Some of the best downtown San Diego pizzas are:
Steeped in mozzarella.
Rectangular and topped with mashed potatoes.
Salvation for the inebriated.
Sold in a grocery store?
Yep, those all describe at least one pizzeria picked to receive some San Diego Sun “Shine.”
This list is far from fancy. Most places are serving fast-casual fare. A few are dolled up for fine dining.
Have a passion for pizzaiolos? You’ll flip for The Sun’s list of seven spots in 92101 that outshine others, and 10 more that are all a slice of heaven.
PIZZA PLACES THAT SHINE IN 92101
Basic Bar & Pizza
Basic Bar & Pizza is popular for Padres pre-gaming.
This brick fortress opened nearly concurrently with Petco Park (2004) and is popular for pre-gaming before the Padres take the field. The thin-crust, rectangular pies come in meaty and veggie specialties; or you can build your own. Try the Mashed, a white pizza with mozzarella, bacon and mashed potatoes. 410 Tenth Avenue, East Village
Isola Pizza Bar
The serene setting for authentic Isola Pizza.
Everything’s authentic Italian here—the red-tiled brick oven, doppio-zero-flour dough and most of the employees’ accents. Good things come in fours, from the quattro carni to the quattro formaggi pizzas. Happy Hour (Wednesday to Friday, 2:30 to 5 p.m.) is a popular, cheap-date deal. 1526 India Street, Little Italy
Ciro’s Pizzeria & Beerhouse
Getting sauced at Ciro’s Pizzeria & Beerhouse.
A super spot for people-watching, Ciro’s has been serving New York-style pizza for a decade and a half. The wide variety of pies in the front case is ever-enticing. So are the weekday specials. Happy Hour: $2 slices from Monday to Friday (3 to 6 p.m.). 536 Market Street, Gaslamp Quarter
Caps Pizza & Bar
Dive in: Caps Pizza & Bar.
Formerly Caparell’s Italian Cuisine, Caps is a dive bar with an often-overlooked kitchen. The joint is affordable and friendly. Pizzas stand out due to their heft—there’s nothing stingy about the how high the mozzarella or toppings are stacked. 1428 First Avenue, Cortez Hill (near Little Italy)
A large pepperoni pie hot out of the oven at Gaslamp Pizza.
If Caps Pizza & Bar is a “dive” then Gaslamp Pizza can be designated as a “hole in the wall.” In the heart of the city’s entertainment district, patrons pop in after bar-hopping for a slice to go—not to sit and dine. This greasy goodness has settled thousands of over-served stomachs. Gaslamp Pizza: Thank you for your, hiccup, service. 505 Fifth Avenue, Gaslamp Quarter
Surprise! A full pizza shop inside Krisp Market.
Sure, Krisp is a full-service supermarket with an immense selection of beer, wine and spirits. But it’s the pizza shop in the front window that lures you in. Served hot and ready-to-go, how can you resist pizzas with names like Rico Suave, Sweet Lil Piggy or It’s All Greek To Me? There’s also a Gluten Free Pie. 1037 Seventh Avenue, East Village
Just dough it! Prepping at Landini’s Pizzeria.
Straight outta Florence (Italy), Leo Landini opened his Little Italy pizzeria in 2009. He’s since expanded to Point Loma’s Liberty Public Market and Las Vegas. You can’t beat the daily dine-in specials for his New York-style ’za, including two slices and a soda for $8.50. 1827 India Street, Little Italy
MORE PIZZAS OF NOTE
Everybody likes it hot. The wood-fired stove at Ambrogio15.
Milanese-style, 15-inch-wide pies with wisp-thin-yet-crispy wood-fired dough. 550 West Date Street, Little Italy Food Hall
Explanation required. South Park’s topnotch Buona Forchetta isn’t in 92101, but they do have a concession stand at Petco Park. South Park = Buonissimo! Petco Park = Solo bene. 100 Park Boulevard, East Village
The whole menu includes Italian delights, including pizzas topped with bold, fresh ingredients. 505 Laurel Street, Banker’s Hill
Old-school neighborhood fave with Naples (Italy) roots that were planted here back in 1950. 1747 India Street, Little Italy
Woodfired pizzas with elevated, gourmet-style fare (chorizo, mushroom, fennel). 2210 Kettner Boulevard, Little Italy
Mr. Moto is the new kid on the block in Little Italy.
Build your own pies with hand-picked cheeses, meats, veggies and drizzles. Two new downtown locations: 1702 India Street, Little Italy and 879 W. Harbor Drive, Seaport Village
This chain entrant makes the list for the sheer deliciousness of cheese-filled crust. 1001 Broadway, East Village
Artisanal goodness, located on the ground level of the upscale Pendry Hotel. 550 J Street, Gaslamp Quarter
Pizzas are a solid selection at this café at the base of the historic El Cortez high rise. 702 Ash Street, Cortez Hill
Reasonable prices. And kudos to Tony’s for serving up pizzas to local hospitals during the height of COVID. 433 E Street, Gaslamp Quarter
Have your own opinion on a downtown pizza place that missed on this list? Pipe up and leave a comment! SDSun
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