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Cafe Gratitude Brunch
Photograph: Courtesy Talia Dinwiddie

The best brunch restaurants in Los Angeles

Start your weekend mornings off right with first-rate pastries, dim sum and the city’s best breakfast offered well into the afternoon.

Patricia Kelly Yeo
Edited by
Patricia Kelly Yeo
Contributor
Stephanie Breijo
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For better or for worse, Angelenos are a bunch who love to brunch—try saying that five times fast. To help you in your quest for late weekend morning grub, we’ve scoured the city for the best breakfast and brunch options in Los Angeles, from old-school classics to top-notch dim sum and a handful of the best boozy, more upscale affairs perfect for day-drinking or a special occasion AM gathering. (If you’d rather go all out with the party vibe, we’ve also got you covered with our separate guides to drag brunch and bottomless brunch.) From the Westside to the Eastside and neighborhoods beyond, these eateries offer the city’s most delicious morning fuel-ups.

The best brunch spots, ranked

  • Restaurants
  • French
  • La Brea

One of the best restaurants in the city, Walter and Margarita Manzke's République is defined as much by its more casual brunch menu as it is by dinnertime fare. Though lines can get intense on weekends, particularly in the late mornings, the wait is worth it for the restaurant's excellent, ever-changing pastry selection and now-iconic dishes like the decadent kimchi fried rice and ricotta toast topped with seasonal fruit and wildflower honey. As you take in the space's high ceilings and faux-rustic charms alongside the pastry case, don’t forget the legacy of it all: Built in 1929, the building first served as Charlie Chaplin's office before becoming home to the late Mark Peel and Nancy Silverton's Campanile—so those Benedicts and croissants come with a side of history. Wine, beer and cocktails available.

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Silver Lake
  • price 2 of 4

Always packed and always delicious, this Silver Lake eatery is the modern diner of our dreams. Run by Lien Ta and Jonathan Whitener (of Here's Looking at You), All Day Baby offers chef-driven takes on American comfort foods like their famous biscuit sandwich smothered with strawberry jam and their blueberry- and pistachio-topped hotcakes. While the team turns out classics to a T, they're never afraid to get adventurous with them. Smoked longanisa sausage in their burrito? Perfection. To round out the all-day indulgence, there's also pastry chef Thessa Diadem’s amazing baked goods, including a standout ube coconut pie and ADB's weekends-only cinnamon rolls slathered in labneh frosting. Go ahead and get the negroni float or the boozy coffee; you’ve got through 3pm to linger—and until 6pm on Sundays. Wine, beer and cocktails available.

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  • Restaurants
  • American creative
  • Downtown Historic Core
  • price 3 of 4

L.A. is full of spendy brunches with cocktails and weekend-only hours, but none have captured our hearts as much as the one at this beautiful Downtown restaurant. Housed in what was once the rectory of 19th-century Roman Catholic cathedral, the dining room’s open ceiling and serene garden oasis (open on certain holidays, including Mother's Day) forms the perfect backdrop for a relaxed and upscale late morning meal. Of course, the food's no slouch either; in the hands of Neal Fraser's talented kitchen team, Redbird’s globally inspired brunch dishes feel creative and fresh. When the morning pastry selection might include delights like a matcha white chocolate-filled concha and Singaporean-style kaya toast manages to harmonize alongside the likes of shrimp and grits and duck confit chilaquiles, you know there's simply no wrong order here. Weekends only. Wine, beer and cocktails available.

  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Alhambra
  • price 2 of 4

This cherished dim sum spot—and one of our best restaurants in the city—in Pasadena, Alhambra and Cerritos serves dainty golden egg buns, with runny, sweet yolk centers that ooze out from fluffy white exteriors. The almond milk with puff pastry is another one of their signature creations, with hot and just-sweet-enough almond milk beneath a fluffy, flaky top. House-made dumplings are aptly labeled "jumbo," and their sticky rice wrap has exceptional flavor and just the right texture. Arrive early to avoid the inevitable brunch rush, but latecomers, take heed: unlike other spots on this list, Lunasia serves dim sum well into the evening.

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  • Restaurants
  • American creative
  • Culver City
  • price 3 of 4

No detail goes unaccounted for at Destroyer, where otherworldly presentation and high-quality ingredients combine for the most aesthetically pleasing (and delicious) brunch menu in town. Helmed by Jordan Kahn, the same critically acclaimed chef behind nearby Michelin-starred Vespertine, the pricey, counter service-style daytime café never fails to draw a crowd on late weekend mornings, so be prepared to wait for a seat to eat your strikingly plated food—and to jockey for the limited street parking in the area. Those who have the time and patience, however, will be treated to the joys of unearthing a bite of beef tartare from underneath a tangle of microgreens or digging into Destroyer's luscious avocado confit—a fine dining-esque experience without the sky-high prices.

