Sorry, New Yorkers. The Big Apple no longer has a monopoly on the best pizza. Thanks to an influx of new pizza joints (including a few from the left coast) plus some long-time favorites, LA’s pie offerings now rival NYC. In honor of National Pizza Day, we bring you our list of where to grab a slice in LA.
It seems like pizza is popping up everywhere west of the 405 these days, but our pick for yummy thin-crusted goodness is an old LA standby: Vito’s. This new-ish Santa Monica outpost offers pizza-lovers a chance to enjoy the same super thin and delicately crisp crust we've come to adore, but in a space that encourages camaraderie and community. Though slices are available and equally delish, whole pies for the table make Vito's the place to be for weekend family dinner. The TV screens and a pool table don’t hurt! Dining-in is a real treat (parents, did we mention beer and wine?) but ordering (double-cut) pies for kids birthday parties is an absolute must and will impress even the pickiest party-goers.
2455 Santa Monica Blvd.
A Long Beach favorite, Michael's Downtown has been pumping out pizzas (at this location) since 2013. The noteworthy pizza even caught the eye of Zagat, ranking it as one of the best pizza spots in America, to which veritable New Yorkers might wave their fist in the air and say "Nevah!" But here's a not-so-little secret: It's not just really good! It's even better than New York good.
Plus we've got some inside scoop for the kids that will beat any New York slice spot in a heartbeat: The kids can make their own pizza. Just ask the staff and they'll bring them their own dough that they can pound out into any shape they want, say what toppings and voila! A personalized pizza just for them.
While the kids enjoy their pie, order the carbonara with black truffles (OMG) that comes with a fried egg or two on top. We also recommend the Emiliana pizza—like a salad with the best prosciutto ever on top of a crusty, wood-fired pizza cooked to perfection. New York who?
210 E 3rd St.
Another east coast outpost making the west coast their home? Grimaldi's is now in our very own backyard—El Segundo to be exact—and there are so many things to love about it's non-New York location.
First and foremost, there is a ton of space both indoors and out (with a huge firepit to boot!). Second (and most importantly) the pizza. The mouth-watering, just like pizza is meant to be, thin crust, coal brick-oven fired, foldable pizza that will have everyone so gloriously happy in their east coast-style pie, they'll be singing along with the Frank Sinatra tunes. If you want to give your kids an introduction as to why New York pizza reigns supreme without purchasing an airline ticket, this is the spot to do it.
2121 Rosecrans Ave.
Dearly beloved, we gather at Pizzanista to witness the union of mac 'n’ cheese and pizza, and even if you are a pizza purist, we promise you might be a convert to this crazy concoction. This soulful slice of heaven is (appropriately) only available on Sun. at this Arts District hot spot.
And while you watch the kids devour their mac 'n’ cheese pizza, parents can pick from a variety of slices with mouth-watering toppings. The only problem you’ll have is deciding which slice to try first. Meat Jesus (loaded with bacon, sausage, and pepperoni), Vegan Pepperoni and the Sicilian (for those wanting a thicker style crust) keep folks coming back again and again. Most patrons here are uber cool and looking for a slice on the fly, but groups and families pile in booths to enjoy their smorgasbord. A nice selection of beer and wine rounds out the experience for parents; while kids continue stuffing their faces full of cheesy goodness. It’s no wonder some consider this place the holy grail of slices.
2019 E. 7th St.
DeSano Pizza Bakery
DeSano Pizza Bakery is to Neopolitan pizza, what Micro Mini is to toddler scooters: The best. This joint serves exceptional Italian (right off the boat) ingredients in a casual and fun environment. Every pie is hand-crafted to perfection and scrumptious beyond compare.
Kids adore the Margherita, and plant-loving parents will adore the Verdura—with mounds of perfectly-cooked mushrooms, tender broccoli rabe, and bursting cherry tomatoes, this pie is the ultimate veggie-lover's pizza dream. TVs blasting games keep all the sports fans in your family entertained, while the rest of your crew can observe the master pizza makers twirling dough and working the wood-burning ovens.
4959 Santa Monica Blvd.
Affair with my Plate
Come in for the pizza and stay for the love! Whole pies served fresh out the oven are everything at this NY-style pizza eatery on Wilshire in Brentwood. This family owned and operated shop passionately caters to those with big stomachs and even bigger hearts.
Most afternoons you’ll find the owner’s kids hanging around doing their homework, while their Grandmother runs the kitchen. Families eating here feel the love and dig sharing pies like the Rachel alla Ranch (Ranch sauce, bacon, and chicken) and Shirley alla Seasoni—a pizza representing the four seasons divided into sections of zucchini, ham & peppers, pepperoni, and mushrooms.
11819 Wilshire Blvd. #103
You know the old saying, "If you build it, they will come," right? Well, this Brooklyn transplant opened their first west coast outpost in Culver City and the people have come. Make your way here during the day for less busy times, but even if you do have to wait, you're at the Platform so let the kids run around the landscaped space, do a little window shopping at Tom Dixon—heck, grab a glass of wine at Hayden Wine Bar but wait for the pizza. Yes, it's that good.
While you can get a plain margherita for the kids, if you want to really let those tastebuds sing, order the Bee Sting (pictured). Tomato, soppressata, mozzarella with chili oil, honey and basil all come together in a perfect marriage of spicy sweet flavor on just thin-enough crust that will have you wondering why you ordered it to share.
8810 Washington Blvd.
The Good Pizza
Local families go gaga for the good pizza at this residential Westchester spot. Slices and pies are well-balanced with a perfect ratio of cheese to sauce to thin crust. Fret not if little ones pass on healthy toppings, pizzas here come with slivers of basil, which (desperate) parents count as a vegetable! And since kids usually eat all of their pizza, you can indulge them in a decadent slice of chocolate pizza. This delectable dessert is worth the drive and the carb overload. So whether you're looking for savory or sweet, The Good Pizza has got you covered.
7929 Emerson Ave.
–Janelle Connor & Andie Huber