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Noah Cho

14 Great Pizzerias in the East Bay

A slice for every kind of pizza lover

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More than perhaps any other kind of food, pizza has always been COVID-ready. As an industry, it relies heavily on takeout and delivery, so it’s no surprise to see that there is a lot of great pizza out there, especially in the East Bay. From the old classics to interesting new takes, this list of doughy delights should help fill that pizza-sized craving in your heart.

A few of these restaurants offer seated, outdoor dining. However, their inclusion should not be taken as endorsement for sit-down dining, as there are still safety concerns. Studies indicate that COVID-19 infection rates are lower for outside activities, but the level of risk involved with outdoor dining is contingent on restaurants and their patrons following strict social distancing, face covering, and other safety guidelines.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Q's Halal Pizza

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12847 San Pablo Ave
Richmond, CA 94805
(510) 233-1920
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Part of the Q’s Halal mini chain that includes a handful of halal chicken-and-rice joints, the Richmond shop is the only one that specializes in pizza — made, of course, with halal-friendly toppings. You can get a standard pepperoni pie, but the pleasure in getting pizza here is the option to top it with items more commonly found at a shawarma joint: The Mama Mary’s, topped with lamb gyro, pepperoni, and red onion, is a sheer delight. Meanwhile, Q’s spice-dusted halal chicken wings are second to none.

The Mama Mary’s, topped with pepperoni, gyro meat, and red onion Luke Tsai

2. Raymond’s Pizzeria

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130 Railroad Ave
Richmond, CA 94801
(510) 609-4961
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There didn’t use to be a ton of excellent pizza options in the far western part of Richmond, but that changed when Raymond’s landed here last year. The boxes boast that the pizza reheats excellently due to the high quality of their ingredients, and they aren’t wrong. Superb toppings and crispy-chewy crust made with dough that is fermented in-house are on display here. Order via phone, their website, or Uber Eats and Grubhub.

Noah Cho

3. Benchmark Pizzeria

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1568 Oak View Ave
Kensington, CA 94706
(510) 647-9724
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Among the several wood-fired pizza options in the East Bay, Benchmark is one of the best. Their crust is superb even when reheated, and the wide selection of local veggies and herbs that adorn their pizzas is impressive. Really, any pizzeria that tops pizza with fried sage is doing something correctly, and Benchmark is one of those places. They also serve excellent antipasti and pastas. The patio is open for dining outside, or you can order for pickup via Toast or delivery via app.

Noah Cho

4. The Cheese Board Pizza

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1512 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94709
(510) 549-3183
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Cheese Board has been around long enough — and has been consistently excellent for so long — that it almost feels unnecessary to add them here. But their model was COVID-ready from the start, featuring that notoriously long but also fast-moving line with speedy service. As it always has, the restaurant offers one special pizza and one special salad every day, and it’s always vegetarian. You can par-bake at home or get one fresh and ready. One small change is that they’re not offering pizza by the slice. Order by phone or wait in line for takeout.

5. Pollara Pizzeria

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1788 Fourth St
Berkeley, CA 94710
(510) 529-4548
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Already incredibly buzzy ahead of its opening, Pollara has done exceptionally well during the pandemic pivot. Not only are their Roman-style pizzas designed to be finished in the oven at home — and the more delicious for it — they also have a superb collection of wines and other small bites, especially their fritti selection of fun fried tastes. Also of note are the wonderful fresh-baked breads. Order for pickup via Toast or delivery via Caviar.

Noah Cho

6. Namaste Pizza

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5942 San Pablo Ave
Oakland, CA 94608
(510) 601-1100
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Indian pizza has been a thing in the Bay Area for some time, and one of the stalwarts has long been Namaste pizza. While you can get your run-of-the-mill Western pizzas here as well as the Cal-Italian variety, you really ought to try their wonderfully spiced, incredibly delicious Indian pizzas, especially the veggie-heavy ones like the aloo gobi pizza. Their vegan options are great, as well, and if you’re more a meat eater you’ll definitely want to try the spicy gyro or the pizza tikka masala. Order for pickup via their website or delivery via apps.

Noah Cho

7. Arthur Mac's Tap and Snack

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4006 Martin Luther King Jr Way
Oakland, CA 94609
(510) 823-2509
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Arthur Mac’s does its pizzas in a brick oven, and the bottom crust gets that cravable crisp char on it as a result. They have a fantastic margherita that has a fun drizzle of balsamic on it that makes a nice, sweet-sour flavor contrast to the salty cheese on top. They even do a killer rendition of that CPK favorite, barbecue chicken pizza. Also of note are the wings, which you can get in buffalo, bbq, or tikka masala flavors and even treat yourself to a 50-piece box. And why not get an order of “deli fries” with pastrami, onions, and secret sauce? Order online for pickup or delivery.

