20 Must-Try Brunch Spots In Venice
If you’re in the mood for brunch and you’re in Venice, you’re in luck. The Westside LA neighborhood has brunches of every style, from all-you-can-drink party fests to meals of a more refined nature. You’ll find sweet breakfast treats, from pastries to pancakes, and savory dishes too. Bloody Marys, Mimosas, and Micheladas abound. And you’re never far from the water and the Boardwalk in Venice, meaning that no matter which of these restaurants you pick (and you really can’t go wrong), you’re just a hop, skip, and maybe a bike ride away from that beautiful ocean view.
The Butcher's Daughter
This 100 percent vegetarian (and mostly vegan) import from New York City has a sense of humor about its plant-based menu, calling itself a “vegetable slaughterhouse.” The fruits and veggies are procured locally and senselessly pulverized into fresh juices, smashed onto toasts, chopped into bowls, and assembled atop plates that pop with color. Morning is an ideal time for a visit, as the light and airy space, which looks and feels like a farmhouse crossed with a beach house, is sure to lift that hangover right off your shoulders. No matter how you wake yourself up, it’s covered: There’s Vittoria coffee and espresso, fancy teas and cocktails made with shochu.
The Butcher's Daughter // 1205 Abbot Kinney Blvd.
If there’s a specific brunch experience you’re looking for, you should be able to find it at chef Jason Neroni’s sprawling complex on a corner of Rose Avenue that’s dotted with macrame planters, wicker lamps, and lots of open seating. The building stretches across several rooms with different nooks and crannies -- indoors and out -- to sit down and enjoy an equally diverse menu of things like buttermilk fried chicken and biscuits, smoked bacon ramen, pizza, and an all-day breakfast menu with a pastry board, breakfast sandwich, breakfast burrito, buttermilk pancakes, patty melt, and much, much more. The rose and sparkling wine list is strong, and cocktails are interesting twists on old favorites; for instance, the Kale Mary is a kicky mix of kale, roasted green tomato, celery, Parmesan, jalapeno, lemon, agave and tequila. Know that this is a revival of a restaurant that’s spent 36 years serving Venice, but most of it -- save the rose mural -- is brand new.
The Rose // 220 Rose Ave.
Tue-Thu 7am-10pm, Fri 7am-11pm, Sat 8am-11pm, Sun 8am-5pm
Oscar Hermosillo has a few go-to brunch places around Venice that are must-hit spots for morning mimosas and eggs (Oscar’s Cerveteca and Venice Beach Wines), and his newest restaurant combines the cool vibe and solid food for which he’s known with a space that allows for some elbow room, whether seated at the small bar, or the indoor or outdoor table seating. There’s a little bit of Mexican and a little bit barbecue on the menu, which shows up in dishes like pork pozole, pulled pork, chilaquiles, and a cheesy chile relleno. Like at his other spots, you can get the 16-ounce Manmosa to avoid having to get pesky about your Sunday funday refills. And there are a few TVs scattered about showing the game.
Clutch Venice // 427 Lincoln Blvd.
Mon 11:30am-10pm, Tue-Thu 11:30am-11pm, Fri 11:30am-12pm, Sat 10:30am-12pm, Sun 10:30am-10pm
A sophisticated brunch within walking distance to Venice Pier? You’ve got it with chef Nyesha Arrington’s first full restaurant. Brown butter pancakes, thick-cut bacon, omelettes -- all of the brunch hits are here but kicked up a notch and with a nod to Leona’s commitment to seasonal, globally inspired cooking. The Adult Frosted Flakes are a highlight for anyone who’s ever missed the days when sugary cereal wasn’t such a bad thing. There’s no liquor license, but there’s plenty of bubbly and beer.
Leona // 123 Washington Blvd.
Tue-Wed 11am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-10pm, Thu-Fri 11am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-11pm, Sat-Sun 10am - 2pm, 5:30pm-11pm
If your goal is to be just steps away from Venice Beach while enjoying a true farm-to-table brunch, look no further than Dudley Market. It’s fashioned as an all-day neighborhood cafe, but the elevated cooking comes from Jesse Barber (Barnyard and The Tasting Kitchen) who uses ingredients sourced from local farmers markets. For brunch that means everything from omelettes with seasonal ingredients, French toast, crab Louie, and pork hash. If you’re in a hurry, you can also stop in for coffee and pastries to go. The open and airy corner restaurant serves as a offbeat marketplace, too. So if you need a boho beach bag, fancy sea salt or unusual toothpaste, you can shop before or after you dine.
