The first meal of the day is something that my seaside community does particularly well, which is why it’s hard to narrow down a list of the best breakfast restaurants in La Jolla, let alone rank them.

Know that every spot on this list is excellent, and which one you choose depends on whether there’s a particular dish you’re craving, you’re aiming for a delicious breakfast or brunch, you need to be in a particular part of town, and the price point.

Breakfast, brunch, or lunch… what’s the difference, you ask? Well, we go by how each restaurant classifies its menu and what time the restaurant opens. For example, La Jolla brunch restaurants tend to serve breakfast and lunch items all day on the same menu and open a bit later in the morning. La Jolla breakfast restaurants open early and may have a dedicated breakfast menu (though there may be lunch items you can order at 6:30 a.m.).

Check hours before you go. Many La Jolla brunch and breakfast restaurants close around 2-3 p.m.

Our Picks for La Jolla Breakfast Restaurants and Brunch Places by Features

Here’s a cheat sheet for where to go based on what you’re looking for.

1. Sugar & Scribe

Village of La Jolla • $$ • Brunch
Address: 7660 Fay Ave Suite I, La Jolla, CA 92037
Neighborhood: Village of La Jolla
Reservations: No
Ocean View: No
Online Menu

Protein scramble at Sugar and Scribe La Jolla breakfast restaurant.
Protein scramble — I’ll get something unicorn-style next time and put it in this post.

Sugar and Scribe is the place lately where I meet my La Jolla friends for breakfast, brunch, or coffee. It’s also where we duck in quickly for last-minute desserts to gift, bring places, or take home (though even better if you can order cakes and items in multiples in advance). The menu has some Irish flair thanks to Chef Maeve’s roots. You should also see the cakes — her baking skills made her a Food Network champion.

Since no reservations are taken, you may have to wait, and they ask that tables be returned within 90 minutes to meet the demand if there are other guests in line. One fun add? Upgrade your plate to Unicorn Style, featuring glittery sugar dust, sprinkles, and marshmallows, which, on things like Lemon Curd Pancakes, add flair worthy enough for your Instagram feed.

Savory options include a legit Full Irish Breakfast and Smothered and Covered Skillet (think gravy and a three cheese blend covering potatoes, bacon, and eggs). I often opt for the Healthy Skillet or Protein Scramble, which are delicious choices if you’re not going decadent.

2. Brockton Villa Restaurant

Village of La Jolla • $$ • Brunch
Address: 1235 Coast Blvd, La Jolla, CA 92037
Reservations: Yes
Ocean View: Yes
Online Menu

My recent breakfast at Brockton Villa.

Brockton Villa Restaurant is beloved for its picturesque setting overlooking La Jolla Cove (yes, you can sometimes hear the La Jolla sea lions from your table). It’s housed in one of the original La Jolla beach cottages, dating back to the late 1800s, which gives it a cozy and romantic vibe. We like it for breakfast (though they do serve lunch and dinner) before or after taking a walk along the coastline here.

You should order Coast Toast (or at least a side of it), which is basically a decadent brioche French toast (get the recipe). Other popular favorites include Meg’s Eggs, NY Steak & Eggs, and Buenos Dias Breakfast Burrito. Oh, and they have mimosas, too.

3. The Cottage La Jolla

Village of La Jolla • $$ • Breakfast
Address: 7702 Fay Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037
Reservations: No
Ocean View: No
Online menu

The famous coffee cake

The Cottage is one of the original La Jolla breakfast restaurants and perhaps the most well-known. It’s not uncommon to see lines on weekends for tables, but they set out coffee and coffee cake nibbles to enjoy while you wait. You feel a little bit like eating in someone’s home. While there’s indoor seating, most people opt for the outdoor tables on the patio enclosed by a white picket fence.

Popular orders here include Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, Soy Chorizo Hash, and any of the benedicts. I sometimes pop in to grab a bag of their famous granola, which adds the perfect crunch to a yogurt parfait or bowl of oatmeal at home. They also have a lunch menu and serve dinner seasonally in the summer.

4. Brick & Bell Cafe

Village of La Jolla (also in LJ Shores) • $ • Breakfast
Address: 928 Silverado St, La Jolla, CA 92037
Reservations: No, it’s counter-order
Ocean View: No
Online Menu: No website

The bakery case full of scones, cinnamon rolls and other baked goods at Brick and Bell La Jolla.
Delicious baked goods, go before the scones sell out.

If you just want a quick coffee and a really good scone, Brick and Bell is your place. Baked goods are baked fresh daily and they do sell out. You can also get a reasonably priced (for the area) acai bowl, bagel with lox, Swiss Muesli, smoothies, and protein shakes. For lunch, the sandwiches are delicious. And I like that there’s a grab-and-go fridge with ready-made OJ, cut fruit, drinks, prepackaged salads, and more for those in a hurry.

