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Best breakfasts and brunches in east London

Discover the best restaurants and cafés for breakfast and brunch in east London

You’ll find more than hip little brunch joints in east London. Try everything from a Full English breakfast in a down-to-earth East End caff to Peruvian eats or an Indian feast. Do you agree with our choices? Use the comments box below or tweet your suggestions.

RECOMMENDED: London's best breakfasts and brunches

Andina

You need to roll out of bed early on Saturday or Sunday in order to beat the canny locals to a ground-floor table at Andina. There’s a larger basement room, but only at ground level can you observe the rich human tapestry of Shoreditch High Street. Andina sets breakfast on fire. The picante de huevos bathes two fried eggs, their yolks lubriciously runny, in an endorphin-releasing tomato sauce; coriander-green quinoa on the side dampens the heat a little. At weekends, brunchy things begin at 10am. It's the best way to start the weekend off with a rosy glow (well, perhaps the second-best way).

Breakfast for two with service: around £30
Brunch for two with service: around £35

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Brick Lane

Beagle

Nestled under the increasingly gentrified railway arches north of Hoxton, Beagle couldn’t be more east London if it tried. Which means it looks and feels like NYC in the late ’90s (buzzy atmos, brick-walled interior, check!). However, the brunch tastes like 2015 Hackney: the classics come with a twist of avocado, chickpeas, sourdough and unpasteurised English goat's cheese. The sharp drinks menu is a real draw – there are four slick in-house variations on the bloody mary alone. Service is super-friendly and food is swift and good: yolks just runny, hollandaise creamy, fried veggie hash managing to taste both indulgent and healthy. It’s not cheap, but it’s definitely Saturday morning served over-easy.

Brunch for two with service: around £35.

 

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Haggerston

Dishoom

The Shoreditch branch of this Bombay-styled café has a splendid colonial-themed verandah and is furnished with bamboo blinds, cane furniture and quirky knick-knacks from ‘back home’. The masala breakfasts and ginger-spiced chai are a hit with locals who like to talk shop over green-chilli-flecked scrambled eggs. The bacon roll is a favourite: a warm naan is spread with cream cheese and tomato-chilli jam, sprinkled with citrussy coriander and loosely rolled around bacon rashers. Just as impressive, the Bombay omelette (no runny bits please, we’re Indian) is tastefully stippled with crunchy diced onion, tomatoes and a kick of chilli – it could easily give the Indian Railway Catering service a run for its money.

Breakfast for two with service: around £22

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Brick Lane

Duck & Waffle

Breakfast is served from 6am-11am at this restaurant on the fortieth floor of the corporate Heron Tower in the City; you ascend via a super-whizzy glass elevator that travels up the outside of the building. Needless to say, many people come here mainly for the brilliant views in every direction across London. The menu covers English fry-ups, Belgian waffles, and the duck ’n’ waffle – crispy duck leg confit topped with a fried duck egg and mustard maple syrup – a rich dish first thing in the morning, like many of their dishes, but excellent nonetheless. Duck egg en cocotte is served with wild mushrooms, lots of melted gruyère cheese and toast soldiers. If you’re after the much-hyped ‘cronuts’ (here called a ‘dosant’), they are only available in small quantities early on Sunday mornings. Brunch at weekends (9am-4pm) retains parts of the breakfast offering and adds in some more unusual items, including duck congee and foie gras crème brûlée.

Breakfast for two with service: around £40
Brunch for two with service: around £50

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City

E Pellicci

If ever proof were needed that not all caffs are equal, this Grade II-listed greasy spoon on Bethnal Green Road is it. People come here as much for the atmosphere and decor as for the (good-end-of-average) grub. It has an almost opulent feel, harking back to a time when caff culture was king. Chrome-lined Vitrolite panels cover the outside, and the wood-panelled interior is filled with Formica tables and art deco touches. Food is still prepared with pride every day by Mama Maria – queen of the kitchen since 1961. The fry-ups are first rate.

