Water Cooler – Your Favorite Pizza Place

August 30, 2013 12:00 pm · 108 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on Claycord.com where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it!

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday in the noon hour.

Blondie’s Pizza is returning to Pleasant Hill, which brings up a good question (below the picture)….


What’s your favorite pizza place in Claycord?

Talk about it….

(thanks to “11Bravo” for the picture!)

Old Guy's Rule - Old Guys Rule August 30, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Rocco’s on the corner of Ygnacio and Oak Grove for the win!

Bill S August 30, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Marty O’s in downtown Martinez has great pizza. One of his is called the Martini pizza. Green and black olives, sausage, garlic, pearl onion, fresh basil, fresh tomato, feta cheese. It is fabulous!

marinemom August 30, 2013 at 12:06 PM

Skipolini’s and Melo’s

Mister Wister August 30, 2013 at 12:10 PM

Zachary’s and Skipolini’s!

butterball August 30, 2013 at 12:12 PM


wut the August 30, 2013 at 12:15 PM

can not wait for the return of blondies

Enfield303 August 30, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Skipolinis for me.

ad August 30, 2013 at 12:17 PM


russ August 30, 2013 at 12:22 PM

Bambino’s is concords BEST

Scraw August 30, 2013 at 12:23 PM

I agree with Old Guy’s Rule; Rocco’s wins hands down!

cf August 30, 2013 at 12:25 PM

Skips and Melos

Mother trucker August 30, 2013 at 12:26 PM


ItalianGirl August 30, 2013 at 12:26 PM

Skipolini’s is the best!!!

Rebel August 30, 2013 at 12:27 PM

Tied between Skipolinis and Rocco’s.

Mac August 30, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Nothing comes close to Melo`s

Emily August 30, 2013 at 12:32 PM

Strictly-to-Go on Clayton Road at Bailey. The Vegetarian Bulgarian is my absolute favorite.

JT August 30, 2013 at 12:32 PM


All others are just horrible (yes, Melo’s is included in the horrible category). I’m amazed that place is still around.

Dragon August 30, 2013 at 12:33 PM

Yes, it’s a chain, but I like the Round Table in Park n Shop.

I’m not a fan of overly-stuffed pizzas, or deep dish. Round Table has a good, solid, basic pizza with a large selection of toppings, all at a fair price. The staff is nothing but professional. Can’t ask for much more than that.

I would like to find a good New York-style pizza place for the rare occasions I want something more, though.

Mac August 30, 2013 at 12:34 PM

But if you want to go “old school” the “Straw Hat” on Contra Costa was the best for many years

Shuley August 30, 2013 at 12:36 PM

I must chime in for Strictly to Go. Have not tried much else on their menu than pizza, but it’s darn good and reasonably priced. Also love Zacchary’s

Lorelei August 30, 2013 at 12:37 PM

ONE of the aforementioned “parlours” has waaaaay overpriced pizza. That being said, how can there be any contest with Zachary’s now in CoCo County?!?!?!?

zach August 30, 2013 at 12:37 PM

Zachary’s for me!

Killjoy August 30, 2013 at 12:39 PM

Skips! In fact, I’m there right now! LOL

Em Dubya August 30, 2013 at 12:43 PM

The pizza someone else is buying.

PH Fan August 30, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Hahahahahahahah…this is laughable…what a joke! I can tell you, I will NEVER eat there! Have you seen how dirty it still is??

We love Pizza My Way and Devino’s…yum!

Tummy Grumble August 30, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Zachary’s deep dish spinach and mushroom. They also have the best Cesar dressing with a little kick to it.

On the topic of pizza…I drove past the Blondie’s the other day and the inside of was piled w misc. junk /trash stacked high up against the windows. It looked like an episode of Hoarders could be filmed in there. Maybe they should have cleaned out the place before putting up the new sign. Not exactly appealing.

RoadKing August 30, 2013 at 12:47 PM

“Skip’s” !

Grace August 30, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Paxti’s Pizza in Lafayette! Matt Cain deep dish YUM!

Eddie spaghetti August 30, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Straw Hat down on Clayton Rd by Mansi Video and Fresno Beauty Supply.

