There’s no shortage of good pizza in Los Angeles—we say without breaking eye contact with New Yorkers—and we know that reputation L.A.’s got for hating carbs is completely misguided. Just ask anyone who’s waited months for a reservation at Bestia or hours for a table in the MozzaPlex, or maybe you should ask our recent onslaught of Italian restaurants, which seems to balloon every month (not, perhaps, unlike our waistlines).
In fact, L.A. loves pizza so much that it’s getting a new, annual event devoted to the stuff. On July 28 and 29, the California Pizza Festival hits the LA Center Studios lot on the edge of Downtown for a weekend of slices in Neapolitan, Sicilian and New York styles, with a number of gluten-free and vegan options, too.
The new fest promises unlimited pizza from 30 vendors, including a sprinkling from L.A. with a few from Arizona, Nevada, Georgia and even Naples, Italy. Headlining with demos and prominent placement are Naples’s L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele, founded in 1870 and of Eat, Pray, Love fame, and Antica Pizzeria Port’Alba, Naples’s oldest pizzeria-tavern, founded in 1738. On the local front, look for Beverly Hills’ Da Pasquale, mobile pizza oven Fahrenheit LA, West Hollywood’s Prova and even LACMA’s Ray’s and Stark Bar, among others. The rundown’s missing a few of the city’s pizza heavy hitters, but still looks like a fine way to sample pies from the area and beyond, especially if you’re looking to try some of the oldest recipes from Naples.
On the entertainment front, expect pizza demos from culinary competition crew the United States Pizza Team (how is this a thing and how do we join?), cookbook signings, acrobatics shows, live music, giveaways and more. Of course you’re going to need to wash down all that excitement and pizza, so look for beers from Golden Road Brewing and wines from the Winebow Group, among other pours.
Tickets to the new fest run $45 in advance, $60 day of, and $20 for children between four and 10. Or go VIP with an $89 ticket, which gains you access to an indoor-outdoor VIP space, a private bar and three drinks.
If you can’t wait until the end of July, there’s an all-day pizza bash happening this Sunday at LA Food Bowl’s ...A Tutta Pizza! event, complete with cooking demos and, you guessed it, unlimited pizza. Find more on that right over here.
California Pizza Festival debuts July 28 and 29, held from noon to 8pm at LA Center Studios. Tickets are now on sale.