There’s a lot to like about brunch. There’s booze and pancakes, and everybody’s in a better-than-usual mood because it’s the weekend. But it can also be a complete and total pain in the ass. If you didn’t think to get a reservation, or you aren’t out of bed and at a restaurant by 9am, your Saturday is going to be spent waiting in long lines with every other hungover person who didn’t get their sh*t together. And all you really want are some eggs and coffee and cheap champagne anyway. So skip the lines and head to any of these 19 spots where the wait times are minimal and the food is still exactly what you need.
If you need a restorative brunch, you have two options: a greasy, highly calorific mess of eggs and meat, or healthy food that won’t make you sad. Little Pine sits in the second category. This Silver Lake spot is 100% vegan, it’s owned by Moby, and all the proceeds go to animal welfare organizations. We probably didn’t have to mention that it’s in Silver Lake, but it is good to know that weekend brunch here stays surprisingly calm. As for the menu, it’s vegan food that even non-vegans will actually like. Get the French toast or the tofu scramble.
Eating at the OP Cafe feels like having breakfast at a beachside B&B - there’s a heavy nautical theme, the walls are covered with old photos of the city and its residents, and the staff is incredibly friendly. While there’s no alcohol (turns out your B&B hosts are on the conservative side), the food at this tiny, daytime-only Santa Monica spot is breakfast classics done very well. And you can usually get in without waiting long (or at all).
Seeing that this guide isn’t called “Brunch Spots You Can’t Get Into And Don’t Really Want To Anyway,” there aren’t many Studio City options. Luckily, Valley residents have The Bellwether, an all-day bar and restaurant with a solid brunch that doesn’t have the hour-plus wait times of nearby spots. That might have something to do with the fact that, from the outside, The Bellwether looks like a cottage at a Renaissance Fair. But once you get inside, you’ll find a simple space with zero court jesters. Also, if you have a big group or you’re with someone who likes to plan, they take reservations.
One requirement for a hungover brunch: you don’t want to wait. This is not time for Sqirl. This is time for cheesy eggs shoveled into your mouth and washed down with a cheap mimosa. And that’s what Fat Dog is: great food, rarely a long wait thanks to the many trendy places surrounding it, and $5 mimosas and Bloody Marys. Also, they’re dog friendly.
Hedley’s is that quiet kid no one notices because they sit next to the super popular girl who was the first one in your middle school to wear a crop top. (Her name is Gracias Madre.) But that’s okay, because while everyone else is waiting for mediocre Mexican brunch, you can walk right into Hedley’s for a casual meal that won’t take up half the day. The turkey chili with scrambled eggs is our favorite thing on the menu, but they have plenty of good salads and healthy things to persuade your friend to give up her fight to wait for a table next door.
If you could care less about a brunch scene and just need any version of an egg in front of you as fast as possible, King’s Road is your holy grail. Is this the best brunch food in LA? No. But it’s pretty solid and affordable and there’s a solid chance you’ll see Jane Lynch eating an omelette. This is the definition of a neighborhood brunch spot, where people simply go to eat breakfast and not be seen. Important: they serve some of the best restaurant coffee in LA.
10 years ago, Lulu’s was one of the longest brunch waits in Beverly Grove. Crowds eventually moved on to newer places, but after a recent overhaul, both design- and food-wise, it’s time to put Lulu’s back into your rotation. The menu is mostly egg-heavy diner classics, although there’s a shakshuka on the menu we’re fond of. There also always seems to be a table available, and the sidewalk seating is some of the nicest in the area. In a neighborhood where brunch waits are counted by the hour, Lulu’s is an excellent option when you need food right now.
Idle Hour remains the best spot to grab a drink in the Valley. But this kitschy, bar-inside-a-giant- barrel also does a good weekend brunch that doesn’t get too crazy because all of their patrons are still at home sleeping. With cornbread, steak and eggs, and pulled pork, there’s a Southern feel to the menu, and that’s exactly what you need after a night of regrettable decisions. The back patio is shaded and there’s a $15 bottomless mimosas situation.
