Find Under $5: A Slice of N.Y. on Mission
Dough, sauce, cheese, and the optional meat: a recipe so simple in principle but one that has proven incredibly difficult to expertly execute. While we can't seem to go a San Francisco block without some by-the-slice joint promising a taste of the East Coast, we are all too often left with nothing but a grease-stained napkin and an unsatisfied craving to show for it.
Alexis Katsilometes Slice of Neaploitan style cheese
Arinell Pizza in the Mission is a welcomed exception to this rule. Stepping into the unadorned Valencia Street hole in the wall feels a bit like entering a 1980's New York time warp. Twentysomethings with long hair dazedly greet you as you choose from a few number of options: Sicilian or Neapolitan (we very highly recommend the latter), plain cheese ($3.00/$3.50) or toppings ($.50-.75 each), one slice or two ... or even a whole pie? A soda to accompany it?
While you can take your slice to go, we suggest sitting at the black Formica countertop atop one of the vintage bar stools because pizza this good should be eaten immediately. You sink your teeth into the piping hot piece of crispy thin crust topped with the perfect ratio of cheese to sauce and wipe the delicious grease not-so-elegantly dripping down your chin; and even though the ambiance may leave something to be desired, at that particular moment, you think you could stay there forever.
Arinell is simple, cheap, relaxed...and at times, a bit lax. They do have "set" hours, but don't be utterly shocked if you arrive to find it closed because they ran out of pizza, or from what we can gather, sometimes simply because they wanted to. And they are cash only ... but $5 will be more than enough to placate your pizza cravings.
Arinell Pizza: 509 Valencia Street; 415-255-1303