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.
Your uncle in Sherman Oaks has asked you to visit roughly once a month since you moved to LA, and four years in you finally have a real reason to go over the hill - breakfast at Petit Trois. The Valley location is way bigger than the Hollywood original (i.e. it has actual tables), and weekday mornings are the best time to be here. There’s a $10 breakfast sandwich with a perfectly cooked egg, super buttery croissants, and a boursin cheese omelette that could be from an old French cooking show on PBS (in a good way). You’ll probably have to listen to a studio person pitch a movie about the Chainsmokers a table over, but for one of those croissants, you can put up with a lot.
Next time you find yourself in the terrifying depths of Hollywood (the square mile between Cahuenga, La Brea, Hollywood Blvd, and Santa Monica Blvd) and think that your only breakfast options involve fast food or green juice, remember Tiago, a daytime cafe on the corner of Hollywood and La Brea. It’s a counter-service spot with a bunch of communal tables and outside seating, where industry people and people who just finished yoga come together with their dogs to eat breakfast burritos, egg sandwiches, and protein plates.
Also in the terrifying depths of Hollywood, Otus is an extremely pleasant Thai cafe that’s open for breakfast. You could come to this bright white space with your laptop - or with a friend who, like you, is interested in ordering garlic chicken wings for breakfast. The menu is a mix of American and Thai breakfast options, so if you’re doing it right, you’ll end up with a table full of french toast, eggs, rice porridge with shitake mushrooms, and, yes, garlic chicken wings. Everything is very tasty and costs about $10.
There are two types of people in this world: those who like their breakfast burritos with potatoes and those who like them with beans. If you’re a proud member of the bean party, then it is highly likely that Lily’s, a tiny Mexican spot in Malibu, serves your favorite breakfast burrito in LA. Even the small size is about the the length and weight of a newborn child, and it comes loaded with fluffy eggs, cheese, refried beans, and bacon. You should add avocado, ask for all three kinds of the salsa, and call in your order in advance while you’re bombing down PCH.
This tiny Venezuelan cafe works well for anything from a pre-work pitstop to a holiday when you wake up at 7 because your body doesn’t know it’s President’s Day. The space looks like any other cafe in North Hollywood, but rather than day-old pastries, they have fantastic things like empanadas, arepas, and cachapas (corn pancakes stuffed with cheese). It gets crowded quickly on weekends, but you won’t ever have to wait for a table during the week.
Eating weekday breakfast at All Time is the restaurant equivalent of that one friend who is always too put-together at 8am. It always looks nice in here, with lots of freshly-baked things at the counter, and stoneware coffee cups that the little devil on your shoulder will try to convince you to steal. The breakfast burrito is going to immediately convince you to abandon your grain bowl aspirations, but you won’t care by the time you’re eating it out on the patio. There will likely be a line, but it moves quickly, and while you wait you can stare at the dinner menu on the wall and wonder if it’s weird to come back later on tonight.
With its green ivy-covered patio, Cora’s feels like a little secret garden, but that’s also because it’s kind of a secret in general. Tourists somehow haven’t gotten to this cafe on Ocean in Santa Monica yet, so there’s never a wait to get inside. The food is what you’d expect from a fancy boutique hotel on a beach - they serve bruschetta poached eggs, Turkish style breakfasts, and bagels that come with burrata instead of cream cheese. But you’re here for the best huevos rancheros on the Westside. The eggs come in a perfect puddle of beans and ranchera salsa that we would be perfectly happy eating on its own like soup.
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.
You’ve eaten the same sad granola with almond milk before work every day since 2016, and it’s time to make this pre-work ritual slightly less sad. Check out Painter’s Tape. They serve excellent twists on Japanese breakfast food, like steamed rice in chicken broth and a fried cabbage salad. And if you’re prepared to change the way you think about donuts, you should probably order the confusing but fantastic curry and cheddar donut. This spot in Gardena definitely attracts some people who traveled long and far for breakfast, but there’ll also be a crowd of regulars who the cashiers know by name.
This is excellent all-day cafe in East Hollywood with two huge rooms where you can always find a place to sit. It’s pretty quiet in here, so if you need to clear your head before you stare at your computer screen all day, you can sit by the window and read/scroll through Twitter. Walk in any morning, and you’ll find a bunch of people eating great short rib hash, very filling grain bowls, and some of the best egg salad in LA.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.