J. August 30, 2013 at 1:02 PM

DeVino’s Pizza and Pasta
2221 Morello Ave Pleasant Hill, CA 94523 (at Taylor BL)
(925) 689-6666

The owner used to work at Melo’s and stole all the best secrets and made them better.

Cowellian August 30, 2013 at 1:04 PM

Strictly to Go

Mr. John August 30, 2013 at 1:06 PM

Skipolini’s, Rocco’s and Zachary’s are all very good – I rotate through them. As a Cal graduate, I have a soft spot for Blondie’s, too… but it isn’t as good. However, my favorite pizza is homemade.

Pro Choice....Gun owner August 30, 2013 at 1:07 PM

Zachary’s Chicago style mushroom and spinach or Rocco’s for regular…The Dominator is awesome or sausage mushroom with pesto. Skippolini’s sucks and is over priced. Tried a Sorrento’s to go and it was under cooked never again but love their food!

Pleasant Hill Resident I August 30, 2013 at 1:08 PM

We usually stick to Melo’s or Round Table.

Each time I’ve tried Skipolini’s, I’ve been disappointed (and I’m obviously not a pizza snob since I tend to order from Round Table haha). We haven’t visited the Zachary’s in DTPH yet since there’s been a crazy wait whenever we’ve tried, but I’ve really liked their pizza at other locations.

CaroCall August 30, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Ravioli’s in Todos Santos. Their pizza is wonderful.

Old Timer August 30, 2013 at 1:17 PM

Bambino’s is the best!

From NY August 30, 2013 at 1:21 PM

Strictly to Go on Clayton. Great price in 1 topping to go and great people running it.

Don P - N. Concord August 30, 2013 at 1:22 PM

Pizza Guys Mailer Coupons ALL DAY FTMFW

CoatiMundi August 30, 2013 at 1:25 PM

New York Pizza on Clayton Road; I’m from Brooklyn & this is the best NY style in the area. Arinell pizza in Berkeley is the best in the Bay Area

Mr. Pink August 30, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Have to go Skips, however I have never been to Zachary’s or Melo’s. Recall Rocco’s being decent. Love Round Table. Love Mt. Mike’s pepperoni.

Anyone been to Pinky’s recently? New location on N. Broadway.

Mmmm pizza August 30, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Round table is good and consistent so that’s the go to.

Skips would be my fave although they can be hit or miss. Sometimes our pizza comes burnt on the bottom and undercooked on top. Happens more often than we would like ( at the walnut creek one only ).

Tried Rocco’s twice and both times bottom of crust was burnt so never went back.

For deep dish, Love Paxtis in Lafayette! Tastes as good as my other fave deep dish place, Zachary’s in Oakland. Tried the San Ramon Zachary’s and was not as good. Have not tried the P Hill Zachary’s yet.

Absolute favorite pizza place was The Pizza Place on n main in walnut creek which is now gone 🙁 They had the best texture/tasting crust and pizza flavor was outstanding. Ordered to go often snd was sad to see them close!!!

Hanging out in Berkeley as a teen I always loved blondies! But the phill one never tasted as good as berkeleys.

As it is, still on the hunt for the best, consistent pizza!!!!!

Reality says... August 30, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Blondies? I just threw up in my mouth a little!

I went there with my wife and kids to try it out. Always a little suspicious when people with tats, 5 different colors on their hair and gauges the size of golf balls are making my food…but I figured this was the “vibe” of the place so I’d check my concern.

Sure enough, 10 minutes into watching a guy make a pizza he scratches once of the meth sores on his arm then proceeds to spread the cheese and pepperoni on someones pizza without washing his hands. I think to myself, “self, ,did he just do what I think he did?” And as self was answering that question, the girl taking the money proceeded to help him make pizzas without any gloves. I asked myself again “self, did you just see that girl handle money then put her hands on someones food?” Before self could answer that one I told my wide and kids we’re leaving. I let them keep the money, I just had to get the hell out of there before I caught something. I never went back there and dont plan to ever again; new building or not.

Best pizza? The one my wife makes with dough and ingredients from Trader Joe’s.

Blondies? Jesus H Christ!

For the price? August 30, 2013 at 1:43 PM

Sam’s Club. 🙂

Best flavor and crust? DeVino’s, Melo’s, Skips, Rocco’s, Zachary’s and I’ve never gone wrong with Round Table. Ravioli’s is good but a little pricey.

