15 of the Best Pizza Joints in San Diego
From NY-style to Chicago deep dish and more, you’re sure to find a pizza to suit your mood in America’s Finest City.
We’ve come a long way from the “Chicago or New York” pizza shouting matches of days gone by. Whether you dig thick, chewy slices, wafer-thin crispiness, or something in between, San Diego’s pizza shops deliver in a big way. We’ve got Roman-style, classic Neapolitan, Sicilian, Detroit-style, crispy tavern-style, deep-dish, stuffed, and yes, Chicago and New York variations galore. From Little Italy to Oceanside to Encinitas, we set out to find the most legit pizza joints in San Diego, from no-frills slice shops to tavern-style restaurants with perfect pie-and-pint pairings to fine dining establishments using the most luxurious ingredients. Here are 15 of the best places to eat pizza in San Diego:
Detroit-style pizza, popular in these parts in the 70s and 80s, is making a welcome return to San Diego with Angry Pete’s, founded by Michigan-native Pete Harbison in 2018. Located inside Desi’s Bar & Grill in Point Loma, Angry Pete’s slings squares Wednesday-Sunday from 5 pm until midnight. Detroit pizza has an 80% hydration dough, so unlike many deep-dish styles, the crust is light and fluffy rather than chewy. Also unlike other pizzas, ingredients are added in reverse order: toppings go directly on the crust, followed by loads of cheese (the gold standard is Wisconsin brick cheese), spread all the way to the edges, then plenty of red sauce. Baked in a rectangular, eight-by-ten, heavy metal pan, the crust and cheese along the edges crisps up into delicious, caramelized perfection, while the cheese in the middle melts into a barrier so that the saucy top doesn’t make the crust soggy. There are no rules about toppings here, so stay traditional with Ezzo SS Pepperoni Pizza or go wild with Flaming Hot Cheeto Street Corn Pizza, whole or by the slice. If you want to make DIY Detroit-style at home, you can buy a full kit of ingredients, an authentic eight-by-ten Lloyd pan, and even a six-pound slab of Wisconsin brick cheese.
How to order: Order online for pickup or local delivery.
Herb & Wood
Pizza might seem like an unusual choice at a fine dining restaurant like Herb & Wood, but it’s a solid choice for a shareable appetizer or light meal, and made using the same gourmet ingredients and inspired flavor profiles you’ll find in the pasta and meat dishes. When in doubt, opt for the Iberico 'Nduja with Calabrian chili, pomodoro, burrata, and broccolini; it's a spicier, more sophisticated riff on the classic sausage pizza.
How to order: Walk-ins are accepted if seating is available.
The Privateer Coal Fired Pizza
Childhood friends Charlie Anderson and Jamey Stone grew up together in Oceanside and dreamed of one day opening a pizza joint in their hometown. Dreams do come true, and that includes dreams of chewy, crispy coal-fired crust, topped with fresh, local ingredients. The signature pie, The Privateer Pie, may raise an eyebrow with its chicken breast and walnut pesto topping, as might The Captain Fin Pie, slathered in clam chowder sauce, provolone, potatoes, bacon, and black pepper, but trust us, they work deliciously. Traditional combos like Brixton Pie, with tomato sauce, Grana Padano, and pepperoni get a tweak of fresh lemon zest ricotta, while Raen Pie combines white sauce, provolone, fior di latte, prosciutto di Parma, arugula, and black pepper. The extensive wine list is one of the largest in North County.
How to order: Indoor dining is on a first-come basis for groups of five or fewer. For groups of 6-14, reserve online. Order online for pickup or delivery.
Emily Green created Sisters Pizza to honor the memory of her own late sister, Kate Green. Focusing on East Coast-style pizza, with an eye towards community service, she raises money for a different charity each month through her nonprofit, Kindness for Kate. Available by the slice or whole pie, choose from the pure simplicity of Uncle Jesse, with olive oil, ricotta, mozzarella, and fresh basil, to the piled-high Livin’ on the Veg with red sauce, mozzarella, Roma tomatoes, green peppers, Bermuda onions, black olives, mushrooms, and broccoli. Can’t make up your mind? Ask if they can make a Frankenpie, a crowd-pleasing assembly of a variety of slices from the case, while supplies last.
