Back in December I had the pleasure of tagging along with the husband on his conference in Long Beach, California. Long Beach was beautiful, warm, even in December, and vibrant with its diverse population. If you asked me what I did while I was there, my first response would be: I ate, I ate A LOT. When I know I’m going to be traveling somewhere, the first thing I start researching is not what to do, but where to eat and what to eat. I’m a bit eccentric like that. So I’m going to share with you some of my favorite Long Beach spots to eat during our stay. If you’re ever in the area, I totally recommend you check them out! In my next post, I’ll share with you on where to go and what to do while in Long Beach.
This place is incredible. And by incredible, I mean, I threw away my carefully researched list of new breakfast places to try and ended up eating brunch at the Breakfast Bar three days in a row (it would have been four if my husband hadn’t encouraged me to try somewhere new. I still regret that decision). In addition, when we bumped into some conference goers who had also mentioned that they had gone to the Breakfast Bar for brunch, all four of us excitedly exclaimed in perfect unison: “It was sooooo good!” True story. So what kept me coming back for more? The Naked Cakes. They came highly recommended so I ordered them (twice) and was not disappointed. Whole wheat berry buttermilk pancakes with berries on top served with a side of eggs and bacon or sausages. The nutty flavor and gritty texture of the wheat berries all within a fluffy pancake was an amazing combination. It left me quickly researching how to make pancakes from whole wheat berries, because I needed to have these pancakes in my life once I left Long Beach! And what left my husband drooling and returning back to the Breakfast Bar with me three days in a row? The Eggs Papi. A deliciously savory breakfast sandwich with rosemary sourdough, a sausage patty and a poached eggs all topped with a spiced hollandaise and a side of potato pancake. We were in brunch heaven. This place really knows how to serve up delicious food! Do not leave Long Beach without having brunch here! Bonus: The patio is dog friendly. My Tips: If you come here on a weekday and check-in on Yelp, you get a free sangria or coffee. Also, make a reservation for brunch even if you don’t think you’ll need one – it can get busy quick.
Upon researching places to go in Long Beach and seeing pictures of the Sky Room, this place quickly went to the top of my Long Beach Bucket List and it did not disappoint. The Sky Room sits atop The Breakers Hotel, and was once a luxury oceanfront resort built in 1926 that has gone through various changes in ownership and hotel names. It is now currently a… wait for it… retirement home with the Sky Room Restaurant and Bar located up top. But don’t be put off by that, this place is a really unique gem. Being that it was built in the 1920’s, the building definitely has a lot of character with its prohibition era style that I find oh-so charming – and they even have an elevator attendant! Once you ascend the 15 floors up the elevator to the restaurant, you are greeted by a friendly hostess, soft jazz music, candle lit tables and breathtaking views of all of Long Beach, including the marina. This place is romantic and sexy and is the perfect place to grab a drink, enjoy a romantic dinner, listen to live jazz music, or go dancing later in the evening. And if you travel up the narrow stairwell that goes above the restaurant, it will take you to the most amazing rooftop bar with unparalleled views of the city. Their dinner menu is filled with top notch selections of steak, seafood, pasta, soups and salads – but if you’re on a tighter budget like we were, they have the most tantalizing happy hour bar menu. From the happy hour bar menu, I highly recommend the Prosciutto & Goat Cheese Appetizer and the My Burger Can Beat Up Your Burger – and from the dessert menu, the Almond Joie, which is a coconut and almond mousse with chocolate. I instantly fell in love with this place the moment I set eyes on it – or should I say, sank my teeth in it. It’s a must-go-to when you’re in Long Beach!
I’m not a huge seafood fan, so I completely overlooked all the fabulous reviews about this place when researching where to eat. But when a large group of conference goers were heading here for lunch, I obliged and went along, even though I had eaten a large brunch just a few hours prior. This place made me want to love fish and wish that I did, really. Everything looks so fresh, healthy and flavorful with the abundance of colorful vegetables and herbs used in their food. Since I was still pretty full from brunch and admittedly hadn’t eaten a single vegetable in 48 hours – like the true Californian I’ve become – I ordered the side kale and tomato salad with avocado added. The salad cost me a whopping $4. Four Dollars, people! The portion was huge for $4 and I couldn’t even finish all of it! Plus, the salad was delicious beyond belief. And their strawberry basil lemonade was a must – and free when you check-in on Yelp! Note: Pier 76 is great for large groups, because it’s spacious and you can pay at the till. That way, you don’t have to wait for the check to come or deal with the headache of splitting a check with ten people.
When it’s past midnight on a Saturday and your party of 20 people is on the prowl for some good greasy food, where do you go? Roscoe’s! By 1 am, this place was still hopping and jam packed full of people eating delicious looking chicken and waffles and all kinds of southern food. I was stuffed from eating everything in sight from morning until night, so I didn’t have the capacity in my stomach to order my own meal and consume some of those world-famous chicken and waffles I wanted to try (next time). However, I did sample a few bites of some southern staples like grits, biscuits, gravy and the likes – which were delicious. Judging by comments on Yelp, my friends comments on the food, and the speed at which they devoured their meals, this place was a smash hit.
This totally unassuming Mexican restaurant is where it’s at. If you want affordable, authentic Mexican food – come here! This place is touted by many for being the real deal when it comes to Mexican food. With limitless chips and salsa, delicious $2 tacos, $5 quesadillas or nachos that you make you feel like you’re in Mexico, you really can’t go wrong. It’s a no-frills type of place, which is great because you can come as you are from the gym, work, or in conference attire like we were and feel totally at home at this place. Note: Cinco De Mayo is cash only, but they do have an ATM in the restaurant if you forget to take out cash before hand.
I had wonderful time eating my way through Long Beach, CA! Have you ever been to Long Beach? If so, what are your favorite places to eat there?
*A special thank you to Roger Howard for the beautiful Long Beach panorama and to our friends at Yelp for providing some of the food pics.