Everyone loves pizza! Well, maybe not that cardboard kind you get at far too many kids parties. And your kids won’t eat that froufrou stuff with more veggies than crust. So we ate our way through LA (tough job, but someone’s got to do it!) to find the very best spots for pizza in LA that kids and parents alike can agree on. Read on to find out where you can take the family out for pizza everyone will love.
photo: Jolie Loeb
De Sano Pizzeria Napoletana
The mozzarella is made earlier in the week, in a small town in Campania. The flour also came from the boot, by boat. Sea salt, straight from the Mediterranean. Exacting provenance or no, every parent knows a restaurant is only as good as it is appealing to our kids. And that’s why De Sano is our favorite family pizza joint. Not only do they boast fabulous pizza kids can’t get enough of, they have TVs that get the Dodgers (and every other sports team), open kitchen that allows your non-sports fans to catch a show of dough twirling, plus a family style happy hour of two large pizzas plus a bottle of house wine for $50. So load your pie up with all goodies you please, while kids go minimalist Margherita, and everybody goes home happy. The space is unequivocally kid friendly, the pizza is unequivocally grown-up good. Plus, they make some of the best (and only!) cannoli in town, so save room for dessert.
4959 Santa Monica Blvd.
photo: North Italia
This pizza spot also has fresh from Napoli ingredients and blisteringly great pizza married with an open concept kitchen that makes theatre for tots who are interested in watching talented chefs prepare meals. And just in case you want something upscale, you can get pasta and other entries instead of pizza. Or if you happen to have one kid who doesn’t like pizza (there’s always that one child who won’t eat melted cheese!) North Italia offers a kids’ menu featuring selections that’ll please even the pickiest pint-sized palettes. But back to the pizza, for the allergen-conscious there are gluten free crusts available, and for grownups, the prosciutto with figs, goat cheese and arugula is to die for.
Locations in Santa Monica, El Segundo and Irvine.
photo: Jolie Loeb
Team Sprinkles (the brains behind the cupcake dynasty) realized kids can not live on tiny cakes alone. They need pizza! Featuring Naples style pizzas coming out of wood-burning ovens, this beacon of bubbly crust and billowy cheese is a new Westside staple. For parents, the star is how the restaurant’s naturally fermented dough and wood-fired oven work in tandem to create a crust that is both gloriously chewy and nicely charred. It’s covered with San Marzano tomatoes and Fior di latte cheese. The Margharita will captivate your plain Janes, while whatever is on special is a must order for Mom. And while there are no cupcakes on the dessert menu, Sprinkles ice cream is, and it’s the perfect way to end the meal.
11712 San Vicente Blvd.
photo: Laura D. via Yelp
Family-owned since 1949, Miceli’s offers a large selection of tomato-based old school pizzas that the kids adore. But what will really draw you here is the décor (straight outta Little Italy) and the singing waiters. You get dinner and a side of show tunes and opera, sung by people with serious pipes. The menu also offers a wide array of pasta and Italian entrees if you don’t feel like pizza. (And as an adult, you probably don’t want the pizza, which your kids will devour and your more picky palate may not prefer…) In addition to being the perfect place for kids, it’s a good spot to entertain out of town guests. More than one mother-in-law has swooned after being the recipient of a serenade from a handsome waiter with a booming voice. While it’s not the best pizza in town, but it may quickly become your kids favorite.
3655 Cahuenga Blvd W.
This is another old school classic, an eastside haunt with thin crusts, red-checkered tablecloths and a taste that will take you back to your childhood neighborhood family pizza joint. Heck, if you grew up in LA, this probably was your neighborhood joint; it’s been here since 1955. Don’t forget your (fried) veggies: be sure to order a side of the zucchini for the wee ones, and grownups need to share the legendary eggplant pizza. There are plenty of pasta, salad and sandwich options for those non-pizza inclined. (Before you come it’s good to know that the joint is cash only though an ATM is available, they’re closed Monday & Tuesday and parking can be a pain, otherwise you’re in for a not-so-pleasant surprise!)
1650 Colorado Blvd.
photo: The Luggage Room Pizzeria
The Luggage Room Pizzeria
The Luggage Room occupies the former luggage room of Pasadena’s old Santa Fe train depot. The wood burning oven bakes up pies that are topped with goodies from local farmers markets and farms, and the simple kids menu (personal cheese or pepperoni pies for $5-$6) are a hit with little pizza lovers who don’t like to share. The vegan and vegetarian options abound for parents, along with a fabulous wine and beer menu, and definitely order a starter of the bacon wrapped dates. On your way out, pick up a bag of their famous English muffins for tomorrow’s breakfast.
