The Best Pizza In Los Angeles
Los Angeles doesn't have a shortage of pizza joints. Sure, there are constant debates about which of our slices are most like New York's thin crusts or Chicago's deep dishes. But we also have a host of places with their own unique take: game-changers like Pizzeria Mozza and plenty of artisanal pizzas with fresh California ingredients. Here are our favorite pizzerias in our city, and as always, leave your favorites in the comments.
Photo courtesy of Stella Barra
At Jeff Mahin's restaurant, pies are done to perfection, starting with the dough. His is made with locally-milled flour, filtered water, sea salt, and fresh yeast, making for a crackly crust that puffs up just perfectly. They do both traditional and white pies. The Rossa is ideal for pizza purists after refined, clean flavors. It's made with organic heirloom tomatoes, charred cherry tomatoes, roasted garlic, basil and olive oil. And for something a bit outside the box, go for the prosciutto and farm egg pizza with pecorino, mozzarella, gruyere, chili flakes, and and sprinkling of black pepper topped with a fresh sunny side up egg. If you don't eat the whole thing (we dare you to try) it makes an excellent breakfast. —Krista Simmons
Stella Barra is located at 6372 W Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, (323) 301-4001; 2000 Main St., Santa Monica, (310) 396-9250
The folks from Village Pizzeria brought their Brooklyn-meets-California-style pizzas from San Francisco over to Los Angeles in 1997—and they've been kicking ass since. They pride themselves in their ingredients: daily-prepared dough, housemade sausages, and Wisconsin mozzarella. They've got Neapolitan (thin crust) and Sicilian (thick crust) options, and their Clam & Garlic will make you wish you had more.
Village Pizzeria is located at 131 N Larchmont Blvd., Hancock Park, (323) 465-5566
Pizzeria Mozza (Photo via Facebook)
Attached at the hip to Osteria Mozza on Melrose Avenue, this Nancy Silverton and Mario Batali joint upped the game in Los Angeles when they opened their gourmet pizza shop in 2006. Their Neapolitan-style, Californian pizzas are full of organic and fresh ingredients and cooked in a wood-fired oven. The crust is in a whole other world of its own: puffy, light, crispy and full of air pockets. Silverton spent some time perfecting this pizza dough with a baker's mentality; the dough she makes uses flour that's been fermented. And their toppings are to die for—from their house-made fennel sausage to crispy, stuffed squash blossoms. They also opened a location in Newport Beach in 2011.
Pizzeria Mozza is located at 641 N Highland Ave., Hancock Park, (323) 297-0101, and 800 West Coast Hwy, Newport Beach, (949) 945-1126
Abbot's Pizza Company
These guys have been a staple on Abbot Kinney Boulevard since 1995 and are known for their bagel crust pizzas. You can quickly order a pizza by the slice or a whole pie at their little storefront. What we love about them is how creative they can get with their slices; their Chicken Curry is topped with pineapples with honey drizzled over it, and their Popeye's Chicken has tequila lime-marinated chicken on garlic pesto sauce. And if you want to feel a little healthy about eating pizza, they even offer salad pizzas that are very L.A.
