Whatever your preconceived notion of Westsiders is, there’s one stereotype we’ll allow: people who live on the Westside don’t like to leave the Westside. OK, one more: they like brunch. A lot. With these facts in mind, here you’ll find everything you need to know about brunch on the Westside. Whether you haven’t crossed the 405 in six years, or you just need a place to eat before the beach, this guide should point you in the right direction.
Brunch is essentially Rose Cafe’s reason for being. The huge interior and two patios are at their best during daylight hours, there’s plenty of choice on the alcohol front, and you can order both a breakfast sandwich and bucatini carbonara and nobody will judge you. Just kidding, all of Venice will judge you, but don’t let that stop you.
Cheviot Hills might not technically be the Westside, but John O’Groats is barely over the 405, and also we like it too much to not include it. This old-school diner is the kind of spot where you’ll sit next to a couple dissecting their granddaughter’s soccer game and debating the best dogsitter for their corgi over perfectly fluffy pancakes. Weekends usually mean you’ll wait, but you can always pour yourself a cup of self-serve coffee from the big carafe out front and wander over to the nearby golf course to continue living out your suburban fantasies. Once you sit down, focus on the classics and an order of the Biscuits From Heaven.
Your brother-in-law is in town and insisting that you spend Sunday morning browsing the stalls on the Venice Boardwalk. The very least he can do is buy you brunch at Great White to make up for it. This Australian cafe is at enough of a distance from the tourists that actual Venice locals don’t mind hanging out here, and the food helps, too. It gets crowded, so you’ll probably end up squeezed in next to a surfer and his German shepherd, but there’s nothing in that situation that should annoy anyone. Get a tater tot-filled breakfast burrito and a flat white, and hope that Geoff realizes that this, not the Boardwalk, is the actually-good part of Venice.
With the word bread in its name, it would be a major letdown if the Superba brunch was bad. It’s definitely not, especially if you start with a cinnamon roll. The menu is divided into ‘brunchy’ and ‘lunchy’ sections, and if you’re smart you’ll do a little from column A and a little from column B. And/or just get the fried chicken sandwich.
We know that you’re never going to drive to Malibu just for brunch. But maybe you have friends in town, or maybe you won the life lottery and actually live out there. Either way, do yourself a favor and get to Malibu Farm. For brunch, this restaurant at the start of the pier is the way to go - mostly because there’s both a lobster burrito and lobster scrambled eggs. Welcome to the ’Bu.
There’s no denying that on Venice’s Abbot Kinney Blvd, Gjelina reigns supreme. While there may be an aggressive wait and uncomfortably attractive people inside, Gjelina is always a good idea. Their Neapolitan pizzas, lemon ricotta pancakes, and soft scrambles are among our all-time brunch favorites. Go ahead and wait the extra 30 minutes to sit outside, we promise the out-of-towners you’re trying to impress will love it.
When you’d prefer to skip one of Santa Monica’s many bottomless brunches/raves, Little Prince is here for you. While we wouldn’t call this small Main St. spot quiet, it’s filled with friends catching up over breakfast salads and couples texting each other instead of talking. The menu is great, involving everything from a brown rice porridge that you won’t immediately regret ordering, to a fantastic breakfast sandwich, to an off-menu, wood-fired sticky bun that you should absolutely ask for.
If you’re okay with a wait, Huckleberry is an excellent casual brunch move with a mystifyingly-delicious egg sandwich. This is an order-at-the-counter and then be seated situation, but on a Saturday you can consider standing in line your workout for the day. Also, you should probably get both the egg sandwich and the breakfast burrito. And also a pastry.
While weekend dim sum is something we can all get behind, if you live on the Westside, the San Gabriel Valley is an hour-long drive away full of hanger. Little Fatty is a great alternative, and one that involves zero minutes on the 10. The dim sum side of the menu includes some of our dinner favorites, like excellent squid ink xiao long bao, plus more traditional options like shumai and har gow. But you should also investigate the non-dumpling options. The Taiwanese Sunday Gravy is a sort-of Italian, sort-of Taiwanese pasta, and there’s a mooshu breakfast burrito that you definitely won’t find at any of the SGV staples.
