16 of the Best Breakfast Spots in LA
Roll out of bed and into one of these excellent spots for chilaquiles, pancakes, breakfast burritos, and lots of coffee.
Sometimes it’s hard to get out of bed. Maybe it was a tough night or maybe you’ve got a daunting day, or maybe you just need an extra minute. On those sorts of mornings, it helps to have a little incentive—like visions of a really good breakfast. The right meal can change your whole perspective, flip your day from a chore to a pleasure. So whether you’re looking to be pampered with fresh juice and farmers market vegetables, overwhelmed with a mountain of eggs, or stunned by new interpretations of diner classics, we’ve got the perfect spot to coax you out from under the covers. And also coffee, there’s lots of that on this list of our favorite breakfast spots in LA, which spans Downtown LA and Hollywood to Santa Monica and Manhattan Beach.
Not all third-wave coffee shops are the same, but there is certainly a rubric: blonde wood and white tile, fancy La Marzocco espresso machine, avocado toast, stylish coffee bag designs, and backpack rap on the speakers. With locations in Santa Monica, Culver City, and Manhattan Beach, Goodboybob fits the bill, but they push the genre to new heights with their outstanding food program, which prominently features whole wheat wraps they call chapatis. They’ve reinterpreted the flatbread as a sort of elevated take on breakfast burritos, with a wide variety of eggs and seasonal vegetables like marinated artichokes, parsnip puree, or root vegetables wrapped up with hot sauce. They also make a wide array of toasts, well beyond the obvious avocado, and their house-made pastries are creative and exciting. And if you need to balance out your caffeine buzz, they have a good selection of natural wine that they serve all day, too.
How to order: Walk in or order ahead through their app.
There is no breakfast like a luxury hotel breakfast, whether you’re actually on vacation or not. And for a luxury hotel breakfast around here, it’s hard to beat Ardor, chef John Fraser’s vegetable-focused restaurant at the West Hollywood EDITION. Dinner is an expansive journey from the raw bar through the farmers market and down into the charcoal grill, but breakfast is a much lighter affair. The menu is short but precise, with egg dishes and light bites and perfect baked goods. Fraser’s deft touch with produce is on full display in the Forest Mushroom Omelette, the Fig French Toast with fig jam, and the Avocado Toast, which comes with seeds, jalapeño, and a showering of fresh herbs. In their elegant hands you’re going to feel pampered as hell, just remember that unless you’re staying at the hotel it remains BYO bathrobe.
If the thought of ordering a breakfast dish with no idea of what will actually arrive excites you, Destroyer is your spot. Chef Jordan Kahn’s Culver City cafe applies his signature futuristic fine dining techniques to breakfast standards, yielding wild new takes on french toast, oatmeal, waffles, and more. That oatmeal, for example, may come out raw, with a roasted almond praline, red currants, and the Icelandic yogurt skyr. French toast may come deconstructed, a slice of sweetened bread accompanied by a ring of ripe peach around a circle of whipped ricotta, with a sidecar of birch syrup to drizzle over the top. The Loaded Avocado Confit is as far-out a take on avocado toast as you’ll find; the coffee and pastries are perhaps more familiar, but no less thrilling for it.
How to order: Walk in or order ahead through their website.
Clark Street Diner
Classic diners are a miracle, with good people, cheap coffee, and the right low-key energy to accommodate either post-party wind-downs or the morning after recovery. But there’s one problem—the food at so many legendary places kind of sucks. Not so at Clark Street Diner, the zombie restaurant that climbed out of the grave of 101 Coffee Shop. They’ve kept the decor and vibes intact but upgraded the cooking; now they make their own sausages, the pancakes are perfect every time, the toast is made with Clark Street founder Zach Hall’s bread, and the coffee is not just cheap, it’s good too.
How to order: Walk-ins only.
