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A plate of fried chicken tucked underneath a waffle from the Serving Spoon in Inglewood
The Serving Spoon in Inglewood
Cathy Chaplin

13 Rib-Sticking, Down-Home Southern Comfort Breakfasts in Los Angeles

Start the day with chicken fried steak, hearty grits, flaky biscuits, and more country cooking

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The Serving Spoon in Inglewood
| Cathy Chaplin

When the most important meal of the day calls for something heartier than an acai bowl, look no further than traditional Southern fare. From sky-high biscuits to rich and buttery grits, it’s easy to find down-home comforts in cosmopolitan Los Angeles, if one knows where to look. Here now are 13 restaurants to order a country-style breakfast in LA.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Rae's Restaurant

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There’s so much to love about the humble Rae’s diner in Santa Monica, set along a sleepy part of Pico Boulevard and boasting one of the city’s best Googie pylon signs. From the chicken fried steak to the well-browned home fries, this is a roadside stand in its prime, even after all those decades of wear and tear.

John O'Groats

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With a dining room that looks like a sweet country breakfast destination, John O’Groats has been serving Westsiders with hefty buttermilk biscuits and gravy for generations. Lunchtime means fried chicken plates and heaps of grits, mashed potatoes, and green beans.

S & W Country Diner

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It’s pretty clear how things operate at Culver City’s retro-inspired S & W Country Diner. Choices are abundant and it’s a treat to switch things up when it comes to the classic breakfast. Two eggs come any style and instead of regular bacon and sausage, opt for the Italian sausage, a pork chop, or country fried steak.

Polly's on the Pier

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South Bay staple Polly’s on the Pier relocated from its original digs back in 2017, but it still continues to work a simple breakfast menu not far from the water. Bonus points for lots of coffee served in thick mugs, and shrimp and crab omelettes.

Pann's Restaurant

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From the long countertops and swivel stools to the deep booths and sweeping architecture, this South LA spot truly carries the enduring spirit of LA’s diner past. Stop in for breakfast fried chicken, pork chop plates, and Texas french toast. And don’t forget to admire the magnificent Googie architecture.

The Serving Spoon

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The Serving Spoon is a full-service diner serving Southern classics in a brightly-lit and energetic room. Everyone gets the fried catfish, a boneless fillet battered and beautifully browned. The fish flakes off in tender hunks, while the cornmeal crust crunches just so. Best of all is the slab of cornbread served alongside every main course.

Country Touch Cafe

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A simple roadside diner in a hidden part of Torrance, Country Touch caters to the neighborhood and the massive refinery across the street. With a simple, affordable menu of biscuits and gravy, pancakes, corned beef hash, and beef liver and onions, this is a South Bay gem. And since this is LA, there’s even a handy plate of Korean bulgogi and eggs for breakfast.

Hunter and Charlie's

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After a few fits and starts, it seems that the Hollywood space now known as Hunter & Charlie’s has found its footing, thanks in no small part to a pared-down menu of everyday favorites like biscuits and gravy and thick slabs of bacon. It’s nice to know that everyday restaurants still exist, even in touristy Hollywood.

Gaffey St. Diner

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There’s no harder-working spot for breakfast in greater Los Angeles than this historic longshoreman’s diner just off the docks. That’s the vibe at Gaffy St. Diner in San Pedro, where big-plate breakfasts with all the hearty country trappings can be had for a song.

Poppy + Rose

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American comfort fare reigns supreme at this Flower District eatery. On the menu are fresh takes on biscuits and gravy, buttermilk fried chicken with waffles, and a pulled pork hash. It’s the perfect place to drop by after picking up some freshly cut flowers.

A plate of waffles with fried chicken wings on top. There’s separate dishes of maple syrup and butter served on the side.
Poppy + Rose
Crystal Coser

Nickel Diner

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Downtown’s Nickel Diner has all the trappings of an old-school spot. This staple destination was a favorite of Jonathan Gold’s, and not just for the maple bacon doughnut that everyone seems to enjoy. Consider the 10 Cents Bag, a mixed-plate breakfast that comes with eggs, potatoes, and flat iron steak.

Nick's Cafe

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Nick’s in Chinatown is as classic as they come. The roadside stand doesn’t have much seating inside, but it makes up for the small footprint with big flavors, from scrambles and biscuits to heavy slabs of ham. There’s a reason the restaurant has persisted since 1948.

