Editor’s Eats: Valencia Pizza & Pasta

Valencia Pizza & Pasta located in the Mission District.

By Reynaldo Garcia/ The Skyline View

Valencia Pizza & Pasta located in the Mission District.

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Valencia Pizza & Pasta
801 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

I’ve been coming to this place ever since I was little. It helps that it’s close to my house. But I’m not speaking highly of this place simply because I’ve been going there for a long time. There’s a reason why me and my family keep coming back.

The quaint, little restaurant is hidden away, more or less, in the bustle of the recently gentrified Valencia Street, where droves of hipsters take over the street on the weekends. It definitely doesn’t stand out, compared to the Burger Joint right next to it, with its bright red neon sign, or the open pub, located two businesses away. However, the place has its loyal following, which will form a line waiting to be served on weekends.

Once you walk in, you feel like you’re walking into a house, not necessarily a restaurant. Despite the cramped quarters, the whiteboard and the many colorful signs paper signs listing specials on meals the atmosphere is almost as if it’s like mom’s kitchen. And the food itself tastes like it could be mom’s too. Whether it’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner, you always receive a really good basket of freshly made garlic bread.

On the particular day that I went for breakfast, I ordered my favorite French toast,. The French toast slices are huge, it’s three big slices of Texas toast, and they’re flaky and tasty. I can never finish it, and I take the leftovers home. What’s the price for this filling breakfast? It’s only $3.95. There’s so many thing for breakfast to eat, from fluffy pancakes to even a salmon dish for breakfast. All these entrees are huge servings for very cheap prices.

There are even more dishes to choose from during dinnertime. There are several pizza choices, from Pesto pizza to a Valencia Special, which has pepperoni, sausage, bell peppers, mushrooms, onions and cheese, of course. I’ve had the Grilled Chicken pizza before, and it’s really good. Hearty toppings of yummy chicken, caramelized onions and rosemary make this pizza a winner. A small, 12” pizza costs $8.95 and the extra-large pizza costs $18.95. The other sizes are within this price range.

These prices are for all their pizza choices or you can make your own with up to 3 toppings. Their pasta is just as good as well; The mushroom ravioli is a kicker. It’s really good. The mustard chicken ($9.95) is a large piece of succulent chicken and comes with steamed veggies and creamy mashed ‘taters and gravy. Continuing with the theme of hearty portions with low prices, their Valencia steak tastes more than $14.95, it tastes like fancy steakhouse quality. It’s a huge piece of steak, grilled with mushrooms and onions. Oh, and did I mention that the wines are really cheap too? $2.95 a pop.

This place is a hidden gem inside the Mission District. It’s an extremely good place to get a filling meal for cheap prices. They also have sandwich specials for lunch, plastered all over their windows and counter, again affordable and tasty. The waitresses are courteous, the owner is really nice, and the quaint atmosphere is welcoming. Valencia Pizza and Pasta holds a special place to me, and hopefully you’ll be just as satisfied as I am.