It’s a meal, it’s a hobby; it’s the best part of every weekend (and possibly life as a whole). Ladies and gentlemen, we’re talking about brunch.
Chances are we don’t have to explain why brunch is one of our favorite things ever. There’s something so wellness-inducing about the way it wraps food, friends and leisure into one experience – and who could complain about mid-morning mimosas? The hardest part tends to be picking a place, but we’ve got you covered.
We’re sharing twenty-four beautiful, healthy brunch spots in LA, SF and NYC. Each option has its own unique personality, but they’re all rich in a few key qualities: fresh ingredients for delicious dishes, a solid coffee situation and the most excellent vibes. Bookmark this list for the weekend, text it to your besties and be sure to tell us your personal faves in the comments below…
The capital of brunch nation. There’s no shortage of beautiful holes in the wall or upscale eateries offering stylish refuge from city life, but there are def a few stand-outs. These are our current faves…
The Beauty Queen: While We Were Young
Everything about this place is designed to perfection, from the pink velvet benches and cursive neon signs to the flower petal-dotted dishes of their brunch menu. They don’t take reservations, so expect a wait, but once you dig into that truffle omelette or avo toast, it’ll all be more than worth it.
The ‘It’ Girl: De Maria
This contemporary Nolita newbie is where the fashion crowd flocks for a grain bowl and the best avocado toast on this side of Instagram. Not only is the restaurant beautiful, but the food is fresh and inventive – just like the photographer and his muse seated one table over.
The Romantic: Sunday In Brookyn
This cute spot has a serious urban fairy-tale vibe. Think rooftop seating, Edison string lights and a soul-satisfying brunch menu that perfectly straddles the line between hip and traditional. You’ll find plenty of healthy options, like spicy kale grain bowls and matcha lattes, and an equal amount of less-healthy essentials, like mezcal bloody Marys and an oozy egg and sausage sandwich (because balance, right?).
The Urban-Jungle Goddess: Narcissa
The food at this East Village hidden gem is fresh and healthy, made with ingredients that are organic and locally sourced, but the main draw is the lush green garden patio – a leafy oasis from the big city just over its ivy-covered walls. Take a seat below colorful hanging lanterns and feel refreshed instantly.
The Aussie Expat: Two Hands
Pulling inspo from Australia’s contemporary approach to clean cuisine – and perpetually chill vibes – everything about this healthy brunch spot is on point. It’s the perfect place if you want to much on something creative and wellnessy without the typical buzzy flourish; think savory sweet potato waffles or a giant bowl filled with veggies, housemade hummus and eggs.
The Trendy Traditionalist: Jack’s Wife Freda
If you know, you know. And if you don’t, shame on you. This classic NYC brunch spot is worth the wait to get in. The food is fresh yet cozy, and the scene is just the right speed for a Manhattan weekend morning.
The Healthy Hipster: Cafe Henrie
This adorable little spot on the LES is dressed to the nines in millennial pink, dolled up with eccentric signs, and only mildly pretentious, as far as food goes. If you land here for brunch, be sure to try the requisite avocado toast or the acai bowl, if you’re craving a bit of sweetness.
The Ice (Coffee) Queen: Blue Stone Lane
They may be known for their coffee, but this mini empire offers way more than just a caffeine jolt. The brunch menu isn’t overbearing and everything on it is delicious. It’s the perfect place for a quickie — grab a capp and an avocado toast, take that pic and be on your way.
Superfood lattes, sand in your toes, chic shades, eco-friendly frock and plenty of Instagrams to prove it all went down – sounds like a perfectly L.A. kind of brunch, and we’re not complaining…
The Sand Bunny: Back on The Beach Cafe
Don’t even bother with the indoor seating at this low-key beachside brunch spot; the outdoor tables are nestled straight into the sand, instantly making any meal there feel like vacation. The vibe is breezy yet cozy, and the large menu has all the breakfast and brunch classics you could ever want, made light, healthy and quintessentially Californian.
The Not-So-Starving Artist: Sqirl
This classic Eastside brunch experience is one of our favorites around town. The brioche toast and sorrel pesto bowl are always worth the wait, and the inevitably artsy crowd will make you feel cool just being there. Don’t want to spend your Sunday in line? Chef Jessica Koslow’s cookbook, Everything I Want To Eat, has all the menu must-haves.
