photo credit: Jakob Layman
Seriously, who was in charge of naming all the berries? They did fine with blackberries and blueberries, but strawberries and raspberries make no sense. And then you get to boysenberries, lingonberries, huckleberries, and snozzberries. Are they even real? Turns out most of those are actual berries, but it also turns out that eggplants are berries, so we’re still pretty confused.
Whether or not you care if huckleberries are in fact berries and not something Roald Dahl made up, you need to be eating at Huckleberry, a cafe and bakery in Santa Monica that feels like it’s been there forever. They may not sell anything containing actual huckleberries (yep, they’re real), but this is one of our favorite bakeries on the Westside. Actually, it’s one of our favorite spots on the Westside, period.
In a world of grain bowls and cruffins and maple bacon goat cheese pine nut donuts, Huckleberry is decidedly old school. There’s nothing on the menu that you haven’t seen before - it’s just that those things are better here than anywhere else. Kale caesar salads, fried egg sandwiches, chilaquiles, and cinnamon rolls are all present. But that cinnamon roll is easily one of the best in town, and the fried egg sandwich is the platonic ideal of comfort food. Which is basically what Huckleberry is: comfort in restaurant form.
The whole place feels like a country kitchen: wooden tables, slightly rickety chairs, very friendly staff. Despite being loud and essentially always having a line, Huckleberry is overall low key. You order at the counter from the same full breakfast and lunch menu every day - including weekends - so if the thought of brunch makes you want to curl up in the fetal position, Huckleberry is your kind of place.
But really, this is everybody’s kind of place. What looks like a simple salad and sandwich joint is way more than that. Huckleberry brings the kind of comforting familiarity that makes you feel like your grandmother will come out of the kitchen, or you might see Huckleberry Finn himself causing a ruckus near the baked goods.
You’ll just have to find the huckleberries themselves somewhere else.
Green Eggs & Ham
You’re probably not eating these in a boat or with a goat, but you should still be eating them at Huckleberry. Because there aren’t many better things in life than poached eggs with prosciutto and basil pesto. Except maybe the English muffins they come on top of. If you don’t order this, get a side of the muffins - they shouldn’t be missed.
Emily Hart Roth
Fried Egg Sandwich
You can’t really go wrong ordering anything that comes between slices of bread at Huckleberry, but if you’re having trouble deciding, just go for this guy. The eggs come perfectly runny, the bacon is thick, and you can pretend arugula counts as being healthy.
Emily Hart Roth
Yes we know a kale caesar salad is the most basic of all the basics, but we don’t care, this one is delicious.
A salad in the loosest sense of the word. Not-at-all greasy falafel come on top of a white bean puree, with tomatoes and cucumbers and arugula on the side to mix in. Another way that you can feel like you’re being healthy, even if you’re probably not.
Roasted Turkey Salad Sandwich
If only our Thanksgiving leftover sandwiches were this good. The turkey is done chicken salad style (aka lots of mayo), with cheddar cheese, spinach, and cranberry compote. The best part is possibly the onion focaccia that it’s all between.
If you come to Huckleberry and don’t get a pastry, you are doing life wrong. The cinnamon rolls and kouign amann are legendary for good reason, but the crostada, cookies, and coffee cake are all worth your time as well. So yeah, you should probably come back here enough times to try them all.
Emily Hart Roth