The 75 best dishes and drinks in Los Angeles 2017: Breakfast and brunch

From pastries to full-on piles on a plate, 2017 was a year for breakfast, brunch and everything in between.

Photograph: Stephanie BreijoGrab Filipino brunch at Partido

Weekday or weekend, is there a wrong day—or even time of day—to settle into a booth with a plate of eggs and bacon? This year we revisited L.A. classics and the latest power players in the brunch scene and found, unsurprisingly, no: There’s always a good time for breakfast or brunch, and thankfully, L.A. serves all kinds at all hours. Whether you’re in the mood for Filipino longanisa or an espresso cinnamon roll, here are this year’s picks for breakfast and brunch dishes around town. 

RECOMMENDED: The best dishes and drinks in L.A. of 2017

L.A.’s best breakfast and brunch of 2017

Fully Loaded Sorrel Pesto Rice Bowl at Sqirl

Come on, you knew Sqirl would show up on this list somewhere. It’s impossible to avoid, not because Jessica Koslow’s creative, comforting and hyper-local breakfast-and-brunch restaurant is so trendy. It’s because the food is still—after roughly seven years—some of the best and most exciting and consistent around. The sorrel pesto rice bowl is a menu stalwart, but throw caution to the bank-account winds and order it fully loaded with all the fixins. Go on and get that lacto-fermented hot sauce, that thick-but-so-tender bacon, that ample avocado and mountain of kale. You won’t be hungry til dinnertime. $8.50 for a basic bowl, $19 with bacon, kale, avocado and hot sauce. — Stephanie Breijo

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East Hollywood

Farmed Atlantic Salmon Hash at Water Grill

Downtown’s Water Grill location has established itself as a power lunch spot, but the rollout of its brunch menu makes it worth a trip on weekends, particularly for the salmon hash. Satisfyingly salty bits of fish are dispersed between crispy potatoes and cubes of feta, all topped with two runny sunny-side eggs and a mustard Hollandaise. $16. — Michael Juliano

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Downtown Financial District

Longanisa at Partido

Sure, 2017 was the year of Italian in L.A., but it’s a year that’s also seen the emergence of Filipino food both classic and modern. Take, for instance, Partido: Earlier this year the French-Filipino spot opened in the former, longstanding El Arco Iris space in Highland Park, and its Filipino-leaning brunch is one I think about often. My go-to? The house-made longanisa—a sweet pork sausage—alongside a sunny-side egg and chef-owner Lynne Tolentino’s killer leek fried rice. $14. — Stephanie Breijo

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Highland Park

Gooey Cinnamon Roll at Fundamental DTLA

This cinnamon roll from Fundamental is a serious party in your mouth. (Who knew their DTLA expansion and first dip into morning hours would give us such a great breakfast?) The brioche dough is soft and caked with cinnamon, and the frosting is a thick layer of coffee cream cheese frosting. It is hard to put that thing down, believe. $4. — Jenn Brous

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Downtown Financial District

The Smashed Pea Bowl at Great White

Poached egg? Check. Ribbons of perfectly salty prosciutto? Double-check. Fresh peas and pea shoots to brighten up the whole plate, plus chewy grilled bread to sop it all up? Well, now you’re really talking. Aussies know how to do “brekkie” right, which means that the all-day breakfast items at this cheery Venice café absolutely nail it. Order this dish with a turmeric latte, for best results, and enjoy it all with a view of the VENICE sign. $13. — Stephanie Breijo

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Brisket Burrito at Coffee Commissary

Burbank’s Coffee Commissary has a leg up on the other L.A. locations: all-day breakfast. In addition to the regional chain's killer coffees and pastries, this nook of a cafe—complete with cozy back patio—offers the likes of breakfast burritos and Texas egg tacos, specifically the filling, meaty, so-greasy-but-so-good brisket burrito. Two sunny-side-up eggs drip yolk all over a spice-rubbed brisket so tender that it’s falling apart before your very eyes. Avocado, cheddar and pico round out the filling and brighten it all up. Pro move: Always ask for more of that roasted-tomato salsa for your chips—one container is never enough. $11. — Stephanie Breijo

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The Grits and Eggs at Jane Q

It took a few years of covering food in the South to really gain an appreciation for some of the finer simpler things in life, but thank grits I did. The Southern dishes on menu at the Everly Hotel’s Jane Q are instantly recognizable as the real deal, and it’s because, I learned, chef de cuisine Jason T. Hall hails from Georgia. His pimento cheese is killer, but the dish my brain returns to is the grits and eggs, made with none other than Benton’s country ham (the gold standard), heirloom grits and a red-eye gravy with depth like it’s never had before. $17. — Stephanie Breijo

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Gravlax Pizza at Bacari G.D.L.

Bacari G.D.L.’s brunch menu offers the gravlax pizza, a lighter, fresher take on breakfast pizzas that won’t leave you craving a nap. Gravlax is made by curing raw salmon in salt, sugar and dill; here, generous slices of the fish are paired with smashed avocado, pickled red onions and crème fraîche on a light, crispy dough. $10. — Juliet Bennett Rylah

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Soft Scrambled Eggs at 189 by Dominique Ansel

L.A. held its breath to see what pastry chef Dominique Ansel would bring to the Grove, where he launched his first ever full-service restaurant. What none of us saw coming was a dim-sum-style brunch, where servers walk by doling out everything from Ansel’s signature pastries to newer fare like lamb sausage. But the shining star might just be the simplest, and comes included in your final bill: the creamiest, softest egg scramble with shallots, made possible by ever-so-slow turning of the eggs and an ever-so-generous addition of crème fraîche. — Stephanie Breijo

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Fairfax District

Steak & Eggs at E.P.+ L.P.

Louis Tikaram’s Asian eating house is packed with dining pro moves, especially on the brunch menu. Perhaps the choicest dish of all is the twice-cooked Black Angus steak, which comes slightly sweet, its crust almost caramelized and the meat so tender it practically melts. You’ll be using every morsel of it to sop up the Thai-inspired salsa verde and the runny yolks from those two fried eggs. Bonus: Brunch cocktails by the pitcher ahead. $17. — Stephanie Breijo

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West Hollywood

Congee Bowl at POT Cafe

Yeah, Commissary’s got the ambiance and the brunch buffet and the poolside cocktails upstairs, but if you’re looking for an inexpensive bite that’s full of flavor, hit the POT Cafe in the Line Hotel's lobby. Roy Choi's congee bowl is a savory, garlic-packed, soft-egg-topped way to start the day, complete with scallions and sesame seeds. It’s filling and one of the best deals on this entire list. $6. — Stephanie Breijo

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