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

New (Veggie) Pizza in Town

“Make Pizza, Not War.”

Like the logo. Pizza sliced into the no-nukes peace sign.

Walking along Island, from the Tivoli, through Chinatown (you can tell by the street lights), heading for Fifth. Notice this new place in an old building. And it promises Chicago deep-dish, but where the deep part is stuffings, not inch-thick pastry.

And, oh yeah! I think I recognize these guys from the Little Italy farmers’ market. They sell half-baked pizzas there. Not half-baked as in not much good, but actually half-baked so you can bake it to completion at home. But that was it. They had no other place you come to sit down and eat.

Now, looks like they have a home (Berkeley Pizza, 539 Island, downtown, 619-937-0808).

Image

Right in the heart of Chinatown.

Image!

It’s kinda nice, lots of friendly chat. Crew seems fresh, enthusiastic. Yes, it's bare bones seating inside but —good sign — a big kitchen. Priorities right.

“We started at the farmers' market two years ago and moved in here two weeks ago,” says Eric Rochester. He’s manning the counter. Seems the place's founder, Danny Palacios, was studying at U.C. Berkeley, eating some pretty good Chicago-style pizzas around the campus, and got the idea. Bring it on home!

This is how his family basically made pizza. 'Specially a deep-dish mushroom spinach pizza. Me, I’m hot for anything. Except, if you order a deep-dish pizza, you wait an hour, hour and a half. That’s how long these things take to cook. Slice, maybe five minutes.

So I get a spinach-and-mushroom slice for me and a pepperoni for that beautiful carnivore, Carla.

Image

Eric and my mushroom-spinach pizza slice

By the time I get them both back to the ranch, we do have to rebake. But, oh, talk about deep-dish relish. Plenty of tomato and whatever mush, not all thick dough, and that great four-cheese combo with the spinach. We both get red mustaches and one slice is almost a meal. I mean, mine cost $4.25 and Carla’s $3.50, so, yes, high expectations.

Most crowded time? Any night between one and two. They get lines. Really chatty lines. They say a lot of beautiful relationships are beginning out on the sidewalk. Danny says they're working on tables and umbrellas outside, too.

And, hey, forget Chicago. Maybe this is the real deal San Diego pizza.

But, Danny, seeing you're in Chinatown, how's about 'Diego's first Chinese pizza...?

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Heroic fictional soccer coach bumps up against real-world football villainy

Lasso-Faire?
Next Article

The Mira Mesa library security guard’s tale

“You are in the children’s area. I really can’t have that knife in here, sir. Please?”

“Make Pizza, Not War.”

Like the logo. Pizza sliced into the no-nukes peace sign.

Walking along Island, from the Tivoli, through Chinatown (you can tell by the street lights), heading for Fifth. Notice this new place in an old building. And it promises Chicago deep-dish, but where the deep part is stuffings, not inch-thick pastry.

And, oh yeah! I think I recognize these guys from the Little Italy farmers’ market. They sell half-baked pizzas there. Not half-baked as in not much good, but actually half-baked so you can bake it to completion at home. But that was it. They had no other place you come to sit down and eat.

Now, looks like they have a home (Berkeley Pizza, 539 Island, downtown, 619-937-0808).

Image

Right in the heart of Chinatown.

Image!

It’s kinda nice, lots of friendly chat. Crew seems fresh, enthusiastic. Yes, it's bare bones seating inside but —good sign — a big kitchen. Priorities right.

“We started at the farmers' market two years ago and moved in here two weeks ago,” says Eric Rochester. He’s manning the counter. Seems the place's founder, Danny Palacios, was studying at U.C. Berkeley, eating some pretty good Chicago-style pizzas around the campus, and got the idea. Bring it on home!

This is how his family basically made pizza. 'Specially a deep-dish mushroom spinach pizza. Me, I’m hot for anything. Except, if you order a deep-dish pizza, you wait an hour, hour and a half. That’s how long these things take to cook. Slice, maybe five minutes.

So I get a spinach-and-mushroom slice for me and a pepperoni for that beautiful carnivore, Carla.

Image

Eric and my mushroom-spinach pizza slice

By the time I get them both back to the ranch, we do have to rebake. But, oh, talk about deep-dish relish. Plenty of tomato and whatever mush, not all thick dough, and that great four-cheese combo with the spinach. We both get red mustaches and one slice is almost a meal. I mean, mine cost $4.25 and Carla’s $3.50, so, yes, high expectations.

Most crowded time? Any night between one and two. They get lines. Really chatty lines. They say a lot of beautiful relationships are beginning out on the sidewalk. Danny says they're working on tables and umbrellas outside, too.

And, hey, forget Chicago. Maybe this is the real deal San Diego pizza.

But, Danny, seeing you're in Chinatown, how's about 'Diego's first Chinese pizza...?

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
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
Close