Can we tell you a secret? We prefer breakfast over brunch. Before you start composing an angry email defending the world of mimosas and burgers for the morning meal, hear us out.
There’s the ease - no waiting two hours for a table while your hangover gets more and more apparent and you get more and more irritable. It also dispenses with the whole in-between-ness thing, which means you won’t find any pasta on the menu. We’re sorry, but pasta is not a morning food. Weekday breakfast just seems so calm compared to the absolute insanity that is brunch at 11am on a Sunday. Also, breakfast meetings are better than all other types of meetings.
Whether you’re scheduling a morning meeting, or just decided to treat yo’self to eggs and a pastry on a Wednesday morning, here are our favorite spots for a weekday breakfast.
Sure, most of us can handle making toast on our own. But sometimes you just want to outsource your breakfast making, and Lodge is one of the best places in the city for it. They’ll load up your toast with almond butter, cinnamon sugar (yes, you read that right), or our favorite, a few different types of cured fish. There are heartier options like shakshuka or a cinnamon roll the size of a child’s head, and the whole process is a lot quieter than the very busy brunch situation that happens here on weekends.
Weekend crowds at this chicken and waffles joint can get unbearable, so if you don’t want to get stuck in a line full of people you saw at the Bungalow last night, head to Bru’s on a weekday. This tiny cafe in Santa Monica serves some of the best fried chicken on the Westside in portions that will almost definitely provide you with leftovers. The space is unpretentious and casual, so you can show up in sweatpants and get maple syrup all over your face and no one will care.
If the Grand Central Market Wexler’s feels like eating at an old-school lunch counter, the Santa Monica location is more like your neighborhood diner. And while we could eat an Uncle Leo sandwich every week for the rest of our life, we’re also not mad about the bigger menu they’ve started serving in Santa Monica. Alongside all the bagels and smoked fish you can handle, they’re doing things like babka french toast, cheesy scrambled eggs, and a soft boiled egg toast with potato and green goddess dressing. This is by far the best breakfast option in downtown Santa Monica, especially because the tourists haven’t found it (yet).
West Hollywood is ground zero for over-the-top breakfasts. Which is why we’re all about Breakfast by Salt’s Cure, a (you guessed it) breakfast-only spot in the original Salt’s Cure location on Santa Monica Blvd. And when we say breakfast-only, we really mean griddle cakes. Sure, you can get a breakfast sandwich here, but if you’re not loading up on these best-in-town pancakes, then you aren’t doing this place justice. They’re also open until 3pm, for all your breakfast-for-lunch needs.
The Rooster582 Mateo Street
Some mornings you just know: you’re going to need a breakfast burrito to get you through the day. And The Rooster has one of the best around. The Rico Suave comes with egg, bacon, avocado, cheese, salsa, cilantro crema, and tater tots. Yes, tater tots inside a burrito are as good as they sound. The truck parks outside Blue Bottle Venice Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, Blue Bottle in the Arts District on Tuesdays, and Alfred on Melrose Place on Thursdays.
“Wafflerie” sounds like the name of a side character in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but it’s actually a (kind of pretentious) way of saying “we sell waffles”. Shaky Alibi calls itself a wafflerie. To be fair, though, this Fairfax cafe is serving very good waffles and not much else. They’re the Belgian kind that are sweet enough not to need syrup, but they’re not all sugar either. They come in a bunch of varieties and you can always make a full meal out of their breakfast plates and a coffee, but the portions aren’t overwhelming. When it’s crowded, service tends to be slow - so this is the perfect place to head on a weekday morning.
Weekend plans for Sqirl mean encountering a line wrapping around the corner and abandoning said plan for something mediocre and less difficult. Weekday plans for Sqirl mean walking straight up the counter and ordering more brioche toasts with ricotta and jam than you could possibly eat.
Huckleberry is another place that goes from total insanity on weekends to almost library quiet on a weekday morning. Green eggs and ham (sadly, not dyed green, just served with pesto) and some of the best pastries in town taste so much better when you haven’t waited in line and then battled with a Santa Monica mom for a table.