Before you spend a day at the beach pretending you’ve played beach volleyball before and forgetting to put on sunscreen, you’ll need brunch. And Playa Provisions is about as close as you can get to eating eggs on the beach, without the risk of sand in your scrambled eggs. The outdoor dining room has dune views, and you can sit next to a fireplace that makes you feel like you’re at a bonfire at Dockweiler (before you go to an actual bonfire at Dockweiler). Get one of their mai tais and you won’t ever want a mimosa in the morning again.
Again, you’re probably not driving specifically to Malibu for brunch. Unless you’re dating a stoner surfer who lives in his van on the PCH. Or if it’s at Nobu. This may just be the most prime real estate on the coast – you actually feel like you’re eating on the ocean. And the day we discovered Nobu Malibu’s brunch menu (exclusive to this location) was one of the happiest days of our life. You can skip your usual rock shrimp order and go for the sliders and kaya toast instead.
There basically is no Brentwood Country Mart without Farmshop. It’s nice inside, there’s plenty of room to park your stroller, and there’s Jennifer Garner wrangling her kids in the corner. And, after you enjoy your omelet you can buy a $15 block of cheese at the market on your way out.
Food is a daytime market/restaurant in Cheviot Hills with good breakfast things and extremely friendly service. Sure, you probably can make eggs and bacon or granola yourself, but what they’ll serve you at Food tastes better - and comes with a side of a wild story about Brooklyn in the ’70s from the owner. That same owner will also notice when you inhale the incredible breakfast potatoes in under three minutes, and (if you’re lucky) bring you another plate just as fast.
Scopa is not the type of place where you can roll up in stretchy pants and the tank top you slept in and try to get away with the “I just worked out” look. This is where you come for your best friend’s birthday brunch, with great cocktails and crispy biscuits. Big groups will love it here.
We tend to avoid places that devote a section of the menu to ‘Wellness Lattes and Teas,’ but The Butcher’s Daughter is actually way less awful that it should be. Sure, there’s an acai bowl and something called cauliflower grits, but there’s also a fairly decent breakfast burrito and excellent coffee.
26 Beach is good for a large group brunch – we can almost guarantee the main dining area will be filled with big tables of people with hangovers chugging mimosas and ordering salads and fries. Your out-of-towner 20-something cousins will also love it here. It’s worth going just to witness the really interesting décor that can only be described as shabby chic on meth.
French Market Café is a lesser-known spot on Abbot Kinney. It’s one of those neighborhood places that only locals seem to frequent. They probably keep it quiet because they don’t want any non-Venice riff-raff infiltrating. But luckily someone let us in on the secret that is French Market Café and its really incredible patio, and now we can’t get enough of the cheval on a baguette.
For brunch, the normally dark and vibey Charcoal opens up a wall of windows and turns bright and airy. All the classic brunch foods are here (burgers, hashes, benedicts), but often with a twist. The benedict comes with an inky black charcoal-infused hollandaise (looks scary, tastes good) and the baked potato is stuffed with bacon and eggs. Mandatory: ordering a round of cheddar buttermilk biscuits for the table.
You might know The Anchor because of its delicious lobster roll, but this place is also one of the best brunch spots on Main Street. The biscuits and gravy are a must-order. Their playlist also deserves mention – it’s got everything from Tom Petty to vintage Bruce Springsteen. Another bonus? They offer bottomless micheladas or mimosas for $16.
If you can manage to hurdle the strollers and walking canes that populate the sidewalks of Montana Avenue on a weekend, Art’s Table is worth a shot. Its outdoor space is coveted in this part of town. So grab one of their tables that line tenth street, soak up the sun and watch people walk in and out of the holistic store across the street while you day drink prosecco and eat short rib hash.