By a mere 13 votes, The Cheese Board Collective beat out final opponent Durant Food Court to become our Berkeley Food Bracket “Chompion”.
The contentious match-up of two powerhouse Berkeley foodie favorites was impossible to call right from the start. The Cheese Board began the round with a slight lead, which was soon erased by Durant Food Court voters. DFC fans frequently cited Gypsy’s Trattoria Italiana, Steve’s Korean BBQ, KingPin Donuts, and Thai Basil as driving factors. Cheese Board voters, however, believe the restaurant’s worker-owned, locally sourced sourdough-crust pizza represents Berkeley food at its very best, thus propelling it to victory.
The Cheese Board’s first two competitors were Yali’s Cafe and Triple Rock Brewery, both of which it handily defeated. In the Sweetest 16, La Val’s Pizza put up a good fight, as did Chez Panisse in the Elite Ate. Ultimately, neither was a match for The Cheese Board.
“Cheese Board is LIFE.” —Ali, Class of 2014
In the Final Fork, The Cheese Board and Zachary’s Pizza were neck-and-neck until the former pulled ahead by a bare margin of seven votes in the final minutes. The Chompionship finally pitted The Cheese Board against the beloved student favorite, Durant Food Court. When voting closed yesterday morning, The Cheese Board ended with 50.6% of votes, Durant Food Court with 49.4%.
A very honorable mention must go to alumni favorites Top Dog and Zachary’s Chicago Pizza. These two venerable institutions enjoyed the most staunch support throughout our bracket. Southside’s La Burrita, also, should be proud of its loyal alumni patrons.
In the end, we are all grateful to be surrounded by such a diverse and delicious cohort of food and drink here at UC Berkeley. To all the Cal alumni who voted in our bracket: Thank you for sharing your votes, opinions, and Berkeley memories with us. We hope this bracket inspires you to visit campus—and your favorite haunts—very soon.
Download a copy of the complete Berkeley Food Bracket (PDF).
Berkeley Food Bracket Background
Read more about our Berkeley Food Bracket’s Sweetest 16.
What Cal alumni are saying about our Berkeley Food Bracket.
See all bracket entrants and details.
From Our Alumni Community
Feeding the World from San Francisco: Komal Ahmad ’12
Top image: Thai new year pizza by Quinn Dombrowski, CC BY 2.0.