beautiful sunny day but it was super windy and cold. No problem for us, we brought warm jackets and our appetites and knew we’d soon be full of pizza and that would keep us warm from the inside out. We walked over to Tony’s Pizza Napoletana and already there was a line. San Francisco is now permitting very limited in-door dining as well as out-door dining because of COVID and Tony’s has a lot of out-door booths (that have plexiglass partitions to separate diners). All the out-door booths were full but we felt pretty good when it was our turn and the waiter took us to a table for four around the corner. There were plenty of out-door heaters so we sat down and used the QRCode to look up the menu.
A few years ago Gary and I took a trip to Lake Como, Italy. The Lake Como region is absolutely stunning and we got to see elegant palazzos, gorgeous villas, explore several of the small towns that span up and down the lake, experience lovely lakeside restaurants and take in stunning lake views almost everywhere we’d look. What we ate at these lakeside restaurants was pizza. We are pizza lovers by nature so getting to indulge in pizza almost everyday of our trip was one big dream come true. We can remember that every town had their own take and way of making pizza and the ingredients would be different. If you liked pepperoni for example, your pizza would have different pepperoni (small pepperoni slices, or larger slices, or small and spicy slices) depending on the little town you were at. This really intrigued us. I wish today we had documented more of those experiences (we have a lot of photos of the beautiful locations, but back then it wasn’t as acceptable to whip out your iPhone and take pictures of your meal for social media like it is today so, only a few of those photos exist) but hopefully one day soon (when the pandemic is gone) we can re-take that magical Lake Como vacation and document all the pizzas for you.
The one thing that hasn’t changed is our love and enjoyment of pizza. And, we have quite a few pizza places right here in our wonderful city by the bay San Francisco that we can share with you. In fact, you will find a monthly series on my blog “The Great San Francisco Pizza Tour of 2021” where I’ll be sharing our pizza adventures with you all as we search for the best pizza in San Francisco so sit back and enjoy and apologies in advance if these posts make you hungry.