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BEST PIZZA IN EAST BAY

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  • Laura Jan 24, 2004 12:44 PM
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If anyone is near Oakland, please don't miss Zachery's Pizza on College Ave. There's another location in Berkeley. It is, by far, the BEST pizza anywhere! They have chicago-style deep dish which is so good -- all fresh ingredients. No canned or dried. Their thin crust is to die for with cornmeal in the crust. Yum!!

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  1. c
    Cyrus J. Farivar

    Zachary's is great. If you're into thin-crust, I'd suggest Arinell's in downtown Berkeley and Lanesplitter's on San Pablo Ave.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Cyrus J. Farivar
      p
      Peter Demarest

      I second the Lanesplitter, as long as you keep the toppings to a minimum. They also have a great selection of beer on tap. It's always a welcome, unpretentious relief from the overworked pizzas at Cheese Board and Arrizmendi or the spectacularly plain pizzas at Zachary's.

      Jupiter on Shattuck isn't bad if you can get a table outside, otherwise it gets very noisy.

      1. re: Peter Demarest
        c
        Cyrus J. Farivar

        Their veggie pizza is pretty tasty, though.

        1. re: Peter Demarest

          Jupiter is one of our family favorites for a great lunch, yes they have good pizza. Or dinner, and we always enjoy the eclectic crowd there.

        2. re: Cyrus J. Farivar

          Zachary's sucks, though with the demise of Little Chicago it is by default the best Chicago-style pizza in the East Bay.

          For a decent deep-dish pie, head to Little Star in SF.

          http://www.littlestarpizza.com

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            This topic was dormant from 2007 until August 2013, so it's missing most of what's happened since then. Some newer threads:

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/886662
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/732919
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/896233

        3. The pizza at the Cheese Board on Shattuck in Berkeley is really good as is the pizza at Arizmendi on Lakeshore in Oakland. You might want to check those places out.

          11 Replies
          1. re: leslie
            c
            Cyrus J. Farivar

            How could I forget about Cheese Board!

            1. re: Cyrus J. Farivar

              I can't stand Zachary's or Arizmendi/Cheeseboard
              pizza. They are so greasy--each piece must have 1-2
              tablespoons of extra unneeded olive oil. There is no
              great East Bay pizza, but many nice restaurants do
              fancy expensive brick oven pizza that's good--Chez
              Panisse, Oliveto's, Mezze, and Cugini.

              The best pauper's pizza is Blondie's in Berkeley--
              not at all oily.

              1. re: David Roth

                A split decision...I agree about Zachary's--I don't know what all the shouting's about...but I enjoy Arizmendi's pie, mostly because of the crust, and the fact that I can get a light-baked pizza, then take it home to finish and enjoy....my default setting for pizza in the Oakland, though, is LoCoco's on Piedmont.

                1. re: David Roth

                  Pizza is such a personal taste that one person's "BEST PIZZA IN THE WORLD!!!!!" is another person's "eeew, disgusting!".

                  I don't particularly like Zachary's. My wife (from Chicago) also dislikes it, and feels that it isn't "Chicago" pizza at all (it's "deep" but not really "deep dish". (yes, I'm sure others differ in their opinions...)

                  Personally, I wouldn't mind Arizimendi pizza, if they chose better ingredients. It almost seems like they use a dartboard. "Let's see.. today is... red pepper... swiss... lettuce... and a walnut-pear glaze!". When they have good ingredients it's good, but all too often they add in one or two mismatches.

                  Me? I like home-baked. Takes a lot of time, but I have complete control. If I'm feeling lazy I'll order Leaning Tower, as the Lake Merritt branch does a decent job (and isn't disgustingly greasy or salty).

                  And yes, Blondie's (and Fat Slice) were good at non-greasy, esp if you got the veggie slices. "Pauper's pizza" I would not call them; they were godly food when I worked a block from there. Two bucks for lunch you could not beat. ;-) And I feel that the paupers can have all the grease they want; I want good, tasty ingredients...

