Cora’s Coffee Shoppe

Don’t let the name of this easy-to-miss gem fool you: Cora’s is about as much like a bacon-and-eggs diner (think: Norm’s) as Katharine Hepburn is an actress like Heidi Montag. One bite of the burrata omelet or the filet mignon and horseradish sandwich will deliver that message loud and clear. For starters, nearly all sourcing is done at the Santa Monica Farmers Market, with a focus on organics. The menu is packed with such diverse dishes as bucatini with lamb ragù and polenta done two ways (with cremini mushrooms or Italian sausage); Wagyu-style Kobe beef appears not only in the steak and eggs but also in a burger and in two different salads. After a relaxed breakfast or lunch at Cora’s, perhaps under the bougainvillea-covered pergola on the patio behind the little adobe outpost, you might easily forget that you are on busy Ocean Avenue instead of in Italy. This is an olde coffee shoppe for the 21st century.

sweet seats

There is limited indoor seating at two small tables and at the counter, and about 30 wonderful places to sit outside. There are no reservations, and waits can be long at peak periods such as brunch. But part of Cora’s charm is that, even when waiting, you can sit in the shade provided by the canopy of bougainvillea.

chew on this

Owner and chef Bruce Marder runs four other restaurants, most notably Capo, right next door to Cora’s, but also House Café, the Brentwood Restaurant and Lounge and the Broadway Deli.


Mon.–Sun. 7 AM–3 PM
no reservations

price range

$9 (prosciutto and egg panino) to $16.50 (steak and eggs)