National Pizza Month

Happy National Pizza Month. Now eat some pie.

Incredible beer list and thin-crust pizzas, just some of the offerings at Blind Lady Ale House (BLAH to its friends) at 3416 Adams Ave.

Even chain restaurants are making more exquisitely topped pies. So we ask the Superdiners: Who’s got great gourmet pizza in San Diego County?

Easy: Lefty’s Chicago Pizzeria in North Park and Mission Hills. Whether thin crust or the signature deep dish, it’s just the best in town. I’ve got love for DiMille’s in Normal Heights, too. Like Lefty’s, it’s a neighborhood spot and another can’t-miss place if you like deep dish. — Gerald “Dex” Poindexter, publicist, avid diner (Twitter @SuperDinerDex)

My last fast-food pizza was in the early ’90s. And I was terrified recently when I saw a commercial for bread bowl pastas — I think it was Domino’s. Bread is too essential to be treated like that. Sorry. If I’m feeling pizza, I’m usually throwing dough and making it at home. I do love Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza: I often go for the prosciutto, pear and arugula. Sicilian Thing ( in North Park is a favorite. Paul makes me these beautiful “white pies” with broccoli or thin slices of zucchini and yellow squash. The broccoli-white pie is now on the menu as “Barack-Oli-Ricotta.” Awesome. — Tina Luu, pastry chef, food lecturer at the Art Institute of California San Diego

Blue Ribbon Pizzeria, Encinitas. Don’t miss their summer vegetable pizza with squash blossoms. I’m a fanatic about Caesar salads, and chef Wade Hageman has managed to improve the classic: He’s brilliantly crushed the croutons so you get crouton taste with every bite. By the way, the place is almost as small as a pizza, so you may have to wait to get in. — Charles Kaufman, baker, owner of Bread & Cie Café

North Park’s Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano makes superlative Naples-style, wood-fired gourmet pizzas. The crust, which sports delicious charred bubbles, is thin enough to roll up and bite into, but not so paper-thin that the toppings overwhelm it. I’ve eaten just about every pizza on the menu, but my favorites include the salami (tomato, mozzarella, Gaeta olives and soppressata) and the Campania (tomato, mozzarella, fennel sausage, cremini mushrooms and roasted onions). Don’t forget to order a salad. Their muscular antipasto salad includes Italian olives, beans, cured meats and cheeses, while their market salad is a delicate mixture of mesclun greens, olives, nuts and shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. — Susan Russo, cookbook author, blogger (

There are two places I hit for other-than-ordinary pie. One is Bellisario’s Rotisserie and Pizzeria in Del Mar. They have a great barbecue-chicken pizza. Be prepared for some East Coast attitude. If you’re on your phone when you get to the counter, they won’t even acknowledge you! My second spot is Uncle Vinnie’s in Carmel Valley. It’s close to home, and fortunately, they make a great pizza. The local favorite of “gourmet” status is the Quattro Stagioni. It’s topped with broccoli, artichoke hearts, sausage and mushrooms. With all those veggies, it must be good for you!— Dave Morgan, CPA, avid diner

Incredible beer list and thin-crust pizzas, just some of the offerings at Blind Lady Ale House (BLAH to its friends) at 3416 Adams Ave.

Aaron La Monica at work at the Blind Lady Ale House. — Peggy Peattie

Blind Lady Ale House in Normal Heights does killer pies. I was especially in love with the butternut squash pie from last year … but all their pizzas are seasonal. One day it’s here, the next it’s gone. Good thing: They typically replace menu offerings with primo/seasonal new options. A single pie is a little on the small side and the perfect serving for one (one being me; I’m big-boned), and paired with a good Flemish/sour ale? … Fugetaboutit! — Anthony Schmidt, bartender at Noble Experiment

Gourmet pizza was born and died with Wolfgang Puck as far as I’m concerned. I’m a purist when it comes to pies and if you’re looking for quality ingredients I’ve got to go with Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano. Broccoli rabe and salsicce are as gourmet as it gets in my book. — Ricardo Heredia, executive chef at Alchemy Restaurant

It’s hard to define what “gourmet” pizza is any more, and that’s nice. I think few do as good a job incorporating some of the best ingredients from here and beyond as well as Wade Hageman at Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizzeria in Encinitas. Everything is presented in perfect balance by a true gourmand.

— Brandon Hernández, food writer (Twitter @offdutyfoodie)

I am always a sucker for Ciro’s Pizza downtown. Maybe not gourmet per say, but my style of pizza for sure. — Jeff Josenhans, director of beverage outlets and sommelier at U.S. Grant Hotel

I love “My Father’s Pizza” at Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizzeria in Encinitas. We brought some friends there for the first time last weekend and they loved it, too. Simple, but so flavorful, with all the right ingredients I like on my pizza pie. — Joanne Arellano, human resources professional, avid Yelper, avid diner

Incredible beer list and thin-crust pizzas, just some of the offerings at Blind Lady Ale House (BLAH to its friends) at 3416 Adams Ave.

Sami Ladeki, founder of Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza, shows off one of his signature pizzas at the La Jolla location of his restaurant. — Howard Lipin / Union-Tribune

Pizzeria Bruno Napoletano. They have a wood-fired, brick-domed oven that was custom built in Naples by family craftsmen and a VPN certified Pizzaiolo (pizza maker). More importantly, the pizza is outrageously delicious. As my Italian grandmother used to say, “Try it….you’ll like it.” — Sara Hanson, fine wine specialist and blogger (

In an effort to keep this local, I’m a huge fan of Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizzeria, located in the Lumberyard Shopping Center — Encinitas. The team there is trying some new innovative approaches to the traditional topped pies and I like their push to keep it local, sustainable and organic. And for all you traditionalists out there, I’ll never turn down a slice from Pizza Port. — David Salisbury, a law firm’s director of business development, avid diner

My favorite pizzas are at Blind Lady Ale House, Aaron LaMonica owns it!— Andrew Spurgin, chef/partner Campine – A Culinary + Cocktail Conspiracy

It’s all about the wood-fire and my top two favorites are at a tie. Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizzeria’s Signature Pizza with fresh ricotta (the lemon zest makes it) and Dolce Pane e Vino’s Vine-Ripened Tomato Flatbread with burrata cheese. — Randee Stratton, real estate broker, avid diner

Blind Lady nobody can beat Chef Aaron’s crust and great toppings. — Robin Taylor, organic farmer at Suzie’s Farm and Sun Grown Organic Distributors

Being of the thin, wood-fired crust persuasion, Blind Lady is a strong contender, and I get there from time to time. But Bar Basic comes in first for me. It’s partly due to geography, since anywhere I can trolley or walk gets extra points. The simplicity works: pizza, one salad, drinks. And since the first bite of their mashed potato, garlic, bacon and spinach combo I’ve never looked back. — Catt White, farmers market manager (Twitter @LIMercato)

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