Project Pie – Hillcrest, San Diego

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Project Pie is the latest in a series of new quick service pizza restaurants to make their entrance into Southern California.  Although they may not like my analogy, I think an accurate description is Chipotle meets CPK (California Pizza Kitchen).  It is a great concept that I’ve wondered about before, but strange that this hasn’t turned up sooner.  Anyhow, Jorgina heard about this new pie shop and we eagerly checked it out.  Project pie is located in the neighborhood of Hillcrest (central San Diego).  Parking was be a bit of a challenge, but it was worth the extra effort.

Their tagline is simple:  Design, Build, & Eat.  (works for me!)

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There is a great visual appeal to seeing your pie being made right in front of you.  They start out your pie completely custom, or you have the option to choose a set pizza from their menu.  For us, we decided to choose a base pizza and then built it from there.  (Eg. I ordered a base of #2 which is the meat lover’s pizza).

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I asked for three cheeses and started piling on extras like mushrooms, basil, and prosciutto.  Jorgina got a BBQ chicken pizza and added on a ton of different meats.  The nice thing is that the price is set, so you don’t need to worry about every last topping.  *Having said that, have you ever added too many things?  This happens to me from time to time in unlimited menu item restaurants.  Sometimes, subtlety is more.

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Once they are done preparing your pie, they toss it into their oven and ring you up on their POS system running on iPads.

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This is a bad picture, I know, but they’ve got a a really cool fountain full of Boylan Cane Sugar sodas to choose from, including two types of root beer.  No sooner than I got my drink, they were already calling my name.  (That was fast!)

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Here is my customized #2: PEPPERONI, ITALIAN SAUSAGE, CRUMBLED MEATBALLS, MOZZARELLA, OUR SIGNATURE RED SAUCE, GARLIC – My additions were: Mushrooms, Basil,  & Prosciutto.

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Here is Jorgina’s customized #6: GRILLED CHICKEN, SLICED RED ONION, CILANTRO, MOZZARELLA, GORGONZOLA, BBQ SAUCE – Her additions were: Pepperoni, Sausage, Meatballs, Bacon, Tomatoes, Mushrooms, Prosciutto, and Basil.

Both pizzas were piping hot and delicious.  I was completely amazed at the speed of execution.  The pies were personal sized, but definitely generous in portion.  I had a slice and a half left when I was done and Jorgina had 2.  The dough as you imagine is thinner than a traditional pizza, and was crisp on the outside and bouncy on the inside.  I really liked all the toppings we chose, although next time I may ask for a little more marinara sauce.

From what I overheard, Project Pie has been open in this location for just a little over a month now.  I think it’s a fantastic addition to San Diego’s pizza choices.  It will definitely become a regular on my schedule.

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About Michael

I couldn't be luckier to call San Diego my home the past couple decades. America's "Finest City" is bursting with delicious eats in nearly every corner. Whether you want savory or sweet, fancy or rustic, you can have it all! I have the awesome job of uncovering some of these gems, and sharing them with you. When I'm not chowing down, I also write about $$$ at Thanks for stopping by!

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5 Comments on “Project Pie – Hillcrest, San Diego”

  1. I took my daughter and her friends there in late March and we all liked our “creations”. I have to say that Project Pie had very good service. When they brought out my pizza, it was already boxed. They told me a “new one” was coming up. Turns out that the first pizza got kind of messed up when they took it out of the oven (it actually looked fine to me) so they made a whole new one! Wow! That was unexpected! The owner also comped us a dessert pizza too (also unexpected and not asked for). I’d go here more often but the parking is such a deterrent! I like their concept, their service and their fresh toppings.

  2. By any chance you’ve been to other “create your pizza’s” in SD so that you can rate Project Pi with others like Urban Pi?

    1. Not yet, but I have been seeing a lot of similar concepts popping up. I believe our friends over at Kirbie Cravings ( have done some reviews for those other ones.

  3. The last make your own pizza place I went to was PizzaRev in Encino, CA. They accidentally dropped a sharpie in the marinara sauce and proceeded to use that same marinara sauce to make my pizza. Awesome! We tried to go to Social Life Pizza yesterday, but they ran out of a lot of sauces and toppings. Their shipments come on Tuesdays. Will try to go there another day.

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