                  1. re: David Roth

                    Okay, I know the post above is 2 years old, but I have to say: Damn, how I love and adore greasy pizza. For me it is nirvana.

                    1. re: Atomica

                      Yes, grease is an essential element of great pizza. But so is sauce.
                      As long as the cheeseboard is refusing to put actual tomato sauce
                      on their product, I'm going to continue to refuse to call it "pizza".

                      1. re: Jeet Jet

                        Pizza bianca's an even older tradition than pizza with tomato sauce.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                          Yes and there's a reason it's been superseded. Dying of old age
                          at 40 was a bit of a tradition there for a while too.

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                            THANK YOU, Robert! And... I might add... if you used good quality, full fat (and full flavor) cheese, then the grease is inevitable, and worth it! Also, I nice drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (even though it is fat) is a nice addition to a good pizza.

                            I'll take a Cheeseboard pizza anyday!

                            Regarding Zachary's... I used to like it (just for a change), but had some of the worst service of any restaurant I have EVER been to at the one on Solano Ave. ... Ever since, my husband and I refuse to give them anymore of our money.

                            1. re: chemchef

                              >worst service of any restaurant
                              >
                              that's my main beef with Zacharies ... "customer
                              unfriendly". no reservervation, cash only, no pitchers.
                              and they exploit kids for their art work :-)
                              [has any of this changed? yes, i realize they dont have
                              to be more accomodating when they place is as full as it
                              is, but i dont have to give them my money either and
                              am free to lobby against them whenever they are
                              proposed. for me the product doesnt make up for the
                              other factors.]

                              >if you used good quality, full fat (and full flavor)
                              >cheese, then the grease is inevitable
                              >
                              er you get plenty of grease from fat slice cheep cheese
                              slices too. under the "it's the moles that get you"
                              theory, at least the cheeseboard slices are small.

                              1. re: psb

                                For those who still want to go to Zachary's, they accept credit cards now (at least at the College location where I went to).

                2. Gioia Pizzeria in North Berkeley has great Cheese Board style pizza with more choices of toppings plus homemade lemonade.

                  Gioia Pizzeria
                  1586 Hopkins Street
                  Berkeley, CA 94707
                  (510) 528-4692

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: joshchef

                    Gioia's crust is fairly traditional though also tasteless from not enough salt. Cheese Board's is unique, sort of cracker-like, and as essvee notes they don't use tomato sauce, though in season sometimes they use fresh tomatoes.

                    Cheese Board is good in its eccentric way. I much prefer Pie in the Sky to Gioia.

                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/39118
                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/41782

                  2. Gioia is the best by far. It's pizza made by a Brooklynite and a former cook at Oliveto who knows his pizza. It's about the only Bay Area pizza this New Englander can stand. I must take respectful exception to the above statement that it is like Cheese Board pizza-- Gioia does not use a sourdough crust, and does use tomato sauce-- two things that make Cheese Board pizza tasty enough but not really pizza, in my opinion of course.

                    17 Replies
                    1. re: essvee

                      Gioia's is wonderful and traditional East Coast. The crust is superthin and with a nice char. The mushroom has mushroom bits (GASP) cooked on! Not tossed on at the end! It's the best mushroom pizza ever.

                      Cheeseboard pizza is NOT pizza. It's an open face toasted veggie sandwich maybe, but NOT pizza. The sauce is wrong (when there's sauce), the toppings "innovative" (i.e. Californian) and often more Mexican/Latino in taste. THAT'S NOT PIZZA.

                      Zachary's tastes homemade in a bad way: straight from the can. Ewwwww.

                      1. re: lintygmom

                        Gioia's good, but pricey.
                        What I don't understand is that why do so many palces in California charge so much for a lousy pie? I can get a great thin crust pie in New York City for 12-15 bucks, while out here a lot of places basically serving you a thick, huge cracker, with canned ragu and a mixed bag of cheese dominated by cheddar have the gut to charge me 16-19 bucks for a pie that on the East Coast most people would think was made in China?!!!

