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Overhead shot of a square pizza. Pizza Kaiju/Facebook

17 Essential Pizzerias Around San Diego

These pies are a cut above

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San Diego may be better known for California burritos and fish tacos than it is for pizza, but that perception has shifted in recent years as local pizza culture continues to grow. The range of pizzas is impressive, from SoCal creations with unorthodox toppings like birria and sigsig to classic Neapolitan and solid renditions of regional specialties like New York and Chicago-style pies. Here are 17 of the best, spanning many different genres of dough, sauce, cheese, and toppings.

Note: map points are not ranked

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizza

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897 S Coast Highway 101
Encinitas, CA
(760) 634-7671
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North County’s Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizza, a longtime mainstay, was a key innovator in California-style seasonally-inspired pizza. It’s the brainchild of chef Wade Hageman, who opened the pizzeria after a career in fine dining.

2. The Shop: Pizza + Cocktails

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11967 Bernardo Plaza Dr
San Diego, CA 92128
(858) 524-6565
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Two brothers, alums of an acclaimed pizzeria in the Bay Area, are putting their spin on the deep dish style at this suburban. With a crispy, buttery crust, the hefty pies are available as signature combos, like the North County with housemade meatballs, mushrooms, onions, roasted garlic, or customizable with a large range of toppings.

3. Ambrogio15

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926 Turquoise St h
San Diego, CA 92109
(858) 291-8650
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Pacific Beach’s Ambrogio15 is serving up what it calls the “Milan pizza experience.” Expect this to mean light-as-air thin crusts, organic and biodynamic wines and sustainable and organic pizza toppings. A second and third location can be found at Little Italy Food Hall and Del Mar.

4. Mr. Moto Pizza Pacific Beach

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4653 Mission Blvd
San Diego, CA 92109
(858) 490-0501
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Since opening its Pacific Beach location in 2015, Mr. Moto Pizza has expanded to North Park, Point Loma, Pacific Beach, Encinitas, Seaport Village, Little Italy and its newest location in Mission Valley. The primary style of pizza is New York plus calzones, stombolis and garlic knots, both stuffed and unstuffed.

Close up of pizza topped with  Spanish Chorizo, Jalapenos, Chicken. Mr. Moto Pizza/Facebook

5. Square Pizza Co

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4508 Cass St Suite C
San Diego, CA 92109
(858) 412-4469
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Find Detroit-style and thin-crust square slices (aka Boston Beach pizza) at this Pacific Beach spot. All of the shop’s signature Detroit-style pizzas pay homage to the city and are named after cars like the Chevy (salami, cupping pepperoni, meatball and bacon).

Selection of rectangular pizzas. Square Pizza Co./Facebook

6. Blind Lady Ale House

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3416 Adams Ave
San Diego, CA
(619) 255-2491
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One of the originators of SoCal-style pizza, Blind Lady Ale House in Normal Heights is still a favorite among San Diegans. Their farmers market-bought and housemade ingredients make good companions with their stacked draft list.

Overhead shot of pizza topped with sauce, cheese and basil. Blind Lady Alehouse/Facebook

7. The Friendly

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4592 30th St
San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 892-7840

Serving New York-style by-the-slice pizza, The Friendly burst onto North Park’s food scene in early 2018, a brick-and-mortar location for food truck Caliano by Spinelli. Expect quick service, an expanded menu beyond pizza and a casual setting that’s reminiscent of a classic East Coast slice joint.

Slide shot of pizza topped with mushrooms. The Friendly/Facebook

8. Lefty's Chicago Pizzeria

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4030 Goldfinch St
San Diego, CA
(619) 299-4030
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With so many Chicagoans calling San Diego home, it only follows that we have a good Chicago-style pizzeria to call our own. Lefty’s, with two locations in North Park and Mission Hills, is deep dish pie’s SoCal home away from home.

Close up of Chicago deep dish pizza. Lefty’s/Facebook

9. Bronx Pizza

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111 Washington St
San Diego, CA
(619) 291-3341
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Pulling no punches with its name, Bronx Pizza in Hillcrest is usually the first retort when someone remarks, “there’s no good New York-style pizza in San Diego.” The cheese pie is a great example but it’s particularly known for the White Stone pie, a classic white pizza named after an iconic New York City bridge that’s topped with mozzarella, ricotta and garlic.

10. Caffé Calabria

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3933 30th St
San Diego, CA
(619) 291-1759
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Pulling double-time as a coffee roaster and cafe, Caffe Calabria also churns out simple wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas with high quality ingredients from its North Park storefront. They only serve pizza Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. though, so plan in advance.

