Killer $5 Happy Hour Margherita Pies at Isola in San Diego


[Photographs: Erin Jackson]

Even if the Margherita pizza at Isola Pizza Bar was average, it would probably be newsworthy for the price alone: just $5 during happy hour, which runs from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday. But it's not average pizza; it's awesome pizza.

When the restaurant first opened, I thought the happy hour menu, which features a dozen different food items priced from $3-$5, plus $4 beers and wine for $5/glass, was a limited-time special, designed to get people in the door and summarily hooked. Nearly 18 months later, nothing's changed: the specials remains in place, prices untouched.


With pizza this good, that's magnificent news. The crust is thin and mildly salty with a char-spotted undercarriage and a puffy cornicone. Toppings are everything you hope for on a top-notch Margherita pie: the tomato sauce sparkles with acidity, the fresh-torn basil is earthy and herbaceous, and there are milky slices of mozzarella covering nearly every inch of the surface area. And, it's a full sized pie (at least 12 inches), not some scaled-down "personal pizza".

Even at full price ($12) it's absolutely worth every penny, but for $5—less than two slices and a drink up the street at Landini's—the only thing keeping it from being too good to be true is that (by some miracle), it isn't.

About the author: Erin Jackson is a food writer and photographer who is obsessed with discovering the best eats in San Diego. You can find all of her discoveries on her San Diego food blog On Twitter, she's @ErinJax