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The best brunches in London

Start your weekend right with this epic list of the best brunches in London, from waffles and pancakes to fry-ups and eggs every which way

© Jamie Lau

Brunch in London is bigger than ever. You can bearly set foot out your front door at the weekend without stumbling across a steaming pan of shakshuka or finding the waft of waffles in the air. So let us guide you to the best spots in town for a kick-ass weekend brunch in London, from boozy bottomless brunches to traditional Full English fry-ups and even New York-style feasts, you can start off your weekend in style.

Reviews by Laura Richards, Ashleigh Arnott, Cath Clarke, Dave Calhoun, David Clack, Megan Carnegie, Matilda Egere-Cooper, Gail Tolley, Isabelle Aron, Phoebe Trimingham, Alexi Duggins, Stephen Farmer, Alex Plim, James Manning and Eddy Frankel.

The best brunches in central London

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Arabica Bar & Kitchen

Breakfast is a great time to visit this handsome Borough Market restaurant – it fills up pretty much as soon as the non-existent lunch bell chimes, but before then you can lounge on their comfy banquettes in peace. The menu is Levantine all over; za’atar flatbreads, shakshuka, saffron poached pear and lots of cold, refreshing juice blends. Avoid their take on the fry-up and go for something more interesting such as eggs with basturma (Anatolian-style beef slices) or the ful medamas – a bowl of bean stew topped with falafel and served with flatbread.

Don't miss: A nourishing bowl of rich shakshuka.

Brunch for two with service: around £35.

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South Bank
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Bad Egg

It’s dude food with attitude at this deliberately scruffy City hangout. Neon signage flashes and a punk soundtrack plays as brunchers sit at diner-style red leather booths and pick from a deliciously meaty, Mexican-influenced menu of ribs, eggs, fries, mini tacos and pancakes topped with fried chicken. If you don’t fancy a boozy start to the day, their all-day menu actually has a permanent selection of brunch dishes as well.

Don't miss: The booze. If you just want to eat, the all-day brunch menu probably offers better value for money than this weekend-only set brunch.

Brunch for two with service: around £50, or around £70 with unlimited brunch cocktails.

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Moorgate
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Balthazar

The brunch menu covers the usual eggs every-which-way (boiled with soldiers, florentine, egg-white omelette), plus American-style pancakes with banana and maple syrup. The full English breakfast costs £15, but if you'd prefer to dine in true American fashion, you can go in even heavier with lunch-style dishes such as steak frites and lobster spaghetti. Wash it down with one of the best classic marys in town. 

Don't miss: Of all the egg-based dishes, opt for the scrambled egg with Cornish crab. Sounds odd, but it's a delicacy brought together with a light dollop of creme fraiche on top.

Brunch for two with service: around £40

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Covent Garden
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Barnyard

Ollie Dabbous’s rustic retreat on Charlotte Street isn’t an obvious spot to head to for brunch: it’s a bit dark and pokey, with timber walls and tables that make it feel like the old trench experience at the Imperial War Museum. Look past the rustic vibe and MOR soundtrack and order a plate of super-fresh smoked salmon with asparagus, or morels with a gooey fried egg. Acorn-flour waffles are ace, too: crisp outside and soft but firm within.

Don't miss: Boozy brunchers can tank up on alcohol-spiked iced tea or prosecco spritzes.

Brunch for two with service: around £40

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Fitzrovia
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Beany Green

It’s brunch time all of the time for Beany Green at the weekend. The Australian café in Broadgate Circus lays on a killer all-day menu which moves from summer porridge to banana bread sarnies filled with mascarpone, berries and almonds. Their ‘fancy’ bacon roll includes the Rib Man’s Holy Fuck sauce in hollandaise form. And of course they slice and dice the avocado every which way (that’s just Aussie rules), and serve it on charcoal sourdough (it’s good for you, okay?). If this brunch spot doesn’t have you feeling sunny, we don’t know what will.

Don’t miss: Forget a full English; it’s all about a Bondi breakfast. With added avocado and chilli pesto, who needs brown sauce?

Brunch for two with service: around £30.

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Moorgate
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The Black Penny

Venue says: Check out our website for the new salads!