How to order: Indoor and patio dining is available on a first-come basis.
Gelati & Peccati
Gelati & Peccati, part of the Buona Forchetta family, features Roman-style pizza named after peccati, or sins, specifically the Seven Deadly Sins. The high-hydration dough ferments for a full three days before it’s patted into sheet pans, topped with all manner of delicious ingredients, and baked to an airy, light crust. Mimicking the walk-up pizzeria and gelati shops found all over Rome, there’s at least a dozen varieties available at any given time. Try the luxurious Lussuria (Lust), with mozzarella, caciocavallo, guanciale, and fresh truffle, or the best-selling Invidia (Envy), simply adorned with zucchini, ricotta, lemon zest, and black pepper. Save room for a scoop or two of gelato, which comes in 18 flavors—we love the sublime Roasted Pistachio or Cherry Hazelnut with Chocolate Chip, plus vegan options and fruit sorbets.
How to order: Open for dine-in and takeout on a first-come, first-served basis.
This tiny South Park neighborhood favorite opened in 2011 to rave reviews and lines out the door. Now, with a half-dozen more outposts across San Diego County, they offer more than three dozen different pies, most of which can also be made gluten-free. Anything you choose is bound to be pretty much pizza perfection, from the Classiche Napoletane and savory Rosse (red-sauced) options to La Bianche and Pizza Gourmet sauceless pies featuring luxe ingredients like provola, speck, zucchini flowers, mozzarella di bufalo, and prosciutto di Parma, plus loaded calzones. Besides the Buona Forchetta empire, they’ve also spawned visit-worthy spinoffs that include Gelati & Peccati and G&P Cafe, where piazzolo Luca Zamboni crafts Roman-style pizzas sold al taglio (by the slice), along with creamy, intensely-flavored gelatos and sorbets, and Matteo and Chicchirichi, non-profit, non-pizza restaurants dedicated to raising funds for community programs and educational opportunities throughout San Diego.
How to book: Reservations can be made online via your favored location’s OpenTable and takeout orders are available from your favorite location’s website.
This beloved slice shop is known for classic, NY-style pies that clobber your hunger with the strength of a heavyweight. The Whitestone, a white pie with mozzarella, garlic, and dollops of creamy herbed ricotta cheese is a must, but so are the calzones and house specialties like the triple-threat Porko pie—with pepperoni, sausage, and meatballs, so it’ll probably take a few visits to find your favorite dish. Cash only, ATM available inside.
How to order: Stop by or call 619-291-3341 to order for takeout.
Regents Pizzeria deserves props for its excellent draft list, along with worthy appetizers like scorching hot wings, Buffalo cauliflower, and crispy Brussels sprouts, plus all manner of salads and sandwiches, but the pizza is where it really shines. You can get a whole pie if you’re willing to wait, or head directly to the slice case for instant gratification. There are different varieties of NY-style and Chicago deep-dish pies here (a rarity!), so the only responsible thing is to get one of each. Whole pies can be ordered half-baked, and come with instructions for finishing the baking process at home.
How to order: Open for dine-in on a first-come, first-served basis. Call (858) 550-0406 or order online for takeout or delivery within five miles.
Sicilian Thing Pizza
Sicilian-style pizza isn’t common in San Diego, but nobody does it better than this longstanding shop in North Park. Don’t be fooled by the modest digs: Aside from perfecting the namesake style, it also does a bang-up job on New York-style pies. The Sicilian-style Almost Lasagna is a great pick, featuring loads of meatballs, ricotta and savory red sauce. Daily specials like the $12.99 two-slices-and-a-beer deal on Tuesday encourage mid-week pizza consumption, while everyday prices are so reasonable that it makes sense to order one pie of each style and plan on lots of leftovers.
