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Credit: Katie Nguyen
Credit: Katie Nguyen

16 Spots for the Best Breakfast in Orange County

From Breakfast Burritos to Avo Toast, OC Has You Covered

Breakfast burritos, avocado toast, stacked pancakes, mimosas—the list goes on for why breakfast is simply the best meal of the day. Whether it’s a sit down meal at a beloved Sunday spot or picking up your favorite meal to start the week off right, we know just the places to head to in Orange County.


1 | Haute Cakes Caffe 

Haute Cakes Caffe is just a wonderful getaway. Nestled within a quiet retail plaza in Newport, this quaint cafe has a beautifully lush, green patio. It kind of feels like home, which coincidentally is exactly the kind of food they serve. Open for breakfast and lunch, their menu offers the classics, made special. If you didn’t try a short stack of their signature Orange Ricotta Haute Cakes, did you even go?

Haute Cakes Caffe
Location: Newport Beach


2 | Milligram Coffee & Kitchen

breakfast in Orange County
Credit: Ed Visions

The key to a perfect morning? Freshly squeezed orange juice, a flat white and the Milligram Breakfast from Milligram Coffee & Kitchen. Located on 17th St. in Costa Mesa, this sleek yet relaxed restaurant will be your new go-to spot. Other breakfast items include smashed avocado on toast, a breakfast ciabatta and a smoked salmon bagel. We love meeting friends at Milligram for good conversation or spending a quiet morning here to ourselves. This Euro-inspired joint serves wine, beer and other bites, so if you don’t make it for breakfast, be sure to stop in at a later hour.

Location: Costa Mesa


3 | SOCIAL Costa Mesa

breakfast in Orange County
Credit: Social Costa Mesa

Grab your best buds and let your taste buds get social at one of the best weekend brunch joints in OC. How can you not obsess about this place? Both locations have everything you could ask for, from the welcoming atmosphere to the rugged and modern interior with just a pinch of classic—and that’s just the decor. Their weekend brunch menu heavily favors the savory side of the spectrum with a grandstand of Wagyu flank steak and eggs, or try their take on the classic breakfast burrito, featuring bacon, avocado, crispy potatoes and lime crema.   

Local Insight: Pick one, any one! Whether you prefer coffee or cocktails while brunching, SOCIAL has you covered. Give the cold brew or Beachelada a try. 

SOCIAL Kitchen + Craft Bar
Locations: Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach




This local favorite is a hidden gem through and through! With locally sourced ingredients and seasonal options, owners Jay and Elizabeth Lewis are out to bring fantastic food with an Aussie flair to Southern California. While the Aussie Scramble is a steady favorite, be sure to try their blueberry pancakes! Don’t miss out on their innovative breakfast cocktails like The Defender,  made with tequila, carrot-orange-lemon-ginger-cayenne cold-pressed juice, agave and an espelette rim.

Local Insight: This chill-vibe spot is always spinning the sweetest vinyl records.

Locations: Costa Mesa (Monrovia Ave and South Coast)


5 | Bosscat Kitchen & Libations

If you don’t already know, Bosscat is the boozy bruncher’s paradise. Since “calories don’t count on weekends,” their bottomless mimosas are a crowd favorite. Each dish offers a burst of different flavors and are beautifully presented. Here’s a tip: always get the Donut Burger—it’s the best of both worlds.

Bosscat Kitchen & Libations
Location: Newport Beach


6 | Ramos House

On one of the oldest streets in California you’ll find The Ramos House Cafe in the Los Rios District of San Juan Capistrano. Servin’ it up with dishes like huevos rancheros, roasted pumpkin soup and crab hash, the menu offers a variety of fresh and unique flavors.

Local Insight: For those who like to brunch hard, a two-course brunch menu is available on weekends.

The Ramos House Cafe
Location: San Juan Capistrano



7 | Eat Chow

It’s clear by the long lines that this place is worthy of being in our list of top breakfast spots. Start your breakfast with an eye-opening Intelligentsia coffee or a four-flavor mimosa flight, and then chow down on the chilaquiles, featuring plenty of bold, smoky, crunchy goodness!

Local Insight: Co-owner Amy Frawley isn’t shy about boasting that Eat Chow features “the Best Michelada in OC.” She added, “My kitchen is proud to serve something like that, and you can really taste it.”

Eat Chow 
Locations: Costa Mesa, Newport Beach


8 | Coyote Grill

Coyote Grill is a family-owned-and-operated neighborhood classic in South Laguna with picturesque views of the coast, serving the community since 1989. Just a short hop from Table Rock Beach, this beachside hangout is your go-to for the best Mexi-brunch this side of the border. You can’t go wrong with the Coyote Special, but you have to stay for the sunsets. “We have a lot of locals and regulars that call Coyote Grill their ‘Cheers,’’ says General Manager Desiree Gomez.

Local Insight: Like the coffee? Thank Gomez’s family! “My father grows the coffee that we brew and serve fresh every morning,” she says.

