20 cheap eats for under $20 in San Francisco
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8. Tommaso's Ristorante Pizzeria( Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times )
Step inside the door of this noisy Italian restaurant in North Beach and you step into the past. The brick oven here has been firing pizzas for more than 75 years, and the décor, paintings and look of the dining room haven't changed since 1935.
The lines don't seem to have changed much either over the years. Shortly after the nightly opening at 5, people begin to queue up on the sidewalk of this San Francisco institution. By 7 p.m., especially on weekends, the wait may exceed 90 minutes, which can be dicey on a cold night. But once you're inside, a heaping dish of pasta or a giant wedge of pizza will warm you.
People don't seem to mind the wait, nor eating at communal tables; they're just happy that the pizza dough recipe has remained the same for decades. We were too. Our large mixed veggie and Italian sausage pizza pie ($25) had a crust that was puffy, crispy and a bit smoky. An old-fashioned classic.