At first glance, Long Beach is not a city that conjures images of pizza. New Yorkers are hard-pressed to say that Los Angeles has any good pizza, much less Long Beach. However, the concept of pizza is much more than a floppy pepperoni and mozzarella experience. Ranging from Italian pizza such as Neapolitan to Roman, to the controversial Chicago deep dish, here’s a thorough — not comprehensive — list of some of my favorite pizza in the city.
The 4th Horseman
This Downtown pizzeria has a heavy metal aesthetic, making it the most unique pizza space to dine in. Adorned with horror memorabilia and doused in red lighting, it would not be out of place to headbang while eating your slice. I enjoy many of the pies here, including the Pale Horse which has ricotta, mozz, roasted peppers, kalamata olives, Italian sausage, pesto, and fresh basil. With a thin-ish and chewy crust, this definitively Californian pie is a must-try.
4th Horseman is located at 121 West 4th St., 90802
This Westside pizza joint is a social enterprise, with a mission to create jobs for local youth by teaching them the ins and outs of what it means to work in a kitchen. They serve a good pizza, however, it’s their deep dish that stands out. I got the Loaded Deep Dish, which is filled to the brim with pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, peppers, black olives, red onion, and jalapeño. Imagine the quintessential supreme pizza — but with extra extra cheese and in a flaky and buttery crust. Yes.
5000 Pies is located at 2064 Santa Fe Ave., 90810
This Belmont Shore restaurant is the oldest restaurant in Long Beach, serving Italian American fare since 1954. They’re most famous for their Grounded Pepperoni Pizza which is a pizza where every square inch of the pizza is topped with — you guessed it — ground pepperoni. It’s salty, spice-y (not hot), and slightly smoky. A pizza that sings to the hearts of pepperoni aficionados.
Domenico’s is located at 5339 E. 2nd St., 90803
This Bixby Knolls brewpub is an ode to the owner’s Texan roots. With a menu that reeks of midwestern devotion (kay-so, anyone?), this place feels at home to anyone who’s looking for some straight up comfort, namely me. My go-to is a paradise for those suffering the munchies, the Spicoli. This pie is topped with beer chicken, bacon, jalapeño, cilantro, mozz, provolone, kettle chips, SriRancha, and lime juice. It’s savory, tangy, crunchy, and smoky while the crust is soft with crispy and charred bits.
Dutch’s Brewhouse is located at 4244 Atlantic Ave., 90807
This Belmont Heights restaurant is an easy date night destination. It’s an Italian joint with heavy inspiration from Roman cuisine and a certified pizzaiolo on board. They serve a Roman-style pizza which bakes in a wood-burning oven over a longer period (due to the dough having a higher moisture content) compared to the Neapolitan. My usual order includes the Sofia; however, I went for the Totti, which is a half-pizza-half-calzone topped and stuffed with house-made mozz, salami, sausage, mushrooms, and arugula.
La Parolaccia is located at 2945 East Broadway, 90803
This Retro Row (and now also East Long Beach) pizzeria is the trendiest pizza joint we have, with experimental specials popping up nearly weekly. Their New York-ish pie is crispy and chewy, with their White Pie claiming my preference. It has a white sauce as its base and is topped with garlic, spinach, ricotta, mozzarella, and Calabrian chili. Creamy and with a subtle heat — this pie is a winner.
Little Coyote is located at 2118 E. 4th St., 90814
Long Beach Beer Lab
This Wrigley area brewery-bakery is kosher certified and makes some fantastic baked goods, and one of their stars is the Summer Margherita. It’s a star-shaped pie that’s comprised of a beer malt sourdough crust, topped with cherry tomatoes, confit garlic, mozz, herbed oil, hydroponically grown basil, and Maldon salt. The soft and chewy crust is a fantastic vehicle for the bright and herbaceous toppings.
Long Beach Beer Lab is located at 518 W. Willow St., 90806
Michael’s on Naples
This Naples area Italian restaurant was one of Long Beach’s first farm-to-table experiences. They serve a Neapolitan-style pizza in which the dough is cooked in a high temperature brick oven for a brief period. I got one of their classics, the Pistachio E Stracciatella. This pizza has no base sauce and is simply topped with mortadella, house-made Stracciatella, and pistachios. It’s creamy, buttery, and nutty — and pairs well with wine.
Michael’s on Naples is located at 5620 East 2nd St., 90803
This Downtown (and Circle area) pizzeria is the closest thing to a New York pizza that we have. They took special care in iterating upon a generational recipe and finding the right ratios and type of ingredients that should compromise a New York pie. I’m a big fan of their Sheepshead Bay which is topped with house-made meatballs, ricotta, and fresh basil. The crust is crispy and chewy while the overall experience is creamy and herbaceous.
Milana’s is located at 165 E. 4th St., 90802
This East Long Beach Pizzeria is a newcomer to the scene and is playing with some interesting toppings such as banana and cinnamon sugar with mozzarella. They, too, have a crispy and chewy crust – I enjoyed their Meat Amore which is topped with mozz, pepperoni, bacon, sopressata, Italian sausage, oregano, crispy garlic, and basil.
Ottimo Pizzeria is located at 2936 Clark Ave., 90815
Rance’s Chicago Style Pizza
This is another Belmont Shore pizza joint and it’s known for having amazing chicken wings as well as deep dish pies. I’m a fan of Rance’s Favorite Deep Dish which is stuffed with meatballs, diced bacon, and pickled jalapeño. It’s astoundingly cheesy, with a single slice easily putting you into a food coma. I’m fond of the crust which is thin and is both flaky and crumbly.
Rance’s Chicago Pizza is located at 5258 E. 2nd St., 90803
This Belmont Heights pizzeria is well-known for their sourdough crust, which is soft and pillowy. I’m partial to their Tie Dye Pizza which is not only pretty, but tasty as well. It’s topped with crushed tomato, heirloom tomatoes, alla vodka swirl, pesto swirl, hand-stretched mozz, pecorino, red rubin basil, Italian basil, and burrata. It’s a whirlwind of flavor — bright, savory, herbaceous, and creamy — so good.
Speak Cheezy is located at 3950 E. 4th St., 90814
This Bixby Knolls pizzeria is a pizza joint that has New York inspiration with Californian direction. The crust is thin and crispy and the toppings are all higher quality (such as Grande Mozzarella and Ezzo’s Pepperoni). I was thunderstruck by the Sweet & Spicy which has mozzarella, dollops of ricotta, peppadew peppers, pepperoni, cracked black pepper, and hot honey drizzle. The sweetness of the honey really balances out the richness of the pie.
Thunderbolt Pizza is located at 4085 Atlantic Ave. Unit B, 90807
Thai Curry Pizza
This Eastside pizza joint is a Long Beach establishment. It’s a hole-in-the-wall that has a strong cult following — for good reason. Their Thai pizza fusions are ridiculous. In particular, the Tom Yum Pizza really hits. It has a base of tom yum sauce and is topped with chicken, mushrooms, tomatoes, and cilantro. It’s savory, tangy, and has an intense umami. All in all, amazing.
Thai Curry Pizza & Thai Food is located at 929 Redondo Ave., 90804