The Best Pizzas in Los Angeles

From traditional pies to pizza by the ounce

Pepperoni pizza at Cosa Buona

 |  Photo:  Joshua Lurie

Pizza is the perfect comfort food - it’s easy to eat, hearty, oozing with gooey cheese and often customizable with a bevy of tempting toppings. Pizza means many things to different people, including thin-crust, New York-style; deep-dish Chicago pies; and chewy, traditional Neapolitan versions. Any way you slice it, narrowing down a list of top pizzas is no easy task, especially considering our boom in high-quality restaurants. That said, we’re up to the challenge. Discover the best pizzas in Los Angeles.

Triple Beam Pizza

 |  Photo: Joshua Lurie

Triple Beam Pizza



Wine pro Randy Clement and chef Matt Molina were hired two days apart at Campanile, L.A.’s late, great bastion for Cal-Italian cuisine. Years later, they’re re-teamed with mentor Nancy Silverton (now of Mozza fame) on Triple Beam Pizza in Highland Park. Silverton wanted to serve Roman-style pizza for years, and finally got the chance with her long-time colleagues. Long and lean slabs bake in a four-deck Polin gas oven, resulting in crispy crusts with good chew. Pizza ($0.95 to $1.50 per ounce) is cut and weighed to order. Cartoon hands over the counter instruct customers to “Show Us How Much Pizza You’d Like” ranging from I’m Hungry (3-5 oz.) to I’m Very Hungry (6-8 oz.) and I’m Really Hungry (9 oz.). Pizzas are made using non-GMO flour, local DiStefano mozzarella, and organic Dinapoli tomatoes. In addition to classic Margherita, you’ll find combos like wild nettles with mozzarella, Fontina, and borage flowers; and crumbled sausage with mozzarella, spicy farm greens, onion, panna, and fennel pollen. Clement and wife/partner April Langford also run Highland Park Wine next door.

Margherita Pizza at Pizzana

 |  Photo: Joshua Lurie

Pizzana - Brentwood



Sprinkles Cupcakes founders Candace and Charles Nelson teamed with Chris and Caroline O'Donnell on Pizzana, a sleek Neapolitan-style pizzeria in Brentwood. They hired Naples-born chef Daniele Uditi to preside over a black-tiled, wood-burning oven that devours white oak. Pizza is clearly the star, with pliable two-day fermented dough singed in all the right places. Organic, stone-ground flour, San Marzano tomatoes and fior di latte mozzarella all come from Italy. Their classic Margherita is fantastic, but Pizzana excels with atypical toppings. Pignatiello comes loaded with rich shredded beef “Sunday gravy,” fior di latte, Parmigiano crema, and basil. Bianca is another beautifully balanced marvel that combines fior di latte, panna, crumbled fennel sausage, raw shaved fennel, and red onion. Pizzana also serves crave-worthy specials. Pounce if they have cacio e pepe featuring sharp Parmigiano Reggiano and cracked black pepper.

Alla'nduja Pizza at Bestia | Instagram by @tanisgrice

Bestia



Located in a massive Arts District warehouse space adjacent to the L.A. River, Bestia (meaning “beast” in Italian) opened in late 2012 and quickly became one of the hottest tables in town, with reservations booked six to eight weeks in advance. Italian food lovers come for the house-made pastas and charcuterie, but also for the Neapolitan-style pizzas that have become a pet project of chef Ori Menashe. The former Angelini Osteria toque refined his dough-making process over a few months - what was once a 24-hour cycle of fermentation has evolved into three full days. The result is a more consistent, puffier crust. While the menu changes daily, the pizzas remain fairly constant. One of Bestia's most famous dishes, the Alla'nduja Pizza was on the opening menu and is still renowned as one of the best pizzas in L.A.

Pepperoni pizza at Cosa Buona

 |  Photo: Joshua Lurie

Cosa Buona



Cosa Buona is Zach Pollack’s compact 45-seat Echo Park follow-up to sister restaurant Alimento. At the busiest intersection in the 90026 zip code, Pollack super-charges Italian-American classics. Pizza is way better than a neighborhood restaurant has a right to be, with crust that’s char-pocked and pull-apart after cooking in a wood-burning Stefano Ferrara oven. The version with crispy-cupped pepperoni discs, tomato, mozzarella, and Parmigiano-Reggiano is great. So is the spicy sausage pizza with mozzarella, mustard greens, and chile. Cosa Buona even manages to elevate Hawaiian pizza, transforming the kitschy ham and pineapple combo from a punch line to a modern classic by incorporating house-made Canadian bacon, onion, chilies, and smoked mozzarella.

