The Masters and Margherita
The Margherita pizza is nothing if not a classic and requires fidelity to the old country above all else.
We tasted eight of San Francisco’s most popular Neapolitan-style Margherita pizzas and found that some things are apparently not to be messed with: a thin crust placed ever so briefly in a very hot oven, topped with a simple tomato sauce, a generous amount of olive oil, mozzarella, and a sprig or two of fresh basil.
Each of the restaurants listed here have a slightly different take on the Margherita, but each will agree that the pie should be consumed as soon as it is placed in front of you as the delicate crispness and chewiness is lost three to five minutes after the pizza leaves the oven.
SMZT = Cooked, canned San Marzano tomatoes, imported from the Naples area. They are generally milled and seasoned straight from the can to make pizza sauce, unless otherwise noted. True San Marzano tomatoes must be grown in Italy’s SarnoValley, and are designated D.O.P. (Denominazione d' Origine Protetta, meaning protected designation of origin).