Breakfast in Soho London

Wake up to the best restaurants for breakfast in Soho

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© Jael Marschner

Whether you are waking up in Soho ready for a big breakfast or grabbing an early morning coffee before work, Soho has a great range of cafés and patisseries for a breakfast of any length. Choice venues include Berwick Street's shabby chic Flat White and much-loved, trendily utilitarian Fernandez & Wells. Find the best breakfast joint to cater to your needs with Time Out's guide to breakfast in Soho. Do you agree with the choices? Use the comments box below or tweet your suggestions.

Dean Street Townhouse

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 3/4

Even at an early hour, the dark-panelled dining rooms of this ever-popular Soho all-day restaurant buzz with the animated chatter of media types, and breakfast here makes you feel important, even if you don’t have the head of BBC3 on speed-dial. The smooth service eases things along nicely too. It’s largely classics on the menu: eggs all ways, porridge, kedgeree, full English. There are fruit smoothies for the pious, and Scots will be heartened to see tattie scones and lorne (flat) sausage.

Breakfast for two with service: around £30

  1. 69-71 Dean Street, W1D 4QJ
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Fernandez & Wells

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4

The three outposts of classy Fernandez & Wells bustle all day with the clatter and chatter of Soho folk on breaks; this plainly decorated yet welcoming café branch (the other two are dubbed ‘food and wine bar’ and ‘espresso bar’) is near perfect on every front. Coffee is roasted to F&W’s own specifications and produces a consistently smooth, clean-flavoured cup: a black coffee had not a hint of bitterness, even at the last sip. Staff are earnest, polite and eager to please. The food – inventive sandwiches and an irresistible selection of own-made cakes – clearly uses top-end ingredients. The counter seating and stools don’t make Fernandez & Wells a place to linger, but it’s hard to find a better place in Soho to stop for a coffee.

  1. 73 Beak Street, W1F 9RS
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Flat White

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4

This diminutive, dimly lit room beside the veg stalls of Berwick Street Market was one of the places that signalled, when it opened in 2005, the increasing influence of Antipodean coffee culture in London. Hugely popular from the outset, it has changed little over the years – even though there’s been a change of ownership (the people behind Giaconda Dining Rooms took over in 2012). The food menu is small but sound. Decor and seating are basic, and the place can feel cramped when busy. But at quieter times, Flat White is bliss – especially if the weather is good and you can bag a seat outside.

  1. 17 Berwick Street, W1F 0PT
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Gail's

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4

A little sister of the other Gail’s scattered across London, this branch of the artisan bakery is fighting its corner, quite literally, in Soho. The interior decor is a product of the same white/red/grey palette of its siblings, and the zinc-topped counters and exposed lightbulbs parading around the perimeter of the room remind you that Gail’s is taking its arrival in W1 seriously. Standing united on multi-tiered displays are an interesting mix of baked delicacies, largely inspired by northern or Eastern Europe.

  1. 128 Wardour Street, W1F 8ZL
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Jackson & Rye

  • Rated as: 4/5

Jackson & Rye is modelled on a smart US diner, and - mostly -  successfully so.  The weekday kitchen kicks off the day with a diner-style breakfast menu  (8-11.30am) that includes creamed grits (a maize porridge originally from the Southern states) topped with flaked almonds, berries and maple syrup, and enough brunch-style egg dishes to keep a Boston cabbie’s blood pressure up; our  baked eggs with ham and spinach were slightly overcooked, a common problem when using a cast-iron cocotte dish. At weekends the menu shifts towards a more brunch-oriented menu (9am-4.30pm Sat; 10am-4.30pm Sun).


Breakfast for two with service: around £25

  1. 56 Wardour Street, W1D 4JG
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Koya Bar

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4

This second branch (next door) of the ever-popular udon noodle joint Koya opens for morning meals. As well as the classic Japanese combo of grilled fish, miso soup, pickles and rice, Koya Bar is turning breakfast on its head with morning udon dishes such as hot noodles with raw egg and soy sauce (kamatama udon), and English breakfast-inspired egg, bacon and shiitake mushroom udon. There’s also rice porridge with mixed mushrooms, egg and pickles, or kedgeree-style with smoked haddock. Expect Koya’s usual high-quality, handmade wheat noodles plus hot green tea or cold barley tea.

