As the name coyly suggests, East Coast Pizza provides broad, foldable slices of New York–style pizza in a simple, down-home setting. All food is made fresh to order in-house, either baked in ovens or fired up on the grill. Custom-tailor your own pizza, or order one of the prix-fixe menu options such as the contra costa ($10.75–$23.50), decked out in whole-milk mozzarella and tomato sauce with sausage, pesto, and artichoke hearts. The margherita ($10.75–$23.50) is topped with fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, and tomatoes (pizza sauce optional). If you're craving something more three-dimensional, try the classic chicken-parmigiana sub ($9.95), or a grilled California cheeseburger ($8.95) layered with bacon, fresh avocado, and pepper-jack cheese. The bar portion of the bar and grill offers a selection of beers on tap; pick up a domestic pitcher for $12 and split it among friends or Morlocks while enjoying a sporting game on the overhead televisions.
Satisfying meals and handcrafted beer intersect with premium sports viewing at Lamppost Pizza and Backstreet Brewery, founded in 1976 by Angelo Barro and his sons, Dan and Tom. Today, the franchise welcomes patrons to 37 locations in three states, and the philosophy remains the same at all of them. Seven big-screen TVs broadcast football, basketball, and baseball games from around the leagues to entertain patrons sipping small-batch draft beers brewed onsite. Fans munch on traditional sports-viewing snacks, such as jalapeño poppers, potato skins, and deep-fried depth charts. Chefs also prepare heartier entrees including garlic-chicken pasta, Pesto Supreme pizzas covered with artichoke hearts, and The Linebacker, a pizza loaded with pepperoni, salami, ground beef, sausage, and two types of bacon.
When Giovanni and Virginia Biale settled in San Francisco's Potrero Hill with their three sons in 1922, Giovanni kept his favorite Genoa traditions alive. This included making his own wine, which he'd often serve at family meals. When Prohibition hit, Giovanni secreted his bottles away along the craggy shoreline at Rockaway Beach—dipping into the stash when dining at his nearby vacation home.
Though he might not share this same rebel spirit, Giovanni's grandson Rocco Biale does share his passion for authenticity. At Rocco's Ristorante Pizzeria, he devotes himself to the traditions of Italian cooking and warm hospitality. He pays tribute to his grandfather's winemaking past by curating a list of vintages from Italy and California.
Amidst vintage Italian prints and photographs, diners dig into pasta dishes piled with imported noodles and housemade sauce. These house specialties are joined by pizzas draped with nearly 40 toppings.
Tomatina's chefs rotate their menu three times a year to include the freshest local and seasonal ingredients. Diners can size up appetites with starters such as parmesan-crusted polenta ($6.75) before sinking teeth into more substantial fare on the extensive menu. The culinary wizards ensure freshness and quality by making sauces and dough from scratch and interviewing every tomato before baking an array of specialty pies, including the thin-crusted Pizza Vineyard with oven-roasted seedless red grapes, baby arugula, and gorgonzola ($17 for a large). Similarly, the restaurant's signature piadine dishes cover warm flatbread with cool salads and a bevy of toppings including steak ($10.95), salmon ($11.50), and hummus ($9.95), all of which can be easily imbibed via fork or face-planting.
Pancoast Pizza takes its name from co-owners Robert and Julie Pancoast, a pair of talented chefs with more than 20 years of cooking experience and degrees from the Western Culinary Institute. Their kitchen know-how yields an inventive take on East Coast–style pies. The pair tops their large, foldable slices—which are made with gluten-free flour upon request—with a blend of homemade sauce and a choice of more than 20 toppings ranging from traditional pepperoni and spicy italian sausage to gourmet goat cheese, arugula, and caramelized red onions. Guests may chart their own course with a DIY pie or opt for one of the pizzeria’s eight specialty pies such as the Julie’s, which tucks roasted mushrooms, baby spinach, and garlic under a blanket of four cheeses including fontina, ricotta, parmesan, and smoked mozzarella. In addition to their eponymous pizzas, the chefs also build hearty Italian staples including stromboli, hoagies, and family-sized salads.
This family-owned, Italian flag-colored eatery fed its first patron in 1998. Ever since, its chefs have stood behind stainless-steel countertops in the kitchen to hand-toss disks of dough into pizzas, which they slide into hot ovens on wooden peels. While the pies bake, they also stir the house-made pasta sauces bubbling atop burners. Lasagnas with meat sauce, marinated mushrooms, and ricotta cheeses bake inside ovens alongside signature pizzas. An example of one of these specialties is the pesto genovese with pancetta and fresh tomatoes. Traditional, house-made minestrone soup with seasonal vegetables, crisp salads, and veal parmigiano warms the palates of those who'd rather not swallow the planet Mercury.
The bright, clean walls of the dining area exhibit colorful paintings that include a wall-sized display of pink cherubs flying across a red background with pizzas in their outstretched arms.
From the humble beginnings of a single, small pizzeria in Palo Alto back in 1978, Mountain Mike's Pizza grew to open more than 150 locations across California, Oregon, Nevada, and Utah. Today, each restaurant maintains a low-key, family friendly vibe, serving up a rousing menu of pizzas such as Everest, a mountain of pepperoni, italian sausage, salami, linguiça, beef, mushrooms, black olives, peppers, and onions.
The casual confines of Mountain Mike's Lafayette location showcase mountain photography, sports memorabilia, and a long line of craft-beer taps sporting the logos of Shock Top, Firestone, and Heretic. In addition to boasting the "largest on-tap craft beer selection in Lafayette," this Mountain Mike's is dedicated to its community, donating regularly to local schools, teams, and service organizations that build houses out of pizza dough. Live music and open-mic nights keep its calendar full, and a weekly buffet tops plates with unlimited portions.