The Best Brunch Spots In LA
Griddlecakes, Cubanos, Japanese bento, and more.
Looking for the perfect brunch spot is like going on a first date: you’re always hopeful, often disappointed, and honestly not sure whether finding “the one” is just a fantasy constructed by Vanessa Hudgens holiday movies. Most weekends, you wake up early and trek across the city just to spend some time with a contender, but you leave feeling unsatisfied. You cross that place off your list and, the next week, you try again with somewhere new.
But just because the “perfect” brunch might only exist in Sex and the City reruns, there are a few places in the city that come pretty close. These are our all-time favorite Los Angeles brunch restaurants, and while you’ll have to deal with a line at some of them, they’re all worth the wait. This isn’t a list for the times when you’re hungover and need food in your face ASAP - this is a list for the times when you want nothing less than the best. Here are the 20 greatest brunch spots in Los Angeles.
All Day Baby
We don’t consider ourselves prudes, but until All Day Baby, we’d never eaten a jam-smothered biscuit breakfast sandwich before. It’s topped with scrambled eggs, American cheese, a dash of strawberry jam, and your choice of either bacon or sausage (or why not both?) - a perfect example of the fun, nap-inducing foods this Silver Lake café does best. It’s also just a great place for people-watching: on weekends, lines snake down Sunset Blvd., where you’ll see a parade of Gen Z-ers rocking chunky necklaces, micro-influencers on dates, and parents with small children who look like they needed a coffee approximately three hours ago.
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photo credit: Jakob Layman
No LA brunch guide would be complete without our city’s most famous bagel, so let’s get into it. It’s the bagel that broke the internet, a crisp, dense little thing topped with a variety of options, ranging from salmon roe to exceptionally fresh produce. The crust will likely release a sharp CRACK when you bite into it, you might fall in love with your heirloom tomatoes, and if you don’t get the hand-sliced smoked salmon on a burnt everything bagel, we’re forcing you to get back in line. Even if it takes over an hour. That being said, lines at this Virgil Village window get long and there are only two tables out front, so make sure you don’t crowd the sidewalk and avoid doing something stupid, like parking in a red zone or parking your butt on someone else’s lawn.
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There’s just something about sitting on a Los Feliz patio at 11am, being brought home-style fruit nectars and glasses of wine, and eating the prettiest french toast known to man that makes one think, “Oh, maybe my life is a movie?” This tiny sidewalk café is a perfect, chic place to spend your morning chatting away with friends, grabbing pastries, and sipping oat milk cappuccinos. If you’re looking for something heavier, Loupiotte Kitchen also has a creamy parmesan polenta filled with mushrooms and fried egg that we wish we could start every morning with.
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The first thing you notice at this family-run Cuban restaurant isn’t the pink neon sign or glittering trophy resting behind the cash register. It’s how easy life seems to be here. El Cochinito took a Silver Lake strip mall and turned it into a day in Havana: there’s always a light breeze on the patio, music playing in the background, and regulars chatting amongst themselves while nursing ice-cold beers. The Cubano sandwich isn’t to be missed (it literally won an international award), but make sure to get the pollo empanizado too. It’s a glorious, deep-fried chicken dish that’s smashed paper-thin and hit with a lime squeeze, ideal for pairing with bubbly Chilean wines and an afternoon of sunbathing.
If watered-down champagne and runny eggs benedict aren’t your speed, may we suggest Azay? This super cute, very friendly restaurant in Little Tokyo is home to the only (!) traditional Japanese breakfast set in the city, plus an eclectic mix of French and other Japanese dishes that are sure to satisfy even the pickiest, chicest of diners and/or anyone who’s ever worn a beret and turtleneck together at the same time. We prefer the Japanese side of the menu just a tiny bit more, especially the seasonal daily bento and Nagoya hitsumabushi, a near-perfect grilled eel dish that includes a bed of white rice, thick soy sauce glaze, and hot tea to pour over the entire thing at the end. Don’t worry, they’ll walk you through it.
