There have been many comparisons between the campuses and surrounding areas of UC Berkeley and UCLA. Two striking similarities between downtown Berkeley and Westwood are Cream and Diddy Riese, as well as BUILD and 800 Degrees. The two pizza places are similar in that they are both do-it-yourself establishments, where the diner gets to create their own pizza masterpiece, yet the two are strikingly different in atmosphere.

BUILD is a much more classy, upscale environment. Its sleek interior and tall, black tables provide for a polished dining experience. The restaurant tends to attract hip, well-dressed young people that give off an energetic vibe. Though on the expensive side for pizza, the individual, made-to-order pizzas are a reasonable quantity of food for the money you're spending. The salad and appetizer menu is impressive, and offers a good selection of less expensive items.

Here’s how BUILD works: when you order a pizza, you get a ticket and go to the pizza making station, where you guide a chef through the process of crafting your perfect pie. You have a choice of of three bases: Rossa (red sauce), Bianca (white sauce), and Pesto. Next, you choose toppings. Their selection is quite extensive, with a variety of meats, vegetables, sauces, and cheeses to satisfy any craving.

The chefs then put your pizza in the oven to cook and bring it out to you when it's ready. The finished products are warm and delicious, made exactly the way you wanted. The wait staff is extremely friendly and outgoing, even bringing free tiramisu for guests celebrating a birthday. On top of that, the manager himself came out with a tray of garlic bread for customers waiting in line. BUILD has earned every right to claim excellent customer service: you are their priority.

If you're a UC Berkeley student, there's good news. Every Wednesday, bring your Cal ID to unlock a secret menu, filled with half-priced appetizers, salads, pizzas, and drinks. BUILD also features a full bar menu in another sleek part of the restaurant. The pizzeria may be a bit overpriced for the typical Berkeley resident, but if you're looking for both quality and quantity, then BUILD is a great place to visit for a fun night with friends. Whether you go for the environment or the food, you’re sure to be impressed by both the delicious pizza and the inviting atmosphere.


Visit BUILD at:

2286 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley CA 94704

Photos by Sam Engel and Rachel Feder