Long Beach is famous for the permanently docked RMS Queen Mary, the Aquarium of the Pacific, and several other waterfront features.
Part of these includes a long stretch of sandy beaches and the second busiest container port in the US.
The city also hosts various events, like the IndyCar and Grand Prix of Long Beach. All these activities bring tons of people into town, and where there are people, restaurants pop up naturally.
If you are in town and are looking to tickle your taste buds, the city is home to several restaurants serving cuisines from all over the world, ranging from Italian to Greek to Thai. When looking for a place to eat, there are a few factors you may need to consider.
For me, a good restaurant needs to have a mix of great ambiance, delicious food, and excellent service. Check out my list of the best restaurants in Long Beach, which are also some of my favorite spots.
101 Pine Ave, Long Beach, CA 90802
Located in the heart of downtown Long Beach, L’Opera’s architecture is as striking as its cuisine. It’s often called “The Best Italian Restaurant in Long Beach” by critics and customers alike.
As a fine dining restaurant, the joint presents itself as the ideal location for anniversary dinners and date nights.
However, you need to make reservations, and the opening hours start from 4.00 PM to 10 PM on Sundays to Fridays, but the closing time extends to 11 PM on Saturdays.
Their Mango flavored panna cotta, with fresh mango chutney and ginger syrup, blew me away, especially when paired with their choice of wine pairing, Fagher Le Colture Valdobbiadene Spumante NV.
2710 E 4th St, Long Beach, CA 90814
Since they use authentic organic and regional ingredients, Gusto Bread is the go-to joint for freshly baked pastries in Long Beach.
Opening Wednesday to Sunday from 8 AM, friendly owners Arturo Enciso and Ana Belén Salantino are usually around when you pass by and make a point to make you feel right at home.
Arturo bakes his bread and pastries naturally leavened without yeast but with pancake butter sourdough starter – masa madre – fed with bread flour.
I happened to visit during their “Holiday and Daily Specials” season, which occurs in October up to Dia de Los Muertos, and I was not disappointed.
I recommend trying the sourdough pan de Muerto brushed with syrup as it comes out of the oven, then rolled in cinnamon sugar. It just might be the best pastry I’ve ever had!
3201 E Anaheim St, Long Beach, CA 90804
Fresh Seafood, Good Vibes is how I’d describe this particular joint. A&J’s is open from 11 AM to 8 PM Monday to Sunday and is a great place to bring friends along to dine in or even take away.
If you happen to pass by this place with a healthy appetite, I recommend trying the Fried Whole Squid. It comes with small and large options battered and fried to crispy goodness!
However, I suggest trying the Grilled Khmer Sausage, otherwise known as Kwa Kho, for the adventurous soul. It includes hand-chopped beef, garlic, galangal, and spices served with rice and pickled veggies.
My personal favorite was the Garlic Shrimp which, unlike the typical Oahu’s North Shore Shrimp, is loaded with fresh jumbo shrimp, caramelized garlic, spices, and sweet butter.
2945 E Broadway, Long Beach, CA 90803
Absolutely a customer favorite, La Parolaccia Osteria is one of the busiest restaurants in all of Long Beach, so be sure to make a reservation first. I found the strict 1hr 30-minute time limit for dining during busy evenings a tad restrictive, so that’s a bummer.
On food, the restaurant serves lunch, dinner, catering, and in-house party menus and can host a banquet space for 20-30 people for their Private Parties.
If you and your friends/colleagues are curious to find out what the buzz about La Parolaccia’s Italian cuisine is about, start by ordering the Bruschetta as an appetizer and the Half Tray Lasagna for a party of 10. Bellissima!
4901 2nd St, Long Beach, CA 90803
Nick’s restaurant is a personal favorite because it gave me a one-of-a-kind dining experience. Located on 2nd street between Park Avenue and Grenada Avenue, this food joint is easily accessible and is an excellent place to hang out.
