Long Beach is a lively port city in southern Los Angeles. Its top sights include the Queen Mary, a retired 1936 ocean liner turned hotel, and the Aquarium of the Pacific, which features over 12,000 species. Another main draw to this city is some of the best brunch options in the South Bay, ranging from spots serving Mexican-inspired fare to local’s favorite diners that have been around for generations. Here are the best breakfast spots in Long Beach that should be on your radar.
The Breakfast Bar
Located on bustling Atlantic Ave in downtown Long Beach, local institution is owned by a local couple and is a creative blend of Josh and Pamela’s expertise in the bar/beverage and restaurant industries respectively.
Their Eggs Noni with two poached eggs on grilled rosemary sourdough and topped with homemade spiced hollandaise is a crowd favorite. Do not sleep on a side of their delicious potato pancakes or their lemon cake pancakes.
There are plenty of boozy breakfast drinks, including a weekend special of a bottle of champagne and orange juice for under $20. Get here early to find parking and to put your name on the waitlist since they do not take reservations.
70 Atlantic Ave Long Beach, CA 90802
Away from the bustle of downtown, this popular restaurant located in a quiet neighborhood does not disappoint. If you are looking for a greasy spoon diner this is not it, instead, this restaurant prides itself on local and sustainable ingredients.
Some of the city’s best French toast can be found here. This innovative French toast is made out of freshly baked San Francisco sourdough baguettes that are stuffed with mascarpone and then broiled. For those who prefer savory, the Blue Crab Cakes and Eggs are equally as decadent. For starters, the double cream scones are the ideal way to ease into your meal.
4114 E 3rd St Long Beach, CA 90814
The Crooked Duck
For those of you who prefer a burger for brunch, this Long Beach staple serves up mouth-watering options like a bacon cheddar Burger or a classic turkey burger.
If there are people in your party who crave classic breakfast items, there is a whole menu that offers corned beef and hash with eggs, avocado toast, and their signature The Crooked Duck Omelet with duck chili and melted jack cheese.
To wash everything down, the Crooked Duck Mimosa with mango nectar hits the spot. Breakfast is served every day from 8 am and the lunch menu is available after 11 am.
5096 E Pacific Coast Hwy Long Beach, CA 90804
Wide Eyes Open Palms
Dedicated to being sustainable, this cafe is known for its seasonal offerings and specialty coffee. Come for the grain bowls and ricotta toast that is almost too pretty to eat. This cafe is considered a “multi-roaster coffee shop,” where they get their beans from local roasters.
Whether you get a latte or an iced coffee there is no wrong choice here. There are also solid tea options as well, for non-coffee drinkers. Gluten-free and vegan options are available as well.
Whatever you do, do not miss the treats in the bakery case, including the lemon ricotta cake.
416 Cherry Ave Long Beach, CA 90802
Coffee Cup Cafe
Drop into this independent local cafe for a casual, cozy dining atmosphere, strong coffee, and good eats. Their extensive breakfast menu offers everything from classic French toast to their signature Hank’s Chicken Chile Verde omelet.
For those seeking healthier options, there are dishes like the Feta Scramble or the Veggie Chorizo and Eggs. Best of all, this spot has reasonable prices which makes it one of the best breakfast deals in town. Both indoor and outdoor seating is available. Cash only.
3734 E 4th St Long Beach, CA 90814
Blackbird Cafe Inc
Located in Long Beach’s historical California Heights, this cafe boasts a Mexican-inspired menu with breakfast plates like huevos rancheros and migas. The Juan Wayne is a hearty combination of barbacoa beef, refried beans, and eggs over fried corn tortillas.
There are also seven different breakfast burritos offered, with fillings ranging from hash browns to soy chorizo. Generous portions make sure that you will be stuffed for a long time afterward.
For something sweet, the brownie pancakes are not to be missed. There is a wide variety of drink options, from Mexican hot chocolate to their mimosa flight.
3405 Orange Ave Long Beach, CA 90807
Potholder Cafe Downtown
This old-school diner serves up generous portions from an all-day breakfast menu. Whether you are craving solid classic pancakes drenched in butter and syrup or something with a bit more spice like a chorizo scramble, everyone in your group will find something they crave.