                        1. re: SamuelA.L.

                          More competition?

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                            That's what we're partially about, right?

                          2. re: SamuelA.L.

                            It's crazy, most of the places if they are any good at all are at least $20 Bu why do you think there are so many pizzerias? They are huge money makers, flour and water..big fat profit margin.
                            And for that you'd think more would at least try to make decent pizza with respectable and fresh ingredients. But they don't.
                            Pisanos in Castro Valley is about the best I've found.

                            1. re: chef chicklet

                              Well, I think with Gioia's fresh and high-quality ingredients their costs are a bit more than usual - at least way more than Arinell's. I don't know that it's enough to warrant $3 or whatever per slice, but I don't mind paying that for the quality I get there.

                              1. re: coolbean98

                                I like Gioia's toppings, I just wish it was easier to get a piping hot slice. The slices I've had there are always luke warm, and the cheese is coagulated.

                                1. re: Morton the Mousse

                                  I've had whole pies that were piping hot, but the crust was still tasteless.

                            2. re: SamuelA.L.

                              Gioia's pizza was good perse, however the teenage, gangsta looking fellow that served us the barely warm pie sort of ruined the atmosphere for me. I have to say, I was disappointed b/c I've heard such high reviews of this place. Maybe I need to go back and try it again....

                            3. re: lintygmom

                              The only Cheeseboard pizza I've ever had is plain cheese: when I worked in Berkeley a coworker often brought it to office potlucks ....and he always just got cheese, but it didn't match your description at all. No 'innovative' toppings, no open faced sandwich, just a fairly thin crust, a bit of sauce, and cheese. I am not a big pizza fan, but I thought it was better than average.

                              1. re: susancinsf

                                Well, I live about two blocks away and often walk by and read the board posting the pizza of the day. Do that for a few years. You'll see.

                                1. re: susancinsf

                                  The four cheese pizza is, IMO, Cheeseboard's worst pie. My favorite is the tomato and lemon zest, though I also like the roasted eggplant, the roasted pepper, and the olive tapenade pies. They post the pizza of the day on their website:

                                  www.cheeseboard.coop

                                  1. re: susancinsf

                                    I've never seen a plain cheese pizza at Cheese Board. Maybe he was placing a special order?

                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                      all I can tell you is that he would bring it to the potluck, and say it was "Cheeseboard's plain cheese pizza". Maybe it was the four cheese pizza Morton mentions? I can't say how it compares to others since as I said, it was the only pizza from there I've ever tried. and not being a big pizza fan, I don't go seeking it out.

                                      do they do special orders? It could have been, since these were always pre-planned occaisons, and my impression was that he had been going there for years.

                                      I just mention it because I didn't think the description lintygmom gave matched my experience, for whatever that is worth. That I could see, there wasn't *any* relationship between that particular pizza and an open faced sandwich or anything Latino in flavor. Good, bad or indifferent, it definately WAS pizza. (though I am probably the wrong person to judge which is theirs, or anyone else's best).

                                      1. re: susancinsf

                                        If he always got plain cheese, I think it must have been a special order, since at least 19 times out of 20 the daily special has a mix of vegetables. If you haven't had one of those, I can see how the discussion wouldn't make much sense.

                                        1. re: susancinsf

                                          You really should give cheeseboard a try some pleasant afternoon
                                          (pleasant because you're almost forced to eat outside sitting on the
                                          Shattuck median strip or something). In keeping with their socialist
                                          view of the world, you are not given any choice at all: they make one
                                          kind of pizza each day and that is what you will eat. No options, no
                                          substitutions, if you don't like one of the topping components you
                                          can pick it off yourself.

                                          They've managed to survive for 40 years by making that one kind of
                                          pizza taste very, very good.

                                          Here's their current pizza schedule:
                                          http://cheeseboardcollective.coop/Piz...

                                          1. re: susancinsf

                                            Actually since you mentioned "sauce", it probably wasn't a Cheeseboard pizza.