It’s not uncommon for people to meet friends on the patio (it’s not huge but has several tables for outdoor seating) here for a coffee, read the newspaper, or see students or people from nearby offices enjoying the sunshine while typing away on their laptops. This is one of the breakfast spots in La Jolla that opens early, around 6 a.m.

5. Harry’s Coffee Shop

Village of La Jolla • $-$$ • Breakfast
Address: 7545 Girard Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037
Reservations: No
Ocean View: No
Online Menu

La Jolla’s oldest diner has been family-owned since 1960. You can pull up to the counter or eat in a booth. It really does have a relaxed, homey vibe, like someone is about to feed you a whole lot of comfort food. Rest assured, there’s enough to suit the various diets, from veggie omelets to gluten-free French toast. Honestly, even the fruit bowls are good.

The most famous item on the menu is The B.W. Benny, with crumbled bacon baked inside the waffle, then topped with more bacon (!!!), grilled ham, poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce, with a side of maple syrup. Yes, it’s even been on TV, thanks also to the Food Network.

One thing that even I forget, despite signage on the front of the diner, is that you can park in a lot behind the restaurant.

6. Shorehouse Kitchen

La Jolla Shores • $$ • Breakfast
Address: 2236 Avenida De La Playa, La Jolla, CA 92037
Reservations: No (you can join a waitlist through Yelp or on their website — highly recommend)
Ocean View: No
Online Menu

I love this little light and bright cafe for pretty, well-portioned, healthy, and hearty breakfast and lunch menu items. Kayak and snorkel tours leave from various La Jolla Shores businesses on the same street, so this is a great spot to feed your appetite before or after exercising on water.

Hearty choices include Pork Carnitas Chilaquiles and Brioche Breakfast Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Or maybe you want to pair a bellini with an Egg White and Tofu Frittata (done that).

7. AR Valentien

UCSD/Torrey Pines • $$-$$$ • Weekday Breakfast & Weekend Brunch
Address: 11480 N Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037 (inside The Lodge at Torrey Pines)
Reservations: Yes (highly recommended even for hotel guests)
Ocean View: Yes, from the patio
Online menu

The outdoor patio at AR Valentien.

As you all know, I value a hotel breakfast heavily. I crave and look forward to it. If you’re one of our Virtuoso guests at The Lodge at Torrey Pines, your daily breakfast credit for two can be used at the delicious AR Valentien (or room service, which has some of their dishes on it) which is one of the best restaurants in all of San Diego. Casual dress at breakfast and brunch flies here (I’d say no pajama pants, though, as teens are known to wear these days like they are regular pants).

I really like the Ancient Grain Bowl, which you can order on the hotel’s room service menu. I can also vouch for the green smoothie. You’ll find locally sourced ingredients and entrees beautifully plated.

Tip: The Grill, the hotel’s restaurant overlooking the 18th green of Torrey Pines Golf Course, also serves breakfast and is open earlier than AR Valentien. And it’s also soooo good!

8. Girard Gourmet

Village of La Jolla • $ • Breakfast
Address: 7837 Girard Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037
Reservations: No
Ocean View: No (but you can easily walk your food to The Cove)
Online Menu

The legendary counter-order favorite among residents (dare you to walk out without one of their famous sugar cookies, always in the window), has Belgian roots and outstanding pastries. It’s the kind of place that if you mention it by name to anyone who lives in San Diego, they know what you’re talking about. And where you see familiar faces every time you go in behind the counter and patrons, too.

It’s difficult to call out a few items because I haven’t met a croissant (almond and chocolate are favorites) or muffin here that I didn’t like. For breakfast, they have a variety of breakfast sandwiches and avocado toasts. Most people order takeaway, though there are a couple of tables on the sidewalk in front of the cafe.

The deli case is full of salads, quiches, and hot entrees like lasagne to take home for later, something many locals do when they don’t feel like cooking. Don’t decline the side of freshly baked bread.

9. Mediterranean Room

Village of La Jolla • $$-$$$ Breakfast & Weekend Brunch
Address: 1132 Prospect St, La Jolla, CA 92037
Reservations: Yes
Ocean View: Yes (not on the front patio)
Online Menu

THE MED restaurant at La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla
Photo courtesy of La Valencia

I can’t count the number of business meetings I’ve had at The Med over the years. It’s nice enough that I know people unfamiliar with La Jolla will like it, but it is also a favorite of residents for delicious food in a gorgeous environment. The patio in front doesn’t have a view, but it’s still nice to sit there and get caught up in the buzz of La Jolla. The dining room is the most formal, but outdoor dining on the patio pictured above wins for the best view, especially if you can score one of the oceanfront tables.

