We’ve all heard it by now - LA’s breakfast sandwich culture pales in comparison to our East Coast brethren. And to an extent, that’s true. But just because you can’t find a decent egg sandwich inside every corner store here, doesn’t mean there aren’t excellent versions. We’d argue it’s the sheer diversity that makes LA’s breakfast sandwiches stand out. Sure, you can find a decent egg, bacon, and cheese, but where we really want to point you is toward the breakfast Mexican tortas, an Australian brekkie, or a galbi-filled Korean sandwich. Find the incredible array, and all of our favorite breakfast sandwiches in LA on this guide.
“Breakfast for dinner” is not our thing. Why would you eat eggs when you could have a steak and martini, noodle soup, or a couple kebabs? But Highly Likely's Brekkie Sando is so herby and complex that we’d happily eat it for dinner. Between two oily-to-the-touch slices of Bub and Grandma’s focaccia are scrambled eggs so fluffy and cheesy, we fantasize about stuffing pillows with them. But what sets this sandwich apart are the roasted cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs (parsley and dill to name a few), and herby schug sauce. The cherry tomatoes pop and ooze at the slightest hint of pressure, seeping into the eggs, bread, and sauce, ushering forth an otherworldly tangy experience. You have the option to add bacon, sausage, or ham, but that’s not even necessary. If you’re wondering just how good a breakfast sandwich can really be, start here. (Please note, this breakfast sandwich is not on Highly Likely’s dinner menu, but we wish it was.)
For all the terrible things 2020 gave us, at least we now have breakfast sandwiches dropped to us in buckets from apartment balconies. That’s what you’ll find at Calabama, a weekend-only pop-up that operates out of an apartment in East Hollywood, where the pick-up system literally involves a bucket drop from a top-floor fire escape. It’s an experience, but the reason you’re really here is the tremendous breakfast sandwich. With fluffy eggs, bacon, avocado, and cheese all stuffed between two pieces of griddled white bread, it’s basically the world’s greatest breakfast grilled cheese - and that’s a superlative that could get anyone out of bed on a Sunday morning. Also, the chef makes her own excellent, smokey-garlicky hot sauce that’s available by the bottle - and should absolutely be put on the sandwich.
Strings Of Life is a hidden Australian cafe behind Rag & Bone on Melrose in West Hollywood, and a perfect spot for a quiet midweek solo breakfast. We’ve yet to try something here we didn’t like (the fava bean and cornichon-topped avocado toast is a standout), but you can’t leave here without getting the brekkie sandwich. Topped with a sausage patty, over-easy egg, and cheese, it’s one of the more straightforward sandwiches on this list, but one where the quality of each ingredient shines through. The patty itself has a little kick of heat and the house SOL sauce that’s slathered on the pillowy brioche bun provides a sweet-smokiness to each bite.
The sandwiches at Egg Tuck are what we refer to as “two-shirt sandwiches,” meaning you’ll need one shirt while you eat it and then a new one to wear afterwards. These babies are messy, but also very delicious. The tiny cafe has two locations, the original in Ktown and now Hollywood, and both offer a tight menu of six sandwiches featuring signature soft scrambled eggs and toppings ranging from avocado to bacon. Our favorite is the “Gochuracha Royal West.” Filled with a tteok-galbi beef patty that’s been glazed in a spicy gochujang sriracha, over-medium eggs, cheddar cheese, pickles, and onions, it’s by no means a light breakfast, but one that will certainly keep you satisfied well past lunch.
Belle’s Bagels, which is currently operating out of the former Côté Est space in Highland Park, makes double-fermented bagels with a yeasty aroma that sets them apart from other bagels in LA. It’s also a big part of the reason why their breakfast sandwiches are so good. If you’re in the mood for a classic breakfast sandwich, we recommend the “BECA,” which comes with eggs, bacon, cheese, and avocado spread. Otherwise, go for the “L.E.O.” This sandwich comes with sauteed lox, pickled fennel, onions, hard scrambled egg, and their house “shalom sauce,” that resembles a garlic herb aioli. The whole thing is salty and briny with a tangy bite courtesy of the shalom sauce. You get to choose your bagel, and for this one, we recommend the salty bagel which brings out the flavor of the sauteed lox even more.
Half-torta, half-something-completely-new, the sandwiches at Angry Egret are unique creations from Wes Avila, the former chef and brain behind Guerilla Tacos. The menu is stacked with delicious, interesting sandwiches like Baja shrimp po’boy with pico de gallo, cabbage, and salsa negra, but come breakfast time, it’s all about the “McTorta.” It’s a play on the Egg McMuffin, but with gyro beef, fried egg, and American cheese all on a fluffy roll. It’s an ideal mix of sweet, savory, salty with a big helping of nostalgia slathered throughout.
