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Apr 9, 2002 01:10 PM

Arinell - anything else even close in Oakland/Berkeley?

  • t

Does anyone know of any pizza in Oakland that is similar to Arinell? Please include info on why you like a particular pizza? Thanks

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  1. They have an Arinell is Berkeley.

    2109 Shattuck Ave

    I've been to both locations and the pizza seemed the same to me.

    1. Since you brought it up...I can't figure out what's so great about Arinell. I've been several times and it strikes me as very standard, greasy pizza. Perhaps I need to get a certain flavor? I'm a Cheeseboard/Arizmendi proponent myself. (As you probably already know, Cheeseboard on Shattuck between Vine and Cedar; Arizmendi on Lakeshore between Lake Park and Mandana)

      15 Replies
      1. re: Alexandra

        The great thing about Arinell is that it's the closest thing us transplanted East Coasters can get to New York/New Haven style pizza. If you didn't grow up with that style, I can see where you might find it a limp, greasy slice o' cheese on bread.

        While I like Cheeseboard, it's not a style of pizza that satisfies or excites me in the same way a thin East Coast slice does...

        1. re: RedRob

          And somehow even we native West Coasters crave a thin slice of pie now and again. In my opinion, though, Arinell's pizza is best savored w/o toppings, just plain ol' cheese. It's all about the balance. For the record, though, I love Cheeseboard (ooh, the fresh ingredients and beautiful cheeses), Marcello's (fresh toppings, nice thin crust... delivers, whereas Arinell's doesn't... amazing Calzone), Pauline's (now that's different), and Golden Boy (wow, how Pizza Hut *should* be) -- o.k., I have pretty much never met a pizza I didn't like at one point or another.

          1. re: Jane

            I agree. Most SF pizza is way too thick--a doughy mattress covered with sweet sauce and too much cheese. Arinell's is thin enough to fold and just right. I like Arizmendi's pizza, although it's hit-or-miss--sometimes perfect, sometimes underbaked and super-oily. And their topping choice can be really weird--a bummer since they only make one kind of pie a day. Has anyone tried Amici's or Greco-Romana?

            1. re: dixieday

              Yes! I love Amici's and have been a lonely fan on this board for awhile. Have other 'hounds not tried it, or are you all just being polite about my--to you--misguided appreciation of their thin-crust, wood-burning-oven-baked deliciousness? (g)

              1. re: Millicent

                I had Amici's a few years back, and thought it was excellent. Problem is, it's in an area I don't frequent much, so I never really think of it.

                1. re: Tom Hilton
                  Kathleen Mikulis

                  Amici's is great - especially their Margherita pizza. I live in Rockridge and my boyfriend and I went all the way to the SF one just to fill his craving. And play Scrabble.

          2. re: RedRob
            Janet A. Zimmerman

            Well, I haven't tried Arinell, but a couple of years ago we used to go to a place on San Pablo (near University -- I can't remember the exact cross street) called Lanesplitter, which served New York style thin crust pizza. Huge pizzas, great thin crust, and a good selection of toppings. Also a great selection of beers on tap. It's been a while since I've been there, so my info might not be current, though.

            1. re: Janet A. Zimmerman

              Lanesplitter is still there--around the corner from the Freight and Salvage (and a good alternative to that place's totally overpriced snacks and cookies!). Pretty good pizza and brews.

            2. re: RedRob
              Shepherd B. Goode

              After several friends' kids rated Arinell their favorite, I hesitatingly tried it--how could it be better than LoCoco's? Easy. Street pizza for real, fresh hot on a piece of wax paper, thin and crisp enough that you can eat it standing at the curb, and served with appropriate 'tude. When in Napoli in the 60's I had some pretty crappy pizza, but the good stuff was most like Arinell's.
              I agree that plain cheese is the best choice. Don't get garlic unless you are a huge fan of lots of raw garlic--you'll glow for days.

            3. re: Alexandra

              As Deanna said, there's one in Berkeley. I went there once, because it looked like it was going to rock, what with being all small and stuff, but I was really disappointed in my pizza. I had a pepperoni slice, so okay, maybe I should have gotten plain cheese, but even still, it was really mediocre. It wasn't particularly thin, and it was just all-around unimpressive. The choice that day was between Arinell and having my first Saigon sandwich across the street, too, so I definitely got gypped, opportunity cost-wise.

              1. re: Alexandra

                In my experience, Arinell's is the Bay Area's closest to what I remember as NY/NJ pizza. That's why I find it appealing, and I think it's true for some others here.

                That said, I love the Cheeseboard's pizza, and would probably call it 'better' than Arinell's--with the understanding that Arinell's satisfies a craving I can't satisfy elsewhere.

                btw, what do you think of the pizza at The Bakeshop? I've always been a big fan of theirs.

                1. re: Tom Hilton

                  I recently had a slice at Arinell (Berkeley)- hadn't had one in 20 years or so? and the first few bites from the tip(center of the pie) were just as I remembered from my youth on the East Coast (Boston) but as I got toward the middle of the slice and especially as I approached the crust it got pretty dry and was less fullfilling. It needed more sauce or sauce that was seasoned more. It was a good taste memory but I'm not sure I'd rush back there soon. It was a plain slice of folded perfectly for eating and had the requisite amount of grease/oil.....I doctored it up with pepper flakes, orregano and a few shakes of parmesan.

                  1. re: gordon wing

                    I get my slice with double sausage, which makes it perfectly juicy from tip to tail. And yes, you need to doctor it up with all the condiments they provide -- try the garlic powder too!

                    I have happy memories of eating Arinells for what, over 25 years, mostly while waiting from Humphrey-Go-Bart to show up.



                2. re: Alexandra

                  Since people were speaking highly of Arinell on this board, I treated myself to a slice on the way home from being a test subject for some experiment, because I figured I'd just made $40, even though I won't actually have the money for a few weeks. Previously, I hadn't been terrifically impressed with Arinell (see my previous post), but I figured maybe I'd give it another shot. I'm not sure, but I might have had a Sicilian slice last time, but this time I got a Neapolitan slice, plain, and put the standard powders, leaves, etc. (oregano, cayenne, and a little Parmesan) on top. I was pretty pleased with the pizza. It wasn't amazing and astounding, but it tasted the way pizza should, and was appropriately thin. It could have been hotter and maybe a little crisper, but it wasn't limp by any means. All 'round, it was a respectable, enjoyable slice of pizza. And the place has exactly the right vibe.

                  1. re: David Boyk

                    Second that - had a slice of the thin crusted Neapolitan today too. Nice crisp and warm. Tomatoey and cheesy goodness. Quite enjoyable.

                3. Thanks for all the interest. More specifically, I'm hoping that someone out there knows of similar pizza to Arinell anywhere in Oakland. I've read all the listings on the board dealing with pizza, so you don't need to repeat anything for my sake. Thanks (I will check out lanesplitter)