Beyond fish and chips, roasts, or pie and mash, the full English is our true national dish. But London takes breakfast to another level. From bacon chops and insanely rich black pudding to a steaming bowl of noodle soup with a fried egg floating on top, this is your bucket list of fry-ups in the city. And not an avocado in sight.
Take a look at five bangin’ breakfast spots in the city, as selected by Time Out:
The best full English breakfasts in London
Breakfast for two, £37
The capital’s undisputed masters of meat offer up pretty much the whole farm for two to gorge upon, from snout to tail. Think: a whole bacon chop, black pudding, bubble and squeak studded with melting nuggets of short rib and trotter baked beans.
English Breakfast Udon, £11.10
A steaming bowl of noodle soup spiked with thick slices of streaky bacon, and a fried egg floating on the top – this isn’t the most conventional Full English but it is one of the capital’s most potent hangover cures. Intrigued? You should be.
Create Your Own Breakfast, £6.95
Two words – DIY breakfast. (Three more – no cooking required). There’s a list of over 20 items to choose from here in Lewisham, from the usual suspects to more recherché fare like liver. Maths isn’t our strongest suit, but that’s basically infinite fry-up combos. Right?
The (No Subs) Full Parlour Breakfast, £13.75
This boozer-turned-restaurant in Kensal Rise is definitely the sort of place that you sidle down to with a newspaper. Head chef Jesse is known for his playful takes on British classics, but they turn out a flawless full English, too, with perfectly crisp bacon, golden-yolked eggs and great big hash brown cakes. Definitely don’t miss out on the all-you-can-eat DIY toast, waiting to be slathered with just about every topping imaginable. The soda bread is pretty damn good, too.
The Veggie Breakfast, £8.50
There’s still a bit of fish on the menu, but this sunny pavilion in Victoria Park has recently gone 95% veggie. Homemade beans, halloumi and frilly fried eggs mean you won’t miss meat – other major draws include dreamy views over the lake.
Fry up £11.50
Breakfast at this laid-back fusion bar and café in Marylebone is served in the Tapa Room, named after the Rarotongan Tapa cloth that decorates the wall. Expect runny-middled eggs, slow-roasted tomatoes and streaky bacon.
Cooked Breakfast, £12
Formerly a Soho brothel and home to Karl Marx (not at the same time, we assume), today Quo Vadis’s stained-glass windowed salon is the perfect place to indulge in a lengthy breakfast. Local and seasonal ingredients cooked to perfection are this place’s calling card, and their Full English reflects that.
Full English, £6
Swanky Pimlico may be the last place you’d expect to find an honest-to-God greasy spoon, but the Regency in Victoria has been serving up flawless cooked breakfasts on Formica-topped tables since 1946. Expect crisp-edged fried eggs with yolks that ooze liquid gold when you prick them.
Full English £12.50
Something of a breakfast-life-changer, this Barnsbury hangout has the kind of morning service that you’ll want to compulsively tell strangers about. The Full English is massive, and comes with sautéed potatoes.
The Works, £11
This Borough caff is very much a diamond in the rough, boasting a commitment to quality, locally sourced produce. ‘The Works’ gets you a plate jam-packed with pretty much all of the meat that Smithfield Market has to offer.
Find more great breakfasts in London
Start your day as you mean to go on with a breakfast of champions at these London restaurants and cafés with a morning spring in their step. Whether you're looking for a local spot or a place on your way into work, or if you need to impress with a business meeting location par excellence, these places know how to give good egg.