Huge Tree Pastry
Huge Tree is a giant in the Taiwanese breakfast game, going strong in Monterey Park for almost 12 years. They’ve won fame for the Taiwanese donuts You Tiao, deep fried and perfect with a side of soy milk. They also knock out some excellent dumplings, congee, and pan-fried radish xakes. Best of all are the Fan Tuan, rice rolls stuffed with scrambled eggs, pork floss, greens, and, if you want it, an entire doughnut.
How to order: Walk in or call 626-458-8689 to order ahead for takeout.
Rose Park on Pine
Boozy bottomless party brunches still exist, but the brunch zeitgeist has definitely moved on—it’s all about coffee shop brunch now. Long Beach-based coffee roasters Rose Park have turned their Pine Avenue shop into a brunch laboratory, giving chef Melissa Ortiz and her team license to experiment with an ever-changing menu of weekend bangers. You may pop in to find a Filipino-themed menu, a sandwich with a patty of halibut spiced like longganisa, a dish of Mushroom Sisig, or a Vegan Kinilaw. Sometimes the menu runs Mexican, with a transcendent Bean and Cheese Burrito. And there is a particularly inspired take on the classic Egg Sandwich, with peppery eggs, crispy cheese, and sweet stone fruit jam on a bolillo from Gusto Bread. And they have a robust natural wine selection, in case you want to keep the boozy part intact.
How to order: Coffee and pastries can be ordered on Toast.
The Serving Spoon
This urban eatery has been cranking out breakfast favorites for 40 years and the prices remain just as affordable as when they first opened. In addition to being a Ram’s house, they’re active with the local community, including regular meal giveaways for the community and posting weekly inspirational messages on their IG. Southern staples like Fried Shrimp and Grits are on offer, alongside hearty plates like Pork Chops, Catfish Nuggets, and a lineup of three-egg omelets, which you can enjoy via their breezy takeout service or in the lively dining room.
How to order: Walk in or order takeout online.
Chilaquiles are a perfect breakfast dish, balanced, comforting, and hearty but never leaden, and totally customizable. Tierra Caliente is an all-day restaurant with two locations in Cypress Park, but they really shine at breakfast, and for their chilaquiles in particular. The chips have just the right mix of crunch and give, the eggs are cooked well, and the range of salsas you can get them with is expansive. Go with red or green for a classic version, or punch things up with the A La Diabla salsa or the fiery orange habanero salsa. Oher breakfast dishes are similarly well executed, in case you’ve got a particular hankering for Huevos a la Mexicana or Huevos con Chorizo.
How to order: Walk in or order ahead through their website.
At first blush, Kitchen Mouse reads like the hippest place on Earth—it’s an adorable cafe in Highland Park, with artfully mismatched decor, a trendy crowd, and a menu that’s vegan except for eggs, with allergens listed before ingredients. But avoid the temptation to write them off; Kitchen Mouse has the goods to back up their popularity and style. Each dish is bold, with big flavors that other ostensibly healthy restaurants sometimes forget. The Huevos Rancheros are loaded with salsa, crema, and slaw on Kernel of Truth tortillas. The Moros Cakes are little hockey pucks of beans and spices with an excellent cilantro-serrano pesto. And the chili lemon dressing and cashew mint chutney on the Morning Glory Bowl elevate a dish of kale and brown rice to exciting new heights.
How to order: Walk in, order for pickup through Toast.
The four year-old West Adams cafe has expanded to an all-day operation recently, but morning meals are still their bread-and-butter. Executive chef Kat Turner’s menu thrives on fun takes on classic brunch dishes, like the Breakfast Sando on focaccia with sheep’s cheese, roasted tomatoes, and a whole fistful of herbs. There is also the Ubiquitous Avocado Toast with furikake and zhug, a killer Breakfast Burrito, and the perfectly ludicrous Brunch Fries, a plate of french fries topped with two fried eggs—fries are basically hash browns, right? Whatever you get, don’t skimp on their excellent house-made hot sauce, with a perfect little tang of fermented chilis.
How to order: Walk in or order for pickup and delivery through Toast.
