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A pizza that’s better the next day is a pizza worth having

Napolito, a newcomer to Plaza Fiesta

Close-up on the half Margarita, half Mexican
Close-up on the half Margarita, half Mexican
Place

Plaza Fiesta

Paseo de Los Heroes 10001, Tijuana, BC

When I talked to Juan Carlos Bucio for last summer’s Tijuana beer article, he described a vision of Plaza Fiesta beyond just beer. He envisioned Plaza as a daytime option for foodies, not just for nightlife partying. Many restaurants that are inside a bar, most of them serving pub food, have come and gone. The Plaza is constantly changing. Napolito Pizza is Bucio’s (and partners) first attempt at a restaurant, concentrating their efforts on food first, bar second.

Balcony view with surrounding Plaza Fiesta bars

My first impression of Napolito is that it really wants to take you away from Plaza Fiesta and into a classic Italian restaurant with white-and-red-checkered tablecloths, exposed brick, rustic Italian paintings, a dimly lit room, and a nice, romantic balcony. The problem with the balcony is that the surrounding bars are loud. Inside the restaurant it is quiet, and it’s the only place in Plaza that has air conditioning.

The four halves: Pesto Shrimp, Meat Lovers, Margarita, and Mexican

The menu is mostly about pizza, with 12 varieties. Three salads ($4), three pastas ($5), and drinks, including sangria and craft beer, make up the rest of the menu. I got two pizzas, each half a different kind. Meat Lovers and Shrimp Pesto on one, Margarita and Mexican on the other. There is only one size (large), and they are all $6.50 to $8 for a full pie. It is not as good as my favorite delivery, Hornero, but it is bigger and twice as filling. If Napolito delivered, they would be my second favorite.

Overall it is a pretty good pizza, but it’s average. It is a thousand times better than the pizza I had at El Local, the bar below Napolito.

A slice of the Meat Lovers

The Meat Lovers packed more meat than I expected in every slice: pepperoni, salami, pastrami, bacon, and Italian sausage. It was the one I liked the most. The Shrimp Pesto was simple enough, but it could have used more flavor. It did include plenty of shrimp.

Shrimp and Meat Lovers with an IPA by Paralelo 28

Bucio told me that the Margarita was his favorite and also recommended the Mexican pizza. The Margarita had thick slices of tomato and one big basil leaf on each slice. It was more of a cheese pizza with the basil and tomato thrown on as an afterthought. I called Hornero’s Margarita a disgrace, and this one followed in the same fashion.

The Mexican pizza was made with bean spread instead of tomato sauce and had copious amounts of chorizo, onions, and jalapeños. Again, it was a decent pizza, very filling and packed with ingredients.

I took the rest of the pizzas home and had them for breakfast the next day. I enjoyed it cold more than I did at the restaurant. As a mostly solo eater, a pizza that is better the next day is a pizza worth having.

Napolito is still new and still growing. Bucio informed me that a new menu is on the way and that they may deliver by next year. The new menu will offer more pizzas and include other plates such as a roasted zucchini with cheese and meat on top and fries accompanied with a sauce made out of hops. They will also have more drinks and a larger craft beer selection.

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Close-up on the half Margarita, half Mexican
Close-up on the half Margarita, half Mexican
Place

Plaza Fiesta

Paseo de Los Heroes 10001, Tijuana, BC

When I talked to Juan Carlos Bucio for last summer’s Tijuana beer article, he described a vision of Plaza Fiesta beyond just beer. He envisioned Plaza as a daytime option for foodies, not just for nightlife partying. Many restaurants that are inside a bar, most of them serving pub food, have come and gone. The Plaza is constantly changing. Napolito Pizza is Bucio’s (and partners) first attempt at a restaurant, concentrating their efforts on food first, bar second.

Balcony view with surrounding Plaza Fiesta bars

My first impression of Napolito is that it really wants to take you away from Plaza Fiesta and into a classic Italian restaurant with white-and-red-checkered tablecloths, exposed brick, rustic Italian paintings, a dimly lit room, and a nice, romantic balcony. The problem with the balcony is that the surrounding bars are loud. Inside the restaurant it is quiet, and it’s the only place in Plaza that has air conditioning.

The four halves: Pesto Shrimp, Meat Lovers, Margarita, and Mexican

The menu is mostly about pizza, with 12 varieties. Three salads ($4), three pastas ($5), and drinks, including sangria and craft beer, make up the rest of the menu. I got two pizzas, each half a different kind. Meat Lovers and Shrimp Pesto on one, Margarita and Mexican on the other. There is only one size (large), and they are all $6.50 to $8 for a full pie. It is not as good as my favorite delivery, Hornero, but it is bigger and twice as filling. If Napolito delivered, they would be my second favorite.

Overall it is a pretty good pizza, but it’s average. It is a thousand times better than the pizza I had at El Local, the bar below Napolito.

A slice of the Meat Lovers

The Meat Lovers packed more meat than I expected in every slice: pepperoni, salami, pastrami, bacon, and Italian sausage. It was the one I liked the most. The Shrimp Pesto was simple enough, but it could have used more flavor. It did include plenty of shrimp.

Shrimp and Meat Lovers with an IPA by Paralelo 28

Bucio told me that the Margarita was his favorite and also recommended the Mexican pizza. The Margarita had thick slices of tomato and one big basil leaf on each slice. It was more of a cheese pizza with the basil and tomato thrown on as an afterthought. I called Hornero’s Margarita a disgrace, and this one followed in the same fashion.

The Mexican pizza was made with bean spread instead of tomato sauce and had copious amounts of chorizo, onions, and jalapeños. Again, it was a decent pizza, very filling and packed with ingredients.

I took the rest of the pizzas home and had them for breakfast the next day. I enjoyed it cold more than I did at the restaurant. As a mostly solo eater, a pizza that is better the next day is a pizza worth having.

Napolito is still new and still growing. Bucio informed me that a new menu is on the way and that they may deliver by next year. The new menu will offer more pizzas and include other plates such as a roasted zucchini with cheese and meat on top and fries accompanied with a sauce made out of hops. They will also have more drinks and a larger craft beer selection.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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