How to order: Open for dine-in and outdoor seating on a first-come, first-served basis, order online for pickup or delivery within five miles.
Launched in 2016 by a bonafide pizza nerd, this cozy neighborhood spot situated in a former post office pays homage to beloved pies from pizzerias across the nation, like Roberta’s in Brooklyn, Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix, and the food court in Costco (no joke!). Owner Matt Lyons finely tuned every detail of the operation to turn out the best possible pizza, including sourcing a specific brand of flour, splurging on a 1,500-pound wood-fired Renato oven, and installing a reverse osmosis system to make the water just right.
How to order: Reserve a table for indoor dining via Resy. Walk-ins will be accepted if seating is available. Order online for pickup via Toast.
Using old-school methods established by the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana, Caffe Calabria’s puffy, charred, and uber-thin crispy crust is baked for 60-90 seconds in a 905-degree, oak wood-fired oven. There’s no wrong choice here, but the Salsiccia is an absolute knockout, made with organic San Marzano tomatoes, fior di latte, Grana Padano, and house-made fennel sausage, under a scattering of fresh basil leaves. Just remember that pizza's only served Monday-Wednesday from 12–3 pm, and all day Thursday through Sunday, and plan accordingly.
How to order: Indoor dining is available on a first-come basis.
Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizza
For more than twelve years, Wade Hageman has been turning out impossibly thin, beautifully charred pizzas, made from dough that’s been fermented for three days and baked a few minutes longer than traditional Neapolitan pizza, giving it a crackling crisp crust and soft crumb. Simple, high-quality embellishments range from the brightly flavored Signature pizza topped with fresh mozzarella, ricotta, lemon zest, red onion, basil, and lemon extra virgin olive oil; to the Staff Favorite with house-made tomato sauce, sausage, basil, Parmigiano Reggiano, and a drizzle of heavy cream. If you can, save room for their signature dessert, a creamy, delectable Butterscotch Pudding.
How to order: Make reservations for indoor dining via Yelp. Walk-ins will be accepted if seating is available.
Pizza Bella Italian Bistro
Old Town isn’t the first neighborhood that springs to mind when you’re craving a slice, but Pizza Bella has been serving its award-winning pies there for nearly fifty years. Hand-tossed and stone-baked, these are medium-thick, chewy slices that can stand up to a load of hearty toppings, with pies ranging in size from personal to gigantic. Build your own custom creation, or opt for a house combination like the Sigma-Chi: mixed sauces (red and pesto), Italian sausage, bacon, pepperoni, and primavera vegetables.
How to order: In-house dining is available on a first-come, first-served basis, or call 619-493-3658 for pickup or delivery.
Pairing Petra flour imported from the Veneto region of Italy with a 48-hour rising process, Ambrogio15’s paper-thin, Milanese-style pizza can be ordered with a custom crust made from white, whole wheat, or gluten-free flour. You can’t miss with the classic margherita, or the indulgent Hannibal Lecter with San Marzano tomato DOP, mozzarella, fior di latte, grated Parmigiano Reggiano, spicy salame Calabrese, Italian sausage, porchetta, imported prosciutto cotto, and organic grilled red bell pepper. Pair your pie of choice with a bottle of vino sourced from a consortium of small-scale biodynamic winemakers in Italy.
How to order: Reservations for in-house dining, pickup, and delivery can be made from your favorite location online.
Lefty's Chicago Pizzeria
Lefty’s offers all three classic Chicago styles: crispy tavern-style, deep-dish, and stuffed, along with other non-pizza hometown favorites, like Italian beef sandwiches and classic Chicago hot dogs. Toppings range from veggie-laden to big and meaty, with just about every combo in between. Call ahead if you’re choosing the stuffed pizza option, as they take an hour to fully bake.
How to order: Order from your preferred location online.