Angelini Alimentari is the casual daytime sibling to the more upscale (and stupidly good) restaurant next door, Angelini Osteria. Where Osteria deals in lasagna and branzino, Alimentari is all about Italian coffee, pastries, frittatas, and some of the best gelato you’ll find in town. You order at the counter inside, and then go find a seat in the low-key courtyard off to the side. There’s no alcohol, but the atmosphere is still a great place to shake off last night’s regret without screaming 23-year-olds in your face. Despite the name recognition and extremely solid brunch food, Alimentari’s crowds have yet to hit fever pitch. They have a location downtown as well.
Best known as that bar in West Hollywood that seemingly clones Michael Kors models in the bathroom and programs them to socialize with you at the bar, The Hudson also has a brunch on the weekends that isn’t half bad. The Michael Kors clone army recedes back to their re-programming stations during the day, leaving the space on Santa Monica far more relaxed than what you’d find at night. The brioche grilled cheese with short rib is a revelation, and there are $12 mimosa carafes. Happy Saturday.
While the rest of LA waits around for good (but not great) food on a packed patio at Alcove, you should be eating across the street at Mustard Seed. Their food tastes like someone actually put some care into it, everything is affordable, serving sizes are massive, and there’s a solid chance you’ll see a celebrity eating a club sandwich. This is one of those places that Los Feliz people love, but never talk about because they don’t actually want you going there and ruining it for them.
Abbot Kinney might be a brunch paradise, but if you don’t want to spend your day killing time trying on every pair of glasses in Warby Parker on while you wait out a table, your choices are more limited. Except at Salt Air, which has recently become a kind of local’s clubhouse on this tourist-infested street. There’s a definite seafood focus (skip the lobster roll and go straight for the salmon rillette with everything bagel spice), but it’s also safe for those people who are scared of eating ocean animals. They should probably have the fried chicken sandwich.
Cafe Figaro is French to its core, except for the fact that they do a killer brunch. We don’t think French people eat brunch.. But if you’re looking for another Los Feliz option without a crazy wait, come here for oeufs many ways, crepes, carafes of mimosas, and a croissant breakfast sandwich that’s probably the best thing here. All of which can be had every day of the week.
The Ocean Park neighborhood of Santa Monica is everything downtown SM isn’t - full of locals instead of tourists, plentiful parking, and non-chain restaurants. Local Kitchen is a total neighborhood spot where they do kinda fancy versions of classic brunch things (think brioche french toast, polenta with spicy sausage and eggs), but you’re here for the long list of brunch pizzas. You want the crispy prosciutto and burrata one.
Yes, this Culver City spot has a terrible name. But it’s also a place where we can get steak-frites and/or crepes for brunch, so it’s the kind of thing we’re willing to move past. They also do an $18 bottomless brunch deal that might make you forget a few more things.This is one of the least corporate-feeling restaurant in downtown Culver, but somehow you can roll in on a Saturday and sit right down.
We have no idea why Odys and Penelope isn’t busier at brunch, but we’re also not complaining. They do things like a porchetta eggs benedict, a salmon salad, and a “McDonald’s-inspired” apple turnover, and getting a table is rarely an issue. Don’t feel like standing in line at Sycamore Kitchen and having to battle for a two-top to accommodate your five-person group? Walk a few doors down to Odys and you can sit the whole time and drink alcohol too.
The Larder is the kind of place you end up at when the text thread started at 10am with “Holy sh*t, I need food RN.” It’s casual enough that you can show up in stretchy pants (so it at least looks like you did something other than complain about your hangover this morning), and you’ll also be able to get coffee into your system in record time. The breakfast toast with avocado, harissa, prosciutto, and poached eggs has your name on it.
People of Los Feliz: Messhall is always there for your weekend brunching needs. The space is big and sort of on its own on Los Feliz Blvd., so getting a seat is rarely a problem. More importantly, the menu is enormous and involves almost anything you could want for a comfort food brunch, from pancakes and omelettes to a beet salad and (for an unknown reason) hot wings. Hike it all off in Griffith Park afterwards. Or, you know, just get another round.
Sometimes you wake up needing a breakfast burrito and your body won’t listen to you until it gets one. When that day arrives, head straight to Cofax. The tiny order-at-the-counter spot along Fairfax isn’t as much a brunch spot as it is a place to reintroduce yourself to the land of the living. And despite having one of the best breakfast burritos in the entire city, lines are never too terrible. Our go-to is the chorizo burrito, but their vegetarian is pretty excellent as well. If sitting inside with a burrito and a cup of coffee doesn’t cure you, just go home and sleep until tomorrow because there’s no hope.