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Benchmark Pizzeria

4.3
27 reviews
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$30 and under
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Pizzeria
Perfect For:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Kid-friendly
  • Fit for Foodies

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About

Benchmark Pizzeria is a contemporary Italian restaurant with a California twist. The key to the fantastic pizzas that come out of the kitchen is the authentic wood-burning oven. Benchmark uses dough created with a special yeast and then cooks them at an incredible 800 degrees. This means that pizzas fully cook in two minutes or less. This allows guests to enjoy the quality of Neopolitan-style pizza in a fraction of the time it normally takes to prepare.

Aside from pizzas, Benchmark Pizzeria serves a variety of other items. All of the pasta for the restaurant is made from scratch every day in the prep kitchen. Similarly, all of the sauces are made fresh with ingredients obtained from local sources. The menu changes every day, depending on what is available, with a few staples. One such standard is Benchmark Pizzeria's meatballs with tomato sauce, soft polenta and dino kale.

Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Pizzeria, Italian
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Hours of operation


Lunch: Sunday: 11:00am - 2:00pm

Dinner: Saturday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm; Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
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Phone number
(510) 647-9724
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Peter Swanson
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Private party facilities
Restaurant is available for family-style private events and parties. We can accommodate up to 80 guests.
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Private party contact
Melissa Swanson: (510) 647-9724
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Catering
Benchmark can deliver wood-fired pizzas, house-made lasagna and other baked pastas, antipasto platters & salads, and hearty entrees to your home or office for daytime or evening parties. Please contact melissa@benchmarkpizzeria.com
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Colusa Avenue
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Parking details
Easy street parking.
Additional
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 27 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.3based on all time ratings
4.4
food
4.3
service
3.8
ambience
3.5
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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3.0Dined on March 2, 2016

We told our waiter we planned to share everything we ordered. Despite this, no serving implements appeared with any of our dishes. The server vanished immediately after plunking each dish on the table and never glanced our way again, forcing us to get up from our table and go on a search.

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4.0Dined on February 27, 2016

I love Benchmark pizza. Sometimes, when it's busy I feel like the pizza is rushed out of the oven when it could use a minute more.

The service is slower when it's busy but that's not unreasonable. Overall I really enjoy this neighborhood pizza place. It's quality food.

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5.0Dined on February 18, 2016

Brought my girlfriends for a meeting/dinner. We all ordered "Benchmark" Pizza and caesar salad. The salad was awesome, dressing was not too spicy, delicately covered with a generous amount of parmesan, and the pizza was simply delicious - everyone loved their meal - better than zacharys!

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5.0Dined on January 13, 2016

Wow! This place is great! I have found my new favorite pizza house! Wonderful beers on tap and bottled. Fun vibrant space that is very kid friendly.

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5.0Dined on January 8, 2016

Such a great spot and so kid friendly! I do feel the prices are getting close to the high side for pizza and pasta but quality and service is there. Always a welcome smile to be found.

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4.0Dined on December 11, 2015

Great local Italian with fresh pizza, couple of pastas and really interesting and authentic salads. Nice simple wine list completes the experience. Way better than I expected for the location, a true gem.

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4.0Dined on December 1, 2015

Another great meal - ordered again the Fried Sage Pizza with
Fresh Mozzarella, Parmesan, Brown Butter, Garlic, Lemon - so good.

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5.0Dined on November 12, 2015

Benchmark focuses on making excellent pizza, and they excel at this. They have three or four standard recipes, and then one or two seasonal dishes. In addition they do good pasta, and excellent salads. But the compelling reason to go there is for the pizza.

There is a nice ambience to the place - v much a local restaurant, but one where they pay attention to the quality of ingredients.

Good selection of local draft beers, and interesting selection of wines.
Go here a lot and always enjoy the visit!

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5.0Dined on November 11, 2015

My houseguest from Rome certified Benchmark's food as authentic and delicious. He loved it and remarked on the depth of flavors & textures. He misses his native cuisine so Benchmark was an unexpected treat for him.
Four of us shared 2 orders of the spicy carrot salad, a beet salad, a Caesar, a large bowl of roasted vegetable soup, 3 pizzas, 2 pastas, an order of meatballs with polenta, a flan topped with fresh strawberries, and a Strauss topped with sea salt & olive oil.
I thought we would have leftovers for a late night snack, but we had very little to take home. What a meal! The ingredients were very fresh, of the highest quality and prepared with great imagination and a little magic, I think.
It's the first restaurant that my foodie relatives from NY want to visit!
It's worth the 30 minute drive from Piedmont, and there's never a problem parking!