Dudley Market // 9 Dudley Ave.
Scopa Italian Roots
It’s Italian by way of New York, and for brunch that means dishes like the NYC School Special, that delightful combination of eggs, bacon and cheese on a kaiser roll that New Yorkers might know simply as egg on a roll. There’s also a fresh-baked crostata, a bagel, lox and cream cheese plate, which doesn’t come cheap; Challah French toast; and on the more Italian side, hot and cold antipasti, which is where you’ll find an Italian hero, eggplant Parmesan, and clams ‘nduja. The high-ceilinged, brick-walled open space has an expansive bar -- the perfect spot to down some oysters and a drink with a copy of the Los Angeles Times fanned out in front of you like the boss that you are.
Scopa // 2905 W Washington Blvd.
Mon-Fri 5pm-12pm, Sat-Sun 11am-2:30pm (brunch), 5pm-1am
Travis Lett and his Venice restaurants (this, plus the take-away GTA next door and Gjusta nearby on Sunset Avenue) have become the poster child for the hipsterification of Venice. Whether or not he’s the force of change or just the response to it becomes irrelevant when you taste what comes out of the from-scratch kitchen, which is nothing short of perfection. The breakfast menu is short with highlights like lemon buckwheat ricotta pancakes, Moroccan baked eggs, and an egg sandwich served on freshly baked bread. Weekend brunch, you’ll get those, plus more complex items like a smoked trout salad and grilled kale, plus bigger plates such as a lamb burger and some pretty amazing pizzas. Cocktails like Micheladas and Mimosas help you ease into the day.
Gjelina // 1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd.
Daily 8:00am-Midnight. Breakfast 8-11am Mon-Fri, Brunch 8am-3pm Saturday and Sunday
One of the must-eat-at restaurants on Abbot Kinney, this Mediterranean looker (next to Gjelina) pumps out a bevy of dishes for brunch, from sweet or savory waffles to eggs many ways and a monster of a burger with caramelized onion, bacon, Gruyere cheese and a sunny-side up egg. The inventive brunch cocktails are a draw, with fun sips like the Baby Bird (vodka and lavender tonic), the Penguin Suit (rye, fernet, nocino), and a refreshing Champagne cocktail. Like any of the good restaurants on this strip, it can get crowded, and you may have to wait for a table, but once you’re inside the brick and wood-beamed space, all your weekend cares will slip away and you’ll be supping with the Westside Boho casual set who don’t appear to have a care in the world.
Tasting Kitchen // 1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd.
Mon-Fri 5:30pm-12am, Sat-Sun 10:30am-2:30pm (brunch), 5:30pm-12am
This looker on Lincoln Boulevard from restaurateur Paul Hibler is hot enough for weekday breakfasts, but things really get smoking when the weekend brunch crowd shows up. You can eat healthy if you want (there’s kale toast), but you can also order up a hangtown fry, and the drool-worthy pastries lining the case at the to-go counter taste as good as they look. All the brunch cocktails are here, including DIY mimosas, a Bloody Mary and a light, refreshing Shandy. Inside seating takes advantage of the high ceilings and convivial atmosphere, while the outdoor patio is generally a bit quieter and almost always open given the sunny Southern California climate and ever-present heat lamps.
Superba Food & Bread // 1900 S Lincoln Blvd.
Sun-Thu 7am-10pm, Fri-Sat 7am-11pm
Casablanca is a restaurant to behold (there’s a life-size statue of Humphrey Bogart inside and a clock that declares it’s always “tequila time” outside), but the Sunday brunch really kicks it up a notch. For $14.99 it’s all-you-can-drink mimosa, Champagne, sangria or Bloody Mary, plus a choice of entree like huevos rancheros or calamari in a garlic-butter sauce and a dessert. The flour tortillas are handmade. There are 250 different types of tequila. A margarita cart rolls through the aisles. If you want to be treated to old-school Venice service and stuff yourself in a room full of weekend regulars, this is your place.