260 Raymond Ave.
photo: Rick Poon
Milo + Olive
What’s not to love about a neighborhood bakery and artisan wood-fire pizzeria that’s almost always open for either dine-in or take out? Kids love the pizza and family atmosphere (and scent of fresh baked cookies in the air), parents love the farm to table ingredients and spectacular sides like kale salad and fried local squid. All you need to know is that this is the brainchild of parents and partners Zoe Nathan and Josh Loeb, of Huckleberry (and Sweet Rose Creamery, Rustic Canyon, Esters and Talulla’s) fame. And it’s named after their son, so you know it’s taking kids into account. And it is, with the perfect pizza, made to order in the wood burning oven. You can also get some of the best bagels in the city to bring home for tomorrow’s breakfast. The wine and beer lists are our favorite of any pizza joint in town, if you like something to sip while relaxing over a pizza.
2723 Wilshire Blvd.
It seems like LA has decided that NY or Italian style is the only way to eat pizza. But if you’re more of a Chicago deep dish fan, this place makes everything from scratch including the dough and uses local and Chicago-imported products, turning out a pizza that would do homesick Windy City people proud. Because this is Echo Park, not Chi-town, you can also get a vegan pie. If you haven’t cashed in all your carb chips already, save a little room for the croissant bread pudding. You only live once, and the resulting carb coma is worth it.
Because it’s not quick-fired thin crusts, your pizza order may take a little longer to cook. But that’s OK, because your kids are busy filling up on the bread and butter…which just means you’re taking home leftover pizza.
1800 West Sunset Blvd.
photo: Jackie L. via Yelp
Tomato Pie Pizza Joint
Make your own pizza with classic or gourmet toppings, or pick one of their gourmet pizzas (try the Prosciutto Happiness or the Carnitas Way). You can go gluten free, if you so choose, or deep dish style. Tomato Pie is simply just very, very good pizza you can have exactly the way you like it. It’s become the go-to for local families for take out and birthday parties when you have to feed both kids and parents and keep everyone happy. Warning: don’t even try the Greek Pie. It’s seriously addictive, and you’ll be thinking about it for days.
Locations in South Pasadena, Silver Lake and Mid-City.
Stella Barra Pizzaria
While this is actually a joint known (and beloved) for the wood fired pizza, kids think of this as the cookie spot, because in addition to fabulous pizza, Stella Barra makes giant cookies in amazing flavors (Bacon Chocolate Chip and Rice Krispy Chip are kid pleasers). The upshot is, you can enjoy an upscale pizza (and salad and wine) dinner the whole family will love, and get a cookie to savor later.
Locations in Santa Monica and Hollywood
Mulberry Street Pizzeria
If you miss Bronx pizza, you gotta get a slice at Mulberry. Not only is this a fun place, with pies that take you straight to NY, it’s the easiest place to get a single slice for kids on the go.
There are locations in Beverly Hills, Encino and Sherman Oaks.
photo: Pitfire Artisan Pizza
Pitfire Artisan Pizza
Want to eat something fresh and upscale? They’ve got a gazillion rotating, seasonal combinations that temp the most gourmet palate. Feeling picky? Custom design your own creation. Don’t feel like pizza? There’s pasta, panini and fresh salads. And the kids menu had them at mini-pizza (no-sharing required and just $5!), mini mac & cheese and opposite-of-mini chocolate chip cookies. There’s something for everyone (including the gluten free and vegan among us) and pairing that with a relaxed but modern atmosphere and creative seasonal cocktails at many locations, this turns into your family’s weekly spot.
There are currently 7 locations across the greater LA area.
Not only is Fresh Brothers delicious, it’s friendly for all diets (with gluten free and vegan options, and a special kid sauce with ground up veggies they’ll never notice, but will devour), they have tons of family meal options, loads of yummy topping, and best of all, they give kids lumps of pizza dough to play with while their custom pie bakes and sends them all home with balloons. We’re in love. (They also do birthday parties at the restaurants.)
With over 12 locations, there’s sure to be one that you can grab to-go’s on your way home or order delivery from tonight.
photo: Big Mama’s & Papa’s Pizzeria via Facebook
Big Mama’s & Papa’s Pizzeria
Lastly, we have to give a shout out to this spot. If you want to make your kids’ birthday the coolest party in town, order from here. Because it’s big. So big. Mega big. Bigger than big. And it’s pretty tasty, too. The Big Papa is 36” of pizza that feeds 12-15. And the sight of a pizza taking up your whole table will thrill your young pizzanistas to the core.
There are over 15 locations in the LA area, ensuring that one will probably delivery to your party!
What’s your go-to for pizza for family nights? We’d love to hear in the comments below!