In the lowlands between Holborn and Covent Garden lies The Black Penny, a cheery café where diners will struggle to choose just one of the enticing cooked breakfasts on offer – there’s brioche French toast, crispy confit duck hash and even bubble and squeak. High-quality, fresh ingredients and ample portions justify its pricing, and attention to detail is a strong point – look out for cucumber-infused tap water. A selection of arty magazines and a super-soulful soundtrack make it far too easy to spend all day here.

Don’t miss: One of the finest vegetarian brunches in central London, ‘The Gatherer’, comprising eggs on sourdough toast, fat slices of grilled halloumi, sauteed spinach, roasted tomatoes, mushrooms and their homemade baked beans.

Brunch for two with service: around £30.

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Covent Garden
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Bourne & Hollingsworth

From the outside this black-painted building looks rather severe. But step inside and suddenly you’re in a bright and airy space that feels more like colonial-era Delhi than modern-day Clerkenwell. This is the place for elegant yet laid back brunching. The food is very good: their huevos benedictos are a perfect balance of spicy chorizo and creamy béarnaise sauce, while the drop scones with bacon and maple syrup is an indulgent treat that veers close to pudding territory.

Don't miss: These guys were among the first to bring the New York trend of bottomless brunching to our fair shores. Grab the prosecco.

Brunch for two with service: around £45

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Clerkenwell
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Bukowski Grill

How do you like your eggs in the morning: baked, Benne or Benedictos? The Bukowski brunch goes big on ova, yoking them together with spicy tomatoes, home-smoked ham and soft-shell crab. Elsewhere on the menu it’s all about meat, waffles and milkshakes: Bukowski is as American as its namesake (but much less anxiety-inducing). There aren’t any alfresco tables here but that’s probably for the best: you really wouldn’t want to tackle the ‘Elvis-style’ waffle in public.

Don’t miss: Eggs benedictos, a high-water mark in Mexican-American relations.

Brunch for two with service: around £30.

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Soho
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Chiltern Firehouse

The fashionable London restaurant is virtually impossible to get a dinner reservation at, unless you're an A-list celeb. However, it does brunch from 9-11am on weekends. Be warned: prices are very high. Lobster and crab omelette costs £26, eggs benedict £14, pancakes £12 – but the dishes are all excellent. No bookings are taken, so arrive early – and smile.

Don't miss: Nuno Mendes' famous crab-stuffed donuts feature on the brunch menu. It would be a shame not to try them.

Brunch for two with service: around £50

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Marylebone
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Dean Street Townhouse

Even at an early hour, the dark-panelled dining rooms of this ever-popular all-day Soho restaurant buzz with the animated chatter of media types. The smooth service eases things along nicely, too. It’s largely classics on the all-day brunch menu: eggs all ways, kedgeree, full English. There are bloody marys in four different styles, and Scots will be heartened to see tattie scones and lorne (flat) sausage.

Don't miss: The Maria Bianco is our favourite of the marys, with an Italian twist from Martini Bianco.

Brunch for two with service: around £35

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Soho
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The best brunches in north London

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Bellanger

Occupying a quiet sweet spot on Islington Green in Angel, this Alsatian-themed high-end Paris-style brasserie from the folk behind The Wolseley offers breakfast and brunch in wood-panelled retro surroundings. There are many tempting standards on offer including Viennoiserie, waffles and various egg plates, but the bold move is to head for the Alsatian options, which include a selection of sausages and various tarte flambées (the trad version involves a topping of lardons, onions and crème fraîche). The only downside is walking out of the door and realising you’re not actually in Paris.

Don’t miss: The Käsekrainer sausage comes stuffed with lovely melted emmental cheese.

Brunch for two with service: around £40.

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Islington
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Blend

Brunch comes every day of the week at Green Lanes’ Blend, which works well for the up-and-coming mum brigade and their nippers on weekdays. The convivial daytime vibe is aided by pretty pendant lighting and lovely works of art on the walls. In the week, you can keep it simple with toasted bagels (sourdough or focaccia) topped with peanut butter, Marmite or Nutella. Weekend brunch is much more lavish, with their take on a croque monsieur and a ‘Harringay Local breakfast’, including beetroot, feta and fennel sausages. Service can slow a bit at busier times, but Aussie coffee will steer you right.

Don’t miss: Order the Melbourne breakfast with eggs, avocado, tomato and mozzarella. One of Blend’s owners is part-Aussie, so it’d be rude not to.

Brunch for two with service: around £30.

