Brunch can be referred to as three different things: the time of day when you wake up, a little too late, and realize you need to have your first meal, the food you eat in the situation mentioned previously, or a lifestyle.
The magic of brunch is that whether it’s sweet or savory, eaten at 9 am or 3 pm, your self-prescribed hangover cure or a way to fuel yourself through weekend shenanigans — brunch can be whatever you want it to be.
For Angelenos, it’s the last — brunch is primarily a way of life. It flows through our veins, along with the all the green juice, In N Out, and other stereotypically (amazing) Californian food we’re so grateful to have around and miss when we’re somewhere out-of-state.
Even The New York Times concedes that no city does brunch quite like LA. While everyone has their favorite spots to kick off the weekend with, here’s a starter pack of 15 can’t-miss locations around LA to guide you through your brunch journey.
The inevitable wait in line here is well-worth it, because there are offerings like the Red and Blue Velvet pancakes that vaguely resemble the flat things we normally call pancakes. For all the dessert lovers out there, let’s not kid ourselves. This is essentially dessert for breakfast — and that’s why you should go.
2. LA Chapter
Maybe you can’t wake up to a swanky view and room service, but you can get a beautiful stack of pancakes topped with honeycomb butter at the Ace Hotel’s restaurant — and that’s pretty much good enough.
3. Blu Jam Cafe
Cereal’s what you resort to on those rush-out-the-door mornings, but add brioche bread and some magic to it and you get Blu Jam’s signature crunchy french toast. Cornflakes just became so much cooler.
4. Stir Market
Stir Market’s part wine and craft bar, part coffeeshop, part restaurant, and part marketplace. Head here for the days when you want to experience (and eat) a little bit of everything.
Brunch can get pretty fancy. Take, for example, sourdough nine grain pancakes. Gjelina’s brunch menu keeps it real with quality classics like its egg and prosciutto breakfast sandwich… not to mention an entire brunch menu section dedicated to pizza.
6. Nickel Diner
Head here for the old-timey vibes, when you want something homey and worthy of a throwback (but not IHOP). Make sure to grab a maple glazed bacon doughnut to take home with you.
Because ordinary pancake stacks are out, and giant pancakes bigger than the plate they’re served on are the way to go.
8. Cafe Vida
If you need something healthy, Cafe Vida’s got you covered with its Latin American-inspired take on brunch. Granted that it’s also part juice-bar, Cafe Vida’s pretty much as Californian as it gets.
Popular for housing Eggslut, we come to Grand Central Market. Grab food from any one of the several vendors, then wander around the eclectic collection of stands to get anything from bulk candy to super cheap produce to fancy cheeses.
If you want to be taken away to a cozy European plaza, but also want access to a brunch menu with shakshouka, kimchi fried rice, and waffle huevos rancheros, lucky for you. Republique can make your dreams come true.
The menu here is constantly changing based on what’s in season. Huckleberry Cafe is feel good food, especially if you care about where your food’s coming from — all the ingredients are locally sourced and farm fresh.
12. Jist Cafe
Sure, you could go to Little Tokyo to have sushi or ramen for brunch, but for the traditionalists, there’s Jist Cafe (with an actual brunch menu). Don’t miss the chashu (barbeque pork) hash that comes accompanied with perfectly cooked eggs.
13. The Church Key
Order what you want at the Church Key, but don’t miss the brioche donuts with brown butter glaze and cinnamon caramel.
Commissary’s greenhouse seating area is a haven in the middle of Koreatown. Add bottomless mimosas for twenty dollars and yeah, you’re pretty much in urban paradise. Plus, brioche eggs benedict with crispy hash browns. Say no more.
15. Urth Caffe
Possibly home to the most extensive brunch menu in Los Angeles, Urth has a slew of sweet and savory items to choose from, not to mention a bomb drink menu with popular picks like green tea boba. Grab a few friends to go with and you’ll end up a spread that deserves to be posted on Instagram (#basic), along with a full stomach.