Lately, pizza has gotten very fancy. This can be both good and bad, because fancy pizza is a hard thing to achieve, very hit and miss. I’ve gone to places where they serve “gourmet” pizza, but they get it all wrong. The toppings are great, but the cheese is too basic and tasteless; the bread is fantastic and the cheese is great, but the toppings are not; the sauce or bread are barely existent or noticeable, or the general combination of ingredients is just all wrong. However, when a place gets everything juuuuust right, man, the results are heavenly.
Tijuana in particular has tons of pizza places. Plenty of commercial chains and plenty of small local restaurants, and everyday small cafes are popping up that also add pizza to their menu. Of all these places, I only know of a select few that get the combination just right, and every time people either come over form a different city or just in general ask for a good pizza place, I’ll jump in to recommend.
Not everyone’s into the fancy ingredients, and not everyone is into the grease-bombs, thankfully Tijuana has options for both tastes. Here are what I consider to be the best Tijuana has to offer for every palate.
Located in Playas de Tijuana, this place is located right in the boardwalk. It’s hard to miss, having a huge Zapata/Statue of Liberty mural on it’s side, plus the whole building is pink. The pizza is thin-ish, but greasy. The ingredients don’t over reach their cost, but you won’t end up regretting you either had a peace or stuffed yourself with this pizza.
Also located in Playas de Tijuana, this on above the boardwalk, facing the street, but with a dinning section by the windows facing the beach. This place is the grease king. The pizza is thick, but not too thick, stuffed with ingredients, and oozing pizza grease. It’s like a very delicious guilty pleasure: You know you’re not doing the best for your body, but it’s good enough to make you eat it anyways.
6) Pizza & Love
One of our local commercial chains, is also one of my favourites. If I can’t afford fancy ingredient pizza, I’ll go for this one. It’s crowning ingredient is the bread and cheese, they are flawlessly made and combined. They did have a period where they switched bread recipe and it was awkward, but later they came back to their original recipe. Either way, I love it. It’s not too greasy and yet it’s very cheesy.
5) Horno 320˚
Another Playas de Tijuana local, this restaurant is related to the Latitud 32˚café: the café is belongs to the father and the pizza place belongs to the son. Also located in the boardwalk, these are thin crusted and fancy ingredient pizzas made in a stone oven. The result is a light but quality flavour. You don’t exactly get an explosion of sensations in your mouth, but you get a satisfaction for having eaten it. They are a bit expensive, but if you can afford it it’s definitely worth it.
A chain in the making, the first of these is located in La Cacho, next to a school (so no alcohol, sorry). These are heavy on the stomach, I think we can blame the cheese for that, but they are very good. Think of them as the fancyfied version of any commercial pizza chain: It’s greasy and addictive, but it’s got select ingredients that make it a very good choice.
I’ve only been here once, because I was invited, and but from what I could taste (and see on the menu) these are very worth your time. They are expensive, yes, but only because they are the epitome of fancy ingredient combination, almost reaching an exotic level of combination. The options are varied enough that I would recommend it be a family or friends outing, that way you can order different types of pizza and have a taste of each. They are all really worth tasting.
This one was recommended to me various times, and for fear of it being over-priced I never actually ventured there. The one time I did, I can safely say it was not overpriced and they have the best three-cheese pizza I have ever tasted. Other places have either mis-matched the cheese choices, or one of them ruins the whole experience. But Hornero, man o man, it nailed it. Other pizzas are also good, they take very good care of how they combine their ingredients. So I very much recommend this place.
1) Al Volo
My absolute favourite, I never let any visitor leave Tijuana without having had at least a slice of pizza from here. And one slice is never enough. It’s a tiny place, very conveniently located in Downtown Tijuana’s Sexta, these are usually open at night, providing a snacking option for night-owls in between beers and bar-hopping. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays is when they open from the afternoon onward. But I would honestly challenge anyone to try and beat these pizza’s taste. Day or night, sober or tipsy, they are always good. I don’t know if it’s the cheese, if they get very fresh spices or if their bread is laced with SOMETHING, but they are genuinely reeeeeeally good. I have proof from an Englishman who also loved them.