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Harringay
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Bull & Last

The brunch menu at this rustic-style gastropub by Parliament Hill Fields is short but enticing. You can go the light and virtuous route by ordering, say, yoghurt with fruit, but the heartier options look pretty irresistible: sweetcorn fritters with smashed avocado, bacon and tomatoes; wild sea trout with scrambled eggs; and so on. Breakfast here before or after a long, vigorous walk through the nearby greenery.

Don't miss: The Full Bull, with sausage, bacon, black pudding, mushrooms, tomato, fried egg and toast for just £10.

Brunch for two with service: around £25

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Dartmouth Park
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Caravan King's Cross

As at the Clerkenwell original, the menu here takes influences from many parts of the world. One of the myriad attractions of the breakfast menu is its happy accommodation of vegetarians: it's easy to avoid meat here if you are so inclined, and even carnivores might be tempted by jalapeño cornbread with fried eggs, black beans and guindilla pepper.

Don't miss: For a light snack, Caravan elevate a humble field mushroom to something spectacular for mushrooms on toast.

Brunch for two with service: around £35

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King's Cross
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Chinese Laundry

Venue says: Join us just for a coffee, tea or baijiu cocktail Fridays and Saturdays from 3pm to 6pm. Free wi-fi.

This narrow, grandma’s-kitchen-style Upper Street restaurant aims to transport you back to a homely space in 1980s Beijing – a time and place surely as foreign to most visitors as Chinese Laundry’s genuinely original and surprising menu. Its breakfast and brunch offering is properly exciting, whether you plump for the crispy scallion pancake, folded over to hide egg and bacon, or for the Laundry Full, a mezze of various intriguing small bits, including tea egg (a soft-boiled egg, soaked in tea and halved) and milky little buns (essentially very tasty doughnuts). The rice and peanut milk is definitely worth trying – but don’t worry, they do coffee too.

Don’t miss: The delicious Egg Hug Dumplings dish is an omelette with four pork dumplings embedded in it – every bit as comforting as the name implies.

Brunch for two with service: around £40.

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Barnsbury
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Fink's Salt & Sweet

Despite its off-the-beaten-track spot on a residential road in Highbury, Fink’s is almost always full, but it’s worth hanging around for a table. The trendy and very tempting menu is great value and offers dishes that you won’t find elsewhere – challah cinnamon toast with crispy bacon, sour cream and maple syrup is a notably charming plateful, as is the avocado on toast with harissa and goat’s cheese (a bargain at just £5). Service can get a little flustered thanks to the place’s popularity but it’s friendly and food doesn’t suffer for it. Nor does the coffee, crucially for weekend mornings. A warning to breakfast traditionalists: the menu does not feature eggs. But there are plenty of excellent savouries to take their place, and piles of irresistible cakes on the counter for the walk home.

Don’t miss: The sweet-but-moreish challah bread cinnamon toast.

Brunch for two with service: around £20.

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Brownswood Park
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Franks Canteen

On the days when you wake up with only a headache for company and only a ‘latte’ in a sachet in your kitchen cupboard, what you need is a sanctuary. With its serene but welcoming atmosphere and short but tempting food menu – black pudding, potato and mascarpone frittata with ham hock was a genius reimagining of the breakfast staples – Franks will fix your day before it’s even had a chance to go wrong. Good coffee, efficient staff, a playlist full of songs you remember fondly and generous portions gently transform you from duvet zombie to chipper day-seizer with minimum fuss.

Don't miss: Thyme, tomato and garlic baked borlotti beans make a mean rival to a tin of Heinz.

Breakfast for two with service: around £30

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Highbury
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German Gymnasium

This former gym was funded by the German community in the 1860s, but the dumb-bells have long since been cleared out and what was once the main exercise hall has been transformed into the seriously elegant Grand Café, where brunch is served from 10am until 4pm. As well as croissants, muffins, eggs benedict and the ‘GG Breakfast’ with the full works, there are dishes inspired by the venue’s German heritage, including the German Power Breakfast with Bavarian meatloaf, rosti, sauerkraut and a fried egg. Going to the gym with a hangover has never been so appealing.

Don’t miss: The hybrid half-croissant, half-brezel (a German pretzel), which is stuffed with crispy bacon, a fried egg and coleslaw. Sounds weird, but it works.

