Lucia’s Pizzeria 2016 Shattuck Ave./University Ave., downtown, (510) 225-9467. D Tu-Sun, Sat-SunBr; $$-$$$. Located in a narrow, deep space with rustic concrete walls and floors and a simple contemporary decor, this busy Italian spot serves Neapolitan-style pizzas baked in a Stefano Ferrara wood-burning oven imported from Naples (its special bricks are made in Sorrento).
|interior at Lucia's Pizzeria in Berkeley, California|
|Stefano Ferrara wood-burning oven at Lucia's Pizzeria in Berkeley, California|
The oven reaches the 950-degrees needed to produce a satisfying, chewy, blistered, and charred thin crust. Handmade Old World-style dough made with Molini pizzuti flour from a small family-owned mill in the Campania region of Italy makes the pizza primo, and choices include both red and white. Gluten-free crust and vegan mozzarella are available. We opted for Lips of Fire with tomato sauce, mozzarella, and hot-and-spicy sopressata sausage with ghost pepper maple syrup.
|Lips of Fire pizza at Lucia's Pizzeria in Berkeley, California|
The classic margarita topped with just tomato sauce, basil, and oregano is described as “divine.” Several housemade pastas are also options, such as gnocchi with English peas, and pappardelle with Bolognese sauce (which we ordered and devoured).
|pappardelle Bolognese at Lucia's Pizzeria in Berkeley, California|
Small plates and salads include a popular kale salad, a crunchy vegetarian fritto misto with lemony-mint aioli dip (this is how the Italian owner’s mother got him to eat his veggies),
|fritto misto at Lucia's Pizzeria in Berkeley, California|
and roasted Brussels sprouts. Dessert brings on housemade chocolate-chip cannoli, affogato with soft-serve buffalo milk gelato from Petaluma (decaf is available), and more.
|affogato at Lucia's Pizzeria in Berkeley, California|
|chocolate mousse at Lucia's Pizzeria in Berkeley, California|
Wines are from California and Italian producers and are mostly organic and biodynamic, and pizza-friendly draft beers are available on tap. Seating is varied--at an espresso bar, at a window bar with a view of street traffic, and at a bar overlooking the exhibition kitchen--as well as on a wood banquette along one wall and at both high and low communal tables.
|bar seating at Lucia's Pizzeria in Berkeley, California|
Lucia’s is family-friendly; a 20% tip is automatically added to the bill; and the fact that it is next door to Comal makes it the perfect place to duck into next time you run into a long wait there.
|reheating directions for pizza at Lucia's Pizzeria in Berkeley, California (I just put it in a wax paper bag and pop it in the microwave for 25 seconds--perfect!)|
More things to do in Berkeley.
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images ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers