The old “Chicago or New York” pizza yelling battles have long since become a thing of the past. San Diego’s pizzerias provide an excellent pizza, whether you prefer thick, chewy slices, wafer-thin crispiness, or something in between. There are countless variations available, including Roman-style, traditional Neapolitan, Sicilian, Detroit-style, crispy tavern-style, deep-dish, stuffed, and yes, Chicago and New York-style. From no-frills slice shops to tavern-style eateries with the ideal pie-and-pint combinations to fine dining places using the most exquisite ingredients, we set out to locate the finest authentic pizza locations in San Diego, from Little Italy to Oceanside to Encinitas.
We’re also excited to share the top pizza restaurants in San Diego because most families agree that a delicious pie instantly lifts your spirits. Continue reading for a list of the top 12 pizza places in San Diego that will have the whole family exclaiming, “That’s Amore!,” from real Chicago slices to Little Italy’s artisan pizzas. Here is the top of San Diego’s location for pizza!
2152 Avenida De La Playa, La Jolla
In La Jolla Shores, Dough Mama’s Pizzeria is a favorite spot for casual pizza among the locals. It is between a kayak rental business and a liquor store. The first benefit is that they both sell pizza by the slice. Although there is a beautiful menu of full pies if that is what you’re looking for, this is quite convenient if you’re already in the Shores area and truly just want a slice and a drink. And second, Dough Mama’s now offers outside seating where a few parking spaces once were, much like all the other eateries along this little section of Avenida De La Playa. A third benefit is also present: Dough Mama’s is a female-owned establishment. Girls rock!
2734 Lytton St, San Diego, CA 92110
Pete Harbison, a Michigan native who launched Angry Pete’s in 2018, has brought the Detroit-style pizza that was famous in this area in the 1970s and 1980s back to San Diego. In Point Loma, inside Desi’s Bar & Grill, Angry Pete’s serves squares from 5 p.m. to midnight every Wednesday through Sunday. Unlike many deep-dish types, Detroit pizza’s crust is light and fluffy rather than chewy due to the 80% moisture level of the dough. The toppings are all directly on the dough, then a ton of cheese (the gold standard being Wisconsin brick cheese). Which is spread to the edges, and finally a ton of red sauce, which is another difference from other pizzas.
7734 Girard Ave., La Jolla, CA 92037
Isola is tucked away on Girard Avenue between Spice & Rice Thai Kitchen and OrangeTheory fitness center and serves delicious pizza made in the tradition of Naples, among other things. Pizzas like the Margherita, prosciutto, arugula, and salsiccia are among the mouthwatering favorites on their menu that are from a wood-fired oven. Additionally, the menu offers entrees including chicken, lamb, and fresh seafood in addition to salads, antipasti, spaghetti, and salads. There are two Isola sites in San Diego; one is right here in La Jolla and the other is in the center of Little Italy.
2210 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101
Although ordering pizza in a fine dining establishment like Herb & Wood may seem out of the ordinary. It is a good option for a shareable appetizer or light lunch. It is with the same gourmet ingredients and creative flavor combinations as the pasta and meat entrees. In times of uncertainty, go for the Iberico Nduja with Calabrian chili, Pomodoro, burrata, and broccolini; it’s a hotter, more upscale take on the traditional sausage pizza.
1706 S Coast Hwy, Oceanside, CA 92054
Charlie Anderson and Jamey Stone, who were friends since childhood, both lived in Oceanside and aspired to start a pizzeria there someday. Visions do come true, and that includes dreams of chewy, crispy coal-fired crust topped with fresh, local ingredients. The Captain Fin Pie is full of clam chowder sauce, provolone, potatoes, bacon, and black pepper. As well as the restaurant’s namesake pie, The Privateer Pie, may raise eyebrows with its toppings of chicken breast and walnut pesto. But trust us when we say they work perfectly.
Ricotta with fresh lemon zest is also with classic combinations like Brixton Pie’s tomato sauce, Grana Padano, and pepperoni. Raen Pie’s ingredients include white sauce, provolone, fior di latte, prosciutto di Parma, arugula, and black pepper. One of the longest wine lists in North County is the comprehensive wine selection.
3066 B University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104
Roman-style pizza with names derived from peccati, or sins, specifically the Seven Deadly Sins, is served at Gelati & Peccati, a member of the Buona Forchetta family. Prior to being pressed into sheet pans, topped with a variety of delectable ingredients. And baked to an airy, light crust, the high-hydration dough ferments for a full three days. There are always at least a dozen different options available, emulating the walk-up pizzerias and gelati shops that can be found throughout Rome.
Try the rich Lussuria (Lust), which is topped with mozzarella, caciocavallo, guanciale, and fresh truffles, or the popular Invidia (Envy), which is merely garnished with zucchini, ricotta, lemon zest, and black pepper. Save room for a scoop or two of gelato. Which is available in 18 varieties, including vegan selections and fruit sorbets. Our favorites are the superb Roasted Pistachio and Cherry Hazelnut with Chocolate Chip.
4150 Regents Park Row #100, La Jolla, CA 92037
Regents Pizzeria gets praise for its outstanding draft selection, as well as for its deserving appetizers. Such as sizzling hot wings, Buffalo cauliflower, and crispy Brussels sprouts. As well as for its variety of salads and sandwiches, but its pizza is truly outstanding. If you don’t mind waiting, you can order a whole pie, or you may go straight to the slice case.
The only sensible thing to do is to order one of each type of pie. Since there are distinct varieties of both Chicago and New York-style deep dish pies here (a rarity!). Ordering whole pies that are only partially baked includes instructions for completing the baking at home.