A strong foodie culture and some of the best breakfast and brunch spots in LA make it nearly impossible to give an exhaustive list of the most unmissable breakfasts in Santa Monica. Nevertheless, Culture Trip has traversed this charming coastal city to find the most delicious and innovative dishes on offer. Including indulgent savory waffles and local farm-to-table delicacies, there’s a morning treat in Santa Monica to satisfy even the most discerning breakfast-food connoisseur.
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The OP Café, Santa Monica
This cozy breakfast favorite on Ocean Park Boulevard had a facelift in recent years, and now flaunts a sunny yellow paint job and a shortened name (it was originally Ocean Park Café). Inside, the walls and menus are plastered with nostalgic photos of old Santa Monica. Try the Mexican-inspired dishes like machaca con huevos, a heaping plate of pulled pork topped with fried eggs and avocado slices. For something sweet, pancakes stuffed with fruit and sprinkled with powdered sugar are sure to hit the spot.
Set within the Brentwood Country Mart, Santa Monica’s Farmshop is one of the restaurant’s two locations (the other being all the way up in Marin County). Farmshop’s farm-to-table breakfast celebrates the best of California cuisine with fresh ingredients and creative presentation, which explains why many local people claim it’s one of the best brunches in Santa Monica. Brioche french toast and deviled eggs are great introductions to the Farmshop dining experience. Get there early, though – this place gets packed.
Bagel Nosh Deli, Santa Monica
While bagels are the cornerstone of this Santa Monica deli’s menu, Bagel Nosh also serves sit-in breakfast items at reasonable prices. Bagels come in all flavors, with more varieties of cream cheese and toppings than you’d ever think to order. And like a good deli should, Bagel Nosh has lox. On hungrier days, be sure to order one of the stacked bagel sandwiches.
Cora’s Coffee Shoppe
Quaint Cora’s Coffee Shoppe is far more than its name implies. Tucked between Main Street hotels, Cora’s seats its guests under the shade of a romantic vine awning and treats them to generous portions of gooey poached eggs, fresh salads, and creamy burrata over bruschetta. When paired with delicious coffee, the orange and blueberry pancakes are a favorite.
Huckleberry Bakery and Cafe, Santa Monica
As far as baked goods go, it’s hard to choose between Huckleberry and sister restaurant Milo & Olive, both founded by chef power couple Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan. Huckleberry opened in 2009 to much fanfare, and as far as breakfast goes, it packs a heartier punch. Nathan’s signature brisket hash is a must-try, along with any of the shop’s decadent pastries.
Bru’s Wiffle, Santa Monica
Bru’s Wiffle on Wilshire Boulevard wins the award for having both the strangest name and most apt celebration of the almighty waffle. Waffles range anywhere from sickly sweet (smothered in cinnamon sugar and ice cream) to savory waffle tacos piled high with chicken, cheese and pico de gallo.
FIG, Santa Monica
Tucked inside the Fairmont Miramar hotel, this warmly lit bistro is all about seasonal, organic and locally sourced ingredients. Expect upscale breakfast and brunch standards cooked to perfection or slight twists on the classics, like lemon-ricotta pancakes and brioche french toast. FIG is also popular for its Kegs and Eggs deal, which pairs endless draft beer with a brunch item of your choice.
Rae’s Restaurant, Santa Monica
Local mainstay Rae’s is a 1950s-style haunt immortalized in films like Not Another Teen Movie (2001) and Lords of Dogtown (2005). The menu is mainly diner standards – think butter-laden pancakes, hash browns and scrambled eggs – with a hearty helping of brunch and lunch offerings.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.