Brunch in LA is an ordeal. Unless you’ve completely stopped caring and just end up walking to your nearest corner spot every Saturday because you like their coffee and still don’t know how to make eggs, weekend brunch with the crew usually ends in a goose chase around town trying to find the few spots that aren’t running an hour wait. But there is a way to avoid all that hunger-fueled trauma: booking a brunch reservation. Do yourself a favor and plan ahead, so you aren’t stuck wondering if a McMuffin is your best option after being turned away at three spots. Here are 17 brunch restaurants that aren’t just some of the best, they also take reservations.
If you’ve ever woken up on a Saturday morning and thought, “Yes, I do want lasagna for brunch today,” then The Tasting Kitchen is your place. And if a giant slice of pasta, meat, and white sauce isn’t your idea of a good time first thing in the morning, there are other options: everything from chicken and waffles and polenta with broccoli rabe to a roasted grapefruit and, obviously, eggs. We almost like this spot better during the day - it’s bright and open and appropriately beachy.
Driving to Manhattan Beach for brunch is an aggressive move, but having a reservation at Fishing With Dynamite is very good motivation. You can wear linen pants and pretend you’re in Nantucket (instead of the beach volleyball capital of the world), and eat all the oysters you want at 10am. An extra bonus is that you can typically get a table the week of - not in two months for a 10pm dinner.
Your parents are in town and the last thing you want is for them to endure waiting around for 90 minutes on an unshaded sidewalk. Actually, the last thing you want is for you to have to endure them waiting around for 90 minutes on an unshaded sidewalk. Odys and Penelope has an excellent brunch every weekend from 10am - 2:30pm with a classy (but not too fancy) atmosphere that isn’t ruined by still-drunk-from-last-night 22-year-olds looking for bottomless mimosas. Get the porchetta eggs benedict.
L&E is probably a place you always forget about, go to again before seeing a show at The Satellite, and then wonder why you haven’t been here the past five weekends. And guess what? They also now serve a brunch that rivals any on the Eastside - you’re getting the egg sandwich, Moroccan-spiced eggs, or lobster roll. It does get busy, but that’s what your reservation is for. And yes, it’s perfectly acceptable to do oysters and champagne before noon.
Our go-to Sunday morning hangover move in BH will always be a pile of matzo brie at Nate ’N Al, but when we’re feeling more Birkin bag than Puma sweatsuit (or want to pretend we’re in France), we head to Bouchon. Granted, brunch is not really a thing in France, but they serve croissants at Bouchon so it counts. Other than butter-filled pastries, the menu is mostly classics, with a surprising amount of salads thrown in. Get a table on the patio, skip the mimosa and go straight for champagne, and spend the morning living way beyond your means.
Finding a brunch spot actually worth your time along Ventura Blvd. is tough. But luckily, The Bellwether is such a place, and they also take reservations. Similar to dinner, everything on this laid-back spot’s brunch menu is meant to be ordered for the table - even that breakfast sandwich you’re not quite ready to put down yet. Moral of the story? Come here with people that are better at sharing food than you.
Playa Provisions is a kind of fancy spot for Playa del Rey, so locals have some strong opinions about this huge spot near the beach. We are firmly in the pro camp, even with the slightly confusing four-concepts-in-one thing going on (there’s a take-out counter, a casual area up front, a big dining room, and a whiskey bar in the back). At brunch you should be heading for the dining room, ordering a crab benedict, and then start wondering why you live eight miles inland.
You have plenty of brunch choices in West Hollywood, but there are four words that make Norah one of our favorites: Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread. Besides serving all the best sweet things in one menu item, Norah’s brunch is perfect for literally everything. Come with a group for an occasion, a best friend for some quality time, or the person you shared your bed with last night.
You’re behind on all the new museums downtown and you’ve decided on a self-enforced Culture Day this Sunday. Snag a brunch reservation at Redbird beforehand. The fancy-ish downtown restaurant might be a bit more expensive than what you’re used to for brunch, but you’re going to an art museum with “an infinity room” afterwards - today is a good day for a $16 duck sausage poutine. Redbird’s Bunker Hill location is also just a short walk to all the museums.
It’s no secret that the Eastside weekend brunch situation is a scene, and you’re way too hungover today to deal with putting on an actual outfit. Head to Bowery Bungalow. This chronically-overlooked Mediterranean/Lebanese/North African restaurant right off Sunset Junction has a mellow vibe, excellent brunch (get the shakshuka or Middle Eastern breakfast for two), and a very dangerous sangria.
The Hart And The Hunter is the all-day restaurant at the PaliHotel on Melrose, so you can technically get brunch here seven days a week if you want. But come weekends, things get pretty packed around here, so a reservation is definitely a must. The menu’s changed a lot over the years, but it still has that Southern theme - without being so heavy you burn the rest of your Saturday napping. Also, those biscuits are some of the best you’ll find.
Mom, Grandma, and Aunt Shirley are all coming into town and considering that Shirley starts hitting the Chardonnay by 2pm, brunch is your best-case scenario for getting out unscathed. All three will be happy at Tavern. The menu is highly inoffensive and a little bit fancy (soft scrambled eggs, a smoked fish plate, something called Priests Pancakes), the interiors are pretty (and will give you something to talk about), and it’s quiet enough that Grandma will be able to hear. Obviously, it’s in Brentwood.
The new person you’re into proposed a brunch date and you’re kind of thrown. But no human is immune to the charms of one of the top five nicest patios in LA, so you should absolutely suggest Cliff’s Edge. The menu is pretty basic (pancakes, a burger, a benedict), but you’re so busy trying to figure out how one human could have such perfect hair that it doesn’t even matter.
Last night got a little wild and you ended up doing a late-night shot of something that was light blue and glow-in-the-dark. Time to give back to your body (and the world at large) and go to Little Pine. The all-vegan, Moby-owned Silver Lake spot where all proceeds go to animal welfare organizations is as Eastside as it gets, but the food here is pretty good. Also, the all-white space is calm, casual, and not as much of a scene on the weekends as you would imagine.
Up in the Santa Monica Mountains above Malibu sits this massive, meat-centric destination restaurant that feels like you’re dining at Richard Branson’s ranch in Montana. Come brunch time, you won’t find as many of their rare meats (they serve emu and elk on the dinner menu), but the prices are way more reasonable and there’s still a roasted leg of lamb sandwich we can’t stop ourselves from ordering every time we go here. If you’re looking for a different kind of upscale brunch experience, head up to Saddle Peak.
Winsome is another all-day, everyday brunch place, which is fun in theory, but in reality you’re only ever able to go during peak times on Saturday and Sunday. So get a reservation. This Echo Park cafe is on the ground floor of a gigantic, ugly building along Sunset, but the inside feels like a Palm Springs pool cafe made love to a Jersey Turnpike diner. And that’s a good thing. You’re going to want the potato rosti (basically hash browns topped with whatever you want), the burger, and their homemade agua fresca.
Despite being one of the hardest tables to get in the city, it’s still lost on many people that Jon And Vinny’s opens every day at 8am. Sure, you can’t get most of their pastas until 11:30am, but things like the buttermilk pancakes, avocado toast, and fried egg BLT (which remains one of our favorite things to inhale uncontrollably after a long Saturday night) make up for that.