It also seems to be a customer favorite, ranking at 4.5 stars on Trip Advisor, with a customer stating it is “definitely worth the ranking.”
The Original Ribeye Melt has a special place in my heart out of all their mouth-watering selections. It is soft and tender and served with Swiss cheese, red wine onions, mustard bacon sauce, and parmesan sourdough.
Open from 11 AM to 10 PM daily, they primarily work with reservations but allow walk-in customers.
975 E 4th St, Long Beach, CA 90802
Immediately you step into Seabird’s, you notice the friendly staff as they greet you at the entrance.
The simple action got me to relax and made me feel grateful to have chosen to eat at this particular vegan restaurant, which is ironically just across MacDonald’s.
With Indoor and Patio Dining, this joint is ideal for dates for vegan couples or couples looking for a change of taste.
The menu has a diverse selection of vegan cuisines, and I loved their tacos, specifically the one with grilled mushrooms.
121 W 4th St, Long Beach, CA 90802
It’s a Thursday night, and you’re trying to grab a cold beer and maybe some pizza with the boys after a long office day but are wondering where to go? Look no further than the 4th Horseman.
Open until 11 PM and located in Walker Building Lofts, the 4th Horseman is easily accessible and, therefore, convenient for all.
They are famous for their craft beer, wine, and specialty pizzas doled out in offbeat surrounds with a dark, dystopian theme. You will get great vibes and a night to remember.
555 E Ocean Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90802
East American has proudly been Long Beach’s favorite Steakhouse since 1983. Located on Ocean Boulevard, the restaurant is easy to get to and often gets filled with loyal customers, me being one of them!
Their menu selections include Baked Goat Cheese with Roasted Garlic, New England Clam Chowder, and Pasta & Chicken.
Ensure you reserve a table in advance so as not to miss an opportunity of experiencing this restaurant and come hungry, ready to stuff your belly!
5620 2nd St, Long Beach, CA 90803
Michael’s on Naples is well known for fine Italian cuisine and extensive wine options in a sophisticated setting.
There is rooftop seating, but when alone or with friends, try to snag a seat at the bar during their happy hour, which they have seven days a week.
Michaels had a Rose Champagne brunch on August 31 last year that I happened to attend with a friend.
I had two different Rose Champagnes and one Champagne cocktail. The fun was learning more about each Rose Champagne at each refill.
As for the food, we ordered zucchini flowers and lamb chops. Though expensive, they were delicious.
149 Linden Ave Ste e, Long Beach, CA 90802
I love Thai food to the extent that I would eat mediocre Thai food only for the flavors. However, the food at Thai District was by no means mediocre.
Both owners, Tye and Andre, have 50 years of experience bringing the most authentic Thai flavors to life.
The tiny kitchen can be seen from the stairs and has baskets of spices and chilies hanging to dry, adding to the overall impression that these people are serious about making great food. Also, the desserts are sublime, so leave some room for them!
The only disappointment is that they don’t do deliveries, making it inconvenient on busy days, but they have a pickup option. Also, they close on Mondays but remain open from Tuesday to Sunday.
210 The Promenade N, Long Beach, CA 90802
The Ordinaire is a warm, wood-clad tavern serving hearty American cuisine alongside beer, wine & cocktails. Located at the Promenade, it’s the ideal place to pass by after work with a few colleagues.
The bar spots beautiful works of art with images inspired by the 1800s that teleport you to another century.
The best time to visit this pub would be on Sundays as they have live music. They also include Happy hour in their offers on weekdays, and it usually starts at 5 PM.
285 E 3rd St, Long Beach, CA 90802
When I first stepped into Ammatoli, I fell in love with the space. The restaurant has tasteful decor featuring large arc-shaped mirrors and hanging lights in the indoor and outdoor dining areas.
The food itself is delicious and moderately priced, with generous portions in each serving. It helps that the owners, Sam and Dima Habibeh, ensure that the cuisine stays authentic to its Mediterranean origins.