  • Restaurants
  • American creative
  • Venice
Jason Neroni's revived all-day neighborhood eatery serves a true bruncher's brunch: a broad menu packed with exciting yet accessible eats like hearth-roasted brioche French toast, house-baked pastries, a raw bar, fresh-from-the-oven pizza, one of the city's most addictive kale salads, handmade pasta, classic egg dishes or tartines, plus a full coffee and tea bar. This breezy California cuisine specialist has kept Venice fed since 1979, and the brunch, especially, keeps tables turning today—the expansive, sun-dappled restaurant is almost always packed on weekends, so make a reservation and plan ahead if you’d rather not chance having to wait. Wine, beer and cocktails available.
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  • Restaurants
  • Californian
  • Hollywood
  • price 3 of 4

Though this Hollywood eatery’s ranch-to-table ethos might no longer generate as much buzz today, Salt's Cure and its pancake-oriented offshoot Breakfast by Salt's Cure have remained one of the best no-fuss brunch options in the city, especially when we’re not looking for a scene. Head to West Hollywood and Santa Monica (as well NYC’s West Village) for chef-owner Chris Phelps's effortlessly delicious griddle cakes and a casual order-at-the-counter situation, or visit the Hollywood original for a hearty, full-service brunch that includes sandwiches, salads and plenty of protein. Either way, Salt's Cure has become our favorite laidback breakfast and brunch destination to keep in our back pocket—and hopefully, it'll soon be yours too.

  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Culver City
  • price 2 of 4

With three locations in Culver City, Woodland Hills and Pico-Robertson, Alexander Phaneuf and Or Amsalam's once-tiny bakery focused on naturally leavened breads has grown into a best-in-class casual brunch destination in its own right. The same detail-oriented baking process goes into Lodge Bread's excellent coffee cake and other pastries, as well as toasts, sandwiches and excellent pizzas (at their Culver City location only), and the tea and coffee are top-notch as well. Indulge in their humongous cinnamon rolls slathered with cream cheese icing, or opt for the toast topped with ricotta and jam; for those who prefer savory over sweet, the luscious eggplant hummus with the Jerusalem bagel or a warm piece of pita will more than satisfy.

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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Venice
  • price 3 of 4

No matter how you cut it, chef-owner Travis Lett's full-service Abbot Kinney flagship is probably the one restaurant that started the street's full-tilt shift into gentrification and ensuing mainstream cultural significance. Even in the dead of winter, Gjelina's seasonally focused brunch menu, eaten alongside a mix of tourists, locals and influencers, can't help but bring in the sunshine. Order plates to share—you can't go wrong with any of the vegetables and pizzas baked in the wood-burning oven—or claim the ricotta pancakes all for yourself. Steel yourself if you arrive late on weekends, when there's almost always a wait, but this most quintessential Westside destination brunch never fails to please, especially for those coming from out of town. Wine, beer and cocktails available.

  • Restaurants
  • Diners
  • Westside
  • price 2 of 4

For the past 40 years, John O'Groats has offered the best no-frills breakfast and lunch on the Westside, plus some of the best biscuits, fried chicken and fish and chips in town. Weekend morning waits might get long, but the friendly staff and generally relaxed crowd of families and locals keep the process of dining at this beloved daytime eatery from feeling far less stressful as some others on this list. Everything is simple and made with care, but what we like best of all is the utter lack of pretension on display here, every day of the week.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Fairfax District
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Fighting the brunch crowds at Blu Jam Café at any location—Downtown, Sherman Oaks, Hollywood, Tarzana, Woodland Hills and Brentwood—requires a special kind of patience, but that should clue you in: Blu Jam is the kind of fun, decadent and (most importantly) approachable brunch that can’t be beat. Between the eggs Benedicts that make the corners of your mouth involuntarily turn up and their signature crunchy-coated French toast that’s hard to beat, it’s well worth the wait. All-around fantastic service adds a neighborhood feel to the local mini-chain, which first opened its doors on Melrose in 2006.

  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Highland Park
  • price 1 of 4

Homesick Texans, eat your heart out. L.A.'s favorite Tex-Mex specialist has five outposts across the city (Hollywood, Highland Park, Playa Vista, Pasadena and Sherman Oaks), so first-rate queso, breakfast tacos and migas are never that far out of reach. Fluffy scrambled eggs pile into fresh corn or flour tortillas with just about any filling your heart can imagine and the casual atmosphere encourages taking it easy, while frozen margaritas, palomas and ranch water—a refreshing blend of Topo Chico, tequila and lime—make for a too-easy slide from morning into afternoon if you’re in the mood for day drinking. Wine, beer and cocktails available.

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  • Restaurants
  • Seafood
  • San Gabriel Valley
  • price 2 of 4

After all these years, Sea Harbour is still a perennial dim sum brunch favorite; the cozy dining room has been offering made-to-order dishes since 2002. Dare to visit on a weekend morning and you’ll find a line that formed long before opening. With a menu of more than 100 items, you’ll do best to stick to the well-executed basics, like crystal shrimp har gow and freshly steamed xiaolongbao. The delicate pork soup dumplings are juicy in their tins on arrival, while the springy rice noodle rolls nail the ideal filling-to-rice-paper ratio and are some of the best in the city. Highlights beyond the usual dim sum staples include fried whole smelt, steamed black fungus in vinegar, and celery-and-fungus dumplings.