Noah Cho

8. June's Pizza

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2311 Magnolia St
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 956-2200
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Already blowing up in popularity thanks to its impressive pedigree (the chef is an Atelier Crenn alum) and location in the trendy complex that also houses Magnolia Mini Mart and Soba Ichi, June’s features what is quite possibly the best margherita pizza in the entire Bay Area, with an exemplary sauce, excellent cheese, and a sourdough crust made with fine flour. The entire pie’s outer crust is finished with Grana Padano for an extra treat. The bi-weekly rotating special pizzas are also amazing, with recent delights like wild mushroom, nettle, and Calabrian chili. Ordering is done via phone only from Wednesday to Sunday, and it’s a good idea to call right at 1 p.m. or you’ll miss out on one of only 40 pizzas a day that are made. You can keep up with their specials via Instagram.

One of the grana padano-dusted pies from June’s Pizza Noah Cho

9. Carbona Pizza

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2042 MacArthur Blvd A
Oakland, CA 94602
(510) 866-2634
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Even if the Detroit-style pizza trend hasn’t quite yet hit the East Bay in full force, Carbona — a pop-up from the folks behind brunch favorite Grand Lake Kitchen, embedded inside their Dimond District location — offers convincing evidence that these crunchy-edged, square-shaped, gloriously greasy pies are here to stay. The joy of these hefty pizzas lies in the contrast between the crunch of their blackened edges and the airy, focaccia-like bounce of their interior. Many of the topping combinations are inspired (including the Burmese salad-inspired “Thick Eddie”), but nothing beats the classic pepperoni. Order online, and don’t forget to grab a hard-packed soft serve ice cream for dessert.

Thick Detroit-style pepperoni pizza from Carbona Pizza inside its box Luke Tsai

10. Graffiti Pizza

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719 Washington St
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 250-9303
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This late-night favorite — open until 1 a.m. on weekends even during the pandemic — is the brainchild of former Capo ‘s pizzaiolo Matt Molina, whose bona fides include three international pizza-making championships. For those who like a slightly heftier crust than your average thin-crust pie, Graffiti’s pizzas are picture perfect, offering a satisfying chew. The topping combinations are also topnotch — try the “Cloud,” a wonderfully garlicky combination of sausage, spinach, and light-as-air ricotta cheese. Order whole pies by phone or app, or come by the Old Oakland storefront to see what’s available by the slice.

11. Dimond Slice Pizza

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2208 MacArthur Blvd
Oakland, CA 94602
(510) 842-8773
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Dimond Slice is run by two veterans of Berkeley’s famous Cheese Board Pizza, and you can tell from its ethos: one daily veggie pizza that you can pair with a zippy, cilantro-forward “green sauce.” Unlike Cheese Board, you can also get a traditional cheese pizza with or without red sauce. Like many of the local pizzerias, Diamond sells par-baked pizzas, too. Vegan and gluten-free whole and half pies are also available, and the restaurant serves a great guacamole to go with chips. It’s a clear neighborhood destination for Dimond District residents. Order via phone or apps.

Noah Cho

12. Philomena

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1801 14th Ave
Oakland, CA 94606
(510) 532-2399
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Philomena suffered a tough late spring and early summer thanks to a double whammy of both the pandemic and a fire that shut the restaurant down for months. After re-opening, though, this neighborhood favorite came back even stronger. They make fantastic New York style pies, and they have possibly the best mushroom pizza in the East Bay. Of particular note is the Bring Home Brunch Kit, which includes coffees, a mimosa kit, a brunch pizza (think lox or bacon and hashbrowns), and cinnamon toast French twists for dessert. Order via phone or apps for pickup and delivery.

Noah Cho

13. Bluebird Pizzeria

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496 E 14th St
San Leandro, CA 94577
(510) 562-1199
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Bluebird is so unassuming you might drive right past it and not know you’ve just passed one of the best pizzerias in the entire Bay Area. A lot of East Coast transplants have sung the praises of the sweet-savory red sauce and the exceptional crust, and you’d be hard pressed to find better versions of an East Coast pie than Bluebird. There’s something to please any pizza lover here, and the meatless and vegan options are varied and interesting. Call in or order online for pickup. 

Noah Cho

14. Bombay Pizza House

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4922 Paseo Padre Pkwy
Fremont, CA 94555
(510) 796-7700
Visit Website

If you ever wondered what it’d be like to cross a childhood nostalgia–inflected longing for Pizza Hut with Indian flavors, Bombay Pizza House in the answer. There are no pretensions here about the pizza, just intense and delicious flavors and spices, aggressively piquant hot wings, and delights like Butter Chicken Pizza and the Curry Veggie Delight. This place has a devoted local following for a reason, and it’s maybe the only place where you can find Jain pizza, which is pizza prepared to the rules and regulations of the Jain religion. Order for pickup or delivery via apps.

