There’s a lot to like about brunch. There are pancakes and mimosas, and everybody being in a better-than-usual mood because it’s the weekend. But it can also be a complete and total pain in the ass. If you didn’t think to get a reservation, or you aren’t out of bed and at a restaurant by 9am, your Saturday is going to be spent waiting in long lines with every other hungover person who didn’t get their sh*t together. And all you really want are some eggs and coffee and cheap champagne anyway. So skip the lines and head to any of these 21 spots where the wait times are minimal and the food is still exactly what you need.
Throw a succulent anywhere in Los Angeles and you’ll probably hit a coffee shop with good food. Doubting Thomas is one of the newer options, but this quiet spot in Historic Filipinotown is doing more than just fancy toast and poached eggs. They also make an excellent breakfast burrito and biscuit sandwich and many pastries, and they have a great side patio where you can eat these things.
Dim sum is one of the best ways to start a weekend morning, but if you’re on the Westside, and a trip to the San Gabriel Valley sounds overly ambitious, Mar Vista’s Little Fatty is a good alternative. This neighborhood spot has good dumplings (plus a mooshu breakfast burrito) and seeing as it’s never too crowded, there are no extremely frustrating two-hour waits.
Just because you’re not interested in waiting an hour for a table doesn’t mean you can’t have the Bloody Mary brunch you’ve been thinking about since Tuesday. Winsome has one of the best patios on the Eastside, and it almost never has the wait times you’d expect to go along with that. Their potato rosti with corned beef will make you forget about that cafeteria St. Patrick’s Day beef that scarred you back in ninth grade, and you should order it.
If you need a restorative brunch, you have two options: a greasy, highly calorific mess of eggs and meat, or healthy food that won’t make you sad. Little Pine sits in the second category. This Silver Lake spot is 100% vegan, it’s owned by Moby, and all the proceeds go to animal welfare organizations. We probably didn’t have to mention that it’s in Silver Lake, but it is good to know that weekend brunch here stays surprisingly calm. As for the menu, it’s vegan food that even non-vegans will actually like. Get the French toast or the tofu scramble.
There are many places for brunch in Studio City, but too many of them have long waits and extremely mediocre food. Luckily, Valley residents have The Bellwether, an all-day bar and restaurant with a solid brunch that doesn’t have the hour-plus wait times of nearby spots. That might have something to do with the fact that, from the outside, The Bellwether looks like a cottage at a Renaissance Fair. But once you get inside, you’ll find a simple space with zero court jesters. Also, if you have a big group or you’re with someone who likes to plan, they take reservations.
One requirement for a hungover brunch: you don’t want to wait. This is not the time for a line that wraps around the block. This is the time for cheesy eggs shoveled into your mouth and washed down with a cheap mimosa. And that’s what Fat Dog is: great food, rarely a long wait thanks to the many trendy places surrounding it, and $5 mimosas and Bloody Marys. Also, they’re dog-friendly.
Cheviot Hills is known less for restaurants and more for having big houses and an even bigger golf course. But that’s exactly why there aren’t really any crowds at Food. It’s a low-key spot with a huge chalkboard menu, filled with egg and sausage breakfast plates and a great BEC. When all you’re really looking for is food and coffee that makes it into your body as soon as humanly possible, this is a good bet - service is fast, and your coffee will never be more than halfway finished before they refill it.
Hedley’s is that quiet kid no one notices because they sit next to the super popular girl who was the first one in your middle school to wear a crop top. (Her name is Gracias Madre.) But that’s okay, because while everyone else is waiting for mediocre Mexican brunch, you can walk right into Hedley’s for a casual meal that won’t take up half the day. The turkey chili with scrambled eggs is our favorite thing on the menu, but they have plenty of good salads and healthy things to persuade your friend to give up her fight to wait for a table next door.
