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So apparently, San Diego is the Country's Seventh Best Pizza City

jmtreg Feb 26, 2013 03:07 PM

Per Travel and Leisure: http://www.travelandleisure.com/artic...

I grew up here, and I love this city, but 7th seems like a stretch. On the other hand, I now live within walking distance of 2 very good Neapolitan style pizzerias, and a fairly good New York style pizzeria. . .hmm. . .

With that said, let the flaming commence!

  1. r
    RB Hound Feb 26, 2013 03:24 PM

    I suspect this list has many New Yorkers in convulsions. Oh, the embarrassment of being #3 behind Chicago and Providence.

    It is interesting that San Diego is all the way up at #7, but then again, anytime a better place has been offered up it has been one of the top 5 in that list. Maybe San Diego isn't New York for pizza, but as I scan #8 to #20 in that list, I don't see any city that I remember seeing anybody here saying was much better for pizza than San Diego.

    1 Reply
    1. re: RB Hound
      BuildingMyBento Feb 28, 2013 01:03 PM

      I feel like the only NYers that would care about these lists are those who aren't originally from the city, you know, those hepped up on Brooklyn and the LES...

      In a different view, I don't know how there could be such a list when NY, New Haven, Chicago, and St. Louis for starters all have their own versions. If they all tried to make x-style then that's slightly more understandable, but it's hopefully understood that you don't go to Staten Island looking for deep dish.

      The only thing I really give a hoot about these lists for is to get recommendations of dishes- not whether or not the dish was good/who ate there- rather, what particular ingredients are utilized to create a menu.

    2. ipsedixit Feb 26, 2013 03:31 PM

      I think 7th is about right for SD. There may not be any true gems, but between Little Italy, Hillcrest and the North Park area, there are some very very good pizza places, maybe even a few outstanding ones.

      I think both SF and LA are too low on the list.

      I think Phoenix and Seattle are notable exclusions. And where are the NY Burroughs? Brooklyn anyone??

      3 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit
        globocity Feb 26, 2013 04:48 PM

        Agreed that PHX deserves a spot on that list.

        1. re: ipsedixit
          elizabethpl Mar 1, 2013 09:18 AM

          *Boroughs ;-)

          (at least you didn't say burros)

          1. re: elizabethpl
            ipsedixit Mar 1, 2013 09:32 AM

            My bad.

        2. notjustastomach Feb 26, 2013 03:32 PM

          Strange that New Haven is not on the list, close to the top. I guess it's not much of a Travel + Leisure destination city.

          1. c
            cstr Feb 26, 2013 05:08 PM

            What were they smoking?? OOPS... I understand.. it's T&L!

            1. s
              sandiegomike Feb 26, 2013 06:32 PM

              The Italian immigration surge in the early 20th century defined American perception of things Italian to a large extent. Pizza is no exception to this phenomenon. Since most of the immigrants were from the provinces of Campania, Callabria, and Sicily the pizza of Southern Italy became and remains the bench mark of pizza for many Americans. Interestingly, a hundred years later, the original East Coast Italian pizza, due largely to influences by other American immigrant groups, has morphed into a dish that is barely recognizable to most Italians. If by pizza you mean bread dough rolled, tossed, or machine flattened, with some "stuff" on it and cooked in an oven then San Diego could very well be #7 in the USA. If you mean the dish they eat in Italy called pizza, not so much.

              8 Replies
              1. re: sandiegomike
                Idyllwild Feb 26, 2013 08:17 PM

                Just out of curiosity, what seven cities in the U.S. offer a better selection of the dish they eat in Italy called pizza?
                I don't travel a lot lately, but in my experience I haven't been to many cities with a lot of pizza that strikes me as more authentic than some of SD's better spots.

                1. re: Idyllwild
                  ipsedixit Feb 26, 2013 08:40 PM

                  Off the top of my head (of the cities I've been to)

                  In no particular order:

                  (maybe Phoenix and DC)

                  But like I said up above, I think 7 is about right for SD.

                  1. re: ipsedixit
                    JRSD Feb 26, 2013 10:16 PM

                    Brooklyn is not a separate city, only a separate county.

