‘How could you overlook (pizza place name here)?’ San Diegans react to our Top 10 pizza list
Not to pander, but the readers of the Union-Tribune can be pretty perceptive.
Like Dennis Kitchell, who sent this email after the Feb. 6 publication of “Pizza Paradise: New Yorkers may scoff, but San Diego can hold its own against any of America’s best pizza cities.”
“As a pizza lover, I enjoyed your article in today’s Night + Day. It’s always good to get a lead on a tasty pie! I’m sure you’ll receive several ‘How could you leave out ...?’ notes — and this is one.”
Kitchell was right. Any time we rank San Diego’s top spots — whether it’s for burgers, tacos, bakeries, Italian food, etc. — readers respond with their own choices for the list, sometimes using choice words.
By email, Twitter, or online comments on the story, readers love to share the places they think we overlooked. And it’s fair to say, with this most recent story (which published on sandiegouniontribune.com under the headline, “Any way you slice it, San Diego is a great pizza town — here are the Top 10 pies,”) readers wanted their own slice of the pizza debate pie. While few disputed San Diego’s impressive pizza cred, they were passionate about their favorites:
“I know you can’t include every place that serves up pizza, but I feel that Pummarò in Point Loma deserved at least an Honorable Mention. They serve an authentic Neapolitan pizza that is superb! ... San Diego deserves its reputation as one of America’s great pizza towns.” — Kitchell, via email
“Thanks for bringing to light San Diego’s pizza superiority over the rest of the country. I have one restaurant not noted, which in my opinion is above all in San Diego. Pummarò, which is ‘tomato’ in the dialect of Naples, is an outstanding pizza restaurant. On a par with the best in old Napoli. The pizzaiolo Alberto is Italian born and (a) real master. At any given time, his pizza bar is packed with other Italians that come far and wide for his mastery.
“In my opinion, San Diego ranking is as follows: 1) . Pummarò 2). Isola 3). Il Dandy 4). Ambrogio15 5). Pizzeria Bruno 6). Buona Forchetta.
"(Except for Milanese-style Ambrogio15), these are all wood fired, Neapolitan style pizza houses. All are frequented by Italian clientele. All use Italian ingredients. Now I realize not everyone is an Italian ‘purest’ and some may think that Bronx Pizza is good. Hell, all pizza is good. ... Thanks again, I hope San Diego becomes not just the craft beer mecca of the country, but the craft pizza as well.” — Dave Zarella, via email
“I still have to disagree with you — NYC is the best pizza in USA. My vote will go for a slice of Nonna Maria at Bleecker Street Pizza (corner of 7th Ave & Bleecker St in Manhattan). As far as local pizza joint — I would add Pizzamaniac in Vista to your Honorable Mention list.” — Greg B., via email
“You’re gonna sit here and tell me Regent’s didn’t make the list or even honorable mention for their deep dish?!” — ericniergarth, via online
“Any list that leaves out Leftie’s Chicago Pizza is not complete.” — gcurrier, via online
“I’m more of a traditional kind of guy in regards to pizza. You can have your Foo-Foo pies. My favorites will always be La Bellas of Chula Vista, Edna’s of mid city and Mountain Mike’s of Clairemont. Bravo!!” — @farmerjohn64, via Twitter
“Wow. Not even an honorable mention for La Bella’s?” (frustrated face emoji) — @SandyCoro, via Twitter
“Great article & all good choices… With your last name ending in a vowel I’d guess you’re a qualified reviewer. But you slighted East County, where we have a few good pies! Here are a few for consideration as you’re roaming pizza joints.
- Pietro’s Cucina Italiano — 45 years doing this — He’ll make your pie heavy & loaded, or light with a crispy crust. All the pies are to die over, but our favorite is the shrimp, garlic, and oregano with thin crust. Like Scampi Fra Diavolo on a pie. His sauces are the best too. Must try …
- Marechiaro’s Italian Restaurant — Heavy & loaded. And great. People drive 20+ miles from all over to get this pizza! Great vibe too. Must eat in, if you can get a seat!
- D’Amato’s Pizza — La Mesa — Take out only — the BEST Italian sausage anywhere … Zeno’s father started this 50 years ago, and Zeno has taken over.
“You have to hit these three before your next round of awards!” — Rob Northrup, via email
“Great article today! ... How could you leave off Sicilian Thing in North Park?” — Cathleen, via email
“Tonight, we’ll pause Netflix and go to North Italia. The Prosciutto with Figs pizza is delicious and (we’ll) splurge (and) split their pesto pasta. We’ll have a bit to take home and won’t feel it extravagant or unworthy.” — Rich Marcell, via email
“No Mr. Moto Pizza? Argh! You Bronx people!” — Luis Monteagudo, via email
“Mr. Moto is a fairly decent NYC style pie sold by the slice in a few locations in SD. I’d like to see your take on their pies.” — Dennis Bithoulkas, via email
“My favorite pizza is a tie between Round Tables ‘Ulti-Meat’ and ‘Montague’s All Meat Marvel.’ Most of your choices, in my opinion aren’t pizzas. — mhaider, via online
“You missed one great place. CIAO in Vista is a must on their woodfired pizzas. ... North County’s MUST” — Lisa Harris, via email
And since one online reader commented that our list sequence could be improved — “Why can’t these articles begin with ’10' and count-down to ‘1'?” — here’s the Top 10 list in that order:
10. Buona Forchetta
9. Herb & Wood/Herb & Sea
8. Bronx Pizza
7. Isola Pizza Bar
6. Tribute Pizza
4. Siamo Napoli
2. Il Dandy