Life often takes us away from our hometown, whether by choice, career, or other circumstances. When you are lucky enough to find an establishment that can bring you a little slice of home, you quickly add it to your frequently visited places.
As a Chicago-area native, for me, the place where I can get a figurative—and literal—slice of home is Lefty’s Chicago Pizzeria.
Just walking through the doors and seeing all of the Chicago memorabilia on display is akin to receiving a giant hometown hug. And that’s a feeling as warm as a slice of their deep dish pizza.
There are actually two Lefty’s locations in San Diego–the one I visited in Mission Hills and the other in North Park. And while I’ve only visited the Mission Hills location (more convenient for me), I’m sure the experience at the North Park location would be the same.
Their menu runs the gamut from salads to burgers to pasta to hot dogs and even a trip down Maxwell Street for a Polish sausage. My Achille’s heel on their menu, though, is their Italian beef sandwich topped off with a little mozzarella, sweet peppers, and served “wet” with “da jus.” Their Italian sausage sandwich runs a close second.
Of course, a family-owned, independent pizzeria wouldn’t be a pizzeria without—you guessed it—pizza!
Lefty’s offers thin crispy crust pizza (which is actually a thing in Chicago and the type of pizza we had most as a kid growing up there); their deep dish pizza; and their stuffed pizza. You’ll need to have to tame your appetite for a while, as it can take 25, 35, and 60 minutes to bake each of those pizzas, respectively.
Lefty’s also serves a variety of local craft beers, fountain soft drinks, or bottled tea to go along with your meal.
While you’re waiting for your pizza to arrive, you can watch a game on TV or wander around and look at all the Chicago Cubs memorabilia on the walls. You’ll see vintage photos of the “Friendly Confines” of Wrigley Field, a Cubs jersey signed by Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks, himself, and many other items. (You may even see some White Sox crap in there, too.) If you see the photo of the late, great Harry Caray, you just may want to break out into, “Uh one! Uh two! Uh three! Take me out to the ball game…” Or maybe not. You do you.
There’s plenty of seating inside and a nice patio with picnic tables outside if you prefer to enjoy your meal al fresco.
So if you would like a taste of Chicago (no, not the massive food festival in Grant Park on the shores of Lake Michigan held each July), stop by Lefty’s.
It’s the real deal.
What You Need To Know
4030 Goldfinch St, San Diego, CA 92103
11 a.m.-8 p.m. daily
18 July 2021
Street parking is a challenge in the Mission Hills area, and you may have to park a block or two away. Some street parking is metered; some is not.
Click to see full-sized photos.