On paper, brunch is that special weekend meal where you get to drink champagne before noon and eat a fancy benedict you would have never made at home (a.k.a. any benedict). But in reality, it’s a meal of survival. One shot lead to two shots lead to you singing LeeAnn Womack’s “I Hope You Dance” to a group of people waiting in line for the bathroom last night, and you’ve woken up in a dire state. There’s no time for truffle omelettes or thoughtful takes on a Belgian waffle, you need butter and carbs to keep you upright. So grab a pedialyte roadie and get to any of these spots as fast as you can.
The breakfast burrito, by all scientific analysis, was created for hangovers. Which is why, when it’s Sunday morning and you’re working through a blistering one, you need to remember Cofax. The tiny spot on Fairfax is a coffee shop with a life-saving breakfast burrito hidden on their menu. They offer a few different protein options, but the housemade chorizo is your order. This thing is big and salty, with a crunch from the crispy potatoes inside. Served all day.
You told yourself no hard alcohol last night and there you were at 1:20am in a lemon drop chug race with the bathroom attendant. Call in backup and get to Lunasia. The SGV dim sum staple has a wait most weekends, but that extra half hour of mental fog will be a distant memory the moment you put their softball-sized pork shu-mai in your mouth. All the seating at Lunasia is at giant King Arthur roundtables, so gather up the crew and go hold hangover court. Dim sum is served all day long.
Kings Road is a no-frills sidewalk cafe in Beverly Grove where you can always get a table, and the crowd is just as hungover as you are. Their breakfast menu isn’t huge, but they have all the omelettes and scrambles and buttermilk pancakes you need. And if none of that works, go for their coffee. It’s truly some of the best in town.
Nick’s Chinatown location might not be the most convenient, but if you’re looking for a greasy pile of breakfast, nothing beats this 70-year-old diner classic. The interior is small, with only counter seating, but there are a few tables outside if you can bear to be in the sun right now. You can’t go wrong with any of their egg dishes here, but order at least one plate of their famous house-cured sliced ham for the table. You won’t regret it.
John O’Groats feels like that restaurant in your hometown that your family has been going to for decades, with owners who still think you’re in high school even though you’re 32. And that’s the kind of comfort you need right now. Everyone in here is either reading the newspaper, swapping synagogue gossip, or eating the Biscuits From Heaven until they can’t anymore. Yes, they’re actually called Biscuits From Heaven and yes, it’s a very accurate description.
26 Beach is a neighborhood brunch spot in Venice with a big patio and an atmosphere that feels like you’re eating breakfast inside Mary Poppins’ attic. And yet in this moment of desperation, the one thing you really need to know about it is that they have a 20-item long French toast section on their menu. And also there’s an egg scramble with pasta in it. 26 Beach might be the Six Flags of LA brunch, but that’s a ride you’re willing to take today.
That 2:30am bacon-wrapped street dog was a terrible idea and your body is on the verge of disowning you. If you need to put something mildly healthy into your system, PYT is your spot. The vegetable-focused restaurant downtown does a great brunch with somewhat healthy dishes like fried eggs and seasonal vegetables, housemade granola with fruit, and a melon and cucumber salad your body will thank you for.
Your hangover woke you up at 6am and deep down you know there’s no chance you’re going back to bed. Take advantage of the fact that you live near the ocean, and grab some food at Playa Provisions beforehand before heading to the beach. The all-day restaurant in Playa Del Rey opens at 7:30am every morning, with a long coffee menu, housemade pastries, and one of our favorite breakfast sandwiches on the Westside. Take it all to-go and claim your spot in the sand.
When you only know you need sunshine and a giant plate of starchy things, go to Millie’s in Silver Lake. This breakfast spot specializes in dishes that will cure the worst hangovers - for example, the Devil’s Mess, which is eggs, potatoes, and spicy sausage thrown together with guacamole and sour cream. Also, the fact that wearing anything other than sweatpants basically constitutes overdressing here means you can come as you are (still wearing that lei you have no memory of putting on last night).
Pho isn’t technically brunch, but if you’ve ever utilized it to lift yourself out of hangover hell, then you know just how magically it restores you to pre-I’ll-just-have-one-more-shot health levels. And Pho Cafe is one of our favorite ways to heal. This casual spot in a Silver Lake stripmall is the perfect low-key place to sit with your head down until you’ve inhaled enough soup to raise it and maybe venture back outside.
If you woke up early and need to eat before you inevitably head back to bed, it might be a good time to go to Uncle Bill’s. This small diner looks like a beach shack and has walls filled with photos of the ocean, in case you forgot where you were. It fills up on weekends, but if you get there before the rush, you’ll be rewarded with giant stacks of very fluffy pancakes and waffles. And an ocean view. Salty air is good for a hangover.
Deep in Hollywood on Sunset Blvd., Waffle looks like the kind of place you might find attached to an office park in Sherman Oaks. But it’s actually a great breakfast option in a part of town that’s otherwise lacking in good, casual spots. It’s called Waffle, but you can get pretty much any kind of breakfast item here - without much of a wait.
You woke up to three of your friends crammed into your bed and a collective hangover so bad you can feel it in the air. Or maybe that’s just the smell of vodka. Either way, there’s no way your crew is getting it together to go to brunch. That’s okay - just call in a takeaway order from Homestate. This tiny Tex-Mex spot has a line out the door on weekends, but when you need their loaded queso, you can simply call in your order and elect the least-hungover person in the group to go pick it up (they’ll get to skip the line).
If you’re staring down that half-eaten slice of pizza that somehow ended up on your kitchen counter last night, stop what you’re doing and go to Little Dom’s, which will give you the carbs-and-cheese combination you deserve. This neighborhood Italian restaurant in Los Feliz feels very old-school (even though it’s kinda not), but the comfy seats and dark interior will definitely help ease your pain. Plus, their breakfast pizza has an egg on it.
This tiny breakfast and lunch spot in Santa Monica specializes in fried chicken and waffles. There will probably be a line out the door on weekends, so we recommend ordering to go, then taking your huge portion across the street to Douglas Park. The chicken is always crispy and well-seasoned, the waffles are fluffy, and some sunshine and fresh air also probably won’t hurt. Plus, you can distract yourself by throwing pieces of waffle at the ducks.