The San Francisco dining scene is one of the best in the world, hands down. Yet for a city that delivers such hearty servings of culinary grandeur, there is a serious shortage of late night grubbing. Come with me as I take on the challenge of finding the best after-hour appetizers the Bay has to offer.

Last week, after a long night of downing brews at a neighborhood watering hole in the Inner Sunset, I stumbled (quite literally) upon the bright lights and sweet smells of Taraval Pizza (1115 Taraval Street). Once inside, the friendly late-night staff greeted me with profuse pleasantries, despite my intoxicated inability to articulate exactly what it was that I wanted to order. Luckily, whatever they wound up serving me was delicious and doused with an array of elaborate toppings including pesto and some sort of spiced meat product. Whatever the exact combination of ingredients, I was in no mood to complain; indeed this slice would have been warmly-received even if I was suffering from stone-cold sobriety at the time.

Taraval offers an impressive list of pies, pastas and sandwiches, available for take-out or delivery until 3AM, every night! The slices are hearty enough that I was satisfied after only one, a rarity for me. But more important than the quantity, the quality was quite impressive for a meal this far into the early morning. The cheese was finely melted and the crust crispy and substantial enough to support the weight of the ingredients atop. As a native New Yorker, it is absolutely essential for me that when I fold my slice, the pizza preserves its rigidity and does not limp downward in a shloppy mess. Taraval’s pie stands up to this test and is a pleasant surprise in the late-night dining scene.

If for some irrational reason you find yourself in the outer parts of the Inner Sunset at this irresponsible hour of the day, treat yourself to a taste of Taraval Pizza.

More Midnight Munching to come…