In the land of avocado toast, superfood-filled bowls, and hefty burritos dripping in salsa, brunch is the most important meal of the day and the cornerstone to any solid weekend itinerary. Most restaurants worth a salt-cured bacon slice offer breakfast menus on weekends, but the following 19 are the best of the brunch bunch.
A quintessential Southern California brunch experience, sun streams through the greenhouse-like structure onto hanging ferns and flowers. Just outside its doors, hotel guests work on their tans at LINE LA’s densely populated pool deck. Hip pretty folks feast off speckled pottery carrying seasonally inspired dishes like crab benedict and avocado sandwiches created in collaboration with Michelin-starred LA native Josiah Citrin. Bulgogi hash and vegan menudo are nods to the predominant populations in its Koreatown location. Substitute something/anything for the big fruit plate. The validated-but-still-expensive valet is another authentic Angeleno detail.
Carb cutters need not apply as it's the go-to for a pancake pilgrimage. Just about every flavor and topping you can imagine is served here, including red velvet cake, Scotch On The Rocks (coconut, pecan, oat, and butterscotch), and espresso with chocolate chips. Mom’s French Toast is unsurpassed in the entire state. Portions are ridiculously giant, but half stacks are available. The wait is soul-crushing on weekends. The earlier you arrive, the shorter the line. Better yet, go on a weekday when there’s less demand for the crammed-together booths, counter, or tables in the red-bricked space. Park in back.
Venice is ground zero for the L.A. brunch scene, and Gjusta is its most well-known acclaimed ambassador. Equally influenced by East Coast delis, farmers markets, and Parisian patisseries, It's always a madhouse on weekends so be prepared to race unshaven actors, shaggy beach bums, and girls in their best athleisure for tables in the revived warehouse. Also be ready to cough up a pretty penny for still-warm bread and bagels, house-smoked fish, almond butter toast, matcha smoothies, and eggs in chermoula.
Serving brunch all day every day, Encino’s artisan kitchen is a bustling neighborhood staple that keeps parents and working stiffs caffeinated with handcrafted chai lattes and nitro-infused cold brews, sugar addicts high on baked goods, and stomachs sated with items like vegan carrot cake quinoa oatmeal, lamb hash with harissa hollandaise, and malted milk pancakes. Ordered at the counter, whipped up in a clean open kitchen, and served in a bright dining room accented by jewel-toned blue and chalkboard art. Don't leave without trying the brown butter Rice Krispy treats.
A new kid on the Abbot Kinney block, the Creamsicle-colored eatery quickly gained a loyal following for its artfully plated approachable food. Chef Vartan Abgaryan’s vision calls on his Armenian heritage, classical training, and LA upbringing and the result is items including rye waffles with yuzu honey, a savory Dutch baby with peas and morels, avocado hummus with za’atar chips, and a zesty bowl with peanut pistou and pickled Fresno chilis. Treat yourself to the cinnamon rolls and a morning elixir, or you will regret it.
Named after award-winning chef Michael Cimarusti’s beloved grandparents and inspired by his New England seaboard upbringing, the modern West Hollywood restaurant should be as well known for its fish-forward morning menu as it is for its immaculate raw bar and fresh takes on classic seafood fare like Portuguese fish stew and oysters Rockefeller. But it feels like a hidden gem when you show up on the early side, which translates to more uni omelets, biscuits and lobster gravy, and Nor’easter sandwiches with clam strips for folks who think outside the box. Wash everything down with coffee milk, another throwback to Cimarusti’s Rhode Island childhood.
Timothy Hollingsworth’s fetching fare is a great way to start a day downtown. Indoor and outdoor spaces seamlessly merge, the open kitchen invites inquisitive eyes while the bar encourages conversation, the wine cellar has multiple sommeliers on the payroll, and pasta is made by hand. Brunch has sophisticated choices full of global favors like the smoking pork belly and French toast donabe (a social media mainstay), the palette-pleasing khachapuri with truffle, or chicken flautas. Get a hit of sweet with warm beignets and mixed berry pop tarts. Everything is so artfully plated it could earn a spot on the wall of Otium’s neighbor The Broad.
Part of the respected Rustic Canyon family, this counter service-only bakery and café has been a Santa Monica breakfast go-to for a decade and with good reason. Everything from the hefty breakfast burrito and green eggs and ham to the extensive assortment of goodies under glass (monkey bread, fruit slab pies, muffins, oh my!) is made on-site and mostly with ingredients from high-quality California purveyors. Dairy, meat, and poultry is GMO-free. The staff is warm and welcoming, which goes a long way in making the perpetually long waits bearable.
A ‘70s fever dream of macramé, textured ceilings, and pops of burnt orange, The Garland’s restaurant lures hotel guests and locals alike for daily breakfast and weekend brunch due to the perfect combination of a sunny porch, laidback vibe, updated retro design. (The whole experience will leave Gen X-ers nostalgic for the living rooms of their youth.) Menus fittingly reflect both the cultural diversity of North Hollywood and current L.A. food trends—think pop tarts, Thai Town shrimp, pork tamales, and a Nashville hot chicken biscuit. Bonus: there’s validated self-parking, and unlike many competitors, they take reservations for small parties.
This West Adams Southern joint helmed by Keith Corbin easily charms its way into the stomachs, hearts, and minds of diners, first with affable service and second with a selection that cherry-picks elements of classic soul food and California cuisine. Enjoy shrimp and grits, cornmeal pancakes, black eye pea fritters, or a collard green salad on the ivy-covered patio. Wash it down with one of seven sophisticated cocktails.