Shulla August 30, 2013 at 1:46 PM

Strictly to Go, Zachary’s & Melos.

Incognito August 30, 2013 at 1:50 PM

My house.
Friday night is homemade pizza night!
Been doing it for years, right down to my own homemade crust. \
Either on the grill, or in the oven.
Beats any pizza joint in Claycord.

Susie Hammond August 30, 2013 at 1:51 PM

Skips all the way, second Melo’s

Greg in Pleasant Hill August 30, 2013 at 1:52 PM

I remember the old Straw Hat, Mac!

They had a movie screen that would show old silent films while you ate your pizza.

Greg in Pleasant Hill August 30, 2013 at 1:53 PM

Right next to El Taco.

Idiocracy August 30, 2013 at 1:55 PM

Round Table!!!!!!!!! the rest is all Garbage unless you go to Chicago for deep dish or New York for the real deal!

mikeylicksit August 30, 2013 at 1:59 PM

One of the oldest estabishments in Claycord,
Tullio’s Italian Restaurant. Gets my vote. Well done surviving all this time.

ktop August 30, 2013 at 2:01 PM

So it seems we have a true taste of pizza.

Can anyone tell me the best:

1. Italian Cheese Pizza
2. Best veggie
3. Best party pleaser, pleasing all walks of life
4. Best all round meat eater
5. Fast doesn’t matter what the pizza tastes like

I love pizza but just can’t seem to find the perfect place.

Hoping for lots of fun.

Bluebird August 30, 2013 at 2:01 PM

We love DeVino’s and Rocco’s!

DLS_ Spartan August 30, 2013 at 2:04 PM

Pinkys pizza in walnut creek

True August 30, 2013 at 2:07 PM


Lisa August 30, 2013 at 2:16 PM

Round Table and Mountain Mike’s. They taste very similar, and I love it!

Palermo August 30, 2013 at 2:17 PM

Melo’s. As for Blondie’s, they still haven’t cleared out any of the garbage that’s been in there for years, place is probably filled with rats and roaches.

Horse'n Around August 30, 2013 at 2:17 PM

Papa Johns. We tried Papa’s Murphy’s and we ALL got sick.

Mike August 30, 2013 at 2:29 PM

Melo’s, does anyone remember Mama Mia’s, miss the calzone.

Dorothy August 30, 2013 at 2:33 PM

Used to be a great place in the Mission in SF. Had a fire and closed, not had a great pizza since. Used to be good one in the Embarcadero #2, but it closed. Haven’t had a good mushroom pizza since.

I will try Blondie’s after it opens but it will have a lot of hype to live up to.

MEW August 30, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Rocco’s all the way. Great restaurant run by a really good and decent person.

postal August 30, 2013 at 2:41 PM


Strad August 30, 2013 at 2:44 PM

Tullio’s no sauce pizza (veggie)

aubrey August 30, 2013 at 2:56 PM


Mac August 30, 2013 at 2:58 PM

We have been loving the New Pinkys!! Pizza is super good. For deep dish we love Patxis in Lafayette!

jm76 August 30, 2013 at 2:58 PM

Melo’s…love Zachary’s, but not everybody in my family likes the stuffed pizza thing, I think they’re crazy. And Rocco’s of course. Their risotto is amazing as well. Rocco’s is just kinda far from everything sometimes. Great after a Castle Rock walk though!

Diablo August 30, 2013 at 3:03 PM

Rocco’s is the place!!!

Love's Pizza August 30, 2013 at 3:14 PM

Melo’s followed by Skipolini’s.

the other jj August 30, 2013 at 3:23 PM

my cousins,, patxis pizza..expensive but good,,

AAA sean August 30, 2013 at 3:27 PM

If you’re inside the city limits I guess would have to be strictly to go.
The owner and his wife are from Bulgaria and they’re very nice people
She also makes his own sausage LOL

But if you’re outside the city limits and you have to go to Gaspare’s there is one in the city and one in San Rafael and they are wonderful but you must be warned if you go to this place you will never be able to eat a pizza from a chain restaurant ever again.

