Last Saturday my mom and I went out to North Beach and I was craving pizza. I Yelped some places around the area and I saw that Cafe Baonecci earned 4.5 stars on it so I looked into it further. Cafe Baonecci claims to have the thinnest pizza in San Francisco so I really wanted to try it out because I really love thin crust pizza.
Cafe Baonecci is located on Green Street and just so happens to be on the same black as another fantastic italian restaurant called, Sotto Mare. Here is what the outside looks like.
I really love how this sign is painted on the door. I think it gives the restaurant a very personal touch. I love how this is a family owned and run restaurant. If you want some background on the family, all I know is that they were from Lucca, Italy and their eldest son wanted to move to San Francisco and they all came. Before this place became a restaurant, it was a bakery. The Gambaccini family then turned it into a small cafe that catered to both locals and tourists, but they really flourish on the true Italians that live in North Beach.
We started off with the Burrata which came with tomato wedges and arugula. It was lightly dressed in olive oil and spinkled with salt and pepper. This is really similar to bruschetta except the cheese and the tomatoes aren’t diced. The burrata cheese was creamy and the tomatoes were firm and sweet.
I chose to have the Pizza Funghi Porcini and Arugula. Like I mentioned earlier, they claim to have the thinnest pizza in San Francisco and I guess I would believe them. I loved how the crust doesn’t overpower the other ingredients on the pizza. The porcini mushrooms were imported and they were plump and juicy. Everything just worked perfectly and it was better than the other pizzas I’ve had in Rome.
I usually don’t like ordering tiramisu at restaurants because I usually end up disappointed because I end up tasting rum more than anything else. In this one, there wasn’t any rum, but had espresso in it which was awesome. This too was light yet flavorful. I finished the whole cup. I only wish that there were more ladyfingers but it’s not a big deal.
Overall, I thought Cafe Baonecci was a nice little gem in an overly touristy part of San Francisco. They cater to locals and I find them to be authentically Italian. I can give no greater compliment than saying that I felt like I was transported to Italy and had really fresh food. To be honest, I think I had better food here in my own backyard than I had in Rome!
So if you are ever in the area and want head to Italy without actually taking a plane, I highly recommend this place.
Food – 4.68 / 5
Service – 4 / 5 (It’s not American service, so you don’t receive too much attention and you might have to call the waiter, but that’s how it is in Italy so I find it very endearing)
Atmosphere – 4.78 / 5 (You can’t beat feeling like you’re in another country. It’s like being a tourist in your own city)