One bite of a cream-filled bombolini (or anything in the pastry case), and you’ll understand the hype that surrounds the South La Brea brainchild of Walter and Margarita Manzke. Inspired by their respective childhoods in San Diego and Manila, the two chefs honed their craft under former bosses and mentors like Wolfgang Puck, Alain Ducasse, and Joachim Splichal. Breads and baked goods never disappoint, and neither do heartier plates like chorizo sopes or French-tinged fare like smoked salmon tartines. But fair warning: it’s pricey and always packed despite being housed in a big beautiful space built by Charlie Chaplin.
The culinary centerpiece of the ritzy-meets-rustic Brentwood Country Mart offers patrons a fresh start every day of the week with Golden State-inspired artisanal goodies, farm-to-table vegetables and fruits, eggs cooked in many styles (coddled and shirred are two options), and an in-house bakery. The weekend brunch ante is upped with additions like chicken liver mousse and a frittata with shishito peppers and whipped lime crème fraiche. Pick up prepared foods, cheese, charcuterie, and chocolate in the market for room snacks.
Straddling the border between Dogtown (Santa Monica) and Venice, Rose has been churning out reliable morning meals since 1979. A handful of years ago, the whole space got a shiny new look—the encaustic tile floor, wine-to-go fridge, and neon poster wall are Gram regulars—and a new chef, Jason Neroni. Neroni updated the offerings to reflect his worldly travels, California constants, and seasonal ingredients. Think chia seed pudding, hearth-baked shakshouka, and octopus ceviche. You won’t go thirsty as the juice is squeezed daily, day drinkers have 14 cocktails to choose from, and coffee and tea options seem endless.
A few blocks from the pier, chef David LeFevre’s South Bay staple, decked out in reclaimed wood and metal accents, is the best way to fuel up before a beach day or Strand bike ride. Bros and party girls love the long list of hangover helpers and hair-of-the-dog beverage options while those with adventurous taste buds lean toward the bibimbap, truffle honey fried chicken, or pozole roja. Don’t get too attached to any single item during pre-visit research; the chef who cut his teeth at Water Grill and Charlie Trotters is known for changing the menu on a whim.
The simple Silver Lake eatery’s house-made jams, toasts, and savory and sweet rice creations (like a sorrel pesto rice bowl, crispy rice salad, or brown rice porridge with toasted hazelnuts) have attained almost mythical status in these parts. Chef Jessica Koslow, who first gained attention thanks to her punchy jams, rolls out different daily specials at 8 a.m. and 11 a.m., many of which have Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, or Scandinavian touches like cucumber tzatziki, rugbrød, or house-smoked white fish. This kind of notoriety, of course, comes with lines out the door.
Home is where the heart is. In the case of chefs Quinn and Karen Hatfield, who connected in the Spago Hollywood trenches and eventually started a respected L.A. dining empire of their own, their hearts are in the kitchens they oversee. The filling but refined comfort food—ricotta buckwheat blintzes, pork belly hash, and Yucatan bowls with chicken pibil and queso fresco—they are creating makes customers feel at home in a former 1950s print shop on La Brea too. Stumptown handles the coffee program, which pairs nicely with the freshly baked bread and pastries, including the signature salted caramel pecan babka or ale-spice gingerbread.
A Sunday-only brunch spot in City Market South, a development of repurposed warehouses in the downtown Fashion District, chosen by Michelin for their 2019 California Bib Gourmand list (a restaurant where one can score two exceptional courses plus a glass of wine or dessert for less than $40) serves self-proclaimed “Bologna inspired and Los Angeles made” entrees family style. Terrazzo-like floors, lacework-topped banquettes, and an outdoor area that looks like a piazza transport customers to Italy while Sotto chef Steve Samson mans a huge grill.
With six locations across L.A. (and one in Tokyo!), you’ll never have to venture far from your hotel to eat at this casual mini-chain that promises not to use ingredients they can’t pronounce or that contain corn syrup. They also don’t use freezers, GMO tofu, or meats with nitrates, antibiotics, or added hormones. Highlights of the all-day breakfast menu include chicken chilaquiles, wagyu burgers, spicy migas, and carbonara-style poached eggs with rice, bacon, peas, and Parmesan. Get an order of crunchy French toast, a house specialty rolled in corn flakes and topped with berries and vanilla sauce, for the table.
Near Griffith Park, this all-day mid-century dining dome in Los Feliz was one of the city’s first air-conditioned restaurants before it became the infamous Brown Derby. With a backstory like that, it makes sense that the current tenant re-conceptualizes American classics. The croque madam is given a California spin with avocado, cheddar, and sun-dried tomatoes. Smoky maple aioli is slathered on breakfast sandwiches while brisket hash is gussied up with homemade steak sauce and chili oil. You can eat plump oysters by the dozen or sip myriad morning drinks with fun names like Party With Cardi and Ground Control to Marjoram out by the fire pit.
You gotta love a place selling cake for breakfast. Located in a remodeled liquor store, this airy charming Silver Lake spot is what happens when two former food writers put down the notebooks, pick up knives, and get in the game. The design of their fantasy is streamlined but welcoming, awash in neutrals, and features lots of wood, a sunny patio, wild centerpieces that look handpicked, and gold-and-globe light fixtures. The menu is similarly bright and fresh, vegetarian heavy, internationally spiced, and locally sourced when possible. Turkish eggs, chicken congee, strawberry grain bowls, and the tomatillo shakshuka are the all-stars.