Jenny’s Country Kitchen

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Serving Whittier since 1970, Jenny’s County Kitchen brings together Southern favorites and Mexican staples, all under one roof. On the Southern side of the menu are things like house-made biscuits, fried chicken, and meatloaf.

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Rae's Restaurant

There’s so much to love about the humble Rae’s diner in Santa Monica, set along a sleepy part of Pico Boulevard and boasting one of the city’s best Googie pylon signs. From the chicken fried steak to the well-browned home fries, this is a roadside stand in its prime, even after all those decades of wear and tear.

John O'Groats

With a dining room that looks like a sweet country breakfast destination, John O’Groats has been serving Westsiders with hefty buttermilk biscuits and gravy for generations. Lunchtime means fried chicken plates and heaps of grits, mashed potatoes, and green beans.

S & W Country Diner

It’s pretty clear how things operate at Culver City’s retro-inspired S & W Country Diner. Choices are abundant and it’s a treat to switch things up when it comes to the classic breakfast. Two eggs come any style and instead of regular bacon and sausage, opt for the Italian sausage, a pork chop, or country fried steak.

Polly's on the Pier

South Bay staple Polly’s on the Pier relocated from its original digs back in 2017, but it still continues to work a simple breakfast menu not far from the water. Bonus points for lots of coffee served in thick mugs, and shrimp and crab omelettes.

Pann's Restaurant

From the long countertops and swivel stools to the deep booths and sweeping architecture, this South LA spot truly carries the enduring spirit of LA’s diner past. Stop in for breakfast fried chicken, pork chop plates, and Texas french toast. And don’t forget to admire the magnificent Googie architecture.

The Serving Spoon

The Serving Spoon is a full-service diner serving Southern classics in a brightly-lit and energetic room. Everyone gets the fried catfish, a boneless fillet battered and beautifully browned. The fish flakes off in tender hunks, while the cornmeal crust crunches just so. Best of all is the slab of cornbread served alongside every main course.

Country Touch Cafe

A simple roadside diner in a hidden part of Torrance, Country Touch caters to the neighborhood and the massive refinery across the street. With a simple, affordable menu of biscuits and gravy, pancakes, corned beef hash, and beef liver and onions, this is a South Bay gem. And since this is LA, there’s even a handy plate of Korean bulgogi and eggs for breakfast.

Hunter and Charlie's

After a few fits and starts, it seems that the Hollywood space now known as Hunter & Charlie’s has found its footing, thanks in no small part to a pared-down menu of everyday favorites like biscuits and gravy and thick slabs of bacon. It’s nice to know that everyday restaurants still exist, even in touristy Hollywood.

Gaffey St. Diner

There’s no harder-working spot for breakfast in greater Los Angeles than this historic longshoreman’s diner just off the docks. That’s the vibe at Gaffy St. Diner in San Pedro, where big-plate breakfasts with all the hearty country trappings can be had for a song.

Poppy + Rose

A plate of waffles with fried chicken wings on top. There’s separate dishes of maple syrup and butter served on the side.
Poppy + Rose
Crystal Coser

American comfort fare reigns supreme at this Flower District eatery. On the menu are fresh takes on biscuits and gravy, buttermilk fried chicken with waffles, and a pulled pork hash. It’s the perfect place to drop by after picking up some freshly cut flowers.

A plate of waffles with fried chicken wings on top. There’s separate dishes of maple syrup and butter served on the side.
Poppy + Rose
Crystal Coser

Nickel Diner

Downtown’s Nickel Diner has all the trappings of an old-school spot. This staple destination was a favorite of Jonathan Gold’s, and not just for the maple bacon doughnut that everyone seems to enjoy. Consider the 10 Cents Bag, a mixed-plate breakfast that comes with eggs, potatoes, and flat iron steak.

Nick's Cafe

Nick’s in Chinatown is as classic as they come. The roadside stand doesn’t have much seating inside, but it makes up for the small footprint with big flavors, from scrambles and biscuits to heavy slabs of ham. There’s a reason the restaurant has persisted since 1948.

Jenny’s Country Kitchen

Serving Whittier since 1970, Jenny’s County Kitchen brings together Southern favorites and Mexican staples, all under one roof. On the Southern side of the menu are things like house-made biscuits, fried chicken, and meatloaf.

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