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City's best pizza sauce expands its reach

North Park pizza decisions only gets tougher

This little slice of pepperoni hits the spot. Berkeley Pizza.
This little slice of pepperoni hits the spot. Berkeley Pizza.
Place

Berkeley Pizza North Park

3934 30th Street, San Diego

A simple setting for simply good pies.

So many new restaurants have opened in North Park over the past six months that one nearly escaped me. Nearly two months ago, Berkeley Pizza expanded its business to open a small restaurant on 30th, just across the street from Caffé Calabria.

The homegrown favorite still runs its Saturday Mercato booth and East Village pizza counter, but the new location brings it into a neighborhood rife with terrific pizza options. Aside from Calabria's Neapolitan pies with authentic Italian toppings, there're the coal-fired crusts of URBN a few blocks down University, and Lefty's Chicago Pizzeria a short drive south on 30th.

I stopped in for a 3-dollar slice of pepperoni, and to check out the new physical space. As with the East Village location, there's little to it: some blank walls and a few tables. This one's bigger than the other, including décor by way of vintage beer cans lining a few high-mounted shelves. Maybe there'll be more as they settle in.

Vintage beer can interior.

A bit of patio seating fronts a busy sidewalk, though a large roll-up door keeps the interior pretty open to the street as well — at least enough for people-watching purposes.

Slices are a good deal, though it's important to note they're on the small side, cut from a 10-inch pie. Still, given their depth, one makes a satisfying snack and two will easily fill up a light eater, especially if you opt for the daily two slices and a beer special for eleven bucks (or one slice and one beer for eight).

A large pie can easily feed a party of four. It took several weeks for this location to even have a phone number, but they do plan to finally take phone orders in the New Year.

Early taplist selections, with room for many more.

While Berkeley's craft beer tap list puts it in contention with the drinker-friendly URBN, its deep-dish pizza style puts it in more direct competition with Lefty's. I give across the board thumbs up to the Lefty's menu, including but not limited to its thin crust, deep dish, and stuffed pizzas. Its presence keeps me from booking a trip to Chicago every time I get hungry.

But I've got to give the stuffed category to Berkeley — its sauce just tastes amazing. Its deep-dish crust isn't extraordinarily thick, maybe a quarter of an inch. But it's stacked deep with mozzarella, then toppings, and ultimately a chunky tomato sauce that manages to taste tangy, savory and sweet all at once. It tastes fresh even straight out of the oven. North Park wins all the way around, forcing me to wonder: why do all the city's best pizza spots reside outside Little Italy?

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This little slice of pepperoni hits the spot. Berkeley Pizza.
This little slice of pepperoni hits the spot. Berkeley Pizza.
Place

Berkeley Pizza North Park

3934 30th Street, San Diego

A simple setting for simply good pies.

So many new restaurants have opened in North Park over the past six months that one nearly escaped me. Nearly two months ago, Berkeley Pizza expanded its business to open a small restaurant on 30th, just across the street from Caffé Calabria.

The homegrown favorite still runs its Saturday Mercato booth and East Village pizza counter, but the new location brings it into a neighborhood rife with terrific pizza options. Aside from Calabria's Neapolitan pies with authentic Italian toppings, there're the coal-fired crusts of URBN a few blocks down University, and Lefty's Chicago Pizzeria a short drive south on 30th.

I stopped in for a 3-dollar slice of pepperoni, and to check out the new physical space. As with the East Village location, there's little to it: some blank walls and a few tables. This one's bigger than the other, including décor by way of vintage beer cans lining a few high-mounted shelves. Maybe there'll be more as they settle in.

Vintage beer can interior.

A bit of patio seating fronts a busy sidewalk, though a large roll-up door keeps the interior pretty open to the street as well — at least enough for people-watching purposes.

Slices are a good deal, though it's important to note they're on the small side, cut from a 10-inch pie. Still, given their depth, one makes a satisfying snack and two will easily fill up a light eater, especially if you opt for the daily two slices and a beer special for eleven bucks (or one slice and one beer for eight).

A large pie can easily feed a party of four. It took several weeks for this location to even have a phone number, but they do plan to finally take phone orders in the New Year.

Early taplist selections, with room for many more.

While Berkeley's craft beer tap list puts it in contention with the drinker-friendly URBN, its deep-dish pizza style puts it in more direct competition with Lefty's. I give across the board thumbs up to the Lefty's menu, including but not limited to its thin crust, deep dish, and stuffed pizzas. Its presence keeps me from booking a trip to Chicago every time I get hungry.

But I've got to give the stuffed category to Berkeley — its sauce just tastes amazing. Its deep-dish crust isn't extraordinarily thick, maybe a quarter of an inch. But it's stacked deep with mozzarella, then toppings, and ultimately a chunky tomato sauce that manages to taste tangy, savory and sweet all at once. It tastes fresh even straight out of the oven. North Park wins all the way around, forcing me to wonder: why do all the city's best pizza spots reside outside Little Italy?

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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