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Emily Green at Sisters Pizza Is Building a Legacy of Pizza and Community

Tune in to Episode 220 of the Happy Half Hour podcast

By Noah Harrel

This week’s special guest is Emily Green, owner of Sisters Pizza in Hillcrest. Since 2019, Sisters Pizza has been serving up New York– and New Jersey–style pizza whole and by the slice, along with other Italian dishes from family recipes. Emily opened the business in loving memory of her older sister, Kate, and she regularly gives back to the community by raising money for a different charity every month.

Emily grew up in New Jersey and loves East Coast pizza, and she says that when she moved to San Diego she couldn’t find a pizza place that hit the spot quite like they do at home. Although her dream had always been to own her own pizza restaurant, at first she pursued a career in teaching. She was a high school teacher at San Pasqual Academy when her sister died unexpectedly in 2016, and though she loves teaching, Emily realized that life is short and she needed to pursue her dream now.

She had been eyeing the restaurant’s future home for a while—a former hair salon in a 1930s building on Fourth Avenue—and when she saw it was up for lease she jumped at the opportunity. Between city regulations and the location’s never having served as a restaurant before, it took two years for it to open. Family photos decorate the interior, and references to Kate’s favorite TV shows appear throughout, including on the menu (such as the Uncle Jesse Pizza). Despite the pandemic, Sisters Pizza has been a hit in the community so far.

Fundraising and giving back are important to Emily, and her nonprofit, Kindness for Kate, donates to the ACLU, ActBlue, and programs that support foster kids transitioning into adulthood. Donations to the organization go to whoever needs the most help that month, and she takes suggestions from anyone who comes asking for help for a worthy cause. Emily hopes to open more pizza-centric venues in the future, and promises that each one will follow in the footsteps of the original by finding ways to help the community.

In Hot Plates, today is the last day for the La Jolla Village Merchants Association’s new event, Take-Out Taste of the Village. For $85, two people can enjoy a four-course meal from area restaurants like Cove House, La Dolce Vita, and Isola Pizza Bar. Tickets can be purchased online. Baba’s Hot Chicken, offering a Middle Eastern take on the Nashville classic, opened in Hillcrest last week. Those feeling carb deprived can add a scoop of mac and cheese to any sandwich—and even replace the buns with two grilled cheese sandwiches. Troy’s First Look series is back online after a year’s hiatus: The first entry features a peek inside Richard Blais’s new restaurant Ember and Rye, along with pictures of the interior by local photographer James Tran.

In Two People for Takeout/Two People for $50, Emily’s takeout adventure begins at Goi Cuon for their Vietnamese spring rolls and continues at Common Stock for their spicy margaritas. Troy’s final destination in his search for the best po’boy in San Diego was Cane Patch in Liberty Public Market for their fried, juicy alligator po’ boy. Marie’s pick was Azuki Sushi in Bankers Hill, where a nigiri plate is around $25 for one person and curbside pickup is still available. In anticipation of baseball’s opening day, David’s pub food pick was Barn Brewing on El Cajon Boulevard, where you can enjoy beer and blackened catfish tacos while watching the game on an outdoor patio.

Thank you for listening! As always, we want to hear from our listeners. Need a recommendation for takeout? Is there a guest you want us to book on the show? Let us know! You can call us at 619-744-0535 and leave a voicemail, or if you’re too shy, you can email us at [email protected]. See you next week!

Emily Green – Sister’s Pizza

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