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Sazón is permanently closed
One of the Eastside’s hottest - and most fun - brunch spots right now is Sazon, a restaurant in Huntington Park specializing in Guerrerense and Yucatecán cooking. It’s run by a mother-daughter duo who’ve spent their lives dominating the Mexican street vending scene, slinging cochinita pibil, chilaquiles, and pozole verde that are all bright, spicy, and exactly what you want after a long night of [REDACTED]. The move is to come here on the weekends when there’s live music: you’ll witness queer Latinx DJ sets, tropical dance house parties, and if you’re lucky, a Selena karaoke sing-along. So grab your most colorful outfit, a comfy pair of shoes, and get ready to dance while double-fisting mimosas and chorizo-stuffed breakfast burritos.
Breakfast By Salt's Cure
As the saying goes, there are two times of day in West Hollywood: brunch and texting your friends to meet up for brunch. And while Breakfast By Salt’s Cure isn’t the big, boozy breakfast fest this neighborhood is known for, that’s exactly what we like about it. It’s quick and easy, like a five-minute meditation podcast listened to during the middle of the way - a spinoff of the original Santa Monica location with all the same sausage patties, cold brew, and ridiculously delicious oatmeal griddle cakes your heart could ever desire. This is an order-at-the-counter situation, but to find a $10 breakfast of this caliber in Weho (and in under half an hour) is nearly a miracle.
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As all seasoned brunch-goers know, Santa Monica’s scene isn’t the strongest. Along Main St. alone, your options will be mediocre at best, but if you can just look past the Urth Caffe and thousands of illegally parked Bird scooters, you’ll find Alfalfa, a sunny transplant from Hoboken, New Jersey that surprisingly nails the whole salad-wrap-coffee thing. Their back patio is a wonderful, beach-side space that’s ideal for catching up with a friend you haven’t seen in a few months over great coffee and one of their mega-sized breakfast burritos stuffed with eggs, Oaxacan cheese, potatoes, and crunchy bell peppers.
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If you’re looking for all the charm and hospitality of a meal in the South, but don’t particularly feel like switching time zones, head to Alta Adams. This charming neighborhood spot in West Adams serves Southern classics that are simple, yet great. We’re huge fans of the black-eyed pea fritters and hot-and-heavy shrimp and grits plates, plus their idyllic backdoor patio is a perfect place to wear something gingham and knock back a few cocktails.
Lunasia Dim Sum House
You told yourself no hard alcohol last night, yet there you were at 2am, buying drinks for the entire bar and chugging lemon drops while Thundercat blares in the background. Call your backup team and get to Lunasia, stat. Located at the bottom of a huge apartment complex in Alhambra, this SGV staple is one of our favorite places in the city - and perhaps, even world - to eat glorious baskets of hargow, crispy shrimp rolls, and softball-sized shu mai. To be seated at one of Lunasia’s Lazy Susans is to basically attend one of King Arthur’s roundtables: so gather your crew and head to hangover court.
Brunch with your friends is great. Brunch with your friends and a six-foot-tall drag queen who continually gives you sh*t for everything you do and can rock a cover from A Star Is Born (2018) at a moment’s notice? That’s even better. Although Hamburger Mary’s is a national chain you can find anywhere from Ontario to Orlando these days, the magic of its original Weho location is still undeniable. The food is all pretty passable, but if you came for a gourmet dining experience, you obviously didn’t get the memo. You’re here for the party-like atmosphere, bottomless mimosas served out of legs covered in fishnet stockings, and drag queens doing death drops to an Abba mega-mix.
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The Court Cafe
Sometimes we wake up on the weekend with a very specific craving: to bury our bodies in as much food as humanly possible, and quickly. Court Café’s here for all of that, an excellent breakfast spot in Ladera Heights where the portions are almost always large enough to split between multiple people. We love the Ocho Burrito, a multi-pound giant (yes, you read that right) stuffed with fried shrimp, lobster, chorizo, potatoes, and eggs. We also like the taco omelet, but we suspect they crack at least a dozen eggs into this thing, so just prepare yourself for that.