Whole pizza sitting in front of pizza oven. Caffé Calabria/Facebook

11. Tribute Pizza

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3077 N Park Way
San Diego, CA

Long-awaited North Park pizzeria Tribute Pizza opened in 2016 after getting its start as a popular pop-up. It has a large, airy dining room holds a wood-fired oven that turns out seasonally-inspired pizzas and pies that are inspired by some of the world’s most notable pizzas

Three quarters view of pizza. Tribute Pizza/Facebook

12. Buona Forchetta

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3001 Beech St
San Diego, CA
(619) 381-4844
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With a location in Liberty Station called Officine Buona Forchetta, plus others in Encinitas, San Marcos, and Coronado, beloved South Park staple Buona Forchetta continues expansion with its classic Neapolitan-style pizzas. Also notable are its gluten-free pies.

Hand holding platter of pizza. Buona Forchetta/Facebook

13. Isola Pizza Bar

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1526 India Street
San Diego, CA
(619) 255-4230
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Italian owner Massimo Tenino runs Isola Pizza Bars in Little Italy and La Jolla, where he serves wood-fired Neapolitan pizza with imported Italian ingredients. Also on the menu is wine from his brother’s vineyard in Piemonte.

Three pizzas on a table. Isola Pizza Bar/Facebook

14. Pizzeria Luigi

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1137 25th St
San Diego, CA
(619) 233-3309
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A Golden Hill staple, Pizzeria Luigi is considered one of San Diego’s best examples of New York-style pie, with to-go slices at the ready. There’s also a shop on El Cajon Boulevard and in Imperial Beach.

Person cutting into pizza. Pizzeria Luigi/Facebook

15. TNT Pizza

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550 14th St #116
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 915-6312
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What began as a popular pop-up pizzeria during in the heat of the COVID pandemic launched into spot in East Village serving Detroit-style pizzas, grandma pies, and New York-style available pickup or delivery. Helmed by Kevin Gist and Joseph Wehrly, TNT Pizza offers vegan and gluten-free options available by the slice or as whole pies.

Whole pizza pie topped with artichokes. TNT Pizza/Facebook

16. Pizza Kaiju

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41 E 8th St
National City, CA 91950
(858) 744-2655
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National City’s Market on 8th’s answer to pizza is a meld of traditional toppings with more unique ones like roasted pork belly or sisig with calamansi cream. Pizzas come available whole round, square or by the slice.

Hand holding slice of pizza. Pizza Kaiju/Facebook

17. Pizzeria El Jefe Mexican Pizzeria

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1655 Broadway #12
Chula Vista, CA 91911
(619) 591-9686
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Think pizza only has Italian flavors? Think again. This Chula Vista spot serves thin crust pizzas topped with the likes of bistec, birria, zesty black beans, Rajas pepper and more. Libations from the bar are equally intriguing with wines from Valle de Guadalupe and Micheladas made with fresh blended fruits.

Two pizzas topped with birria. Pizzeria El Jefe/Facebook

1. Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizza

897 S Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA

North County’s Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizza, a longtime mainstay, was a key innovator in California-style seasonally-inspired pizza. It’s the brainchild of chef Wade Hageman, who opened the pizzeria after a career in fine dining.

897 S Coast Highway 101
Encinitas, CA

2. The Shop: Pizza + Cocktails

11967 Bernardo Plaza Dr, San Diego, CA 92128

Two brothers, alums of an acclaimed pizzeria in the Bay Area, are putting their spin on the deep dish style at this suburban. With a crispy, buttery crust, the hefty pies are available as signature combos, like the North County with housemade meatballs, mushrooms, onions, roasted garlic, or customizable with a large range of toppings.

11967 Bernardo Plaza Dr
San Diego, CA 92128

3. Ambrogio15

926 Turquoise St h, San Diego, CA 92109

Pacific Beach’s Ambrogio15 is serving up what it calls the “Milan pizza experience.” Expect this to mean light-as-air thin crusts, organic and biodynamic wines and sustainable and organic pizza toppings. A second and third location can be found at Little Italy Food Hall and Del Mar.

926 Turquoise St h
San Diego, CA 92109

4. Mr. Moto Pizza Pacific Beach

4653 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109
Close up of pizza topped with  Spanish Chorizo, Jalapenos, Chicken. Mr. Moto Pizza/Facebook

Since opening its Pacific Beach location in 2015, Mr. Moto Pizza has expanded to North Park, Point Loma, Pacific Beach, Encinitas, Seaport Village, Little Italy and its newest location in Mission Valley. The primary style of pizza is New York plus calzones, stombolis and garlic knots, both stuffed and unstuffed.

4653 Mission Blvd
San Diego, CA 92109

5. Square Pizza Co

4508 Cass St Suite C, San Diego, CA 92109
Selection of rectangular pizzas. Square Pizza Co./Facebook

Find Detroit-style and thin-crust square slices (aka Boston Beach pizza) at this Pacific Beach spot. All of the shop’s signature Detroit-style pizzas pay homage to the city and are named after cars like the Chevy (salami, cupping pepperoni, meatball and bacon).

4508 Cass St Suite C
San Diego, CA 92109

6. Blind Lady Ale House

3416 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA
Overhead shot of pizza topped with sauce, cheese and basil. Blind Lady Alehouse/Facebook

One of the originators of SoCal-style pizza, Blind Lady Ale House in Normal Heights is still a favorite among San Diegans. Their farmers market-bought and housemade ingredients make good companions with their stacked draft list.

