Pizza @ Emilia’s Pizzeria, Berkeley

Planned Pizzahood: The Margherita @ Emilia's Pizzeria, Berkeley.

I’m not an actual resident of Berkeley, so I don’t claim to know all of the subtleties of ordering a pizza at Emilia’s on Shattuck Ave. But I do know that Emilia’s is not your typical drop-in pizza joint like, say, Cheese Board, or Gioia, or Blondie’s, or Fat Slice. Unlike most other college-town pizzerias, eating at Emilia’s requires some planning: To begin with, the restaurant itself seats less than 10 people, and is only open from 5pm to 9pm, Tuesday through Saturday. It’s friendly, but it’s geared for take-out. That being said, the phones at Emilia’s open everyday before service at 4pm, and people call to schedule their orders accordingly.

I called Emilia’s a bit before 4:15 on a Wednesday and, after four or five busy signals, was able to secure a pizza for a 5pm pick-up. Although I didn’t see any long lines when I arrived to purchase the pie, I did notice a hand-written sign on the wall that stated that the next pizzas would be available at “8:00+.” If that sign was indeed accurate, then the next three hours had already been booked with pre-orders, which is impressive. As for the pizza per se, Emilia’s only offers one size, and no slices. Their standard pizza, pictured above, is an 18″ margherita, and it’s a tasty reward for just a little bit of diligence.

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