The lunchtime music scene at The Cheeseboard

For many people living in Berkeley — or elsewhere in the Bay Area — there’s no better pizza than the one served at The Cheeseboard. For 20 years, the Berkeley cooperative has been spinning out pies. There’s never tomato sauce, but there is always some interesting topping, like roasted cauliflower, pesto, butternut squash, feta cheese, pasilla peppers, and more.

The Cheeseboard has a killer music scene, too. There’s always a band playing at lunch and a different band playing at dinner.

On Friday, the jazz singer Pamela Rose performed with Wayne de la Cruz and Kent Bryson (Rose was substituting for Nancy Wright). Crowds lined up out the door, but got a jazz serenade as they waited.

Fridays and Saturdays are the Cheeseboard’s busiest days, said Arthur Dembling, who has been a member of the collective for 19 years. The Cheeseboard sells about 500 to 600 pizzas at lunch and again with dinner. That’s $10,000 to $12,000 worth of pizza.


The performers get the same hourly rate as those in the collective, he said.

With the sun shining, the odor of pizza wafting, and the sounds of jazz filling the air, it’s a great place to lunch.