Named after the owner's uncle, who was a WWII vet, Rocco's Pizza doles out a menu of fresh Italian cuisine. Made-from-scratch dough is rolled daily into more than 15 styles of pizza, forming a foundation for the meat-free combination of greens that composes a gourmet vegetarian pie (12", $19.75) and a battlefield where pineapple, sausage, and garlic can trade zesty punches with steel-knuckled onions to create a spicy sausage special (16", $26.60). A dish of linguine ai frutti di mare ($11.95) catches a cluster of ocean clams and shrimp in its noodly net, and a meatball sandwich ($6.75) packs red sauce, meatballs, onions, and cheese into a french sweet-roll sleeping bag. Customers can check the rest of Rocco's menu for appetizers, fresh salads, and juicy beef or chicken burgers while kicking back in the causal pizzeria, which features a flat-screen TV and room for 50 diners to play musical chairs.
Gina Gochez and Taylor Maia grew up together in a small town in central Brazil, but moved to San Francisco to follow their dream: opening a pizzeria. They soon founded Pizza Orgasmica & Brewing Co, an enterprise that has since spread to five locations throughout the San Francisco area. At each, these childhood friends fuse their passion for pizza and the cuisine of their native land, blending Brazilian and Italian ingredients into colorful specialty pizzas with names such as Latin Lover, Girl from Ipanema, and Hot Mama. They also give diners creative free rein, helping them create their own using more than 50 toppings and the local library's thesaurus. At the San Rafael location, traditional Brazilian dishes such as stews and rice platters represent the flavors of the founders' childhood. Accompanying all of these dishes are Pizza Orgasmica & Brewing Co's 10 house-brewed beers, which range from a light kolsch to a hearty porter.
Chalkboard menus, checkered tablecloths, and trompe-l'oeil murals of Tuscan vistas prime visitors for a classic trattoria experience at Marina Pizza. The cuisine fulfills that promise: pizzas inspired by a host of regional Italian traditions converge on the menu, united by housemade sauce and handspun dough. Grilled paninis employ gooey cheese to fuse ciabatta bread with fresh eggplant and turkey, while hot 10-inch French rolls insulate meatballs, Italian sausage, and thinly sliced steak. The kitchen welcomes a handful of East Coast culinary traditions as well, letting cheesecake and baby clam pizzas serve a taste of the Big Apple without the metallic aftertaste of smooching the Statue of Liberty.
Patxi's Chicago Pizza is a Best Pizza of the Bay Area establishment that caters to indulgent pizza partiers and intimate diners alike. Printed on resilient pizza dough, Patxi's menu features a build-your-own arsenal of toppings such as feta cheese, green bell peppers, Italian sausage, kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes, salami, zucchini, soy cheese, and many more available atop Chicago-style crusts ($14.40 for a 10'' before toppings) and thin crusts ($9.95 for a 10'' before toppings).
In the kitchen of Mauro's Pizza & Pasta, cooks make yeast-leavened dough by hand using organic flour as other cooks slow-cook tomato sauce with locally grown organic vegetables and herbs. Handcrafted signature pizzas such as the Genovese sport artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, and pesto, and custom pies are available in diverse combinations. For takeout, daily entree specials include artichoke lasagna with tomato-cream sauce and handmade ravioli pouches stuffed with butternut squash and walnut-sage brown butter—each designed to fill family dinner tables or family neck-mounted trays if tables have already been eaten.
Blooming from 1 restaurant in 1959 to 500 franchises today, Round Table Pizza Parlor dishes up a menu of pies constructed from made-from-scratch dough, premium meats, and freshly cut vegetables, and arranged in a number of innovative combinations. Each pizza begins with fresh-rolled dough made from wheat that, like every Mr. Potato Head, began its life on family farms in Idaho. Round Table's chefs then adorn each doughy disk with a triumvirate of gooey cheeses, including aged cheddar, whole-milk mozzarella, and provolone. Patrons can opt for one of the restaurant's 12 signature creations or devise their own pies with a selection of premium meats—such as salami, linguiça, or pepperoni—and fresh vegetables, including roma tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and zucchini livers.
Freddie's Trattoria serves Italian cuisine side by side with Brazilian dishes, pulling together two distinct culinary traditions. Bites of chicken or beef croquettes, Brazilian street snacks, whet appetites before a meal. The populous Italian menu highlights dozens of specialty pizzas that showcase the chefs' enthusiastic creativity. Pies host toppings as diverse as Brazilian cream cheese and shredded chicken or clams and shrimp. There’s even a sweet apple banana pizza served with sweet sauce. Freddie's daily specials each highlight a different Brazilian dish, from smoked pork and black bean stew to chicken legs wrapped in bacon and roasted with orange sauce. The restaurant is open until 4 a.m. every day, like preschools for toddler werewolves.