Discover the Pizza Scene in Los Angeles, Where Pizza Styles Collide and Chefs Showcase Their Creativity
Los Angeles has become a hotbed for pizza innovation, showcasing a golden era of this beloved dish. In recent years, the city has embraced various regional American pizza styles, including New York, Chicago, Detroit, and Neapolitan, as well as hybrid creations that draw inspiration from local farmers. The result is a pizza scene that offers an astounding range of flavors and textures to suit every pizza lover’s preferences.
1. Apollonia’s Pizzeria (Mid-Wilshire)
When the national pizza scene shifted its focus to the rectangular Detroit-style pie, Los Angeles native Justin De Leon seized the opportunity. His version of the Detroit-style pizza, introduced in 2018, quickly gained popularity for its lacy, heat-blasted cheese borders and rich layers of ingredients. While the square pies are not on the menu, they can be found by checking Apollonia’s Instagram account for availability. Don’t miss out on their thin round pies, like “the Dirty Agent,” a white pie with slivers of red onion, Roma tomato, and duck-bacon sauces.
2. Blackbird Pizza Shop (Fairfax)
While some may despise Chicago-style deep dish, Blackbird Pizza Shop celebrates it. Opened by Luis Ulloa in 2017, this Melrose Avenue hangout offers tall, biscuity crusts with a moat of molten cheese and a top layer of chunky tomato sauce. The signature version, made with flattened meatballs, is a must-try. Ulloa also creates thin-crust pies with combinations like bacon, asparagus, and goat cheese, or speck, pineapple, and piquillo peppers, each vying for your attention.
3. Brandoni Pepperoni (Culver City)
Brandon Gray, a former chef at renowned establishments such as Providence and Trois Mec, started his pizza pop-up in 2020. Currently operating out of Bar & Garden wine shop in Culver City, Gray and his team offer crackery thin crusts topped with farmers market bounty. For example, their Steady Mobbin pie features arugula pesto, corn kernels, lemon ricotta, roasted zucchini, and artful squash blossoms. Gray’s skill extends to fruit crostatas, like the buckwheat crust filled with farmers cheese custard and nectarines.
4. Dtown Pizzeria (Canoga Park)
Ryan Ososky’s rendition of the puffed, rectangular, cheese-fringed Detroit pizza is the closest you’ll find in Los Angeles. His traditional take includes a highly meltable cheese mix, including nutty-sweet brick cheese from Wisconsin, spread over blue steel pans. The caramelized edges provide a satisfying crunch before you delve into the airy center. Ososky also experiments with creative variations, like a brunch pizza with bacon jam and eggs. You can find his pizzas at the ambitious food hall, Topanga Social.
5. Friends & Family Pizza Co. (Fairfax)
Known for their incredible pastries and morning treats, pastry chef Roxana Jullapat and chef Daniel Mattern have ventured into the pizza world. Located at the Original Farmers Market, their pizza counter offers delicious slices of pizza that reheat to a perfect crispness. Try their rapini-sausage pizza or the one with Taleggio cheese balanced with potato, both bursting with flavor.
6. Ghisallo (Santa Monica)
At Ghisallo, executive chef David Rodriguez and his team excel in two pizza styles: thin, chewy, Neapolitan-inspired pies made to order and wide, crisper New York-style slices on display. With Rodriguez’s experience at Pizzana, you can expect delightful variations like the cacio e pepe with garlic confit and ricotta. Enjoy your pizza in their serene backyard patio or take a few slices to nearby Santa Monica’s Ocean View Park.
7. Hail Mary Pizza (Atwater Village)
For a calm Monday night dinner, head to Hail Mary Pizza in Atwater Village. The earthy atmosphere matches the pies made with dough fortified with whole wheat flour. Tear off a hunk of crust straight from the oven for a comforting experience. Check their blackboard for their latest creations, like the brown butter-braised pineapple pizza with honey ham, pickled jalapenos, and honey. And don’t miss out on their classic cheese pizza, “The Beatrix.”
8. La Morra Pizzeria (Valley Glen)
Zach Swemle and Marlee Blodgett of La Morra Pizzeria are known for their ever-evolving business strategies. Their puffed, skillfully charred, Neapolitan-adjacent pies are worth seeking out. Currently, they operate a pickup and delivery location in Valley Glen, where you can savor their stand-up vegan Margherita or their raclette and roasted garlic pizza with sliced Yukon golds and rosemary.
9. La Sorted’s Pizza (Silver Lake)
Look for the Dodger-blue sign in the Silver Lake strip mall, where Tommy Brockert’s pizzeria made its mark in 2020. Brockert’s naturally leavened dough gives his pies a pleasing sourdough tang. Don’t miss the Ina pizza, coated with spicy vodka sauce and topped with provolone, mozzarella, pecorino, and fresh basil. You should also try his Upside-Down Mamba pizza, with its lacy layer of cheese, reminiscent of a quesotaco.
10. Little Coyote (Long Beach)
Jonathan Strader and Jack Leahy bring the spirit of East Coast pizza parlors to Long Beach with their wide, bubbled perimeters and crusts that crunch and droop for easy folding. While they offer zany ingredient combinations, the pepperoni pie and veggie supreme remain crowd favorites. Try their version of grandma pie, which features billowy crusts similar to Sicilian slices, and pair it with a bottle of Matthiasson “Tendu” Red Blend.