Casablanca // 220 Lincoln Blvd.
Mon-Thu 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11 am-11pm, Sun 11am-3pm (brunch), 3pm-10pm
French Market Café
When you don’t want the hubbub of Rose or Abbot Kinney’s main drag, head to this tucked-away gem with its own parking lot, outdoor seating, a market of epicurean goodies, and a menu full of things like killer quiche, a Nutella crepe, an omelette sandwich served on a baguette, and very French pastries like croissants and financiers. It’s not fancy and service is minimal (you order at the counter and take a number to your table), but it’s good food on a pretty patio without much fuss.
Frech Market Café // 2321 Abbot Kinney Blvd.
Breakfast/brunch: Mon-Fri 7am- 12pm, Sat-Sun 8am-5pm; Daily Mon-Fri 7am-5pm, Sat-Sun 8am-5pm
Thouh Roy Choi is no longer involved with this Reiss Co. restaurant with Jamaican leanings, there’s still a lot of fun to be had on the menu. The jerk chicken salad, huevos rancheros rice bowl, Cuban media noche, and other brunch mashups are all about big flavors. Get the whole package with bottomless mimosas, Bloody Marys, or Sunny rum punch and stay awhile. As the name suggests, it’s a sunny place, inside and out, with bright prints on the inside stools, lots of sun streaming through the windows and a pretty patio with lots of seating. On weekends, the party continues from brunch right into the pre-dinner happy hour.
Sunny Spot // 822 Washington Blvd.
Sun 9:30am-3:30pm (brunch), 5pm-10pm, Mon-Thu 11am-3:30pm, 5pm-10pm, Fri 11am-3:30pm (brunch), 5pm-11pm, Sat 9:30am-3:30pm, 5pm-11pm
A few blocks north from Sunny Spot is another Washington Blvd. brunching destination that's been in the neighborhood for more than 30 years. Owned and operated by the Mori family, and rooted in Japanese and American cuisine, 26 Beach is probably best know for its lengthy menu and wildly creative selection of burgers. When you say "wildly creative"? For starters, there's chef Katsu's California Roll Burger with a special blend beef patty topped with snow crab salad, avocado, sushi ginger, Boston lettuce, tomato, nori and wasabi-shoyu-mayonnaise. Brunching is just as fun with 20 different kinds of decadent French toasts, scrambles over Hawaiian-style sticky rice and much, much more. There's an espresso bar, fresh juices, and a.m. cocktails like mimosas, micheladas and a Champagne surprise made with pear sorbet. The kitschy, shabby chic patio is the best spot to dine and it's a great pick for brunching with the kiddies too.
26 Beach // 3100 Washington Blvd.
Mon-Thu 8am-9:30pm, Fri-Sat 8am-10pm; Sun 8am-9pm
With its white brick walls, exposed rafters and subway tiles, Salt Air is an easy-breezy spot for weekend brunch. As the name suggests, seafood is a specialty. So for starters, there’s oysters and a pretty pea toast, among other selections, and entrees run from berry-topped French toast to gravlax and a lobster roll. Wine, beer and cocktails (try the Spritz) help you slide into (or out of) the weekend on an up note. And although you’re not actually eating on the beach, with the ambiance, the food, and the beach-ready people surrounding you, who could blame you if you thought otherwise?
Salt Air // 1616 Abbot Kinney Blvd.
Sun 10am-3pm, 5pm-10pm, Mon-Tue 11am-3pm, 5pm-10pm, Wed-Fri 11am-3pm, 5pm-11pm, Sat 10am-3pm, 5pm-11pm
This nearly beachside restaurant has been a locals' favorite for almost 20 years. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have an interesting brunch menu. You can scratch just about any brunch itch here. Whether you want something fast and filling like the Sloppy egg sandwich, something a little more upmarket like the eggs Florentine, or something on the sweet side like the blueberry ricotta pancakes, you won’t go away hungry. The spot boasts that its fish tacos appeared in the movie, “I Love You, Man” (how very L.A.). There’s a full bar with loads of specialty cocktails just made for brunch, from the Pimm’s Cup to the ginger mojito to the French 75.