Abbot's Pizza Company is located at 1407 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, (310) 396-7334
The Oaks Gourmet pizza (Photo via Facebook)
The Oaks Gourmet
For those craving a great gluten-free option, The Oaks Gourmet does a bang up job with their wheat flour-free crusts. In fact, we think they're even better than the original. Made with rice flour, the gluten-free version crisps up nicely in their wood-fired ovens. The best toppings for their gluten-free pizza is the No Name made with walnut pesto, three pepper sausage, goat cheese, fontina cheese, tomato and caramelized onions, and crimini mushrooms. —Krista Simmons
The Oaks Gourmet is located at 6817 Franklin Ave., Franklin Village, (323) 850-3755
Milo & Olive's mixed mushroom pizza (Photo via Facebook)
Milo and Olive
When it comes to dough, baker Zoe Nathan sure knows the drill. Her pizza at Milo and Olive is no exception. When you sit down inside the small Santa Monica restaurant, you'll have a front row seat to the open kitchen helmed by chef Erin Eastland. There, she fires incredible pizzas in a wood burning oven. Our personal faves are the Bianca made with Taleggio DOP, sweet-as-candy 25-year aged balsamic, and a fresh farm egg as well as the Roasted Potato pizza with rosemary cream, caramelized onions, and Parmigiano Reggiano. —Krista Simmons
Milo and Olive is located at 2723 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, (310) 453-6776
Cornmeal crust and deep dish pizza and a short drive east on the 210 are all things that rub some people the wrong way, but pity them, they're missing out. The most popular pizza at Zelo is the Corn Pizza, and it's a good place to start. It has corn, onions marinated in balsamic vinegar and two kinds of mozzarella. It's corny, yes, but in the best way possible. The Sausage Pizza is a solid runner-up that features home-made sausage, sauteed onions and green peppers. We're not treading new territory: Jonathan Gold called it an "undiscovered Los Angeles pizza restaurant" in 2005, and so now, of course, it no longer is. The pizzas are a little bit Chicago, a little bit California and yet something unique altogether. You can order ahead and get half-baked pizzas if you'd like to enjoy them in the comfort of your own home. But just know that this place doesn't feel anything like the Arcadia suburbs where it resides. —Emma Gallegos
Zelo is located at 328 E Foothill Blvd in Arcadia.
The mac and cheese pizza at Pizzanista! (Photo via Facebook)
Nestled in the Arts District and located right next to dive bar Tony's Saloon sits Pizzanista! It's a local New York-style pizzeria that also serves beer and is open late until midnight every day (except Sundays when it closes at 10 p.m.). It's the brainchild of professional skateboarder Salman Agah, his wife Price Latimer Agah, and her brother Roby Latimer. And the restaurant's name is inspired by the Clash's Sandinista! album, and rock music is usually blasting at the pizza joint. As for the thin-crust pizza (which you can order by the slice as well as a while pie), you can get items like the Meat Jesus that's topped with bacon, grana padano and sausage. They also cater to the vegans with their Vegan Veggie that has vegan cheese on it or Seitan Meats Jesus Pizza. The toppings are fresh and the crust is crispy and chewy. The best part is on Sundays, you can grab an order of their Mac And Cheese pizza, which actually has real mac and cheese sitting on top of the pie.
Pizzanista! is located at 2019 E 7th St., downtown, (213) 627-1430
Tomato Pie Pizza Joint
For the East Coasters, Tomato Pie doesn't disappoint with its traditional New York-style pizzas. One of the best things about this casual pizza joint is that they also sell pizza by the slice—you know, in case you don't want to commit. Their pizza crust is thin and crispy enough for you to fold the slice in half to nosh on. The cheese is nice and stretchy and the sauces are flavorful. We're fans of their classic Grandma's Margherita and hot wings-inspired Syracuse pizzas, and also love the fact they've come up with fun names for their pies like Mr. White and Prosciutto Happiness. These guys have plenty of gluten-free and vegan options, too. And the Silver Lake location has an adorable outdoor patio you can hang out at in the back.
Tomato Pie Pizza Joint is located at 2457 Hyperion Ave., Silverlake, (323) 661-6474, and 7751 1/2 Melrose Ave., Fairfax District, (323) 653-9993
Photo courtesy of Sotto on Facebook
Steve Samson and Zach Pollack—the latter of which recently opened his own spot Alimento in Silverlake—developed the recipe for the dough at Southern Italian-focused restaurant Sotto. The West L.A. restaurant riffs on classic Neapolitan pizzas, giving them a bit more char than you might be used to seeing. Don't judge based on looks alone though; these are some of the best in town. Sotto does justice to the classic Margherita, using San Marzano tomatoes, giant leaves of fresh basil, and Gioia mozzarella cheese. If you're looking for something a little more adventurous, try the Guanciale, made with smoky pork cheek, ricotta, scallions and fennel pollen. —Krista Simmons
Sotto is located at 9575 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, 9575 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, (310) 277-0210
Masa of Echo Park (Photo via Facebook)
Masa of Echo Park
Masa brings a bit of Chicago over to Echo Park with their deep-dish pizzas. They don't skimp on the cheese, sauce and toppings, and they use quality ingredients. Their crust is made of cornmeal and we can't resist their sweet Italian sausage. Their pies have a California flare to it—they even have vegan deep dishes. The long lines over the weekend are a testament to how popular this Echo Park spot is, so definitely keep in mind that you'll have to be patient. They even warn you that their gigantic pizzas take about 30 to 45 minutes to bake.
