At #5: Novel Cafe
Healthy, organic and cozy, the Novel Cafe is the classic Californian cafe. With a menu complete with everything from a full selection of intricately constructed upgraded salads to baja inspired southwest section of their all day breakfast menu, there is something for everyone. From fresh juices to burgers to pasta to coffee to omelettes to oatmeal, it also works for a good meal any time of the day. The atmosphere is pretty laid back. At the Westwood location, there is outdoor seating and extra seating upstairs (where they are pretty nice about letting you stick around to study and offer free wifi, but that's for a later post). Things are healthy, service is quick and it's a good place to have catch up with a friend over brunch any time of the day! Note: each location has a slightly different menu
#4: Champagne French Bakery Cafe
My favorite part of Champagne is the upscale French café yet family friendly atmosphere created in the locations all over California. At the Westlake location, you are welcomed by a warmly lit room with a glossy display of artfully crafted pastries that draws you (and any child with a sweet tooth) in toward the cashier. Also offering a full day breakfast menu, this is the perfect location for a Sunday brunch to go to when family is in town. There is a kid's menu as well as an extensive collection of pastries, breads and desserts on their bakery menu that can be perfectly paired with one of their hot beverages at any time of the day whether it is for a family brunch, an afternoon coffee date or a post-dinner dessert and coffee. Most locations have outdoor and indoor seating. Elegant yet kid friendly, Champagne has good french food and a good cozy atmosphere for friends and family to alike. Note: they also cater, perfect for big family brunches at home
#3: Le Pain Quotidien
An international French café chain store, Le Pain Quotidien somehow manages to recreate its cozy atmosphere at every location. The communal tables and intimate outdoor seating adds to its authenticity. The seasonal menu that complements a mouthwatering and diverse non-season specific selection ensures that each experience will be unique and created with fresh produce. They also feature a selection of organic breads and simple yet elegant pastries in their bakery. Le Pain is the perfect setting for a morning chat over a light but filling breakfast. This is probably as close as you can get to escaping the traffic-filled streets of LA while essentially sitting on the sidewalk. For special events, they also host private events, field trips and offer baking classes at select locations in New York City and Orange County. Note: true to it's café style, it closes at 6 pm at many locations
#2: Blue Daisy Café
This little gem was discovered while yelping a bunch of brunch options nearby. Open for an all day brunch (until 3 pm M-Th or 5 pm F-Sun), it is very quaint and intimate, with a blue daisy on each table. Located on Wilshire, it is easy to pass by but is bustling with customers lined up outside during the weekends. I would expect it to be a more quiet breakfast or lunch option during the weekdays where you can spend more time using free wifi while enjoying coffee. True to California, their menu features health conscious options made with organic produce. They have an extensive breakfast menu as well as a considerable selection of sweet and savory crepes in addition to a lunch menu of sandwiches, salads and more. Their portions are large and easy to share. The atmosphere is very family friendly as reflected by the menu which has options for everyone, organic coffee and tea for the adults, a small kid's menu for the young ones. This is a wonderful place to go to for a family brunch that isn't a chain store. Note: I have heard that the parking situation is not great
And finally, at #1, I know this was basically expected...but Urth Caffé takes my vote!
Urth has been all the rave recently by the LA population. There are four locations: West Hollywood, Beverly Hills (I went to this one!), Santa Monica, and Downtown. I mean, just look at it. Isn't it adorable? Urth is actually a company that sells it's own brand of organic coffees and teas that can be ordered online. The restaurants in LA, delivery, take out, and catering opened up a new world to the people of Los Angeles. They feature a breakfast menu served until 1pm on weekdays and 2 pm on weekends, select all day brunch options and a substantial lunch menu. Of course what attracted me to the restaurant was its beverage selection and the beautiful (and huge) desserts. Urth is most well known for its latte (and the latte art) and its green tea boba (which I sadly haven't tried but I plan to soon!). It is usually pretty crowded due to its popularity but it is completely worth it whether it is for a lunch date, a study session, dessert to go, or even delivery! It's California café style menu (aka a mosh pit of Italian, Mexican, French and American food plus the ever so random boba...) is has something for everyone and its beverage and dessert selection won't disappoint.