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15 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 conception has shifted in recent years. The range is impressive: there are mainstays like California-inspired creations with unorthodox toppings, classic Italian-style pizzas and solid examples of other regional specialties, like New York and Chicago-style pies. Here are 15 of the best, spanning many different genres of dough, sauce and cheese and quality enough to satisfy even the most die-hard pizza snob.

Note: map points are not ranked

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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. 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.

3. Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano

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4207 Park Blvd
San Diego, CA
(619) 260-1311
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No San Diego pizza list would be complete without the city’s Neapolitan OG, Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano on the border of North Park and Hillcrest. After all these years, the restaurant is still serving great, classic pizza and is well worth a visit.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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 best pizzas.

8. Buona Forchetta

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3001 Beech St
San Diego, CA
(619) 381-4844
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With a newer location opened in Liberty Station during the first half of 2017, called Officine Buona Forchetta, beloved South Park staple Buona Forchetta continues its domination of San Diego’s pizza scene with its classic Neapolitan-style pizzas. Also notable are its gluten-free pies.

9. 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 offer is wine from his brother’s vineyard in Piemonte.

10. 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.

11. Biga

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531 Broadway
San Diego, CA

Adding to downtown’s quality pizza offerings is Biga, who, true to Italian cooking philosophy, sources locally as much as possible. Chef and owner Tae Dickey serves Italian-style pizzas from its 900 degrees wood-fired oven in its large, bright highly-styled dining room.

12. Basic Kitchen & Bar

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410 10th Ave
San Diego, CA
(619) 531-8869
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East Village pizza staple Basic turns into a club at night, but don’t let that distract from the fact they serve some of the best pizza in town. Pro-tip: for later night orders, call ahead and walk in to take out their New Haven-style, asymmetrically sliced pies to avoid the lines and crowds.

13. NY Pizzeria

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3047 Bonita Rd
Bonita, CA 91902

There are many fabled pizzerias serving so-called New York-style pizza, some better-known than others. A good way to tell is whether or not they know what a “plain slice” is. NY Pizzeria in Bonita does and is more of a hidden gem, serving slices, whole pies and the elusive-to-San Diego calzone.

14. 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 location will open in the new Little Italy Food Hall in July 2018.

Ambrogio 15

15. 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.—the first 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.

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. Blind Lady Ale House

3416 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA

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

3. Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano

4207 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA

No San Diego pizza list would be complete without the city’s Neapolitan OG, Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano on the border of North Park and Hillcrest. After all these years, the restaurant is still serving great, classic pizza and is well worth a visit.

4207 Park Blvd
San Diego, CA

4. Lefty's Chicago Pizzeria

4030 Goldfinch St, San Diego, CA

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

5. 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

6. Caffé Calabria

3933 30th St, San Diego, CA

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

7. Tribute Pizza

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 best pizzas.

3077 N Park Way
San Diego, CA

8. Buona Forchetta

3001 Beech St, San Diego, CA

With a newer location opened in Liberty Station during the first half of 2017, called Officine Buona Forchetta, beloved South Park staple Buona Forchetta continues its domination of San Diego’s pizza scene with its classic Neapolitan-style pizzas. Also notable are its gluten-free pies.

3001 Beech St
San Diego, CA

9. Isola Pizza Bar

1526 India Street, San Diego, CA

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 offer is wine from his brother’s vineyard in Piemonte.

1526 India Street
San Diego, CA

10. Pizzeria Luigi

1137 25th St, San Diego, CA

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

11. Biga

531 Broadway, San Diego, CA

Adding to downtown’s quality pizza offerings is Biga, who, true to Italian cooking philosophy, sources locally as much as possible. Chef and owner Tae Dickey serves Italian-style pizzas from its 900 degrees wood-fired oven in its large, bright highly-styled dining room.

531 Broadway
San Diego, CA

12. Basic Kitchen & Bar

410 10th Ave, San Diego, CA

East Village pizza staple Basic turns into a club at night, but don’t let that distract from the fact they serve some of the best pizza in town. Pro-tip: for later night orders, call ahead and walk in to take out their New Haven-style, asymmetrically sliced pies to avoid the lines and crowds.

410 10th Ave
San Diego, CA

13. NY Pizzeria

3047 Bonita Rd, Bonita, CA 91902

There are many fabled pizzerias serving so-called New York-style pizza, some better-known than others. A good way to tell is whether or not they know what a “plain slice” is. NY Pizzeria in Bonita does and is more of a hidden gem, serving slices, whole pies and the elusive-to-San Diego calzone.

3047 Bonita Rd
Bonita, CA 91902

14. Ambrogio15

926 Turquoise St h, San Diego, CA 92109
Ambrogio 15

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 location will open in the new Little Italy Food Hall in July 2018.

926 Turquoise St h
San Diego, CA 92109

15. The Friendly

4592 30th St, San Diego, CA 92116

Serving New York-style by-the-slice pizza, The Friendly burst onto North Park’s food scene in early 2018.—the first 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

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