Breakfast for two with service: around £30

  1. 50 Frith Street, W1D 4SQ
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Maison Bertaux

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4

Maison Bertaux is a blessed relief from identikit coffee chains – the interior is painted cream and pale blue, and, in Diamond Jubilee year, festooned with bunting and royal ephemera. There’s an upright piano wedged into the tiny ground floor, and art on the walls of the first-floor room. The window is packed with top-notch baked goods, from creamy fruit tarts to sultana scones.

  1. 28 Greek Street, W1D 5DQ
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Milk Bar

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Surroundings are spartan: on our visit, the white-washed walls were decorated with an exhibition of dramatic photographic prints, while a pair of ceiling fans idly pushed the air around. A splash of colour came courtesy of the blood red counter, while scuffed school chairs and a soundtrack of hip-hop beats brought a modish old-school edge. The small savoury list shows potential, with a handful of interesting open sandwiches and salads.

  1. 3 Bateman Street, W1D 4AG
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Nordic Bakery

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 3/4

‘Dark rye bread. Cinnamon buns. Coffee’ reads the sign (Helvetica, of course) in the picture window of this stylish Finnish café. That pretty much sums it up. Flat circular sandwiches of tasty dark rye bread enclose fillings such as prawn, smoked salmon, ham and cheese, or hard-boiled egg and herring (the last with a tangy mustard sauce). The cinnamon buns are dark, sticky and hefty. Coffee is well made and strong.

  1. 14A Golden Square, W1F 9JG
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Nude Espresso

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4

On a sunny Saturday morning, Nude was a sea of milky foam, artfully feathered on a non-stop procession of cups. The long, light room was packed out, and not just with hip caffeinistas but parents and young children too. Despite the crowds, solo customers were allowed to sit at tables for two and watch the world go by. Nude takes its food ever more seriously. The brunch/lunch menu was imaginative, and very popular: half a dozen plates of ricotta pancakes, with roasted grape and pomegranate molasses went by us in 20 minutes, and much else besides.

  1. 26 Hanbury Street, E1 6QR
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Rapha CC

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Rapha CC is a cycle clothing shop and café. The café area occupies a little less than half the floor space of this very smart cycle clothing shop, and it provides ample seating for those wanting to rest their feet after patrolling on nearby Regent Street or picking up a pair of merino knee warmers from across the room. At the table next to ours, two young Japanese people relaxed with shopping bags nestling at their feet. And it is a remarkably relaxing place, largely because of the chatty but efficient staff. And man, do they love coffee. A lovely haven near Piccadilly Circus.

  1. 85 Brewer St, W1F 9ZN
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Sacred

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 1/4

Very little has changed at this, the original branch of Sacred, since our last visit. Loyal fans will feel that’s a good thing, and we’re largely inclined to agree, but not completely. The small ground-floor and larger basement rooms are both cosy and welcoming in a ‘bare brick and wood’ kind of way. Staff are friendly and give well-informed advice about the baked goods that dominate the choice of food. Sacred is good, make no mistake. But it could be a bit better. Note to tea lovers: this place has its own blends. Loose tea, no bags, high quality.

  1. 13 Ganton Street, W1F 9BL
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TAP Coffee

  • Rated as: 5/5

This is the third branch of what was formerly known as Tapped & Packed (the other two are on Rathbone Place and Tottenham Court Road), and don’t be surprised if it’s not the last. The formula is simple and very effective. Buy good beans and treat them with respect. Create a space that’s unintimidating and relaxing – a very long space in this case, with skylights running almost its full length. Food: majoring on sandwiches and salad of reasonable prices (by Soho standards), plus the usual baked goods. A completely satisfying experience. Leaving was a wrench.

  1. 193 Wardour Street, W1F 8ZF
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1 comments
michele c
michele c

.....The Full English 'pop up' in Zebrano 18 Greek St.  Our Ethos is supporting small British family farms, and a full English is £5