The Ultimate Guide to Breakfast in the Valley: Part One

From classic diners to modern eateries

Green Tea Pancakes at Bea Bea's
Green Tea Pancakes at Bea Bea's  |  Photo:  Yuri Hasegawa

The San Fernando Valley is one of the largest regions in LA County. So naturally, it deserves an epic dining guide to breakfast. If you have a morning meet-up in the Valley, the age-old question is “where should we meet”? Well, look no further. From classic diners to modern eateries, discover dozens of restaurants that serve the most important meal of the day!

Hungry for more? Check out Part Two of our Ultimate Guide, featuring great Valley breakfast spots from Lake Balboa to Canoga Park.

Green Tea Pancakes at Bea Bea's
Green Tea Pancakes at Bea Bea's  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Toluca Lake: Bea Bea's

If pancakes are your thing Bea Bea’s is one of the best restaurants in Toluca Lake to enjoy these fluffy morning treats. Located near the studios in a Burbank shopping center off Pass Avenue, this buzzy, studio-adjacent breakfast and lunch spot is known for its outrageously decadent pancake, waffle, and French toast concoctions. There are four pages of breakfast items that range from quasi-healthy to just “get back on track tomorrow.” If you enjoy a classic breakfast with eggs and bacon, but desire something a little more exciting, order the Pooh’s Sunrise, which consists of two eggs, bacon, and a choice of pancakes, waffles, French toast or crepes. For an extra $2 you can “make it special”—meaning add any of the aforementioned carb treats. A popular favorite is the matcha with mascarpone and white chocolate.

Kumquat avocado toast at Sweetsalt | Instagram by @avocadokale
Kumquat avocado toast at Sweetsalt | Instagram by @avocadokale

Toluca Lake: Sweetsalt Food Shop

This super sweet farmhouse style café/bakery is owned by Top Chef Season 5 contestant Alex Eusebio and his wife Sarah Mann, who serve up consistently good eats (they also own nearby Cascabel and Cascabel Taco Shop). The breakfast menu is on the brief side but it's unique, and there's something for everyone—from the truffled eggs sandwich to egg hash, kumquat avocado toast, the breakfast sandwich ciabatta, and more. Wonderful pastries will satisfy a sweet tooth, as will a lavender or lemongrass latte.

Forager Panini
Forager Panini   |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Toluca Lake: Olive & Thyme

Situated between Warner Bros. Studio and NBC, this family owned Toluca Lake eatery was one of the first to enter the gourmet café/marketplace counter service category using local, organic and sustainable ingredients, and it's still one of the best. Standouts include the breakfast burrito, brioche sandwich (add avocado), Nutella pancakes, and the Forager Panini with mushrooms, sausage, and fontina cheese. Lighter options include house made granola and oatmeal with dried cherries. Of course, there are freshly made pastries that pair perfectly with espresso bar drinks with Intelligentsia coffee.

Two Eggs with Country Fried Steak and French Toast Combo at Patys Restaurant | Photo by Princess G., Yelp
Two Eggs with Country Fried Steak and French Toast Combo at Patys Restaurant | Photo by Princess G., Yelp

Toluca Lake: Patys Restaurant

Opened in 1960 in the heart of Toluca Lake, this landmark could be called the studio “green room” for the countless television and films stars who have dined here over the years. Owned by the Metsos family since 1999, this classic diner with a counter and indoor/outdoor seating has been updated over the years, but the old school style remains with the addition of gluten free, vegan and healthy options. Breakfast begins at 7 a.m. with eggs every which way, waffles, pancakes, and more. Don’t miss the cinnamon roll.

The Hulk Omelette at Aroma Coffee & Tea in Studio City
The Hulk Omelette at Aroma Coffee & Tea  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Studio City: Aroma Coffee & Tea

Whether you want breakfast or brunch, Studio City has some great spots. Writers, directors, actors and parents with kids in tow can all be found at this predominantly outdoor café with covered and garden patios, plus a cozy reading room. At key hours a line files out the door, but it moves quickly with just enough time for you to decide if your order will include a large slice of cake or a pastry beckoning from the display case. You’ll find it all here, from granola to benedicts, omelets, breakfast sandwiches, south of the border specialties, and brioche French toast. And of course with coffee and tea in the name, rest assured they are worthy—as are smoothies and juices.

Lox Plate at Art's Deli
Lox Plate at Art's Deli  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Studio City: Art’s Deli

If you’re looking for a classic breakfast, Studio City is home to this great joint. You’ve got to love Art’s for its red booths, enormous deli, bakery counter, and for its longevity in Studio City. Art Ginsburg and his wife opened the deli in 1957. Although Art passed away a few years ago, it is still a family operation that's now run by his children. If the booths could talk, they would tell tales of the many television and film deals that were discussed and inked at the tables, and the celebrities who’ve sat there. Breakfast is served all day with expected standards like eggs, omelets, smoked fish, benedicts, pancakes, and of course, matzo brie. Don’t leave without a black and white cookie.

