What a delicious idea! Who wouldn’t want a self-contained meal featuring a layer of fresh ingredients (typically including cheese and tomato sauce), resting on a bed of circular-shaped thin dough? It’s appropriate for sharing, but why would anyone do that when you can Get Your Own?

Favorite places include:

  • Zero Zero (SF): http://www.zerozerosf.com: Great artisan pizza. Pastas are great too (had the Cavatelli, Sausage, Broccoli Rabe, Butter Bean before). Must remember to leave room for the organic soft serve dessert.
  • Apizza Scholls (Oregon): http://apizzascholls.com: I still dream of their Tartufo Bianco (Fresh mozzarella, pecorino romano with Truffle Oil and sea salt). The other one was quite tasty too (believe it was the Apizza Amore – Margherita plus hot capicollo). Bonus points for their Bay Area connection – they had Anchor Steam on tap and other Bay Area-brewed beers in bottles.
  • Cheese Board Collective (Berkeley): http://cheeseboardcollective.coop: Makes one type of pizza each day (always vegetarian, I think, and definitely delicious). Get a bonus slice if you buy a whole pizza! Collectively owned. Similar to Arizmendi (SF): http://www.arizmendibakery.org/.
  • Pizzaiolo (Oakland): http://www.pizzaiolooakland.com: Nice place to eat delicious pizza, particularly in the backyard on nice summer days. I hear they have the Boot and Shoe olives as of May 2011! (Update: false alarm; I went in September 2011, give or take, and they had olives, but not Boot and Shoe olives.)
  • Boot and Shoe (Oakland): http://www.bootandshoeservice.com: Come for the pizza, stay of the olives! Sister restaurant of Pizzaiolo. First/last visited on February 27, 2011.
  • Zachary’s (Berkeley): http://www.zacharys.com/: Berkeley main-stay. Chicago-style deep-dish pizza.
  • Little Star (SF): http://www.littlestarpizza.com/: If you like Zachary’s, you’ll probably like Little Star too, with its cornmeal crust.
  • Arinells (Berkeley and SF): http://www.yelp.com/biz/arinell-pizza-san-francisco: Probably the first thin-crust pizza I had, later in my undergrad days (after moving on from Blondies and Fat Slice) – I have fond memories of their hole-in-the-wall location (later expanded) on Shattuck. Years later, on one of my earliest bar hopping adventures in the Mission, shortly after moving back to the Bay Area, I discovered, to my great delight, that they were also located in SF. The reality didn’t do my memory justice, but it’s nice to know it’s there.
  • New York pizza places: Sit-down places like John’s (http://www.johnsbrickovenpizza.com/), Lombardi’s (http://www.firstpizza.com/), Grimaldi’s (across the Brooklyn Bridge, http://www.grimaldis.com/). Less enamored by the by-the-slice places,  but Joe’s on Carmine and Bleeker is probably my favorite. Another Brooklyn pizzeria to try: http://www.difara.com/.
  • More places to try: http://www.berkeleyside.com/2011/06/10/the-best-pizza-in-berkeley-our-readers-have-decided/ (Gioia voted #1? Why haven’t I heard about this place before??); Una Pizza Napoletana

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