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5.0Dined on November 9, 2015

I went to this restaurant with my sister and mother. We were intrigued by the wood fired oven. The pizza was absolutely spectacular - they use organic flour. The salad was fresh and incredibly delicious. And we adored the organic ice cream. I will definitely be visiting benchmark next time I am in the east bay. Well worth a visit.

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4.0Dined on October 2, 2015

Great all occasion night out. Excellent food and service.

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4.0Dined on September 18, 2015

A great addition balancing out the pizza options in our neighborhood with their light, crisp, and flavorful naturally-leavened crust and seasonal ingredients. With Zachary's and Little Star, we've completed our "Bermuda Triangle" of pizza.

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4.0Dined on August 8, 2015

Small neighborhood pizza and pasta place. Beer by bottle or on-tap, didn't have wine though available. Pizza is thin crust with fresh local ingredients. Dilly Bean appetizer was great. They brine their own vegetables!

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5.0Dined on June 13, 2015

From pizza to pasta and great starters I always enjoy this Kensington gem!

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5.0Dined on May 9, 2015

we have dined extensively throughout the world - Benchmark provides excellent, fresh food in a sincere manner with straightforward, honest ambience. We are very comfortable here. HIGHLY RECOMMEND COMING TO BENCMHARK.

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5.0Dined on March 13, 2015

Love Benchmark such a great addition to this hood. Kids love the pasta and pizza and can't go wrong with soft serve!

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1.0Dined on February 15, 2015

We live in the neighborhood and decided to take the family for dinner. We live in Italy every summer so are used to good pizza and other great pasta dishes, this place was very disappointing even their spaghetti and meatballs was not available to lactose members of our group as it was premade with cheese! Will not visit again
Disappointed

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4.0Dined on February 4, 2015

This time around had the following:
Goat Cheese, Spinach & Black Olive pizza with Fresh Mozzarella, Parmesan, Red Onion - so tasty!

Pistachio & Red Onion Pizza with Fresh Mozzarella, Parmesan, Lemon Zest - also very good

The kids loved their cheese pizzas and, even more so, the Strauss Sundaes for dessert!

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2.0Dined on December 21, 2014

This is a cute neighborhood spot with a limited menu, heavy on the pizza and pasta. In an area with no shortage of fantastic pizza options, the pizza was good but didn't particularly stand out. We didn't consider ordering any of the pasta entrees - pasta is what I might make for dinner at home whereas when dining out I want something more. We spent $90 to share a pizza, a mediocre caesar salad, a cold side and 2 glasses of wine.

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3.0Dined on December 20, 2014

Great salad, but the olives on the pizza made it a tad salty

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4.0Dined on December 15, 2014

We tried Benchmark Pizza several times when it first opened and were sort of disappointed. The menu was so limited and most items were similar to one another. What a wonderful change they've made today. We've had two amazing dinners there recently and the choices for dinner are varied, extensive and everything we had was not only delicious and beautifully prepared, but also unique. The carrot and fennel salad on the menu now is one of the best things we've eaten all year. We're so happy that there is finally a neighborhood restaurant in that spot that we could eat in once a week without getting bored or paying big bucks.

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5.0Dined on November 28, 2014

Never a miss at Benchmark! Can't say enough great things about this place. Always great food and amazing service!

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5.0Dined on November 14, 2014

Benchmark is around the corner from where I live. I hadn't been there since it first opened and it truly has evolved into an exciting, fresh, creative menu. The pizzas were delicious, the dough fresh and chewy and I love the fact that they make everything - their sausage, cheese, dough etc. the produce is local and straight from farm to table. I had a glass of the Montipulciano - $6.00- and it was very nice. Our waiter was very friendly, attentive and warm - I will return again and again !

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5.0Dined on October 25, 2014

This is our favourite neighbourhood restaurant.
Outstanding pastas, pizza, salads and great wines on tap, and Strauss soft serve ice cream for dessert.
The first seating can be noisy with lots of babies and children filling the dining room so book after 7:30pm if you don't like the noise.

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4.0Dined on October 4, 2014

I really like Benchmark: excellent pizza, great sundaes, varied and interesting appetizers and salads. Don't miss the pistachio pizza. This past visit everything was great as usual, except the caesar salad, which is usually outstanding.

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4.0Dined on September 14, 2014

Excellent pizzas, great salads, very friendly service, unpretentious, good for kids and families and just about everybody. We loved it and will be back. Highly recommended for good food without crazy prices or attitude.

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4.0Dined on August 30, 2014

Had been wanting to check out Benchmark for a year now, but just hadn't found the opp. Really glad we did-- excellent food and nice setup. Only minus was that the service/food delivery was a little slow.

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