A perfectly balanced breakfast sandwich the size of your head goes a long way toward improving the prospects of almost any day. (And there’s nothing like it for curing a hangover.) It has to have melted cheese, protein (preferably crisp bacon), eggs (of course) and bread (from tortilla to loaf, we’re open).
Here are nine great breakfast sandwiches you need to try now. And one killer burrito we couldn't ignore. Please note we left out the breakfast burrito from Lucky Boy in Pasadena because if you don't know how good it is by now, you should be ashamed of yourself.
The Fairfax Egg Slut ($7): There's a reason why lawyers in suits and policemen rub elbows with downtown L.A.'s hipster crowd at the Egg Slut counter in Grand Central Market. It's all about the eggs. And this place knows how to make a breakfast sandwich with eggs, fried and oozing yolk or scrambled to custardy perfection. The Fairfax sandwich has everything you'd ever want for breakfast. It's fluffy, creamy scrambled eggs with chunks of bacon, chives, gooey cheddar cheese, sweet caramelized onions and Sriracha mayo on a soft brioche bun. Hearing someone moan and curse after the first bite happens on the reg. 317 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, www.eggslut.com.
McFong from Semisweet Bakery ($4.75): If you can actually make it past the counter of bacon maple buns and jalapeno macaroni and cheese empanadas, you need to try the McFong breakfast sandwich. A massive cheddar and chive biscuit with bits of melted then cooled cheddar on top is split in two. It's flaky and buttery, but doesn't crumble, and it's stuffed with a medium fried egg, slabs of crisp bacon and cheddar cheese. You can also get the eggs scrambled. 105 E. 6th St., Los Angeles, (213) 228-9975, www.semisweetbakery.com/.
Breakfast baco from Baco Mercat ($9): If you're looking for a breakfast sandwich, but bored with the bacon, egg and cheese combo, you need to get a baco. Chef Jose Centeno has taken his original flatbread hybrid creation and used it to sandwich a truly unique breakfast meal. The Breakfast Baco, only available on the weekends, comes stuffed with scrambled eggs and chunks of tender lamb meatballs, a crispy hashbrown cake, arugula and tangy slivers of pickled red onion. The entire thing is smothered in Centeno's pale pink Sriracha hot sauce. You'll need a fork and knife for this one. 408 S. Main St., Los Angeles, (213) 687-8808, bacomercat.com.
Bacon and egg from Patra burgers ($3.99): This is the type of breakfast sandwich you want when you're on your way to work, or meeting friends for a low-key meal after a long night out. It's nothing fancy, but everything you need in the morning. Two pieces of buttered white bread are toasted on the grill, then piled high with crisp bacon and a rectangle of folded scrambled eggs. It comes with lettuce and tomato, and for 60 cents you can add a slice of American cheese. Do yourself a favor and add the cheese. Take it to go, or eat it inside on the restaurant's vinyl fruit-patterned tablecloths. 1524 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, (213) 250-0301.
Scrambled egg and chorizo from Sycamore Kitchen ($10): Karen and Quinn Hatfield have taken the classic breakfast of chorizo and eggs and put it in sandwich form. The chorizo is a mouthful of smoky spices and the thick slices of griddled pain de mie make for the perfect sponge for its spicy juices. There's a layer of scrambled eggs, melted Swiss cheese and sweet caramelized onions. The entire thing is wrapped neatly in crisp brown paper, and is best eaten outside, on the patio. 143 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 939-0151, thesycamorekitchen.com.
Chicken "cracklins" sandwich from Hart and the Hunter ($10): Why people don't put chicken cracklings on everything is a mystery. At the Hart and the Hunter, they're taking their famous chicken skins and using them as the protein in their breakfast sandwich. It's a mix of ultra crispy, salty cracklings, a fried egg, lettuce, tomato and cool slices of avocado on white bread. The only thing that could make this sandwich even more irresistible is if it came on one of the restaurant's flaky biscuits. Then again, why not order the sandwich and a side of biscuits? It's breakfast, do what you want. 7950 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 424-3055, www.thehartandthehunter.com.
GTA egg sandwich from Gjelina Take Away ($6.50): It's an Egg McMuffin for the Venice crowd. Soft braised kale with its mild bitter bite, melted Gruyere cheese, a supple fried egg and bacon on a house-made English muffin. You can also request a couple squirts of vinegary hot sauce if you like some heat. If you can't elbow your way into a place standing at the minuscule counter inside, try sitting on one of the crates on the side of the restaurant. It's the perfect spot to sit back and watch an endless barrage of guys with dirty hair and rolled-up jeans and girls in high-waisted shorts and Ray-Bans. 1427 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, (310) 392-7575, www.gjelinatakeaway.com.
Biscuit breakfast sandwich from Clementine ($7.95): Known for its grilled cheese sandwiches, Clementine makes melted cheese the star ingredient in its breakfast sandwich. Thin, rough slices of salty Tennessee ham resemble prosciutto, layered on a biscuit with soft-poached egg. Globs of cheddar cheese are melted on the top and bottom halves of the biscuit, and spill over the edges for a cheesy mess. 1751 Ensley Ave., Los Angeles, (310) 552-1080, clementineonline.com.
Fried egg sandwich from Huckleberry ($11.50): It's easy to take one bite, and have the simple, rustic flavors transport you to a farm somewhere at sunrise. Gruyere cheese is melted onto crunchy-crusted country bread. Then comes ribbons of Niman Ranch bacon, cooked until it's almost black and a fried egg. A small mountain of arugula wilts under the heat of the bread, which also gets a spoonful of creamy aioli. No matter what you do to save it, the egg yolk will spill out of the sandwich and pool in a bright, pale orange circle on your plate. Just go with it, and use it as a dipping sauce for each bite. 1014 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 451-2311, huckleberrycafe.com.
The corned beef hash burrito from Magnolia Grille ($8.50): Who knew corned beef hash belonged in a burrito? The Magnolia Grille is making this monster of a burrito with browned and slightly crispy bits of corned beef hash and hash browns. A mix of jack and cheddar cheeses melt in between the scrambled eggs, wrapped in a tent-sized flour tortilla. The entire burrito spends a couple minutes on the flat top so bits of the outside brown and blister. It's served with a dollop of sour cream, slices of black olives and the restaurant's homemade red and green salsa. If you manage to finish the entire thing, don't plan on eating for the rest of the day. 10530 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood, (818) 766-8698, themagnoliagrille.com.
Got a favorite breakfast sandwich? Share it with us in the comments below.