The fast, casual concept is really catching on in San Diego. At Fun Diego Family we are totally on board. These places specialize in high-quality food at fairly reasonable prices. BIGA in downtown San Diego definitely falls in this category. They serve a variety of food, but our focus is on the pizza. BIGA serves some of the best upscale pizza in downtown San Diego.
BIGA is in the fancy California/Italian pizza category of our pizza taxonomy. However, this is a very casual family-friendly place. There is table service, but the design is primarily to order at the counter and have the food brought to your table.
BIGA is located in downtown San Diego, right near the House of Blues. This makes it a popular lunch spot for nearby workers. However, we have always come at night before going to a show at the House of Blues.
The specialty at BIGA is Italian food with an emphasis on pork. There is a large charcuterie menu. For $45 you can get a choice of 7 meats with fruit and vegetables. We have never tried this option because our focus has always been on the pizza.
The pizza at BIGA is the trendy Napoletana-style. It is cooked in an 850-degree oven for only two minutes. This makes it perfect for a busy lunch crowd.
Personally, I think Napoletana-style pizza is over-rated. I prefer NY-style thin crust. From my trips to Italy I have found that the pizza there cannot compare to the best of New York. That being said, I appreciate a well-done margherita pizza.
Like most places that serve Italian-style pizza, the pizzas at BIGA are designed for one person and cost between $15 to $20. This is about the price you would pay for an 18-inch NY-style pizza that can serve 3 to 4 people.
At these prices, I almost always go for the fancier toppings. At BIGA there are plenty of exotic custom pizzas. This includes their fancy cuts of pork like guanciale made from pork cheek.
Our favorite pizzas are the Sloane and the Caterina. The Sloane is $20 and is basically a margherita pizza topped with prosciutto and burrata cheese (another popular trend). The Caterina is $18 and comes with BIGA’s homemade sausage and Italian peppers.
We have not brought our kids to BIGA because this is a date-night place for us. However, if we brought our kids here, they would definitely love it. Our daughter would stress out over having to choose between an Italian sandwich or the Sloane pizza. Her favorite restaurant in San Diego is Ambrogio15 which serves a very similar menu.
Unfortunately, places like BIGA are a rare family treat due to price. There is a great deal of competition in the high-end pizza category, but BIGA is definitely near the top. Along with Basic in East Village, BIGA is the best pizza in downtown San Diego, not including Little Italy.
To top off your meal there is gelato for dessert!
Check out our full pizza reviews here.