                                  2. East Bay pizzas you should try if you want to know for sure who makes the best pizza in the East Bay:

                                    Arinell's (bad)
                                    Bucci's
                                    Cafe at Chez Panisse
                                    Cheese Board Pizza
                                    Dopo
                                    Gioia
                                    Lanesplitter
                                    Lo Coco's (Berkeley) "La Puzzola"
                                    LoCoCo's (Oakland) fresh ricotta
                                    Nizza la Bella
                                    Oliveto
                                    Pie in the Sky
                                    Pizzaiolo - my #1
                                    Zachary's (stuffed sucks, thin is OK in an eccentric way)

                                    links & addresses: http://lauriston.com/pizza.html

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                      Pizza Antica deserves to be on that list

                                      1. re: 8gr8

                                        I don't think of Lafayette as part of the East Bay since it's not within the bay's watershed.

                                      2. re: Robert Lauriston

                                        Tried to get "La Puzzola" at Lo Coco's (morels and gorgonzola -- so good), but the chef said he no longer makes the pizza (or pasta) specials. I tried a pizza with prosciutto and olives instead. It was good, though very salty. The crust is thicker than I usually like, but not bready, and with a nice flavor. Still, I'm sad about "La Puzzola." The chef did say that he might put it back on the menu if enough people ask for it -- so please do!

                                        1. re: Glencora

                                          What a drag, that was a great pie.

                                      3. For me, Berkeley pizza splits neatly into groups of 4.
                                        The 4 Angels: Gioia, Cheeseboard, Pie in the Sky, Zachary's (thin crust slices)
                                        The 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Blondie, Fat Slice, Arinell's, La Val's.

                                        Outside Berkeley...one of these days I'll have to try Pyzano's in Castro Valley.

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: Agent 510

                                          Pyzano's is known more for the pizza-throwing skills of co-owner Tony Gemignani than for the deliciousness of its pizza.

                                          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                            I think Pyzano's has great pizza--my BA favorite, along with Primo's in Danville.

                                            As others point out, Cheeseboard/Arizmendi pizza would be great if they eased up on the oil.

                                          2. re: Agent 510

                                            La Val's? Do they still do that special where you get a slice and a beer in a dixie cup?

                                          3. Blondie's is the best pizza in the Bay Area.

                                            1. I think we can pretty much put this issue to bed. Lanesplitter's is the best
                                              pizza in the east bay. Here's why: If you order a large (where "large" means
                                              about 18-20 inches) cheese pizza and you pick it up at their pickup and
                                              delivery outpost on SPA near Marin, it will cost you $10. Pepperoni is $11.50.

                                              Even if Lanesplitter isn't at the absolute top of your personal list, it's probably
                                              close. So here we have the best-or-almost-the-best at half the price of the
                                              competition. No competition. Lanesplitter wins.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                To be precise that's a flat $5 discount on any 19" pie. It's easily the best delivery pizza in the area.

                                                http://www.lanesplitterpizza.com/menu...

                                                1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                  is the $10-$12 large pizza some special "pickup deal"
                                                  at the "marin outpost" not available at say the
                                                  university ave restaurant?

                                                  that does seem to be a pretty incredible deal.

                                                  1. re: psb

                                                    $5 off if you pick up from the take-out/delivery-only Albany location only. No similar offer at the Berkeley or Oakland restaurants.

                                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                      Correct, only there. And you've gotta pick it up rather than have them deliver.
                                                      They don't seem terribly busy there, the pizza's ready about 15minutes after
                                                      calling.

                                                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                        Whalp, I picked up as half'n'half pepperoni and carnivore there this evening. Snappy service.

                                                        The pie? To Lanesplitter I say: "It is good."

                                                        Oddly, their pie seems to be delicious without a large amount of topping, just like the man said above.

                                                        However, I'd rate Lanesplitter a B, whereas I'd rate Amici's Trentino pie an A, if prepared at their Mountain View location. Sadly, not in East Bay.

