Situated just a few blocks from the beach, the Pizza Port in Carlsbad is the second location opened by brother and sister duo Gina and Vince Marsaglia. Their journey began in 1987 when they decided to purchase a struggling local pizza shop in the sleepy town of Solana Beach. What they didn’t realize is this would be their humble beginning to look back on. And that’s exactly what happened. Over four decades later, that single restaurant grew into five North County locations. So what made them so successful? Why can’t customers seem to get enough? It’s simple really. They perfected pizza and craft beer.
Pizza Port: Carlsbad Ambiance
A casual, yet energetic restaurant, Pizza Port boasts an industrial-cool ambiance. A soaring wood beam ceiling, brick walls, family-style wooden benches, and an old-school urban décor create its funky yet inviting atmosphere. Large open windows bathe the restaurant in natural sunlight. Colorful and eclectic furnishings include dangling surfboards, stoplights, swaying San Diego flags, and underwater themed paintings.
Guests will find Pizza Port easy to navigate as there are two main service counters. To the left of the entrance, the main bar features a huge black chalkboard naming every one of their brew selections. Directly in the back, but visible from the entrance, the pizza service counter sports a similar massive chalkboard listing all food options. After hitting up each line, guests can choose their seats, whether at communal picnic tables, or bar seats along the windows.
Quick Tip: Be sure to check out the upstairs mini-bar.
Pizza Port: Carlsbad Food
It should come as no surprise that a restaurant named Pizza Port specializes in pizza, but for those who appreciate confirmation. Yes, Pizza Port is primarily a neighborhood pizza joint. The great thing about eateries that specialize in one particular style is that they usually crush it, and Pizza Port does not disappoint.
They easily and creatively satisfy your hunger with their delectable Salads & Munchies, Original Pizzas, and Anti-Wimpy Pizzas. They even boast a Create Your Own menu where guests are in charge of their own pizza creations.
Some of their best non-pizza selections include baked chicken wings, mac & cheese bites, kale salad, and Portzel’s – handmade pretzels from wholegrain beer crust with sundried tomatoes, feta, basil, garlic, and oregano.
Meat lovers want to try Pizza Roma with Canadian bacon, pepperoni, sausage, salami, mushrooms, onions, olives, and bell peppers. Plant eaters, it’s all about the Garlic Veggie from the Anti-Wimpy Pizza menu with spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, garlic, feta, and mozzarella cheese. Pizza Port also offers a Frozen Delights menu, which includes homemade ice cream, root beer floats, and stout or porter floats.
Pizza Port’s beer selections are equally vast. They feature nearly 60 of their own award-winning microbrews, including Z-Man – a traditional foreign style stout. This premium brew was named after none other than head brewer Mike Aubuchon’s son, Zephyr. A smooth and drinkable, full bodied beer, it’s black in color with a rich and creamy head and nodes of chocolate and coffee, leaving the palate with a light burnt grain dry finish. American Gangsta, a Belgian table beer; Locals Only, an aggressive west coast IPA with tons of hops; Ginger Ninja, a sessions IPA with ginger; and the Poor Man’s, a 9.3 % bitter brew with fruity aromas are among Pizza Port’s crafty highlights.
Note: For non-drinkers they offer their House Root Beer, and all-you-can-drink soda.
Pizza Port: Carlsbad Details
Pizza Port is a casual eatery with a lively ambiance that edges toward the louder side, so if you’re looking for a quiet dining experience you may want to skip this spot. They are open for lunch and dinner seven days a week and don’t take reservations, as there is no wait staff. You self-order, and they call your name on the loudspeaker when your order is ready.
Pizza Port has a total of four locations: one in Solana Beach, one in San Clemente, and two in Carlsbad. The newest one is in Carlsbad’s Bressi Ranch neighborhood. This Pizza Port is connected to the Bottle Shop, which is a combination bar and beer retailer specializing in craft beers and supporting local craft brew companies. They have outdoor seating, televisions, and bike parking, but do not have Wi-Fi or a parking lot – street parking only.
Pizza Port: Carlsbad Neighborhood
Nestled between the glamour of Orange County and the laid-back vibe of San Diego, Carlsbad is a perfect blend of both worlds. Boasting seven miles of coastline, stunning sandy beaches, and three one-of-a-kind lagoons, it’s the perfect place for numerous watersport activities such as surfing and wildlife watching. You’ll find world-class resorts, exquisite restaurants, beautiful boutique shops, and nine craft breweries in this upscale ‘Village by the Sea.’ Carlsbad is also home to several legendary attractions such as LEGOLAND, a family-friendly fun-park featuring more than 60 rides, attractions, and shows; world-renowned golf; and the Carlsbad Flower Fields.