The Venice Vegan:Plant Food & Wine
Vegan brunch can feel kind of sad – no eggs? No deal – but a vegan brunch in Venice is a whole other situation. The menu at this beautiful Abbot Kinney spot is so rich with creativity, bright with flavor and so damn pretty that you won’t even think twice about what’s not there. Enjoy the smoked tofu florentine or veggie grain bowl and a bottle of pinot gris on their beautiful back patio. Trust us.
The Patio Princess:Cliff’s Edge Cafe
The food here is reliably satisfying, but the charming outdoor eating area is everything. Their menu is pretty basic in terms of healthy brunch, but if you’re looking for an al fresco option with killer L.A. atmosphere there is just no better option.
The ENLIGTENED Locavore:P.Y.T.
The veggie-heavy menu at this Downtown spot offers light and planty versions of brunch classics: soft scrambled eggs with squash, housemade granola and avocado toast, of course. The small and airy space is perfect for a low key Sunday morning.
The Sunday Scenester:Butcher’s Daughter
We’d be lying if we told you this wasn’t one of our ultimate healthy brunch go-tos. The food on their daily-rotating menu is fresh and wellnessy with just the right amount of buzziness, the setting is a Pinterest playground, the decor is on point and we love every inch of it.
The Hangover Sage:Sunny Spot
The Caribbean-inspired food at this Venice restaurant isn’t that light post-yoga type of brunch, but it gets the job done. Imagine runny eggs, short rib hash and bottomless mimosas, best enjoyed on their colorful patio with your closest crew.
The Charmer:Bondi Harvest
Tucked into an alley in Santa Monica, this healthy surf-styled Aussie transplant is easy to miss – but don’t. Their seasonal food is amazingly flavorful, surprisingly innovative and always satisfying. We die for their sweet potato pancakes with avocado puree, matcha latte and kombucha smoothies. The cauliflower rice “whirly bowl” will keep you coming back again and again, assuming you ever actually leave.
The roster of stylish spots isn’t as sprawling as NYC and LA, and the scene is way more laid back, but don’t for a second think that this city’s healthy brunch situation doesn’t deliver. Here’s proof…
The Tree Hugger:Stable Cafe
This cozy cafe feels simple and classic in a neighborhoody way, with just the right amount of Latin flair.While weekend brunch favorites like huevos rancheros aren’t the lightest healthy option, the tree-covered outdoor space makes the experience undeniably pro-wellness.
The Haute Hippie:Seed & Salt
Plant-based, organic, ethically and locally sourced, free of gluten, dairy, refined sugar and GMOs – need we say more? Vegan food isn’t always the most exciting brunch option, but some places just do it right; this is one of them. How they make eggplant taste like bacon is a mystery, but we’re down.
The French Girl Next Door:Tartine Manufactory
If you’re looking to keep it simple but spectacular, this is the place. Their legendary baked goods are perfect, and their egg dishes and salads are just as craveable. This spot is fairly unassuming from the outside, but one bite of anything on the menu will have you obsessed.
The Friend With Benefits:Réveille Coffee Co.
Technically this is a chain coffee company, and you should definitely make this your go to spot for a cuppa, but they have food too – and it’s good! The menu is short but contains all the things you need for a healthy brunch, from chia pudding to egg-topped avocado toast. It’s the kind of place that wants attention for the coffee, but step inside and you’ll want to hang around for a while.
The one You Marry:Jane
Locals know this is the place to go if you want healthy food with an emphasis on flavor and quality of ingredients. The menu at Jane has a little bit of everything, all of which is beautiful, fresh, light and healthy. The setting is exactly where you’d want to have brunch on a daily basis. Basically, it’s the whole package.
The Life Of The Party:1300 Fillmore
Okay, the weekly “gospel brunch” here is not traditionally healthy per se, but it is healthy in the way making your soul happy is healthy. If you’re not on board with indulging in a bananas foster French toast, go forth and order the smoked salmon omelette with egg whites. The supper-club vibe is too fun to miss, the ingredients are top-notch quality and the bottomless white peach bellinis are perfection.
The Modern Kid: Aina
This modern Hawaiian Asian-fusion concept is exciting, the food itself is amazing and the atmosphere is just right. You won’t have to step too far out of your comfort zone, but these guys think brunch should be a little adventurous – and they do it quite well.
The Minimalist: Little Gem
A little gem indeed. The space is light and airy, the menu is short and sweet, but we don’t mind the minimalism – sometimes less is more. Grab a morning-appropriate salad, quinoa pancakes or maybe just a cup of something soothing.
What did we miss?
Whether you’re in LA, NYC or somewhere in between, share your favorite brunch spots below!