                                                        Also gotta say, their pepperoni doesn't come close to Mulberry Street Pizza's in San Rafael.

                                                  2. I second the vote for Pizzaiolo as #1. It reminds me of pizza I had when I was in Northern Italy.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: mandyf

                                                      Pizzaiolo was started by the former pizza maker at Chez Panis.

                                                    2. Have to chime in on my side of the Caldecott: 3 worth checking out include: Skipolini's in WC, (also has locations in Clayton and Antioch); Rocco's in WC (a local institution. Has a sports bar next door) and Pasta Gondola in Danville. This one offers many options, including thin and thick crust, as well as more traditional Italian styles.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: WCFoodie

                                                        I've been to both Rocco's and Skipoloini's a couple times when hanging out with friends who live there. I've eaten in at both and gotten take-out and have always found the pizza bad. First, the crust is like biting into a thick piece of burnt dough at both restaurants. Second, the sauce is too salty and glopped on. And third, the places use cheese that just doesn't look or cook the way it should.
                                                        I also have a funny story about Skipolini's. I was calling in the order once and said two large pies. The person on the phone didn't understand and said they don't sell pies, they sell pizzas. I started laughing out loud and explained I was from the East Coast, where in repliance she said that they don't call them pies either and I was odd. So I hung up. I'm not ordering pizza from a place that looks at you funny when you say pie.

                                                      2. The first time I walked into Pizzaiolo, a year or so ago one early evening, I had no expectations whatsoever. I had just stopped at the Walgreens nearby and was hungry. Had never heard of this restaurant, certainly had never seen it although I drove past it many times.

                                                        3 things I was surprised by. 1) The way cool atmosphere. 2) The price on the menu. I had no idea this was an aspiring high end place. Well, I could have walked out, but why not give it a try. The 3rd surprise was the pizza - right out of Italy, with a California twist. Even their spaghetti vongole (not sure if that's what they actually called it) reminded me of what I had in Tuscany, only bigger clams.

                                                        I thoroughly enjoyed the food and the people, not so much paying for it. I wished I had actually planned this dinner, with some time to linger with a good wine. My vote for the best Italian- Californian style pizza.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: grocerytrekker

                                                          Just tried Lanesplitter for the first time. (I know, I know.)
                                                          I have been so oblivious.

                                                          Carnivore Neapolitan with pepperoni, sausage, mushroom, onion.

                                                          The hardest thing for anyone to achieve is to elevate the most mundane into something incredible, and I believe Lanesplitter does exactly that.

                                                          No special-sounding ingredients, just the basics, thank you very much. That crust! I'd definitely return soon to try their Herbivore, Chicane, Heartstopper, Splitter, Chopper & Garbage Pie, and the cheese only pie.

                                                        2. Vinny's. 4001-5 Santa Rita Road, Pleasanton, CA 94588
                                                          925.463.0280. Clossed Sundays. Odd hours.

                                                          1. Since nobody brought up this name, I will. I returned to Cugini on Solano Avenue and had their potato pizza. Since it has been a recent special at Gioa, it offered a close comparison. Cugini's was better. Less loose grease and a damn near perfect crust.

                                                            You pay more for a place to sit in a decent dining room, but he pizza was delicious.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: EdwardAdams

                                                              I forgot about Cugini's. We've had pizza there and it was GOOD. Less greasy than many. Great crust. I guess I think of the place as more restauranty. But you can eat outside with your dog in good weather.

                                                              Your spouse, too.

                                                              1. re: lintygmom

                                                                I third Cugini's although a pizza I later had at Nizza La Bella turned out to be better than my first pizza there which is why Cugini was rated above them. It is in a wood-fired oven too.
                                                                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/44521

                                                            2. The Bakeshop on Shattuck in Berkeley. Only 2 choices but they are creative and I've never not liked at least one. This pizza is so good I have their t-shirt.