The usual breakfast beverages, coffee, mimosas, and Bloody Marys are available as well. The menu offers gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options. There is an outdoor pet-friendly patio. Multiple locations around the Long Beach area exist.
301 W Broadway Long Beach, CA 90802
Tucked away in a 1920’s craftsman-style home, this creative Southern eatery feels like you were invited into someone’s home where you immediately become like family. This is the perfect place to sample unique dishes like the Short Rib Poutine and Ricotta French Toast.
For a memorable mix of sweet and savory try the Chicken & Waffles, which is a Mary’s organic fried chicken breast atop Belgian waffles. For appetizers, the Mac & Cheetos start your meal off with an extra cheesy and spicy kick. The biscuits and bread are all baked fresh daily. For drinks, their Bloody Mary selection is impressive, with additional garnishes like bacon and pickles.
Outdoor seating is available.
3441 E Broadway, Long Beach, CA 90803
Off Street Cafe
The moment you step inside this cafe, you are treated with warm, modern farmhouse vibes, friendly service, and solid diner food. Whatever you do, get a huge homemade cinnamon roll topped with a generous amount of frosting.
Counteract all that cinnamony sweetness with hearty dishes like chicken fried steak and their classic egg skillet. Drink options include peach bellinis and Bloody Marys. There is an outdoor patio available.
11020 Artesia Blvd Cerritos, CA 90703
Located a bit further out in neighboring Lakewood, this family-owned breakfast spot is worth the detour for its chocolate chip pancakes and cozy atmosphere. They serve classic American fare like eggs benedict and more unique options like Hawaiian loco moco with either a beef hamburger patty or spam.
For those searching for a healthier morning meal, The White Egg Scrambler served with homefries is a solid option. Outdoor seating is available.
4101 Lakewood Blvd Lakewood, CA 90712
Specializing in creative dishes that are all vegan, this restaurant is a great place to get a solid plant-based brunch. Crowd favorites include the Brunch Tacos that are filled with a tofu scramble, walnut chorizo, and chipotle sour cream all wrapped up in flour tortillas.
The lemonade mimosa is a tart refreshing drink that pairs perfectly with the tacos or any other dish for that matter. Patio dining is available.
975 E 4th St Long Beach, CA 90802
Located in the trendy East Village Arts District, this locally-sourced restaurant serves up delicious breakfast dishes like Breakfast Burritos (veggie or meat) and Smoked Salmon Breakfast Flatbread.
The vegan morning bun is the perfect start to your day. For meat-eaters, the thick-cut bacon is a great addition to any meal. Their drinks rival their food, from their lattes to their soju cocktails and craft beer. There is outdoor seating available.
420 E 4th St Long Beach, CA 90802
Schooner or Later
For breakfast with a side of picturesque waterfront views, this American restaurant is where you go for a lively atmosphere and good food. Featured on the Food Network, this popular spot is known for dishes like The Mess (griddled eggs with ham, cheese, peppers, and onion) and crab omelet with avocado. For something on the sweet side, the Belgian waffles do not disappoint. Wash it all down with a mimosa or an extra spicy bloody mary.
Get there early, since they do not take reservations and the patio seating quickly fills up.
241 Marina Drive, Long Beach, CA 90803
Gaslamp Music + Bar + Kitchen
Known as one of Long Beach’s best music venues, this space features a Sunday brunch that has live music. A memorable menu includes Short Rib Hash & Eggs and Chilaquiles with an option to add chicken and steak. If lunch items are more your thing, there are plenty of options including a Seared Ahi Tuna Salad and Pulled Pork Sandwich.
For vegetarians, there is a delicious crispy tofu bowl with sticky rice, avocado, cabbage, and garlic-ginger-chili cream sauce. Split a bottle of the house champagne within your group that comes with carafes of cranberry, orange, and pineapple juices.
Brunch is served from 10-am – 3 pm. Come back for Country Night on Thursdays, 80s night on Fridays, as well as numerous tribute bands on the weekends.
