I was in San Francisco for about 5 days and managed to stop by Tony's Pizza Napoletana on the corner of Stockton and Union Streets next to Washington Square in the Italian North Beach area. I arrived on Sunday the 13th, 30 minutes early before they opened, so I sat and people-watched. After about 15 minutes, other folks began to arrive and stood outside the door. I was the second patron through the doors after a slightly late door opening. Since I was alone, i chose to sit at the bar, all the way to the end. Stephanie and Noble were capably handling the chores behind the bar that day. I ordered a beverage and took a look over the menu. I was overwhelmed right from the start - not because there were a plethora of choices, but even with the choices Tony had listed, I had difficulty making a decision. I decided to go for the Margherita pie. Within 5 minutes I had my pizza. I did not have a camera with me, but some photos can be found on the Slice website here: http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives/2009/09/tonys-pizza-napoletana-san-francisco-north-beach-sf-ca-review.html
I loved the chew and char of the crust. I was a little surprised at just how simple it was in terms of taste. My tastebuds have become so accustomed to heavily spiced American pizzas that this simple, mild meld of flavors caught me off guard without the addition of an abundance of oregano and other herbs. But, suffice it to say, it was great. So great in fact, that I asked to see the menu again and agonized once more over what I should try. I noticed Tony had a clam and garlic pizza listed. Despite having lived in Connecticut for 2 years, I never had a Frank Pepe's or Sally's apizza. I have longed to try such a pie, so I put my order in.
By now, it was after 12:30 and there was a line starting to form out the front door. I was soon told that my clam pizza would be the only one Tony made that day - they had run out of clams. My luck for getting my order in so soon. This pie took longer because now the kitchen was having to satisfy orders for all of the tables and the bar was full. The pizza arrived in about 12-15 minutes after putting in my order. It tasted wonderful. It did not look like the traditional New Haven oblong pizza I have often in in photos, but the flavors were all there for me, so i give this one a big thumbs up, too. I forced myself and finished this pizza, too.
The crusts are thin, chewy, and pliable. The menu says these crusts are medium thickness, but I would argue they are about as thin as thin could be for the majority of the pizza. True, the cornicione is closer to a medium in thickness, but the rest of the pizza is more like like a couple sheets of paper. For you New Yorkers out there, I'd say it folds quite nicely. All of the ingredients are top-line (e.g. san felice flour). Tony has four different ovens going and categorizes the pies on his menu based on the style of the pizza and which oven he will use to cook the pizza. If you want the authentic Margherita, then get there early because the menu says he only makes a certain number per day (I think it said 75).
I chatted with the wait staff a fair amount, which is why I seated myself at the bar at the far end where they all come by to pick up their drinks. They all seemed exceptional to me. The main bartender, Noble, seemed to have a pretty good knowledge of the pizzas. Stephanie said she'd tried about 5 of the different pizzas on the menu so far (there are about 18 or so in total). She is now spoiled and will henceforth never be satisfied with any lesser kind of pie. Good for her!
So, yes, if you are in the bay area at any point, please do go by Tony's Pizza Napoletana catty-corner to Washington Square in San Fran. It is most definitely worth the trip. It will be a must-stop for me henceforth whenever I return to the bay city. Word appears to be spreading rapidly, so either go early or try and pick a time that's not peak dinner time. Seating is somewhat limited inside, and they have about 4 tables right outside with 4 chairs each. Tony's is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. They open at noon.