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Did Berkeley really need another Italian restaurant? Apparently, yes. The Italian Homemade Company, the first East Bay location of the popular San Francisco restaurant, is consistently packed with families and students thrilled to have a low-key, fast-casual option for big portions of freshly made pasta. The owners hail from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, and they brought rare specialties from their hometown. These include piadine and cassoni, sandwiches that use a yeast-free flatbread that lands somewhere between tortillas and pita in thickness. Everything is made in-house, from scratch, often using ingredients imported from Italy. There’s also a small selection of Italian pantry goods for home cooks.

— Janelle Bitker

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