As comedian Bill Murray once proclaimed, “Unless you are a pizza, then the answer is yes, I can live without you.”
As one of the foods that defines America (who cares if it wasn’t invented here?), pizza reigns supreme in households across the country for birthdays, Super Bowls, busy weekdays, study breaks and late-night munchies. While San Diego may not be known for one particular style, like deep dish in Chicago or thin, fold-in one-hand pizza in New York, local restaurants have the best of everything, blending pizza styles from around the world to create any slice a pizza lover’s heart could desire.
PACIFIC teamed up with Facebook group Eating and Drinking in San Diego to uncover the favorite pizza joints are in town. Here are the top 12 vote-getters with a handy map at the end of the roundup to help locate great pizza nearby.
Nabbing the most votes on the poll, this San Diego staple continues to keep locals clamoring for weekly (or daily) fixes. The famous Mona Lisa and El Diablo, with jalapeno, Sriracha, and hot sauce has been featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Local favorites include the Frenchie with ham, pear, caramelized onion and blue cheese and the White Girl with chicken, bacon and spicy ranch. Add to that “Ricotta pies” and “Veggie and Vegan pies,” and every taste bud in the city is smiling.
Golden Hill: 1137 25th St. (original location), 619.233.3309; North Park: 2121 El Cajon Blvd., 619.294.9417; 717 Seacoast Dr., Imperial Beach, 619.271.3477, pizzerialuigi.com
Taking San Diego by storm is the ultra-gourmet pizzeria in a former San Diego post office and current apartment complex. The Mademoiselle Chanterelle is crafted with chanterelle and king trumpet mushrooms, cave-aged Gruyere cheese and 18-year balsamic vinegar, while the Super Vegan IV: Return to Krypton is made with Japanese purple sweet potato, kabocha squash and hazelnuts. Fans of Mexican food can dive into the Chile Relleno Burrito pizza with roasted poblano peppers, crispy potatoes and cayenne peppers (add the Ghost Pepper salami if bravery strikes).
3077 North Park Way, North Park, 619.450.4505, tributepizza.com
Celebrating two decades in San Diego, this local staple serves up classic New York-style pizza to adoring fans. Meat lovers can enjoy Chef’s Special Lasagna with meatballs, while vegetarians can chow on the Primavera with broccoli, spinach, peppers and mushrooms.
111 Washington St., Hillcrest, 619.291.3341, bronxpizza.com
With locations in Mission Hills and North Park, San Diegans get their choice of thin crust, Chicago-style deep dish and stuffed pizzas. Impressive toppings include grilled zucchini and eggplant, shaved elephant garlic, and homemade sausage, while specialty pies include the Gold Coast with grilled chicken, artichoke, and sundried tomato, and Monster of the Midway with pepperoni, sausage, and hot giardiniera.
North Park: 3448 30th St. (original location), 619.295.1720; Mission Hills: 4030 Goldfinch St., 619.299.4030, leftyspizza.com
This South Park favorite brings authentic Italian pie stateside with Napoletana and classic Italiane varieties. Try the Sergio, with buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto di Parma and arugula or for a coastal vibe, the Juna with roasted vegetables and mixed seafood. Gluten free crust is available.
3001 Beech St., South Park, 619.381.4844, buonaforchettasd.com
About as San Diego as a pizza place can get, this multi-location hotspot has been serving up slices and craft brew to surfers and families for decades. Try an original creations such as Pizza Solana Beach with shrimp and clams or Pizza Ocean Beach with Portobello mushrooms, butternut squash, and asparagus, or the anti-wimpy selections such as the Garlic Veggie or the BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger with seasoned meatballs.
Solana Beach: 135 N. Hwy. 101 (original location), 858.481.7332; Ocean Beach: 1956 Bacon St., 619. 224.4700; Bressi Ranch: 2730 Gateway Rd., 760.707.1655; and Carlsbad: 571 Carlsbad Village Dr., 760.720.7007, pizzaport.com
Blind Lady Ale House
Craft beer and pizza go together like mac ‘n cheese at this hip locale in Normal Heights. Incorporating old world techniques and locally sourced ingredients, BLAH presents gourmet pizzas such as Egg & Bacon with swiss chard, caramelized onion and truffle oil; the Mountain Meadow Mushroom with maitake, taleggio and thyme; and the meat or veg option of House Chorizo or House Soyrizo with poblano chile and epazote.
Normal Heights: 3416 Adams Ave., 619.255.2491, blindladyalehouse.com
For fans of thick crust, head in for Sicilian-style squares and popular flavors like the Almost Lasagna with meatballs and ricotta or the PB&J (that’s pepperoni, bacon and jalapeno.)
4046 30th St., North Park, 619.282.3000, sicilianthingpizza.com
Hanging out in the airy, industrial space of URBN on a breezy, sunny day is what San Diego living is all about. Build your own with specialty ingredients like soyrizo, gorgonzola and cherry peppers, or try on of their unique craft pies like Mashed Potato, Fresh Clam or Gouda Garlic Alfredo. Gluten-free crust is available.
3085 University Ave., North Park, 619.255.7300, urbnpizza.com
With slices as big as your arm, this La Jolla favorite packs in the crowds for larger-than-life New York-style and thick-stuffed-crust Chicago-style pizzas. On the NY side, try the Regent’s Signature with free-range chicken, jalapenos, artichoke hearts and feta, or the Pizza Pazza with goat cheese, Portabello, pancetta and white truffle oil. Chicago fans can opt for The Master with Molinari pepperoni, Marisa’s sausage, green peppers, onions and mushrooms.
4150 Regents Park Row #100, La Jolla, 858.550.0406, regentspizza.com
This new spot is making a quick impact on the North Park food scene. Serving up thin slices and whole pies, selections range from classic pepperoni to veg-friendly ricotta and spinach pizzas.
4592 30th St., North Park, 619.892.7840, facebook.com/thefriendlySD
Specializing in authentic Naples wood-fired pizza (the oven was custom built in Naples and reaches a whopping 900 degrees), this legit outpost gives San Diego a taste of Italy’s best pies. Ingredients include buffalo mozzarella, fontina, and Parmigiano cheeses, along with locally made fennel sausage. Try the classic Margherita, the Brunoverde with fresh arugula or the spicy Diavolo.
4207 Park Blvd., North Park, 619.260.1311, pizzeriabrunosd.com