Long Beach, California is a city that was once an easy-going surf town that has transformed into a thriving culinary-hub where food-lovers should be flocking to. The sunny beach city is only a 20 minute drive from the great City of Angels, but is often hidden in the shadow of LA’s illustrious culinary scene. Whether you are wanting a quick bite to eat or a place to sit and catch up with friends on the weekend, Long Beach offers its diners a myriad of outstanding eateries. So for all those looking to step outside of the LA bubble, look no further. Here are my recommendations for the best restaurants in Long Beach

1.  Schooner or Later

Schooner or Later is a waterfront restaurant that serves an American breakfast and lunch that is incredibly hard to top. This restaurant is a Long Beach landmark, popular for its food, booze, and patio views of the beautiful Long Beach Marina. If you visit on the weekend, it is likely that you will have to wait, but it's totally worth it. 

As for the food, the house favorite is The Mess, and rightfully so. This entree blends together chopped ham, bell peppers, onions, eggs and hash browns, which is all topped off with melted Cheddar cheese and served with your choice of toast. Not only is The Mess full of flavor but it is a lot of food, so bring your appetite. If you are not feeling savory for breakfast try staying on the sweeter side of things and order the Cinnamon Roll French Toast. Delectable cinnamon rolls are coated with egg, grilled to perfection, and then topped off with powdered sugar. This restaurant is the perfect place to relax with friends and enjoy a beautiful Southern California weekend. 

2. Coffee Cup 

In the mood for some delicious home-style food? Look no further than the Coffee Cup Cafe. Situated on 4th Street just a few blocks from the beach, this cute and lively cafe serves a wide range of mouth-watering entrees, many of which emphasize a south-of-the-border flare. If you visit the Coffee Cup Cafe, here is what to look out for: Sal’s Enchilada Eggs, because if you like enchiladas and eggs, why not combine them? If you want a flavor boost try adding the veggie chorizo.

Another all-star item is the Rajun Cajun Scramble. This dish will make you feel right at home in New Orleans with the Louisiana hot sausage, eggs, onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, and cheese, served with your choice of potatoes. 

While Coffee Cup Cafe is known for its food, something a little less recognized is that the cafe displays local artists’ work throughout the restaurant as its decor. See something you like? Feel free to buy it. The artwork is switched out every few months so the aesthetics of the cafe is always fresh and new for its customers. 

3. Nick's Deli

Looking for a delicious, easy-morning fix? Stop by Nick’s Deli and get the Long Beach-famous breakfast burrito. Technically a street over from Long Beach, Nick’s Deli resides on Seal Beach Main Street, and although the deli may be small it produces nothing but big flavors. The line is likely to be out the door and wrapped around the corner but you want to wait it out, trust me.

The breakfast burrito is as simple, yet delicious, as it gets, filled with eggs, potatoes, bacon, chorizo, and cheese. The salsa comes on the side, and you don’t want to forget that. Want a pro’s tip? Ask for the burrito to be grilled, it is a game-changer.

Although Nick’s is known for it’s breakfast burrito, any of their sandwiches (especially the chicken salad sandwich and BLT with avocado) are fabulous, mouth-watering alternatives if you are not feeling a burrito. Regardless of what you order, I suggest taking it to go and walking a block to the beach or local park to enjoy a day under the warm California sun. 

4. The Attic on Broadway

Located only two short blocks from the beach, this restaurant is housed in a 1920’s craftsman’s home. While there is seating inside the house, most of the dining occurs outside on the cozy yet lively front patio and bar. The Attic on Broadway is a brunching haven that serves an American-Cajun cuisine, providing diners some of the most delectable entrees and cocktails a person could imagine consuming on their days off.

The Attic’s drink selection is creative and is sure to impress, especially if you are a Bloody Mary fan. The Attic’s Bloody Marys are not only thick and refreshing with a cajun-spiced flare, they also come garnished with crispy strips of bacon, stuffed green olives, and your choice of either a delicious pulled pork slider, a tasty smoked bbq rib, or a savory pickled egg. But the drinks here are only a glimpse into what The Attic has in store for its diners. The restaurant is widely recognized for is its signature dish: Mac & Cheetos.

That’s right, The Attic combines two of the best food items, macaroni and cheese, and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, into one dish that will blow your mind. The rich, creamy, and decadent mac & cheese is made-to-order and topped with crushed Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. If you feel like kicking it up a notch, try the Jalo Bac Mac & Cheetos, which features sliced jalapenos, chopped, candied cayenne bacon bits, and the crushed Flamin’ Hot Cheetos topping.

Whether you come for brunch, dinner, or simply a cocktail or two, you will leave The Attic on Broadway full, happy, and wanting to come back for more. 

5. Shenandoah at the Arbor

Open since 1983, Shenandoah At the Arbor has been serving up some of the best American-Southern cuisine a person can find in California. When you dine at Shenandoah At the Arbor expect to be impressed. Famous for their Hot Apple Fritters, this complimentary appetizer is so delicious that you will likely be full before you even order your entree.

The Hot Apple Fritters, comparable to beignets in the south, are served right out of the fryer, coated with powdered sugar, and served with a side of whipped butter to make them that much more delectable. I recommend the German butter cake. It's a dense, sugary cake that is served warm and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Around the cake are raspberry and apricot purees that are sweet but slightly tangy, which offers a perfect balance to the divine sweetness of the butter cake. 

The decor of the restaurant is a southern comfort theme but the outside patio is what steals the show. Behind the restaurant is a wooden deck patio and koi pond, which sit under a beautiful fruitless mulberry tree that is strung with twinkle-lights, creating a relaxing atmosphere by day and an enchanting ambiance by night. If you are looking to celebrate a special occasion, Shenandoah at the Arbor is the place to go. 

6. Claire's at the Museum

Claire’s at the Museum is an upscale yet casual restaurant that rests on the oceanfront landscape behind the Long Beach Museum of Arts. With gorgeous views of the ocean, the Queen Mary and Catalina, Claire’s has the perfect location to soak up some sun while enjoying brunch on a warm California day. The menu at Claire’s is simple, yet divine.

There is not one item that did has not blown my mind and this includes the drinks. Although a bit on the pricey end for drinks, I would recommend getting at least one to try. If you want a cocktail on the lighter side, the Grapefruit and Elderflower is a great choice; a tasty combination of prosecco, grapefruit, and elderflower. The Jalapeno Margarita is another prime option; it is refreshing and sure to spice up your day. As for the food, the Crab Benedict is something you do not want to miss out on. The Crab Benedict at Claire’s is served on a french baguette instead of an English muffin, a pleasant change from a typical Egg Benedict.

The Ahi Nachos at Claire’s is another unique take on a traditional dish that will leave your tastebuds feeling happy. Swapping out the tortilla chips, the ahi is served on wantons and is layered with jalapeno, avocado, scallions, and drizzled with Siracha aioli. If you are dining with friends these unconventional nachos are the perfect appetizer to order for the table, or just for yourself, because they are simply that good. 

Long Beach is a restaurant hub and a food lover's heaven. Not only does the city have any and every cuisine a person can think of but the food is done right and people keep coming back for more. Although there is an endless list of dining establishments in Long Beach that people should try, these are my 6 recommendations for the best daytime restaurants because they offer the customer so much more than just quality food and drinks. Each restaurant has an attractive atmosphere and unique ambiance, so go ahead, take your spot in the sun, and your seat at one of these amazing eateries.