Breakfast vs. Brunch: Battle for the Marina

Nestled into a cozy nook of Los Angeles, Marina del Rey exists as a peaceful reprieve from the noise of the city. But despite its calmer streets and quaint aesthetic, a war rages beneath the surface: the ancient battle of breakfast vs. brunch.

Wavers of each flag will try to lure you into their cause, but don’t be afraid to play both sides; in this battle, everyone wins. After all, they’re fighting over your taste buds.  

Breakfast

Simple yet deliciously effective, these choices are for those who want a calorie fix with no frills attached. No untenable lines, no bustling conversations over bottomless mimosas ... just the meal you need, when you need it.

Housed within your hood – the Marina Arts District – there’s Le Pain Quotidien: a health-conscious chain that clusters in cities such as New York, Mexico City, and of course, Los Angeles. But just because it’s not the only one of its kind doesn’t mean it’s to be missed. Choose from a variety of options with organic ingredients, including some generously portioned and well-decorated avocado toast. Fun fact: each location is also a bakery, so carb it up, cowboy!

Toward Venice, there’s Café Buena, where breakfast is served all day – now that’s true breakfast patriotism! Sure, it has “brunch” listed on their website, but that’s probably just for SEO reasons. Their menu is incredible, and like any self-respecting LA café, it’s replete with gluten-free options and meals of a signature style. What the heck is Hawaiian French Toast or European Oatmeal? Go get yourself a cultural experience without even leaving your neighborhood and find out! And trust me, if you have a sweet tooth, those Red Velvet Pancakes will hit that spot hard.

But in the war on brunch, there is one weapon that has inspired the allegiance of foodies for centuries! That of course… is the breakfast buffet. Surrounded by brunch supporters, Tony P’s Dockside Grill makes its own rules. Customers, on the other hand, just have to worry about the laws of physics as they attempt to pile their plates to the moon.

Now, you might be thinking, “I need something more typical! Where are the nationwide chains?” Don’t worry, one of the most influential long-time leaders in the war on brunch is right down the street from you. Ever heard of IHOP? It’s a mere leisurely walk away…

Brunch

And then there is the land of brunch. Lovers of mimosas and refined cuisine rejoice. Fans of taking their time in the morning, this is where you find refuge. Those that wish to eat a meal that doesn’t really exist, take up arms… and then use them to eat.

Sunny Spot is a fun-filled restaurant that serves thirst-quenching cocktails day and night; and it won’t hit your pocketbook too hard (for brunch, that is). The eclectic mix of different cuisines leaves you with everything from biscuits and country gravy to a kale salad. There’s something for everyone here! But the true high-flying flag of brunch-dom? Bottomless mimosas, Bloody Marys, and Sunny Rum Punch until 3pm.

When it comes down to it, the true meal mecca of Marina del Rey is the Marina itself. All along its beautiful waters, there are restaurants sporting top-notch food and breathtaking views of the water. For the ritziest, one would head to the Ritz Carlton: more specifically, the restaurant within called Cast & Plow. Executive Chef Umit Kaygusuz has created a menu that promotes sharing, tapping local farmers for the freshest produce possible – and of course, bottomless mimosas.  

The list of restaurants with golden views of the Marina goes on, and they’re all good, but here are some highlights to make things easy. For another swanky hotel option, try SALT Restaurant & Bar. If you’re looking for a brunch experience that’s more bang for your buck – price to portion wise – Killer Café is an LA favorite. If you want to be indoors while still having the luxury of seeing the water through a big window, Café del Rey is a classic. And Whiskey Red’s sports the largest waterfront patio on the harbor; in the battle against breakfast, it’s all about establishing presence.

If you want to dine in the Marina and be beachfront at the same time, frequent Beachside Restaurant & Bar. The patio sits smack dab on Mother’s Beach, and its menu isn’t messing around. Try the crab cake Benedict; you won’t regret it – unless you don’t like crab… or Benedicts…

Proof There Can Be Peace

Another location next to your co-living space, J. Nichols Kitchen, has chosen to unite two worlds instead of shedding grease in a pointless struggle. Boldly, they’ve created two separate yet densely populated menus: one for breakfast, one for brunch. For both options, prices are fair and food is aplenty. During the week, breakfast ends at 11am, and on the weekends it ends at 2pm. Brunch, on the other hand, only exists on the weekends, and it ends at 2pm as well, crossing over with breakfast for perfect harmony. The early-risers can get their fill without too much of a wait before the brunch crowd takes over for nonstop fun. What’re you waiting for? This utopia is right down the street from you! Experience the world of the future!

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