Anyway, the Chorizo Benedict is popular, as is the La V Cinnamon Roll with cream cheese frosting and berries. Both breakfast and brunch are a la carte, but Mediterranean Room offers more elaborate brunches during holidays like Easter (which we’ve been to) and Mother’s Day.

10. Cove House

Village of La Jolla • $$ Brunch
Address: 8030 Girard Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037
Reservations: No
Ocean View: Yes
Online Menu

Cove House is a popular La Jolla brunch spot. You can drop your name with the host and then take a leisurely walk around the La Jolla Cove area, and they’ll text you when a table is ready.

I like its beach house vibe with its yellow striped patio umbrellas shading guests and neat bar where you could pull up a stool, chat with the bartender, and sip rosé all day. The last time I was there, I asked the server what his favorite thing to eat is, and he said the Stone Crab Benny, a twist on Eggs Benedict, which has sunny side up eggs on top of an herb housemade biscuit (the biscuits here are a thing) with hatch chile gravy. Chilaquiles are also popular as is the Proscuitto Toast topped with egg, ceviche, avocado toast, and tacos.

Oh, and then once brunch is done, it’s time for happy hour, which you can pair with their all-day menu.

11. Cody’s La Jolla

Village of La Jolla • $$ • Breakfast and Lunch
Address: 1025 Prospect St #210, La Jolla, CA 92037
Reservations: No
Ocean View: Yes
Online Menu

Cody’s La Jolla is a casual breakfast spot with pretty ocean views and a nice indoor-outdoor ambiance that locals like as well as tourists staying in the nearby La Jolla hotels. One of the most popular menu items is the Awesome French toast, which is basically thick-sliced griddled challah bread (by Bread and Cie, no less) topped with fresh strawberries and candied walnuts. On the lighter side, the Healthy Breakfast Salad with greens and spinach, goat cheese and more, topped with two poached eggs.

You can order from the breakfast and lunch menu all day. And you can pair it with a nice selection of breakfast bubbles like pomegranate mimosas, wine, and local beer.

12. Caroline’s Seaside Cafe

La Jolla Shores • $$ • Breakfast
Address: 8610 Charles F, Kennel Way, La Jolla, CA 92037
Reservations: No
Ocean View: Yes (a pretty fantastic one)
Online Menu

Caroline’s Seaside Cafe boasts a panoramic ocean view above La Jolla Shores Beach, to La Jolla Cove, and beyond. You’ll go for coastal dining and its beautifully-plated California menu using locally-sourced ingredients. Eat healthy or heartily. If you choose the latter, the Cove Burger with onion marmalade and white cheddar is popular. I recommend the power breakfast of egg whites and smashed avocado, but if you’re not carb-shy, go for one of the fresh-baked bagels. Add blueberries, bananas, or chocolate chips to your housemade buttermilk pancakes, too.

The only reason why we don’t go more often is because they don’t take reservations and it’s busy. So call and ask about the wait or go when not pressed for time. If you’re looking for the best breakfast in La Jolla with an ocean view, this is an excellent choice.

13. Cafe Vahik

Windansea • $ • Breakfast
Address: 6780 La Jolla Blvd, La Jolla, CA 92037
Reservations: No
Ocean View: No
Online Menu

Before my daughter could drive, my morning routine would pass by Cafe Vahik on the way to school. And every morning, I would see people eating on their little patio. It’s adjacent to The Shoal Inn and where people eat breakfast when staying at this (nice) small motel. I can see why. The pricing is good value for what you get for a typical La Jolla breakfast, with hearty favorites like breakfast bagel sandwiches (around $7.50) and omelettes for between $10-13. Pair that with a coffee from a robust drinks menu that includes smoothies and even a protein shake.

Basically, if you were out surfing at Windansea Beach or finishing up a morning jog, you’d stop in here for a quick breakfast to-go or to eat casually on the little patio. And that’s what people do.

14. Don Bravo

Bird Rock • $ • Mexican Takeout
Address: 5504 La Jolla Blvd, La Jolla, CA 92037
Reservations: No
Ocean View: A little bit
No Website

If you can leg it out until 10 a.m. when Don Bravo opens, their breakfast burrito or huevos plate hits the spot. You can get the breakfast burrito on flour or whole wheat tortilla and it has a perfect mix of eggs, cheese, bacon, salsa Mexicana and potato. It’s very filling for $7.

We eat here or grab takeaway all the time (the lobster burrito is also a personal favorite). Don Bravo is well known for its entire list of Mexican favorites like carne asada burritos and the like, so it’s not really a true La Jolla breakfast restaurant, but you can absolutely get a great breakfast here.