Spoke is a bicycle shop and all-day restaurant in Frogtown with an enormous, river-adjacent patio ideal for hanging out on a Saturday morning and watching the neighborhood shake off their hangovers. We love most things on the menu here (particularly their housemade cold brew and veggie burger), but the all-day breakfast bun sandwich is a must. What stands out most about Spoke’s version is the sweet caramelized onions mixed with their smokey house sauce. Add in the soft scrambled eggs, bacon, cheese, and griddled soft bun, and you’ve got a savory, salty masterpiece and the perfect way to start your day. They also offer tofu scrambles and vegan cheese as supplements.
The breakfast sandwich at Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen (with locations in Inglewood, View Park, and Eagle Rock) keeps things simple, a lesson that many of LA’s interstate highways could stand to learn. All it is just some bacon, a fried egg, cheddar cheese, and a drizzle of hot sauce, all atop a brioche bun. But the fried egg is picture-perfect, the hot sauce is spicy (but not overpowering), and the cheese has been baked onto the bun. And the bun itself might just deserve its own caption - it’s fluffy, delicious, and texturally reminds us of the $300 pillow we grabbed on accident at Bed Bath Beyond then had to ask the cashier to not ring it up.
We don’t know if it’s just because we’ve been inside for the past twelve months, but the size of the breakfast sandwich at All Day Baby seems to have tripled during the pandemic. At this Silver Lake cafe, you’ll receive an absolutely massive buttermilk biscuit, which serves as an oversized golden chariot for an intercontinental breakfast, including scrambled eggs, American cheese, strawberry jam, and your choice of either bacon or sausage (although we highly recommend getting both). Can one, very hungry person eat this by themselves in one sitting? Probably. But much like trying to take a left on Santa Monica Blvd. during rush hour traffic, it’s really not advised.
You can pretty much trust that anything at Clark Street being served on bread (see: burgers) is going to be good, and their breakfast sandwich is no exception. Salty, savory, and packed with bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese, this sandwich is built like a BLT, and works for both AM and PM meals. It’s the ideal thing to order for a late breakfast, or when you’re in the mood to actually take your lunch break seriously. The fried egg is ooey, gooey, and properly drippy, the thick-cut bacon is extra-crispy and a little oily, and their excellent bread is there to mop it all up.
Among the aisles of this new mini-mart in Koreatown, you’ll find small-batch hot sauce, Hello Panda, Asian pantry staples, a deli case stocked with salads and juices, and their “OM” breakfast sandwich - a hearty offering topped with arugula, a housemade sausage patty, and one of the most beautifully fried eggs we’ve ever seen. A slightly sweet harissa tomato jam contrasts the salty, fatty flavors from the sausage, while the egg yolk spills out onto the rest of the sandwich, just the way higher powers meant it to. And while you wait for this masterpiece, you get to browse the aisles and do some pleasant grocery shopping to stock up your pantry - even if you just end up buying five packs of strawberry Pocky.
Yeastie Boys Bagels
Yeastie Boys’ bagel sandwich consists of dense, chewy dough, paired with a thick blanket of melted cheese and more bacon than a North Carolina hog fest. Called the “Cheddy Wap,” this bagel sandwich feels almost pornographic to unwrap (it’s precut, and you’ll find sticky strands of sharp cheddar when you pull it apart) - which, in retrospect, is sometimes exactly what one needs at 9am.
This breakfast sandwich is so beloved that Flake gave it its own special name and mural. The “Super Cro-Jo,” as it’s called, is unmistakable. It’s a warm, toasty croissant that’s snuggly compressing its fillings of spicy aioli, crispy bacon, tomato, airy scrambled eggs, gouda, and a generous half-inch layer of greens - in that order. While greens and tomato slices aren’t typically thought of as breakfast sandwich toppings, their juicy freshness is absolutely essential here to cut through the fat, salt, and carbs.
This is not your typical Thomas Original English muffin breakfast sandwich. As is typical, Gjusta has blown us away with flour and yeast. The crust has the perfect squish-to-crunch ratio, and its airy inner craters sop up the egg yolk and savory grease that’s intermingled with collard greens and dripping in habanero hot sauce. Like us, you probably won’t be able to pace yourself while eating this small-but-mighty sandwich, but savor that last bite, where the spicy slow-cooked greens, perfectly melted cheese, lacy fried egg, and bacon join together in holy matrimony. While it’s hard not to opt for a bagel or fish plate in the morning at Gjusta, this breakfast sandwich deserves to be in the rotation on a day that calls for something on the lighter and spicier side.