Cuisine Scene: Seafood
As you’d expect for a city with the word “Beach” in its name, Long Beach has an impressive number of seafood restaurants offering a wide range of cuisine and vibes – from traditional to barrier-breaking. Here’s just a few that tick a whole lot of boxes.
Casual: Big Catch Seafood House
Walking into Big Catch feels a bit like arriving at a Bayou family reunion. Its warm, cozy interior lends to the feeling, as do the picnic tables–some for groups of four, some to accommodate much larger or multiple parties. And then there’s the food, including Cajun Boils that allow diners to get elbow deep into their meals, whether it’s shrimp, crab, crawfish or mussels. There’s a whole lot more, including lobster rolls, gumbo, fried and charbroiled fish, and a Happy Hour that extends until 7 p.m. every night.
View: Boathouse on the Bay
A popular destination for locals, especially around sunset, the Boathouse provides a gorgeous view of Alamitos Bay, whether sitting inside and gazing through the floor-to-ceiling windows, or hanging outside on the patio listening to live music. The menu runs the gamut of fish and chips to king crab, and starters like the coconut ginger shrimp and calamari strips pair very well with a glass of wine or cocktail. For those who really want to experience the bay at sunset, the Boathouse now offers electric boat tours of the bay, complete with food–sushi or surf n’ turf–and skipper.
Creative: Roe Seafood
For a place well-known for its innovative, chef-driven, seasonal cuisine, Roe does a remarkable job of offering a lot of options for just about any taste. It prides itself not only on its creative coastal cuisine, but giving old favorites new looks and flavors, whether it be clam chowder topped with clams on the shell or the porcini-dusted scallops. On the weekends, Roe has one of the most popular brunches in the city. Located at the crux of the Belmont Shore shopping and dining district and equally popular Bayshore beach, Roe’s open concept dining room and patio offers some of the best people-watching in the city.
Go Big: Gladstone's Long Beach
Gladstone’s can accommodate just about any occasion: casual and intimate meals, corporate events, baby showers, retirement celebrations, birthdays and bachelorette nights. All that and everything in-between is handled in their assortment of private rooms, general dining room and popular patio complete with fire pit. Even with all that, Gladstone’s manages a warm and welcoming atmosphere complemented by a menu of such quality and range to appeal to just about every palate and age. It also has some of the best views of Long Beach’s iconic Lighthouse as well as the Queen Mary.
Fast: Pier 76 Fish Grill
If ever a place filled the bill of “Not fast food, but good food fast,” Pier 76 is it. Employing an artisanal approach, dishes made of locally sourced ingredients are prepared in-house to order. Look no further than its popular Shrimp Hipster Bowl, with its charred white shrimp, red quinoa, brown rice, hemp seed hummus, beet, arugula and lemon tahini as a delicious example. There are numerous grilled fish options, gumbo, a great clam chowder and a charred brussel sprout and broccoli dish that even people who hate brussel sprouts and broccoli love. And, word to the wise, when they are offering their heavenly mussels over french fries … Go!
Locals Know: Berth 55 Fish Market & Seafood Deli
They serve the food on paper plates here. Yep, Berth 55 is that place. Located in a corrugated metal bungalow that occupies a space next to working fishing boats, you’ll smell the freshness of the fish as you approach Berth 55 and you’ll see the freshness in the display case colored with gorgeous cuts of fish and shellfish. You’ll find that day’s specials scrawled on a piece of butcher’s paper stuck to the shop wall near the entrance. Shrimp is always a favorite choice, whether grilled, fried, placed in a taco or in a combo with lobster. Seabass, salmon and halibut are popular grilled choices as are lobster and the clam chowder. You can take the food to go or eat it at the picnic tables available outside, but be on guard for the ever-present birds; locals aren’t the only ones who love this place.