15. Nine-Ten Restaurant

Village of La Jolla • $$ • Breakfast (Wed-Fri) & Weekend Brunch
Address: 910 Prospect St, La Jolla, CA 92037 (inside Grande Colonial Hotel)
Reservations: Yes
Ocean View: No
Online Menu

I feel like people forget that you can go to Nine-Ten Restaurant for weekend brunch and weekday breakfast in La Jolla (except on Mondays and Tuesdays). Nine-Ten is one of our favorite restaurants in town. You should get anything with short ribs in it, BUT I can vouch for the Lemon Blueberry Pancakes, and since the Half-Baked Chocolate Cake is also on the brunch menu, you really should order it. It’s one of my favorite desserts in town.

Guests of Grande Colonial Hotel have the privilege of enjoying NINE-TEN via room service, which is a treat not to be underestimated.

16. Breakfast Republic

Village of La Jolla • $$ • Breakfast
Address: 637 Pearl St, La Jolla, CA 92037
Reservations: No
Ocean View: No
Online Menu

Breakfast Bacon Mac and Cheese (photo courtesy of Breakfast Republic)

San Diego has multiple Breakfast Republic locations, including one in La Jolla. They’re known for quirky yet tasty twists on American Classics like the Breakfast Bacon Mac and Cheese pictured above or Pineapple Upside Down Pancakes. Healthier choices can include a keto Power Bowl, Protein Pancakes, or a Yogurt Bowl and there are plenty of gluten-free and vegetarian options on the robust menu. Can’t decide which pancakes to order? Get a flight of three.

You’ll likely need to park on the street somewhere, which can be challenging in the summer but less so than deeper in the Village area.

17. Dodo Bird Donuts

Bird Rock • $$ • Breakfast
Address: 369 Bird Rock Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037
Reservations: No
Ocean View: No
Online Menu

This little cafe and coffee shop near me in Bird Rock, with its stunning decor, opened just recently and is adjacent to Paradisaea. First, they started with gourmet donuts and a coffee bar. Now, you can order from a simple yet delicious menu that includes breakfast sandwiches, avocado toast, parfait, and other dishes. The donuts tend to sell out, so as they say, the early bird gets the best flavors.

18. Queenstown Village

Village of La Jolla • $$ • Brunch
Address: 1044 Wall St, La Jolla, CA 92037
Reservations: Yes
Ocean View: No
Online Menu

This New Zealand-inspired restaurant is a favorite among La Jollans for dinner, but they also serve weekday and weekend brunch. New Zealand favorites like the lengthy burger menu (I love their french fries, and they have gluten-free buns), fish and chips, and meat pies are always on the brunch menu.

But if you want to lean a bit more into breakfast, go for The Cure (biscuit, gravy, scrambled eggs, tots, and choice of meat) or Queenstown Farmer (eggs, tomato, toast, potato, English beans, choice of meat). If that sounds heavy, don’t worry, I ordered the Strawberry Chicken Salad last time I was there, which was delicious.

Fill your Instagram with shots of the interior heaving with foliage (okay, most of it is artificial, but it still looks amazing).

Major tip: Wine here is great value because they don’t mark it up like other restaurants. It’s merely retail price plus a $10 corkage fee. And you can buy wine to take home with you. It’s not often in La Jolla to enjoy a really good bottle of wine at your table for $40.

FAQs About Eating at La Jolla Breakfast and Brunch Restaurants

My advice is to plan plenty of time for parking if you plan to hit up a La Jolla breakfast or brunch spot on this list during a weekend or summer day. Don’t forget that I also have a list of best restaurants in La Jolla that covers all meals of the day.

What About Coffee Cup Cafe?

It’s been closed for renovation for some time, but we’ll likely add when (if) it reopens.

Where should I park my car to get breakfast in La Jolla?

Weekend free street parking in La Jolla is notoriously difficult. However, we have various paid lots that don’t always fill up.

Also, I’m an Associate Member of La Jolla Village Merchants Association, and we have a parking discount to share with you. Get $5 All-Day Parking at an Ace Parking lot walkable to the Cove (875 Prospect Street). We residents also use the Ace Parking App to find other available lots near where we need to go.

Where can I grab an early breakfast in La Jolla?

Early risers should go to Brick and Bell for grab-and-go breakfast, which opens around 6:30 a.m. You can also head to Harry’s Coffee Shop starting at 6 a.m. during weekdays and to The Cottage at 7:30 a.m. for a nice sit-down meal. As always, check hours before you go, as they are subject to change.

Where’s the Best Place for Pancakes?

This is a tough question to answer, but I would go with Lemon Curd or Blueberry Pancakes at Sugar and Scribe (opt for Unicorn Style if you like sweet).

We also have a Richard Walker’s Pancake House which is known for pancakes (skip the crepes).

What is the nicest La Jolla breakfast restaurant?

If you’re looking for the nicest place to have breakfast or brunch, make reservations at the Mediterranean Room inside La Valencia. They are also known for outstanding holiday a la carte and sometimes buffet menus.

The top Coast Toast photo is courtesy of Brockton Villa.

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide, like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai, that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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