Noah Cho

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1. Q's Halal Pizza

12847 San Pablo Ave, Richmond, CA 94805
The Mama Mary’s, topped with pepperoni, gyro meat, and red onion Luke Tsai

Part of the Q’s Halal mini chain that includes a handful of halal chicken-and-rice joints, the Richmond shop is the only one that specializes in pizza — made, of course, with halal-friendly toppings. You can get a standard pepperoni pie, but the pleasure in getting pizza here is the option to top it with items more commonly found at a shawarma joint: The Mama Mary’s, topped with lamb gyro, pepperoni, and red onion, is a sheer delight. Meanwhile, Q’s spice-dusted halal chicken wings are second to none.

12847 San Pablo Ave
Richmond, CA 94805

2. Raymond’s Pizzeria

130 Railroad Ave, Richmond, CA 94801
Noah Cho

There didn’t use to be a ton of excellent pizza options in the far western part of Richmond, but that changed when Raymond’s landed here last year. The boxes boast that the pizza reheats excellently due to the high quality of their ingredients, and they aren’t wrong. Superb toppings and crispy-chewy crust made with dough that is fermented in-house are on display here. Order via phone, their website, or Uber Eats and Grubhub.

130 Railroad Ave
Richmond, CA 94801

3. Benchmark Pizzeria

1568 Oak View Ave, Kensington, CA 94706
Noah Cho

Among the several wood-fired pizza options in the East Bay, Benchmark is one of the best. Their crust is superb even when reheated, and the wide selection of local veggies and herbs that adorn their pizzas is impressive. Really, any pizzeria that tops pizza with fried sage is doing something correctly, and Benchmark is one of those places. They also serve excellent antipasti and pastas. The patio is open for dining outside, or you can order for pickup via Toast or delivery via app.

1568 Oak View Ave
Kensington, CA 94706

4. The Cheese Board Pizza

1512 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709

Cheese Board has been around long enough — and has been consistently excellent for so long — that it almost feels unnecessary to add them here. But their model was COVID-ready from the start, featuring that notoriously long but also fast-moving line with speedy service. As it always has, the restaurant offers one special pizza and one special salad every day, and it’s always vegetarian. You can par-bake at home or get one fresh and ready. One small change is that they’re not offering pizza by the slice. Order by phone or wait in line for takeout.

1512 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94709

5. Pollara Pizzeria

1788 Fourth St, Berkeley, CA 94710
Noah Cho

Already incredibly buzzy ahead of its opening, Pollara has done exceptionally well during the pandemic pivot. Not only are their Roman-style pizzas designed to be finished in the oven at home — and the more delicious for it — they also have a superb collection of wines and other small bites, especially their fritti selection of fun fried tastes. Also of note are the wonderful fresh-baked breads. Order for pickup via Toast or delivery via Caviar.

1788 Fourth St
Berkeley, CA 94710

6. Namaste Pizza

5942 San Pablo Ave, Oakland, CA 94608
Noah Cho

Indian pizza has been a thing in the Bay Area for some time, and one of the stalwarts has long been Namaste pizza. While you can get your run-of-the-mill Western pizzas here as well as the Cal-Italian variety, you really ought to try their wonderfully spiced, incredibly delicious Indian pizzas, especially the veggie-heavy ones like the aloo gobi pizza. Their vegan options are great, as well, and if you’re more a meat eater you’ll definitely want to try the spicy gyro or the pizza tikka masala. Order for pickup via their website or delivery via apps.

5942 San Pablo Ave
Oakland, CA 94608

7. Arthur Mac's Tap and Snack

4006 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Oakland, CA 94609
Noah Cho

Arthur Mac’s does its pizzas in a brick oven, and the bottom crust gets that cravable crisp char on it as a result. They have a fantastic margherita that has a fun drizzle of balsamic on it that makes a nice, sweet-sour flavor contrast to the salty cheese on top. They even do a killer rendition of that CPK favorite, barbecue chicken pizza. Also of note are the wings, which you can get in buffalo, bbq, or tikka masala flavors and even treat yourself to a 50-piece box. And why not get an order of “deli fries” with pastrami, onions, and secret sauce? Order online for pickup or delivery.

