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Boot & Shoe Service

PHOTOS: Krescent Carrasso

If someone told you to go to a place called Boot & Shoe Service in Oakland, you’d probably say: I actually have a guy in San Francisco who does a great job at re-soling, but thanks for the hot (if weird) tip.

But you would be wrong, since Boot & Shoe Service has nothing to do with loafers. It sounds like it could be a trying-too-hard bar where the moustaches are growing moustaches, but it isn't that either. Instead, it's a very good pizza place with sides and cocktails to match the thin-crusted greatness coming out of the oven.

Pizza is the main draw of Boot & Shoe, and for good reason. With wood-fired, thin crispy crusts plus top notch ingredients, the pizzas are magical. Boot & Shoe Service also has a level of excitement to it that you usually don’t come across in suburban Oakland. You can watch the pizza people at work on the dough, and if we’re date nighting, the long bar on the left side of the restaurant is a great place to post up with one other person. Another strong point of Boot & Shoe is the sizeable back patio that’s open when it’s nice out.

Overall, if you happen to be in the area, this is a great overall eating experience. The wine and beer list is carefully chosen to be actually interesting, the non-cobbler employees mix up a strong cocktail game, and the food is well-executed. Boot and Shoe also has a no phones on the table policy, which, while bad for the ‘grammers out there, is generally good for human relationships.

Boot & Shoe Service is a place that should definitely be on your radar. And maybe if you hang around long enough you can convince the bartender to try and re-heel your boots.

Food Rundown

Castelvetrano Olives

We usually wouldn’t call out olives as a must order, but these are some perfect olives. There’s definitely an olive tree out back being watered by an Italian cherub. Huge, meaty and full of flavor.

Margherita di Bufala Pizza

The pizza by which any pizza place will be judged. Boot and Shoe does it right. Good quality cheese goes a long way in our book, and on top of the charred, thin-but-not-soggy crust, it’s bomb.

Wild Arugula & Frisée with Blood Oranges, Fennel & Ricotta Salata

Fennel and citrus weirdly go together quite well. We love this salad and it’s nice way to start the meal off and balance out all the pizza you’re about to consume.

Wild Mushroom Pizza

Not always on the menu, but when it is it’s always on our table. All the mushrooms you could conceivably name on top of Boot and Shoe’s excellent pizza crust along with some cheese.

Farro with Cucumbers, Marinated Beets, Feta & Herbs

Not the most flavor, we were a little disappointed in this guy. Pass.

Broccoli Romanesco Gratin

A fancier type of broccoli smothered in a fancy cheese sauce. It’s green underneath so it’s healthy. Excellent.

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