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Restaurants & Bars 21

Peninsula Pizza Round-Up (long) - Speederia, Toto's, Slice on the Avenue, O Sole Mio & More

katya | Mar 2, 200508:33 PM

Since moving to Millbrae I’ve been trying out the local pizza wares. Here’s my assessment so far (and I’m limited by picky boyfriend, Mark, who won’t eat pork or non-mozzarella cheeses):

The Best (in no particular order)

Mark and I have now gone to Speederia in downtown San Carlos for lunch the last 4 out of 5 Sundays. The 2 slices and a coke for $5 special is great. It’s not the best pizza I’ve ever had, but the plain cheese and garlic chicken pesto slices are quite flavorful and on a nicely crispy thin crust. Like Arinell, the slices are reheated to order (though these sometimes get a little cold), and there are only a handful of tables. It took me awhile to figure why the restaurant is named what it is, though the “eria” part is obvious. After a couple visits, I finally noticed all the pictures of fast cars and posters from car movies on the walls. Thanks to those posting on Chowhound about this place. I would have never gone here otherwise.

Speederia Pizzeria
711 Laurel Street
San Carlos


Zach Georgopoulis recommended this place near the Millbrae/San Bruno border (apparently there’s also a Belmont location). Garlic is added to the pizza sauce for free upon request. We always order a one topping pizza… and their mixture of bell peppers and onions count as a single topping. Score! The crust is of medium thickness, and the toppings, cheese, and sauce always taste great.

Toto’s San Bruno
1690 El Camino Real
San Bruno

Toto’s Belmont
1250 B El Camino Real

Slice on the Avenue
Located on the corner across the street from the Burlingame Caltrain station, Slice on the Avenue has a similar set-up to Speederia. You order slices at the counter that are then reheated. Unfortunately, the only tables are outside so I have to postpone my next visit until summer. The slices have a really nice thin crispy crust, and the plain cheese slice (and the one at Speederia) are the closest I’ve come to Arinell on the Peninsula (note: still far from the awesomeness that is Arinell). I only have been able to go here once though. We got a decent enough small garden salad to go with it.

Slice on the Avenue
1101 Burlingame Ave

Duh. It’s good. Lots of posts on this board.

69 Third Ave.
San Mateo

Wish I Could Remember These Better But They Were Good

O Sole Mio
Located in downtown Millbrae, O Sole Mio serves pizza and pasta in an old-fashioned grape-vines-curling-down-from-the-ceiling-and-walls sort of way. We ordered the pizza margherita which had too much cheese, but plenty of potential. Our overall impression was very positive, and the complimentary bread was exceptional.

O Sole Mio
352 Broadway
Millbrae, CA


Pizz’a Chicago
It seems like I’m the only one on Chowhound who likes this chain. I still heartily recommend their pizza special which includes a mini pizza, soup or salad, and a soda served in a mason jar. The Blackhawk pizza – mozzarella, sausage, ricotta, red peppers, and lemon zest is quite good. I’ve only eaten at this location once though and it doesn’t stand up to the Palo Alto or San Jose locations at all in terms of food or ambiance. (This place is tiny and more apt to serve take-out).

Pizz’a Chicago
2968 S. Norfolk (in the Marina Plaza shopping center, next to Blockbuster)
San Mateo

The Worst

Marvin Gardens
As I approached this place in industrial Belmont, I was excited that I might perhaps discover a cool off-the-beaten path kind of place. Marvin Gardens is a bar, and most patrons are more into getting together for drinks than eating. We snagged the last available table, and perused the menu – half of which is devoted to pizza. We ordered a plain cheese, and it was extremely greasy, with way too much cheese. Other pizzas with actual toppings looked better. I felt bad for dragging Mark away from our planned Amici’s excursion for what turned out to be below-mediocre pizza. The review on Chowhound for this place suggested the pancetta pizza so maybe it’s our own fault.

Marvin Gardens
1160 Old County Rd.

On the List to Try Next
Pacific Gourmet - Foster City
Zorba's - San Bruno/Millbrae border
North Beach Pizza - San Mateo(I’ve been to others though)
Pizza My Heart - San Mateo (I've been here once but really can't remember it)

Am I missing any I should try?

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