477 Forest Avenue
Laguna Beach, California 92651
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Happy #NationalPizzaDay everyone!
To celebrate this glorious holiday accordingly, I did a crazy crawl eating some the best pizza all around Laguna Beach. We, at Visit Laguna Beach highly recommend you do the same; you know, to properly honor this amazing comfort food in all its various forms, shapes, and sizes.
I started my crawl at the Laguna Beach newcomer we mentioned back in October. Now this baby has grown up and come into full swing using their fantastic dough recipe and 7,000lb. Italian import oven primed and churning out fantastic (large) personal pies daily. Slice offers creative classics, daily specials, as well as the ability to build the personal pizza of your dreams. They even have a “pay as you pour” beer and wine wall, where you’re given a wristband, a glass, and free reign to drink and taste all their options. What are you waiting for? Head on over there and start this tour with me!
Next stop is the quintessentially romantic Italian restaurant: Alessa by Chef Pirrozi. Before being seated, I was greeted with a warm “ciao” and pure Italian vibes. After ordering the Burrata e Melenzane Pizza, bread and salsa verde arrived at the table, which are both made fresh every morning and not to be ignored. Chef Pirozzi prides himself in using fresh ingredients, including herbs right from his own garden, and that truly shines through in the pies. I immediately smelled the fresh basil wafting as it came to the table. Upon the first bite, I was hit with the gloriousness of creamy burrata, garlicky eggplant and a light layer of tomato sauce, all cradled by a super thin, yet flaky crust. This pie was divine and necessary for today’s celebration.
Pro Tip: Take your leftover crust and sob it in that salsa verde.
I then ventured to the funky, hip establishment where they passionately curate high-quality ingredients to deliver Napolean style, wood-fired pizza. Having difficulty ordering, I went with my waiter JD’s two favorites: Blackberry and Pesto Bacon Pizza, which was the best decision to make, trust me. These pizzas were both the most unique and paired quite well together. The Blackberry Pizza was both sweet and salty, while the Pesto Bacon Pizza was a creamier savory option. They were also topped with lightly dressed arugula and in the words of JD, “You get a pizza and salad in one,” which fully justified all the pizza consumption today. All about moderation, right? ;)
Bonus: They have their own parking lot, and the outdoor patio is a gorgeous space with sneak peaks of the ocean.
When I arrived at Gina’s Pizza, I was about 7-8 slices in with complete transparency, and quite full. However, the mission wasn’t over, and this spot is home to the 14-inch “Biggaslice” pizza. A sign in the front read, “Go ahead we dare you to try and finish this,” and well, I’m not one to back down on a dare. When ordering this slice, it is baked fresh to order and takes about 7-8 minutes. It was certainly worth the wait. As a former New Yorker, the thinness and crispiness of the crust, the cheese to sauce ratio, and perfect amount of grease brought me right back. Kudos to you Gina’s for bringing out my inner love and affection for a classic great slice.
5pm hit, and I knew what I had to do next. Can you think of a better way to do Happy Hour on #NationalPizzaDay than with some quality wine and pizza? So I headed over to Chris Olsen’s cozy restaurant, and coming here on the pizza tour was the perfect way to simultaneously wine-d down and enjoy delicious wood fire pizza. We ordered the classic Calabrese Pizza and the Pizza of the Day, which changes daily, and both paired effortlessly with a red wine from Olsen’s extensive and excellent selection.
For the last stop I went to Pizza Bar, a spot located one block away from the beach, making for an ideal grab and go situation. Whether you’re in the mood for a slice, personal or large pie, Pizza Bar has got plenty of options. I ordered the Italiano with sausage, pepperoni, bell peppers, and mushrooms and journeyed straight to the sand to eat and contemplate all the dough, cheese, sauce, and toppings devoured throughout the day.
With my last slice in hand, I toasted to this fantastic day; and without wanting to sound too cheesy, a pizza my heart will always belong to one of America’s favorite foods.