Fun Diego Family is on a search for the best pizza in San Diego. As part of that quest we are revisiting many old favorites. One long running place is East Coast Pizza in Cardiff-by-the-Sea. This is our East Coast Pizza review.
I have been going to East Coast Pizza for over 10 years. This was a place where I introduced my son and daughter to pizza as a meal before we walked across the street to the beach. They serve a classic NY-style thin crust that is a family favorite.
Cardiff-by-the-Sea has many attractions as we describe in our article. There are actually two other pizza places on our list a stone’s throw from East Coast Pizza, Best-a-Wan and Best Pizza and Brew. Both of these places have more atmosphere, but the pizza is not as good.
East Coast Pizza is a tiny place in a courtyard right by Seaside Market. There is limited indoor seating but plenty of outdoor seating in the courtyard. This is a great spot to hangout and look out over the Pacific Ocean across the street.
The prices at East Coast Pizza are hard to beat. Like most quality NY-style places they have pizza by the slice. You can get two slices and a soda for $6.50. A slice, salad and drink is $8.50. Three slices and a drink is $9. They usually have about 10 different pies available by the slice.
A full 18-inch pie starts at $16 with about $2 per topping. Specialty pies cost from $18 to $21. They have traditional red pizza with tomato sauce and white pizza with garlic and olive oil instead of red sauce. This is a trend at most NY-style places, but I am firmly a red sauce guy.
East Coast Pizza also has a stuffed pizza which they claim is their take on Chicago deep dish. I have never tried this, but a full pizza which includes pepperoni and sausage is $33. They also serve calzones, strombolis, salads and a meatball sub.
Service is extremely friendly. They live up to their slogan of New York style pizza without the attitude.
One thing I have learned from many times eating at East Coast Pizza is that their specialty pies tend to be better than just something like a plain pepperoni. They have both an artichoke pizza and a meatball with ricotta pizza where the tomato sauce is placed in dollops on the top. These are some of my favorites. Another great pie is the Flaming Lips (one of my favorite bands). This includes Canadian bacon, jalapenos, roasted red peppers and garlic.
In 2014 a second East Coast Pizza was opened in Hillcrest, near Balboa Park and downtown San Diego. I have personally not tried this location yet. One issue is that this is in the heart of San Diego pizza country. Right down the street is Bronx Pizza, as well as the many awesome places in North Park.
The fact that East Coast Pizza has been able to hold its own in prime pizza country speaks a great deal about the quality of the pies they are producing. This has been a Fun Diego Family favorite for years. It is definitely one of the best pizza places in the northern San Diego area.
UPDATE FEBRUARY 2019
East Coast Pizza made our San Diego’s Best NY-Style Pizza list (aka thin crust)