Photo credit: Drew & Lisa Matney

We were ecstatic to learn that Patxi’s was opening up some San Diego locations, the first of which opened in Hillcrest on October 23. Originally established in 2004, Patxi’s promises to significantly contribute to San Diego’s growing pizza scene. Their Chicago-style deep dish in particular will fill a glaring market segment deficiency few local pizza joints have even bothered to try their hand at. With fresh, high-quality ingredients including meats, produce and cheeses making their way to Hillcrest, we were excited to taste what Patxi’s was bringing to the table for us. They did not disappoint.   

Walking in off one of the main thoroughfares in Hillcrest, we were greeted with tan subway tiles adorning the walls, a nice complement to the shiny black laminate tables and slate floors. Edison lights hung from the ceiling, leading the way to open kitchen concept where patrons can watch the pizza being shaped and tossed. 

We started our meal with the burrata, which was served over a comfortable bed of sliced tomatoes and arugula. The tomatoes are roasted every other day with olive oil and sugar. The result is a surprising and welcoming sweetness. Thin, crispy crostini are arranged beside it. It was an exciting start to the meal. 

We moved next to the meatball appetizer which, at first glance, seemed imposing. Five beautiful meatballs resting comfortably under a bed of sauce, surrounding by a deep-dish crust. The presentation was beautiful and it was fun to tear the soft crust away and use it to soak up that delicious, sweet sauce. The meatballs were cooked perfectly and made for the perfect comfort food. 

The main event, of course, was still to come. We noticed that Patxi’s wasn’t satisfied with serving traditional Chicago-style deep dish pizza. They also offered a Neapolitan style and we couldn’t resist the urge to compare and contrast. The Neapolitan was crispy and light. It produced that familiar and pleasing crunch when we folded a slice in half. Extremely satisfying in every way. 

The deep dish came out and we dove in. Its softer crust offered a nice contrast to the crispness of the Neapolitan. The sweet sauce we first experienced in the meatball appetizer stood out immediately and just might be the start of the meal. Combine that with fresh arugula and a drizzle of honey, and it was everything we could have hoped for. 

We were completely overwhelmed by the time Patxi’s generous staff presented us with their s’mores dessert pizza. It was, quite simply, preposterously good. The recipe did not skimp on the marshmallows or the Ghirardelli’s chocolate drizzled on top. The soft crust and crushed graham crackers were the perfect way to enjoy the staple ingredients. It was a unique and creative take on a classic campfire snack. Patxi’s absolutely crushed the execution on this dish in every way imaginable. 

Patxi’s promises something for the lunch crowd as well. Half sandwich and salad combos made to order are available for the busy professionals located nearby in downtown San Diego. Pizza by the slice is also be ready to go so people don’t abandon the rest of their work day by trying to scarf down an entire deep-dish by themselves during lunch. 

From start to finish, our Patxi’s experience met and exceeded expectations. The freshness of the ingredients, evident in every bite of every course, really stood out. The signature sweetness of their house-made sauce really set Patxi’s apart from other San Diego’s pizza offerings. The friendly and attentive staff fit right in with the welcoming vibe Hillcrest is known for and we are confident the local community will quickly embrace Patxi’s as a trusted neighborhood partner.  Whether you are in the mood for a deep dish offering or a thin crust option, Patxi’s has you covered. Come for the pizza and staff, but make sure you stay for the creative and delicious finish in the form of their dessert pizza. You won’t regret it.