If you could care less about a brunch scene and just need any version of an egg in front of you as fast as possible, King’s Road is your holy grail. Is this the best brunch food in LA? No. But it’s pretty solid and affordable and there’s a good chance you’ll see Jane Lynch eating an omelette. This is the definition of a neighborhood brunch spot, where people simply go to eat breakfast and not be seen. Important: they serve some of the best restaurant coffee in LA.
Somehow, your quiet brunch turned into something involving every friend/kid/dog you know, and now you’re looking for space. Spoke is a bicycle shop and all-day restaurant with an enormous patio, a great breakfast sandwich, and one of the best veggie burgers in LA. It’s right on the LA River bike path, which will let you look out at the “river,” drink a beer and a coffee while the kids play with the dogs, and admire people that get up early on Saturdays to go on bike rides.
Eating at the OP Cafe feels like having breakfast at a beachside B&B - there’s a heavy nautical theme, the walls are covered with old photos of the city and its residents, and the staff is incredibly friendly. While there’s no alcohol (turns out your B&B hosts are on the conservative side), the food at this tiny, daytime-only Santa Monica spot is breakfast classics done very well. And you can usually get in without waiting long (or at all).
Idle Hour remains the best spot to grab a drink in the Valley. But this kitschy, bar-inside-a-giant-barrel also does a good weekend brunch that doesn’t get too crazy because all of their patrons are still at home sleeping. With cornbread, steak and eggs, and pulled pork, there’s a Southern feel to the menu, and that’s exactly what you need after a night of regrettable decisions. The back patio is shaded and there’s a $15 bottomless mimosas situation.
While the rest of LA waits around for good (but not great) food on a packed patio at Alcove, you should be eating across the street at Mustard Seed. Their food tastes like someone actually put some care into it, everything is affordable, serving sizes are massive, and there’s a solid chance you’ll see a celebrity eating a club sandwich. This is one of those places that Los Feliz people love, but never talk about because they don’t actually want you going there and ruining it for them.
The Ocean Park neighborhood of Santa Monica is everything downtown SM isn’t - full of locals instead of tourists, plentiful parking, and non-chain restaurants. Local Kitchen is a total neighborhood spot where they do kinda fancy versions of classic brunch things (think brioche french toast, polenta with spicy sausage and eggs), but you’re here for the long list of brunch pizzas. You want the crispy prosciutto and burrata one.
Yes, this Culver City spot has a terrible name. But it’s also a place where we can get steak-frites and/or crepes for brunch, so it’s the kind of thing we’re willing to move past. They also do an $18 bottomless brunch deal that might make you forget a few more things. This is one of the least corporate-feeling restaurants in downtown Culver, but somehow you can roll in on a Saturday and sit right down.
We have no idea why Odys and Penelope isn’t busier at brunch, but we’re also not complaining. They do things like a porchetta eggs benedict, a salmon salad, and a “McDonald’s-inspired” apple turnover, and getting a table is rarely an issue. Don’t feel like standing in line at Sycamore Kitchen and having to battle for a two-top to accommodate your five-person group? Walk a few doors down to Odys and you can sit the whole time and drink alcohol too.
People of Los Feliz: Messhall is always there for your weekend brunching needs. The space is big and sort of on its own on Los Feliz Blvd., so getting a seat is rarely a problem. More importantly, the menu is enormous and involves almost anything you could want from a comfort food brunch, from pancakes and omelettes to a beet salad and (for an unknown reason) hot wings. Hike it all off in Griffith Park afterwards. Or, you know, just get another round.
Sometimes you wake up needing a breakfast burrito and your body won’t listen to you until it gets one. When that day arrives, head straight to Cofax. The tiny order-at-the-counter spot along Fairfax isn’t as much a brunch spot as it is a place to reintroduce yourself to the land of the living. And despite having one of the best breakfast burritos in the entire city, lines are never too terrible. Our go-to is the chorizo burrito, but their vegetarian is pretty excellent as well. If sitting inside with a burrito and a cup of coffee doesn’t cure you, just go home and sleep until tomorrow because there’s no hope.