Located in the Malibu Country Mart, Lucky’s is an upscale steakhouse where you’ll spot surfers wearing still-damp board shorts mingling with soccer moms, start-up CEOs, and wealthy locals just trying to find the best light to showcase their diamonds. So, you know, Malibu. That being said, Lucky’s is more than just a people-watching show: on the weekends, they serve a fantastic brunch menu packed with Spanish chorizo burritos, huevos rancheros, and an absolutely massive filet mignon with eggs. Get one of their signature blueberry cocktails and ask questions later.
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photo credit: Holly Liss
This casual breakfast spot in Cheviot Hills is as low-key as they come. Although it’s been around for almost four decades, there’s no larger historical context here or long lines of rabid tourists coming straight from LAX, and that’s exactly how we like it. We get the sense that everyone in the dining room just comes here to see friends, eat the Biscuits From Heaven draped in gravy, then get on with their day. If you’ve been scrolling through this brunch guide and secretly hoping (maybe subconsciously) to find something that resembles your hometown’s old-school diner and that’s always filled with couples dissecting their granddaughter’s soccer game and teens who’ve just come from prom, then head to John O’Groats.
Lemon Poppy Kitchen
Over in Glassell Park, Lemon Poppy Kitchen is a small all-day café and one of the only places to find Romanian food in the city. The order-at-the-counter spot is home to Parsnip, a pop-up that serves dishes that hit the perfect Venn diagram of hearty/heavy and kind-of-tastes-like-a-health-food-store. Fragrant paprikash stews are filled with turnips, leeks, and fennel. There’s a cucumber yogurt dip dotted with herbs that we wish we could take home in a 10-gallon container. You’ll also find marinated feta, salmon spaetzle plates, and chicken melt sandwiches, all of which can be enjoyed on their spacious, very serene patio.
This Long Beach brunch spot does more than just serve a killer mimosa and crispy crackly croque madams - it’s also a wonderful queer-friendly space and a hub for the entire community. A Pride flag hangs in the window, the energy here is always ready to party, and glasses of champagne can be mixed with your choice of OJ, cranberry juice, guava, pineapple, or white peach. Or, if you’re like us, order one of each and pretend it’s a sampler flight.
Much like a pop diva who insists on being known by one name, Republique doesn’t really need an introduction. But in case you’re new in town (or just want a refresher), this upscale French restaurant on La Brea is easily one LA’s most recognizable restaurants. The jury’s not out yet on whether their dinner service is still worth the big $$, but when it comes to brunch, you’ll have a difficult time finding better pastries, baguettes, and shakshuka packed with soft, velvety eggs and crispy chickpeas. Grab a seat in their gorgeous dining room - it literally used to be a cathedral - and with every kouign amann you eat, you’ll feel an inch closer to the afterlife.
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After a harrowing experience in which we burnt not one, but two separate batches of chocolate chip waffles, we consider any meal eaten outside of our apartment a win. Especially when that meal is at Redbird, a decently fancy American restaurant on the outskirts of Downtown that’s housed in an old, abandoned church. Which, now that we’ve written it, kind of sounds like the plot of a B-rated horror film, but trust us, it’s much more beautiful than it sounds on paper. Expect lamb belly hash, kaya toast smothered in spicy cashew butter, duck confit chilaquiles, and lots and lots of strong cocktails.
King's Hawaiian Bakery
Little known fact: those sweet, sweet bags of Hawaiian dinner rolls found at the grocery store don’t just magically appear every night - and they’re also not made in Hawai’i. Although it was technically founded in Hilo, ever since 1998, King’s Hawaiian has been operating out of the South Bay, serving island-style brunch favorites like gravy smothered loco mocos, huli huli chicken, and French toast made with those signature rolls. Yes, you can find better Hawaiian food in the area, but it’s always fun to eat in the kitschy, electric teal dining room filled with giant pineapple sculptures. Oh, and if you’re not getting the haupia cake made with vanilla chiffon, you should probably just exit this guide now.