Field Guide Los Angeles: Breakfast


Image: Broomcakes

Lydia and I are often asked for suggestions about where to eat when visiting Los Angeles.  It’s a hard question to answer.  I’ll pick a place and cross the city in my mind from my home downtown all the way to the ocean, not wanting to leave a single crumb unnamed.

We’re sharing our favorites here, beginning with this field guide to LA breakfasts.

The list is surely incomplete, so help a fellow reader (and us!) out and share your secret breakfast nook.


Intelligentsia Café— When all you need is good coffee and a place to sun.  We prefer the Silverlake location.

Flore Vegan—A rainbow of smoothies and fresh juices plus vegan breakfast burritos and my favorite—the blueberry buckwheat bliss.  Flore inspired Lydia’s divine organic green smoothie.

Bottega Louie—Gorgeous.  A renovated Art Deco bank turned fine Italianate eatery with cathedral ceilings, floor to ceiling windows, marble floors and counters.  The service is grand and the food walks the line between elegant and crave-worthy, e.g. meatball pizza and portobello “fries” with garlic aioli.  I’m partial to the green juice and pain au chocolat, though not necessarily on the same trip.  The pastry counter and mini market is full of little treasures like European sea salts, baguette sandwiches and nutella.

Maison Midi—A French-inspired sidewalk cafe/bistro that poaches perfect eggs, whips a mean Hollandaise and doubles as a home store specializing in bright Mediterranean linens, ceramics and Laguiole knives?  Someone read my wish list.

Little Next Door—My pitstop after fetching a hungry pal at the airport.  A Parisian-style outdoor cafe with champagne cocktails, patisserie and “deli ” salads, e.g. green lentils with butternut squash and Moroccan olives, and roasted quinoa with scallions, black currants and pine nuts.  Location convenient to all Third Street shopping.  Bonus: food is all organic and vegan options are plentiful.

Joan’s on Third—Just a few blocks down from Little Next Door, this gourmet marketplace sells pungent craggy cheeses, morning muffins heavy with honey, coconut and carrot and turkey meatloaf sandwiches, among many others.  Nab the goods to spark dinner party conversation, be it a new cheese, Italian dried pasta or homemade marshmallows.


Huckleberry—They had me at the name.

Who doesn’t want to eat at a place called Huckleberry?  Especially early in the morning, before the crowds hit and Wilshire Blvd is still sleepy by LA standards.  I’ve made the poached egg over farmers’ market vegetables with pesto and toasted breadcrumbs with some success, but it tastes better at Huckleberry.

Maybe because it’s the starter course to a miniature fresh fruit crostata.

Baked goods don’t come any better.

BLD—Amazing eggs and hash, ricotta pancakes and fluffy french toast.  Sunny and bright with windows on two sides overlooking Beverly Blvd.    Also does a delicious veggie burger and wine and cheese tastings at dinnertime.

The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market—The quintessential California breakfast spot, especially in the summer when berries and stone fruit abound and vendors bring hand pies and sell iced coffees.  Once you’ve made your haul, you can always have breakfast #2 at Le Pain Quotidien on Santa Monica at Third.  Like the market, Le Pain is veg and vegan friendly.

Tell us, what have we forgotten?


8 Comments on Field Guide Los Angeles: Breakfast

  1. Julie
    January 19, 2011 at 10:33 am (12 years ago)

    Mmm… looks so good! I want to go to Bottega Louie next time I’m in LA! Heard so many good things : )

  2. Melissa
    January 19, 2011 at 12:12 pm (12 years ago)

    Some of my favorites include:
    The Ivy – Robertson or the Shore – truly a fabulous restaurant and instead of their delicious bread that they serve at lunch and dinner, they provide you with fresh scones.
    The Fountain Coffee Room at the Beverly Hills Hotel – In Beverly Hills’ classic hotel, this retro style counter is fun and delicious
    Nate n’Als – literally can get anything you want – and it is all very high quality
    Clementine – fabulous baked goods, eggs, and coffee.

  3. Sarah
    January 19, 2011 at 4:45 pm (12 years ago)

    Thanks for the great suggestions, Melissa! I still haven’t been to Clementine but I can’t wait to try it.

  4. Jennifer
    January 19, 2011 at 9:59 pm (12 years ago)

    You got all my faves! Don’t forget about Loteria at The Farmers Market:

    My hubbie and I always split the eggs scrambled with tinga de pollo — big enough for two. (The chilaquiles look pretty serious, too, though I’ve never tried them.) Added bonus for Sunday brunch: beer bar adjacent to the Loteria stand. Oh, and while you’re at it, grab a doughnut from Bob’s!

  5. Sarah Lagrotteria
    January 20, 2011 at 8:10 pm (12 years ago)

    @Jennifer–we LOVE Loteria. Lydia and I ate our way through the large nachos during one of our very first business meetings. The chile rellenos is delicious and Lydia and Drew love the mini taco sampler. It never occurred to me that they were open for breakfast! Thanks for the great tip!

  6. Anjali
    January 24, 2011 at 5:50 pm (12 years ago)

    Nickel Diner in Downtown LA has one of my favorite brunch dishes: buttery polenta, stewed heirloom beans, two poached eggs and a side of toast with housemade jam. Yum! Their pastries are also fantastic.

    I just had a really good (and reasonably priced) brunch at Farmer’s Kitchen by the Hollywood Farmers Market. They get almost all their ingredients from the market and they also make their own jams.

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