When it comes to brunch, you want something special. Not in a frou-frou way, at least not all the time. More in a “we want all the things, and lots of coffee, and Bloody Marys” kind of way.
While you can find some amazing food for breakfast and lunch around 1133 Hope and Downtown L.A. — everything from tacos at Sonoratown to noodles in Little Tokyo to everything your heart desires at Smorgasburg on Sundays — sometimes you want a little more refinement on the weekends. Here’s where these seven spots come in. Welcome to your DTLA brunch primer. Pass the mimosas, please!
The new Proper Hotel has debuted in the Fashion District, and along with it two restaurants — Caldo Verde and Cara Cara. Why this is huge news: It brings celebrated chef Suzanne Goin and restaurateur Caroline Styne to DTLA, the two geniuses behind iconic L.A. spots A.O.C. and Lucques. Caldo Verde is the ground-floor, all-day restaurant serving breakfast through dinner and weekend brunch.That means exquisite food in a beautiful setting, including a patio along South Broadway, no matter what time of day you’re there. Don’t miss things like potato cakes with smoked salmon, chorizo and eggs with sofrito, and a Protuguese-inspired chopped salad. On the rooftop, Cara Cara is open for lunch and dinner daily.
This expansive restaurant located inside the Hauser Wirth & Schimmel complex in the Arts District already has always been open-air, which makes it a great outdoor dining option. Tables flank sculptures, there’s a garden on-site, and even chickens. Executive chef Kris Tominaga and his team create Southern-meets-SoCal dishes, like local yellowtail ceviche with benne seeds, baby lettuce salad with coriander-buttermilk vinaigrette, and Peads & Barnett pork chops with peaches. Open for brunch, lunch and dinner, reservations are helpful.
This French-themed boîte overlooking Pershing Square and Downtown LA is a lovely spot for snacks, dinner or brunch. With well-spaced tables on both the 15th and 16th floors, there’s room to spread out and enjoy the perfect city views for brunch. And with fire pits for cozy nights, covered tables during sunny days, plus indoor seating, there are plenty of options. Go for fruit or cheese plates, huevos rancheros, French Toast or the luxe hangover helper — truffle cheese fries.
Southern and soul food classics done with an LA twist (by a fine dining-trained chef, no less). The cheery Downtown cafe has everything from fried chicken and waffles to brown rice grain bowls for breakfast and brunch. The spacious rooftop patio offers the perfect spot for a socially distanced meal, or order ahead for pickup.
Built in a former church rectory, this modern American space is truly special to DTLA. In addition to the sleek, outdoor lounge and dining room in the courtyard, two more alfresco spaces have been added: the Redbird Garden and the Vibiana Courtyard. Each having its own vibe, you can choose which place you’d like to sit when you make reservations. Chef Neal Fraser’s updated New American dishes — mini chicken pot pie, shishito peppers with crispy quinoa, and taleggio polenta with pork — are now LA classics. The cocktails are not to be missed here.
Who said brunch can only happen on weekends. BJC is a long-standing favorite with several locations around L.A., including one in the Spring Strreet Arcade. You can get eggs pretty much any way you want them, from hashes and Benedicts to sunny-side up, migas and omelettes. The crispy French toast is legendary. Coffee served in a French press will keep you buzzing all day.
Featured photo by Michael Dagonakis/Unsplash