Brunch for two with service: around £25, or around £50 with cocktails.

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King's Cross
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The Good Egg

Stokey gives good brunch, but The Good Egg is where you’ll find queues out the door come the weekend. This stylish café with an open kitchen is a breezy daytime hangout and its brunch menu holds heaps of Middle-Eastern delights: think challah French toast and bacon and date pita. If you’re looking to stock up for the day ahead, the breakfast burrito packs in chorizo, eggs, sautéed spuds and more. But you’d be a fool not to dabble on the Iranian side of things here.

Don’t miss: Finish on a sweet note with sweet babka loaf for the table.

Brunch for two with service: around £30.

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Stoke Newington
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Grain Store

Weekend brunch at the Grain Store has many winning traits - not least a lovely location on Granary Square, plus some of the best American pancakes we’ve eaten: fluffy and vanilla-scented, with a big slab of butter on top and maple syrup. Those pancakes are at the conventional end of the menu, which has a number of dishes that are both innovative and distinctly un-brunch-like: laverbread, vegetable and quinoa cake for instance, or baked beetroot carpaccio. There's hardly an egg in sight.

Don't miss: Grain Store's kimchi omelette will kick-start any day.

Brunch for two with service: around £35

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King's Cross
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The best brunches in east London

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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. 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).

Don't miss: There's pisco-infused celery in Andina's answer to a bloody mary. Dios mio!

Brunch for two with service: around £35

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Shoreditch
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Beagle

Nestled under the increasingly gentrified railway arches north of Hoxton, Beagle couldn’t be more east London if it tried. However, the brunch tastes like 2016 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, smoked bacon hash tasting very indulgent indeed. It’s not cheap, but it’s definitely Sunday morning served over-easy.

Don't miss: Ricotta pancakes come with seasonal fruit for a sweet little start to your day.

Brunch for two with service: around £35

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Hoxton
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Berber & Q

Cosy up in among the pillowy banquettes at this Haggerston railway arch, where the sexy low lighting eases you gently into the day ahead and the smoky, meaty smells coming off the grill snap you right back to your senses. The daily pita is a meat feast with beef and mutton kofte topped with a pickled cucumber salad, but veggies can be just as smug with comforting Turkish eggs, poached and smothered in paprika butter and aleppo pepper. But if you’re brunching a deux, you better not miss the Israeli breakfast for two; an exotic mezze complete with roasted beets and honeyed feta.

Don’t miss: The harissa rose mary is one of the best twists on a classic bloody mary you’ll find in London, sweet and spicy all in one.

Brunch for two with service: around £30.

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Haggerston
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Blixen

The brunch menu here is short and sweet, but you’ll still struggle to decide between the blueberry pancakes with whipped mascarpone, a posh bacon and egg sarnie, and the ‘everything’ breakfast with, well, everything. Brunch is technically served 10am–2pm, but if it’s been a particularly heavy one, you can sleep it off and opt for the all-day menu, which includes the excellent potato rosti topped with salt beef and poached eggs, all slathered in mustard hollandaise. Your arteries might not thank you, but your hangover definitely will.

Don’t miss: That salt beef rosti. So good, it’s worth mentioning twice.

Brunch for two with service: around £20, or £40 with cocktails.

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Spitalfields
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Chick 'n' Sours

Yep, you’ve got it: chicken and cocktails. Well done, brunch-master. But listen, this place is so much more than poultry and a piss-up. Roll in from noon on weekends, choose either the brunch bun (a towering Korean-spiced burger with overflowing slaw and gochujang mayo), or an entire dressed chicken to share. Pick some perfectly-paired sours, some Asian-inspired sides and get ready for the most tender, crunchy and downright delicious chicken in Dalston. A visit to this colourful little coop will definitely make your weekend fly.

Don't miss: The dips. The tangy yuzu kosho mayo in particular is sure to ruffle a few feathers.

Brunch for two with service: around £40.

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Kingsland
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Decatur at Pamela

Say the words ‘Deep South’ to most Londoners and they'll probably think of West Norwood. Not the folks at Decatur: their residency at Pamela brings New Orleans-inspired cooking to Kingsland Road, and they’ve just branched out into brunch. Feeling shellfish? Check the soft-shell crab BLT or eggs Pont-Breaux with buttermilk biscuits and sloppy crawfish étouffée. Go bottomless on bloody marys or mimosas, then soak up the booze with pillowy beignets. You can sit outdoors but there’s but no espresso – Pammy doesn't own a coffee machine.