3416 Adams Ave
San Diego, CA

7. The Friendly

4592 30th St, San Diego, CA 92116
Slide shot of pizza topped with mushrooms. The Friendly/Facebook

Serving New York-style by-the-slice pizza, The Friendly burst onto North Park’s food scene in early 2018, a brick-and-mortar location for food truck Caliano by Spinelli. Expect quick service, an expanded menu beyond pizza and a casual setting that’s reminiscent of a classic East Coast slice joint.

4592 30th St
San Diego, CA 92116

8. Lefty's Chicago Pizzeria

4030 Goldfinch St, San Diego, CA
Close up of Chicago deep dish pizza. Lefty’s/Facebook

With so many Chicagoans calling San Diego home, it only follows that we have a good Chicago-style pizzeria to call our own. Lefty’s, with two locations in North Park and Mission Hills, is deep dish pie’s SoCal home away from home.

4030 Goldfinch St
San Diego, CA

9. Bronx Pizza

111 Washington St, San Diego, CA

Pulling no punches with its name, Bronx Pizza in Hillcrest is usually the first retort when someone remarks, “there’s no good New York-style pizza in San Diego.” The cheese pie is a great example but it’s particularly known for the White Stone pie, a classic white pizza named after an iconic New York City bridge that’s topped with mozzarella, ricotta and garlic.

111 Washington St
San Diego, CA

10. Caffé Calabria

3933 30th St, San Diego, CA
Whole pizza sitting in front of pizza oven. Caffé Calabria/Facebook

Pulling double-time as a coffee roaster and cafe, Caffe Calabria also churns out simple wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas with high quality ingredients from its North Park storefront. They only serve pizza Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. though, so plan in advance.

3933 30th St
San Diego, CA

11. Tribute Pizza

3077 N Park Way, San Diego, CA
Three quarters view of pizza. Tribute Pizza/Facebook

Long-awaited North Park pizzeria Tribute Pizza opened in 2016 after getting its start as a popular pop-up. It has a large, airy dining room holds a wood-fired oven that turns out seasonally-inspired pizzas and pies that are inspired by some of the world’s most notable pizzas

3077 N Park Way
San Diego, CA

12. Buona Forchetta

3001 Beech St, San Diego, CA
Hand holding platter of pizza. Buona Forchetta/Facebook

With a location in Liberty Station called Officine Buona Forchetta, plus others in Encinitas, San Marcos, and Coronado, beloved South Park staple Buona Forchetta continues expansion with its classic Neapolitan-style pizzas. Also notable are its gluten-free pies.

3001 Beech St
San Diego, CA

13. Isola Pizza Bar

1526 India Street, San Diego, CA
Three pizzas on a table. Isola Pizza Bar/Facebook

Italian owner Massimo Tenino runs Isola Pizza Bars in Little Italy and La Jolla, where he serves wood-fired Neapolitan pizza with imported Italian ingredients. Also on the menu is wine from his brother’s vineyard in Piemonte.

1526 India Street
San Diego, CA

14. Pizzeria Luigi

1137 25th St, San Diego, CA
Person cutting into pizza. Pizzeria Luigi/Facebook

A Golden Hill staple, Pizzeria Luigi is considered one of San Diego’s best examples of New York-style pie, with to-go slices at the ready. There’s also a shop on El Cajon Boulevard and in Imperial Beach.

1137 25th St
San Diego, CA

15. TNT Pizza

550 14th St #116, San Diego, CA 92101
Whole pizza pie topped with artichokes. TNT Pizza/Facebook

What began as a popular pop-up pizzeria during in the heat of the COVID pandemic launched into spot in East Village serving Detroit-style pizzas, grandma pies, and New York-style available pickup or delivery. Helmed by Kevin Gist and Joseph Wehrly, TNT Pizza offers vegan and gluten-free options available by the slice or as whole pies.

550 14th St #116
San Diego, CA 92101

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16. Pizza Kaiju

41 E 8th St, National City, CA 91950
Hand holding slice of pizza. Pizza Kaiju/Facebook

National City’s Market on 8th’s answer to pizza is a meld of traditional toppings with more unique ones like roasted pork belly or sisig with calamansi cream. Pizzas come available whole round, square or by the slice.

41 E 8th St
National City, CA 91950

17. Pizzeria El Jefe Mexican Pizzeria

1655 Broadway #12, Chula Vista, CA 91911
Two pizzas topped with birria. Pizzeria El Jefe/Facebook

Think pizza only has Italian flavors? Think again. This Chula Vista spot serves thin crust pizzas topped with the likes of bistec, birria, zesty black beans, Rajas pepper and more. Libations from the bar are equally intriguing with wines from Valle de Guadalupe and Micheladas made with fresh blended fruits.

1655 Broadway #12
Chula Vista, CA 91911

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