Coyote Grill
Location: Laguna Beach


9 | Ysidora Restaurant & Lounge

Inn at the Mission San Juan Capistrano’s Ysidora Restaurant & Lounge is home to a carefully crafted culinary program led by Executive Chef Aaron Obregon. The Spanish-inspired menu features classic dishes with a modern twist, each made with locally sourced ingredients. Dig into weekend brunch favorites like the jamon serrano Benedict, sweet corn pancakes or paella verde de mariscos, and pair your meal with a traditional Michelada or bloody Maria! This unique restaurant pays homage to the Mission’s matriarch, Ysidora Forster, and invites guests to indulge in authentic Spanish cuisine in a relaxed setting.

Local Insight: Looking for something quick and easy? El Café Real is Inn at the Mission’s on-site coffee house that features freshly baked pastries, La Colombe craft coffee, locally made gelato and grab-and-go goods.

Inn at the Mission San Juan Capistrano, Autograph Collection
Location: San Juan Capistrano


10 | Alta

A local’s favorite, Alta is an unpretentious, cozy breakfast spot to satisfy all of your morning cravings. Fan favorites include the Bueno Bowl (tortilla chips, black beans, potatoes, bacon or veggie sausage, cheese, scrambled eggs, pico, avocado and sour cream) and the Surfer Burrito (scrambled eggs, cheese, potatoes, bacon or veggie sausage and homemade enchilada sauce). Take your brekkie and coffee to-go and enjoy it on the sand!

Local Insight: You truly can’t go wrong with ordering their dirty chai latte––it’s an instant mood booster. 

Location: Newport Beach


11 | Haven Craft Kitchen + Bar

Chapman students know…but you might not! Breakfast at this Old Town Orange gastropub is only served on Sundays but features unique options you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. Don’t miss out on delectable dishes like donuts, breakfast sandwiches and flavorful hashes. Take a walk and explore the Orange Circle after dining here. 

Haven Craft Kitchen + Bar
Location: Orange


12 | Tupelo Junction Cafe

Tucked on the bayside in Newport Beach with a homey, cottage feel is Tupelo Junction Cafe. The breakfast menu boasts all sorts of innovative dishes like a wild mushroom truffle scramble, Dungeness crab cake and potato hash, chicken and waffles and vanilla-dipped French toast. Don’t leave without quenching your thirst with a smoked chipotle, crab and cucumber bloody Mary.

Tupelo Junction Cafe
Location: Newport Beach


13 | The Bagel Shack

breakfast in Orange County
Photography Provided By: The Bagel Shack

There’s nothing quite like an apres-surf bagel sandwich. Whether you’re just getting out of the water or you’re looking for a quick and easy breakfast stop, The Bagel Shack is where it’s at. 

Sink your teeth into a variety of fully loaded bagel sandwiches. From fresh lox and cream cheese to sausage and egg, these savory sandwiches are too yummy to pass up.

Local Insight: Each signature bagel is named after a local beach or surf spot like Churches, Lowers, T Street, Sano and more.

The Bagel Shack
Locations: Dana Point, Lake Forest, San Clemente


14 | Cafe Mimosa

This quaint bistro in downtown San Clemente serves up some delicious French fare and, of course, mimosas! Menu highlights include the crème brûlée French toast, Quiche Du Jour and Gravlax Brunch. We recommend going on a sunny morning to enjoy the restaurant’s super-cute outdoor patio!

Cafe Mimosa
Location: San Clemente


15 | Mama’s

This breakfast palace in Huntington Beach features a full bar and an expansive menu of modern-day twists on homestyle classics. If you’re craving comfort food and cocktails, Mama’s is the place to go! Feast on Mama’s Famous Chicken ’n Waffle, which is made with Mama Tutt’s buttermilk fried chicken, a homemade waffle, Mama’s Country Gravy and maple syrup. Pair this decadent dish with a Mama Mary––32 ounces of Mama’s Pure Love vodka, horseradish, peppers and veggies. 

Local Insight: Mama gives back! On select days, Mama’s donates up to 30% of proceeds to support a local school, sports team or any organization in need.

Locations: Huntington Beach, Ladera Ranch (coming soon), Los Alamitos, Newport Beach


16 | Harbor House Cafe

Credit: Flipboard on Unsplash

This old-school diner welcomes guests with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and a sense of nostalgia. The cozy quarters are decked out with vintage photos and portraits of the Hollywood elite. But aside from the restaurant’s retro vibe, the breakfast menu is as classic as it gets. From eggs Benedict and towering piles of hotcakes to syrup-soaked French toast and a variety of omelettes, Harbor House reigns supreme when it comes to local breakfast joints.

Harbor House Cafe
Locations: Dana Point, Sunset Beach

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This article is brought to you by one of the many talented writers associated with Locale Magazine! We are a group of locals (whether born and raised or transplanted) who love this county we now call home!

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