A breakfast burrito offers a warm, satisfying start to a day, provided it is a good one. Many places in Southern California offer breakfast burritos on their menu with a variety of ingredients beyond the basic eggs and cheese. But, not everyplace makes a good one. So, if you are craving breakfast burritos in the San Fernando Valley section of L.A. and want to start the day with a great treat, here are some dependable choices at various price points.
Athenian Grill: This place looks like it primarily features Greek food on the outside, but inside the menu is the typical Greek diner found in New York. Translation – a great breakfast joint. For generations, the Greeks have known how to run a diner — and put together one hell of a breakfast. While you may be tempted by the budget breakfast featuring two eggs AND two pancakes for less than three dollars, scan further down the menu for the breakfast burrito options. They cost more but are a nice size. They all feature a layer of crispy hash browns, two scrambled eggs, shredded cheddar and then a choice of options. Athenian Grill is at 7042 Reseda Blvd., Reseda, (818) 345-8445, and opens at 7 a.m. daily.
BeaBea’s: Always busy, but worth the wait, BeaBea’s has a menu chock full of great breakfast options as well as daily specials. The menu includes two burrito choices with the usual eggs, mean, salsa, guacamole and cheese. They differ primarily by meat choice. The online menu, which lets users customize their To-Go Orders, illustrates the options for burrito customization, with added choices of shrimp, steak and a selection of 11 types of cheese. BeaBea’s is located at 353 N. Pass Avenue (just North of the 134), Burbank, (818) 846-2317, and opens at 7 a.m. daily.
Cici’s Café is another constantly busy breakfast haven. The many-pages-long menu features multiple pages each of pancakes, waffles and various egg dishes. Their Bewitched pancakes, (pumpkin pancakes topped with baked apples and walnuts) and the Two B’s (pancakes with bananas and blueberries) are great, but they also have a “bad boy” burrito on their menu with chicken, rice, beans, avocado and jack cheese. There is also a tofu scramble (veggie chorizo, spinach, broccoli, etc.) that can be put in a tortilla for a vegan breakfast burrito. Cici’s Café is located at 18912 Ventura Blvd., Tarzana, (818) 881-6704. They open at 6 a.m. (which is probably the only time they are not busy.)
Coral Tree Café: This place tries to offer healthier fare, including a wide array of breakfast options with organic farm eggs. Among their options is a great breakfast burrito. Besides the eggs, the Encino and Brentwood burritos include black beans, house made turkey chorizo , cheeses and scallions, topped with avocado slices and sour cream. The Century City menu does not include the chorizo. Coral Tree has three locations: 17499 Ventura Blvd., Encino (818) 789-8733; 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Century City, (310) 553-8733 and 11645 San Vicente Blvd., Brentwood, (310) 979-8733. The Brentwood and Encino sites open at 7 a.m. daily, whereas Century City opens at 9 a.m.
Corner Cottage: The breakfast burritos at this long-standing Burbank stalwart are huge with an amazing sauce (beware of its kick!). This tiny non-descript, unpretentious place is always busy for a reason – the food is a great value. But bring a book or a friend to kill time. The wait can be long, but is always worth it. Also, be aware that they do not accept credit cards. Corner Cottage is at 310 S Victory Blvd., Burbank, (818) 843-2567, and opens at 6 a.m. daily.
Hugo’s Tacos: Hugo’s operates three high-quality Mexican healthy fast-food spots. The locations, parking and seating are small (Studio City only has outside seating with heat lamps). The menu options (tacos, burritos, quesadillas, etc.) come with a choice of chicken, veggies, soy chorizo, steak, carnitas, al pastor, grilled fish and are priced based on the filling. There is also a selection of salsas from the usual (Pico de Gallo) to the super spicy – try the sweet and spicy Honey Chipotle! The breakfast burritos offer similar filling and salsa choices added to the eggs, onions, rice, beans, salsa and cheese. The three locations are at 4749 Coldwater Canyon Avenue, Studio City, (818) 762-7771; 22941 Ventura Blvd, Woodland Hills, (818) 222-7700 and 3300 Glendale Blvd., Atwater Village, (323) 664-9400. They all open at 10 a.m. daily.
There are countless other options in the San Fernando Valley for hearty breakfast burritos (from good to mega chain fast food), but these are all standouts. However, the three busiest – BeaBea’s, CiCi’s Café and Corner Cottage – are only open for breakfast and lunch, so they are clearly doing something right.
By Dyanne Weiss