Masa of Echo Park is located at 1800 W Sunset Blvd., Echo Park, (213) 989-1558
Mulberry Street Pizzeria
Now when we're talking about thin-crust pizza, Mulberry Street Pizzeria may actually have the thinnest, floppiest slices around town; they're perfect for folding in half, and are crispy. Rumor has it that Mulberry imports water from New York for the dough. And BTW we're fans of their BBQ Chicken Pizza. And inside the restaurants, there are red-checkered tablecloths, and framed celebrity photos and autographs on the walls—it's that type of casual restaurant.
Mulberry Street Pizzeria is located at 347 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, (310) 247-8998; 240 S. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills, (310) 247-8100; 15136 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, (818) 784-8880; 17040 Ventura Blvd., Encino, (818) 906-8881; 1655 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, (805) 379-1121
The Luggage Room's Avocado Festival pizza (Photo via Facebook)
The Luggage Room Pizzeria
The Luggage Room Pizzeria is a hidden gem in Pasadena, where they whip up artisanal pizza pies. This chic restaurant gets its name from being home to what was once the luggage room of the Del Mar Train station back in 1934. Their pizza crust is thick, nice and chewy. And although they do have your classic choices like the margherita, they also go outside of the box with pizzas like the Avocado Festival (with generous slices of hass avocados fanned out on a pie) or The Padre that's topped with prosciutto, figs, blue cheese and arugula. They also use Lindy & Grundy's Italian sausage as their toppings, and you know you can't go wrong with that. You can wash that all down with their slushy cocktails, and make sure to grab a free salted chocolate chip cookie on your way out.
The Luggage Room Pizzeria is located at 260 S Raymond Ave., Pasadena, (626) 356-4440
Casa Bianca is old school—an institution if you will, in Los Angeles. The Martorana family business has been open since 1955, so you know they're doing it right. The family hails from Chicago and have been using Italian recipes passed down through the generations. Jonathan Gold swears by it and their fried eggplant sausage pizza. It's the type of place with red-checkered tablecloths, and bring some bills because it's cash only.
Casa Bianca is located at 1650 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock, (323) 256-9617
Mr. Pizza's (Photo by strikeael via the Creative Commons on Flickr)
Mr. Pizza is an odd place, and purists are advised to steer clear. The Koreatown location looks like an Olive Garden—it's has that bland, faux-Tuscan look that was popular in the 1990s—but the food at this Korean chain doesn't even come close. The toppings are best described as odd combinations of everything but the kitchen sink. No, it's not gourmet, hand-crafted, artisanal pizza, but it's not just a gimmick either: the combinations work. Make sure you try something with the sweet potato crust—you can even order breadsticks stuffed with the sweet potato mousse. (Maybe this is more like Olive Garden than I thought.) We'd recommend the Potato Gold pizza that has tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, ground beef, corn, onions, potato wedges, bacon, nacho chip flakes with sour cream. The Shrimp Gold is pretty good and has an ingredient list that includes salsa, Cajun shrimp, ground beef, olives, yellow chili and bacon bits. You can even get a half and half pizza and try both. There is a vegetarian option, but as with most places in Koreatown, vegetarians are urged to tread lightly. —Emma Gallegos
Mr. Pizza is located at 3881 Wilshire Blvd in Koreatown, and at 350 E 1st St in Little Tokyo, (213) 738-0077