After the 2013 controversy following TripAdvisor naming San Diego the No. 1 pizza city in America, it seems best to tread lightly when it comes to ranking pizza places in the US. Having said that, pizza places in San Diego certainly deserve praise. Although you can find plenty of Italian restaurants in San Diego, steakhouses, and Indian restaurants, there are days when nothing beats that humble moon-shaped pizza pie.
Secret San Diego has compiled a list of some of the best places to enjoy a quality pizza made from fresh ingredients and inspired by both traditional Italian techniques and more American-inspired recipes.
1. Buona Forchetta
Named “a San Diego staple” by Modern Luxury, San Diego’s local lifestyle publication, Buona Forchetta serves “edible works of art”. What started as a small Italian restaurant in 2011 has grown into Buona Forchetta Family—a restaurant group based in the city. Pizza lovers can expect to encounter Pizza Napoletana from the wood-burning oven, speciality pastas, vegan and vegetarian options.
🍕 Multiple locations throughout San Diego County
2. The Privateer Coal Fired Pizza
Chef Samantha and the rest of the team at the Privateer are serving up gourmet, Neapolitan-style pizzas at this popular restaurant in Southern California. Family-owned and only using the freshest ingredients the Privateer also offers refreshing craft beers and an impressive selection of wines. Aside from charcuterie boards, club sandwiches, fettuccine, and quality burgers, pizzas topped with the likes of artichoke hearts, Prosciutto di Parma, house fennel sausage, caramelized onion, and more are on the menu at the Privateer.
🍕 1706 S. Coast Hwy., Oceanside
3. Sisters Pizza
Sisters Pizza was inspired by Kate Green, the owner’s late sister. The pizza restaurant is community-focused and is driven by the same passion Kate had for pizza. A strong proponent of acts of kindness, not only does Emily, the proprietor, promote the #kindnessforkate movement, she also provides the locals with great pizza. Choose between the endearing “Chickie Chickie Parm Parm”, quirky “Livin’ on the Veg”, and more exciting varieties of pies for a memorable, Mediterranean meal.
🍕 3603 Fourth Avenue (corner of 4th & Brookes)
4. Gelati & Peccati
At a place where the word “sins” is in the name, it’s inevitable that the food is going to be tasty. Gelati & Peccati is a walk-up pizza and gelato shop in North Park. At the indoor-outdoor restaurant, you’ll find seven signature pizzas named after each of the deadly sins and an array of gelato flavors to choose from. Pizza at Gelati & Peccati is “Al Taglio”—a large rectangular shape loaded with toppings and sold by the slice. Discover something delicious at one of the best pizza places in San Diego, where the food is inspired by Italian technique.
🍕 3066 University Ave. Suite B
5. Caffè Calabria
Any San Diegan familiar with Caffè Calabria might automatically think of exceptional coffee, but Calabria also provides the perfect setting and Italian fare for a casual meal in the city. Find your seat in the Italian bar, order a Campari or Aperol spritz, one of their Neapolitan pizzas baked in a 905-degree, oak wood-fired oven, and transport yourself to Italy for the evening. Organic San Marzano tomatoes, prosciutto crudo di Parma, and salame piccante are some of the ingredients used for the pizzas at this neighborhood bar in San Diego.
🍕 3933 30th Street
6. Wayfarer Bread & Pastry
Located in Bird Rock, Wayfarer not only offers naturally fermented breads, pastries, and sandwiches, but its also known for its “Pizza Night” service. On Fridays and Saturdays, pizza lovers can pick up a monthly meat-topped pizza, seasonal vegetarian pie, and classic cheese and pepperoni pizzas for the perfect weekend treat. Pre-ordering is essential and make sure to place your order before 3pm for same-day pick up!
🍕 5525 La Jolla Blvd. La Jolla
7. Regents Pizzeria
The motto at Regents Pizzeria is, “Eat more pizza. Drink more beer. Be more happy.” Aside from the 32 craft beer taps, a nod to San Diego’s reputation as the “Craft Beer Capital of America”, Regents Pizzeria offers Chicago pizza (thick, stuffed crust pizza) and New York pizza (thin, foldable-crust, hand-crafted pizza). From the “Brooklyner” topped with Greco sausage, whipped sweet ricotta, cupping pepperoni, and pecorino Romano cheese to the “Russian Rosé” with meatballs, jalapeños, and Alla Vodka sauce, to say Regents Pizzeria is bold is an understatement.
🍕 4150 Regents Park Row #100, La Jolla
8. Angry Petes Pizza
Influenced by square Sicilian-style pizza, Detroit-style pizza has mades its way into many of our hearts. At Angry Petes Pizza, fans of the hearty pie can order 8″ x 10″ pan pizzas, made in steel pans with caramelized edges and fluffy 80% hydration dough. These authentic pizzas initially became popular through regular pop-ups at local breweries, and Angry Petes is now located inside Desi’s Bar in Point Loma and at Santee Lakes.
9. Tribute Pizza
You can find Tribute Pizza in the old North Park Post Office. Try one of Tribute Pizza’s “Neo-Neapolitan” pizzas, a blend of New York and Neapolitan techniques, and admire the original barrel vault ceiling and post office signage. Using 100% North American grown and milled organic bread flour and organic tomatoes, this pizza joint bakes quality pizzas in a traditional, woodfired oven. What’s more, Tribute Pizza also offers local beers, and hot and cold appetizers.
🍕 3077 North Park Way
10. Isola Pizza Bar
This contemporary pizzeria and wine bar is arguably one of the best pizza places in San Diego. Isola Pizza Bar takes their pizza “VERY seriously”. Between an Italian pizzaiolo and wood burning pizza oven from Napoli, Isola Pizza Bar ensures authenticity is kneaded into every slice. Pizzas made from doppio zero flour and fresh mozzarella are topped with quality ingredients. Try the salsiccia pizza for flavorful bursts of fennel sausage, red onions, and mushrooms or prosciutto e arugula with truffle oil for something sophisticated.
🍕 1526 India St 🍕 7734 Girard Ave., La Jolla