Only a year in the making, Cravings Stone Fired Pizza and Pasta has taken downtown Livermore by storm.

Owner Matt McLean founded the pizzeria in early 2015 with his father, to bring their inventive culinary ideas and dedication to using fresh ingredients to life. When Matt was in college at Cal Poly, he helped manage a mom and pop restaurant, and ran the kitchen when the owners were out of town.

His interest in the restaurant business stemmed from his experiences working in college and as a result, he bought his own dough machine for home. After that, things began to spiral upwards and he became inspired while learning how to make fresh homemade pizza with his new dough machine. One thing led to another and now we all get to benefit from this sequence of events and his wonderful creation of Cravings!

After eating at Cravings and getting to experience what everyone has been talking about, I can definitely vouch for their creative and unorthodox creations. And it starts with the appetizers.

Stone Fired Interior

The Cravings bar area

To start off, I tried the Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos and the Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms. I then ventured on to try two small half-and-half pizzas, which included a Bacon Apple Pizza, the Breakfast Pizza, the Gardener, and the Thai Peanut. Even after living in New York for two years, I have never ventured on to try such exotic pizzas.

While each of these flavors were incredibly interesting and unusual, I think there is nothing like a classic cheese pizza, and Cravings definitely makes the perfect cheese slice. With all freshly sourced and cut ingredients, their pizza definitely surpasses their competitors. Their homemade sauces, perfected thin crust, and freshly grated cheeses take their creations to the next level.

As a result of Cravings “think-tank” as Matt likes to call it, they also create a, once a month special pizza. In the past this has included a Thanksgiving pizza, Buffalo Chicken pizza, and a Pulled Pork pizza. We even got the inside scoop and found out that they are currently experimenting with truffle oil and Linguica – you heard it from us first!

Inside the restaurant, mangers keep an interactive whiteboard for staff to use if they come up with an innovative idea for the menu. This “think-tank” seems to be on a roll right now.

Stone Fired Salad

The Wedge salad

But Cravings is far from just a pizza restaurant. There is a full menu of options including salads, calzones, sandwiches, pasta and dessert.

The Wedge or the Caesar are the two most popular salads, with the calzones being dominated by the delicious Ooey Gooey (garlic ranch, with chicken, bacon and mozzarella). Sandwiches are a hot lunch item, with the meatball sandwich leading the way and if pasta is what you are looking for, the Baked Bacon Alfredo or the Spaghetti with Meatballs is usually the choice.

If there is some possible way you have room left, the Gelato has proven to be a winner for dessert.

What really makes Cravings stand out against its competitors is their dedication to freshness. They source all of their ingredients locally and cut, slice, and grate everything themselves. Cravings has over 50 toppings they offer and that is growing daily. Unfazed by the challenges of being a new business in a competitive industry, Cravings will continue to gain popularity as they break boundaries with their innovative and delicious creations!

For more information on Cravings go to http://www.cravingspizzaandpasta.com.

By Kelsey Emery