                    1. re: JRSD
                      ipsedixit Feb 27, 2013 08:03 AM

                      Same could be said for Los Angeles (county versus city) but when talking about LA people inevitably lump places like Santa Monica, Hollywood, Pasadena, etc. into the term "Los Angeles".

                      Rinse, repeat for the term "San Diego".

                      1. re: ipsedixit
                        JRSD Feb 27, 2013 09:26 AM

                        LA and SD are the inverse of NYC, big counties with many cities vs. big city with several counties. Gerrymandering in the Pizza rankings, I tell you!

                        The last couple of times I have been in Las Vegas, I wound up having very good NY style pizza. It seems too light on Neapolitan style pies similar to Bruno or Calabria, but definitely inching upwards.

                        In placing Phoenix and DC up there is that weighted more towards the quality of the best places, the overall number of places worth going to or some combo?

                        1. re: JRSD
                          ipsedixit Feb 27, 2013 10:44 AM

                          RE: Phoenix and DC. It's about quality.

                          In Phoenix for example, I think it's really about Bianco (and perhaps two other places). I think if you are a pizza afficianado you really owe it to yourself to visit Bianco at least once and decide for yourself whether Chris is a genius, or a shyster. (Just like you should visit Delfina or maybe Una in SF).

                          Agree with you totally about LV.

                          1. re: JRSD
                            Idyllwild Feb 27, 2013 11:16 AM

                            Your questions illustrate why a list like this shouldn't be taken too seriously - no criteria are established. Is a city with one or two outstanding pies better than one with dozens of very good shops?
                            I find it credible that SD makes the top ten. In my area, Blind Lady Ale House makes very good Neopolitan pies (purists will argue the gas oven disqualifies them, but the ingredients are top-notch and the pizza is quite tasty.), while Bronx and Luigi do decent NY style pies, Urban does New Haven style, and Calabria and Bruno get a lot of good reviews, thought I haven't been.
                            It's worth remembering that there is plenty of mediocre pie in NY, Chicago, Providence, and, yes, Italy, too.
                            I'll buy SD at around number 7.

                            1. re: Idyllwild
                              JRSD Feb 27, 2013 04:34 PM

                              I would buy it as well. SD is definitely not the pizza wasteland it once was, that's for sure.

                2. v
                  Violatp Feb 26, 2013 08:48 PM

                  I haven't lived in SD for a number of years but the only good pizza I ever had there was Bronx Pizza in Hillcrest.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Violatp
                    globocity Feb 27, 2013 06:30 PM

                    You clearly are out of the loop, then.

                    1. re: globocity
                      Violatp Feb 28, 2013 05:23 AM

                      Admittedly so. Still interested in what goes on in San Diego, though, and so I post to the thread so it pops up in my feed. No skin off your nose.

                      1. re: Violatp
                        globocity Feb 28, 2013 06:00 PM

                        Nope, nose skin still in tact. The options for good pie in our city have grown so much so that we're now having this conversation. Pizzeria Bruno, Cafe Calabria, Blind Lady Ale House, and now Buona Forchetta. Next time you're in town, you have these to choose from. That's exciting, right?

                  2. Fake Name Feb 27, 2013 08:12 PM

                    This just in- Buona Forcheta one of the top 21:


                    Have to agree.

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: Fake Name
                      jmtreg Feb 28, 2013 11:29 AM

                      I don't exactly agree. IMHO the pizza at Bruno's and Cafe Calabria is better - the crust wasn't as well cooked at Buona Forchetta. On the other hand, the fact that the City boasts multiple Neapolitan-style pizzerias may show that Travel and Leisure weren't complete out to lunch.

                      1. re: jmtreg
                        DiningDiva Feb 28, 2013 12:47 PM

                        Hey, maybe it means that we locals can quit falling on our respective swords and can say that San Diego does some culinary delight other than beer and burritos ;-)

                        1. re: DiningDiva
                          RB Hound Feb 28, 2013 12:48 PM

                          You left out fish tacos, DiningDiva.

