North Beach is a neighborhood full of favorites, and when it comes to old-school bonafides, we’ve got it all: bakeries that go back over a century, the oldest espresso bars in California, and some of the best bars and taverns you can find anywhere. Naturally, our visitors often come with an agenda, a shortlist of things they want to have while they’re here. It might be a slice at Golden Boy, a martini at Gino’s, a sandwich at Mario’s, or best of all, something I haven’t discovered yet. But in our idyllic little corner of the city, there may be no more beloved a destination than Tony’s Pizza Napoletana.

Tony’s Pizza Napoletana on a recent quiet afternoon. | Photo: Joe Bonadio

The place has been open for a decade now, but it’s just so….suited to the neighborhood that it somehow feels like it’s been here forever. Ten years on, Tony’s staff members are among the most familiar faces in the neighborhood, many of them having worked at the restaurant since the beginning. And the place is such an integral part of our neighborhood that it’s easy to err, and think of it as a local phenomenon, as “our thing”. 

Bartender Elmer Mejicanos keeps things lively at Tony’s bar. | Photo: Joe Bonadio

But make no mistake: Tony’s is making waves all over the country, and  the world. Between his growing group of definitive restaurants and his International School of Pizza, Tony Gemignani’s organization produces more talent than they could ever get proper credit for. Two excellent cases in point: Laura Meyer and Jules Gregg.

Tony’s Corporate Executive Chef and right hand, Laura Meyer helps Tony keep a firm grip on his far-flung empire. And Meyer is a burgeoning pizza champion in her own right: she just brought home her second world pizza title, this time all the way from the pizza motherland in Naples, Italy. I sat down with Meyer shortly after her return from Italy for an interview, which you can find at my Tony Gemignani ‘Seven Ovens’ blog (and in case you haven’t been there yet, check it out).

Just a few of the trophies on display at Tony’s Pizza Napoletana in North Beach. | Photo: Joe Bonadio

Meyer’s estimable colleague, Jules Gregg has been Wine Director at Tony’s for the past 6 years. And the plaudits for the restaurant’s wine list began not long after her arrival: in fact, Gregg has won recognition from Wine Spectator for ‘outstanding wine program’ every year since, now five years running. I spoke with Gregg recently about her work at Tony’s, and that interview can be found here.

I recommend you poke around a bit while you’re at the Seven Ovens blog. There’s a lot of interesting stuff, including my recent series Making Pizza At Home The Tony Gemignani Way, Parts 1–3.  I do hope that you enjoy it–and I’ll see you in the neighborhood!


Tony’s Pizza Napoletana 
1570 Stockton Street
San Francisco, CA 94133