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Jul 13, 2010 08:53 AM

Rosaria Pizza: Best Pizza in SD?

I have been trying a lot of the supposedly best pizza joints around town but nobody ever mentions Rosaria Pizza (2857 University Ave and Grenada in North Park) and I find myself going back over and over again. There are a lot of styles of pizza out there but I think this place is still my favorite. Not as thin as Bronx Pizza, and it has a nice thick sauce with a ton of flavor and even a little heat to it. Even the pepperoni is better quality than most other places and you can taste the difference. The crust has a nice soft texture but is also dense and substantial. I met the owner who said that this place has been family-owned since 1980 and he confirmed that he buys better quality tomatoes (yes he makes his own sauce and you can even see little bits of onion in there) which cost more, rather than skimping on cheap ingredients. No greasy, rubbery cheese here either. While many places have a $5 large one-topping special (and they all suck), Rosaria's has a $5.99 large and it is awesome - definitely worth the extra buck for a flavorful pizza. Their 18" giant one-topping is like 11 bucks. Reheat a slice in the toaster oven the next day and it almost tastes better. They even have a huge 28 inch pizza which I haven't been brave enough to order yet. I'm totally hooked on the 18" pepperoni and mushroom (only $13) but they also have some nice specialty pizzas like a white pizza which I am going to try next. They have an extensive menu with salads and pasta but I think pizza is their specialty and I haven't tried anything else.

Does anyone else think this place is totally underrated?

Rosaria's Pizza
2857 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104

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  1. Italy and Bruno's ruined me for American pizza.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Josh

      I know what you mean, I've had pizza in Naples and have also tried Bruno's and yes they are great but I also enjoy other styles if they are done well.

    2. Is the oven wood fired or electric?

      3 Replies
      1. re: ipsit

        They use a standard electric pizza oven.

        1. re: sdfoodfreak

          Bases on your description of Rosaria's, you will love Bruno's in san marcos. Esp the way you describe the crust which Bruno's nails it just right for me which bronx and luigi's and lefty's are all good but it's like so similar. Bruno's is just right, not too hard and not too soft and best of all not greasy or limp. In fact I never eat the crust but I do at there so that says alot.

          1. re: zoey67

            Thanks zoey, I've heard great things about that place but haven't tried it yet.

      2. No, no, no. The best pizza in San Diego is found at my Mom's house. The second best pizza in San Diego is found at my house. The rest fall where they may.

        5 Replies
        1. re: jmtreg

          What are the hours at your Mom's house or your house? Are reservations required?

          1. re: RB Hound

            Reservations have to be made a week in advance, and you should bring some flowers for Mom. ;)

            1. re: jmtreg

              Just out of curiosity jm, can you describe what makes Mom's pizza the best? All culinary family secrets are welcome here. :)

              1. re: sdfoodfreak

                Absolutely. I once wrote a blog post on my usually political blog:


                The key is love, Pastene brand crushed tomatoes and Polly-O cheese. Also, Mom's pizza has a specific architecture - first a thin layer of sauce, then the cheese, and then the rest of the sauce on top of the cheese. As a result, you don't have the cheese hardening into one block.

                1. re: jmtreg

                  Nice to see another fan of The Stranger, Andrew Sullivan, TPM, and Kos!

                  I'll settle for Bruno, since your mom's probably not serving strangers. ;-)

        2. Thanks for the head's up, sd! I am frequently in this area and have passed Rosaria's many times with curiosity. Our fine city has a few good options (my faves are Bruno's and Blind Lady Ale) so it's always a pleasure to add one more to the mix.

          Have you tried their vegetarian pizzas?

          1. UPDATE: For anyone still poking around here, let me save you the trip. I'm sorry to report that the magic is gone. Rosaria's is now under new management which means the prices went up and the quality took a nose dive. I should have seen it coming when the previous owner remodeled after dropping hints that he was thinking about eliminating the classic 18". The biggest disappointment is the crust. It was a beautiful thing while it lasted. Now it's just another mediocre pizza joint.

            Rosaria's Pizza
            2857 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104