Del Popolo Pizza Truck – San Francisco


Del Popolo
Currently at Mint Plaza, SF
(415) 967-1853

Rated: ♣♣♣♣♣

Sigh, I feel awful for leaving The Culture Bite for 2 months. I caught a case of the lazies and I couldn’t get myself motivated to write anymore reviews… until yesterday. It’s not surprising that pizza is what drew me back!

A coworker, and fellow food lover, suggested we take a trip out to the Mint Plaza to try this brand new Napoletana-style pizza truck by a former Flour + Water chef, Jon Darsky. Holy smokes, this truck is impressive. Darsky shelled out $180 THOUSAND to build his new restaurant-on-wheels in a shipping container complete with a wood-burning oven that can reach up to 800-degrees and pop out 72 pies per hour. Do you see how insanely large this truck is compared to its patrons?


For $10 each, Del Popolo offers 2 different kinds of pizzas – a classic margherita and a white pizza. I opted for the margherita since it’s usually my benchmark for comparing authentic Napoletana-style pizzas. In less than 5 minutes, I had a piping hot, freshly baked pizza in my hands. We ate in the plaza because I couldn’t bear to trek 15 minutes back to work without a taste of this cheesy-tomato pie. As I pulled apart my first slice, I immediately felt the soft pillowy crust between my fingers. I thought that since the pizza was scorched in a 800-degree oven, the pizza would be crusty. Fooled I was! I took my first bite and immediately went into pizza heaven. The crust was soft, chewy and salty. The mozzarella was perfectly gooey and the sauce had the right amount of tanginess.


I would say their margherita pizza is on par with my favorite Tony’s Pizza Napoletana in North Beach. But instead of waiting 2 hours for a table at Tony’s, I could come early to Del Popolo, the pizza big-rig, and get a pizza in less than 5 min!

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Cupola Pizzeria – San Francisco

Rated: ♣♣♣♣

While doing some damage at the SF Westfield mall, Cupola quickly caught my eye. At the very top of the shopping center is a brand new Italian restaurant from the Lark Creek Steak Restaurant Group serving up gourmet pizzas and pastas. If you’re planning on dining here, be prepared to wait. We waited about an hour for a table of 3, but you can also make a reservation. Though, it seems kind of silly to make a res for mall food, but here, it’s necessary and worth it.

Believe it or not, we were trying to eat light, so we decided to skip the pizza and order gnocchi with lamb ragu, fried calamari salad and warm mozzarella with broccoli rabe.

We started off with Warm Pulled-to-order Mozzarella with broccoli rabe and crusty crostinis. So rich, creamy and amazing. The toasted chili flakes were a nice compliment to the heavy dish.

Cupola Pulled Mozzarella

Next, we had the Fried Calamari Salad. A generous portion of deep fried calamari was topped on a bed of well-dressed arugula, red onion and thinly sliced lemon. The calamari was fried perfectly without tasting too greasy.

Cupola Calamari Salad

For our entree, we split the Potato Gnocchi with braised lamb, red kabocha squash, honey thyme vinegar and pecorino cheese. As if I couldn’t be more pleased, they bring me this dish. The gnocchi was light and airy, the lamb tender, the sauce sweet and creamy while still savory. The dish was completely amazing and I’m definitely ordering this again when I come back.

Cupola Gnocchi Lamb

Overall, I was thoroughly wow-ed by Cupola. For mall food, this was pretty darn good. Though, I’ll need to eat the pizza in order to tell if this is legit. Can’t wait to come back!

Cupola Pizzeria
Westfield Shopping Centre
845 Market St, 4th Fl, Ste 400
San Francisco, CA 94103
Neighborhoods: Union Square, SOMA

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Sam’s Kitchen – Pizza Margherita

Sams Kitchen Pizza Margherita

To be honest, K and I hardly cook in our brand new kitchen. It’s really bad actually… We typically hang out at my parents house and eat meals like this, this and this.

One day, K and I made a real effort to get off work early and cook a dinner for ourselves. First meal on our list was pizza! We made a pizza margherita that night, and I surprised by how easy it was. Check out the recipe below:


Note: You will need a pizza stone for this recipe. I used this one.

1 large ball of fresh mozzarella cheese
1 bag of pizza dough from Trader Joe’s
6-8 fresh basil leaves

— Sauce —
2 cans peeled tomatoes
4-5 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 bay leaf
1 tsp oregano
5 fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of chili flakes


Brown the garlic and chili flakes in the olive oil in a sauce pan. Add in the tomatoes and salt, and let it stew for 20 minutes. Take a potato masher and break up the tomatoes until it’s a thick and slightly chunky consistency. Add in the oregano, bay leaf and basil and let the sauce stew for another 15 minutes. Let the sauce cool down before smearing it on the pizza dough.

