Where to Eat in Long Beach Right Now
From pizza parlors to Peruvian, Italian, barbecue, and more.
As the seventh most populous city in California with the second busiest container port in the United States, Long Beach holds its own as one of the most dynamic cities within LA County. As a Gateway City between LA, Orange County, and the Pacific Ocean, Long Beach has shifted identities numerous times since it was first incorporated in 1897. Once known as Iowa by the sea for its sizable population of Iowa transplants, the city emerged as the center of the gangster rap universe in the late ‘80s and ‘90s. Today, it’s known for waterfront attractions like the permanently docked RMS Queen Mary and Aquarium of the Pacific, and a thriving LGBTQ community.
In 2000, a USA Today report deemed Long Beach the most ethnically diverse large city in America—with the largest population of Cambodians outside of Cambodia and a strong Mexican community that represents a third of the city’s residents. Nowhere are these varied cultures on better display than in the city’s dining scene, where you can indulge in fresh-caught seafood, regional Mexican cuisines, Italian and Mediterranean bites, an array of pizza options, and more.
Next time you find yourself in Snoop Dogg and Cameron Diaz’s hometown (fun fact: they attended high school together!), make sure to consult this list of the best places to eat in Long Beach.
In The Kitchen
Former dental consultant Nora Tatum made the switch to restaurateur in late July 2021, when the pandemic led to the closures of many of the dental practices she oversaw. Now she’s the owner and chef behind In the Kitchen, which quickly established itself as one of the best options for Texas-style soul food in Long Beach, with a comforting menu that includes standouts like tender oxtails, smothered pork chops, fried chicken, and sides like candied yams, collard greens, and black-eyed peas. But Tatum has already demonstrated broad appeal by adding a healthy menu of smoothies and acai bowls served from opening until 3 pm. The restaurant also sets itself apart by accepting EBT as payment and with live music during weekend brunch.
How to book: Walk-ins only.
A&J Seafood Shack
Located on a busy section of East Anaheim Street and Obispo Avenue, this small but mighty walk-up window has been turning heads ever since it first opened in 2020. The owners are Cambodian, but claim their menu as fusion. Case in point is the famous garlic shrimp entree, inspired by Oahu's North Shore and containing ample-sized shrimp, swimming in a sauce of caramelized garlic, spices, sweet butter, and bits of pineapple. There’s also the beef stick sandwich, with grilled lemongrass-marinated beef on a toasted french roll with a fresh green papaya slaw and slathered with a sriracha mayo spread. Other hits include crispy salmon served with mango salsa and a sweet tamarind sauce and the lobster plate.
How to book: Walk-ins only.
Little Coyote appears to be on the tip of everyone’s tongue as one of the buzziest new spots in town. And with good reason. Since they opened in 2020, the pair, made up of Hatchet Hall co-owner Jonathan Strader and former L&E Oyster Bar executive chef Jack Leahy, have amassed quite a local following for their nouveau-New York-meets-California style pies. The thick and chewy-yet-airy crusts meet fresh toppings in signature recipes like their White pie with spinach, ricotta, garlic, and Calabrian chilies, or Papa Joe, a red sauce pizza with Italian sausage, mushrooms, and mozzarella. Little Coyote opened early in the pandemic as take-out only, but managed still to attract a strong following, which led them to open a second location on Los Coyotes Diagonal.
How to book: Walk-ins or take-out only via their website.
Brother and sister duo Lauren and chef Phillip Pretty created an approachable take to delicate dining smack dab in the quaint Rose Park neighborhood with Heritage, which operates out of a converted craftsman home that’s tucked into a nondescript corner of busy 7th Street. The rotating tasting menu begins with a mushroom cappuccino with thyme foam and cultivated mushroom from Long Beach Mushroom Farms, helping to awaken the taste buds before diving into the rest of the menu. Starter options include ember-roasted beets with Lenora goat cheese, pomegranates, and grapes; and a grilled octopus with chorizo, beans, and creme fraiche. Not to be outdone, main entrees include pork tenderloin and belly served with apple-fennel chutney and seven-day-aged duck with French lentils. For dessert, opt for vanilla parsnip pastry cream with market fruit or chef’s choice of cheese served with dates, honey, crostini, and herbs. During lunchtime, Heritage becomes Heritage Sandwich Shop, offering sandwiches made with bread from local Hey Brother Baker, sides like free-range deviled eggs and Brussels sprouts, plus cookies, California wines, and craft beer.