  • Restaurants
  • Diners
  • Hollywood

The longtime 101 Coffee Shop now has a fresh coat of paint, a well-stocked pastry case and similar old-school fare in the care of Zack Hall and the team behind Clark Street Bakery, and that's exactly how we like it. Here, no-frills egg dishes come carefully cooked and seasoned, the three-high stack of blueberry pancakes are dripping in real maple syrup and, of course, the bread in every hot sandwich (including a vegan burger) is first-rate—and it's all available until 3pm. While Clark Street Diner might strike some as more breakfast than brunch, the heavy weekend crowds right until close beg to differ. Besides, who can resist the lure of perfectly flaky kouign-amann alongside a cup of hot coffee and some soft-fried eggs?

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  • Restaurants
  • Vegan
  • Larchmont Village
  • price 2 of 4

Available from 9am to 1pm, Café Gratitude's brunch menu isn't for the latest of risers, but those who make an effort to get up on the earlier side will be treated to some of the city’s best brunch offerings that happen to be completely vegan. True to its health-conscious roots, the restaurant with three locations (Larchmont, Arts District, Venice) offers plenty of smoothies, tonics and cold-pressed juices, but even Café Gratitude's more substantive dishes receive a touch of plant-based kitchen magic. The faux-chicken and waffles made with deep-fried oyster mushrooms and cashew whipped cream is the perfect blend of salty and sweet, the chilaquiles are hearty, filling and well-seasoned and the smoothie bowls are first-rate: there's nothing else you could ask for in a mindfully ordered late morning meal.

  • Restaurants
  • Mexican
  • Chinatown
  • price 1 of 4

By night, Wes Avila's colorful café offers a glimpse into whatever the former Guerrilla Tacos chef is dreaming up next, but the Chinatown restaurant’s takeout-friendly daytime menu, available from 9am to 3pm, includes one of city's best breakfast burritos, mini waffles and a slate of espresso-based drinks—all the makings of an excellent casual brunch. (Tea lovers can head next door to Steep LA for artisan brews.) Sit under the canopy tangled with leaves and vines, take in sun-dappled confines of Mandarin Plaza and relax; your order's on your way.

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  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • Santa Monica
The weekend scene at Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan's Huckleberry can be intense, so it's worth stopping by early, if you can, to peruse the daily specials in the pastry case and decide whether you want to pair your house-cured Scottish salmon tartine with a fruit-studded porridge bowl or something a little more savory, like the housemade chorizo breakfast bowl. If you're in the mood for umami, it's hard to go wrong with the fried egg sandwich that features the trinity of gruyere cheese, Niman Ranch bacon and housemade aioli on country toast. Both the crowds and menus thin on weekdays, but you'll also get a chance to breathe at this Santa Monica stalwart while still enjoying equally delicious food.
  • Restaurants
  • Delis
  • Venice
Located kitty-corner from Gold's Gym, you can usually spot this gourmet deli in Venice from the line of stylish Angelenos snaking out the door on weekends. Unlike Gjelina Group's eponymous original on nearby Abbot Kinney, this sister spot offers a slightly more casual dine-in experience with heaping platters of smoked fish, grain bowls, "lettuces" (salads) and delicious baked goods. All of this fresh, seasonal California cuisine comes at a steep cost, however; expect to spend upwards of $50 per person to truly get a taste of what Gjusta has to offer. If price doesn't deter you, order at the counter, jockey for a table on the parking lot patio and join the veritable brunch scene that crops up on weekends.
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  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary American
  • Los Feliz

Apologies in advance to Little Dom's fans—Atrium has eclipsed it as our favorite brunch in Los Feliz. With a breezy brick-lined alley plus a menu of delicious brunch staples, this neighborhood date night spot is equally compelling for weekend brunch. American classics like waffles and eggs Benedict receive the lightest chef's touch thanks to flavors like cardamom yogurt and chili-sage hollandaise—and a full cocktail list, plus plush green banquette booths, make it perfect for get-togethers with large groups of friends and family. Weekends only. Wine, beer and cocktails available.

  • Restaurants
  • Taiwanese
  • Alhambra
  • price 1 of 4

For deceptively simple brunch in the San Gabriel Valley, look no further than Yang's Kitchen, a chef-driven fast-casual eatery run by first-generation Taiwanese Americans. Thoughtfully sourced ingredients, living wages and an ethos of sustainability thread themselves into every delicious dish, including their must-order sesame noodles made with Persian cucumbers and house chili crisp. Of course, AM delights like jalapeño bacon biscuits, smoked salmon hash and even a Japanese breakfast set (look for Yang's Set Meal) receive a careful touch of artisanry that’s easily discernible on first bite. For something sweeter, order the cornmeal mochi pancake, which comes with whipped cream, condensed milk and seasonal fruit from the farmers’ market.

More brunch options in L.A.

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