Pizza and pasta dishes were excellent. Good wine and beer selection. Service was good. For a 7pm dinner they had already run out of a primary chicken entree and their fresh baked bread served to all patrons, so that was a bit disappointing.
Only had 1 choice for dessert and then ran out of dessert entirely. They put us directly in front of the door so we continuously got blasts of cold air every few minutes. Service was fine but I was underwhelmed by entire experience.
One of my favorite restaurants in the bay area. Love the pasta.
The food and the service was wonderful! A little noisy but......
We loved the Caesar, pizza, pasta and donuts. Chanterelles featured on pizza and pasta options. Loved them!
I really wanted to like this place, but there are simply so many other places to get better pizza in Oakland. We got the peppers and tomatoes pizza and added sausage and it was really runny. There was no way to eat it with your hands - it had to be cut and eaten with a fork. There was only one desert and it was donuts which seems like an odd choice for a pizza restaurant especially after eating carb-loaded pizza. Wine was good, service was pleasant, location is good. I just wish the pizza was a lot better!
Best pizza. Great service. Will go back again.
There was a band playing outside in the plaza so the noise level was extreme. Also the street was closed off so parking was challenging. The location was perfect, service and food were great. Highly recommend it but avoid Saturday night
Really enjoyed the chopped salad and the brown butter sage pizza (with sausage added). Nothing fancy or particularly hip about Benchmark - just a solid performance in a pleasant low key atmosphere with a full bar and reasonable prices located centrally in Old Oakland.
Our group of five attended the author dinner celebrating Allison Arevalo's new cookbook Pasta Friday. Allison was a co-founder of Homeroom, the mac n cheese restaurant in Temescal. The menu was comprised of dishes from Pasta Friday. Grandma's Tomato Salad and the Classic Italian Chopped Salad were so delicious that we couldn't stop eating them. The tomatoes at Benchmark are simply the best I've ever tasted, so fresh and flavorful! There were 2 tasty pasta dishes and olive oil cake w/citrus & whipped cream. We enjoyed the pasta and dessert, but we all prefer Benchmark's regular offerings.
3 hearty & hungry diners shared a small Caesar, the beet salad, chicken Milanese, sausage & mushroom pizza w/salami added, pizza w/prosciutto, pasta w/Bolognese, and lemon ricotta donuts w/chocolate sauce. The chicken had a light crispy crust and the meat was moist and tasty! Had to restrain myself from asking for a second order because we had so much more coming. Early dinner on the Sunday of the Eat Real Festival was quiet in a sometimes very lively room. Am looking forward to returning this Thursday Sept 26th for the author dinner w/Allison Arevalo, former owner of Homeroom.
Good pizza and salad. I wish they had more appetizer options.
We love Benchmark in general and go to both locations. The food is always fresh and flavorful and the drinks are good. The problem is that the service, while friendly, is super inconsistent. Tonight we kept having to flag down our server and someone brought us our bill before we had been offered dessert, which we definitely wanted. The dessert menu offered liqueurs and a flight of 3 but when we tried to order, it was unclear which qualified. We ended up ordering 3 full-sized shots, way more expensive.
This inconsistency in service is an issue at both locations and over the years we have experienced different portions of wine, having to wait between courses, and a general lack of organization. Everyone is always very nice and the food is delicious, so we keep returning, but we would come even more if the service were better. It’s disappointing that such good food and bon ami is not paired with excellent service.
Food was spectacular. Get the fried sage pizza.
Great pizza. First time here. Nice atmosphere!
Very loud, but OK to take a client to. Not so many choices for that in downtown Oakland right now.
My friend & I had a delicious dinner at Benchmark Oakland. We've been there many times and never tire of the exquisite setting and friendly service. We loved the melon salad with prosciutto, the fried sage pizza and the pasta with pesto. Everything always tastes so bright & fresh! It is always perfectly prepared. We were too full for dessert. Otherwise we would have had the lemon ricotta donuts with chocolate sauce. Maybe that's a good reason to return soon!
Vibrant bistro in Old Oakland not to be missed. Fun food & drinks menu & friendly staff.
Benchmark has become a regular lunch and dinner option for us. We enjoy the fresh farm ingredients in the salads, pizzas, and entrees. We have had no issues with all our experiences. The waitstaff are always professional and friendly. We are always welcomed with a smile. We highly recommend Benchmark for lunch and dinner.
This corner spot in Old Oakland seems to be reserved for an Italian restaurant, but that Italian restaurant keeps changing. The Benchmark iteration is less fancy than some of its predecessors. Your cutlery and paper napkins are in a metal utensil holder on the table, the prosecco arrives in a standard wine glass, and the menu is primarily pizza. But we were impressed by the quality of the pizza, with a great crust with perfectly blackened blisters and no sogginess. The handmade pasta came in a generous serving, actually enough for a main portion and not just a tasty handful of pasta as so many pasta courses are presented. The salad was huge and would make a solid main, or enough to split between two or even three diners as an appetizer course. And the vegan cheese on the menu makes this a great option for both vegans and lactose-intolerant pizza lovers. We'll be back!