The DeSano at DeSano Pizza Bakery | Photo: @california_travel_and_eats, Instagram

DeSano Pizza Bakery



Located in East Hollywood, DeSano Pizza Bakery features four massive, 10,000-pound ovens named after Italian saints: San Felice, San Paolino, San Gennaro and San Matteo. The wood-fired, 900-degree ovens produce Neapolitan-style pizzas with ingredients like San Marzano D.O.P tomatoes and Mozzarella di Bufala that are sourced from Campania in southern Italy. Pizza highlights include the namesake DeSano (sausage, pepperoni, garlic, buffalo mozzarella), the San Gennaro (San Marzano tomato sauce, sausage, peppadews, garlic, caramelized onions, scamorza, mozzarella di bufala, pecorino romano), a classic Margherita D.O.P. (San Marzano tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, basil, garlic). Pair your pie with a selection of local craft brews or Italian and California red and white wines. The expansive 7,000 square-foot space offers picnic-style communal tables in the main dining room, ideal for watching the pizza-making action from the open kitchen.

Breakfast pizza at Jon & Vinny's

 |  Photo: Joshua Lurie

Jon and Vinny’s



Pizza fans don't have to wait until lunch to get their fix at Jon & Vinny's, the Italian American eatery opened in April 2015 by chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo (Animal, Son of a Gun, et al.). The intimate, 45-seat space features a spare interior that's fronted by glass, with an open kitchen, floor-to-ceiling blonde wood, and a boutique wine shop, Helen’s, tucked in the back.

Open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Jon & Vinny’s serves a hearty breakfast pizza with Yukon gold potatoes, rosemary, olive oil, Parmesan, and red onion, topped with a single egg. Add the optional grilled Niman Ranch bacon to really make it a breakfast of champions. Other pizza highlights include the LA Woman (local burrata, tomato, basil, olive oil, sea salt), Ham & Yeezy (ham, vodka sauce, red onion, caciocavallo, smoked mozzarella, pickled fresno chilies), and the colorful Flower Child, made with local crescents, red onion, caciocavallo, smoked mozzarella and pickled fresno chilies.

Deep dish pizza with house-made sausage and giardiniera at Masa | Photo by Tara de Lis

Masa of Echo Park Bakery & Cafe



Compared to other types of pizza, Chicago-style, deep-dish pizza pie is more of a rarity in Los Angeles. But thanks to two homesick Chicagoans, Echo Park has embraced it since 2004. Husband-and-wife team Rhonda Reynolds and Rob Rowe christened Masa of Echo Park as an ode to the signature base of the pizza, the cornmeal crust - Reynolds jokes that “dough of Echo Park” wasn’t as catchy. Rowe has worked in kitchens since he was a teenager, including pizza restaurants in Chicago. There are two main things to know about deep dish pizza. The layering is different - the sauce goes on top of the cheese, and other toppings are either interspersed between the two or, like the house-made fennel sausage, are on the very top. Secondly, the baking time is longer, about 45 minutes. Ingredients like the Scala’s giardiniera (pickled vegetables and peppers) are sourced from Chicago.

Mixed Mushroom pizza at Milo and Olive | Photo: Tara de Lis

Milo and Olive



Milo and Olive is, first and foremost, a bakery. In fact, the location was originally sought out simply as a larger space to do the breads for owners Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan’s other restaurants, Rustic Canyon and Huckleberry. When they stumbled on a space with a second kitchen and seating, the game plan changed to fulfill a secondary wish: bringing a new type of hybrid California pizza to the Westside that playfully riffs on a variety of inspirations. Specifically, they wanted one that traveled well, which ruled out traditional Neapolitan. Nathan went to work creating a “bread-type crust [that] bakes slower at a lower heat … with a mix of different flours and grains.” Among the favorites are the crispy pepperoni and the mixed mushroom, as well as seasonal pizza, such as one that incorporates Texas sweet onions and finocchiona salami.

Margherita pizzas at Olio GCM Wood Fired Pizzeria

 |  Photo: Joshua Lurie

Olio GCM Wood Fired Pizzeria



Brad Kent trained at CIA and worked for chefs like Charlie Palmer and Joachim Splichal before opening the first Olio Wood Fired Pizzeria in 2010. Kent opened Olio GCM Wood Fired Pizzeria at the landmark Grand Central Market in 2014. Located in the heart of the bustling food market, Olio GCM features an eat-at counter with adjoining table seating. The Stefano Ferrara oven yields hand-stretched 10-inch wood-fired pizzas and wood-fired appetizers like Brussels sprouts and shishito peppers. Customers can customize their pizzas with Olio's market-fresh ingredients, or order combos like the signature Margherita Plus, made with local fresh burrata cheese (creamy mozzarella), tomato sauce, fresh basil, and basil-infused extra virgin olive oil. Another favorite is the Wild Mushrooms & Crispy Prosciutto - roasted shiitake, oyster and cremini mushrooms, smoked prosciutto, three cheese blend and garlic pesto. The menu also offers made-to-order salads and a selection of craft beers on tap.

