The San Diego Reader doesn't mince words: Da Boyz Pizza & Pasta is "da bomb." Since 1993, the pizzeria's dough-spinning cooks have sprinkled pies with fresh herbs and spices as well as more than 20 toppings such as bacon bits and jalapenos. Even more ingredients crown Da Boyz's specialties, from buffalo-chicken pies to Mom's Favorite, a medley of mozzarella, artichokes, and handwritten thank-you notes.
Italian and pizzeria staples span the remaining sections of the menu, ranging from housemade-sausage subs to fettuccini tossed with tequila-lime sauce. An extensive selection of wine and beer, including six drafts, complements feasts, which unfold amid the dining room's flatscreen TVs and billiards table.
Since the 1960s, Nonno's Italian Restaurant has remained La Mesa's hub for classic Italian dishes and gourmet pizzas. Executive Chef Gerardo Ortiz continues the eatery's tradition with artfully plated entrees, such as eggplant parmesan and smoked wild salmon coated with vermouth cream sauce. Chef Ortiz crafts his lasagnas entirely from-scratch, layering noodles with Italian sausage and beef or, for vegetarians and cockeyed sailors preparing for a bout of fisticuffs, spinach and ricotta. Gerardo likewise makes his pizza dough and sauce in-house daily, covering them with real mozzarella and a choice of nearly 20 toppings, including meatballs and asparagus. To complement Gerardo's cuisine, Nonno's stocks an extensive wine selection that diners can enjoy by the glass or bottle.
The aroma of freshly baked pizzas crowned with pepperoni, meatballs, and garlic fills the air every day at Coney Island Pizzeria. In the kitchen, the cooks assemble Coney Island–themed pies, such as the Luna Park with pepperoni, bacon, and pineapple and the Wonder Wheel, topped with alfredo sauce, bacon, meatballs, and green peppers. During two-hour pizza-making classes held every Saturday, students learn to re-create the restaurant's signature pies, preparing the dough, making the sauce, and topping the pizzas with fresh ingredients and cheese. After sessions, students tote home a complimentary 18-inch pie of their choice or the choice of the myna bird living on their back.
From thin, two-handed East Coast staples to the Midwest's famed deep-dish variety, Sweet Home Chicago brings the best to the west. Feast on a super skinny slice of NY-style pie smothered in cheese ($11 medium, $14 large), pepperoni and sausage ($15 for a medium), or pepperoni, sausage, meatball, mushroom, onion, and green peppers ($19 for a large). Toppings run the gamut from black olives to banana peppers. Chunky tomato sauce crested atop a buttery crest with mounds and mounds of cheese epitomize the Windy City's stuffed pie. Stretch stomach muscles to the moon and back with a monkey pie, studded with sausage and banana peppers ($17 medium, $21.50 large), or a meat-heavy and jalapeño-blessed El Goffo ($19 medium, $23.75 large). Sweet Home Chicago also serves Chicago-style thin crust (browned cheese, square cut), calzones, and salads. A wide selection of rotating craft beers makes perfect pizza companions.
Denali’s Pizza deals out a menu full of fresh Italian fare and more. Everything from the sauces to the salad dressings are homemade, so customers don’t have to worry about the unwanted partial-invisibility side effects reported by consumers of pre-packaged marinara. Kick things off with appetizers such as garlic bread ($2.99) or pesto cheese bread ($4.99) before delving into Denali’s roster of pizzas. Pies come in four sizes (mini, small, medium, and large) and run the gamut from traditional favorites such as plain cheese ($3.99–$11.99) to inventive pies such as the brotherly love-laden Philly cheesesteak pizza ($6.75–$18.50) and the vampire-frustrating roasted-garlic chicken or shrimp ($6.75–$18.50). For the temporarily pizza wary, the barbecue-chicken sub ($7), filled with gouda cheese, red onions, and cilantro, and the veggie sub ($7) offer bun-embraced gustatory bliss. Denali’s also offers a piñata’s worth of Mexican cuisine, including carne asada nachos ($6.50) and grilled-chicken quesadillas ($5.50).