PizzaHacker's New Home in Bernal Heights

You'd have to be a real curmudgeon to find fault with the PizzaHacker, which had been a pop-up at Vinyl on Divisadero for some time before graduating to its new home on the Bernal Heights side of Mission at 29th Street. A former bank repainted deep blue, with orange picnic tables, it might be a bit loud with children's ricocheting screams at times, but damn, the pizza is fantastic. (And the Thursday-Friday Vinyl pop-up is still happening).

A "Yo Vinny!" (marinated onions, Mama Lil's pickled goat horn peppers, 4505 hot Italian sausage, tomato sauce, and fresh mozzarella) is both delicious and cooked to perfection, with none of the goopiness that makes most topping-laden pizzas collapse in the center. A dusting of smoked salt on the crust, the last note to hit the palate, feels exactly right. As in, how is that simple idea not de rigeur with all pizzas, everywhere? A single pie might not be enough for two, but two is probably perfect for three.

Pitchers of beer (Magnolia Proving Grounds IPA and Linden Street Old Brick Bitter, among others) and the casual seating make for a convivial atmosphere. There is also a single red and white wine, plus artisanal sodas. Servers approach the table, Square in hand, upon payment — a second, and highly convenient, minor stroke of genius.

Aside from Zante's — which has legions of fans but whose Indian pizzas are a very different animal — there really aren't many decent pizza options in the area. There are a lot of bars, though. So in addition to being full of superb locavore cross-pollination, PizzaHacker is going to be perpetually packed.

 
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