Don't miss: The Bloody Pammy – the pepper vodka base gives it extra firepower.

Brunch for two with service: around £30.

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Kingsland
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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.

Don't miss: The bacon naan is a London cult classic, but the akuri eggs are just as warming.

Breakfast for two with service: around £22

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Shoreditch
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Duck & Waffle

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.

Don't miss: Those views. Say good morning to the whole of the city.

Brunch for two with service: around £50

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Moorgate
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Hash E8

This friendly all-day Dalston café devoted to hash browns and all things porky has perfected the art of curing hangovers. Its quirky dishes strike the perfect balance between harnessing the restorative powers of fried bacon and wholesomeness (dishes sneak in a surprising amount of veg, from kale to homemade beans). The Posh Pig Muffin (made with five different pork products!) is worryingly good, and the vegetarian options are genuinely decent too for a place so in thrall to the trotter. Expect to queue at the weekend.

Don’t miss: The Posh Pig Muffin for your five-a-day.

Brunch for two with service: around £35.

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Dalston
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HotBox

Venue says: Come get your whistle whet. We're doing big pitchers of beer for just £12, every night from 6-7pm. And, y'know, really good ribs and that.

If your idea of brunch is a virtuous bowl of granola or some sort of chia seed concoction, you’re in the wrong place. Meat is the order of the day at Hotbox, with deliciously indulgent dishes including smoked meat hash, eight-hour smoked pork ribs and fried chicken and waffles. That said, the veggie options don’t feel like an afterthought – there's fiery huevos rancheros, truffle egg toast and crushed avocado on sourdough (obviously). Oh, and the portions are huge, which is definitely a good thing thing if you’re planning to make the most of their bottomless cocktails.

Don’t miss: The bloody marys – they’re served in huge tankards and there are five to choose from.

Brunch for two with service: around £20, or £70 with unlimited cocktails.

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Spitalfields
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The best brunches in south London

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Brother Marcus

Brooklyn-style brunching comes to Balham, with this buzzing project from three school besties. The Brother Marcus boys serve hip brunch dishes with a side of cocktails and silky smooth coffee. That extra NYC flavour comes from French toast sweetened up with maple syrup and cinnamon. The rest is reassuring egg and avo dishes that come piled on sourdough, of course. If you’re swerving that all-American style, stick with muesli with fruit as fresh as it comes.

Don’t miss: The Brother Special features scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, asparagus and a good kick from chilli flakes.

Brunch for two with service: around £25.

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Balham
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Fields

This park café on Clapham Common won't win any beauty pageants – it's a bleak-looking concrete box sited between a busy road and skateboard park, with sneakers dangling from the power lines overhead. But it’s been the Common’s best café since being taken over by the people behind trendy M1lk in Balham. At brunch, expect the standard egg, toast and cereal dishes, often given a bit of a twist and always made from carefully sourced raw materials.

Don't miss: Homemade crumpets are pretty perfect as comfort food away from the bacon and egg staples.

Brunch for two with service: around £20

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Clapham
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Foxlow Balham

Foxlow more than holds its own among Balham’s bevy of brunch spots – it’s big on the ’70s vibe and the olive-green leather banquettes are the ideal place to ensconce with the (provided) papers after a heavy night on the Clapham strip. As an all-day restaurant from the Hawksmoor team, it’s unsurprising that brunch is comforting meaty grub – the order du jour being the fried chicken, egg and croissant waffle. Veggies need not panic, though – the house granola is just as comforting.

Don’t miss: The especially-good drinks, including Vietnamese iced coffee and freshly squeezed grapefruit juice.

Brunch for two with service: around £30.

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Balham
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Honest Burgers

You won’t find many fancy flourishes or unexpected twists at Honest Burgers – but who cares? These guys know how to fry a seriously tasty piece of meat, and that’s what really matters when you’ve got a stomach that’s rumbling like a brick in a washing machine. The brunch menu is currently available at six of the restaurant’s 14 branches, featuring a range of hearty dishes that are all generously portioned. There’s a Brunch Burger if you can’t bear the thought of visiting Honest without tasting one of their juicy beef patties (and who could blame you?), but we’re fans of the enormous Honest Brunch which arrives on an enamel tray crammed with goodies and seems like it never ends.

