When I travel abroad, one of the things I miss most about American culture is brunch. Everywhere I’ve lived in the US, brunch has been a huge part of the culture. LA, of course, is no exception. While the list of amazing brunch spots is never-ending, I’m going to share with you my go-tos for brunching in LA.
1. Best Deal: The Overland
- The Overland is a small restaurant on a busy street in Culver City that you might not even recognize when you first drive by. Once you walk in you’ll feel energized by all the people inside having a good time.
- Best Bottomless Brunch Deal: If bottomless mimosas is what you’re looking for, look no further. On weekends, they offer $7 unlimited champagne. You still have to pay for OJ, but I mean it’s definitely worth it. If you split one jug of juice for the table — assuming you’re not with a million people — you’ll be good. Pretty much every table anytime you go during brunch is clearly taking advantage of this amazing deal. I haven’t found a better boozy brunch deal and believe me I’ve tried.
- Location: Culver City is one of my favorite areas in LA. If you’re looking for things to do in the area, check out my first Blue Wonder post on 3 Underrated and DOPE Areas in LA.
- My Advice: Make a reservation in advance. There’s always a line on weekends. Always. Nothing feels cooler than showing up and walking past dozens of impatient people who have been waiting forever and going immediately past them to your table.
2. Most Surprising: TART Restaurant
- TART is a chic restaurant with an adorable, enclosed pool-side terrace. It’s part of Farmer’s Daughter Hotel.
- Surprise Offer: If you jump into the pool fully clothed, you get 50% off of your bill. Yes — people actually do it!
- Location: TART is across the street from The Grove, walking distance to Fairfax District, and a very quick drive to the Beverly Center. This is definitely a popular area to hang out in LA whether you want to catch a movie, go shopping, or my personal favorite — people watch.
- My Advice: Go on a sunny day so that you can sit outside on the terrace (and potentially watch people make fools of themselves). Also park across the street in the Farmers Market and ask a restaurant there to validate for you. That is if you don’t want to pay the mandatory $6 valet at the restaurant. All the street parking is limited to an hour.
3. Best Birthday Brunch: Blu Jam Café
- Blu Jam Café looks low-key from the outside, but is actually a hot spot in LA. I go there because I love the food and the ambiance. I personally have never seen a famous person there but supposedly they eat here all the time.
- Birthday Brunch: My cousin and I share the same birthday and we went here on our birthday for brunch last year. It turned out there were multiple birthday brunches going on the same day. For our bday they gave us free coffee drinks as well as free Maui French Toast — cornflake crusted, shaved with coconut, sprinkled with mint, powdered sugar, and caramelized bananas, and topped with pineapple sauce. Not only did it come with a candle but it is also pretty filling. Compare that to the tiny, left-over ice cream scoop you get at most other places.
- Location: Blu Jam Café has a bunch of locations in the outskirts of LA and now
Japan. We went to the location on Melrose because we love shopping on Melrose, hanging out, and — of course — people watching in this area.
- My Advice: If you want to try one their French Toast options — Vanilla, Maui, or Crunch — you have to go for brunch in the morning. If you’re looking to eat something savory on the breakfast menu, you can go anytime because they serve the rest of the breakfast items all day.
4. Best Mexican [and American] Brunch: Café de Olla
- Café de Olla is another tiny restaurant with a huge line always. Always. But whether you want a classic American breakfast or an authentic Mexican breakfast, it’s worth the wait. Trust me.
- Authentic Mexican Breakfast: “Café de olla” is Mexican coffee that’s traditionally prepared in artisan clay pots. Given the name of the restaurant, it’s no shock that this place hand prepares authentic, Mexican dishes. They also have all of the American classic breakfasts too — and they all taste really good — so everyone in your brunch group will be happy. The restaurant also has a bunch of cool quotes all over the inside walls so I always feel happy when I’m there.
- Location: Café de Olla is in Burbank. I’m one of those LA snobs that says since Burbank is the Valley, it’s not LA. But from hiking to dancing to restaurants, Burbank is really starting to grow on me. Even though it’s outside our city borders, it’s still in LA County, so it gets a pass.
- My advice: You can’t make a reservation in advance so if you’re driving there — which almost all Angelinos are — I recommend you pull over to put your name down and then going to look for parking. I also like to take a walk in the residential area — there’s a little kids park a block away — to make the wait pass faster.
It’s funny to how a lot of my favorite restaurants in LA are tiny little spots that I may not even notice on first glance but are bursting with energy on the inside. Once you walk in, each has such an inviting atmosphere, not to mention unique food offerings. So whether you want to sip champagne, drink Mexican coffee, take a dip in the pool, or indulge in birthday carbs, this list has you covered.
What’s your favorite place to brunch? Let us know! #BlueWonderBrunch
Taylor is the newest member of voyadi.com (formerly Blue Wonder Travel). She is a self proclaimed #BrunchConnoisseur who searches for unique brunch spots throughout LA and in all the other cities in which she’s lived. Learn more about her at taylordmills.com and contact her at email@example.com.
© taylordmills 2017