French Toast
French Toast   Photo Comoncy Cafe

Studio City: Comoncy

From the Coral Tree Café team comes this small, modern fast casual café. Comoncy Studio City serves fresh organic ingredients. If you’re looking for all day breakfast on Ventura B.vd. their all-day breakfast menu features such favorites as the egg bowl with egg whites, quinoa, spinach, chicken breast, brown rice and salsa; avocado toast topped with two poached eggs; oven roasted tomatoes and served with potatoes; huevos rancheros with blue corn tortillas; and eggs benedict. Coffee choices include a selection of coffee drinks, including a pour-over, Cubano, and Gibraltar.

Nutella Crepe at Crave Cafe in Studio City
Nutella Crepe at Crave Cafe in Studio City  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Studio City: Crave Café

These family-owned cafes in Studio City and Sherman Oaks have two different owners, but both have a college town feel and are perfect for a quick meal with a little bit of everything, from eggs to omelets, pancakes, bagels and lox, and chicken with waffles. The popular crepes offer a choice of sweet and savory flavors and come with a side salad. Big plus: both Craves are open 24 hours a day - that means breakfast any time you want it.

Eggs ala Fisdale at Good Neighbor | Instagram by @neateatsla

Studio City: Good Neighbor

The motto here is “breakfast served with a smile,” and that's the truth from the moment you enter this family-owned landmark located in a strip mall in the shadow of Universal Studios Hollywood. The old school menu is a "what’s what" of classic breakfast dishes, as well as a few more modern creations like the Eggs ala Fisdale - their version of an Eggs Benedict topped with ham or fresh spinach with a cheese sauce. Craft your own omelette or chose a signature. There is a big selection of egg combinations and flavored pancakes. The adjoining coffee spot, Neighborista, is also a great option for coffee drinks, smoothies, homemade desserts, beer, wine, champagne, and a Bloody Mary.

Pasta Mama at Hugo's in Studio City
Pasta Mama at Hugo's in Studio City  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Studio City: Hugo’s

Founded by Terry Kaplan in West Hollywood, Hugo's now has sister locations in Studio City and Agoura Hills, as well as two Hugo's Tacos. Breakfasts are big, bold, and served until 4 p.m. The emphasis is on healthy, organic food. Perhaps the most famous dish is the Pasta Mama— fresh pasta scrambled with eggs, garlic, parsley, Parmesan cheese and a special seasoning. Pasta Papa adds bacon and turkey sausage. Among the most unique dishes is the breakfast salad and the go-green frittata. There are a variety of eggs, pancakes, benedicts, and huevos rancheros.

Grilled Breast of Chicken Panini at Il Tramezzino in Studio City
Grilled Breast of Chicken Panini (aka The Chicken Special) at Il Tramezzino  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Studio City: Il Tramezzino

Known for panini sandwiches, salads, and pasta, this small indoor/outdoor café surprises with a simple, fresh breakfast menu. Choose from scrambles with a variety of vegetables and proteins or croissant sandwiches. Appease a sweet tooth with a Nutella stuffed croissant, or make it extra special topped with bananas and strawberries. Enjoy your meal with a smoothie or espresso bar drinks.

Corned beef hash at Jerry's Deli in Studio City
Corned beef hash at Jerry's Deli  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Studio City: Jerry’s Deli

Make it a morning of bowling and breakfast at this long time Studio City mainstay (there’s also a location in Encino sans bowling). You can even imbibe an alcoholic beverage if you so desire. The enormous deli menu lists all the usual suspects, plus global influences from the Middle East, Italy, Mexico, and Asia. The senior and children’s menu are the same (over 65 and under 10, respectively). Seinfeld fans, take note: various cast and crew used to gather at the round table near the front after taping at nearby CBS Studio Center on Radford.

Breakfast Sandwich at Joan's on Third
Breakfast Sandwich at Joan's on Third  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Studio City: Joan’s on Third

This second outpost of the original 3rd Street location features the same gourmet market/café format—order at the counter and food will be brought to you. Breakfast/brunch time is usually the busiest time of the day. Omelettes are done in a soft French-style and are offered a la carte with bacon and hash browns sold separately. The straightforward menu includes pancakes, French toast, smoked salmon, and house made granola. Of course there is also a very tempting display of freshly baked pastries, muffins, and scones. Ready-made food to-go, cookbooks and assorted gift food items make Joan's a one-stop-shop.

