There’s no better way to enjoy a day of California sunshine than brunch on a beach. Whether you’re in the mood for something sweet or savory, here are the best spots to enjoy a meal and study break before you head out to the water.
1. Malibu: Malibu Farm
Malibu is a little slice of paradise entirely worth the trek up Highway 1. The panoramic views of the California coastline from your rearview mirrors are breathtaking and the perfect escape from the stress of midterms.
If the beach isn’t reason enough to make the trip up the coast, the best brunch destination is hands down Malibu Farm Café. Located at the end of the Malibu pier, the cafe allows you to enjoy your food with a 360-degree view of the ocean.
Their menu features brunch essentials including a smoked salmon scramble, breakfast burrito and my personal favorite, the Swedish mini pancakes with sliced strawberries and whipped cream. To drink, the fresh pressed watermelon juice is a must or, if you need a little boost, the iced caramel latte. All beverages are served in mason jars — definitely Insta-worthy.
2. Santa Monica: Huckleberry
This cute café located a five-minute drive from the quintessential Santa Monica Pier is well worth the traffic of the 10 West. Whether you have a sweet tooth or a taste for savory, Huckleberry has it all.
For all you health nuts out there, Huckleberry offers quinoa with vegetables and eggs sunny side up. If your mouth isn’t watering yet, let’s talk about their pastries. Huckleberry’s baked goods are the best in the game, ranging from maple pecan donuts to strawberry cream cheese cupcakes to brioche donut holes.
3. Manhattan Beach: The Strand House
Manhattan Beach is a sweet escape just a short drive south of Downtown Los Angeles, studded with cute cafes, shops and stunning scenery. My favorite brunch spot is The Strand House, which features prime ocean views and breakfast staples (some of which include lemon ricotta pancakes, huevos rancheros and a salmon eggs benedict). And did I mention they have homemade cinnamon rolls?
To drink, I’d go with the fresh pressed grapefruit juice. Or, if you need a little pick-me-up, check out the “Sunrise Over Manhattan Beach,” which has prosecco, fresh tangerine juice and blood orange cordial. Oh, so refreshing!
4. Laguna Beach: Banzai Bowls
If you haven’t hopped on the açaÍ bowl bandwagon yet, you’re missing out. This tantalizing treat is the perfect way to start your day — and you might as well enjoy it on the beach. Banzai Bowls has the freshest ingredients blended to perfection with toppings to die for, including coconut shavings and chia seeds. This oh-so-healthy breakfast will leave you feeling energized and refreshed for a day spent with your toes in the sand.
5. Venice Beach: The Butcher’s Daughter
This trendy NYC cafe recently opened its doors in the eclectic surfer town of Venice Beach, placing an LA spin on its authentic vegetarian menu. With a stylish and modern interior, the decor of this cute cafe welcomes sunny California’s salty air.
Specializing in light and healthy bites, the vegetarian hot-spot offers all of your favorites, including made-to-order avocado toast, yogurt parfaits, and green smoothies. The best part? You can order online so that your food is ready-to-go for a beach picnic on the Venice shores.
6. Huntington Beach: Duke’s
For all you beach bums out there, this one’s for you. From the make-your-own omelet station to freshly baked cinnamon rolls, Duke’s brunch is a must-go.
In addition to classic freshly squeezed orange juice, Duke’s has a barefoot bar. Yes, you read that right — no shoes required. I would recommend Duke’s Mai Tai or Strawberry Basil Cooler to kickstart your day. With your toes in the sand and a drink in your hand, what more could you ask for?
7. Newport Beach: The Dock
Specializing in brunch by the bay, this charming cafe will satisfy all of your sweet and savory cravings. You can’t go wrong with brioche french toast or the steak and egg sandwich. Following brunch, head out to the bay or Balboa Island for a day well spent in the California sunshine.
Whether you’re an LA native or just visiting LaLa land for the weekend, these trendy brunch spots are definitely worth a trip up the golden coast for a day of fun in the sun.