Best breakfasts and brunches in east London

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



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Our team of experts have sought out the best breakfasts and brunches across London. Whether you're looking for coffee and pastries in a café, a posh Sunday brunch, or a mouthwateringly meaty fry-up – don't miss the most important meal of the day. Also check out London's best breakfasts and brunches in central, south, north, west and east London, cheap breakfasts in London and our slideshow of the top ten breakfast dishes. Do you agree with the choices? Use the comments box below or tweet your suggestions.


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: warm naan, spread with cream cheese and tomato-chilli jam, is sprinkled with citrussy coriander and loosely rolled around bacon rashers. Just as impressive, the omelette (no runny bits please, we’re Indian) is tastefully flecked with crunchy diced onion, tomatoes and a kick of green chilli – it could easily give the Indian Railway Catering service a run for its money.

Breakfast for two with service: around £22

  1. 7 Boundary Street, E2 7JE. (020 7420 9324). Old St tube or Shoreditch High St Overground.
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Duck & Waffle

Breakfast is served 6-10.30am at this restaurant on the fortieth floor of the corporate Heron Tower in the City; you ascend via a super-whizzy glass elevator up the outside of the building.The menu covers English fry-ups, Belgian waffles, and the duck ’n’ waffle – crispy duck leg confit, fried duck egg and mustard maple syrup – a rich dish first thing in the morning, but excellent nonetheless. Duck egg en cocotte is served with wild mushrooms, lots of melted gruyère cheese and toast soldiers. Coffee is diner-style filter, but you’re here mainly for the brilliant views in every direction across London. If you’re after for the much-hyped ‘cronuts’ (here called a ‘dosant’), they are only available in small quantities early on Sundays.

Breakfast for two with service: around £40

  1. 40th Floor, 110 Bishopsgate, (Heron Tower), EC2N 4AY. (020 3640 7310). Liverpool St station.
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E Pellicci

If ever proof were needed that all caffs are not equal, this Grade II-listed greasy spoon on Bethnal Green Road is it. 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 line 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

  1. 332 Bethnal Green Road, E2 0AG. (020 7739 4873). Bethnal Green tube.
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Hoi Polloi

  • Price band: 3/4

This dining room is part of the new (est 2013) Ace Hotel, a branch of the growing chain of music-themed design hotels in the US. The large modernist brasserie interior is a good place for filter coffee and egg dishes as well as more unusual offerings such as ricotta pancakes, shaved fennel and smoked salmon. Free wi-fi is another draw. Brunch is served at weekends (11am-6pm), and mixes up breakfast dishes with a Sunday lunch menu.

Breakfast for two with service: around £25

  1. Ace Hotel, 100 Shoreditch High St, E1 6JQ. Old St tube or Shoreditch Overground.
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  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 2/4

The architect duo SelgasCano – who are also designing the Serpentine Pavilion 2015 – have created this unusual pod-like Perspex conservatory to Second Home, a ‘workspace hub’ for internet start-ups, which looks out of place in a street of curry houses and rag trade shops. It's an all day café (disingenuously closed on Sundays, Brick Lane's busiest day), but is as is best for breakfast, when light streams into the conservatory. Dishes might include grilled challah bread with labneh (strained yogurt) and honey; tomatoes on toast; or baked eggs, spiced beans and peppers, this last dish the most expensive at £7. There's good coffee and fresh orange juice too.

Breakfast for two with service: around £20

  1. 68-80 Hanbury Street, E1 5JL. (020 3818 3241). Shoreditch High St Overground.
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Leila's Shop

The order of the day at Leila’s is quality, not quantity when it comes to breakfast. 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 on to 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

  1. 17 Calvert Avenue, E2 7JP. (020 7729 9789). Old Street tube.
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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. Yards of outdoor tables and smoothly pulled coffees (with a rota of guest beans) make this a lovely watering hole for humans too. Calorific American and British breakfast classics (maple syrup pancakes; eggs benedict) are done straightforwardly well with flavourful ingredients, though the cooking is sometimes clumsier than it was when the Pavilion first transformed from greasy spoon to yupster hangout.

Breakfast for two with service: around £18

  1. Victoria Park, (Crown Gate West), E9 7DE. (020 8980 0030). Mile End tube.
  2. Breakfast served 8.30am-4pm daily.
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Three Crowns

There’s no tang of spilt beer or oppressively dark interior in this new 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, flowers decorate the tables and fresh bouquets garnish the immaculate bar. The breakfast menu includes well-priced British favourites such as boiled eggs with solders, alongside 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).

Breakfast for two with service: around £20

  1. 8 East Rd, N1 6AD. (020 7842 8516). Old Street tube.
Book online

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Users say

David H
David H

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