Best Pizza in the East Bay

Whether your pizza preferences lean toward a fancy sit-down trattoria with a handcrafted, wood-fired margherita, or a counter-service hole-in-the-wall that serves up a hot slice of pepperoni and mushroom pie, there are more great options in the East Bay than ever before. Between the artisanal-aimed culinary explosion in Oakland and the increased movement toward sustainability and locally sourced ingredients, the East Bay is a center for what’s new — and old — when it comes to the country’s favorite handheld dinner. Taking into account the wide range of styles, crusts and costs — and whether you use a fork and knife or a traditional Brooklyn fold — these are our East Bay Best Pizza winners for 2022, selected by our editors. And look for our readers’ choice winner, selected by our audience.

Feature Photo: Arthur Mac’s Tap & Snack

Best East Bay Pizza Map

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Arthur Mac’s Tap & Snack

For a place that gives off a hip, young, comfort-food vibe, Arthur Mac’s has some surprisingly creative pizza styles, from the Arty Style Margherita with a buttermilk marinara and balsamic, to the olive tapenade-topped Vegan Superstar and the Pesto 2.0 with piquillo peppers and roasted mushrooms. The outdoor beer garden has a retractable roof, fire pits and heat lamps, as well as a rotating list of local craft brews, wines, hard seltzers and ciders. Hours are 3pm to 10pm Monday through Thursday, 12pm to 11pm Friday and Saturday, 12pm to 10pm Sunday. arthurmacs.com

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Bare Knuckle Pizza

Chef Viet Nguyen decided that no one was making wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas from scratch in downtown Oakland, so he opened Bare Knuckle. The menu for individual-size pies is relatively short, but a surprisingly big portion of it is reserved for vegan pizzas, including vegan versions of the Margherita, the Pepperoni, and the Supremo, with Butcher’s Son mozzarella, Tofurky sausage and vegan bacon and pepperoni. Nguyen uses locally sourced, organic ingredients when possible and locally milled flour. Hours are 4pm to 8:30pm Friday and Saturday. bareknucklepizza.com

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Benchmark

Hidden away in the hills of Kensington, Benchmark opened in 2012 with a style that owners Melissa and Peter Swanson call “neo-Neapolitan.” The smaller wood-fired pizzas range from the simple traditional Benchmark, with sauce, mozzarella and Sicilian oregano, to the creative Fried Sage, with mozzarella, shaved garlic, lemon and brown butter. The cheese, sausage, pies, pasta and condiments are made in-house, and the produce is local and sustainable. Hours are 4:30pm to 9:00pm, daily. benchmarkpizzeria.com

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The Forge

66 Franklin Street, Suite 100, Oakland
510.268.3200

Casual, chic spot on Jack London Square with handcrafted wood-fired pizzas that pack a lot of flavors, both traditional and not-so-much. The more creative pies include the “Skrimp,” with garlic oil, butter poached prawns, red onion, and Calabrian chili, and the G.O.A.T, packed with garlic, roasted fennel, mushroom, sausage, truffle oil, mozzarella and goat cheese. Patio dining is popular on weekends; the indoor dining room is airy and well-spaced. Hours are 12pm to 9 pm Sunday through Thursday, 12pm to 10 pm Friday and Saturday. theforgepizza.com

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Eat_EB_pizza_2022 Gettie Winner Readers Choice

Gioia Berkeley

1586 Hopkins Street, Berkeley
510.528.4692

The name (pronounced “joy-ah”) is an Italian noun for “a feeling of great pleasure and happiness” — which is what fans of New York-style pizza will get at this thoroughly East Coast Italian neighborhood joint. Will and Karen Gioia opened in 2004 with a menu and vibe based on the grab-a-slice places he grew up with in Brooklyn, which means ask for a fork and knife at your own peril. The styles are New York, from Pomodoro to Funghi to Formaggio, but with a healthy dose of California farm-to-fork ingredients and flourishes. Oh, and take the cannoli. Hours are 11am to 8pm, Monday through Saturday, 12pm to 7pm on Sunday. gioiapizzeria.com

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Graffiti Pizza

Hip, compact pizzeria co-founded by pizza guru Matt Molina offers New York-style slices and pies that can be picked up without fear of collapse. Names for most of the styles are pulled from the graffiti lexicon, including the Tagger’s Delight, a no-sauce pie with four cheeses, crushed tomatoes and basic, and the Krylon, with pepperoni, salami, sausage and bacon. Hours are 5pm to 10 pm Sunday and Tuesday through Thursday, 5pm to 1am Friday and Saturday. Closed Monday. graffitipizza1.square.site

More Local Favorites in the East Bay

Who’s writing these?

Meet our always-hungry team of foodies who compiled this list.
Please let us know if we’ve missed your favorite eat@localgetaways.com.

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