                          1. re: RB Hound
                            DiningDiva Feb 28, 2013 01:59 PM

                            You're right, but have you really every had a good fish taco in SD? I mean a good, really good fish taco...;-)

                            1. re: DiningDiva
                              manaloman Mar 1, 2013 07:54 AM

                              My wife and I have 2 days left in SD. What would be the consensus for some of the best Napolitana style pizza not too far from downtown? We're staying on 5th avenue just north of the Gaslamp. Thanks.

                              1. re: manaloman
                                Beach Chick Mar 1, 2013 07:58 AM

                                I like the pizza at Basic in the Gaslamp..across from Petco Park.


                                1. re: manaloman
                                  ipsedixit Mar 1, 2013 08:12 AM

                                  The key here is " Neapolitan *style* " (emphasis own).

                                  So, with that said, my top 3 in/around DTSD:

                                  Sicilian Thing (North Park)
                                  Bronx Pizza (Hillcrest)
                                  Basic (Gaslamp

                                  If you are willing to drive a bit, I would check out Bruno in University Heights (NE-N of DTSD)

                                  1. re: manaloman
                                    Idyllwild Mar 1, 2013 09:06 AM

                                    Basic, Sicilian Thing and Bronx make good pizza, but none are even remotely Napolitan style. Try Caffe Calabria or Bruno for wood fired ovens. Blind Lady does not have a wood fired oven, but their pizza is otherwise similar to Napolitan in style.

                                    1. re: Idyllwild
                                      manaloman Mar 1, 2013 05:05 PM

                                      Thanks. I think we'll either try Basic or venture a bit further afield to Bruno's.

                        2. l
                          littlestevie Mar 1, 2013 11:12 AM

                          My question is this: Does Blue Ribbon Pizza up in lovely Encinitas count as a San Diego pizza place? And while this list is fun, you can't really take it too seriously. St. Louis is not listed, while KC and Memphis are. Yes St. Louis style pizza is kinda quirky, but it is a better pizza town than the two previously mentioned towns

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: littlestevie
                            RB Hound Mar 1, 2013 11:22 AM

                            Maybe the people doing that list got confused and added KC and Memphis because of BBQ. I guess they would be both well suited to do BBQ pizza - something many pizza fans would find an abomination - but I digress.

                            St. Louis style pizza - quirky - I like it. That's exactly what I would call it. And it is yummy in its own way. If you order it expecting something New York style, you'll be shocked, but if you know what it is it does pretty well on its own merits.

                            I think what we need is a San Diego style pizza. Any thoughts on that? A carne asada pizza? A California burrito pizza? Or maybe go the fish route and have a fish taco pizza? How about an uni pizza? (a horrible waste of uni, I know, but...)

                            1. re: littlestevie
                              karaethon Mar 1, 2013 11:31 AM

                              I'd say Blue Ribbon counts as "San Diego" since we also count Kaito as San Diego. Both are off the Encinitas Blvd exit and Blue Ribbon is actually South of Encinitas Blvd while Kaito is North of Encinitas Blvd...

                              1. re: karaethon
                                RB Hound Mar 1, 2013 12:46 PM

                                To me, San Diego is San Diego County.

                            2. polldeldiablo Mar 4, 2013 10:32 PM

                              I actually think san diego pizza is starting to overtake new york and this is coming from a new yorker. The reason is that most of the demand in nyc is for neopolitan style pizza or for 1 dollar pizza (somebody started opening up 1 dollar pizza joints on every busy corner in manhattan) so aside from old legendary pizza places like grimaldi's and john's, ny style pizza is more prevalent in other major cities trying to replicate ny style. I am a bit surprised though that grimaldi's has a chain that isn't run by the owners in bk and yet they have chains all over the country, but not in san diego.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: polldeldiablo
                                ipsedixit Mar 5, 2013 07:47 AM

                                I dunno about San Diego being better than NYC.

                                I think of San Diego pizza as having lots of B- and B places.

                                Whereas, NYC (and Brooklyn) has lots of A places, with some B and C, and many many Ds and too many Fs.

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