You must try their pistachio ice cream and fresh figs in a filo bed topped with cotton candy and sprinkled with dried rose petals and pistachio. Their Turkish coffee is also quite good.
204 Orange Ave, Long Beach, CA 90802
Located in Orange Avenue, Ellie’s is a Southern Italian-inspired restaurant run by chef and owner Jason Witzl. It is a stylish and energetic restaurant serving modern Southern Italian cuisine and features a roomy patio as the sitting area.
It is a family-friendly joint, so feel free to bring your children along for lunch or dinner. I’m a sucker for a good risotto, and Ellie’s Risotto Carbonara did not disappoint. They also have shared options in the Brunch section, which is always a welcome suggestion.
Proudly owned by Jimmy Loizides, this cafe offers an authentic tour of Greek cuisine and cultural experience. The experience includes hearty Greek staples dished up in a casual setting with large murals & weekly belly-dancing shows.
Opening hours for this café are from 11.30 AM to 9 PM with Happy hour starting from 7 PM. The cafe is very inclusive as they offer vegan and vegetarian options to suit everyone.
I highly recommend the Tzatziki with Greek Yogurt, Olive Oil, Fresh Garlic, Dried Mint, and Chopped Cucumber. It’s a delight with every bite.
435 Shoreline Village Drive, Long Beach, CA 90802
Located in Shoreline Village, Parker’s Lighthouse provides a relaxed venue serving mesquite-grilled seafood, sushi & steaks, plus live music & an extensive wine list.
With an wide array of fish to work with, all delivered daily from local suppliers, they create inspiring dishes, often using fresh wild Alaskan fish and Hawaii’s freshest fish caught locally.
The location is also the first restaurant to participate in the Aquarium of the Pacific’s Seafood for the Future program, serving various seafood dishes.
Parker’s Lighthouse opening times vary from lunch to dinner, but they provide daily access to a lounge that opens by 11.30 AM.
You can contact them to plan various events, such as Valentine’s specials and birthdays. You bring the party, and they will provide the space.
300 The Promenade N, Long Beach, CA 90802
Portuguese Bend Distilling is more than just a restaurant. As the name suggests, it is a grain-to-glass distillery and was the first one in Long Beach, producing a few varieties of gin, rum, and vodka.
The experience is unique because they offer tours, tastings, and events. I enjoyed tasting their award-winning liquor and learning about their production process, which involves sourcing ingredients locally and using sustainable practices.
Back to the restaurant, and you can tell the culinary experience pays homage to early American cuisine.
I felt like trying some chicken and picked the Nashville spicy chicken. You will get some pretty good deals from 3 – 6 PM every Tuesday to Friday during happy hour.
If you visit during the weekend, they offer brunch from 12 – 3 PM on Saturday and 11 AM to 3 PM on Sunday. They don’t open on Mondays, so keep that in mind.
445 E 1st St, Long Beach, CA 90802
Located at the epicenter of the artistic and culinary worlds in Long Beach’s Arts district, Utopia gives the perfect world-class ambiance to whet your appetite and tantalize your senses.
Whether you decide to dine indoors or on the outdoor patio, the vibe is classy and lively but casual and low-key at the same time. Therefore, you can dress up or down and still feel at home.
I went casual and had the Cordero lamb chops while on the outdoor patio. I was not disappointed.
The street parking meter is free after 6 PM, so you can get there before happy hour ends at 7 PM to get free parking and 20% off select items.
Utopia also offers Valentine’s dinner menu with a 3-course meal that will fill your tummies and make your night. They close on Sundays, though, which is a bummer.
Long Beach expanded my palate to food that I usually wouldn’t have thought about twice. The city made me experience some of the tastiest meals I’ve ever had, and I hope that you will get to experience them for yourself as well when you visit.
You should also check out the cool brunch spots while in town to get a taste of everything. If I left any restaurant out of this list, make sure you leave a comment, and I’ll check it out!