Breakfast is the meal that launched a thousand trends: bacon, acai bowls, toast, brunch. Somehow, though, it’s managed to escape the hype/backlash cycle that’s dogged all of the above, hiding out and staying humble in the early, unglamorous hours of weekday mornings. Plenty of places that are madhouses come Sunday serve up the same thick-cut bacon and perfectly poached eggs—or kimchi and kasha—at 7:30am on a Tuesday, with way less of a wait. If you’re looking for a spot for a pre-work meeting, or just need a strong cup of coffee before you start a long day, here are our picks for the best breakfast restaurants in the city.
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Best breakfast in Los Angeles
République inhabits the old Campanile location, a gorgeous gothic-inspired setting on a blandly gray block of La Brea. But inside, the high-ceilinged space is light and airy, the kind of place you want to spend your whole day in, especially considering the menu. The breakfast is pleasantly concise as well as surprisingly diverse: Classics like breakfast sandwiches, omelets and waffles are represented alongside modern must-haves: ricotta toast, polenta with grilled asparagus, and fried rice with kimchi, short ribs and poached egg—plus a well-stocked pastry case from award-winning baker and co-owner Margarita Manzke. Order at the counter and expect to wait in line after 9am, but there’s plenty of seating, service is fast and friendly, and the coffee is hot and strong.
Gjusta is the kind of place that could make even the most die-hard eastsider think twice about relocating: The all-day café does everything from a brown rice and kimchi bowl to a loaded smoked fish breakfast sandwich that piles on your choice of cured fish with labneh and soft egg, as well as cucumbers and herbs. Their bread is some of the best in the city and the bagels are up there, too; luckily, if you’re not a local, you can take loaves home with you—plus a pound or two of the pastrami-cured lox—to try to recreate the experience wherever you’re based.
The line at Sqirl is almost as legendary as what you order when you reach the front of it. Pro-tip: You can always call ahead for takeout, which allows you to head straight to the front when you arrive. Either way, chef Jessica Koslow’s famed ricotta toast is worthy of its hype, and the sorrel pesto rice bowl remains one of L.A.’s most uniquely delicious and ubiquitous dishes (but it gets even better if you add bacon). Sqirl's also home to some of the best non-coffee drinks in town: Their chicory cloud, done latte-style with honey and almond milk, is warm and sweet and soothing on cold days, and their turmeric tonic is a burst of bright, citrusy freshness for the hot ones coming up.
Jodan Kahn's galactic-inspired fine dining restaurant Vespertine gets all the attention, but locals know that Destroyer, the chef's minimalist sibling spot across the street, is stellar. Blink and you'll jet past the near-hidden breakfast-and-lunch cubby where Kahn's obsessively detailed presentation collides with his unbridaled creativity (and at a reasonable price to diners, too). The result? Organic hen eggs that cook against the warmth of a stone bowl with mushrooms, potato chips and a small garden of herbs; layers of spelt porridge with poached egg, roasted mushroom and hazelnuts; and baby potatoes and egg dotted with dates. It's a breakfast unlike anything else in L.A.—or maybe this galaxy.
Salt's Cure's brunch griddle cakes are so popular, chef Chris Phelps built an entirely separate restaurant around them. Well, sort of. The breakfast-only, West Hollywood offshoot also serves a killer breakfast sandwich and sides like arugula salad and some molasses-cured pork shoulder, but that's about it. Really, it's a counter-service restaurant devoted to griddle cakes every day of the week, and you'll understand it once you try the product: salty, sweet, doughy and with a crispy exterior, they give all other L.A. pancakes and griddle cakes a run for their moey. Here, they come "plain" (with toasted cinnamon sugar) or with fresh fruit, banana and nuts, chocolate chips and more. Oh, and there's no syrup served with the griddle cakes; you'll get over it after the first bite, we promise.
Do not—and we cannot stress this enough—expect to beat the crowds to Foxy's. On weekends, dozens of hungry visitors might be hovering around the doors to the A-frame diner from opening well into the afternoon, and on weekdays it's nearly as busy. But we're telling you right now, it's worth the wait. The midcentury-modern gem is beloved for its American classics, but the real draw is the Mexican food. The chile relleno omelet is rich, cheesy and covered in ranchero sauce, while the Leaning Tower of Mexico stacks layers of tortilla, rice, beans, eggs, avocado and cheese for a gargantuan start to the day. Our favorite, though? The barbacoa and eggs, where tri-tip steak simmers with three types of chilies, making a gravy that coats the eggs on your plate. We're ravenous just thinking about it.
Cofax is one of the few spots where even carnivores will voluntarily go veggie on occasion—it brings out the distinctive smoky potatoes in their breakfast burritos. The spuds get their smoke at nearby BBQ joint Bludso’s, giving them a rich, addictive flavor tailor-made to contrast the perfectly zing-y house-made salsas that come on the side. And, okay, ordering the meaty chorizo—or bacon, or pastrami or the Bludso's hot link—inside isn’t a bad move, either. The storefront has a few seats available, but it’s best to take your burrito to-go. Coffee is from Stumptown, the pastry case is equally tempting and there’s kombucha on tap to help you digest it all.
