As far as Californian cities go, Irvine was a very late developer. Right up until the mid-1960s Irvine was little more than a ranch, albeit a big one, which stretched over a hundred thousand acres. The ranch was passed down through the same family and continued to produce a variety of crops for several decades. After the death of the second owner, his son, who worked in the real estate sector, inherited the land and rather than continue farming decided to develop it into a town. Parcels of the ranch land were sold off for development and the new community began to take form. While the original idea was for a town centered around a university capable of housing a population of fifty thousand, by the late seventies Irvine was twice the size planned. Anywhere there's a population of over a hundred thousand is a good place to open any type of restaurant, including pizzerias, and many Italians moved to the new city to do just that.
When the pizzerias of Irvine began opening their doors for business in the early 1970s they weren't swayed by the popularity of New York-style pizza, but stuck to their origins when it came to baking their pies so Irvine is known for its thick crust pizzas. You won't find just traditional thick crust on the menus of the pizzerias in Irvine though. They bake a variety of different styles which include Californian, Neapolitan, Roman, and even on occasion, the odd New Haven. Thick crust pizzas have been the go-to pie for decades. Even though it may have gotten knocked out of the number one spot in the pie popularity rankings in the USA by New York-style, it's a type of pizza that can be adapted to suit all taste palettes and dietary needs by simply adapting the dough recipe and swapping the topping ingredients around.
To be the best delivery pizza in Irvine the pie you get needs to be made well and arrive in tip-top condition. Lamppost Pizza is an Irvine pizzeria that can accomplish both of those things without breaking into a sweat. They're renowned for delivering quality pies on every order they get and on time too. Lamppost Pizza is housed in a modern premises on Culver Drive which is part pizzeria and part craft brewery. The spacious dining area has a rustic look enhanced by bare brick walls and picnic-style wooden tables and benches. It's comfortable and uncluttered and a great place to sit down for a beer and a pie. Drop by there one day and eat in instead of getting a delivery. You'll be doing yourself a favor if you do. Have their Linebacker or Whole Nine Yards and it'll be an enjoyable pizza feasting experience.
If you've been wandering along the city's main street thinking of food, you'll be pleased to know you're in the right vicinity to pick up the best take-out pizza in Irvine. Stop walking when you are outside the door of the Main Street Pizza and Cafe; open it and head on in. It will literally stop you in your tracks when you see the counter display of pies and their buffet pasta presentation will have you drooling. So much so in fact, you might have to deliberate whether you really want a take-out pizza at all. Main Street Pizza and Cafe's premises are part of a strip of recently built stores which all have an unfussy, somewhat clinical appearance externally. Inside the cafe is quite homely even though it's basically furnished and comparable to a college food hall. Their pies are all hand-stretched, covered in freshly made sauce, topped with Wisconsin mozzarella, and definitely a cut above college food.
The one disadvantage to living in Irvine is it's not on the coast. While you can't change its location, you can get a day on the beach easily enough by driving ten miles south-west to Newport Beach. Newport Beach is a super seaside resort city with incredible beaches, one of which, the Wedge, is rated as a top Californian beach for surfing. Spend time on the sands, wander along either of the two piers, or have fun on the amusements before heading down Balboa Avenue to Gina's Pizza to eat a pie while enjoying the sea view.
If you want to be by the sea but don't want to be in a place crammed with tourists eating ice creams, drive out to Crystal Cove. Crystal Cove is around twelve miles south of Irvine and while it's on the California coast, it's not a resort as such. In Crystal Cove State Park you can explore over three miles of natural and unspoiled coastline, hike over forested hills and through gorges or go snorkeling, swimming or surfing without having to tolerate any crowds. When you've worked up an appetite, drop in at the Beachcomber, a converted beach hut, for a pizza on the beach.
Go inland from Irvine and after a fifteen-minute drive you'll be in Tustin. Keep going for a couple more miles until you exit the city and you'll be in the Limestone Canyon Regional Park. It's a park that encompasses some exceptionally rugged scenery full of gorges where there are permanent streams and dense oak woodlands. It's a super spot for hiking or mountain biking with around twenty-five miles of trails. For a more sedate activity, you can pay a visit to the Marconi Automotive Museum or the Tustin Area Historical Society Museum before having lunch at the Pizza Shack on Red Hill Avenue.
Q: 🍕What restaurant has the best New York-style pizza in Irvine?
Q: 🍕What restaurant has the best veggie pizza in Irvine?
Q: 🍕What restaurant has the best Neapolitan-style pizza in Irvine?
Q: 🍕What restaurant has the best white pizza in Irvine?