Zachary’s Pizza has, without doubt, the best pizza in the Bay Area. Indeed, probably the world. I’ve never really had pizza in Chicago (whose pizza Zachary’s tries to imitate), but I just can’t imagine how it could be any better.
Zachary’s offers two types of pizza: thin and stuffed. I have never had the thin pizza and I never will (that would seem to me to be a waste of a visit to Zachary’s), so I can’t comment about it. The stuffed pizza, however, is heavenly. What you get is more a cheese pie than a pizza. A bottom layer of dough is covered with tons of cheese (but I always order extra-cheese anyway) and toppings and then topped by another layer of dough. This whole thing is covered by stewed tomatoes. The description, however, doesn’t do justice to the result. You really need to try it to know why it rocks.
Zachary’s has two locations, one on Solano in North Berkeley and the other in Rockridge. They both have an eat-in section which are fairly nice. The walls tend to be decorated with children’s drawings of Zachary’s pizza. Getting a table is usually very hard, specially during peak eating hours. You have to be prepared to wait (or go, put your name down and stroll through the neighborhood). They don’t take reservations, but you can pre-order your pizza when you put your name down, so that it’s ready once you your table is ready.
What we usually do is get take-out (Zachary’s doesn’t deliver, it also doesn’t take credit cards, it’s a cash-only place). We live a 20-minute drive away from the closest Zachary’s (the one in Rockridge) but the pizza is still warm by the time we get it here. My favorite pizza is the plain cheese (with extra cheese), though last time we had one with Canadian bacon and pineapple that was also very yummy. Mike prefers the ones with toppings. His favorite is the Mexican chorizo, a spicy pizza with green chiles and Monterrey Jack cheese. We had both of these last Thursday night and we were all very pleased. A large pizza has 8 slices. We usually each eat two slices for dinner or one for lunch.
It usually takes 40 minutes for the pizza to be ready so order accordingly. I’ve found that the leftovers microwave well, but make sure not to overheat it. I use 2 minutes on high but I have an old microwave.
2011 Update It’s been 20 years since we started going to Zachary’s pizza (and 7 years since my review) and Zachary’s continues to make wonderful, delicious stuffed pizza. From time to time they add more varieties to their menu and prices, of course, go up. Last night we had their Carne stuffed crust pizza ($28 for a large), which comes with Italian sausage, pepperoni, salami, chopped bacon and mozzarella. It wasn’t my favorite. There were too many toppings, they were too salty altogether, and they didn’t let the flavor of the cheese shine through. It was still a great pizza, but not as good as their plain cheese pizza (still my fave). Zachary’s has added a new location in San Ramon now, which we haven’t been to. They take reservations there.
5801 College Ave.
Fri-Sat : 11am-10:30