Café de Olla
The seven year-old Cafe de Olla in Burbank is named for the Mexican coffee drink, which is prepared in a clay pot with cinnamon, piloncillo, and sometimes other spices. Their version is as good as you might imagine, a strong brew that tingles with warming spices, an excellent early morning treat. They also make an expansive selection of breakfast food, including Mexican and Mexican-American essentials like Huevos Divorciados, Nopalitos con Huevo, breakfast burritos, and four different varieties of chilaquiles. But the menu doesn’t stop there—they also have all the diner classics, pancakes, omelettes, and egg sandwiches, and about a dozen permutations of French toast which range from sugary sweet to deeply decadent.
How to order: Walk in or order pickup through ChowNow.
Strings Of Life
The Aussie cafe tidal wave has mostly settled back to a comfortable sea level, with a few shops sadly pulling up stakes and a couple firmly established. There’s Little Ripper in Eagle Rock, Great White in Venice and Larchmont, and West Hollywood’s Strings of Life. They’ve all got good vibes and great coffee, but for pure breakfast food you can’t really beat SOL. There are no simple dishes here—the ethos is maximalist in a way that is pure fun. So the Avocado Toast comes with fava beans, cucumbers, cornichons, chives, and lime; the latkes get decked out like an everything bagel with smoked salmon, cream cheese, arugula, and dill; and the breakfast burrito has eight ingredients, doubling up on the usual four. They also have a totally wild Sausage Roll series right now, with a new take on the meat pastry from a new country of origin every week—it’s coming to a close soon, so don’t miss it.
How to order: Order pickup through their website.
DominantTop Chef winner Brooke Williamson’s third restaurant with her husband Nick Roberts is a breezy combined cafe, restaurant, and bar literally across the street from the sand in Playa Del Rey. It would be a nice stop for the location alone, but it becomes an absolute winner when you add in their lovely weekday menu of thoughtful breakfasts like a Croissant Sandwich with eggs, gruyere, and prosciutto; a take on shakshuka with stewed tomato, lentils, and a soft boiled egg; and a thunderous breakfast sandwich with sausage, collard greens, house-made habanero hot sauce, and an over easy egg. On weekends there is also a heartier brunch menu, which expands the options to include French Toast, a Cajun Benedict, a bagel with house-cured salmon, and more.
How to order: Order online through their website.
Chefs Walter and Margarita Manzke’s resplendent palace of French-ish cooking is an LA institution at this point, an essential place to see and be seen, and also to eat incredibly well. The cafe breakfast and brunch menu runs distinctly global in influence, with a stunning wood-baked Shakshouka, muscular Kimchi Fried Rice with delicate poached eggs, and a lavish Pupusa. But Republique is also justifiably famous for its bakery case, and if you want to make an entire meal out of pastries there may be no better place to do it—the fruit Danishes, pies, and croissants both savory and sweet are the stuff of dreams.
How to order: Order for pickup through their website.
The Village Bakery & Cafe
The Village is best known for their pastries and breads, in particular their excellent morning buns and hand pies. But the Atwater cafe does much more than bake, with a full breakfast menu of scrambles, burritos, and the very cool Atwater Special, a grilled polenta cake with eggs, cheese, spinach, and bacon. The breakfast sandwiches are another standout, both the simple vegetarian version on a challah bun and the Village McMuffin, a stunner with house-made sausage, romesco sauce, and eggs on an English muffin.
How to order: Order for pickup or delivery through GrubHub.
The quintessential Venice restaurant has held its title since it opened in 2008, staying on-trend and relevant for almost a decade and a half. Their breakfast remains a delight, with Gjelina’s signature global influences on a backbone of local farmers market produce. There is Duck Hash with a crispy egg and mustard, and there is an elegant Shakshouka with Merguez and yogurt. There is Smoked Salmon Toast, and there is a poached egg with prosciutto and salsa verde. There is impeccable seasonal fruit with the Greek Yogurt and Whole Grain Porridge, in preserved form with the Labneh Toast and Banana Bread, and also on its own as a $15 Fruit Plate, the ultimate California flex.
How to order: Order takeout through their website.