Breakfast Crepe at Jumpin' Java in Studio City
Breakfast Crepe at Jumpin' Java  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Studio City: Jumpin' Java

Small town vibe meets the Mediterranean at this cozy Studio City family-owned eatery with street-side patio seating. Led by owner/chef Sona Grigorian, Jumpin' Java serves breakfast and lunch, featuring a globally-inspired menu with ingredients from the Middle East and Europe. It’s packed most weekends, especially on Sundays because of its proximity to the Ventura Place Farmers Market. Omelettes, crepes, pancakes, and waffles are the thing here, as well as a very tasty breakfast burrito and lavash press sandwich with cheese and scrambled eggs. Potatoes are worth the splurge if you enjoy a little kick and an accent of sautéed peppers and onions.

Dragon Fruit Smoothie Bowl at Le Pain Quotidien in Studio City
Dragon Fruit Smoothie Bowl at Le Pain Quotidien in Studio City | Photo: @thefitkitchen.ali, Instagram

Studio City: Le Pain Quotidien

This international chain serving organic, farm-fresh eats with European style has Valley locations in Studio City, Encino and Woodland Hills. Each eatery feels a little different, although they all share a rustic charm with wooden tables for communal and private parties, freshly made bread and pastries, and a few market selections, like jam and peanut butter. Breakfast selections include Belgian waffles, frittatas, omelets, mini-Dutch pancakes, avocado toast, oatmeal, and a colorful dragon fruit smoothie bowl. There are also daily juice blends. For quick service, order online and your breakfast will be ready when you arrive.

Banana Pancakes at Vivian's Millennium Café
Banana Pancakes at Vivian's Millennium Café  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Studio City: Vivian’s Millennium Café

Not much has changed style-wise since this converted house opened in 1964 as Vivian’s Café. The tiny front room leads to a slim passageway through the kitchen to reach a patio with an avocado tree. The fun-spirited menu includes tributes to customer and owners favorite dishes. Variations of eggs, chili, and pancakes are house favorites. And food is always served with a smile. Vivian's was sold in November 1999 - "millennium" was added to mark the new century and the cafe is now run by actress Leah Remini’s mother, stepfather, and husband, and was featured on the reality show, “It’s All Relative.”

Breakfast Burrito at SteamPunk Coffee Bar & Kitchen | Photo by Karen Young
Breakfast Burrito at SteamPunk Coffee Bar & Kitchen | Photo by Karen Young

Valley Village: SteamPunk Coffee Bar & Kitchen

With more of a Silver Lake vibe than the Valley, SteamPunk has funky furniture and mismatched chairs that complement the art-covered walls. Order at the counter for always cheery, helpful service. The house breakfast specialty is The Stack—buttermilk fried chicken, bacon, and a sunny side up egg on a Belgian waffle. But you can’t go wrong with the chilaquiles, breakfast burrito, scrambles, or really anything else. The drink list includes all kinds of coffee and teas, including a Mexican mocha and sugar infused espresso. A Cubano shot will certainly wake up your day.

The Flight at Harvest Moon in Valley Village
The Flight at Harvest Moon Kitchen & Marketplace  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Valley Village: Harvest Moon Kitchen & Marketplace

Everything is made from scratch at this casual family owned eatery that serves breakfast all day. Line up, browse the chalkboard menu, and place your order - although you may be easily distracted by the pastries nearby. Egg dishes come with a choice of hash browns, butternut squash or fresh fruit, as well as bread or a house made biscuit, which are among the best around. Standouts include: The Flight (buttermilk, lemon ricotta, banana pecan maple pancakes) with thick cut bacon; brioche French toast; farm omelette; vegetarian burrito; corned beef hash; and The Bowl (quinoa, Brussels sprouts, spinach, butternut squash, harissa sauce and two eggs).

Machaca con Huevos at EAT NoHo
Machaca con Huevos at EAT NoHo  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

North Hollywood: EAT

If you’re going to name a restaurant EAT, it had better live up to its name, and this Noho Arts District eatery surely does. The small space conjures a cross between a New York diner and S.F. "boho" with friendly service, counter seating, and indoor/outdoor tables. Breakfast items with eggs come with bread and choice of fruit, hash browns or Ned’s Shreds (shredded zucchini prepared just like hash browns—request them well done). If you’re in a decadent mood, try the flapjacks, with such choices as Oreo pancakes (often a special), chocolate chip, banana nut caramel and Hawaiian (with pineapple and coconut). Crab lovers, don’t miss the blue crab benedict.

Chicken and Waffles at the Hungry Fox in NoHo
Chicken and Waffles at the Hungry Fox  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

North Hollywood: Hungry Fox

Originally opened in 1940 and rebuilt after a fire in 1990, this family-owned restaurant on Sherman Way with worn green trim and a fox logo is a place you won’t likely forget. The menu offers lots of choices, including variations of waffles, pancakes, eggs and omelettes, including some unique dishes, such as a veggie omelet with Thai sausage. You can get a good bagel, lox, cream cheese; chicken and waffles; plus matzo brie too. Jams are homemade. As the menu says, it's "Happiness You Can Eat.”

