Let’s face it: Los Angeles pizza gets a bad rap, scoffed at for years by cynical New Yorkers who can’t seem to fathom the idea of good pizza in this taco town. But with the Roman-style pizza renaissance that’s taken the city by storm, even the hardest of skeptics are now reconsidering. If you’re asking — yes, there is good pizza, great pizza to be found in Los Angeles, from authentic deep dishes to Neapolitan pies — you just need to know where to look.
Whether you’re a pizza enthusiast, a hungry local or a lost transplant searching for the perfect slice of home, look no further than Melrose Avenue. Known for its fashionista crowd and artsy murals, the stretch between Fairfax and Highland is also saturated with praise-worthy pizza destinations.
So without further ado, here’s a list of the essential pizza spots to try during your pie crawl down Melrose.
1 TOMATO PIE PIZZA JOINT
Tomato Pie Pizza Joint is a casual no-frills hangout on Melrose serving up East Coast-style pizza like their famed grandma slices. If it’s your first time, go for their namesake tomato pie, an old-school favorite that has origins in Philly and Upstate New York. Square-crusted and generously sauced, the tomato definitely takes center stage here. No mozzarella on this classic, just a good ol’ sprinkling of parsley and pecorino romano — because really, that’s all you need. Ask for a corner slice if you know what’s good for you.
Tomato Pie Pizza Joint is located at:
7751 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
2 MOZZA 2GO
When Pizzeria Mozza opened in 2006, it changed the game for L.A. pizza, kickstarting the wood-burning oven obsession that has now become standard for Neapolitan-style pizza. Mozza’s signature crust is razor-thin and crispy in the middle, but billowy on the rim with those essential, yeasty air pockets — utterly perfect in its imperfection. Craving for a freshly fired pie but don’t want the table wait? Pop around the corner into Mozza 2Go, a takeout-only counter space for hungry customers. The highly regarded fennel sausage or squash blossom burrata pies are sure to please, but the bianca pizza may be a literal gift from the cheese gods. Blanketed in glistening layers of melted fontina, mozzarella, truffle-laced sottocenere and fried sage leaves, each slice almost gushes into your mouth as you reach white pie nirvana. Call ahead for fast pickup (and yes, they deliver).
Mozza 2Go is located at:
6610 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038
3 LN2 PIZZA SHOPPE
LN2 Pizza Shoppe is the newest spot on Melrose to get your pie fix. Named after the chemical symbol for liquid nitrogen, LN2 is doing fun and inventive things with pizza. Find an eclectic array of pie offerings that range from caramelized fig to Manila clam, to duck confit. Purists may have their qualms about duck on pizza, but when combined with tangy goat cheese, butternut squash and a plum hoisin sauce for sweetness, it definitely works — and the strips of moist duck are downright delicious. Visit the Willy Wonka-esque nitrogen ice cream station afterwards and watch as quirky flavors like lemon lavender, guanabana rose and caramel popcorn are flash-frozen before your eyes.
LN2 Pizza Shoppe is located at:
7212 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
4 BLACKBIRD PIZZA SHOP
Deep dish enthusiasts rejoice — Blackbird Pizza Shop puts Melrose on the culinary map with Chicago-style pies and an extensive craft beer menu. Their signature meatball deep dish pizza comes highly recommended, packed to the brim with juicy tomatoes, chunks of sausage and creamy ricotta. It’s everything you love about mom’s lasagna, surrounded by a crumbly cornmeal crust. A small pie is hearty enough to share between two, but if you can eat it all by yourself in under 30 minutes, it’s free! Swing by during happy hour (4-7 pm) when $10 gets you a personal pie and beer.
Blackbird Pizza Shop is located at:
7459 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Though new to the Melrose dining scene, Ronan fits right in, with its rustic chic ambiance and semi-hidden locale. Their wood-fired Neapolitan pies have a graceful, understated quality, using ingredients that layer and combine like magic. Consider the sweet cheeks pizza, which partners house-cured guanciale (similar to bacon, but more intense in flavor) with dollops of Puglia-style ricotta and a generous drizzle of cacio e pepe honey. This is pizza at its most luxurious state, and it’ll hit all the right spots. You can (and should) add burrata to any pie for $4, because life is short — and creamy, fresh cheese instantly makes everything better.
Ronan is located at:
7315 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
6 LUCIFER’S PIZZA
Local mainstay Lucifer’s Pizza dishes up traditional thin-crust pizzas with a creative gourmet twist. The menu offers over 20 “damned good pizza” combinations like greek lamb with rosemary or the famed roast pumpkin prosciutto. Their headliner soppressata pizza makes the perfect canvas for additional toppings, if so wished. Though the pies are indeed excellent, it’s their ability to be customized that makes Lucifer’s a crowd pleaser — with vegan cheese options, gluten-free crusts and adjustable spice levels that range from zero to fiery to blazing. The latter level brings out the hellishly hot “ringburner” sauce, which they also sell in bottles if you wanna bring the heat home.
Lucifer's Pizza is located at:
7123 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Spartina, a beloved trattoria located in the heart of Melrose, boasts Cal-Italian inspired cuisine and an expansive, open-air patio. People may talk more about the pasta here, but it’d be unwise to dismiss Spartina’s pizzas. For a twist on a staple, try their pepperoni pie, accented with a drizzle of honey and Calabrian chili oil. Their classic margherita is another simple but stellar choice, made with ripe san marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and fragrant basil. Come during happy hour which runs every day from 5:30pm-7pm to snag great deals on pizza, small plates and drinks.
Spartina is located at:
7505 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046