In our quest for the best pizza in San Diego, we have divided pizzas into four broad categories. Our fourth category we call Good Old American Pizza Parlor style. This is the type of place that is fun for the whole family. Generally, they have games for the kids and plenty of TVs playing sports and beer for the adults. Mini San Diego chain Oggi’s definitely is a leader in the category. This is our overview of Oggi’s pizza.
We have been coming to Oggi’s since the 1990s when its second location opened near our house in Carmel Mountain Ranch. At the time, Oggi’s, along with Pizza Port, was fairly unique in that they brewed their own beer.
Oggi’s is now a franchise with about 15 locations in not only San Diego but other parts of California. Our prime location is the one in Carmel Mountain, but we have also been to the original Del Mar location and the ones in Encinitas, Mission Valley and Liberty Station (by the airport).
Sports is a huge part of Oggi’s. Each location has multiple television screens with the latest games playing. During big games, of any major sport, Oggi’s can get packed. San Diego has sports fans from all over the country and Oggi’s is a prime meeting spot for local alumni clubs (such as my University of North Carolina club).
Originally Oggi’s was primarily about the pizza. Now the menu has expanded to a small book similar to a place like the Cheesecake Factory. Our overall impression is that much of the menu is hit or miss but that the pizza is very solid.
Personally, even as an admitted pizza snob, I am actually a big fan of Oggi’s pizza. It is a classic of the good old America-style pizza parlor. At the Carmel Mountain location, there is a dedicated arcade area for the kids and that takes me right back to my youth.
Like many of the sit-down pizza places, prices are on the higher side with a 16-inch starting at $17 for a basic cheese. However, the crust is thicker so a 16-inch from Oggi’s will serve about the same as an 18-inch New York style.
Surprisingly, Oggi’s does offer a NY-style thin crust. This goes for a whopping $23 for a 16-inch cheese. I have not tried this pizza (the price scares me away) but really, I would stick with what Oggi’s does best, a thicker crust American pizza.
For many years our go to Oggi’s pizza was the Loose Cannon. This pizza, priced at $23 for a 16-inch, consists of fresh tomato slices, garlic, and oregano. In recent years we have moved away from the Loose Cannon both because our kids don’t like it and we have found the garlic can be overwhelming.
Generally, I find it best to stick to the simple pizzas at Oggi’s. However, if you want to experiment with wacky pizza toppings like barbecue sauce and pulled pork, Oggi’s is a great place for that. The pulled pork pizza is actually a fun, once every two years or so, indulgence.
If you go on sites like Yelp. You will find Oggi’s hovering around 3-star reviews. In large part, this is because outside of pizza the food is not that great. In addition, the hectic sports bar nature can cause service issues. That is just the way of these places.
Note you can often find coupons to Oggi’s. This includes on Groupon and other discount sites. Just make sure and search online.
I created the Good Old American Pizza Parlor category especially for places like Oggi’s and Filippi’s (another mini San Diego chain). These pizzas cannot compete with the top NY-thin crust or wood crust places. However, they are crowd pleasers and many people love Good Old American Pizza Parlor style. This is the category that pizza snobs will look down on, but many people enjoy. Personally, I admit to finding Oggi’s pizza a guilty pleasure even if it wrecks my street pizza cred.
To see our overview of top pizza in San Diego go here.