Opened in 1997, Bronx Pizza is probably the first place to put San Diego into the contender category when it comes to quality pizza. Bronx Pizza led to a slew of quality pizza places opening in the area. By 2013, Trip Advisor named San Diego the best pizza city in the country. I have been going to Bronx Pizza regularly since at least 1999, but of course as Fun Diego Family looks to find the best pizza in the area, a revisit was in order. In our search for San Diego’s best pizza, I present our Bronx Pizza review.
Bronx Pizza is clearly in the New York style/thin crust category of our pizza taxonomy. This is place with only one size (18”) and one style, thin crust. However, this pizza can be decorated in all ways with many different toppings. There is a whitestone pizza which comes without red sauce. Bronx Pizza also has calzones and salads, but it is all about pizza
The primary focus is on pizza by the slice, but, like all these places, I recommend getting a whole pizza if possible. One big test of a quality whole pizza is how well it heats up the next day. We had a party where we ordered six whole pizzas, resulting in leftovers. We were amazed at how well these slices heated up the next day and tasted almost as fresh as right out of the oven. With pizza, this is rare.
An important note is that Bronx Pizza is cash only. There is an ATM on site, and plenty of banks in the neighborhood so usually this is not too much of an issue unless you are looking at delivery. The good news is that Bronx Pizza has the most reasonable prices we have found.
At Bronx Pizza two slices and a soda are $7. This is on the low end of the scale, where most similar places are $7 to $9. A slice, salad and soda is $7, and a salad on its own is $4. The one size 18” pizza starts at $15 with toppings at $1.75 each. Most places start at $16 to $17. Calzones, with mozzarella and ricotta, are $7.50 plus $0.50 per topping.
There are usually about 16 different pizzas available by the slice at any given time. Some notable ones include the primavera with broccoli, spinach, peppers, mushrooms and garlic and the porko with pepperoni, meatballs and sausage. As mentioned there are some whitestone pizzas that have no red sauce. In addition, to mozzarella, the whitestone adds ricotta, parmesan and garlic as a base. The base whitestone whole pie costs $16.75.
Two specialty pizzas of notes are the lasagna and the artichoke. The lasagna has meatballs, ricotta, onions, parmesan and garlic. The red sauce comes on top in heaping spoonfuls. The artichoke pizza also has the red sauce on top and in addition to cheese contains, you guessed it, artichokes. This pizza is only $16.75 whole, and the lasagna is a very reasonable $20.
On a funny sidenote, one time I was in Bronx Pizza and there were some visitors from New York in front of me. They were making fun of the artichoke pizza saying there was no such things as artichoke pizza in New York. I kept my mouth shut but I wanted to beg to differ. One of the most popular pizza places in New York is the now mini-chain Artichoke Basille’s Pizza. This pizza has sparked great controversy. I have tried Artichoke Basille’s and am not a fan. I can honestly say Bronx Pizza has a much better artichoke pizza, although it is a very different style (Basille’s has, as others have mentioned, a stomach-churning alfredo like sauce).
The final thing to note about Bronx Pizza is it has a prime location in the Hillcrest neighborhood right by downtown and Balboa Park. Our family has made a habit of going to Bronx Pizza after a visit to the San Diego Zoo. The street parking can be tight but usually, you can find something within a block or two. Don’t let the small interior fool you. The inside is quite large with several rooms and plenty of seating. There is a definite boxing theme and we were thrilled to see a signed picture of Marvel’s Stan Lee.
In just about everything, from price, ambience, and most importantly quality, Bronx Pizza comes out on top. An owner of one of the top pizza places on our list said he would even concede he couldn’t match Bronx Pizza. The Cole family is on a quest to review our top pizza places in the greater San Diego area. This involves revisiting our longtime favorites to make sure they are still up to par. I can definitely say Bronx Pizza shows no signs of age and will definitely fall in at least the top 3 our favorite New York style pizza places.
UPDATE FEBRUARY 2019
Bronx Pizza made our San Diego’s Best NY-Style Pizza list (aka thin crust)