While I love cooking in our petite maison, it’s nice to get out of the kitchen every once in a while and go out for dinner.
As I mentioned recently, Long Beach is going through a renaissance. First came the artists and now the creative chefs have followed. As a result, we’ve had many a date night eating delicious food that ranges from re-invented Latin American to modern Vietnamese and classic Italian.
A few things about our tastes: We seek what I call the Diner’s Trifecta, which is good food, good service, and good design. This means we are probably every restaurateur’s biggest nightmare. Also, most of these places are in the mid-to-high price range, but you can spend less if you forego drinks.
Alright, it’s time to get to zee list. Enjoy and bon appétit!
Social List | 2105 E 4th Street, Long Beach CA, 90814
Located in the heart of the Art District, this small gastro pub offers up modern European tapas. The menu rotates but croquetas, mama’s meatballs, and the butternut squash toast are all solid favorites. Wine and beer list is all about quality over quantity so it’s hard to go wrong with a choice from their selection.
Padre | 525 E Broadway, Long Beach, CA 90802
With Chef Frank DeLoach at the helm, this place is churning out creative Latin-American inspired dishes like a modern take on lomo saltado, fried chicken tacos with watermelon salsa, and street corn in a bowl. The food is just as delicious as the artisanal cocktails made with fresh-squeezed juice.
Nick’s on 2nd | 4901 E 2nd Street, Long Beach, CA 90803
Reinvented classic American fare, like steaks, fried devil eggs, and prime rib dip, never tasted so good. Genuinely good hospitality and the cozy-yet-modern atmosphere are just icing on the cake. This restaurant is high on everyone’s list so make reservations or prepare for a 45-60 minute wait.
Saint & Second | 4828 E 2nd Street, Long Beach, CA 90803
Just across the street from Nick’s, this beautifully designed, two-story restaurant is giving them a run for their money. Choose from one of the many whiskeys lining the floor-to-ceiling wall behind the bar or order a traditional cocktail to go with your duck meatball appetizer. After that, any main dish will blow your mind. Plus, the service is just as great as the food.
Restauration | 2708 E 4th Street, Long Beach, CA 90814
Chef-driven American bistro with a creative menu that changes along with the seasons (as it should, non?). Be a rebel and choose at random from the menu because it’s all seriously good. Whatever you order, be sure to enjoy your meal in the modern farm-house atmosphere of the outside area in the back.
Pizzanista | 1837 E 7th Street, Long Beach, CA 90813
Housed in a humongous mid-century home painted midnight black, this place serves up pizza with a side of punk rock. Grab a canned craft beer from the refrigerated case, order a slice of thin-crust pizza topped with macaroni and cheese (or a margherita for the purists), and head to the back patio to devour.
Number Nine | 2118 E 4th Street, Long Beach, CA 90814
A modern take on Vietnamese food served in a friendly and casual atmosphere. The pho is made with fresh ingredients and the banh mi is stuffed with free-range meat and quick-pickled carrots. Food and service are great, but I have to admit, the white walls, succulents, and modern décor help push this place to the top of my list.
Beachwood Brewing & BBQ | 210 E 3rd Street, Long Beach, CA 90802
Prepare yourself for a food coma because the vittles here are addictively delicious. If you’re extra hungry, the pulled pork is a solid choice, but you’ll be just as happy with a few appetizers (like the fried pickles, deviled eggs, and tater tot casserole). Wash it all down with one of the house-brewed beers, I promise you won’t be disappointed.
La Parolaccia Osteria | 2945 E Broadway, Long Beach, CA 90803
A rustic Italian place where the food is pretty darn authentic for lack of a better word. The pizza? Wood-fired thin crust with the freshest toppings. The pasta? Perfectly al dente with a homemade sauce just like nonna used to make.
The Attic | 3441 E Broadway, Long Beach, CA 90803
Housed in the cutest craftsman bungalow, this restaurant serves up Southern-inspired food with a twist. Start your brunch with the bloody mary and then spring for the eggs benedict or French toast. Non-breakfast folks will love their famous mac ‘n’ cheese topped with Hot Cheetos. It’s highly suggested that you share plates as as portions are enormous.
Congregation Ale House | 201 E Broadway, Long Beach, CA 90802
Sometimes getting a burger feels like a religious experience in the holy setting of this bar slash restaurant. The stained glass and waitresses in Catholic schoolgirl outfits are the perfect back drop to all the beers on tap that you’d ever want to drink with the perfect burger and sweet potato fries.