Breakfast for two with service: around £20

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Bethnal Green

Hoi Polloi

This dining room is part of the Ace Hotel (est 2013), a branch of the growing chain of music-themed design hotels in the US. The large modernist brasserie interior is a good place for breakfasting on pancakes or egg dishes as well as more unusual offerings such as a crab omelette. There is also a list of fresh-pressed juices, and free wi-fi is a popular draw. Breakfast is served from 7am-noon daily, brunch at weekends (11am-6pm). The brunch line-up encompasses both breakfast dishes and a lunch-style menu, and also includes oysters sold in threes. They sell filter coffee as well as espresso-based drinks.

Breakfast for two with service: around £30
Brunch for two with service: around £40

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Shoreditch

Jago

The architect duo SelgasCano – commissioned to design the Serpentine Pavilion 2015 – have created this unusual pod-like Perspex conservatory attached to Second Home, a ‘workspace hub’ for internet start-ups, which looks quite out of place in a street full of curry houses and rag trade shops. It's an all-day café (weirdly closed on Sundays, Brick Lane's busiest day), but is at its best for breakfast, when light streams into the lovely conservatory. Dishes from the short and surprisingly inexpensive menu include various cereals and bagels; baked eggs with spiced beans and peppers is the most expensive dish at £7. There's good coffee and fresh orange juice, too.

Breakfast for two with service: around £20

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Brick Lane

Leila's Shop

When it comes to breakfast, the order of the day at Leila’s is quality, not quantity. The highlight here is the fried eggs – served with sage or crisp-fried Serrano ham. They arrive in a cast-iron frying pan accompanied by a wooden spatula for you to scoop them out onto your sourdough toast. If you’re not in the mood for an oeuf, then there’s also toast with own-made preserves – raspberry and marmalade, perhaps – or muesli and yoghurt. If getting dressed properly to face the world is a struggle, pop a coat over your PJs and choose some goodies from Leila’s grocery shop next door, then retreat to your own gaff to wake up at your leisure.

Breakfast for two with service: around £18

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Shoreditch

Pavilion Café

Lucky, lucky ducks. Not only do the web-footed locals of Victoria Park have a gorgeous lake (complete with nesting islands, pagoda and splendid domed café) – they also get to snack on some of the best artisanal bread of any park café in London: baked in-house by the Pavilion for its trendy all-day crowd (breakfast is served from 8.30am-5pm). Yards of outdoor tables and smoothly pulled coffees (with a rota of guest beans) make this a lovely watering hole for humans, too. Calorifically exuberant American and British breakfast classics are cooked straightforwardly using flavourful ingredients, many of them bought from Borough Market.

Breakfast for two with service: around £18

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Victoria Park

Three Crowns

Venue says: The Three Crowns wIne fair returns to Old Street roundabout. Saturday August 15, noon-10pm. For more information please call 020 7842 8516.

There’s no tang of spilt beer or oppressively dark interior within this attractive gastropub near Old Street roundabout. Light, airy and very stylish, the Three Crowns is every bit a suitable place to breakfast. Wooden tables are invitingly laid with condiment sets and decorated with flowers, while fresh bouquets garnish the immaculate bar. The breakfast menu includes well-priced British favourites such as boiled eggs with solders, alongside combinations such as black pudding, potatoes and fried duck egg. Eggs burji, a North Indian scrambled egg dish, is gently spiced but with plenty of sweet onion flavour, and the ‘full Crown’ is a cleverly tweaked full English featuring grilled plum tomato, sautéed new potatoes, sourdough toast, and buttery girolles instead of the usual field mushrooms (plus eggs and bacon, of course). The coffee beans come from Ozone. 

Breakfast for two with service: around £20

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Old Street

Verden

Verden isn't the kind of place you'd expect to find in Clapton. There's no exposed brickwork, no heart-stoppingly heavy trendy American food, no fridge full of obscure craft beers - Verden is an altogether classier affair. With its simple, minimal, grey and gold aesthetic, it wouldn't be out of place in Vienna or one of Paris's fancier districts. So there's a continental vibe that suits the APC and Folk-wearing clientèle down to a tee – no fuss, just simplicity and elegance. The food is similar, though not quite as impressive as the surroundings. It's standard brunch fare – eggs benedict, French toast, etc – done nicely. Brunch here can feel a little like style over substance – but what style!

Brunch for two with service: around £45

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Clapton
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Comments

2 comments
David H
David H

Odd to pick E Pellici (not open Sundays) and skip 2 doors down Cafe 338 (always heaving)