The Least Boring Brunch Places In Silver Lake
photo credit: Jakob Layman
Unless the year is literally 2012, the words “brunch” and “Silver Lake” combined probably have the same effect on your body as extra-strength melatonin pills or a movie where there’s barely any talking. In other words, comatose. For some reason, it’s a meal that’s hard to get right in this neighborhood - but with enough digging, you’ll find classic Mexican restaurants, vegan soul food, and a poolside affair that feels like an afternoon in Naples. Here are the least boring brunch places in Silver Lake.
You can always rely on Casita Del Campo, a classic Mexican restaurant and historic queer space on Hyperion Ave, for a good time and brunch is no exception. It’s available daily and only costs $23 - you’ll choose an entrée (think chile rellenos, steak and eggs, or carnitas simmered in garlic and oranges), plus either a house margarita, Bloody Mary, or mimosa. Pair this with a sunny morning and their gorgeous outdoor patio, and you might end up asking a server if you can live here forever.
El Cochinito took a strip mall in Silver Lake and turned it into a day in Havana: there’s a light breeze on the patio, string lights sway overhead, and old regulars chit chat amongst themselves while nursing ice-cold lagers. Although there is no formal brunch menu here, this classic Cuban restaurant has tons of great food, ideal for being consumed while hungover. Their pollo empanizado - a deep-fried chicken dish served with maduros - is a standout and there’s an award-winning Cubano, plus an excellent wine and beer program.
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This soul food restaurant serves brunch like you’d have it in the South - biscuits and gravy, shrimp and grits, maple bacon, and chicken and waffles pack the menu. The twist? It’s all vegan. In May 2021, chef Velvet Jacobs turned her plant-based pop-up into a restaurant and now offers some of the best soul food around. If it’s your first time here, get the soul plate - it comes with all the heavy hitters, like plant-based chicken, shrimp, unbelievably creamy mac and cheese, cornbread, collard greens, and sweet candied yams for dessert.
You’ll find this all-day restaurant (get it? No really, do you get it?) in a bright-red building on Sunset Blvd slinging hot chicken sandwiches and breakfast burritos the size of newborn babies. It’s definitely one of the livelier places to grab a meal in Silver Lake, filled with chic-looking families with young children and Gen Z-ers wearing sunglasses that are too small for their face. Order the ADB biscuit sandwich: it comes with scrambled eggs, cheese, bacon or sausage, and is slathered in their signature strawberry jam.
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People often forget about Edendale, a friendly neighborhood bar and restaurant (maybe because of its location right off the five?). Which is a mistake, seeing that it’s one of the prettiest places to grab brunch in Silver Lake. It’s housed in a massive brick building, the remnants of an old fire station, complete with a sprawling courtyard, secluded dining rooms, and a sunny patio out front. At brunch, they serve a full menu of California/Mexican dishes like enchiladas verdes, half-pound angus burgers, and french toast brulee, plus bottomless mimosas for $17 per person.
Over in the old Cliff’s Edge space is Bacari Silver Lake, a casual wine bar inspired by Tuscany’s farm life. They’ve kept the many things we liked about the former restaurant (hidden patio, romantic vibe, a thicket of trees growing out of the courtyard), but ditched the tiki aesthetics in favor of warm wood accents, string lights, and fire pits, achieving a look that’s not unlike an episode of Ashley Tisdale’s backyard music sessions. Brunch happens every Saturday and Sunday and features a bottomless mix-and-match option where you can get endless mimosas, bellinis, sparkling sangria, and Bloody Mary’s for $30 per person.
Maury’s is one of our favorite bagel shops in the city. You’ll find them in a red brick building in one of Silver Lake’s more residential areas serving bagels that are the perfect mix of dense and chewy. They’re great on their own (we particularly like the salt bagel, which comes studded with rock-hard crystals), but their cured fish options shouldn’t be missed either. The sliced black cod is rich and buttery, there are multiple types of smoked salmon, and for $22, you can get a bagel piled high with lox and wasabi tobiko - a sinus-clearing breakfast that’s as effective as any neti pot.
If your preferred vision of brunch includes sunbathing by the pool, perhaps it’s time to book a reservation at Marco Polo. The sunny Mediterranean/seafood/Italian-ish (there’s a lot going on here) restaurant is attached to the Silver Lake Pool & Inn and is a great place to spend a Saturday afternoon while pretending you’re in Naples and chugging Aperol spritzes. Their brunch menu is short and sweet, packed with caprese bruschetta, Italian sausage paired with hash browns, and oysters served on the half shell.
You probably know Millie’s Café, either as “that crowded restaurant on Sunset Blvd” or from its cameo on Dollface in 2019. Sure, it’s a bit of an obvious choice when it comes to brunch in Silver Lake, but it’s still one of the best places in the neighborhood to drink orange juice splashed with champagne and over-easy eggs. In addition to a lengthy breakfast menu, they also have an entirely vegan section with plenty of vegan eggs florentine, gluten-free waffles, and plant-based tacos. There will also be tempeh.
Run by the team behind Los Angeles taquero legend Guisados, Playita is a new(ish) mariscos restaurant also on Sunset. The menu here is pretty compact, so you’ll want to focus on the campechanas and tacos. The fish tacos are beer battered to perfection, encased in a glorious golden shell that makes a proper CRUNCH when you bite into it. If you want something a bit more acidic, try the campechana, a seafood-packed snack that comes with an ocean’s worth of shrimp, fish, crab, albacore, and octopus in a tomato-based stew.
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Whenever we’re feeling nutrient-deprived and haven’t closed a ring on our fitness tracker in, like, forever, we head to Botanica. Located in a bright, airy space on Silver Lake Blvd, a meal here feels like getting dropped into an Instagram wellness page, but in a good way. Light streams in from the windows, there’s a market of raw vegetables and wine at the front, and gorgeous (gourd-geous?) melons come sprinkled with feta and just-picked mint leaves.