Calling all Pizza Connoisseurs

Bruschettone at Officine Buona Forchetta in Liberty Station, San Diego CA
Bruschettone at Officine Buona Forchetta in Liberty Station

There is no shortage of pizza destinations in America’s Finest City! Whether you prefer deep dish or thin crust, you have the perfect excuse to eat pizza for National Pizza Day on February 9th. We’ve rounded up some of the best spots in San Diego to celebrate.

Maestoso is a modern Italian dining experience in the Hillcrest neighborhood of San Diego, CA. Chef and Owner Marco Maestoso offers years of study and evolution on pizza. His version of pizza is called “pinsa” and is the result of research on grains, yeast, and fermentation, to obtain a lower calorie, more digestible and healthier pizza dough.

NAPIZZA is a popular Roman-style pizzeria known for its authentic Italian fare, delivering vibrant nutritional tastes and a whole food approach. Napizza’s homemade all-natural dough rises for 72 hours before baking, which results in an ultra-light crispy pizza with more nutrients and less heaviness. Multiple locations throughout San Diego.

Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizzeria does pizza the organic, sustainable, and local way. The pizza dough undergoes a three-day fermentation process, mozzarella cheese is stretched by hand daily, and the fennel sausage is made from sustainable Berkshire pork on-site. Delicious pizzas are topped with unique ingredient combinations and cooked in a wood-burning oven. Favorites include truffled four-cheese pizza with mozzarella, bleu cheese, Parmigiana Reggiano, ricotta, and chives or the pizzaiolo topped with the chef’s seasonal selections. As for drink options, Diet Coke isn’t an option at this au naturel establishment. You will, however, find plenty of local craft beers on tap as well as organic, sustainable, and biodynamic wines.

Driven by authentic Italian-inspired dishes, Buona Forchetta’s Neapolitan-style pies are hard to beat. This popular pizzeria is the talk of the town with its large, hand-made pizza oven (named Sofia and built on-site by Stefano Ferrara), taking center stage in the kitchen. Popular pizza favorites include the Puttanesca with mozzarella, capers, anchovies and olives or the Marinara with oregano, garlic and grape tomatoes. In addition, all pizzas can be made gluten-free. The beer and wine menu showcases a nice variety of craft and small-production labels from California and Italy, as well as classic house made red or white Sangria.

At Isola Pizza Bar in Little Italy, savor artisan pizzas made from double-zero flour imported from Napoli, finished in a special pizza oven purchased from the same region. The high heat and less than 5-minute baking time give the pizza crust an authentic spotted appearance. An open kitchen allows diners to observe the chefs at work, and a small outdoor patio is also accessible for those that prefer dining al fresco. A long wall adds to the ambiance, highlighted by shelves filled with wine, imported olive oil, canned supplies, and oak logs for the oven. Popular favorites include the Baked Pasta al Forno with quattro formaggi, saffron, and spicy breadcrumbs and the Sardenaira Ligure, a thicker style pizza with tomato sauce, anchovies, olives, garlic, and oregano. A second location is at 7734 Girard Avenue in La Jolla, CA.

Beloved for its innovative pies and inviting atmosphere, Woodstock’s Pizza in Pacific Beach is a must-visit this National Pizza Week. Whether you’re veggie fiend, a meat fanatic, or just like to stick to the basics, Woodstock’s has a pizza that’s right for you. Treat your taste buds to the Kickin’ Carnitas Pizza, topped with southern chipotle sauce, slow marinated carnitas, crispy bacon, red onions and fresh cilantro

Nestled in historic Kensington, The Haven touts some of the best Neapolitan-style pizzas the city has to offer. Adorned in modern fixtures with an infusion of charm to match the area’s quaint demeanor, this local pizzeria offers popular pies such as The Righteous Pig, loaded with pesto, mozzarella, goat cheese, prosciutto, caramelized onions, arugula and balsamic drizzle.

Don’t let National Pizza Week pass you by without a trip to one of Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza & Grill’s locations. Boasting an array of options to cater to a variety of dietary restrictions, this pizza hotspot offers gluten-free, whole wheat and cauliflower crusts, in addition to their regular dough to ensure that everyone leaves satisfied. Gorge on their LaDou’s Barbecue Chicken pizza, prepared with smoked gouda, barbecue sauce, red onion and cilantro, and see why this 30-year-old pizza go-to is a longstanding staple.

Nestled in Carmel Valley’s Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch, Fresh Brothers is the idyllic spot to grab a bite during National Pizza Week. Modern and welcoming, this pizza pitstop touts delectable renditions of the classics, including their Fresh Momma’s Favorite, topped with spinach, garlic, mushrooms, and a blend of pizza sauce and pesto. Pair this with a side of wings to complete the meal!

Celebrate the advent of pizza with a trip to one of San Diego’s favorite farm-to-fork spots, Farmer’s Table. With locations in La Mesa, Bay Park and now Little Italy, this local gem fires up their pizza in a woodfire oven they imported straight from Italy. Choose whether you’d like your cheesy creation to be a flatbread or a pizza, and order one of their most popular pies, such as the Speck, which merges sweet with salty by pairing pear with blue cheese, green onions and fresh mozzarella.

Celebrate your love for pizza at Hundred Proof. Grab your friends and family, head on down to University Heights, kick back and enjoy a slice. Their menu offers three varieties of pies including a Wild Mushroom Pizza ($15) made with ricotta, mozzarella, and pecorino cheese as well as a Hen Egg Pizza ($14) which comes topped with Calabrian chiles, burrata, lardons, and basil. Any way you slice it, it’s a match made in heaven. If you’re looking to pair your pizza with a cold beer or a crafty cocktail, you’re in the right place. This top drinking destination offers unique and delicious seasonal cocktails as well as a variety of beer and wine that’ll pair perfectly with any pie. (4130 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92103, (619) 501-6404)

There is only one way to celebrate National Pizza Day, and that is by enjoying it from the experts themselves. Head on down to Monello in Little Italy to enjoy a taste of some of the most authentic pizzas around. Offering eleven different varieties, you’re sure to find one that’ll honor this holiday the right way. A few favorites include the classicMonello ($21) topped with spinach, roasted bell peppers, sausage, raspa dura and if you’re feeling brave, try thePiccante ($19), made with mozzarella, arrabbiata sauce, and spicy salame, which is well-deserving of the name “Piccante.” So do your part and enjoy a slice (or five) on this day. But let’s be honest, there’s always a good reason to eat pizza on any day. (750 W Fir St, Ste., 102 B, San Diego, CA 92101, (619) 501-0030)