Escape from New York Pizza: Locally owned and operated pizzeria supplies hot slices since 1986

Escape from New York Pizza is an iconic San Francisco pizzeria beloved for their hand-tossed pies and hot slices. In 2016 they were awarded Legacy Business status by the city of San Francisco.

Founding partners Paul Geffner and Joe Goldmark opened the Haight Street location in 1986, hoping to replicate the pizza-by-the-slice places they grew up with in New York City. Joe went on to become a partner at Amoeba Music, the seminal record store on Haight and Shrader.

Escape From New York, like all old school San Franciscans, has weathered many changes in the City. They continue to thrive and are known for delicious New York style pizza and spot-on delivery. At night, their neon signs shine like beacons in the fog in neighborhoods throughout San Francisco.

Today Escape from New York is the biggest pizzeria in the City with five locations: the Haight, Nob Hill, SOMA, the Mission, and the Financial District. Each location is full of original artwork that reflects the community it serves: Rock and Roll history at the Haight store; murals at the Mission store; and Giants memorabilia at the SOMA store. The Financial District location, at 333 Bush, hosts a daily happy hour from 4-6 pm Monday through Friday with $3 slices and $3 beers.

Each of Escape’s pizzerias invest in the welfare of its community. “Although we do not publicize it, part of our mission is to feed worthy groups in each neighborhood we serve. These groups include hospices, schools, rehabilitation centers, youth and homeless outreach services,” said owner Paul Geffner. On a regular (often weekly) basis Escape From New York Pizza gives to many charities including: United Playaz; Leukemia and Lymphoma Foundation; Department of Veterans Affairs; Tenderloin After School Program; SFPD Community Outreach; Homeless Youth Outreach; Taking It to The Streets and Haight Street Referral Center.

To Paul, an atmosphere of mutual respect is another key to the company’s success. “Escape from New York Pizza is based on a benign business model — sharing profits with the employees, and creating an environment where if the business succeeds, everyone succeeds,” he said.

Escape from New York also has the the biggest pizza in the City — their XL pizza measures up at 20 inches and is perfect for a hungry crowd. Choose from 22 specialty pizzas — including the Magnificent Meatball and Buffalo Ranch — or 35 custom toppings. Their fresh salads come in all sizes, including large trays to feed an entire office. The perfectly spiced Hot Wings with sides of ranch or blue cheese dressing really tie the meal together.

Escape From New York might be best known for their You Say Potato, a pesto pizza topped with whole roasted garlic cloves, roasted potatoes and mozzarella. Or maybe for the Big Meat Combo, the namesake for a popular San Francisco bluegrass band. But Escape from New York attributes their success to their mission: they care about their people and their customers, and they work hard everyday to deliver the very best New York-style pizza in San Francisco.

Related Stories