Skillet Breakfast at Jinky's
Skillet Breakfast at Jinky's  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Sherman Oaks: Jinky’s

With locations in Sherman Oaks, Studio City (Studio Café), Santa Monica, Agoura, and Thousand Oaks, this long running restaurant still has its homegrown charm with wood tables and country chairs. The extensive menu suits every diner and craving. Feel like something with a kick? Santa Fe Scramble. Gluten-free? Pancakes. Deli? Smoked salmon. European? Crepes. Decadent? Breakfast mac n’ cheese. How about some vegan Sherman Oaks favorites? Viva las Vegan. They are also helpful with substitutions.

Corned Beef Hash Benedict at Nat's Early Bite in Sherman Oaks
Corned Beef Hash Benedict at Nat's Early Bite | Photo: @chinese_carnivore, Instagram

Sherman Oaks: Nat’s Early Bite

Located in a corner Sherman Oaks strip mall at Burbank and Hazeltine, this classic coffee shop has been serving up great food and coffee for nearly 40 years. While Nat's began as a no-frills coffee shop known for all-American diner dishes with a dash of Jewish deli, it eventually incorporated some “south of the border” specials when the original owner, Bud Elias sold the restaurant to his head cook, Victor Carlos (he started as a busboy). The classic feel remains and the breakfast menu is choice. Most breakfast dishes come with house-made cinnamon rolls or muffins and are served with home fries, hash browns, grits or toast. All jams are made in-house as well. There are Nat's locations in Woodland Hills (Nat's On Ventura) and Canoga Park (Nat's West Cafe).

French Toast at Natas Pastries in Sherman Oaks
French Toast at Natas Pastries in Sherman Oaks  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Sherman Oaks: Natas Pastries

Get a little taste of Portugal at this café and bakery that serves breakfast all day. Owner/chef Fatima Marques has designed her eatery with Portuguese tiles and wall art, and wood tables for an authentic feel. Stop by for coffee and a pastry, such as the namesake Portuguese custard specialty, natas, or a duchaise, a custard éclair topped with whipped cream and fios de ovos (a sugar/egg topping). French toast and breakfast sandwiches are all made with Portuguese sweet bread. Toppings for pancakes, waffles, crepes, and French toast run from simple to decadent—bananas, caramel, Nutella, fudge, cream cheese—with all the works.

Smoked Salmon Crepe at Nesmon Café | Photo by Karen Young
Smoked Salmon Crepe at Nesmon Café | Photo by Karen Young

Sherman Oaks: Nesmon Café

If you yearn for Paris or the street cafes of Europe, this cozy family-owned Sherman Oaks neighborhood café/bakery/marketplace may fill the gap. Order at the counter, then take a seat, or peruse the boutique for imported goods, vintage serving pieces, candles, and gift items. The breakfast menu includes sweet and savory crepes, pancakes, omelets, croque madam, French toast, and tartines. Fresh baked homemade goods, include a changing selection that includes as macarons, tarts, truffles, cakes, and bread pudding.

Filet Mignon Breakfast Burrito at Sweet Butter Kitchen in Sherman Oaks
Filet Mignon Breakfast Burrito at Sweet Butter Kitchen  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Sherman Oaks: Sweet Butter Kitchen

As you drive down Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks, it’s practically impossible to miss this bright yellow and white corner eatery with wraparound seating. Enter the covered patio area to a narrow interior space filled with display cases of baked goods, a coffee counter, gift items, specialty candy, and a refrigerated case of prepared to-go goods. Order at the counter and then take a seat at an outdoor table. Best bets for all-day breakfast include the filet mignon breakfast burrito, Croque Madame (rumor has it Chef Ludo Lefebvre gave some tips), bistro sandwich, and vegan chilaquiles.

Green Shakshuka at Toast in Sherman Oaks
Green Shakshuka at Toast in Sherman Oaks  |  Photo: Yuri Hasegawa

Sherman Oaks: Toast Cafe

Not to be confused with Toast on West Third Street, this small Ventura Boulevard café is kosher and serves scrambles and omelettes, but what you really want to order is one of the Israeli breakfast dishes. Shakshuka is found at many mainstream restaurants these days, but here it’s the real deal and served two ways: traditional (a spicy base of cooked tomatoes topped with eggs—tip: get it with hummus) and the less well known green version (sautéed onions, cilantro, pesto, green onion, and nutmeg mixed with heavy cream and topped with eggs). Malawach is flaky, fried dough shaped like a pancake, served with a hard-boiled egg, shredded cold tomato salsa, and pickles. The horseshoe-shaped Ziva is a puffed pastry stuffed with feta and topped with sesame seeds in an egg yolk wash with olives and a hard-boiled egg on the side.