Whatever your preconceived notions of Westsiders are, there’s one stereotype we’ll allow: people who live on the Westside don’t like to leave the Westside. OK, one more: they like brunch. A lot. With these facts in mind, here you’ll find everything you need to know about brunch on the Westside. Whether you haven’t crossed the 405 in six years, or you just need a place to eat before the beach, this guide should point you in the right direction.
photo credit: Liz Barclay
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Juliet is not a casual Saturday brunch option that calls for sweatpants: it's a glamorous occasion. This gorgeous French brasserie is filled with people who put serious thought into their monochromatic outfits, and every breakfast dish that hits your table looks expensive (because it is.) Luckily everything tastes good, too, like the sweet crêpres suzette with tangerine wedges, a croque madame that packs a kick from green chiles, and warm madeleines that come with whipped cream for dipping.
photo credit: Jessie Clapp
419 N Canon Dr, Beverly Hills
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Brunch at Mírame is the best of both worlds. You get to eat delicious and creative Mexican-leaning dishes like fried chicken tacos and sourdough pancakes stuffed with sweet corn, but on a breezy Beverly Hills patio that feels refreshingly casual for the 90210. The cocktails also happen to be excellent, including the tart Bidi Bidi Bom Bom that's essentially a passion fruit slushie spiked with tequila.
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510 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica
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A good brunch date spot can be hard to find. Thankfully for anyone in the Santa Monica area, Berbere exists. This bright and airy vegan Ethiopian spot has white tablecloths and a serene jazz playlist. It's walk-in only, but never gets packed, and has a separate loft-style dining room that feels like a private oasis. The menu at Berbere includes some fun Ethiopian twists on tacos, sliders, and breakfast burritos, plus more traditional dishes. Plan a weekend morning meal here the next time you find yourself in love with a vegan.
Located in a part of Culver filled with very cool people who work in very creative offices, Destroyer is a daytime cafe unlike any other. We're pretty sure the coffee machine was brought here from the future (it's built into the counter), and it's entirely possible the food was, too. Seemingly simple dishes like raw oatmeal and almond milk or citrus-y french toast are transformed into works of abstract sci-fi art. A seasonal menu is projected on a wall like a slideshow presentation. And on weekends, the line to order at the counter wraps around the block. Destroyer is straight-up weird and oddly zen, but in the kind of way that has us planning our next meal on the sidewalk patio as you read this.
AOC is a classic, and even if it’s not as exciting as it was 10 years ago, it’s still a great spot to grab a crab omelet or vanilla french toast on a weekend morning. With a roaring fireplace and Juliet balconies circling the courtyard, this California/French spot still has one of the best patios in the city. You might be across the street from the biggest hospital in California, but here, you feel like you’ve been transported to a farm estate deep in Provence.
With a menu that swings from Korean to Japanese to Mexican to Italian and back again, even the pickiest eaters will find something great for brunch at Interstellar. This Santa Monica all-day cafe is one of the neighborhood's best sit-down options, and we've yet to try anything here that we wouldn't endorse. Biting into a fluffy milk bread and egg sando is practically meditative. You'll have similar perfect-bite experiences with the breakfast burrito, cotto ham croissant, and the black truffle linguini with a poached egg.
Uncle Bill's Pancake House is as old-school as it gets. This Manhattan Beach spot has been open for almost 60 years and still attracts pretty long waits on the weekend. Don't expect craft cocktails and creative uses of avocado—you're here for giant stacks of pancakes with a side order of waffles. Bonus: a pretty awesome ocean view.
Brunch is essentially The Rose's reason for being. The huge interior and two patios look their best during daylight hours, there's no shortage of options on the cocktail front, and the breakfast items are all over the place in a good way. You can order a standard breakfast burrito and fruit bowl or kick off the day with dishes like Korean-style duck egg fried rice, lobster scramble, and breakfast cacio e pepe covered in grated pecorino.
This old-school diner is the kind of spot where you’ll sit next to a couple dissecting their granddaughter’s soccer game and debating the best dogsitter for their corgi over perfectly fluffy pancakes. Weekends usually mean you’ll wait, but you can always pour yourself a cup of self-serve coffee from the big carafe out front and wander over to the nearby golf course to continue living out your suburban fantasies. Once you sit down, focus on the classics and grab an order of the Biscuits From Heaven.
There’s no denying that on Venice’s Abbot Kinney Blvd, Gjelina reigns supreme. While there may be an aggressive wait and uncomfortably attractive people inside, Gjelina is always a good idea. Their Neapolitan pizzas, lemon ricotta pancakes, and soft scrambles are among our all-time brunch favorites. Go ahead and wait the extra 30 minutes to sit outside, we promise the out-of-towners you’re trying to impress will love it.
Before you spend a day at the beach pretending you’ve played beach volleyball before and forgetting to put on sunscreen, you’ll need brunch. And Playa Provisions is about as close as you can get to eating eggs on the beach, without the risk of sand in your scramble. The outdoor dining room has dune views, and you can sit next to a fireplace that makes you feel like you’re at a bonfire at Dockweiler (before you go to an actual bonfire at Dockweiler). Get one of their cocktails and you won’t ever want a mimosa in the morning again.