The Cheeseboard Pizza Collective is one of those places I kept hearing about from random folks until I finally couldn’t take it anymore and went to find out what the fuss is all about.
“It’s the best pizza in the East Bay!” “The crust is divine!” “How have you not visited yet?”
With all that in mind, I wasn’t too surprised when I arrived at Cheeseboard in Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto to find a line winding down the street and past the pizzeria’s sister cheese shop. Cheeseboard serves only one kind of pizza per day, so it kind of makes the decision-making process easy. By the time I reached the front of the line, I already knew exactly what I wanted.
The pizza of the day was ricotta salata pizza with lemon vinaigrette, and true to what I’d been told, the crust was divine. Thin and crispy, it was a good match for the sauce and toppings, which were used sparingly. It was almost like a salad atop really good flatbread. I usually prefer traditional, red sauce pizzas, but this was a welcome departure from what I’m used to.
The Cheeseboard Pizza Collective gets incredibly busy and you’re lucky if you can manage to find a seat inside the restaurant. Not to worry if you can’t, though. There is plenty of lawn space on the street meridian outside filled with Berkeley hipsters and college students enjoying their lunch.
After you eat, make sure to visit Cheeseboard’s expansive cheese shop next door which has, needless to say, a huge selection of hard-to-find cheeses, and good bread as well. Top-notch pizza, bread and cheese? Now I see why the line is always so long.