1. The Breakfast Bar70 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach
2. Berlin Bistro420 E 4th Street, Long Beach
3. Cuppa Cuppa455 E Ocean Blvd, Long Beach
4. Ocean Market Grill6332 E Pacific Coast Hwy, Long Beach
5. The Sky Room & Cielo at The Sky Room40 S Locust Ave, Long Beach
6. The Attic3441 E Broadway, Long Beach
7. Brix at the Shore5372 E 2nd St, Long Beach
8. Lola's Mexican Cuisine2030 E 4th St, Long Beach
Helmed by a husband-and-wife duo, The Breakfast Bar is a local Long Beach haunt know for its grease-laden menu of recipes passed down through relatives. One of the most popular items is The Hungover, a meal (though it's advertised as an appetizer) of two eggs scrambled with cheese and sausage, served over French fries, then topped with sausage gravy, pico de gallo, and spiced sour cream. Think of it as the lovechild of an omelet, poutine, and nachos. Not strictly for those who are hungover, and not to be missed.
Berlin Bistro is a casual cafe and restaurant in the East Village Arts District of Long Beach that also happens to live among some of the area’s best street art (it’s also located next to an old record shop and bookstore, if you fancy yourself a scholar of the arts). The urban gastro pub-like space is heavily wooded with light flooding in through the glass wall, and eclectic tunes from the record shop next door. Grab a coffee and pastry with your friends at the communal table, or snag a seat on the patio and enjoy satisfying, seasonal California cuisine from the cozy, bright storefront on East 4th Street.
Cuppa Cuppa is a coffee lover's paradise that serves artisanal coffee made from sustainably sourced beans. Espressos, pour-overs, and mango smoothies cover the liquid portion of the menu, while creations like the "Eggcado," an egg-filled open-faced-avocado, take care of breakfast. Floor-to-ceiling windows and an airy patio make for a peaceful ambience.
There’s no shortage of casual seafood restaurants in Long Beach, and many of them can be found off of the Pacific Coast Highway. Ocean Market Grill, tucked into a strip mall off of the PCH, is no different. The casual fish house and seafood grill features a build-your-own meal option, with fish changing daily based on seasons and the day’s catch: could be salmon, tuna, rock cod, tilapia, even catfish. Step up to the country and pick your poison -- your entree (fish plate, burrito, tacos, or a po boy sandwich), your fish, your seasoning, and finally your side (try the cucumber and tomato salad with garlic rice). Or, if you find yourself riddled with indecision, opt for chefs choice items like poke and fish & chips. Stop by before a movie at the theater next door for happy hour, because clam chowder-topped French fries definitely tops a tub of popcorn.
Atop the baroque Breakers Hotel in Long Beach, The Sky Room is an elegant, nostalgic American steakhouse that will take you back in time to the ‘50s (but with millennium-era prices). The landmark restaurant, said to be one of the best in Long Beach, features lobster tails, foie gras, oysters, and expertly primed and prepared Kobe beef cuts in a pre-war art deco space with live swing and jazz music setting the romantic mood, the sweeping 360 degree view of the ocean and skyline as the backdrop. Start your night at Cielo at The Sky Room for craft cocktails in the Mexican-style speakeasy before your meal among white tablecloths, or stop in to recharge with a signature margarita before you hit the dance floor on weekends.
The Attic was founded on a menu full of Southern creature comforts like shrimp and grits, chicken-fried steaks, and jambalaya. But the standout here isn't the Monte Christo French Toast or Chicken and Waffles, no, your eye is immediately drawn to the section of the menu labeled “Mac ’n’ Cheetos.” All four options (OG Mac, Hey Shorty, Reggae, Jalo Bac) are served as follows: pasta, Cheddar, mozzarella, and Jack cheeses topped with Flaming Hot Cheetos crumbles and green onions. Let’s review. The OG Mac will come with smoked bacon and Flaming Hot Cheetos. The Hey Shorty will come with slow-braised short rib, and Flaming Hot Cheetos. The Jalo Bac will come with jalapeños, candied cayenne bacon… and Flaming Hot Cheetos. Welcome to The Attic, where your favorite bag of chips makes its way into your favorite childhood, cheesy pasta. What more could you possibly want?
When you walk into Brix at the Shore, away from the mishegoss of 2nd St. and into the confines of what feels like a calmer, beachier, cheaper version of a New York deli, you'll be greeted by the aromas of pan-fried potato latkes and and smoked pastrami. Quirks reminiscent of Jewish deli culture run rampant here, like chalkboard menus that read "Not your Manischewitz" (the wine list), "Noshes" (for starters, like Oy Vey! onion rings or pastrami eggrolls), and "No Soup for You" (served with a smile, unlike those from Seinfeld's Soup Nazi). The signature sandwich here -- and the quirks continue -- is The Fuhgeddaboudit: pastrami, coleslaw, and special sauce on rye.
When was the last time you had bacon-wrapped jalapeños stuffed with cheese, beans, and guacamole? Or the last time you had bacon-wrapped jalapeños in general? Thought so. At Lola’s Mexican Cuisine in Long Beach, you’ll find from-scratch, authentic Mexican (surprise!) dishes from recipes passed down through generations, including cuetes (those bacon-wrapped peppers I just told you about), Mexico City-style guacamole, and a salsa verde that’s so good it’s made local news.