Maybe you think it’s weird that this Italian place run by very cool people serves breakfast. Once you’ve eaten the breakfast pizza, you no longer will. And you’ll probably come to appreciate that breakfast time is Jon & Vinny’s at its best - oddly chill and way, way easier to get a table.
As you should already know, Australian breakfast is the best breakfast. Exhibit A: Paramount Coffee Project. Their soft scrambled eggs are top notch, the coffee rules, and even the vegemite butterscotch milkshake is worth a try. In case you were wondering, this cafe is exactly what a cafe in Melbourne feels like, so you’re probably going to want to start looking up one-way flights pretty quick.
Republique is one of the city’s best French restaurants at night, but is also one of the city’s best bakeries during the day. You should probably get some eggs (go ahead and Instagram them, it’s fine) but you should also absolutely get the kouign amann because it’s one of the most delicious things you’ll ever put in your mouth.
Weekday mornings might be the best way to experience Gjusta. Things are so quiet, they dispense with the ticket system entirely, so you can stroll straight up to the counter and order your breakfast bialy without waiting approximately a million years. You might even get a seat out on the patio. The egg bialys are great, but our go-to is always the pastrami gravlax with herbed cream cheese on a bialy, and a baklava croissant chaser. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and we are ready and willing to take advantage of that.
You know why this is on the list: that breakfast burrito. It why we’re here, it’s why you’re here, it’s why your coworker makes any excuse to swing by Fairfax on their way to work. So yeah, get the breakfast burrito.
We’ve spent more time and money at Sycamore Kitchen than we care to admit. But we are suckers for the multiple charms of this bakery and cafe on La Brea - a big courtyard out front, many excellent egg dishes, and the fact that you practically are forced to order a pastry after staring at the huge selection while you wait.
Bondi Harvest is in a very strange part of Santa Monica, wedged between warehouses and with semi-impossible parking. But that’s fine, because we’ll always make the effort for their Bondi breakfast - a big plate with eggs, avocado, roast tomatoes, mushrooms, and bacon done Australian style. What’s that, you ask? Just the best kind of bacon - not so cooked it shatters upon contact and way less fatty. And one of us is Australian, so we know what we’re talking about when it comes to breakfasts from Down Under. Get on it, mate.
If you’ve been missing that restaurant in your hometown where everyone knows each other, and the owners used to babysit your parents in the 60s, there’s always John O’Groat’s. This Cheviot Hills spot feels like it was airlifted from the midwest, and has all the comfort food to prove it.
Nick’s is one of those places you walk into and realize you don’t know LA at all. The nearly 70-year-old Chinatown diner is a flat-out breakfast institution and kind of greasy spoon spot where you post up at their U-shaped counter, eat some ham and eggs, and listen to the two guys next to you talk about their issues with Nixon. You head to Nick’s completely for the experience, but walk out thinking the food was pretty d*mn good too. No surprise: cash only.
The guys behind one of our regular morning coffee pit stops have just given us another reason to spend more time in their Melrose location - breakfast. This is the fanciest part of West Hollywood, so of course there’s avocado toast, but the biscuit topped with a poached egg and cheddar is a very good start to any morning.
Blu Jam is a different place during the week. Over the weekend, it will inevitably be slammed with an hours long wait. Come Monday morning, suddenly Blu Jam is a relatively low-key neighborhood spot. Head for a spot on the patio out front.
Millie’s is the Eastside breakfast spot that rules them all. The place is 90 years old, so it’s safe to say they know their way around an egg. Millie’s isn’t doing anything particularly special or different, but she’s always there when we need her, probably with a perfectly acceptable omelette in hand.
Kings Road does not have the best food on this list. However, it has something much more important - an atmosphere you actually want to spend your morning in. Also, coffee. Really, really, really good coffee. Located on Beverly Blvd. a few blocks east of La Cienega, Kings Road is the kind of casual breakfast spot every neighborhood in the city wished they had. Affordable prices, a wait staff that won’t rush you out the door, and oh, did we mention their coffee?
A new, and very solid breakfast option for Valley residents, Claudine in Encino has an interesting breakfast menu and a whole lot of pastries. Choices range from chilaquiles to malted milk pancakes and, of course, avocado toast. It’s a big space and the staff can seem a little overwhelmed, but Claudine does its job as a good morning pit stop.