Pinole (formerly also spelled Penole) is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. The population was 18,390 at the 2010 census. It is one of many small “bedroom communities” along the I-80 corridor in Western Contra Costa County. It is located about 20 miles (30 km) northeast of San Francisco, and approximately a half-hour drive (without traffic) from San Francisco. Neighboring towns are Richmond and San Pablo to the southwest, and Hercules to the northeast.