6251 E Pacific Coast Hwy Long Beach, CA 90803
The Local Spot
This family-owned favorite has been around since 2011 and offers a spacious dog-friendly porch where you can enjoy a casual brunch among Cal State Long Beach students that come from the nearby campus. Crowd favorites include their legendary pancakes (try the banana), Captain Crunch French Toast, and breakfast burritos.
The service is top notch and you’ll understand why there are so many regulars who come back for not only the food but also the welcoming atmosphere that makes you feel right at home.
No reservations are taken, so get there early on weekend.
6200 E Pacific Coast Hwy B, Long Beach, CA 90803
Egg Heaven Cafe
Closed for a year, this longtime retro diner is back and as charming as ever. It opened in 1969 and you can still see some of the newspaper clippings and handwritten poetry under the glass tabletop at the counter from its early days. As the name suggests, eggs are the star of the show and you can get them in any form you can imagine: huevos rancheros, egg benedict, and veggie omelets are a few favorites.
Service is warm and welcoming and the cups of coffee are delicious and strong. This place really is a local institution that should not be missed.
4358 E 4th St, Long Beach, CA 90814
Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles
This iconic Los Angeles soul food restaurant has branches all around the Greater Los Angeles area, including one in Long Beach. Get an order of the pillow-soft waffles and the juicy fried chicken (get the Obama Special) with a side of greens, mac and cheese, and biscuits and gravy. This Roscoe’s is the only branch that has a full bar and lounge that has jazz on the weekends.
There is a free parking lot across the street, as well as street parking. Great location for large parties.
Getting to Long Beach
From downtown Los Angeles, Long Beach is around a 30-minute drive (depending on traffic of course). From LAX it’s about half an hour as well.
If you’re coming up from Orange County, it can be anywhere from 30-minutes (Huntington Beach) to 40 minutes (Irvine). It’s best to leave on the earlier side to beat the weekend traffic going into LA if you’re coming up from the south.
For those who are flying into the area, the smaller Long Beach Airport (LGB) is a great alternative to LAX.
What is the best time to go to Long Beach?
Seriously any time of year is ideal, this is Southern California after all. Since the city is right on the water, the winters are milder than inland, and the summers are not as hot since there is an ocean breeze. Rain is rare in Southern California, making it patio seating weather year-round. For those days that the marine layer comes in, bring an extra-light jacket and you should be fine.
Parking in Long Beach
Parking in Long Beach can be tough, especially downtown and the waterfront. The City Place – Lot C is centrally located in downtown and the first two hours are free. Parking at Pike Outlets is two hours free with retail validation.
Top Things to Do In Long Beach
After indulging in a leisurely breakfast, here are a few ideas of popular things to do in Long Beach:
- The Queen Mary (currently closed 3/22/22) – this historic hotel also is home to restaurants and bars, as well as offering day and nighttime guided tours. Rumor is that the ship is haunted and the Haunted Encounters tour is perfect for anyone wanting to test that theory
- Long Beach Waterfront – walk along the lively waterfront, with views of the Queen Mary and Shoreline Village, it’s easily walkable from downtown
- Aquarium of the Pacific – located on the waterfront, explore over 5-acres of marine life, you could easily spend an afternoon at this impressive aquarium watching playful sea otters and florescent jellies
- Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) – stop by this well-curated museum that is dedicated solely to contemporary Latin American art. Best of all entrance and parking is free on Sundays.
- Rancho Los Cerritos – built in 1844, this is the largest adobe residence in Southern California of its time. Take a docent-led tour (available in English and Spanish) of the property and expansive gardens. Admission is free, but to secure a ticket reserve a spot online here
- Naple Canals – wander through this residential neighborhood that boasts scenic canals and is a quiet escape from the bustle of the waterfront
- The Pike Outlets – located on the waterfront, this outdoor mall offers shops, restaurants, a Ferris Wheel, and nightlife (check out Laugh Factory for excellent big-name comedy shows)
- Catalina Express – for a fun day trip, head to Catalina from Long Beach Port (located downtown) and take a one-hour boat ride to this idyllic island where you can spend the day walking around, eating lunch at a cafe or restaurant, and shopping in downtown Avalon before heading back on the last ferry of the day
Photo sources: Starling Diner, Roscoe’s
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