National Pizza Day is Feb. 9 – Grab a slice at the beach to celebrate Americans’ favorite food
by VICTORIA DAVIS
Published - 02/04/18 - 12:15 PM | 5961 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The pepperoni and sausage slices are the most popular at Hoboken Pizza & Beer on Garnet Avenue. THOMAS MELVILLE / BEACH & BAY PRESS
The pepperoni and sausage slices are the most popular at Hoboken Pizza & Beer on Garnet Avenue. THOMAS MELVILLE / BEACH & BAY PRESS
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Slices at Luigi’s At The Beach on Mission Boulevard are larger than Victoria's head. THOMAS MELVILLE / BEACH & BAY PRESS
Slices at Luigi’s At The Beach on Mission Boulevard are larger than Victoria's head. THOMAS MELVILLE / BEACH & BAY PRESS
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Victoria dives into a pepperoni slice at Hoboken Pizza & Beer. THOMAS MELVILLE / BEACH & BAY PRESS
Victoria dives into a pepperoni slice at Hoboken Pizza & Beer. THOMAS MELVILLE / BEACH & BAY PRESS
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Victoria attempts to eat a giant slice at Luigi’s At The Beach. THOMAS MELVILLE / BEACH & BAY PRESS
Victoria attempts to eat a giant slice at Luigi’s At The Beach. THOMAS MELVILLE / BEACH & BAY PRESS
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Filippis Pizza Grotto manager Ted Finch holds the large ‘Special’ pizza in the restaurant’s kitchen. / Photo by Thomas Melville
Filippis Pizza Grotto manager Ted Finch holds the large ‘Special’ pizza in the restaurant’s kitchen. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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New York might be known for thin crust and Chicago famous for deep dish, but pizza in San Diego is known for its originality. Since National Pizza Day is Feb. 9, the Beach & Bay Press went out and sampled slices larger than a small child, slices named after celebrities, and pies served in a Fiat. The common denominator about these varying pizzas is all the ingredients are fresh, cooked to perfection and delicious. Whether it’s thin-crust cuisine or fluffy and thick, here’s some of the best pizza joints in Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, La Jolla, Ocean Beach and Point Loma.

PACIFIC BEACH

- For those who have passed by the painted black walls of Hoboken Pizza & Beer on Garnet Avenue and thought it to be a tattoo parlor, the only color you’ll get on your skin here is red from the scrumptious sauce of their thin-crusted pizza. Founded 16 years ago, this eatery is not only famous for the thousands of signed dollar bills and Frank Sinatra photos that encapsulate the walls, but also for their popular pepperoni and sausage slices.

- With red and white flannel table cloths to match the red wines, red sauce and white cheeses of their pizza, Filippis Pizza Grotto on Garnet Avenue doesn’t hold back when it comes to their traditional Italian décor. The wines actually hang from the ceiling in straw bottle holders. Founded in 1950 by Vincent DePhilippis and his wife, the family restaurant invites guests to enjoy 67-year-old family recipes and pizza topped with everything from Canadian bacon to artichokes and Cajun spice.

- There are few things that go better with Italian cuisine than red wine, and pizza is no exception. Mamma Mia’s Italian restaurant on Balboa Avenue masquerades as a small home-style cottage but inside smells of baked cheese and pesto. Some of the more original pizzas on this their menu include the Cotto E Funghi Pizza with ham and mushrooms, the Polpette Pizza with meat sauce, meatballs and provolone cheese along with the Ligure Piza with pesto, mozzarella cheese and sautéed shrimp.

MISSION BEACH

- It might surprise most people to hear that a slice of pizza at Luigi’s At The Beach on Mission Boulevard is $6.50. But it’s even more surprising to be presented with a slice of pizza that’s bigger than your torso. While it might induce a food coma, the oven-baked pizza, made from scratch, is worth every penny. There’s very little grease and the crust is fresh and fluffy. Whether it’s a regular cheese slice or topped with anchovies and broccoli, one slice of this mission bay delicacy could feed a family for a week.

- Located just across from Belmont Park, with a perfect view of the Giant Dipper roller coaster from the outdoor patio, ZoZo’s Pizza Mission Beach on Ventura Place is famous for their NYC-style thin crust pies and giant slices. For 10 years, this beachfront counter has served starved surfers and famished sunbathers with their specialty pizzas such as the ZoZo’s Deluxe topped with garlic, pepperoni, onion, sausage, green peppers, black olives and mushrooms. They also serve gluten-free pizza and vegetarian options.

- It’s hard to miss the fluorescent blue building and the bright red patio awnings of Rosaria Pizza on Mission Boulevard. The parlor has a more modern feel to it but what makes this pizza place most unique is the names of their pizzas. The “NAM” pizza includes Vietnamese sweet and spicy sauce, Vietnamese BBQ Pork and Vietnamese Sausage. The “Say Cheez!” pizza is all about the parmesan flakes, ricotta and mozzarella. Then there’s the Maui Wowi, with ham, pineapple, bacon and red onions.

