Ken's Artisan Pizza
There’s usually a weekend line outside this low-key neighborhood spot; owner and pizza-maker extraordinaire Ken Forkish inspires a devoted following and doesn’t accept reservations. Only about a dozen pie varieties are offered here—but all are baked in the restaurant’s huge, wood-fired brick oven, which dominates the sleek, wood-beamed space and fills it with a delicious aroma. Forkish’s pies are Neapolitan-style, with thin, crispy, slightly charred crusts; if you want to achieve true pizza nirvana, try the Amatriciana pie—made with house-cured pancetta, Pecorino, caramelized red onions, and a zesty roasted tomato sauce.
Tip: If you’re wandering through the Northwest/Nob Hill section of town, drop by Forkish’s other outpost, Ken’s Artisan Bakery & Café (338 N.W. 21st Ave.; 503-248-2202). You can snack on his glorious breads and baked goods right in the shop, or bring them home with you.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.