As a native New Yorker I know it’s hard to find the pizza I grew up with anywhere but NYC.
In some ways I suppose the memories of a childhood are impossible to compete with, but here’s a hard-to-believe truth: You can totally find amazing pizza in Los Angeles, as long as you know what to look for and where to look for it.
A lot of folks just focus on New York style pizza and get disappointed, but L.A. has plenty of other varieties you should try. Make-your-own, fancy, not-so-fancy, thin-crust, deep-dish and, of course, vegan.
So if you’re looking for a new pizza spot or just want to try a place you’ve never been to before, check out our handy list of the best in L.A. (presented in no particular order, numbered only for reference).
This Pico-Robertson spot is underground — literally. Sotto is located underneath Picca on Pico Boulevard, but word of its amazingly flavorful pizzas has reached far above ground. Why should you go for the pizzas on Sotto’s menu? The consensus is that the dough is incredible and pie options are unique, take the Guanciale pie for example, it’s topped with house-cured pork cheek, ricotta, scallions and fennel pollen.
2. Jon & Vinny’s
Ever since this Fairfax restaurant opened last year, folks can’t stop talking about Jon & Vinny’s and its delicious Italian dishes and pizza pies. Popular pizzas at this hot spot include the White Lightening (with pickled jalapeno), El Chaparrito (with chorizo), and L.A. Woman (with local burrata cheese).
3. Pizzeria Mozza
Nancy Silverton and Mario Batali’s beloved Hancock Park pizzeria’s extensive menu of gourmet pies have Angelenos singing Pizzeria Mozza’s praises. The comprehensive menu includes pizzas with fennel sausage, eggs, Yukon Gold potatoes, bacon, Priscuitto di Parma, and so much more. And if you’re there for a weekday lunch, you must check out their $20 Bar Special, which includes a glass of wine.
4. DeSano Pizza Bakery
Looking for authentic Neapolitan pizza? The pies made in DeSano Pizza Bakery’s 900-degree wood-burning ovens from Naples will do the trick for that craving. Favorites inlcude the classic Margherita, the lasagna pizza, and bianca pie.
Renowned for their incredible pastas, this Downtown Italian restaurant also has pizzas that will blow your mind. Fan favorites include the Burrata pie (with San Marzano tomatoes, Castelvetrano olives, and fermented chilies) and the Alla’nduja pizza (with housemade spicy ‘nduja, black cabbage, and fennel pollen).
[RELATED: The 21 Best Places to Eat in Downtown L.A.]
6. Prime Pizza
If you’re feeling like having a regular ol’ slice and a coke, this Fairfax pizza joint brings a New York-style special to L.A. You can get two cheese slices and a soda for $6 (that deal sounds a lot like NYC) or you can get a delicious pie of their classic pizzas, like cheese, pepperoni, and barbecue chicken.
7. Gjelina Take Away
This hot spot on Abbott Kinney is a favorite of regular Angelenos and celebs like Beyonce and Jay-Z. Their take away shop next door is just as popular, especially its menu of over 15 pizza choices. Popular picks include the mushroom, squash blossom, and Gruyere.
8. 800 Degrees
At 800 Degrees’ various locations, building your own pizza never tasted so good. Or you could just go with the proven specialty pies on their menu, like the Quattro Formaggi, spicy meatball, and Angry Bee (soppressata, garlic, honey, and Caribbean chiles). OR you can just order the $5 Instagram special — that’s right, $5 for an entire pizza pie.
9. Hollywood Pies
Enough about New York-style pizza; let’s talk about Chicago deep dish. This Mid-City pizzeria on Pico Boulevard boasts authentic deep dish pies on its menu, but when you order, remember that this kind of love takes time. Patrons report that the pies are about a 45-minute wait, but it’s worth every minute.
10. Love & Salt
The venerable Manhattan Beach California-inspired Italian restaurant has many amazing pasta dishes, but let’s talk about Love & Salt’s renowned wood oven pizzas. Patrons go crazy for the duck egg pie with pancetta, panna, potato, rosemary, mozzarella and Parmesan. Other popular pizzas include the tomato pie and the pepperoni pizza.
11. Prova Pizzeria
Prova brings its 100-year-old pizza recipe to West Hollywood, which its owners declare to be “the art of pizza.” The restaurant serves up yummy pies with and without tomato sauce, like the “La Vito” (which comes with Pistachios), the “Vesuvio” (which is enough for two people), and gluten-free pies.
12. The Coop Pizza
Looking for that old school pizzeria? For forty years, it’s been tucked away on National Boulevard in Palms, right across from the 10 and what will soon be the Palms Metro station. The Coop is cash only, and mostly serves delivery and take-out orders — but there is an ATM at the liquor store next door, just FYI. You can get your pizza on by the slice or in small, medium, or large pies with various toppings.
13. Town Pizza
Vegan pizza — that word combination doesn’t always conjure up deliciousness in people’s minds, but that’s only because they haven’t been to this Highland Park eatery. Town Pizza’s unique menu of signature pizzas has something for everyone: meat, veggies, vegan and gluten-free! The pies even have creative names like “The Fig and the Pig” (prosciutto, fig and fried sage with mozzarella on a garlic olive oil base) and “Beauty and the Beet” (Garlic olive oil base, mozzarella, roasted garlic, goat cheese, beets & ricotta cheese, topped with fresh organic arugula).
14. Abbot’s Pizza Co.
Of course, pizza on Abbott Kinney Boulevard is going to have its own flair, and this Venice pizza joint certainly does. Abbot’s pies and slices come on a bagel crust (seriously) and you can choose from pizzas like Five Onion (with five kinds of actual onion), goat cheese, chicken curry, Popeye’s chicken, and the salad pizza.
15. Tomato Pie Pizza Joint
With locations in Silverlake, Melrose Avenue, and South Pasadena, Tomato Pie offers pizza by the slice and pies made-to-order in medium, large, and gluten-free. Menu options range from the simple — the “Grandma” Margherita and the “Mr. White” Bianco — to the little bit more complex, like the Syracuse-style hot wing and the Pesto pie.
16. Lamonica’s New York Pizza
Located in the heart of Westwood, Lamoncia’s has been serving up slices for more than three decades and is the only joint on this list that claims to import their dough directly from Brooklyn (and dough really does make all the difference). For the late-night eaters, make sure you take advantage of the $9 after 9pm deal (gets you a large 17″ pie) available daily, and all-day Sunday.
What’s do you consider to be the best pizza in Los Angeles? Let us know in the comments below!