How to book: Reservations and pickup orders can be made via their website.
Specializing in Levantine cuisine that hails from the Eastern Mediterranean sea region known as the Levant, Ammatoli spans flavors from Syria, Cypress, Lebanon, and Turkey with a fresh, vegetable-forward menu. Start with the mezzas section made up of different dips and spreads, including several hummus options, baba ghannouj, a roasted beets labne, and grilled halloumi served with watermelon slices. From there, level up with kebabs and entrees that include a falafel plate and a Moroccan spiced salad, or go all out with a family-style kebab feast. There is also the first-rate rotisserie chicken dinner, which features a juicy, flavor-packed bird with your choice of two sides. For brunch, Ammatoli gets creative with Levantine Chilaquiles, with baked pita, cooked fava beans, green tomatillo sauce, and topped with farm-fresh fried eggs sprinkled with sumac seasoning, although Chef Dima’s shakshouka served with Gusto sourdough bread is also worthy of your attention. Pair that with a pot of freshly brewed Middle Eastern black tea (serves four to five people) or bottomless mimosas.
How to book: online.
Portuguese Bend Distilling
This spot does double duty operating as a restaurant and the city’s only grain-to-glass spirits distillery. In addition to world-class cocktails, the space also features a menu to satisfy whatever craving you have at the moment, from loaded potato skins and pastrami chili cheese fries to start, to a pot roast melt and Nashville hot mac and cheese for mains, to rootbeer floats and a ‘drugstore’ sundae with two scoops of vanilla ice cream for dessert. Distillery tours and tastings are still on hold, but you can sample the house spirits through the seasonal craft cocktail menu, which includes features like Black Beard, with Portuguese Bend spiced butter rum, fig syrup, and Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters, before deciding whether to take a bottle home with you.
How to book: Make reservations via Yelp. Order pickup and delivery via delivery apps.
Located on 2nd street on the border of Belmont Shore and Naples sits this neighborhood seafood restaurant where the catch is brought in daily and broken down by the staff. Local chef Rigo Bonilla puts a focus on sustainably sourced ingredients and highlights reimagined German and Oaxacan-influenced dishes. Think: buttermilk-marinated calamari fries with a spicy roe sauce, and a fish burrito with your choice of salmon, yellowfin poke, mahi, cod, or shrimp, with ponzu brown rice, pico de gallo, cabbage, black beans, and spicy roe sauce served with salsa and chips. The happy hour deal, which extends from Monday through Friday from 3–6 pm and includes seasonal oysters for $2.75 each, Peruvian scallops for $3.50 each, well drinks for $6, house wine for $7, plus more discounts, is worth planning ahead for. The expansive restaurant includes indoor and outdoor dining, with a front patio and a back patio garden where you can enjoy live jazz, free corkage, and half-priced bottles of wine with entrees on Wednesdays. For takeout, stop by Roe Express and Fish Market next door to find various to-go options, including 12-ounce craft cocktails to go.
How to book: Reservations via Yelp. Pickup via Chownow and delivery via delivery apps.
Rose Park on Pine Ave
Army veteran and chef Melissa Ortiz (whose resume includes stalwarts like Melisse and Connie and Ted’s) brought her unique take on upscale dining to the heart of downtown Long Beach with Rose Park, a light-filled cafe that serves as a coffee shop during the day and offers an ambitious brunch and dinner service. Start with your day off with one of the seasonal lattes, like the Herb and Root latte that acts as Ortiz’s version of a pumpkin spice latte with a caramelized sweet potato base and cinnamon and ginger spices, and grab house-made bites like an apricot rosemary scone or honeynut squash galette. If you’re getting a late start, stop by for brunch and take advantage of items like biscuits and gravy with shrimp chorizo gravy, or a fish and eggs plate with yellowtail and paddlefish caviar on a blanket of soft eggs. The dinner menu includes vegan options like a Weiser Family Farms honeynut squash with sunchoke miso, furikake chill crunch, and sweet bits of pink lady apples, and the crowd-favorite clam and beans dish includes shrimp chorizo, lemongrass and guajillo broth, and fermented chili butter. An approachable list of natural wines are available by the glass and seasonal mimosas, mulled wine cider, and apple miso cold brew are available during brunch service.
