LA's pizza scene is probably best described in three time periods. First, the post-Italian immigrant phase where only a few remaining old-school pizzerias remain. Generally scattered throughout the Valley or San Gabriel, these establishments have been serving generations of Angelenos with various styles that have stood the test of time. The next phase was the modern "gourmet" pizza period, which began with Spago and California Pizza Kitchen, and eventually saw its zenith with Pitfire, which first started slinging pies in 1996. The newest era of pizzas takes a page from the best of the Neopolitan style, then fuses it with a New American sensibility. It's what Nancy Silverton did when she opened Pizzeria Mozza in 2006, which launched a slew of new school joints that wield wood fire, quality ingredients, and consistent execution, all in a way that truly represents the culinary sensibilities of this city. Here now, presenting 25 of the Most Iconic Pizzerias in Los Angeles.Read More
A Handy Guide to 25 Iconic Pizzerias in Los Angeles
1. Pizzeria Mozza
A true California original, many people didn't call this a pizza when Nancy Silverton first pulled out pies from her wood-fired oven. But the authentic ingredients, day-to-day consistency, and innovative crust, just crisp on the edges and puffy enough to fill the dreams of any carb lover, all contributed to make Pizzeria Mozza the crux upon which all pizzadom currently stands in Los Angeles.
2. Caioti Pizza Cafe
Though not as well known because its star has since faded, Ed LaDou created this humble pizza cafe in the Valley after working in the kitchens of Spago with Wolfgang Puck. LaDou was the one who also hashed out most of the original California Pizza Kitchen concept and even invented the Barbecue Chicken Pizza, which fills commissaries and cafes around the country. The California Style Pizza would not have happened if it wasn't for the efforts of Ed LaDou.
3. Casa Bianca Pizza Pie
An Eastside classic, the Martorana family has been serving Eagle Rock denizens since 1955. The card-board like crust has its days, but at its best, the fried eggplant and sausage pizza is the one to beat. The red-checkered table ambiance filled with college students, families, and lovers, definitely helps add to the experience. Hey, even Jonathan Gold considers this one of his favorite pizzas.
4. Mulberry Street Pizzeria
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
An old-school pizzeria in the heart of Beverly Hills, Mulberry Street's pizzas are about as a thick piece of paper. If there's one pizza that image-conscious denizens of the 90210 can handle, it's one that has a near invisible crust. Despite relatively high prices, the flavors and preparation are spot on.
5. Vito's Pizza
After moving to West Hollywood, Vito really started earning the credibility as one of the best renditions of New York-style pizza in Los Angeles. Using quality ingredients and a no-fuss style, Vito's still remains one of the best slices in the city.
6. Village Pizzeria
A Larchmont classic, this San Francisco transplant has been serving this charming part of town since 1997, no small feat in a constantly changing retail environment. But the Hancock Park locals know a good pie and stick to it, especially with the fresh ingredients and righteously pulled thin crusts.
7. Pitfire Pizza
Started in 1996 by Paul Hibler and David Sanfield, the chain has melded the best elements of classics California-style with Neopolitan aspects, as well as chef-like take on topping combinations. The result is an enduring concept that sprouts in the most eager neighborhoods. And the unique design in each location definitely helps to keep the local flavor.
8. Tomato Pie Pizza Joint
An enduring local favorite, the Grandma pie garner rave reviews by GQ's Alan Richman back in the late 2000s. Landing at one of the top ten pizzas in the country, this perfectly balanced creation still manages to surprise doubters. The other pizzas are also very well prepared, and the retro-design of the place certain adds charm.
9. Folliero's Italian Food and Pizza
An old school pizzeria founded in 1968, this Highland Park icon still makes fantastic pies of the East Coast tradition. With extremely low prices and a convivial atmosphere, it's the ideal family gathering spot or college student hang.
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10. The Coop Pizza
Los Angeles, CA 90034
A humble pizzeria in Palms stays true to its East Coast roots with simple, house-made ingredients like sauce and dough, all prepared in a half-broken oven that still manages to push out sweet, doughy crusts that cradle in solid toppings. All for a very low price.
