San Francisco is well known for having a very diverse food culture. It is one of those cities where you can walk down a block and find a great Chinese restaurant, sushi and a pizzeria, all within a few hundred feet of each other.

With that in mind, Mark Bittman, a travel writer for the New York Times did his best to choose his top four regional Italian restaurants in the city.

Perbacco: Bittman said Perbacoo “would be the best restaurant in the vast majority of American cities… but it’s become an afterthought.” He calls it a “real ristorante, an establishment that focuses on traditional dishes done in the highest possible style,” and said “it’s a winner, and one that promises to stay that way.”

La Ciccia: Bittman said he makes it a point to “regularly visit” La Ciccia when he is in town, describing it as a “Sardinian restaurant that holds close and well to its roots.” Among the dishes he enjoyed are the thin-crusted pizzas and the octopus in dark tomato sauce. He does comment that “not everything succeeds,” but he “intends to keep going until he gets sick of it.”

Delfina Pizzeria: What he calls “southern Italian food done well,” Bittman said the food is sensational at Delfina Pizzeria, although he does say it’s “a little noisy and crowded” for his liking.

Farina: In describing Farina as “Liguria comes to the Mission,” Bittman said the restaurant best represents the region by its “focaccia di Recco.”  He said he enjoys the “lovely sidewalk area” and describes the interior as “modern and pretty.”

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Photo Credit: Keith Mizuguchi