How to book: Walk-ins only.
La Chancla Mexican Grill
Located in the shopping center of a Northgate Market, La Chancla is the best spot to try tacos de guisados, tacos with flavor-packed stewed meat served on freshly handmade corn tortillas. Choose from ten different guisos, including tender-grilled carne asada, Jalisco-style beef birria, shredded chicken cooked with mole sauce, Michoacan-style carnitas, soyrizo, and more. Avoid decision fatigue by opting for the combo of three mix-and-match tacos served alongside rice and beans and commit to returning at least three times so you can taste all of the options. The chanclazo is a thick handmade tortilla that’s topped with grilled cheese and filled with your choice of meat or veggie and toppings. La Chancla also offers their guisos in burritos, nachos, quesadillas, tostada salad bowls, or drizzled over crispy fries, as well as in full dinner plates. Wash it all down with one of their agua frescas that comes with a chamoy and Tajin rim.
How to book: Walk-ins only. Delivery via delivery apps.
The 4th Horseman
Long Beach is a pizza lover's paradise, with dense downtown-adjacent neighborhoods making it easy for a delivery spot like 4th Horseman to thrive. Adding to this pizzeria’s appeal is a horror movie-inspired aesthetic, with moody lighting, tabletops collaged with vintage horror and comic strips, and horror movie marathons projected on a screen near the bar. The menu takes similar inspiration, featuring pies like Angel of Death, with blue cheese crumbles, shredded mozzarella, bacon, and caramelized onion, and Rosemary’s Baby, smeared with a robust house-made tomato sauce, mozzarella, house-made Italian sausage, and balsamic mushroom. There are plenty of vegan pies to choose from as well. If you are dining in, take advantage of their continuously rotating selection of craft beer and wine.
How to book: Walk in or order pickup and delivery via their website.
The draw of this bakery mini-chain are seasonal, house-made breads and pastries that feature local and sustainably sourced herbs, fruit, vegetables and grain. Owner, bread baker, and pastry chef Kristin Colazas Rodriguez built a cult following after popping up local farmers markets in the area then opened her first brick and mortar location in nearby San Pedro in 2019. The 2nd Street location launched in April 2021, bringing Rodriguez back to her hometown of Long Beach. The cafe features pantry items like Jamboree Jams, local tea purveyor Three Gems Tea, and Penny Coffee Roasters from Colazas’s husband and business partner Nicholas Rodgriguez. The drink menu features classic cafe options, plus some innovative standouts like the signature The Breakwater made with Sonkolle Kollato Guji Ethiopia espresso, vanilla bean, and sparkling water topped with Chantilly whipped cream. The breakfast and lunch menus include a selection of pastries and sandwiches on house-made bread, like the savory MLT that substitutes bacon for roasted oyster mushrooms, with heirloom tomatoes, honey gem lettuce, and avocado Green Goddess dressing on griddled country bread—but don’t disregard the salads or comforting tomato soup. Do yourself a favor and grab a loaf of whatever bread is fresh out the oven.
How to book: Walk-in only or pick-up via their website.
Down 4th street, heading towards downtown, there is a little bit of vegan sunlight named Seabirds. They started as a food truck, then opened their first brick-and-mortar operation in Costa Mesa before setting down roots in LBC. But this spot has broad appeal with popular dishes like jackfruit nachos made with signature cheese sauce, and Brussel sprouts drizzled with a dijon-lime sauce and tiny bits of fried garlic. The purple taquitos feature purple potatoes accompanied by chipotle sour cream, fermented curtido, and almond feta sprinkled on top and the beer-battered avocado taco comes stuffed with half a crispy avocado, a creamy lime sauce, and cabbage. They also bang out incredible rotating daily specials, featuring everything from patty melts to pizza.
