Sure, there are trendier and more refined restaurants in the new Little Italy, but nobody does Old World Italian like this venerable pizzeria behind a 1950s Italian market. Aromas of garlic, oil, salami and cheese spark appetites as diners walk through the cramped market to reach tables covered with red-checked cloths in the dark, cramped but convivial dining room. Meatballs the size of oranges top thick tomato sauce on spaghetti and the eggplant parmagiana is so delightfully dense I dare you to finish a serving. But it’s the pizzas with their crisp browned crust, ample ingredients (anchovies, anyone?) and generous melted cheese that keep fans coming back to eat in or take out. The original of a dozen branches throughout the county, this Filippi’s has some free parking. Other locations include one in Pacific Beach at 962 Garnet Ave.
- Frommer's Staff