Food & Drink

LA's 13 best under-the-radar pizza joints

Published On 11/12/2014 Published On 11/12/2014
Pizzeria Il Fico

The good thing about the best pizza in LA? Um, hello -- it's the best. The less-good thing about the best pizza in LA? You've already eaten your way through most of it. And that's exactly why we've assembled this: our list of the 13 best under-the-radar pizza places in Los Angeles, none of which you'll find on any of the most recent "Best Of" pizza lists from the LA Times, LAist, LA Weekly, or us.

Prime Pizza

Prime Pizza

Mid-Wilshire
Okay, this is kind of cheating: since this simple-feeling, NY-style slicery opened less than a month ago, it hasn't had time to make its way into anyone's "Best Of" lists yet, which is our way of saying you should go now and beat the line. It's from the guys behind some of LA's best burgers (Golden State), best breakfast burritos (Cofax), AND best BBQ (Bludso's). It's one list away from utter mayhem.
 

Barone's

Valley Glen
This Valley staple is one of those places that's been a neighborhood favorite for so long it's easy to forget it exists. Don't. Instead, make the trek for oozing, dripping, Neapolitan-style pies, served the same way since 1945.

South End

South End

Venice
Like the pizza at Gjelina (which's made a ton of "Best Of" lists), but don't like the, uh, attitude there? Check out the mellower, close-by South End, which does similarly puffy personal pies with similarly high-end ingredients (if you've got the munchies, you're definitely going to want the High Sign w/ smoked bacon, mozzarella, Fontina, and thyme).
 

Wood

Silverlake
This recently opened, not-the-Eastside Eastside favorite is cranking out all sorts of deliciousness in a wood-burning (get it???) oven, including a white pie with Brussels, smoked mozz, and crispy pancetta.

Mamma's Brick Oven Pizza & Pasta

Mamma's Brick Oven Pizza & Pasta

South Pasadena
Another neighborhood spot that deserves more widespread recognition, Mamma's has been filling the stomachs of Pasadeners for years with aged, hand-tossed dough made with secret-imported-from-somewhere-proprietary-water and baked in a 700lb brick oven.
 

Vito's

West Hollywood
Vito's only serves 18in pies -- take it or leave it -- which come in all sorts of unusual variations. Our favorite? The serrano-sauced pie, with sautéed onions and your choice of chicken or meatballs (get the meatballs).

Pizzeria Il Fico

Pizzeria il Fico

West Hollywood
This sorta-schmancy Robertson Blvd Italian spot's got two lauded chefs making Southern Italian pies, once of which you're pretty much required to order at least once (/every time): La Pugliese -- a doughboy with mozzarella, rapini, sausage, roasted tomato, burrata, and caciocavallo cheese.
 

All' Angolo

Koreatown
This beloved strip-mall spot serves homemade pies inspired by the Romagna region of Italy, which means deeply flavorful red sauce atop a thin crust topped with classic ingredients: crispy pepperoni, breaded eggplant, etc., etc., etc.

The Good Pizza

The Good Pizza

Westchester/Playa Del Rey
You know when your friend is all like, "let's get pizza. But not from a chain. Let's get the good pizza". Yeah, this place capitalizes on that. And they should. Because it's ridiculously good (oh, they also have a pizza topped with BBQ chicken and FRENCH FRIES. So there's that, too).
 

Joe Peeps

North Hollywood
An iconic logo isn't all this standby offers: they've got customer graffiti-covered walls, monster subs, and of course, quality pies, with a deeper-dish style than most LA 'za.

Pellicola Pizzeria

Pellicola

Downtown
When they opened, we told you all about their Nutella pizza -- but the truth is that in the year since, Pellicola's proven to be the most reliable pie Downtown, with a simple, 'til-3am menu of killer, fresh ingredients cooked into a perfectly bubbly crust.
 

Brownstone

Eagle Rock
The only pizzeria anyone ever talks about in this 'hood is Casa Bianca, and that's a shame: Brownstone crushes too, with $1.99 slices (!) and high-quality, classic toppings.
 

Apollonia's

Mid-Wilshire
One of those delivery pie spots that's always better than you'd expect, Apollonia's is notable both for great versions of classic ingredients (organic produce! Homemade sauce!) and crazy-exotic ingredients (rattlesnake sausage! RATTLESNAKE SAUSAGE!).