Don’t miss: The mouthwatering meat that features in all but one of Honest’s brunch dishes.

Price for two with service: around £20.

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Tooting
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Iddu

Venue says: Iddu Tuesdays with our favourite band, Colomboloco ! Book your table now to brighten your Tuesday with good food and good music.

French yummy mamans and cute kids from the lycée congregate in this bustling Sicilian café for perfectly formed pastries, posh cereal bowls and virtuous egg-based breakfasts. Interior design nuts will swoon over patterned pottery and the vibrant colour palette, and on a sunny day, you could almost be on the Italian island. Naturally, iced coffee comes in a martini glass and the array of exotic juices are hand-pressed: this is a serious slice of la bella vita with surprisingly un-SW7 prices.

Don’t miss: Fresh cannoli served on a platter with three cute little bowls of nuts for dipping.

Brunch for for two with service: around £25.

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South Kensington
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Kricket

Feel the heat at Pop Brixton, where Kricket’s brunch goes big on unforgettable Indian small plates. The compact menu includes bhel puri, which sets your meal off to a sweet and spicy start with raw mango and tamarind, cooling yoghurt and crunchy sev noodles – a whole new take on the granola bowl. Fiery masala butter beans beat the tinned stuff for sure, and come with poached eggs delicately perched in the middle. If it’s sunny, grab bench seating outside their container and order a Bloody Maharaja.

Don’t miss: The stand-out brunch snack is the Goan sausage roll, with beautiful flaky pastry, pickled red onions and a warming meaty filling – give it a Goa.

Price for two with service: around £30.

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Brixton
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The Lido Café

This Herne Hill hotspot makes for the perfect place to load up on calories after a brisk morning swim - though you can eat here even if you haven’t taken a dip. Expect the likes of eggs benedict with sweet, juicy Gloucester Old Spot ham and tangy hollandaise sauce, or stacks of thick buttermilk and blueberry pancakes with maple syrup. If you don’t want to undo all the good work from your morning plunge, plump for one of the slimmer options such as organic porridge or granola with fruit compote and yoghurt. Locals love it.

Don't miss: Take your buttermilk waffles sweet (blueberries and lemon curd) or savoury (bacon and maple syrup).

Brunch for two with service: around £20

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Herne Hill
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London Particular

This small but perfectly formed café gets its name from the smog that choked our city back in the ’50s. But there isn’t much that’s unhealthy here. Quite the contrary: breakfast at London Particular is wholesome and satisfying. There’s a focus on seasonal produce, like mushrooms piled high on toast with spinach, goat’s cheese and a light lick of garlic or their brunch bowl, where the idea of a full English feels far removed from standard greasy spoon fare.

Don’t miss: A seat outside if it’s sunny. There’s not much space inside anyway, so you should bag an alfresco spot if you arrive early-ish.

Brunch for two with service: around £20.

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New Cross
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Milk (M1lk)

If your idea of a gentle awakening in the morning is a nice cup of tea listening to Radio 2, you’d best go elsewhere – you can hear the sound of deep house coming through M1lk's open french windows down the length of Hildreth Street. The coffee provides a good caffeine kick – Workshop always seems to feature among its suppliers – and the menu lists some interesting hot dishes, such as Kurdish baked eggs with chorizo, spinach, labneh and Turkish dried chilli.

Don't miss: Buckwheat pancakes with all kinds of heavenly toppings.

Brunch for two with service: around £20

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Balham
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Mud

If you fancy your brekkie sunny side up, this café staffed by proper Aussies makes for a bright start in Tooting. Breakfast or brunch is served until 3pm, and dishes from the short menu tend to be variations on a few key ingredients, such as avocado, bacon, pancakes, and good sourdough bread from the Blackbird Bakery. Smashed avocado is served the Australian way with feta crumbled on top.

Don't miss: Decent coffee is roasted by Ozone, making for an Antipodean wake-up call louder than a didgeridoo.

Brunch for two with service: around £30

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Tooting
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The best brunches in west London

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Dirty Bones

When it comes to brunch time, this funky restaurant likes to get down and dirty, so you better come with an empty belly. Think fat hot dogs, swanky toasties, and loaded burgers: the sort of delicious, New York-inspired stodge that will slay a hangover or lure you into a food coma. At the west London branch you can wash this good eatin’ down with the ‘boozy brunch flight’ – that’ll get you up to four cocktails, including a vicious dirty mary or prosecco.

