After spending a few days eating my way through Long Beach, California, I came away with one thing to say…Long Beach is a Foodie’s paradise, y’all. I mean, really – it’s one thing to say that I never had a bad meal on a trip, but everywhere I ate in Long Beach, it was like the best meal of my life. Just over and over again. If you’re planning a visit to Long Beach, or even if you aren’t, you will after reading about these 5 Places Foodies Should Eat in Long Beach, California.
As I was on a press trip during my stay in Long Beach, I do think I was treated to the best of the best establishments – the whole point of a press trip is to show us the best a destination has to offer. Ironically, one of the best meals I had was at the hotel we were staying at, the Hotel Maya, which is a boutique hotel under the DoubleTree by Hilton umbrella. Now, you guys know that I am a Hilton girl (it’s my hotel of choice when I am traveling on my own), but I was really impressed by this location. I’ll be sharing a full review of the hotel in a later post, so keep your eyes peeled for it when it pops up! I normally avoid hotel restaurants because I don’t think they really give 100% when it comes to the authentic flavors of the city, but Hotel Fuego? Yep, it was AWESOME – and the perfect beginning to my stay in Long Beach!
5 Places Foodies Should Eat in Long Beach, California
Hotel Maya’s Fuego Restaurant
Fuego, helmed by award-winning Executive Chef Victor Juarez, is a celebration of the coastal cuisines of Mexico and Latin America. With a breathtaking waterfront setting with views of downtown Long Beach, guests will enjoy relaxing indoor and outdoor seating and modern Latin-inspired décor.
The weather was perfect while I was in Long Beach, warm in the day and breezy and cool in the evenings. We dined on appetizers and cocktails at Fuego Restaurant while we had an informal meet and greet, and I really had to hold myself back because this was BEFORE we were heading out to dinner.
We had ceviche, steak skewers with a chimichurri…I may have had quite a few of those. They are low carb, after all!
And the house-made Sangria? Look, I drink a lot of Sangria, being from Miami and all, but this was some pretty delicious sangria. I normally limit myself to one or two drinks while on work trips (press trips are fun, but it’s still a professional working environment, after all), but the red wine sangria was so tasty that I may have had three before we even left for dinner.
Totally worth it.
Fuego Restaurant at Hotel Maya is open Monday through Thursday 6 AM to 10 PM, 6 AM to 11 PM on Friday, 7 AM to 11 PM on Saturday and 7 AM to 10 PM on Sunday. You can find out more about Hotel Maya’s Fuego Restaurant here.
The Breakfast Bar
One of the perks to hanging out with the locals during a press trip is getting the inside scoop on the best places to eat. We went to The Breakfast Bar in Long Beach for breakfast one morning, and while I was still kinda full from dinner the night before, once I saw the menu, I knew that it was going to be one of those days when I ate for FUN, not fuel.
First up on the menu? Biscuits and Gravy Sliders. Now, you may not know this about me, but biscuits and sausage gravy is my FAVORITE breakfast – I am part Southern, after all. I think a love of biscuits and gravy is just in my genes! These are the BB Sliders, which is an appetizer (or a breakfast, depending on your appetite) and include 3 Mini biscuit country biscuits, a dollop of Nana’s gravy, jack cheese, egg with choice of bacon or sausage patty. YUM. Yes, they were every bit as delicious as they look!
There were so many things on the menu that sounded equally tasty, but I ended up choosing The Hungover – which was also an appetizer…but really? This is a MEAL, as you’ll see in a bit. You can check out The Breakfast Bar Menu to see everything they have to offer. Warning: You’ll probably drool.
The Hungover is one of those concoctions that sounds kind of crazy, but when the server sits it down in front of you, you’re like “AH. That makes sense.” It’s kind of a toss up between Poutine, Cheese Fries and Nachos. It’s 2 eggs scrambled with cheese and sausage served over french fries and smothered with Nana’s sausage gravy with house pico de gayo & spiced sour cream…and yes, it’s every bit as mouth-watering as it looks. I had to actually force myself to STOP eating because it was so incredible, and hey, a gal’s stomach can only hold so much before she has to unbutton her pants!
