Whether it’s hikes through verdant canyons or lazy days spent on sun-warmed beaches, where Los Angeles excels is in the art of the good life—brunch included. Yes, when it comes to grabbing some eggs benny al fresco, you’ll do no better than the City of Angels. The produce is fresh, the coffee is strong, and the possibility you’ll be sitting in a booth adjacent to someone vaguely famous is high. It won’t make the food taste better, but it’ll certainly add to the conversation. Herewith, our picks for some of the best places to brunch around town.
It seems every day another great restaurant opens in Venice. Dudley Market adds to an already solid roster of casual to-go joints in the neighborhood, with a focus on takeaway food and a wall of sweetly curated retail for the foodie who prefers to cook at home. For those with the smarts to park it at one of the cafe’s 20 seats, chef Jesse Barber whips up dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In the a.m., start with a little snack of bread, burrata, and stone fruit before tucking into the caponata hash with poached eggs.
9 Dudley Ave, Venice, CA 90291
With its gorgeous indoor-outdoor seating and avocado-green vinyl booths reminiscent of a Brady Bunch kitchen, Goldie’s wins by a mile in the design department. Oh, and the food’s great, too. Previously the location of Chado Tea House, restaurateur Nick Mathers retained some elements of the former space, making changes where needed to create a modern California craftsman-style space with a menu to match. As for the food, chef Thomas Lim focuses on food made by hand, in small batches. For brunch, all your healthy cuisine dreams come true, with chia and oat pudding, avo toast, and a hearty crispy rice bowl. Those wishing to indulge, fear not. There’s a brioche french toast that cannot be denied.
8422 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048
In a strict dining room palette of black and white, Ledlow, in Downtown LA, leaves the pop for the plate. Chef Josef Centeno’s, who earned his chops at New York’s Daniel and La Côte Basque before opening Bäco Mercat and Bar Amá in LA, serves the Eastside set with heavy hitters like buttermilk pancakes with strawberries and cream, fried eggs with duck fat potatoes, and a crème fraîche three-cheese omelette. Just remember to wear something with a forgiving waistband.
400 S Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Olive & Thyme
For the Valley Girls and Boys out there, Olive & Thyme offers a Saturday brunch closer to the 101. Think of it as Burbank’s answer to Joan’s on Third. Favored by locals, O & T specializes in locally-sourced sandwiches served up on wooden boards, including a breakfast number with bacon, egg, and white cheddar. Before you head on your merry way, make sure to take away some of the prettiest pastries this side of Paris. Who said the 818 couldn’t make a good macaron.
3821 W Riverside Dr, Burbank, CA 91505
Freelancers, rejoice! Ostrich Farm offers brunch all week long. That’s right. Seven days a week, you can relax on one of their seafoam-green benches while you brainstorm your latest script idea after debating between a smoked salmon tartine or some ricotta pancakes. Warning: the decision will likely be more difficult than deciding whether or not your main character dies in the end.
1525 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026
If you’re looking for another “light and airy” Los Angeles space (though we do love those), look elsewhere. Gardner Junction takes its design cues from a 1930s train station, which provides some welcome kitsch for a city that plays make-believe for a living. As for the food, there’s nothing pretend about it. Chef Steve Brown delivers food that’s locally-sourced and seasonally inspired, including a biscuit eggs benny and omelette with fresh market vegetables. Brunch is a Sunday-only affair, and if you have a hankering for a hike and a deal, join their Runyon Canyon Brunch Club, which will reward your 8 a.m. trek up the mountain with a 15% discount at the restaurant two hours later.
1451 N Gardner St, West Hollywood, CA 90046
Photo courtesy of Brooke Lark