James' Beach // 60 N. Venice Blvd.
Mon-Tue 6pm-1:30am, Wed-Fri 11:30am-1:30am, Sat-Sun 11am-3pm (brunch), 3pm-1:30am
The Venice Whaler
There is no better place to while away the time in Venice Beach with a beer and an ocean view than at the Whaler. The two-story restaurant and bar has been slinging brews since 1944. Its brunch menu has seen a few changes over the years, however, with the current menu from chef Nick Liberato featuring items like fried chicken and waffles, short rib hash and the Whaler burger. On the libations end, you can go light and refreshing with iced sparkling wine Bellinis or serious and spicy with the house recipe Bloody Mary. If Champagne is your thing, order one of five bottles with a carafe of fresh juices (your choice of watermelon, grapefruit or orange). Then, just sit back, relax and let the good times roll (just like members of The Beach Boys and The Doors did back in the day).
The Venice Whaler // 10 Washington Blvd.
Mon-Fri 11am-2am, Sat-Sun 9am-3pm (brunch), 3pm-2am
On the brunch menu at this Abbot Kinney spot: Biscuits, deviled eggs, shrimp and grits, fried chicken and waffles. Yep, Willie Jane is a Southern restaurant through and through, but there are glimmers of California too (see the warm quinoa bowl). And whether you choose the bottomless mimosa option or go for one of the barrel-aged cocktails, like the Oaxana White Negroni or the House-Aged Bourbon, served however you want it, you’ll want to drink them in the spacious outdoor area, with both a deck and a landscaped patio for maxing and relaxing as only the weekend calls for.
Willie Jane // 1031 Abbot Kinney Blvd.
Wed-Fri 4pm-12am, Sat 11am-12am, Sun 11am-9pm
The Anchor lobster roll with black truffles might be what gets your attention on the menu, but don’t let that distract you from some of the other creative menu items, which change seasonally, things like biscuits and gravy with a poached egg, a breakfast burrito stuffed with black rice, red onion, chorizo, cheddar, scrambled eggs and salsa verde, or the Elvis-style French toast. Mimosas, soju Bloody Marys, and Micheladas are all here, in single or bottomless sizes, and there’s a good-time vibe, whether indoors at the bar or tables or outdoors on the patio overlooking Main Street. And while the nautical theme goes beyond the name -- there’s rope above the bar, anchors and sailing art about -- the restaurant’s most beachy feature is that it’s less than a five-minute walk to Venice Beach.
The Anchor Venice // 235 Main St.
Tue-Fri 12pm-12am, Sat-Sun 11am-12am
Why are you at the Sidewalk Cafe? Because its patio sits directly on the Venice Beach Boardwalk, and there’s really not a better place to eat, drink and people-watch directly on the strip. That said, Sidewalk Cafe wouldn’t have been around for the last 40 years if it wasn’t doing something right in the food and drink department. For breakfast and brunch that translates into lots of egg options (with steak, as huevos racheros, sided by bacon or sausage …), plus pancakes, waffles and even an acai bowl if you want to offset your champagne and OJ habit. Bonus: Once you’ve had your fill of boozy brunch and the Boardwalk, step into the adjacent Small World Books, one of the LA’s few independent bookstores that specializes in literary fiction and poetry and has a large stable of LA authors stocked.
The Sidewalk Café // 1401 Ocean Front Walk
Venice Ale House
Another popular Boardwalk brunch spot, the Venice Ale House sits at the north end of the strip at Rose Avenue and boasts one of the best craft beer selections in town with more than 30 on tap. Thomas Elliott and Spoon Singh (also behind Bank of Venice on Windward) were among the first to champion healthier, locally sourced food options here at the beach where you typically find dollar slice pizza and deep friend treats. Get the Local's Secret Special, a hearty scramble of free-range eggs, sautéed onions, baby spinach, bacon, cheddar and avocado wrapped up in a warm flour tortilla. Or, if you're planning to hit the water, go for something lighter like a mason jar of yogurt and berries, which you can take to go.
Venice Ale House // 2 Rose Ave.
Mon-Thu 10am-Midnight, Fri 10am-2am, Sat 9am-2am, Sun 9am-Midnight; Brunch served daily until 2pm