I have been coming to the original Surf Rider Pizza Co in Ocean Beach for close to a decade. This beachfront place specializes in NY-style pizza of surprisingly high-quality. Surf Rider has now opened more locations in San Diego. In Fun Diego Family’s quest for San Diego’s Best Pizza here is our Surf Rider Pizza Co review.
We discovered Surf Rider Pizza Co because we had friends in Ocean Beach (OB) on Long Branch Ave, a block from Surf Rider. Our initial expectations were low because this is right across the street from the beach, in between the main Ocean Beach and Dog Beach area.
However, it quickly became clear that Surf Rider Pizza Co was an early part of the growing trend towards more quality casual food spots in OB.
In 2017 and 2018, Surf Rider Pizza Co added new locations in Mission Beach, Crown Point/Pacific Beach and La Mesa in East County. So far, we have visited the takeout-only location in Crown Point to get pizza before our bike ride around Mission Bay.
We have not tried Surf Rider Pizza Co as much as we would like because the place does not open until 3 PM and thus is closed for many of our daytime beach visits. However, based on probably 10 visits they do serve a legit NY-style pizza by the slice.
For $9 you can get 2 slices and a soda. This is on the high-end of NY-style places but this is a beachfront place, so prices will be higher. In the Ocean Beach location, they have ample indoor seating, plus a dog-friendly patio. The Crown Point location is take-out only. Also they focus mainly on pizza.
Individual 18-inch pizzas start at $17 with toppings at $2.50. Specialty pies run from $20 to $24. This is a solid deal and full pies taste much better than pizza by the slice. They also serve a huge stromboli. Growing up in Philadelphia I learned to love strombolis. A good one is hard to find in San Diego. Surf Rider makes one of the best. At about $20 it is enough to fees 2 to 3 people (3 for us).
In our experience with slices at Surf Rider Pizza Co we have noted that quality can vary from visit to visit. This is common with slice pizza and we need to reserve full judgment for when we can try a full pizza. Overall Surf Rider Pizza Co still ranks in the top 20 of NY-style pizza, but is not in the same league as the top contenders like Bronx Pizza or Pizzeria Luigi.
Surf Rider Pizza Co also has a wide range of desserts such as cupcakes. They also have an intriguing looking Philadelphia cheesesteak on the menu. Fun Diego Family is also looking for the best Philly cheesesteak in San Diego so we will need to give this a try.
In Fun Diego Family’s quest for the best pizza in San Diego, Surf Rider Pizza Co makes the top 20 for my favorite category, NY-style thin crust. However, we will note this is an expanding business and we need to do more legwork. This ranking could go up (or down) once we evaluate Surf Rider in more detail. For a full overview of the top places go here.