4006 Martin Luther King Jr Way
Oakland, CA 94609

8. June's Pizza

2311 Magnolia St, Oakland, CA 94607
One of the grana padano-dusted pies from June’s Pizza Noah Cho

Already blowing up in popularity thanks to its impressive pedigree (the chef is an Atelier Crenn alum) and location in the trendy complex that also houses Magnolia Mini Mart and Soba Ichi, June’s features what is quite possibly the best margherita pizza in the entire Bay Area, with an exemplary sauce, excellent cheese, and a sourdough crust made with fine flour. The entire pie’s outer crust is finished with Grana Padano for an extra treat. The bi-weekly rotating special pizzas are also amazing, with recent delights like wild mushroom, nettle, and Calabrian chili. Ordering is done via phone only from Wednesday to Sunday, and it’s a good idea to call right at 1 p.m. or you’ll miss out on one of only 40 pizzas a day that are made. You can keep up with their specials via Instagram.

2311 Magnolia St
Oakland, CA 94607

9. Carbona Pizza

2042 MacArthur Blvd A, Oakland, CA 94602
Thick Detroit-style pepperoni pizza from Carbona Pizza inside its box Luke Tsai

Even if the Detroit-style pizza trend hasn’t quite yet hit the East Bay in full force, Carbona — a pop-up from the folks behind brunch favorite Grand Lake Kitchen, embedded inside their Dimond District location — offers convincing evidence that these crunchy-edged, square-shaped, gloriously greasy pies are here to stay. The joy of these hefty pizzas lies in the contrast between the crunch of their blackened edges and the airy, focaccia-like bounce of their interior. Many of the topping combinations are inspired (including the Burmese salad-inspired “Thick Eddie”), but nothing beats the classic pepperoni. Order online, and don’t forget to grab a hard-packed soft serve ice cream for dessert.

2042 MacArthur Blvd A
Oakland, CA 94602

10. Graffiti Pizza

719 Washington St, Oakland, CA 94607

This late-night favorite — open until 1 a.m. on weekends even during the pandemic — is the brainchild of former Capo ‘s pizzaiolo Matt Molina, whose bona fides include three international pizza-making championships. For those who like a slightly heftier crust than your average thin-crust pie, Graffiti’s pizzas are picture perfect, offering a satisfying chew. The topping combinations are also topnotch — try the “Cloud,” a wonderfully garlicky combination of sausage, spinach, and light-as-air ricotta cheese. Order whole pies by phone or app, or come by the Old Oakland storefront to see what’s available by the slice.

719 Washington St
Oakland, CA 94607

11. Dimond Slice Pizza

2208 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland, CA 94602
Noah Cho

Dimond Slice is run by two veterans of Berkeley’s famous Cheese Board Pizza, and you can tell from its ethos: one daily veggie pizza that you can pair with a zippy, cilantro-forward “green sauce.” Unlike Cheese Board, you can also get a traditional cheese pizza with or without red sauce. Like many of the local pizzerias, Diamond sells par-baked pizzas, too. Vegan and gluten-free whole and half pies are also available, and the restaurant serves a great guacamole to go with chips. It’s a clear neighborhood destination for Dimond District residents. Order via phone or apps.

2208 MacArthur Blvd
Oakland, CA 94602

12. Philomena

1801 14th Ave, Oakland, CA 94606
Noah Cho

Philomena suffered a tough late spring and early summer thanks to a double whammy of both the pandemic and a fire that shut the restaurant down for months. After re-opening, though, this neighborhood favorite came back even stronger. They make fantastic New York style pies, and they have possibly the best mushroom pizza in the East Bay. Of particular note is the Bring Home Brunch Kit, which includes coffees, a mimosa kit, a brunch pizza (think lox or bacon and hashbrowns), and cinnamon toast French twists for dessert. Order via phone or apps for pickup and delivery.

1801 14th Ave
Oakland, CA 94606

13. Bluebird Pizzeria

496 E 14th St, San Leandro, CA 94577
Noah Cho

Bluebird is so unassuming you might drive right past it and not know you’ve just passed one of the best pizzerias in the entire Bay Area. A lot of East Coast transplants have sung the praises of the sweet-savory red sauce and the exceptional crust, and you’d be hard pressed to find better versions of an East Coast pie than Bluebird. There’s something to please any pizza lover here, and the meatless and vegan options are varied and interesting. Call in or order online for pickup. 

496 E 14th St
San Leandro, CA 94577

14. Bombay Pizza House

4922 Paseo Padre Pkwy, Fremont, CA 94555
Noah Cho

If you ever wondered what it’d be like to cross a childhood nostalgia–inflected longing for Pizza Hut with Indian flavors, Bombay Pizza House in the answer. There are no pretensions here about the pizza, just intense and delicious flavors and spices, aggressively piquant hot wings, and delights like Butter Chicken Pizza and the Curry Veggie Delight. This place has a devoted local following for a reason, and it’s maybe the only place where you can find Jain pizza, which is pizza prepared to the rules and regulations of the Jain religion. Order for pickup or delivery via apps.

4922 Paseo Padre Pkwy
Fremont, CA 94555

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