pane was hanging out at the counter bar at Pizzeria Delina when he stumbled across a great clam pizza. It happened like this: he was having a pizza margherita at the bar. It was excellent—with a crisp, blistered crust that crackled nicely under the teeth, and very good quality cheese.

After chatting with one of the cooks about the glories of Pepe’s clam pizza in New Haven, the cook made himself a clam pizza for dinner and offered him a slice. Pane is not a friend, an insider, or even a regular—”the guy just felt so strongly about the quality of the pie he had to give me a slice.”

The clam pie was not New Haven standard. It had red sauce, which seemed wrong, like having a lobster roll on a sprouted wheat hot dog bun, says pane. But it turned out to be excellent. The cherrystone clams had a briny tang that was perfectly matched by the crust. It was a fabulous slice of clam pie.

Pane may still prefer Pepe’s, but this is a great clam pie in San Francisco.

Also: there is excellent panna pie here. This is made by half-baking a pie with tomato sauce, removing it from the oven, adding cream, and finishing the baking. It’s a new species within the genus of pizza, and it may be better than anything in the original species—especially if you get them to add sausage, says readingstand.

And one of the secrets of dining at Delfina is that they’re open the whole afternoon. So slide in at 3 or 4, have your pizza, and laugh as the lines start to build at dinnertime. Because You are better than Them.

Pizzeria Delfina [Mission]
3611 18th St, between Dolores and Guerrero Sts, San Francisco

Board Links: Counter-dining in SF, report of Pizzeria Delfina and Incanto

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