La Bianca pizza at Pizzeria Il Fico | Photo: Tara de Lis

Pizzeria Il Fico



Located on one of the quieter stretches of Robertson Boulevard, in the longtime home of Michel Richard Patisserie, this warm and inviting eatery draws its inspiration from the Puglia region of Italy. Though the menu extends way beyond pizza, there’s a reason it’s mentioned in the name and is an essential part of the Il Fico experience. Ask any waiter for a recommendation, and the likely response will be the La Bianca, a thin-crusted concoction from the wood-burning oven that comes with Parma prosciutto, mozzarella, zucchini flowers, artichokes and burrata. Note that vegan cheese can be substituted, and gluten-free crusts are available, although those pizzas are cooked in a separate, non-wood-burning oven.

Squash Blossoms, Tomato & Burrata Pizza at Pizzeria Mozza | Photo: @eva.on.eats, Instagram

Pizzeria Mozza



It’s hard to remember a time before Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza, let alone before L.A. had been turned on to Neapolitan-style pizza. While Pizzeria Mozza wasn’t the first to serve it, the buzz it generated was game changing - not surprising since co-owner/pastry chef Nancy Silverton launched an artisanal bread revolution when she opened La Brea Bakery in 1989. This is the kind of place where it’s not unusual to see people eating the naan-like pizza backwards, starting with the crust and working their way inward toward the juicy center. Some of the menu’s greatest hits include pizza with fennel sausage, panna, mozzarella, red onions and scallions; and squash blossoms, tomato and burrata.

Photo: Prime Pizza

Prime Pizza



Prime Pizza is a New York-style pizza joint that opened on Fairfax in October 2014, followed by a second location in Little Tokyo at the end of 2017. A collaboration between Jason Bernstein, James Starr (Golden State and Cofax) and Zak Fishman (Bludso’s), Prime Pizza offers thin crust slices and whole 20-inch pies. Standouts include the classic pepperoni and the house-made sausage with mozzarella, bell peppers and red onion. Don’t miss the addictive garlic knots with a side of marinara - crisp on the outside, soft and chewy inside, and dripping with garlicky olive oil. Delivery is available for Fairfax locals to get their pizza fix. For night owls, both locations of Prime Pizza are open until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Bianca Pizza at Vivace Pizzeria Truck

 |  Photo: Joshua Lurie

Vivace



Vivace is an eye-popping food truck that chef-owner Erik Vose crafted from a shipping container, no doubt patterned after famed San Francisco truck, Del Popolo. The exhibition kitchen features a flame-red dome oven from Naples-based Mario Acunto that burns white oak and produces Neapolitan style pizza with naturally leavened dough and a 200-year-old sourdough starter. 10-12 inch pies tout fire-pocked crusts with good pull. A blackboard menu typically lists at least three options. Starting with Bianca, a savory white pie topped with olive oil, garlic, basil, Gaeta olives, and mozzarella. Spicy pepperoni with singed cups joins tomato sauce, chile flakes, and mozzarella. Margherita is a constant classic topped with traditional tomato sauce, basil, and mozzarella. No matter what pizza you order, consider a side of ranch dressing to dip for just a dollar.

For updated info on Vivace stops such as The Row DTLA, LACMA, and Abbot Kinney First Fridays, visit www.vivace.la.

Half corn & half chorizo pizza at Zelo Pizzeria | Instagram by @theeternaleater

Zelo Pizzeria



Though it’s also made with a cornmeal-crust base, it would be erroneous to compare Zelo to Chicago-style, deep-dish pizza. This pizza is its own beast entirely. The thickness of the crust makes it surprisingly easy to pick up. The cooks use a thick chef’s knife instead of a traditional slicer to separate the pieces, otherwise the cheese becomes too messy due to multiple passes. While all of the pizzas on the menu employ the same base, only the signature corn pizza comes topped with corn, along with red onions marinated in balsamic, smoked mozzarella and chives. Weekly pizza specials may involve anything from goat cheese to andouille sausage. All pizzas are available by the slice, and any size can be ordered only partially baked, to be finished at home.