Los Angeles Much like the rest of LA, Long Beach is having a resurgence -- or is it just a surgence? Either way, this increasingly diverse little cousin of the LA beach scene has a lot more to offer these days than Snoop Dogg, the 710, and the Queen Mary. If you’re looking to dip your toe into the LBC, there’s no better place to start than these 12 restaurants and bars.
Best late night food spot: Holé Molé
421 Obispo Ave
Whether that 16th microbrew is starting to wear you down, or you just have a hankering for the ‘real’ thing, Holé Molé is dishing up tacos and treats ‘til late. You catch our drift? Ladies, leave the club before that last drink -- the tacos need you.
Best coffee shop: Recreational Coffee
237 Long Beach Blvd
So, you and your buds made that 2016 resolution pact to learn how to surf, but lessons are at 5am. Why not wake yourself up with one of this place's signature roasts? Or better yet, cut to the chase and just get the Sea Salt Affogato because it tastes better than actual salty sea in your nose (first and last lesson).
Best brunch: The Potholder Cafe
3700 E Broadway
The brunch spot of choice for locals, The Pot Holder serves an all-day breakfast menu of classics with down-home charm -- opt for the Super Spuds, or The Works (oatmeal with... well, the works). And now, because Long-beach-is-changing-we-told-you-so, there’s a dedicated vegan menu for those who want their bacon "Babe"-free.
Best place to drink with other hipsters: The Stache
941 E 4th St
Cool kids by the sea, rejoice! The Stache is here for you, serving up organic cocktails that are light on cash and heavy on the pours. It’s the perfect dive bar for when Silverlake feels too far away.
Best slice of the East in the West: Michael’s Pizzeria
5616 E 2nd St
Attention, fellow Italian transplants to Southern California: finally, a slice of the real stuff! It's thin, wood-fired, and topped with the ultra-flavorful sauce and fresh mozz you've come to expect. Oh, and every Monday night is "buy a pizza, get a free margarita pizza to keep it company" night -- because no pizza should ever be single.
Best barbecue and brews: Beachwood BBQ
210 E 3rd St
With a menu to weep salty tears over and a constantly rotating beer line-up, Beachwood has all the classics and some less expected seaside additions. It’s comfort food done so right you won’t even feel guilty after you’re done (provided you skip the hushpuppies, but c’mon, who are we to turn down six servings of them?).
Best "former frat boy" dive bar: Shannon’s Bayshore
5335 E 2nd St
So maybe you just wanna slam some brews with your bruhs and talk about the game, maybe even pretend to watch it. Say hello to Shannon, where dive meets college, meets "what’s a 401K, exactly?"
Best family-style meal (without your weird aunt): The Attic
3441 E Broadway
Going to dinner at The Attic is like going home to mama’s house -- if mama were Creole, and made MAC AND CHEETOS!! If you’re still reading past this point, put down your phone and go eat the Mac and Cheetos. Seriously, stop reading.
Best Korean-Mexican-this-is-so-SoCal fusion: Seoulmate
4712 E 7th St
Like its name suggests, Seoulmate plates Korean-fusion cuisine with its tongue squarely in its cheek -- as in, the Korean burritos are so good you’ll forget that carne asada and kimchi aren’t from the same place.
Best live music: Pike Restaurant and Bar
1836 E 4th St
This is the place to hear real humans playing real music as you mix and mingle with Long Beach locals eating chili cheese fries and casually spilling their drinks. Not always quiet, but always a fun time.
Best Oishii Sushi: Sushi Kinoya
5521 E Stearns St, Long Beach, CA 90815
You’ll never have to look too hard to find a fish worth eating in the LBC, but Kinoya's the place that makes us feel like we’re in a fun little izakaya somewhere in the backstreets of Tokyo (minus the inebriated businessmen). Not only that, it’s so fresh you’ll blush -- provided extremely fresh fish makes you blush.
Best burger barn: Whistle Stop
3701 E 4th Street
Oh Whistle Stop, you had us at "burger and date shake." Whether you're eating on the IG-worthy patio or grabbing to go, Whistle Stop has a simple menu of classics done to perfection (fried green tomatoes in SoCal?!). And not to harp on about it, but we DID mention the date shake, right? Just checking.