AAA sean August 30, 2013 at 3:29 PM

Also, the # 21 @ Gaspare’s no comparison.

PH Dad August 30, 2013 at 3:32 PM

Skipolini’s and DeVino’s are both quite excellent.
If you haven’t tried Patxi’s in Lafayette yet, you should. Much better than Zach’s.
I’ll check my Hepatitis vaccination status before I go to Blondies. Used to love the slices there and back in the day at Cal. Anyone remember Armadillo Pizza? Yum.

hankster August 30, 2013 at 3:39 PM

panCoast Pizza in WC! Best East Coast style thin crust.
Zachary’s for deep dish.

Concord Guy August 30, 2013 at 3:42 PM

Pizza Antica in Lafayette, hand down, is the best in the area.

@ PH DAD August 30, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Yes…good ole armadillo. Also loved Top Dog. Wish they had one over here!

NoMoreFreeRide August 30, 2013 at 4:40 PM

Mello’s or Skip’s

anonanonagain August 30, 2013 at 4:40 PM

This place still looks like a dump!!! The owner obviously doesn’t give a rats about the building.
Quite frankly, Strictly To Go Pizza is one of my favorite places to get pizza…..

JD August 30, 2013 at 5:06 PM

Skipolini’s for the special occasion. Mountain Mike’s for the quick delivery. We were just at DeVino’s last night. We always get an pasta dish. I told my wife that we need to order their pizza some time. After reading these comments, I’m definitely doing that on our next visit.

I have lived in the area for almost 14 years and have never wanted to even try Blondies. The place looks like it’s ready to fall down and infested with who knows what (or who). After two years of “improving” it, it looks worse than before. And now they move back in with it looking like that? No, thanks. Never.

In fact, I’ll never patronize any shop in that building. The city should declare eminent domain, condemn it as blight, tear it down and sell the land. The owner is irresponsible.

Steve August 30, 2013 at 5:32 PM

Skipolonis, but Round table is actually pretty decent as far as big chain pizza places go. DeVinos in pleasant hill used to be our go to place, but their quality has declined in the last couple years.

aj buttacavoli August 30, 2013 at 6:09 PM

Here’s how you do it. Toast up some good sourdough bread, butter it, then spread your favorite tomato sauce, topped with your favorite cheese, then nuke and voila! you have the best pizza in town bar none!!!!!

doglover August 30, 2013 at 6:16 PM

Hands down, Amici’s. Unfortunately, closest one is in Dublin to the South, Vacaville to the East. Worth the drive.

Suburban Dad August 30, 2013 at 6:45 PM

I was a loyal Melo’s customer for 3 decades. About 6 years ago my wife and I bought a small Combination to go. When I got home, the only vegie on the pizza was one very small strip of green bell pepper. I called Melo’s and asked to talk to the manager. He told me that the veggies are for color only and no, he wouldn’t replace the pizza. We get out pizza at DeVino’s now, it’s consistently good pizza. At a party a few weeks ago the host bought Melo’s pizza, it confirmed that DeVino’s is still better, much better.

Keith August 30, 2013 at 6:52 PM

I’ll eat pizza from anywhere. I don’t care what it costs, or how long I have to wait.

I’m an easy sell. I’m eating it!

Cassandra August 30, 2013 at 7:01 PM

Extreme Pizza on Danville Blvd. in Alamo.

They have a “Yard Sale” pizza which includes everything you can think of!

It’s $26.95 for a XL. You won’t walk out hungry……….

Grumpy August 30, 2013 at 7:24 PM

Giambo’s in Moscow Idaho.To bad their pizza is not available in California.

anonymous here August 30, 2013 at 7:46 PM

Strictly to Go on Clayton Road. Wonderful service too.

Walnut Creek Resident August 30, 2013 at 7:47 PM

My homemade pizza…I make it on a cookie sheet. A giant big rectangle of the best pizza you ever ate. smiles

crazytech58 August 30, 2013 at 9:31 PM

Pinky’s in Walnut Creek has been the best for over 35 years, they moved to broadway 2 years ago, awesome combination pizza

Johnny Ringo August 30, 2013 at 9:47 PM

Tavo’s. YV Road and Clayton Rd. It was the best. Lease issues and they’re gone. But still in Brentwood.