Don’t miss: The chicken and waffles with a fried egg on top – a weird but wonderful American soul food classic which comes with a hearty splash of maple syrup on the side.

Brunch for two with service: around £30, or £50 with cocktails.

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Kensington
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Granger & Co

Bill Granger has built a TV cooking career out of selling the Aussie dream: lots of sunlight, casual vibe, easy-going photogenic dishes. This is one of his two London restaurants, and it ticks all the boxes: it's spacious and bright with big windows and verdant views. Less obvious brunch choices include a ginger prawn egg white omelette. Booking is essential – the place fills up quickly with affluent-looking folk.

Don't miss: A signature dish of ricotta hotcakes with banana and honeycomb butter; cloud-like lightness.

Brunch for two with service: around £45

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Westbourne
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The Ivy Kensington Brasserie

Brunch might look like a humble after-thought on The Ivy Kensington Brasserie’s all-day dining menu, but despite the limited options, you’re guaranteed to get impeccable food for a lazy but classy afternoon out west. The grilled buttermilk pancakes with bacon is a pretty number, but it’s the dishes with luscious poached eggs that really play to the crowd, whether it’s benedict or a veggie version of eggs royale, served with perfect, chunky chips on the side.

Don’t miss: The French dip – a steak sandwich with a mouth-watering combo of caramelised onions, horseradish mayonnaise with burgundy sauce and chips that ought to put any hangover to rights.

Brunch for two with service: around £40.

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Kensington
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Lowry & Baker

If you want to do more than a caffeine cut and run, sneak into a space at one of the tables and the staff will bring you own-made granola or pancakes, eggs on sourdough toast and other goodies, piled onto cutesy mismatched vintage crockery. A couple of simple hotplates behind the cake-laden counter do the job of a kitchen, making the beautifully poached eggs on avocado-spread bread with a mound of smoked salmon an even more impressive achievement.

Don't miss: Any of the avocado dishes are champion here.

Brunch for two with service: around £20 (cash only)

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North Kensington
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Parlour Kensal

One word: infinite bread bar. Ok, that’s three words, but it’s so exciting that we end up saying it really quickly, like omginfinitebreadbar. Basically, you show up at Parlour, order breakfast, walk up to the bread station (a station!) and toast yourself into a frenzy, take your pick of spreads and head back to your table. It’s all baked there too, and it’s great. Then there’s the house smoked salmon, which is seriously unreal, and the massive full English. Combine that with some great juices and drinks, and you’re all set. Also, omginfinitebreadbar.

Don’t miss: Do we really need to spell it out?

Brunch for two with service: around £35.

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Kensal Rise
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Polpo Notting Hill

What do you order when you go to an Italian restaurant for breakfast? Breakfast pizza, obviously! The morning menu at London’s first small plates purveyor is less unusual than its all-dayer, but that’s not to say it’s not worth tucking into. Poached eggs on a sort of broth of bright green veg called scafata is a great way to start the day, as is the considerably less healthy brunch pizzetta that’s topped with salsiccia, wild mushroom, parmesan and a runny-yolked egg. For those up for a breakfast booze, the bellini comes highly recommended.

Don’t miss: Normally pizza for brunch is reserved for sofa-bound hangovers. Now is your chance to embrace it in public.

Price for two with service: around £20.

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Notting Hill
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Snaps & Rye

This lovely Scandinavian restaurant, one of the best openings of 2014, features a short breakfast and brunch menu on Saturdays and Sundays. The choice might be from small dishes such as a boiled egg with their own-made (heavenly) rye bread and cheese, or a bowl of porridge or yogurt with granola and berry compote. There are also some more substantial and unusual dishes. Coffees from Nude include liquorice latte, a nod in the direction of Denmark's favourite sweet. Breakfast and brunch are now served all day, too. Bonus!

Don't miss: They serve a selection of the smørrebrød (open-face sandwiches) for which they are best known.

Brunch for two with service: around £30

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North Kensington

What about the weekdays?

London's best breakfasts

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, we've got plenty of options to make sure the most important meal of the day is also the tastiest. 

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By: Laura Richards

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