                                                              1. The best deal is Lanesplitter on San Pablo in Albany. I do ask them to make the crust extra crisp. As mentioned above, $5 off any large for pickup (no delivery). It can get quite busy there - during peak times they may not even get the phone for awhile, and then warn you it will be an hour.

                                                                While I really like Gioia, I wish I could for once taste an actual hot slice from the oven, freshly baked, not reheated.

                                                                I've liked what I've had at Nizza la Bella, but have only had pizza there twice.

                                                                Zachary's seems to have 3 camps. (1) Love it, the best ever. (2) Hate the gloop. (3) Indifferent. I fall into (3).

                                                                I've once had Chez Panisse Cafe pizza - it was good. I've yet to go to Pizzaiolo, and should probably be deported from the area for admitting so.

                                                                Off the beaten path, up in El Sobrante, I like De Anza Pizza, a small family run little shop, made to order, with care. It isn't artisan pizza by any stretch of the imagination, but is so much better than any chain pizza in that area. Not living up there anymore, I haven't been for awhile.

                                                                4 Replies
                                                                1. re: lmnopm

                                                                  I can't believe that anyone who has had deep-dish pizza in Chicago thinks Zachary's is the best ever.

                                                                  So far, of all the reports here from people who have tried both Little Star and Zachary's, all preferred Little Star. Which is available by the slice at Albatross Pub.

                                                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                    I would not recommend trying Little Star at Albatross. When I tried it there, it was clearly reheated in the microwave and the crust was very very soggy.

                                                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                      I lived in Chicago for three years, and ate many different "deep-dish" pies, and I think that Zachary's is better than 95% of the pizza places in Chicago--and that includes Uno's, Giordano's, Lou Malnati's, and maybe even Gino's. But that's just me.

                                                                      Is the Little Star offering at Albatross something new? The pizza they used to sell there was terrible, but its been ages since I ordered it.

                                                                      1. re: Leadbelly

                                                                        Albatross used to get its pizza from Little Chicago, which closed when the owner started Little Star.

                                                                  2. Zachary's deep dish?We call it quichza!

                                                                    1. Add me to never-understood-the-fuss crown re: Zachary's . . .

                                                                      But -- Cheese Board and Pizzaiolo . . . Major Yums! (who did it in the kitchen with the knife!)

                                                                      1. Cheeseboard and Gioia would be my top choices for East Bay pizza. (Gotta try Pizzaiolo soon though from the looks of it).

                                                                        I'd also like to add Cafe Rustica of Rockridge into this discussion. They also make good pizza from my experiences there.

                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                        1. re: J T

                                                                          I'm going to be staying in SF and going to a show at the Greek on a Saturday night and am looking for a place for pizza and beer, preferably served from a pitcher. Will we do better to eat in SF and drive over after or eat in Berkeley?
                                                                          From this thread, I've narrowed it down to Lanesplitter and Gioia with the edge to Lanesplitter for the eat in comfort. Does Gioia serve beer?
                                                                          How would you compare these two pizzas to the best of the SF--something like a Delfina?

                                                                          Thanks.

                                                                          1. re: Wolfgang

                                                                            Gioia just does takeout. I think Lanesplitter serves better pizza anyhow. It has a sort of biker atmosphere. It's fine, but not very close to the Greek Theater. Will you have a car?

                                                                            1. re: Glencora

                                                                              Yes, we'll have a car.

                                                                              Thanks for the recommendation.

                                                                              1. re: Wolfgang

                                                                                Lanesplitter at University and San Pablo is perfect both food wise and location wise.Off the University exit,up to San Pablo.Grab the first spot available and just a short walk. After splitting a 19" nicely done thin crust pizza and some brew designated driver and company can continue up University to UC. Get around that large obstacle and park .Remember,layer, as we get closer to summer what starts out as a warm day frequently turns chilly in the afternoon.It is easier to take off than to find a warm sweater after dark.

                                                                            2. re: Wolfgang

                                                                              Lanesplitter. Best beer bar in town and good pizza. Can be crowded at dinnertime so allow time.

