San Diego is known for its beaches, sunshine, fish tacos and craft brew, but we can add amazing pizza to the list thanks to a burgeoning culinary scene. From artisan pizzas in Little Italy to authentic New York slices, to gluten-free crusts and vegan toppings, we’ve found 11 of the best pizza spots in San Diego that are perfect for the whole family. Scroll down to see where to order up a slice or a whole pie and proclaim “that’s amore!”
The newest culinary project by the Busalacchi family in Little Italy, Barbusa offers authentic Modern Sicilian Cuisine with flair. From artisan pizzas, handmade pasta and seafood-centric dishes to handcrafted Italian cocktails and Southern Italian wines, there's something for everyone to enjoy. Come for the food, stay for the festa!
1917 India St.
San Diego, CA 92101
For delicious coal-fired pizza, this is your pizza place. Their craft pies have paper thin crust that range from the simple pepperoni to the more complex and rich-tasting (B)URBN BBQ Chicken or fresh littleneck clams. Or if you really want something new, try the famed garlic mashed potato and bacon pie. Good to know, the pizza is oblong, so you will have both triangular and square pieces.
Several locations: Vista, Encinitas, Del Mar Heights, North Park and San Diego
Dough Balls at Windmill Food Hall
Whether you like your pizza by the slice ($3) or the whole pie, the recently open Doughballs in the Windmill Food Hall is a local hot spot. Little pizza eaters usually go for a slice (or two) of the cheese or pepperoni, whereas grown-ups favor the Fungi made with tomato, mozzarella, pepperoni, fennel, sausage, and mushroom. You’ll remember the crust. What’s more, there are plenty of other options from sliders to pad Thai noodles if someone doesn’t want pizza. Plus, it’s a great excuse to give the Windmill Food Hall a try!
890 Palomar Airport Rd
Carlsbad, CA 92011
Head to one of these pizza gem locations and enjoy a Neapolitan-style pie with the whole crew. From the kid-friendly Margherita and pepperoni to the Barbara pizza with bufala, scamorza, gorgonzola, parmesan and porcini mushrooms, you’ll love the diverse flavors and eat up the sourdough crust.
Several locations: South Park, Liberty Station and Encinitas
Order the Monello pizza special to satisfy your pizza craving! It comes with spinach, roasted bell peppers, sausage, and a bunch of cheese. Half-pints will dig in to the Margherita pizza. Also, for dessert, the chocolate custard with berries or the gelato made daily are always a great choice.
750 W Fir St.
Ste. 102 B
San Diego, CA 92101
Where to eat pizza after a visit to LEGOLAND®? Try 7-Mile Kitchen, named for Carlsbad's seven miles of coastline. The pizzas are crafted with house made dough and baked in a wood-fired pizza oven. Their gluten-free pizza is one of the best tasting around. You’ll also find rotating taps of San Diego's favorite local, craft beers. And finally, top off dinner with a scoop from their gelato bar.
5420 Grand Pacific Dr
Carlsbad, CA 92008
Pizzo’s Pizzeria & Wine Bar
This Eastlake spot is the perfect place for families to sit down for an authentic Italian pizza in the South Bay. Pizzo’s is beautiful inside with huge windows that provide a great view of the city. Outside you’ll find patio seating with a grassy area for the kids to play. Besides tempting slices heaping with cheese, your fam will enjoy fresh huge salads with shaved parmesan too. Try their Salsiccia or fennel sausage pizza with roasted peppers, basil, roasted onions, and fresh mozzarella with organic tomato sauce.
2322 Proctor Valley Rd.
Chula Vista, CA 91914
Craving a genuine New York slice? This iconic pizza joint can’t be beat. Sit down at this family-friendly spot and take in a little slice of the East Coast while you gaze up at the New York memorabilia that adorns the walls. Not sure which pizza to try? The Whitestone is a local favorite.
Insider’s Tip: Make sure to have some bills on hand because Bronx Pizza accepts cash only.
111 Washington St.
San Diego, CA 92103
Pauly’s Pizza Joint
This friendly, laid-back pizza place known for its thin, crispy New York crust draws in families from all over the county. With outdoor seating, your family can enjoy a fun slice of Christmas Pizza (spinach, bacon, pepperoni, garlic and feta cheese) in the sunshine any time of year. Kiddos also like their Hawaiian style slices.
6780 Miramar Rd.
San Diego, CA 92121
Being square is part of the fun at Napizza, where you order by the slice and can try all the varieties. The square slices of pie contain natural, organic ingredients that are sourced locally. A healthy option the Veggy Festa, with fresh veggies or The Bolognese pizza, a savory combo of ground beef, homemade tomato sauce and mozzarella are favorites. Try their delicious combos with fresh soup or salad too.
2 Locations: Little Italy and 4S Ranch
Mountain Mike’s Pizza
If eating gluten-free is a must for your family, Mountain Mike’s Pizza is your spot. Local owner Sam Golding has a child with celiac disease and he takes gluten-free pizza seriously. Though the kitchen is not a dedicated gluten-free facility, all employees are well trained in preparing their gluten-free pizza with extra care. You can count on the folks at Mountain Mike’s to deliver a fresh, delicious pie with great ingredients.
Insider’s Tip: Gluten-free pizzas are made in an individual size only. Click here to get their coupons.
2 Locations: San Carlos and Clairemont
––Cherie Gough & Nikki Walsh
featured image: iStock