South Side Berkeley Pizza Wars

by Steed Dropout
Jan. 21, 2013
PizzaBerkeley, Ca


South Side’s piece-meal pizza offerings are about to make piece while warring.

For thirty years South siders, could choose between fat and fit at Telegraph Avenue’s Fat Slice and Blondies. But three new pizza chains you’ve never heard of have turned this U.C. student enclave into the university of pizza.

Three new South Side pizzerias answer the persistent question, “when oh when, will we get some good pizza on Telegraph?”

20 feet from Pieology's brave opening. Photo by Ted Friedman.

When Seniores, a Northern California four-store chain, opens any day now on Durant near Telegraph, Telegraph pizzerias will bubble over. First to throw its slice in the ring was Artichoke Bazille’s, a Manhattan mouth full.

Although Artichoke’s is packing them in (and out…of this hole in the wall), a SF Chronicle food writer panned its creamy offerings (“not pizza”). It’s meatball slice is sirloin, and its delectable crust, although slim compared to Fat Slice’s fatty–is light.

Pie in the Pieology sky. Photo by Ted Friedman.

Fat slice’s price-buyers roll up the gooey low-quality cheez-o-rama like a burrito, which it resembles. Nearby Blondie’s, an old-kid on the ave, has a choice of reliable slices, especially its pepperoni. But all mouths turn to new tastes.

Students just back from winter break have yet to discover Pieology, a Southern California cracker-thin crust build your own outfit, which dared to open near a doomed intersection at TeleHaste. “Call us neighborhood renewal,” said the manager.

Seniore's opens today. Photo by Ted Friedman.

In the Cody Building, a South Side landmark, Pieology could single-handedly save the desolate lower Teley blight. With a claimed forty-kid (all Berkeleyans) staff, these Pieologists may also be a one-store economic development. Topped with your chosen toppings (veggies, like onions, mushrooms, and peppers are free all-you-can-eats), Pieology’s $7.99, eleven-inch personalized pie is a major pieological break-through.

Night spot. Photo by Ted Friedman.


Berkeley’s pizza-pipeline grew city-wide in the past decade, with down town’s Sliver, Build, return of Giovanni’s (which pioneered Berkeley’s pizza-plethora in 1963), Arinell, Jupiter, and Chez Panisse (with it’s own pizza chef among the artisan lettuce), Cheeseboard Collective, and a handful of smaller outlets, like the Juice Bar Collective, and Bette’s on Shattuck (now gone).

Open (shows graffiti-like mural).
Photo by Ted Friedman.

Zachary’s on College and Solano still dominates.

Add pizzerias on University Avenue, Fourth Street and in the blooming San Pablo Avenue corridor, and there are good reasons to rename Berkeley, PizzaBerkeley.

These views do not represent publications in which my work appears.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.