Sofa King August 30, 2013 at 10:04 PM

Not even a question- Skippolini’s. Derrrr.

P_Hill Phil August 30, 2013 at 10:17 PM

Sham”s Pizza in Pacheco …Many years ago.

Mmmmmm....... August 30, 2013 at 10:45 PM

Mary’s Pizza Shack in Walnut Creek. It’s in the shopping center on Oak Grove near YV with the Nob Hill supermarket.

Living in Concord August 30, 2013 at 11:10 PM

Strictly to Go & Rocco’s both have great pizza.

Mmm...pizza August 30, 2013 at 11:21 PM

We loved Freddie’s in Lafayette but since they shut down we have been searching for a new favorite. Tavo’s was our new go-to but now we are on the lookout for a new favorite again. For thin crust we love Pizza Antica in Lafayette. I went to school in Berkeley and loved Blondie’s an Fat Slice. But we won’t be going to the Blondie’s here when they reopen. BARF!

CoCo old August 30, 2013 at 11:45 PM

La Val’s Northside. Freddie’s 🙁

RS August 31, 2013 at 12:22 AM

Skipolini’s and Devino’s for sure! Their vegetarian pizzas are the bomb.

Don't ever go to Paxti's August 31, 2013 at 12:58 AM

More room for me.

Can’t believe only one mention on the whole list. You are SLEEPING on good pie if you haven’t been there.

el congo August 31, 2013 at 1:04 AM


ptpauly August 31, 2013 at 3:31 AM

Wife’s, Melos
Me Skips Clayton
If down towards Alamo way, Round Table, best salad bar ever, shrimp, artichoke hearts, had boiled eggs, the works, but it is $$

annonamoose August 31, 2013 at 6:41 AM

Rocco’s in the Encina Grande, Ygnacio at Oak
Grove. Their individual pizzas are the best.

Mixed Girl August 31, 2013 at 8:29 AM

NY. Pizza, PH.

DoReMi August 31, 2013 at 8:31 AM

Unlike most, I have a variety of pizza’s that I like. Bambinos, DeVinos, Skipolini’s and yes, Round Table. The newest addition to my repetoire is Pizza To Go. The Little Kitchen Sink is a few dollars less and plenty of flavor to this dollar conscious person. Costco has a decent pizza too.

The ones I will avoid at all costs are Dominos and Little Caesars. I haven’t tried one of those take n bake ones.

Happ August 31, 2013 at 1:18 PM

Notice they never cleaned out the building (Blondies in PHill) when they closed. All the ovens and stuff have just been sit’n there. Don’t want to think about it but my guess is they’ll just fire up the ovens and start cooking. A gross thought but even when it was open it never seemed that they focused much on cleaning.

ChampagneKitty August 31, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Papa Murphy’s Take N Bake makes great pizza. Unfortunately, I had to stop going there because of my mobility issues. It is difficult for me to carry the pizza. So now I have it delivered by the pizza place closest to my home, which is Round Table Pizza. They are pretty good. I like Mountain Mike’s, too.

Roger the Shrubber August 31, 2013 at 9:56 PM

Bambino’s hands down!

Roger the Shrubber August 31, 2013 at 10:08 PM

zachs was my favorite since were talking out of area, until i did a side by side comparison to north beach pizza in the city. sorry zach’s fans nbp blew zachs away. you need to go to the right location though. i’m lost in the city but its the one closest to north beach i believe. and i grew up back east in in a city filled w/ authentic italians, you know ‘forgidaboudit’ and i apprenticed under an italian chef who’s red sauce was so good i’d eat like it was soup.

Antler September 1, 2013 at 8:25 AM

Please, Shuley at #20, Mr. John at #32, Walnut Creek at #86, and Incognito at #45 ~ ~ ~ Would you be kind enough to post your recipes for homemade pizza dough….maybe over on Whatever thread?

I took a lot of notes re restaurants we have not tried, and I appreciate that some of you added the location and addresses to your favorites! 🙂

Connie Dobbs September 1, 2013 at 8:58 AM

#102 Not unless he plans to burn it down for the insurance.

ChampagneKitty September 1, 2013 at 12:24 PM

Miss Connie, whose pizza do you like, or do you not care for pizza?

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