Sams Kitchen Pizza Sauce Cooked

Place dough on a floured surface and let it rest for 20 minutes.

Sams Kitchen Pizza Dough

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

After it has rested, stretch the dough out to a round that’s 14 inches in diameter on a floured surface, then brush the dough with olive oil. Carefully transfer the dough to a pizza stone. Try not to press the dough into the stone. I made that mistake and lost some of my pizza crust. :( Take heaping spoonfuls of the sauce and spread it over the dough. Extra sauce can be reserved for some tasty spaghetti!

Sams Kitchen Pizza Add Sauce

Pinch off 1 inch chunks of the mozzarella and sprinkle it over the pizza. Take your fresh basil leaves and evenly space it over the pie.

Sams Kitchen Pizza Add Toppings

Pop the pizza with the stone into the oven and let it cook for 18-20 minutes or until the bottom of the pizza is golden brown. The pizza should be crispy on the bottom and gooey on the top. Enjoy!

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Golden Boy Pizza – San Francisco

Golden Boy Pizza Storefront

Rated: ♣♣♣

When I go out for pizza, I usually gravitate towards the Neapolitan style like here, here and here. Well, I decided to venture out of my comfort zone and try Golden Boy Pizza. This North Beach classic serves up square-shaped, foccacia-like pizza and is the perfect place to go when you’re looking for a quick slice and an ice cold beer.

At less than $4 per slice, I grabbed a classic pepperoni and a clam and garlic. The plain ol’ pepperoni and cheese pizza was really good! Bread was soft, not too cheesy, and the pepperoni was perfectly charred around the edges. The best part was biting into the little pockets of tomato sauce in between the cracks of the foccacia. Yum! I’d definitely come back just for this.

Golden Boy Pizza Pepperoni

However, I was not a fan of the clam and garlic pizza. It was loaded with way too much garlic and parsley, so much that we reeked as soon as we left the restaurant. It was so bad, I had to keep my windows rolled down for the night, so I wouldn’t be offended by my own scent the next morning. Yeah, that bad.

Golden Boy Pizza Garlic Clam

My suggestion is to stick to the pepperoni. I’d say it’s probably one of the best pepperoni pizzas I’ve had in the city.

Golden Boy Pizza
542 Green St
(between Bannam Pl & Jasper Pl)
San Francisco, CA 94133
Neighborhood: North Beach/Telegraph Hill

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Pi Bar – San Francisco

Rated: ♣♣♣

Pi Bar isn’t just a clever name, it serves good pizza too! A few friends and I went here one Saturday to put them to the pizza test. I’ve always been a fan of Neapolitan style pizzas and I was hesitant to try Pi Bar because of their New York style pizzas. To my surprise, it was actually pretty good! Pi Bar makes pizza eating fun and simple. You pick you sauce and your toppings and they’ll throw it all together for you. For beer connoisseurs, the restaurant serves up a large variety of craft beers from stouts to ciders.

We ordered a few appetizers to start – crispy polenta sticks and fried bacon and gorgonzola zeppoli. Both were very delicious. The polenta sticks were like crispy fat fries, but instead of potato, the inside was creamy cornmeal. The zeppoli was so sinful. The little fried balls were perfectly crispy on the outside and creamy and salty on the inside.

Pi Bar Polenta Sticks

Pi Bar Fried Gorgonzola

Now for the pizzas. The first combination was put together by me. I ordered a VERY large pizza with mushroom sauce topped with bacon and sausage. This was definitely my favorite of the night. The sauce wasn’t too creamy and rich and the salty toppings were piled on high. The crust was surprisingly good. Thin and crispy on the edges and gooey in the center.

Pi Bar Mushroom Sausage Bacon Pizza

Next we had a combination of pepperoni, mushrooms and bell peppers. This was like an average combo pizza, but with fresh ingredients. I’ve never really been a fan of combo pizzas, so I was sort of indifferent on this one.

Pi Bar Bell Pepper Mushroom Pepperoni Pizza

Last pizza we ordered was a cheese and onion pizza. Interesting combo, but it was pretty good. The sweet onions balanced the salty cheese.

Pi Bar Cheese Onion Pizza

All in all, I was pretty impressed with Pi Bar. Tony’s Pizza Napoletana and Zero Zero will always be my favorite pizza joints because of their Neapolitan style pizzas, but Pi Bar has become a runner up as my new favorite New York style pizza.

Pi Bar
1432 Valencia St
(between 25th St & 26th St)
San Francisco, CA 94110
Neighborhood: Mission

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