San Francisco isn’t exactly famous for its quick slices of pizza. Sure, we’ve got local favorites like Arinell on Valencia Street, plus higher-end, sit-down places like Delfina and Del Popolo, but when it comes to a slice, options can feel limited. One place at the corner of Castro and 18th streets comes to mind that serves some of the most underrated za in the city, however.
The pizza at Oz is one of the closest renditions of a true New York or East Coast-style I’ve had in San Francisco. The crust is doughy and moist on the inside, while the bottom of the pie retains a crispy finish. The cheese has a delicate balance between what is still gooey and what has congealed, making it delicious at virtually any temperature.
Oz stylizes its pizzas and uses funky flavors, like Cajun alligator or potato pesto — although their drunk late-night favorites like Hawaiian or BBQ chicken are equally as satisfying. The slice that reigns supreme and calls my name from afar is the delicious Figgy Piggy, topped with garlic, arugula, smoked bacon, goat cheese, sliced figs, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Every bite is like a dreamy kiss from a Greek god. The figs make it sexy and sweet, with the bacon and goat cheese giving it a smoky tartness. The arugula is fresh and spicy, and the crust cradles it all beautifully. One slice goes for $4.50, and could easily be shared. Order a beer and catch a little of the game, because this is the perfect snack break after shopping the Castro.
Clearly, I love the Figgy Piggy, but maybe those toppings aren’t for you. If so, Oz has a ton of alternatives. Above all, what’s really nice about this place is, in true East Coast fashion, being able to order just one slice. Sometimes, you don’t need a whole pie, and sometimes you want a little more than cheese or pepperoni, and in this city that can be hard to find. But like so many other things, odds are you’ll find it in the Castro.
Oz Pizza, 508 Castro St., 415-861-2525 or ozpizzasf.com