There's just something so Bay Area about Indian pizza, and the local trend has exploded in recent years. You can now get fresh Indian-style pizza in dozens of spots around the Bay, from rapidly-expanding franchises to hole-in-the-wall family-run restaurants. There's something for everyone at these eateries, where spice lovers can get pizzas topped with curries and other Indian favorites, while any spice-averse members of a group can stick with plain cheese. Hoodline has rounded up a smorgasbord of local eateries and chains serving up this modern classic. Many of the newer spots specialize in pizza alone and offer an impressive selection, while some of the longer-running eateries are Indian restaurants with (pizza) benefits.
Got a favorite that didn't make the list? Let us know your recommendations in the comments!
Since the 1980s, San Francisco's original Indian pizza joint, Zante's Pizza & Indian Cuisine, has been serving the curry pizzas we crave, plus a full menu of traditional Indian dishes. There's also plain cheese or other "classic" pizza for any members of your group who aren't spice fans (yet). Zante's famous Best Indian Pizza comes in meat or vegetarian options, and goes for about $21 for a 12-inch, $25 for a 14-inch, $30 for a 16-inch or $35 for an 18-inch. You can also create your own pizza with topping options including spinach curry sauce, lamb, tandoori chicken, prawns, and all the traditional veggie and non-veggie pizza accessories. A San Francisco favorite with generations of fans, Zante's got 7x7's nod last year for the city's best Indian pizza. orderzantepizzanindiancuisine.com
The Curry Pizza House chain grew from Fremont's Bombay Pizza House, a laid-back pizza parlor with sports playing on a number of large TVs and beer and wine for sale, along with a fridgeful of mango lassis. Since opening in 2015, Curry Pizza House now has 10 Bay Area restaurants, plus various others around California and Texas – and a Berkeley location is reportedly coming soon. You can order from a full range of Indian and "classic" pizzas (classic combo or meat lover's to Hawaiian and more), or build your own pizza over curry, marinara, or the sauce of your choice. Perennial favorites include the chicken tikka and chicken curry masala pies, but you'll also find chili paneer, aloo chaat, and loads of other Indian-fusion pizzas. All come heavily loaded with toppings. Vegan cheese is also available, as are gluten-free and cauliflower options. Extras include a range of chicken wings and other appetizers, plus desserts. Expect to pay about $18 for a 10-inch, $23 for a 12-inch, $28 for a 14-inch, or $38 for an 18-inch. currypizzahouse.com
Namaste Pizza was opened in 2015 and currently has three locations in Oakland, Fremont, and Pleasanton. You'll find the now-classic chicken tikka masala pizza, plus a wide range of other Indian and world cuisine-inspired pizzas, from "Greek Sheek" to korma or paneer-and-veggie. Hawaiian pizza fans may want to try the "Mango Monsoon" with mangos, bell peppers & red onions plus Indian chutneys, spices, and curry sauce. They also offer vegan pizza and a smallish selection of appetizers and sweets, or you can design your own pizza. A Namaste pie will set you back somewhere around $24 for a 12-inch, $29 for a 14-inch, or $36 for a 16-inch. www.namastepizza.com
With locations in San Jose, Sunnyvale, Union City, Fremont, San Ramon, Dublin and Tracy, Tandoori Pizza serves fusion pies with toppings sautéed on a tandoor oven to give them a "tandoori finish" before the pizzas are baked. Numerous chicken and vegetarian options include tandoori chicken (of course), tandoori barbecue chicken, malai chicken with malai (cashew-based) curry sauce, malai paneer, and achari gobi. A wide choice of "traditional" pizzas are also on offer, and guests can opt for gluten-free or califlower crusts. Wings, cheese sticks, and a selection of Indian desserts complete the menu. Tandoori Pizza also serves beer, wine and various non-alcoholic beverages including mango lassis, nimbu pani (Indian lemonade/limeade) and badam milk. Expect to pay about $17 for a small pizza, $22 for a medium, $27 for a large or $35 for an extra-large. www.tandooripizza.com
Fremont's Pizza & Curry has a wide variety of meat and veggie Indian pizzas, including tikka, butter chicken, tandoori, numerous paneer options and a mango chat pizza with spiced mangos, red onions, green bell peppers, and cilantro over mozzarella cheese and a spicy curry sauce base. There are also 10 traditional pizzas available, or you can build your own pie from a wide selection of toppings over the base sauce of your choice: curry sauce, original or spicy red sauce, original or spicy garlic sauce, BBQ, pesto, chili sauce or more. They also serve beer, mango lassis and even milk tea, for a true Bay Area fusion dining experience. Appetizers are chicken wings or spicy or non-spicy cheese bread, and dessert options include kulfi or Ben & Jerry's ice cream. Pizzas go for $13 for a personal pie, $17 for a small, $22 for a medium, $27 for a large or $36 for extra-large. pizzaandcurry.com
In Sunnyvale, My Indian Pizza is a local joint that's been serving Indian fusion pizzas for years. Choose from some two dozen Indian-style and traditional meat or vegetarian pizza combinations, including butter chicken or butter paneer and extra-spicy Vijayawada and gongura specialties. You can also build your own pie atop any of their house-made sauces: curry, butter, tandoor, Vijayawada, gongura, haryali or saag. They also serve salads and a selection of appetizers, alongside non-alcoholic beverages that include the ever-popular mango lassi. Bonus: My Indian Pizza is open until midnight on weekends! www.myindianpizza.com
San Francisco hole-in-the-wall Golden Gate Indian Cuisine & Pizza has been open for 20 years, serving a selection of handmade pizzas along with a full menu of Indian cuisine and a lunch buffet. The handful of Indian-fusion pizza options include vegetarian or chicken tikka masala pizza and indian vegetarian pizza with cauliflower, eggplant, tomatoes, red onion, ginger, and garlic over spinach curry sauce and classic mozzarella cheese. This small, local restaurant is open all week for lunch and dinner, and offers free delivery nearby for orders of $25 or more. Pizzas run around $22 for a small, $26 for a medium, $31 for a large or $34 for an extra-large. They serve a variety of Indian and other beers, along with lassis, chai tea, and more. goldengateindian.com, (415) 564-5514
Another San Francisco Indian restaurant-slash-pizzeria, Tadka Indian Restaurant, Pizza and Sports Bar, sums up the something-for-everyone joys of Bay Area Indian pizza right there in its name. It offers a full complement of Indian food, with chicken, lamb, goat, seafood and vegetarian dishes, plus beverages (including alcohol) and a selection of pizzas. Pizza combinations include chicken curry, chicken tikka and palak paneer, alongside classic cheese or pepperoni and other traditional pizza flavors. A chicken curry pizza will currently run you $16 for a small, $22 for a medium, $26 for a large or $30 for an extra-large. tadkasf.com