LONG BEACH’S TOP 15 FAVORITE RESTAURANTS
In this “Best of Long Beach Restaurants” I wanted to look at Long Beach’s favorite sit down / full service restaurants. Specifically for this list, those who are established and loved by many. This list isn’t about the hip or trendy (that list is coming). This list is about; great food, being well run, friendly service and most importantly, the test of time. That years later, they are going strong, busy, and popular destinations. Restaurants that will most likely still be Long Beach favorites in ten years.
One of the best parts of Long Beach is the loyalty we show to our local and small businesses. Once Long Beach loves you, you become a built in part of our community and culture. There are so many restaurants and business I support today, that my grandparents also frequented in their youth, hence why we are probably the littlest, big city in California. Here is the list of my Top 15 favorite full service restaurants, in no particular order.
I mean really, who has not eaten here? When I think of Long Beach staples, not many restaurants can compare to the traditional Mexican cuisine, ambiance and staff, that might as well be family. This place is so good, I often hear non Long Beach residents, saying they drive in just for them. With two locations here in Long Beach, this is a place my future grandkids will no doubt enjoy.
3229 E. Anaheim / 1144 Pine Ave.
This place is so good, plus it’s the only restaurant so nice, we asked for it twice on the same block and it still kills it. A phenomenon you wont see often. Open Sesame, a Lebanese / Mediterranean restaurant that once you’ve been, you’ll understand exactly how they have two restaurants only doors apart.
5215 2nd St
Michael’s on Naples Ristorante
Michael has redefined fine dining in Long Beach, so much so, that this Italian restaurant has jump-started a whole organization, that is not only making a huge splash throughout the entire restaurant community, but has even acquired food sourcing, and grows produce on site. These are those details Michael’s views as necessities, not extras, to ensure a consistent, high quality product.
5620 2nd St
The only sushi joint to make the list. This was difficult because we have lots of good sushi here in Long Beach, but this place stands out from the crowd. Where many of the good sushi places are strong today, they might not be here tomorrow (Sushi Studio). Kinoya is special in how they care for their guests and this shows in their very loyalty customers.
5521 Sterns St
I mean duh, right? Their BBQ is so good. A hidden little gem, that anyone who lives here already knows. If you haven’t discovered this restaurant yet, grab a group of meat eating, beer drinking friends and prepare for a great time.
4663 Long Beach Blvd
Even though I think its a funny name, they have a good story to go with it. No one can deny that people love this place, plus it has earned “best of” from multiple sources. Focusing on American food and doing a great business for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This is one of the few places I could eat all three meals there in one day.
At Last Café
Another hidden gem. I won’t hold it against you if you never knew this place was there, it’s tucked away, off all by itself. But, I will definitely judge, if you don’t go now that you know. Watching their growth and progression over the last 8-9 years has been awesome! Phenomenal traditional American lunch and dinner, a true local neighborhood restaurant.
204 Orange Ave
Yes, I realize that this is technically in Signal Hill, however, 1) This is a long time Long Beach restaurant who relocated to this address. 2) I recognize Signal Hill’s independence from Long Beach as much as England recognized the American colonies independence in 1776. This cozy and sexy wine bar and American restaurant is perfect for your next date night.
2951 Cherry Ave
Hats off to these guys. This one was an absolute no brainer. Talk about striking restaurant gold! What can I say that the huge wait and crowds of people there aren’t already saying? If you haven’t been here, I question what you’ve been doing with your life.
3441 E Broadway
Elephant Thai Kitchen
Long Beach loves its Thai food. This was one of the hardest picks on the list. Rocharin Thai, would have made the list if it were ½ a mile closer, I love May’s and Bli Plui seems to always have a steady stream of business. There are lots of tough picks, but the one that stands out above the rest, was The Elephant Kitchen.
2087 Long Beach Blvd
A modern take on Mexican cuisine in a hip and cool environment. I love how progressive they are, both with food and drinks. Did I mention their cocktails? Now with two Long Beach locations, it seems this city can’t get enough of Lola’s.
2030 4th St / 4140 Atlantic Ave
Another solid Long Beach staple. Admittedly, as much as I have always loved Tantalum, I originally questioned if they could make it, primarily because it’s a hidden and tough location. However, since JD took the role of executive chef, there has been no looking back for them. This American cuisine kills it, and their view is undeniably one of the best of any Long Beach restaurants.
6272 E PCH
I know, I know. Three Mexican restaurants and only one thai and sushi on this list. Easy there, don’t shoot the messenger. Long Beach just really loves its Mexican food, and they especially love Rivera’s. Been here forever, cutest dining room, amazing food, and caring staff, I mean there is no way this doesn’t make the list.
2901 E 7th St
Long time Long Beach favorite for live music and good Italian eats, with heavy seafood influences. This is one of those Long Beach spots, where you never know who is sitting next to you, and you’ll often find some of Long Beach’s most influential people there. Providing a unique experience, it’s easy to see how they have existed for so long.
3490 Long Beach Blvd.
Pho Hong Phat
I don’t think this list would be complete without a Pho restaurant, and this was a tough one. Again, we have tons of great Indochinese Peninsula restaurants in Long Beach. What Hong Phat lacks in ambiance, it certainly makes up for in authentic quality food and longevity. Pho is trending right now and Long Beach has seen a surge of these restaurants, but if I’m being honest, once the trend has past…Hong Phat will still be here, serving great pho.
3243 E Anaheim