The weekend scene at Huckleberry can be intense, so it’s worth stopping by during the week to give yourself ample time. You'll need plenty of it to peruse the daily specials in the pastry case and decide whether you want to pair your tartine with a fruit-studded porridge bowl or something a little more savory, like pesto-y green eggs and ham. If you're in the mood for umami, it’s hard to go wrong with a breakfast sandwich that features the trinity of gruyere, aioli and Niman Ranch bacon, but anything's going to go over well when paired with one of those pastries, let's be real.
Casual, chipper and oh-so zen, this all-day café is a perfect spot to start your morning in the most relaxed fashion imaginable—Yarrow is attached to Hyperslow yoga, after all. But even if you're not popping in for some stretching, Yarrow's menu keeps a relaxed and fulfilling wake-me-up pace with a full coffee bar and an all-vegetarian rundown of carrot tartines, cardamom chia puddings, egg toasts topped with mushrooms and leeks, and a cheese-crusted breakfast burrito—hands-down one of the best in the city. A top vegetarian- and vegan-minded option, Yarrow makes eating your recommended daily dose of produce not only easy but gratifying.
Pann’s isn’t just another pretty face trying to make it in L.A. The iconic diner's eye-catching '60s look might draw in first-timers, but the consistently high-quality food and service are what have kept crowds coming back since the spot opened near LAX in 1958. Their chicken and waffles rival Roscoe’s, and the hearty portions are just right to make sure you stay full, no matter how long your flight.
Clementine is a tiny, relatively unassuming spot located across the expanse of Santa Monica Boulevard from the massive bulk of the Westfield Century City mall. Once you try their buttermilk biscuits, though, you’ll understand why it’s earned a reputation as a must-visit for locals and local businessmen alike. Those biscuits come two to an order with a side of butter, jam and honey, or as the bookends to a breakfast sandwich that features Tennessee country ham and a poached egg with melted cheddar. Be careful not to get any on your suit.
Offering old-school diner vibes and enormous breakfasts since 1924, this DTLA spot serves eggs, bacon, sausage, coffee and some of the city’s best home fries, 24/7. We're partial to the massive pancakes, but whatever you do, don't skip the behemoth planks of sourdough toast or the order of home fries, which come fried to a crisp on one side only. The full breakfast menu lets you add a mug of coffee for only 85 cents—score!—but in the early afternoon it transitions to a more limited breakfast list, sans the coffee deal. But don't you worry, night owls: Fnd the full spread up and running again at 4am for early risers and all-night ragers. Note: This baby’s cash-only, but there’s an ATM up front.
Avocado toast became a staple, then a trend, then bit of a joke, so if you need to be reminded why it deserves all the hype, check out Sweet Butter’s simple version, which lets the dish’s classic qualities shine. With breakfast served all day, it's a spot to linger—meaning you can opt for that avocado toast and something like the Creekstone Farms filet breakfast burrito as you watch the tables come and go from morning into afternoon. In addition to the darling café space, they’ve also got a market, so you can grab something to-go if you’re in a hurry (though we prefer to sit and linger, especially at one of the outdoor tables).
The wait to order at Eggslut can rival what you’ll face at Sqirl, especially if you're visiting the OG location inside, Grand Central Market, so come early if you’ve got somewhere to be. Alvin Cailan’s breakfast sandwiches are worth it, though: gorgeously messy flavor bombs that pair their namesake eggy goodness with sharp cheddar, smoked meat and sauces with a spicy bite. If you’re feeling bold you can order the Slut, a mason jar’s worth of silky potatoes, coddled egg, chives and salt—and no matter what ends up on your plate, you’ll eat it surrounded by the bustle of Downtown with breakfast at all times of day. Of course, if you're more about speed and less about the most picturesque location, the lines are at least half the size at the other outposts (Venice, Glendale and WeHo).
Eat at Joe’s is a South Bay classic for a reason: You can come in every day and order what the Duke ate (two eggs over medium, cheese, "Spanish sauce," home fries and a tortilla, plus sausage) or pick up one of their daily specials, including the Mad Dog, which makes new use of yesterday’s leftovers. The space is bright and friendly and always feels full of regulars, perhaps because picnic-table–style seating encourages you to get to know your neighbors.
JiST Cafe's motto is "come home," and it's certainly fitting. The menu reimagines the classic American breakfast potatoes with bacon and eggs as a Japanese-inflected dish complete with chasu and sticky rice on the side, a comforting, homey dish no matter the kind of culture you grew up in. If you’re looking for something lighter, they’ve got granola bowls and the Angeleno Veg, packing in the produce. Pancakes are made with a crème fraîche batter and topped with everything from quarter-sized chocolate coins to more traditional strawberries and bananas. If it’s nice outside, there’s a back patio for prime alfresco dining.