Photo Credit: Bill Bogenschutz
2995 Shattuck AvenueBerkeley, CA 94705
Emilia’s is (tied for) the best pizza in the Bay Area. Getting it is a huge pain in the ass.
How you feel about these two immutable facts will inform your opinion on this place. We’ll deal with a lot of BS in search of good eats (#eeeeeats), but this is a food website.
Seriously, though, the restaurant has a twelve-point bulleted list on the process and protocols necessary to enjoy the damned pizza. Short version is you call a certain number at a certain time on certain days (except when the rules change!) and make an appointment to get your pre-selected pies in a precise 15-minute window. It’s Mario-Batali-meets-the-dentist’s-office.
When you come upon the correct forlorn corner in the part of Berkeley you have never been to (trust us, you haven’t), there are two tables. One seats four, the other two. Also we hope you brought a jacket and your own alcohol.
At the end of this rant, you want us to tell you it’s worth it, right? It is. The pizza is perfect. The crust is appropriately blistered and light. The toppings are fresh and delicious. All is well with the world.
Whether or not you should go to Emilia’s basically depends on this question: How much do you like pizza?
(And yes, we’ve got one other place in mind that competes. But Emilia’s is insanely, incredibly good.)
The sauce is delicious, the “secret” cheese blend is awesome, the basil plays in perfectly, and the crust…my god, the crust. So light. Just a bit of chew. F*ck it is perfect.
Soppressata, Onion, and Calabrian chile Pizza
This is the other recommended pizza on the site (only a few thousand words deep). I don’t know what the people in Calabria are up to, but they clearly know their chilies. The spiciness is perfect with the sweet onion and cured meats. The crust is as good as the margherita. We recommend bringing two more people and getting two more pizzas. This is the kind of sh*t we would say YOLO about if we had ever considered saying that. Which we haven’t.