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1. Holé Molé421 Obispo Ave, Long Beach
2. Recreational Coffee237 Long Beach Blvd, Ste A, Long Beach
3. Potholder Cafe3700 E Broadway, Long Beach
4. Stache Bar941 E 4th St, Long Beach
5. Michael's Pizzeria5616 E 2nd St, Long Beach
6. Beachwood BBQ & Brewing210 E 3rd St, Long Beach
7. Shannon's Bayshore5335 E 2nd St, Long Beach
8. The Attic3441 E Broadway, Long Beach
9. Seoulmate4712 E 7th St, Long Beach
10. Pike Bar & Fish Grill1836 E 4th St, Long Beach
11. Sushi Kinoya5521 E Stearns St, Long Beach
12. Whistle Stop3660 4th St, Long Beach
Whether by land ("carne asada" tacos) or by sea ("fish" tacos), Holé Molé is prepared to satisfy your taco cravings. Especially so on Tuesdays, when soft tacos are just $1 apiece. This Long Beach area mini-chain does Mexican fusion right with their West Coast style take on Latin American classics.
Recreational Coffee's a recently opened Long Beach brewhouse, serving up fresh roasts in a cozy, comfortable cafe setting. The friendly staff will make your favorite beverage just how you like it and maybe even throw in a pastry, if you ask nicely. The menu features espresso and pour-over drinks, plus some dessert coffee beverages. Recreational also serves sandwiches and salads.
The original outpost of the Potholder in Belmont Heights features the PC's all day breakfast menu that you know and love, all served in a homey cafe setting full of knick knacks and other memorabilia. A tried and true neighborhood spot, locals flock to this locale for their friendly service, home-cooked fare, and affordable prices. The menu also boasts a nice array of vegan and vegetarian options for all you veggie lovers out there.
Celebrating mustaches like no other, this hidden gem serves high-end bottles of small-batch spirits (as well as the usual suspects) at a surprisingly low price. Shoot pool with the hipsters and go HAM on beer and shot specials. If cocktails are more your thing, The Stache has a nicely curated menu of organic handicrafted spirits and libations.
Michael's is ranked amongst some of the best pizza in and around LA. Head here for any number of uniquely topped pies, or just hang out with a brew and a bud. Always wood-fired and made with fresh (never frozen!) ingredients, Michael's pies taste like a piece of Brooklyn but with West Coast cool.
Beachwood's Long Beach location is perfect for relaxing after catching some surf -- get a few brews, an indulgent entree (mac and cheese, without a doubt), and kick back. Beachwood specializes in BBQ fare in a laid back, diner-style setting. Quaint midcentury modern touches take the decor one step farther and go perfectly with the "so good it must be homemade" plates.
This classic Long Beach haunt is a top notch spot to grab a drink and hangout. Locals love this dependable, dive-like spot, where you can counter cold beers and quality conversation 365 days, 7 days a week. Depending out how you want your night to pan out (wild or tame), we recommend Shannon's house special: a drink called “Shoot the Root”, which includes a shot of root beer schnapps dropped into a tumbler of Coors Light.
If you're at this eatery for breakfast -- which you should be -- and in the mood for eggs, The Blue Bayou with blue crab, jack cheese, scallions and served with potatoes is the way to go. The former craftsman house dots the menu with New Orleans, Southern Creole foods to complement the full bar and customizable Bloody Mary.
Find your "seoulmate" at this cutely named Korean lunch shack in Long Beach. This adorable operation cooks up a mean bibimbap, plus other lunch time faves (Bulgogi, kimchi platters, and Korean pork dishes). They've also got a great burger on the menu, a fast food style slider smothered in gooey, ooey American cheese and a hint of kimchi and seasame for extra kick.
Owned by Chris Reece of Social Distortion, Pike Bar sports an interior decorated with retro punk, nautical, and grand prix themes and if a tasty family resto during the day and a popular drink spot at night. Chow down on fresh seafood, pasta and sandwiches for dinner and stay late for DJ sets and dance parties.
Sushi Kinoya's strip-mall exterior belies some seriously good Japanese eats. Regulars flock to Kinoya for their spicy maki rolls and affordable lunch specials (how can you beat miso, salad, and 5 pieces of gourmet, choose your own sushi for less than $10 bucks?). Sidle up to the bar and enjoy a fresh, satisfying meal at this modern and friendly spot.
Long Beach's Whistle Stop is a haven for SoCal sandwich lovers: they serve up tasty, melt in your mouth good burgers, fries, and shakes that, dare we say, put In-N-Out to shame. A counter service shack with mod, crafty decor and an outdoor patio prime for people-watching, the Whistle is both welcoming and hip. The Whistle also offers deli sandwiches and pub-inspired apps if sliders aren't really your thing.