LOLA’S Mexican Cuisine
I love Mexican food. I’m pretty fortunate that we have a bit of a Mexican community here in Miami and I can get authentic Mexican food if I’m willing to make the drive. But the Mexican food in Long Beach? WOWZA.
We went to Lola’s Mexican Cuisine on 4th Street and while the street-side seating made me a bit anxious, I quickly forgot about the cars zipping past as we were served our first appetizer…the Queso Fundido, which is their version of cheese fondue. It’s BETTER than any fondue I’ve ever had. (Sorry, Melting Pot)
Lola’s Queso Fundido is a homemade blend of queso Oaxaca and Jack cheeses, grilled with soyriso, rajas, caramalized onions, pico de gallo, fresh avocado and it comes with your choice of corn or flour tortillas. I would have been perfectly content to scoop it up with my fork (or my fingers) and eat it like that, but you know, etiquette and all that nonsense.
The problem with eating something like this is that you’ll never want a mozzarella stick again.
And the margaritas? OH BOY. So many margaritas. So many DELICIOUS margaritas. I don’t even like margaritas! Well, I do now, thanks to Lola’s. They converted me.
I was so full from our big breakfast at The Breakfast Bar, and the Queso Fundido and margaritas that I just ate a salad for lunch. As much as I wanted to eat everything in sight, I was literally to the point of bursting!
You can check out the full Lola’s Mexican Cuisine menu to get an idea of what they have to offer – but I’m telling you, it’s ALL good!
The Attic on Broadway
We ate breakfast out on the town every morning while I was in Long Beach, and for some reason – even though I NEVER eat breakfast at home, those were my favorite meals. The Attic on Broadway was another restaurant we visited for breakfast, and this is where things started to get crazy.
We started with appetizers like Hot Cheetos Mac and Cheese and Cinnamon French Toast topped with Nutella and whipped cream…
I had the FGT Benedict for my main dish – fried green tomatoes, Cajun hollandaise and what? Yep, Alligator sausage on the side. It was nothing short of exquisite.
And the cocktails? Yes, they have hand-crafted cocktails ALL DAY LONG…even for breakfast!
The Attic on Broadway even has absinthe. ABSINTHE, people! I was a bit terrified, but I tried some anyway. Hey, we were going for a walk through a museum afterwards, so I figured I’d easily walk it all off. I’d like to take a moment here to point out that I don’t ordinarily drink absinthe at 9 AM, but I was “at work” and when your hosts tell you they’d like you to get the full experience, well – I was just trying to do a good job. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it)
On our last evening in Long Beach, we did what they call a Dine Around. We had cocktails at one place, appetizers and cocktails at another place, a main course at one place, then pizza and dessert somewhere else, then more cocktails…
Yes, I drank a lot on this trip. When I got home, I only drank water for a week to give my liver a break!
BO-Beau Kitchen & Roof Tap
My favorite stop on the dine around was the BO-Beau Kitchen & Roof Tap. They had everything you could possibly imagine when it comes to fine dining AND casual dining. The downstairs was a lovely restaurant, and the upstairs was a bar and lounge area. It was positively bustling that night and I could tell that it was a local’s favorite as far as nightlife went.
My other favorite stop that night was to George’s Greek Cafe, where I discovered my new favorite drink: The Ginger James. Jameson is my favorite liquor, and the bartender had created this incredible cocktail with ginger ale, Jameson and strawberries that just BLEW MY MIND.
If you’ve never visited Long Beach, California, I highly recommend you add it to your places to see in 2016 (and beyond!). If you’re a foodie, there’s no excuses – some of the best food I’ve ever eaten was in those restaurants, and you guys know that I like to eat!
I’ll be sharing more stories about some of the other things to do in Long Beach over the upcoming weeks, so stay tuned! In the meantime, you can check out the Visit Long Beach website for lots of vacation ideas!