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Jeff Miller is Thrillist LA's Senior City Editor and he'll have the pepperoni, thanks. He's at @jeffmillerla on Instagram and @ThrillistLA on Twitter.

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1. Prime Pizza 446 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036 (Mid Wilshire)

What if we were to tell you that the guys behind LA's best burger (at Golden State), best BBQ (at Bludso's), and best breakfast burrito (at Cofax) opened a NY-style pizza slice shop? You'd want to go to there, right? Well, that's what we're telling you. Tally ho.

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2. Barone's 13726 Oxnard St, Van Nuys, CA 91401

Founded in 1945, Barone's serves up rectangular, Neapolitan-style pizza, as well as a wide array of other Italian specialities, in which red sauce reigns. The decor draws style cues from 1940s diners, with overstuffed red vinyl couches and jumbles of framed photos.

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3. South End 2805 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90291 (Venice)

This romantic pizzeria and wine bar slings gourmet pizza from a Mozza vet, in Venice.

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4. Wood Handcrafted Pizza 2861 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91504 (Silverlake)

This recently opened not-the-Eastside Eastside favorite is cranking out all sorts of deliciousness in a wood(get it???)-burning oven, including a white pie with brussels, smoked mozz, and crispy pancetta.

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5. Mamma's Brick Oven Pizza & Pasta 710 Fair Oaks Ave, South Pasadena, CA 91030 (Pasadena)

Another neighborhood spot that deserves more widespread recognition, Mamma's has been filling the stomachs of Pasadeners for years with aged, hand-tossed dough made with secret-imported-from-somewhere-proprietary-water and baked in a 700lb brick oven.

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6. Vito's Pizza 846 N LA Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90069 (West Hollywood)

Anyone craving a real New York slice should stop by this authentically Big Apple-style pie joint.

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7. Pizzeria il Fico 310 S Robertson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048 (West Hollywood)

This sorta-schmancy Robertson Blvd Italian spot's got two lauded chefs making Southern Italian pies, once of which you're pretty much required to order at least once (/every time): La Pugliese -- a doughboy with mozzarella, rapini, sausage, roasted tomato, burrata, and caciocavallo cheese.

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8. All' Angolo 4050 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90020 (Koreatown)

Anybody who's tasted the house-made pasta at this beloved K-Town Italian gem won’t be surprised to know that its pizza is equally outstanding. You can't go wrong with anything on the menu, from the thin-crust pies topped with crispy pepperoni and breaded eggplant to the steaming calzones. The strip mall storefront is unassuming and basic, but the generous Italian-style portions will make you feel like royalty.

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9. The Good Pizza 7929 Emerson Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90045

You know when your friend is all like, "let's get pizza. But not from a chain. Let's get the good pizza". Yeah, this place capitalizes on that. And they should. Because it's ridiculously good (oh, they also have a pizza topped with BBQ chicken and FRENCH FRIES. So there's that, too).

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10. Joe Peeps NY Pizza 12460 Magnolia Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91607 (West Village)

An iconic logo isn't all this standby offers: they've got customer-graffiti'd walls, monster subs, and of course, quality pies, with a deeper-dish style than most LA 'za.

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11. Pellicola Pizzeria 421 8th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90057 (Downtown)

The 213 LA guys (who are behind some of LA’s best bars, including the Varnish and Seven Grand) seem to always get it right, and this downtown pizzeria is no exception. Pellicola serves pizzas by the slice or by the pie, and flavors range from simple pepperoni to loaded vegetarian. It's open late every night (1am Sunday-Wednesday, 3am Thursday-Saturday), and black-and-white Italian movies are projected on a big screen nightly, so you'll likely want to sit and stay a while. Come extra hungry though -- Pellicola makes must-try Nutella dessert pies.

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12. Brownstone Pizzeria 2108 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041 (Eagle Rock)

Brownstone crushes the pizza game in Eagle Rock, with super-economical $1.99 NY-style slices (!) and high-quality, classic toppings.

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13. Apollonia's Pizzeria 5176 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036 (Mid Wilshire)

Located inside a former strip-mall Chinese joint on Wilshire, this intimate, be-tiled pizzeria's slinging pies topped with all the industry standards (pepperoni, sausage, cheese...) and plenty of industry not-so-standards, including scary animals like alligator and rattlesnake as well as "duck bacon", or what the bouncer yells to Kevin when an angry Kyra barges into the strip club.

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