Established in 1983, Zachary’s Chicago Pizza is a 100-percent employee-owned company located in Oakland (and three other East Bay locations). Recognized locally and nationally with over 150 Best Pizza Awards, Zachary’s offers 2 styles of pizza: a Chicago-style stuffed pizza, and a traditional thin crust pizza.
Slices of the Zachary’s thin-crust slices are available daily from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. Stuffed deep-dish pizza slices aren’t normally available, but are sometimes offered when someone fails to pick up a phone order in a timely manner.
Both the stuffed Chicago pizza and thin-crust pizza are available at any time during Zachary’s normal hours of operation.
The two styles are very different, yet each has its advantages.
The Thick Kind
Zachary’s stuffed pizza may be delicious, but it is gooey and thick enough to require silverware to eat, which pretty much necessitates a sit-down meal. This style has been described[by whom? … By me, dagnabbit! This isn’t wikipedia!] as “pizza stew” and as “lasagna on crust.” Zachary’s employees tend to treat this style as their “real” pizza, and it's what sets Zachary's apart.
And the BEST Zachary’s stuffed pizza is the Spinach & Mushroom, with the addition of pesto on top! Even though pesto counts as two toppings, it is SO worth it!
Unlike the thin crust pizzas, Zachary's stuffed pizza is amazing (some might say better) the next day after a night in the refrigerator.
The Thin Kind
The BEST thin crust pizza Zachary’s offers is the Chorizo special with Mexican chorizo sausage, green chiles, and jack cheese. Zachary’s discontinued the Chorizo special several years ago, but due to constant requests by customers, it was returned to the menu. And unlike some of the other combinations, the Chorizo thin crust tastes AWESOME the next day!
The slices sold during the day are not the paper-thin, greasy New York-style pizza one might typically expect from a pizza joint that sells by the slice, but rather robust, flavorful, thick-crusted slices substantial enough that one (plus a drink) can suffice for a quick lunch. Zachary’s employees, oddly enough, tend to view this style as something to warm their ovens and accommodate the lunch crowd, but otherwise nothing special. However, many customers prefer Zachary’s slices. This makes sense, since they are the muhfun bizzomb. However, they have a unique (for pizza) property of not tasting as good cold. Usually, cold pizza (especially for breakfast!) is a sublime experience; but Zachary’s slices, oddly enough, seem to fare much better straight from the oven, piping hot. This may have to do with crust composition [Anyone who knows for sure, please feel free to explain here].
…but that’s not all
They also have a good salads, a nice beer selection, and are rumored to have non-pizza items on their menu.
Grand Lake - 3917 Grand Ave, Oakland CA 94610
Rockridge - 5801 College Ave., Oakland, Ca., 94618
Sunday-Thursday: 11:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 11:00 a.m. - 10:30 p.m.
Zachary's was voted BEST PIZZA in Oakland Magazine’s Best of Oakland 2014 and Contra Costa Times’ Best in the East Bay 2014. (source)
Zachary's was the recipient of the East Bay Express Best Pizza Readers' Poll Award in 2014 and 2015.
Won 2014 "Readers' Choice" Best Pizza in Oakland Magazine.
Personal Anecdotes and Comments
As a native Chicagoan who (admittedly) hasn’t actually had pizza in Chicago for over five years and who (again, admittedly) hasn’t had cheese in a year, Zachary’s is awesome. - mk30
- LATE 2013 UPDATE: It's now been even longer since I haven't been in Chicago and haven't eaten cheese, but I HAVE tried Zachary's vegan deep dish pizza and it was wonderful! - mk30
- As a native Oaklander who has never been to Chicago, I can’t know how authentic Zach’s is — but I do know that if they ever bailed for the ’burbs, I’d be done here. I can’t survive for long without their slices. — Mike
- For those in the ‘burbs, Zachary’s just (on February 7, 2013) opened a new location in Pleasant Hill at 140 Crescent Drive, across from the Cinemark movie theater. JL
- For those, I just discovered that Zachary’s now has vegan pizzas and gluten-free crusts. Can’t vouch for either of them, though the ‘cheese’ is Daiya mozzarella style - diwu
- Zachary’s Chicago Pizza official website