In more than a quarter-century, Linguini's Restaurant has become one of the most beloved Italian spots in the Bay Area, catering for the Oakland Raiders and the Golden State Warriors, and even whipping up Thanksgiving dinner for Southwest Airlines. In fact, the restaurant's popularity?buoyed by its exceptionally extensive menus and perpetual status as homecoming king?have caused it to split in two. Side-by-side, Linguini's has one eatery devoted to a classic pairing (beer and pizza) while committing a second to the finer things in life (vino and pasta).?
The pizza menu leans casual, with options such as patty melts and baby-back ribs in addition to microbrews and specialty pies such as the Popeye: chicken, mushrooms, and plenty of spinach. The pasta menu, on the other hand, is decidedly more elegant?linguini vongole entangles clams and white onions in a light cream sauce, and a 12-ounce filet sits beneath shallots and burgundy wine. In fact, wine is a huge part of this menu, as the restaurant has curated a list with dozens of Italian, French, and Californian varietals.
This is the cool kid…sorry, Cool Kid, place to be. Dopo creates the environment of an authentic Italian deli with a cool California air. Its red awning, bright yellow walls, and fresh ingredients will having you coming back again and again. They know what they do and they do it well: antipasta panini, and pizza. The antipasti menu includes Italian delicacies such as their insalata of tuna with sun-dried tomatoes, capers, and olives. Or, the cauliflower soup, pistachio, rapini, and eggplant. The panini and pizzas are both made with high-quality meats, cheeses, and vegetables. You can go from the classic mozzarella and fresh basil all the way to roast beef, aioli, and chicories. Wash it all down with an adult beverage from their extensive, and well-curated, wine and beer list.
Cybelle’s Pizza has dampened hunger pangs with a menu of gooey New York–style pizza, calzones, and Italian pasta favorites for more than three decades. Staff invite diners to pick up or receive deliveries of pies devised from a selection of four sauces, five types of cheese, and 35 toppings—with such mainstays as pepperoni and meatballs, and unique offerings that include corn and a medley of clam and garlic—or opt for 1 of the restaurant’s 20 preconceived specialty pizzas to avoid labor disputes with overworked brain cells. The restaurant's calzones envelop sauce along with two types of cheese and chosen toppings, and pasta dishes and appetizers, such as oven-baked hot buffalo wings, round out meals.
The dough wizards at Papa John's hand toss circular masterpieces with original and thin crusts made from high-protein flour to support warm bouquets of toppings. Hand-cut produce crowns all of Papa John's pizzas, mingling with the sun-soaked sweetness of sauce made from fresh, California-grown tomatoes. By adhering to its brand promise of "better ingredients, better pizza," Papa John's grew from a back-tavern pizzeria into more than 3,500 restaurants within three decades' time, or the amount of time it takes to grow a single pizzeria from a small seed.
Four Star Pizza’s masterful pie artisans dole out steamy slices of pizza loaded with tomato sauce and melted mozzarella to complement hot sandwiches, wings, and baked italian pastas. Specialty pizza creations include an all-meat smorgasbord of pepperoni, beef, and canadian bacon and a greek pizza loaded with marinated artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, and ancient philosophical texts. Chefs make pies to-order daily in seven sizes, from the personal 8-inch pie to a massive 24-inch replica of a Roman chariot’s wheel.
The cooks at Lanesplitter bake up a menu of New York–style pizzas and pocket-like calzones, and bartenders at the three pub locations pour a large selection of microbrews. An army of nearly 30 meaty, veggie, and vegan toppings stands ready to occupy thin neapolitan or thick sicilian crusts in combinations such as the herbivore's spinach, mushrooms, onions, and olives ($23.50 for a 19-inch) or the garbage pie's heaping mélange of spiced meats and crisper-drawer items ($27.50 for a 19-inch). The bar's taps have recently flowed with Racer 5 by Bear Republic, E.J. Phair's doppelbock, and hand-pumped Bombay by Boat IPA from Moonlight Brewing Company. Some locations host art openings, where diners and drinkers may admire photography, paintings, or mosaics made entirely of anchovies.