I’m sure that longtime residents of the Berkshires have their favorite ‘go-to’ pizza places, and I am definitely one of those people. There are several that I think make pretty tasty pies, but there are only two in the county that I love enough to suggest to people looking for a delicious pizza. One of my favorites is Baba Louie’s , which has locations in Great Barrington, Pittsfield, and Hudson. I tend to visit them more often these days, as they make a delicious vegan, spelt crust pizza that can’t be beat. But, if you ask this Italian American Berkshire girl, the best pizza in the county can be found at East Side Café, at the intersection of Newell and East Streets, in Pittsfield.
I literally grew up in this place, from spending time in the back kitchen as a toddler, to playing in the back yard as a kid, to sharing a beer with family and friends at the bar as an adult. If you grew up in the area of East Side Café, you are likely to see someone you know, every time that you visit the place, whether it’s a family member, an old school mate or a friend from work. The entire place has a comforting, familial feel, and you can sit in the restaurant side of the café, which has booths, or the bar side, which is hopping every night right before dinner time.
The pizza is what most people come for, though they do offer other things such as sandwiches, and specials, like their infamous gnocchi. The pizza though, is like none other. They cook it in a brick oven, which gives it a charred, delicious taste. My favorite as a kid, was of course, pepperoni, but then my tastes moved on to hamburger and garlic, which is one of their most well known combinations, and also my parents’ favorite. As a young adult, I gave up meat, and extra(and sometimes, extra extra!) garlic became my pizza of choice, and if put to the task, I could eat an entire large pizza in one night, though usually, a small would suffice.
Everybody that goes there definitely has their own idea of the ‘best’ pizza combination, and if you go there anytime after 4pm, Thursday through Sunday(the only times they make pizza), you are going to have huge crowds of avid pizza eaters to contend with. Many people call in orders to go, but if you go there to sit, be prepared to wait for a seat, as they are a hot commodity. Unfortunately, I can no longer eat there, as I follow a vegan diet, and have yet to try to get one sans cheese. Somehow, I just don’t think it will live up to the amazing image I have in my mind of the East Side Pizza. But, if you ever find yourself in the east side of Pittsfield, do yourself a favor and stop in for a bite to eat, and if you are anywhere in the Berkshires and craving a delicious, wood fired pizza, head to East Side Café and pick up a couple of pizza pies to bring home(reheating works wonderfully).
Do you know about East Side Café? What is your favorite pizza combination to get there?
Tags: bar, berkshire, berkshire county, brick oven, cafe, East Side Cafe, pittsfield, pizza, wood fired