the 2011 beach pizza crawl

My friends are very brave to take me up on my crazy ideas. Earlier this year we did a Red Velvet Cupcake Tasting and Heather and Laura enjoyed it enough to suggest we do something similar in the future so the idea for the pizza crawl came alive.

I set the pizza crawl for late May since our friend, Chris, would be in town visiting us from Florida. I thought it’d be something fun to do on his first day visiting us again! The cast of characters for this pizza crawl were myself, Jake, Chris, Stacey, Frank, Heather and Laura. We had a nice little crew going!

View Beach Pizza Crawl in a larger map

This was our route for the pizza crawl. We started at the bottom in Mission Beach and worked our way up into Pacific Beach.

Stacey, bright girl that she is, brought a pizza cutter with her. Yay for Stacey!

We met down by where Canes used to be before it burned and waited for everyone to show up and walked up the beach to begin our pizza crawling adventure. I’ll be posting  various comments we all made on our green “pizza tasting sheets” for the occasion and let the comments speak for themselves. The top three pizza shops and runner-up appear at the end of this post!

(1) Gabbiano Pizza
Price for a slice: $1.85

We got three slices over all. We were hungry in the beginning.

The first stop is a perennial favorite for Jake so he might have been a little biased in his review of the place.


“Dirty table, strange little place. Good slice, not impressed with crust. No beer.”

“Came out hot, lots of cheese, right amount of sauce but a little salty.”

“Needed a little more sauce.”

“Dirty, run-down looking place. Fast service. Good, typical slice of pizza. Definitely would recommend.”

“Kinda don’t want to touch anything. Pizza is pretty good.”

“Very hot. Good cheese coverage.”

“Sweet sauce, great pizza.”

(2) Capri Pizza
Price for a slice: $2.43

Capri Pizza is directly across the street from Gabbiano making the start of the crawl nice and easy. I was pretty amused by this sign. NO MEXICAN FOOD – arrrrggg! This sign is duplicated a few times around the restaurant… must be serious about that.

We ended up buying a small pizza to share since it was cheaper than buying three slices. The girl behind the counter was nice enough to slice the pizza into these tiny little baby slices for us. We also took up all of the seating inside. Oops.


“Lots of surfers. Rickety table, no beer. Good pie but not great. Nice staff.”

“Crunchy crust. Cheese fell off while eating it. Sad face.”

“Not very much sauce, not enough flavor.”

“Pizza seemed slightly better than cardboard.”

“Liked the sauce and cheese amount but didn’t quite work together.”

“Cheesy, otherwise unremarkable. Friendly, helpful cashier.”

“Light sauce.”

(3) Luigi’s at the Beach
Price for a slice: $4.97

Oh hello Giant Pizza Slices. I don’t know if you can tell how big these slices are from the photos. BIG. VERY BIG. This turned out to be a sit-down place with a waiter. The waiter was incredibly rude. We ordered 2 slices and he balked at us. We tried to eat fast to get out ASAP.


“Bitchy waiter. Sticky table. Oregano!”

“Lots of oregano in sauce. Taste is subjective.”

“Holy oregano, Batman! Why is there only sauce in the middle?”

“Ooey gooey. Liked the spiciness of the sauce. Taste was just okay.”

“Crust doughy, sauce not evenly spread out. Sauce has a lot of oregano.”

“Crap load of oregano. Doughish crust. Sauce is kind of sour.”

“Nice beer menu. Sticky table, dicky staff. Lots of oregano, good crust.”

(4) Rosaria Pizza
Price for a slice: $2.50

Ahh, my perennial favorite. We started to slow down after already hitting three places and started getting 2 slices and cutting them into tinier slices. We had to drive to get to Rosaria, but they have parking in front!


“Presentation! Awesomeness!”

“Clean tables! Table accessories! Very good flavors + balance. Friendly service.”

“Clean!!! Don’t know what’s up with the dance club music, but no biggie. Pizza is very yummy.”

“Exceptional value. Sauce has a nice blend of spices and sweetness. Crust is sweet.”

“Sauce & cheese evenly distributed. Good spices.”

“Crust is crisp all the way down, not soggy at all.”

“Super nice place, very clean. No beer. Very good slice all around.”

(5) Liberty Pizza
Price for a slice: $2.75

This is about when the groaning started. “We have how many places left to go? Nooooo!” As you can see, I got a teeny tiny slice. And then I only ate half of it and gave the rest to Jake. He ate all of my stray pizza because he’s a good boyfriend. This was our first stop in Pacific Beach.


“Yankees fans. No beer. A good New York thin crust. If I wasn’t already bursting with pizza, I’d love it.”

“Chewy, thin crust. Very crisp on the end.”

“Needed more sauce, a little greasy.”

“Crust was good. Extra garlic a plus. Wasn’t overcooked.”

“Enjoyed the garlic in the sauce. Wish there had been bit more sauce though.”

“Small, but had booths and seating room. Fast. Boring looking. Good flavor and decent pizza.”

“Hard crust. Sweet sauce.”

(6) Amore Pizza
Price for a slice: $3.09 (says $2.50 on website?)

Pizza starts to look the same after all, don’t you think? Getting down into the nitty gritty here. More groaning. Only thing that seems to keep most of them going is the thought of getting beer at the last stop.


“Sweet sauce, fluffy crust.”

“Florescent lighting. Okay atmosphere. Quick service.”

“Very nice crust. Interesting flavor. Good, but oily.”

“Liked the spiciness of the sauce. Definite crisp crust not as much seasoning. Reminds me of pizza from elementary school.”

“Crust is chewy and a bit burnt. Sauce had a little too much spice.”

“Very thin, very crisp crust.”

“Kind of a dirty little joint. New York style, light on the sauce, but good. Too full to properly appreciate.”

(7) Hoboken Pizza
Price for a slice: Unknown. Stacey forgot and the rest of us were too lazy to get up to ask.

This is by far the worst photo I took all night. We got there last and the pizza and beer had already been ordered.


“I love this place, but not so much today.”

“Best atmosphere. Most fun decor. My pen is running out of ink and I’m about to explode but that has nothing to do with the pizza.”

“Very good and that’s saying a lot since I now loathe the thought of pizza. Quick service, good atmosphere.”

“Crispy crust. Good amount of cheese and flavors. Very thin with a sweet sauce.”

“It’s clean and it has a good feel to it and they’re playing Crosby, Stills & Nash. Aww yeah.”

“Good flavor, not much crust, good even mix of sauce and cheese.”

Final thoughts from Frank:

“In summary, I don’t think anybody should eat seven different slices of pizza in one day. I am experiencing blurred vision and limited motor control.”

Rankings & Runner-Ups

#1 – Rosaria Pizza

#2 – Hoboken Pizza

#3 – Gabbiano Pizza

Runner up: Amore Pizza

A little note from my friends, to me.

11 thoughts on “the 2011 beach pizza crawl

    1. They did seem to be quite touchy about the Mexican food. It was fun overall, but probably should have went to less places…

  1. Sounds like another great day… Next time I’m down in San Diego, I need to check out these places… You guys have the more creative food crawls ever!

    1. Hi Dennis – I’m pretty sure Jake and I are the only ones who have eaten pizza again since the crawl haha! So many pizza places, so little time.

  2. hi mary – GREAT POST!!!!! i love how you guys were so methodical and organized!!!!!!!!

    loved reading the comments – dicky staff, what’s up with the club music,etc.!

  3. I still can’t look at a pizza without cringing, but in the interest of science, I’m happy to have been part of your sick experiment.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.