How to book: Walk in or order pickup and delivery online.
Gusto Bread owner Arturo Enciso learned how to bake bread in a backyard earth oven then traveled the world learning different baking techniques before finally opening his Long Beach storefront in August 2020 with his partner Ana Belén Salatino. The panaderia merges cultures for a wide-ranging menu that features traditional Mexican concha desserts, buttery biscuits, seeded loaves, flatbreads, plus rotating snacks and grab-and-go items. All of their breads and pastries pair wonderfully with a cafe de olla made with canela (Mexican cinnamon) that can be enjoyed either hot or cold. They also offer non-alcoholic drinks like yerba mate, jamaica, tamarindo, kombucha, and more.
How to book: Walk-ins only or order online via their website for pick-up.
La Parolaccia Osteria
This family-owned Italian restaurant has been around since 2006, creating an inviting environment on the corner of Broadway with homestyle dishes and cozy decor that includes exposed brick and a sidewalk patio. Try one of their refined yet rustic paninis made with house-made focaccia bread, or opt for a selection of pasta dishes, such as the bomboni, with rigatoni, crumbled sausage, pancetta, arugula, and pecorino, and topped with black truffle peel. The Neapolitan-style woodfired pizzas are also worth your attention, like the totti, a massive half-pizza and half-calzone stuffed with mozza, salami, sausage, mushrooms, and arugula. Enjoy it with an Aperol spritz or an espresso martini.
How to book: Walk-in or make reservations by calling 562-438-1235. Take out/delivery via delivery apps.
Chef Jason Witzl’s ode to Southern Italian cuisine comes to fruition at this humble dining room on a quiet corner in Alamitos Beach. Handmade pasta is the star of the show here, though shared plates like the grilled bread board with caviar butter, pork butter, apple mustard, and other seasonal accouterments; steak tartare; and seasonal crudo are ideal options to start with. Each pasta dish impresses with seasonal ingredients and personal touches, like the cavatelli with smoked bacon and tagliatelle with shrimp, nduja, and creme fraiche. If you have room for an entree after that, try the braised short ribs made with smooth pommes aligot and an herbaceous horseradish gremolata. If you can’t get enough of chef Jason’s cooking, you are in luck: he owns two other restaurants in town, Lupe’s in the downtown area, which serves as his take on coastal Mexican dishes, and Ginger’s, a tasting menu concept. Don’tandis reservation only.
How to book: online.
Beachwood BBQ & Brewing
This small Orange County chain holds a special place in the hearts of Long Beachers, with a welcoming industrial meets kitschy-chic decor, a craveable menu of BBQ and comfort dishes, and a long rotating list of Long Beach brews on tap. The brewpub features spacious booths to watch the game inside, or head outside on the spacious patio and cozy up next to one of the firepits. Once you find your optimal seating, take a gander at their draft list of craft beers, many of which are made in-house by Beachwood, including favorites like the Foam Top blonde ale and the ubiquitous LBC IPA. Pair those beers with starters like fried pickles and smoked buffalo wings, or go big with slow-smoked meats like brisket, andouille sausage, and St. Louis-style ribs with sides like bleu cheese grits, baked navy beans, mac and cheese, and corn on the cob.
How to book: Walk-ins only.
Casa Chakis, a restaurant that specializes in home-cooked Peruvian cuisine and differentiates itself as the only Long Beach restaurant with a farm, is the brainchild of Jalisco-native Agustín Romo. The menu features an array of Peruvian staples like chaufas—a Chinese-Peruvian fried rice dish—as well as ceviches, empanadas, and saltados, with plenty of vegetarian options. The aguadita de pollo soup with chicken and rice in a cilantro broth is ideal for warming up and keeping the marine layer at bay.
How to order: Local delivery via UberEats.