Thin crust pizza, available at Zachary's by Pilar Reyes
New York City, the American King of Pizza, might be a long way from lil' ol' Oakland, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t give the long loved tradition of “the slice” a shot anyways.
While we’re a far cry from having a bomb-ass pizzeria every couple of blocks, I thought I’d share some of my best places to get a fast, delicious slice while scooting around The Town.
By far the heartiest slice you can get out here, Zachary’s (5801 College Ave.) has long been the golden standard for the East Bay slice. And if you’ve never had Zachary’s pizza, you’re missing out.
Every day until 4 p.m., you can get a slice of pepperoni, sausage, cheese or vegetarian pizza. Their thick slices come with a super thick layer of cheese, gobs of chunky tomato sauce and your topping of choice on a crunchy, thick crust. The slices come out quick and will leave your stomach numbed with a post-cheese-and-meat (or vegetable) euphoria.
Zachary’s is a great place to hunker down at the counter with a thick slice of pizza and if you want to go for the gold, Zachary’s also offers Chicago-style deep dish pizza pies that are, to say the least, legendary.
If you’re looking for a wider variety of options, Lanesplitter’s (4799 Telegraph Ave.) is known for having a variety of wildly topped pizzas, as well as that rare, highly-coveted vegan slice. Their crust, like the tomato sauce, is impressively thin and, much like a runway model hobbling around in designer duds, that thinness can either be incredibly attractive or leave you a bit crestfallen and empty. While the cheese slice can leave something to be desired, their lunch specials make for an excellent noon time deal.
The bike-themed ambiance and beer selection have made Lanesplitter’s a go-to post-bike ride spot to indulge in beer and pizza. Also, vegan calzones? This is definitely the spot to get pizza with your vegan friends - or at least get it delivered to your house.
Pizza from a bakery is always a good idea and at Arizmendi’s (3265 Lakeshore Ave.), they deliver the goods. Perhaps the most gourmet out of the bunch, every day it offers a different daily slice with toppings such as roasted root vegetables, broccoli, walnuts, balsamic vinaigrette, cheeses, oils and more. It only offers one pizza a day, which means that there’s no cheese slice to order, ever, and showing up without checking their daily offering is like a win-win Russian roulette of seasonally topped vegetarian pizza.
Arizmendi’s lives up to the pizza coop legend Cheeseboard in Berkeley, of whom Arizmendi’s was born. With the wide selection of pastries and drinks (and even soup!), one would expect of a worker-owned bakery, the pizza is likewise cheesy, rich with seasonal vegetables and offers a chewy, doughy crust to munch on after you’ve finished your meal. Plus, who doesn’t love pecan rolls or muffins or oatmeal cookies for dessert?
Nick’s (6211 Shattuck Ave.) is a new pizzeria located on Shattuck Avenue, right on the cusp of Berkeley. Their slices are crispy and yummy - they fall right between Zachary’s and Lanesplitter’s in terms of thickness and sauciness. With topping options like bacon, sweet potatoes and Brussel sprouts that rotate weekly and a not-your-average-pizza-joint selection of salads (yes, quinoa salad!) and desserts (salted caramel mousse? Yes please), Nick’s is a good place to get a pizza and then some, either as take out, eat in or even delivery in the Oakland-Berkeley area.
Eating a slice in house might remind you of a college town pizzeria, but don’t worry, you’re "not" in Berkeley, so their unfussy aesthetic can be categorized more as “reminiscent of a classic, no frills eatery.”
Oh, and did I mention the vegan options yet? Yes - they have vegan options, which means that the next time you want to get a slice of pizza while with your vegan friends, you have another option.