Berkeley Pizza and Craft Beer- North Park
Name: Berkeley Pizza
Where: 3934 30th Street San Diego, California
Cost: Stuffed Pizza- Small $15.45 | Medium $19.65 | Large $21.95 | Additional toppings $1.50 ♦ Signature Pizza- Small $16.50 | Medium $21.50 | Large $24.50 ♦ Beer pint $6.00-$7.00
About: Berkeley Pizza, in the heart of San Diego’s North Park neighborhood, serves pizza by the slice, in addition to whole pies, stuffed and signature. They have 14 toppings you can choose to add to any pizza, including pesto. The restaurant is a “low-key venue featuring deep-dish pizza” and 24 craft beers on tap.
Owned by Danny Palacios, Berkeley Pizza started as a food venue at Little Italy’s Mercato. Their first permanent restaurant opened in downtown San Diego in 2011, and the North Park branch opened three years later.
Berkeley Pizza has a hip, informal, vibe to it. There’s lots of wood in the interior design, finished and unfinished, a wainscot of copper sheeting, and cool lighting. Plain wooden tables, solid wood chairs, café tables, a bar with leather upholstered stools, a cement floor, paper plates, plastic cutlery, and blaring heavy metal music complete the scene. Sit by the large roll-up door up front and watch 30th Street’s busy parade of interesting sights. Check out the vintage beer can collection, too.
What I Ate: I opted for a medium stuffed pizza with Canadian bacon and mushrooms which was enough for four people. Its crust had a tasty, crunchy texture, and loaded inside were layers: meat, white mushrooms, a half pound of mozzarella, and an amazing, savory, red sauce.
Pizzas are served pre-cut. Mine came in a to-go box since the pizza maker knew I was taking most of it home for dinner later. The box weighed at least eight pounds when it was brought to my table. And the wedge I ate at the restaurant was so heavy it bent the plastic knife I used to lift it out of the box and onto my plate. Truly, they serve a well-made stuffed pizza at a reasonable price.
What I Drank: For beer, there is a choice of 24 on tap from a myriad of top craft breweries. I had a pint of Stone Brewing’s Go To IPA ($6.50). This delicious session IPA paired perfectly with the pizza.
Likes: I loved my choice of pizza and craft beer. It was a nice lunch and service was friendly, fast, and excellent. I like that they don’t skimp on ingredients.
Dislikes: Like any place along 30th Street, parking is limited and thus, a hassle. Nonetheless, Berkeley Pizza is worth walking for.
The Verdict: Recommended. Berkeley Pizza serves delicious pizzas made with fresh ingredients. It is obvious they take pride in their pizzas. There are no frills, but the venue is clean, comfortable, and service is great. My next stop is Berkeley Pizza downtown.