                                                                              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                                To each his own. I don't like Lanespitter.

                                                                                1. re: Cannolo

                                                                                  I have had extremely mixed experiences at different Lanesplitters. Went to the one near Lake Merrit. Had an excellent slice of NY style pizza. It was truly amazing and I am from NY and super picky about pizza. Went to one of the Lanesplitters in Berkeley. The one that shares the space with a pub. The pizza was absolutely horrible. Completely different in quality from the Lake Merrit one. The waitress was also unbelivibly rude. I did not care, my attitude was "whatever" but my SO and the table next to us were annoyed. So my experience at Lanesplitters was excellent in one location and horrible in another location.

                                                                                  1. re: Ridge

                                                                                    I go to both the Berkeley and Temescal Lanesplitter branches regularly. When I order a whole "small" pie to eat in I'd say it's consistently good 8-9 times out of ten. Occasionally it's a bit over-topped or not as dark as usual.

                                                                                    Slices are inconsistent, the larger pies don't come out as well.

                                                                                    This topic was just bounced from 2007 so there are others with more recent information.

                                                                          2. Nizza la Bella.

                                                                            Cheeseboard pizza is good, but I just don't understand why it gets such raves. It's sure not worth waiting in line for.

                                                                            1. I am from NYC and I wasn't impressed when I tried it (zacharys) It was fine but not worth the price.

                                                                              1. I wish Pizza wasn't so overpriced here compared to the cost in NYC.
                                                                                A big slice should cost under $3
                                                                                not $5 including a soda I don't drink.
                                                                                let alone most (not all) places here don't know anything about pizza
                                                                                I grew up in NYC and that is what I compare all pizza to.

                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                1. re: captainmike

                                                                                  Arinell's charges $2.50 a slice and the style is very similar to your basic NYC street slice.

                                                                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                                    checked on Yelp and they look awesome
                                                                                    wish I knew about them years ago.
                                                                                    I don't ever remember ever seeing them in my walks around that area ???

                                                                                    1. re: captainmike

                                                                                      Arinell on Valencia opened in 1992 and I think the one in Berkeley's been around almost that long.

                                                                                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                                        No, the one in Berkeley has been around much longer. At least since the mid '70s.

                                                                                  2. re: captainmike

                                                                                    That's OK, NYC's burritos are horribly overpriced.

                                                                                    Or at least were, until Chipotle went national.

                                                                                  3. GIOIA PIZZA is excellent pizza
                                                                                    http://www.gioiapizzeria.com/location...

                                                                                    as usual, I wish they weren't so overpriced.
                                                                                    pizza should not cost a fortune.
                                                                                    in the bay area it does.

                                                                                    I am from NYC and that is the standard I compare to

                                                                                    1. Rotten City Pizza in Emeryville is my fave. I also like Gioia and Lanesplitter (Albany). I think RC does the best job of recreating a real NY crust. Also offers nice varied combinations. No tables though.

                                                                                      Gioia has a great toppings-to-crust ratio so you get big flavor in every bite. Cheesy.

                                                                                      Lanesplitter has a great tanginess in their sauce.

                                                                                      1. Not sure why this ancient thread has been ressurected, but the thread pre-dates the existence of Emilia's in Berkeley, so I am adding it to the "Best" list!

                                                                                        And, the recent thread on Zachary's was mainly thumbs-down. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/914620

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: foodeye

                                                                                          similar quasi-NY style as Emilia's, but better sauce, quality of ingredients in the toppings, and a more palatable crust, Slicer's on Piedmont Ave.

                                                                                        2. Best pizza in the east bay..Got to be East End Pizza in Alameda! excellent thin crust, quality ingredients and their new restaurant space is lovely.

                                                                                          1. Zachary's is good. My least favorite is the oil-soaked crust of Cheese Board.

                                                                                            1. Zachary's is over-rated and has been surpassed by Little Star in Albany or The Star on Grand Avenue in Oakland.