We were being tourists all day and hadn't had a decent lunch, so by this stage we were starving. We got off the bus at North Beach (Little Italy) and walked up the main strip past Washington Park. My stomach started churning and it wasn't from hunger. It was from sheer fear that we'd walk into a tourist palooza. I hadn't done my research, I wasn't familiar with this area at all, in fact I had completely overlooked it until Chris expressed that moment he really wanted good Italian (what, Incanto at $160 wasn't good enough for him?!). Thinking about it now, that stomach churning was actually pure, raw instinct. My golden rule of sticking OFF the main strip kicked in. I stopped dead in my tracks, turned around and walked down one of the side streets past Washington Park to the other side of it, pulling Chris in tow. In the far distance my eye had caught a colourful awning and some people sitting outside. The scene was set, I had to get to that corner. They seemed to be enjoying themselves (far away from the obvious prowl of tourists) and I wanted to enjoy myself along with them.
The restaurant had a 1.5hr wait. Boom, I knew we stumbled onto a gold mine. It was getting real foggy and cold by this stage around 5pm. They said they might have a table outside, the hostess stepped outside to check and came back with great news, one table left outside. Mama. Dedication to the meal ensued. We got seated and froze our asses off the whole meal. It was worth it. Fantastic pizza - make sure to get the thin base, which is true Napoletana style. Tasty food, super fresh ingredients.
We ordered the Americana pizza and a salad of burrata, tomato and greens with a thick aged balsamic vinegar. Dave that salad was for you - we know how much you enjoy your vinegars!
It was all ass numbingly, frozen fingery delicious and worth the pain of sitting in the freezing cold to eat it. Needless to say we skipped dessert and coffee (boo hoo).
The cab driver on the way back to the hotel asked us how we found out about Tony's. He said its quite new (maybe six months old or so) but fast becoming an institution and probably serves up the best pizza slice in San Fran. And rightfully so, Tony is an 11 time world pizza champion. That is one master and perfectionist at work.
We told him we stumbled across it. This was one of those instances where social wasn't needed to pick a winner.