London's best breakfasts and brunches: the full list

When it comes to the weekend, cornflakes don't cut it. Here's where to find London's very best fry-ups, pastries and other breakfast treats
The best brunch in London, Beagle
© Jamie Lau
By Time Out London Food & Drink |
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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 boozy Sunday brunch, or a mouthwateringly meaty fry-up, don't miss the most important meal of the day. Do you agree with the choices? Use the comments box below or tweet your suggestions.

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The best breakfasts in London

Restaurants

Albion Neo Bankside

icon-location-pin Southwark

Breakfast is the main meal of the day here, with dishes ranging in size from toast and Marmite to a full English. If you don't fancy eggs, there's a selection of 'healthy breakfasts' majoring on cereals and fruit (but also including a 'super greens' frittata). Prices are on the high side, as you might expect from anything in this location.

Breakfast for two with service: around £35

Restaurants, French

Balthazar

icon-location-pin Covent Garden

The breakfast menu covers the usual eggs every-which-way (boiled with soldiers, florentine, egg-white omelette), to American-style pancakes with banana and maple syrup. The full English breakfast costs £15, but if you'd prefer something a little lighter (actually a lot lighter), porridge, fruit salad or granola are all good options.

Breakfast for two with service: around £30

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Bars and pubs, Gastropubs

Bull & Last

icon-location-pin Dartmouth Park

The breakfast 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. 

Breakfast for two with service: around £25

Restaurants, Global

Breads Etcetera

icon-location-pin Clapham

Every weekend there’s a queue of people out of the door of this bakery-cum-café. An enormous basket of freshly baked sourdough loaves graces the counter-top in the middle of the room: white or wholemeal, rye or seeds, all wonderful. The idea is to help yourself, cutting off as many slices as you like, and toasting them at your table. Vegan and vegetarian options are particularly strong, from the fruit-and-nut French toast to a vegan version of pyttipanna (Swedish bubble ’n’ squeak).

Breakfast for two with service: around £25

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Restaurants, Contemporary European

Chiltern Firehouse

icon-location-pin Marylebone

The most fashionable London restaurant du jour is virtually impossible to get a dinner reservation at, unless you're an A-list celeb. However, it does breakfast from 7-10.30am on weekdays and 9-11am on weekends. Be warned: prices are very high. Lobster and crab omelette costs £26, eggs benedict £14, granola £11, pancakes £12, a croissant £6 – but the dishes are all excellent. No bookings are taken, so arrive early – and smile. 

Breakfast for two with service: around £50

Restaurants, British

Dean Street Townhouse

icon-location-pin Soho

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 breakfast 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 £35

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Restaurants, Brasseries

The Delaunay

icon-location-pin Covent Garden

As with its famous sibling The Wolseley over in Piccadilly, breakfast at The Delaunay is a truly special affair. Similarly, too, baked goods are done spectacularly well: the beautiful display of pains au chocolat and muffins by the door is a threat or a promise – depending on whether you intend to struggle into those skinny jeans again. Settle into the handsome grand brasserie-style dining room and choose from consistently excellent breakfast standards.

Breakfast for two with service: around £30

Venue says Enjoy our Menu Rapide for just £13.50. It includes a classic tarte flambée, mixed leaf salad, glass of wine or beer and tea or coffee.

Restaurants, Indian

Dishoom

icon-location-pin Shoreditch

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.

Breakfast for two with service: around £22

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Restaurants, British

E Pellicci

icon-location-pin Bethnal Green

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

Restaurants, Cafés

Fields

icon-location-pin Clapham

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 breakfast or brunch, expect the standard egg, toast and cereal dishes, often given a bit of a twist and always made from carefully sourced raw materials.

Breakfast for two with service: around £20

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The best brunches in London

Restaurants, Peruvian

Andina

icon-location-pin Shoreditch

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).

Brunch for two with service: around £35

Restaurants, American

Barnyard

icon-location-pin Fitzrovia

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. Boozy brunchers can tank up on bourbon milkshakes or prosecco spritzes. 

Brunch for two with service: around £40

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The best brunch in London, Beagle
© Jamie Lau
Restaurants, British

Beagle

icon-location-pin Hoxton

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 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, smoked bacon hash tasting very indulgent indeed. It’s not cheap, but it’s definitely Saturday morning served over-easy.

Brunch for two with service: around £35

Bars and pubs

Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings

icon-location-pin Clerkenwell

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 French toast with bacon and maple syrup is an indulgent treat that veers close to pudding territory. 

Brunch for two with service: around £45

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The best brunch in London, Brickwood
© Rob Greig
Restaurants, Cafés

Brickwood

icon-location-pin Balham

It’s a brave caff that opens up a few doors away from M1lk in Balham, a local destination that sees queues out the door every weekend. But Brickwood has a track record: the original Clapham branch also does a roaring trade. Brickwood in Balham has upped the ante, with its beautifully crafted shack-like interior, extensive menu, and service from cheerful Aussies. Brunch is served until 3pm, with imaginative dishes such as wild mushrooms on brioche topped with a poached egg, balsamic oil and tarragon.

Brunch for two with service: around £30

Restaurants, Cafés

Caravan King's Cross

icon-location-pin 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. 

Brunch for two with service: around £35

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Restaurants, Contemporary European

Duck & Waffle

icon-location-pin Moorgate

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 for two with service: around £50

Restaurants

Electric Diner

icon-location-pin Westbourne

Snuggle into a cosy leather-lined booth or people-watch from the stools in the front window while easygoing, efficient staff ferry around dishes varying in scope from quinoa to a full English, with plenty of distractingly inventive options in between. Power up for a long work day with a small mountain of chilli-spiked avocado on crunchy granary toast, topped off with a perfect poached egg or a side of thick-cut peppered bacon – the stuff of porky dreams. Throw in coffee and a berry smoothie, and you can class the day as brilliant before it’s even begun.

Brunch for two with service: around £30

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Restaurants, British

Gail's Kitchen

icon-location-pin Fitzrovia

Upmarket bakery chain Gail’s is known for its pastries, cakes and dinky sandwiches, but its Bloomsbury branch also has a smarter, sit-down brasserie that serves brunch at weekends (10am-3pm). There are traditional dishes such as scrambled eggs with smoked salmon plus some more unusual items such as sweetcorn pancakes with tomato salsa. Baked goods are exemplary, as you would expect.

Brunch for two with service: around £35

Restaurants, Contemporary European

Grain Store

icon-location-pin King's Cross

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.

Brunch for two with service: around £35

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Discover these excellent egg dishes

egg dishes in London, Hoppers
© John Carey
Restaurants

Nine amazing egg dishes from around the world that you can try in London

It really doesn't matter how you like your eggs in the morning, because in London they're served every which way. Whether you love classic poached yolks perched proudly on muffins or bubbling pans of spicy scrambled scran, eggs are making their mark on the menu at some of the city’s best restaurants. Rise and shine for nine cracking egg dishes from all around the world, all served up on London's best breakfast tables. 

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