After Cubs fan Jerry Bishop moved to San Diego, he couldn't find deep-dish pies that met the demands of his Chicago taste buds. So he decided to open his own pizza shop—Asaggio Pizza Pasta Plus. Over the past 30 years, Jerry and his wife Liz have rounded out the menu with New York–style pizza, calzones, and pasta, all made with freshly prepared dough and handcrafted sauces. Staffers also hand stuff the sweet Grandma's-recipe cannolis, which diners on the waterfront patio can then empty and use as mustering horns to summon merpeople.
Founded by Vincenzo "Mimmo" Gaglio, this quaint deli and coffee shop has roots, heart and soul. Born in Sicily in 1930, Mimmo moved to California in 1960 and eventually opened a family Italian deli and sausage company in San Diego’s Little Italy. His idea for a quick lunch of high quality subs transformed into Grab & Go Subs, the quick-service chain we know today. At least ten locations can be found throughout San Diego County, and the downtown incarnation on 6th Avenue pulses with business as locals enjoy the family’s freshly baked bread, memorable sandwiches, fresh salads and Mimmo’s house coffee blend. Hunter green walls, a striped awning and fresh flowers lend charm to the eatery, where diners enjoy plump Italian-style subs loaded with dry salami, provolone, pepperoncini, pepperoni and more. Other hearty creations include po’ boys, spicy roast beef melts and hot Italian meatball subs, just the way Mimmo would have liked them.
Mirroring the abundance of attractions sitting atop the boardwalk, the pizza masters at A Brooklyn Pizzeria pile a New York–style thin crust with pepperoni, meatballs, sausage, and veggies on their Coney Island Deluxe pizza. It's one of the pizzeria's 18 specialty pies, whose fixings range from pineapple and Canadian bacon to ricotta cheese and artichoke hearts, all of which undergo baking in a brick oven. To complement the pies, the menu ties in other Italian favorites such as baked ziti and housemade cannoli, as well as oven-toasted sandwiches and subs.
Located in a nondescript strip mall in Serra Mesa, Little Sam’s Pizza serves up hearty New York style pizzas with a classic feel, including red and white checkered tiles that line the floor and a smattering of simple tables that fill out the humble interior. Don’t let the downplayed décor fool, though; Little Sam’s makes a delicious pizza worthy of its local popularity. Each pie is hand-tossed from dough that is made daily, topped with a light spread of tomato sauce and any combination of fresh ingredients. They also serve pizza by the slice, making it a great spot to grab a quick lunch, especially when it comes to the thin, flexible hand-tossed New York style slices, which are easily folded over and topped off with shakers of oregano, red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese. The large surrounding parking lot makes a visit or pick-up easy; they deliver as well.
Corner House Café & Pizzeria is an appealing oasis for casual eats and healthy smoothies, found tucked away in the business park landscape of Sorrento Valley. This family-owned eatery brims with personality, thanks to vibrant blue-umbrellas on the patio, a covered deck and garden touches. Energize the day with a morning latte, espresso or cappuccino, or opt for a healthy alternative with an acai bowl or antioxidant-rich smoothie. The expansive lunch menu impresses with its lengthy list of deli sandwiches, pizzas, calzones, salads, pastas and burgers, though no dinner service is offered. Daytime diners sit at communal picnic tables, surrounded by greenery and enjoying caprese sandwiches, chicken kabob plates or mandarin orange and crispy noodle salads, often before heading back to their nearby office.