LA JOLLA

- It might be located in a coastal town, but inside Pizza on Pearl looks like it belongs in the heart of the Big Apple. There’s NYC graffiti on the red brick walls and yellow “dough throwing” warning signs, likely because the pizza makers spin the dough right in front of customers. The parlor on Pearl Street sells pizzas of every kind like the BCR with bacon, chicken and caramelized onion and ranch, along with their Pear pizza topped with ham, spinach, pear and Gorgonzola.

- For high-class pizza dining, the Lupi Vino Cucina on La Jolla Boulevard is the way to go. Awarded with the gold medal for best dinner in La Jolla for the last five years, executive chef Luigi Tornatore opened the restaurant in 2003 and focuses primarily on roman-style cuisine. The pizzas here are more health conscious, with their signature Capricciosa pizza made with tomato, mozzarella, ham, mushrooms and artichokes. All of the ingredients are fresh and made on location every day.

- With locations in both La Jolla and Little Italy, Isola Pizza Bar on Girard Avenue has made a quick name for itself in San Diego. Specializing in wood-fired pizza, antipasti and a wide selection of beer, wine and desserts, Isola has options for both carnivorous and herbivore cravings. One of the key features of this place is the pie – baked to perfection in a classically-designed wood-fueled oven. Choose from a vast array of cured meats, fresh vegetables and authentic Italian dairy.

OCEAN BEACH

- Ulivo, a casual and cozy neighborhood restaurant opened just a few years ago and is owned by the Olive Tree Marketplace, located right next to the eatery on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. At Ulivo, the portions are large, the wine is plentiful and the pizza options are many. Guests can build their own pizza or choose from a list of signatures like the Veggie Rustica with grilled eggplant, zucchini and mushrooms, or the Tuscany with spicy Italian sausage and caramelized onions.

- Located just a couple yards from the sand and surf with an open patio, giving guests a perfect view of Ocean Beach Pier, Newport Pizza and Ale House on Newport Avenue is probably the best place to sit with a “David Hasselhoff” (garlic, basil, ricotta and tomato) slice to watch the sunset. There’s also the “Big Kahuna” which is ham and pineapple, the “Happy Hippie” with bell pepper, onion, mushroom, black olives and tomato, and the “Donald Trump” with the works, just to name a few.

- Pizza Port Ocean Beach on Santa Monica Avenue has the whole fluffy crust concept down to an art form. Doubling as a brewery, this parlor’s grub is as good as their grog. The BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza is on the “Anti-Wimpy” menu and is topped with meatballs, bacon and tangy BBQ sauce. There’s also the Meet Extreme Meat pizza, which goes great with any of Pizza Port’s craft beers. Just find a seat at one of their indoor picnic tables and dig in.

POINT LOMA

- Family founded in the ’60s, the glittering white lights and country-style ambience gives The Venetian more the feel of a winery located in the middle of a vineyard rather than an Italian restaurant located on Voltaire Street. The unconventional theme doesn’t stop there. Their Genovese pizza includes caramelized scallops with pine nuts and the Sicilian pizza contains bits of anchovy with spicy sausage. This is a place for adventurous taste buds.

- Officine Buona Forchetta at Liberty Station is the epitome of style and class. There’s stacks of books at the entrance between an old Coca-Cola machine and a red moped parked above the bar. Airplane models hang from the ceilings and on the back wall hangs a massive painting of an Italian gentleman smoking a cigarette. The best part of the restaurant is the red vintage Fiat where guests can sit to scarf down an artisanal pizza cooked in gold-tiled stone ovens.

- Who knew it was even possible to serve pizza without tomato sauce? Pummaro has seven “without sauce” pizza options ranging from smoked buffalo to four cheese blends of mozzarella, ricotta, gorgonzola and parmesan. Of course, there’s also pizzas that classically include sauce like the Sole with cherry tomatoes, grilled zucchini and stracchino cheese. There’s also the famous Point Loma pizza topped with tomato, garlic and assorted seafood.

Other pizza places in Pacific Beach and Mission Beach

Capri Pizza 

2909 Mission Blvd.

858-488-9999

Gabbiano Pizza 

2912 Mission Blvd.

858-488-4010

Rosaria Pizza

3741 Mission Blvd.

858-488-7220

Liberty Pizza

4634 Mission Blvd.

858-270-3278

Mr Moto Pizza House

4653 Mission Blvd.

858-490-0501

Ambrogio 15

926 Turquoise St.

858-291-8650

Alta Marea

4286 Cass St.

858-272-7247

Sandbox Pizza

1014 Grand Ave.

858-272-7263

Filippi's Pizza

962 Garnet Ave.

858-483-6222

Square Pizza Co

4508 Cass St.

858-412-4469

Woodstock's Pizza

1221 Garnet Ave.

858-642-6900

Hoboken Pizza

1459 Garnet Ave.

858-270-7766

Marino's Italian

4475 Ingraham St.

858-490-0168

Mamma Mia

1932 Balboa Ave.

858-272-2702

Pernicano's Family Restaurant

711 Turquoise St.

858-488-2900

ZoZo Pizza 

728 Ventura Place

858-488-9696

Surf Rider Pizza

3770 Mission Blvd.

Opening in spring

SD TapRoom

1269 Garnet Ave.

858-274-1010

Ocean's Pizzeria

4150 Mission Blvd.

858-581-9490

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