I am particular about pizza. I like super thin pizza. I don't consider Chicago-style Pizza like Zachary's. If someone tells me that Zachary's is their favorite pizza then I make a mental note, "We must never eat pizza together ever". I hate Zachary's. It is an abomination.
I like New York style pizza. I prefer "East Coast style" since as a kid in Boston I ate pies that were essentially a similar style. Thin crust pizza is getting popular in California but tends to be a little different. The pies are smaller and have a more cracker-like crust. In New York the pies are a little bigger and the crust is droopy at the center and becomes more cracker-like at the edge. Both are good and I put them in the same category.
Piccino In the Dog Patch in San Francisco. This is in my top three -- possibly my favorite. It gets extra points because of the location and the very nice owner. The crust has been a little uneven. Sometimes it tends towards a thicker crust and I think it could also benefit from a slightly hotter oven or maybe longer cook time, but it's still good crust.
Pizzetta 211 is way out in the Richmond district of San Francisco. 211 - 23rd Ave San Francisco, CA 94121. Pizzatta 211 is in my top three. I've had "odd" service there before. It's a tiny place and it gets packed. This place is great, but the service suffers from the crowds. It's best to have an early dinner here before the crowd arrives. This is one of the few places where I really enjoy the desserts -- and I'm not a dessert person. Parking is terrible, so we almost always take bikes. If this place is too packed then we head up Clement street to "Oyaji" for sushi (3123 Clement st. San Francisco, CA 94121).
Gialina is in Glen Park in San Francisco. They have a terrific "Atomica" pizza with chilli. Despite the name, it is actually not very hot. I usually hate hot chilli spiced food, but this pizza manages to get the chilli flavor with just the right amount of heat. I never thought a chili pizza would be my favorite. The atmosphere is so-so -- kind of noisy.
Other good bets
Not "best", but worth checking out: Goathill Pizza, Little Star and Pizzeria Delfina. Little Star has both deep dish and thin crust. I like the outdoor seating at Pizzeria Delfina. Goathill Pizza is one of the few exceptions I make for thick crust pizza (but not deep dish). If my dining companions get tired of my effete, thin crust fetish then I can compromise with Goathill.
Patsy's in Spanish Harlem in Manhattan NYC makes the best pizza. I've not found anything like it on the West Coast. One problem is that there are like 20 restaurants named "Patsy's Pizza" in Manhattan. Even Google can't get it straight. The one in Spanish Harlem on 1st avenue is the one you want. 2287 - 1st ave., New York, NY 10035-5010. Patsy's is an old-school restaurant. It's not fancy or modern, but they know food and make great pizza.
Saigon Sandwich Shop 560 Larkin st., San Francisco, CA 94102 415-474-5698 This place is a hole in the wall. A dive, but good and fast. Lots of turnover so the food is fresh.
625 Larkin st., San Francisco, CA 94109 415-929-6888 http://www.leessandwiches.com/ls_menu_asiansandwiches.php This place is a little more polished.
British Grocery 726 - 15th st. San Francisco, CA 94103 (between Hampshire st. and Potrero ave.) 415-552-4399 www.britshoppe.com
Red's Java House
Pier 30, San Francisco, CA 94105 415-777-5626
Burger shack. Breakfast and lunch. They roast their own coffee beans. Full bar in back. Back patio with lots of Sun, pigeons, and sea gulls. When it's a rare sunny day in San Francisco this is at the top of my list of places to go. I love their burgers -- pickle, onion, and mustard on sour dough. I used to stop here early in the morning to get coffee on my way to take the ferry to Larkspur. This is a great spot when it's cold and foggy and o'dark-thirty in the morning before work.
Lovejoy's Tea Room
I love the food and tea at this place. There are two downsides to Lovejoy's. First is that it is always packed and you can never make reservations for the same day. The second downside is that I think I may have never seen another male in the place. But I never let that bother me. I love the little sandwiches and I love the ploughman's cheese plate -- and I love a good pot of tea. I grew up with tea and it's still the most familiar and comfortable hot beverage for me. I drink coffee regularly now because tea is actually harder on my stomach, but the best coffee I've ever had was never as good as a decent cup of tea. The way I think about it is like this: if coffee never had the caffeine reward for you brain people wouldn't drink it, but tea would still be a good, satisfying drink even if it didn't have the caffeine jolt. I had to endure coffee before I learned to like it.
I like the Tea Room Blend tea -- it's a basic black. I don't go for any of the flavored teas or herbs in water.
1351 Church st. San Francisco, CA 94114 415-648-5895