11. Petrillo's Pizza Restaurant
One of the original pizza spots to open with the influx of Italian-American immigrants into the San Gabriel Valley, this place endures because of hefty crusts that get loaded with cheese and toppings, especially the tasty pepperoni. Despite a complete shift in demographics, Petrillo's remains a family favorite.
One of the first pizzerias to insist so much on authenticity that they didn't cut the slices, Terroni's super-thin crust pies remain one of the most consistent in Mid-City. Fusing true, Italian toppings with a gentle sauce, Terroni made sure LA's pizzas weren't going to be exclusively "Californian."
13. Hard Times Pizza
Formerly on Hyperion, Hard Times is that Eastside joint that's reliable, if a bit hard to find now that it's moved. But the style is still the same: New York pies served in a no-nonsense place that caters to every weary worker that passes by. Whenever you call on Hard Times, this is the place to hit.
A newer entrant to open on the edges of the Arts District, Pizzanista captures the zeitgeist of the budding hipster enclave better than any other late night eatery. Boasting rock & roll, and very solid pies, it's hard to go wrong with the 'Nista.
15. Abbot's Pizza Company
The bagel crusts here have been serving hungry and lonely patrons for years, since 1995 in fact. The toppings are fresh and sometimes quite innovative. And there are even pizzas that feel like salads, which work perfectly for the weight-conscious Westsiders.
16. Miceli's - Hollywood
Considered the oldest Italian restaurant in Hollywood, Miceli's has been serving since 1949. While the pizzas aren't really anything to write home about anymore, the atmosphere will be sure to conjure up memories of gangster films and old-time red checkered table establishments from the East Coast.
17. Big Mama's and Papa's Pizzeria
If you didn't know about this very solid pizza joint in Hollywood already, it was immortalized by the best PR stunt ever in the most recent Academy Awards show when Ellen Degeneres ordered pizzas from here and handed them out to Hollywood A-Listers sitting in the audience. She then gave the delivery guy a $1,000 tip the next day on her show. But the pizzas, while massive, are respectably delicious.
18. Joe's Pizza
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Though the real roots of Joe's belongs in New York, the transplant's opening in Santa Monica certainly did wonders to shape the by-the-slice atmosphere on Third Street, which is generally mired by chains. Joe's Pizza is the classic crispy New York style slice that New Yorkers crave every other day.
19. Two Boots Pizza
This New York transplant nestled into the main drag of Echo Park a few years ago, only to become its most iconic, enduring pizzeria. With creative topping combinations and a cornmeal-heavy crust, Two Boots is a reliable late-night options for those coming out of The Echo.
20. Eatalian Cafe
Sporting thin crust, Neopolitan pizzas, Eatalian was the progenitor of many authentic Neopolitan-style pizzas joints that eventually opened around town. Though overshadowed mainly because of its location down in Gardena, Eatalian's newer sister up in Culver City, Enjoeat, might satisfy in the same way.
21. Zelo Pizzeria
The unique cornmeal crust at Zelo, out in far-flung Arcadia, should turn off pizza fanatics. The thick crusts, filled with unique toppings like corn, arrabiata, pesto, and wild mushrooms and served in cast-iron pans makes for quite a different pizza experience.
22. Gjelina Take Away
Los Angeles, CA
The to-go extension of Gjelina, this too-cool-for-school pizzeria and sandwich spot makes some very good pizzas, albeit at an eye-poppingly expensive price. Best enjoyed on the milk crates in the faux alley next door. There's no better Venice pizza experience, with the exception of Abbot's, of course.
23. Milo And Olive
Santa Monica, CA 90403
Retaining some of the best aspects of Mozza's crust-centric vision, Milo & Olive prepares some of the best pizzas on the Westside, thanks to fantastic toppings and a steady wood-fired crust that keeps it all together.
24. Garage Pizza
This late-night pizza joint makes very good New York style, thin-crust slices. The hipsters of Silver Lake and now Downtown are definitely fans of the punk rock-style, and it's hard to think of a better place to hit after having a few drinks at 4100 or Tiki Ti.
25. Bollini's Pizzeria Napolitana
This Neopolitan-style pizza might not be the most hardcore version to be found in L.A., the consistency of Bollini's is a sign that they're doing sometime right. The wood-fired pizzas come in a variety of toppings that will satisfy any appetite.