Apparently it’s the most important meal of the day, and the simple, bog-standard fry-up cuts the mustard no more. Whether you’re doing business over flat whites and posh bacon sarnies, or having a lazy weekend brunch, the streets are brimming with a wealth of top-notch restaurants for breakfast in London.
1. Hawksmoor Guildhall Book Hawksmoor Guildhall
Mac daddy of the steak, king of the breakfast. Not content with reigning supreme for the best steaks and burgers around, Hawksmoor has been hailed as one of the best places to start the day. Mustering all its carnivorous strength, the gargantuan Hawksmoor breakfast for 2 to share includes smoked bacon chop, short rib bubble and squeak, meaty grilled bone marrow, trotter baked beans and trademark HP gravy. Less hefty choices might include lobster benedict or Manx kipper and poached eggs. If you need a nudge to wake you up, there are a host of breakfast cocktails including ‘Shaky Pete’s Ginger Brew,’ containing gin, homemade ginger syrup & lemon juice, topped with London Pride.
2. Aqua Shard Book Aqua Shard
Not that you need an excuse to look at the view from the 31st floor of The Shard, but the breakfast Aqua Shard is yet another reason to head skyward. There are few more breathtaking spots to tuck into a full English, although the glamorous location may well entice you to indulge in the decadent lobster Benedict with poached eggs on toasted muffins.
3. Roast Book Roast
Foodie paradise Borough Market is an undoubted hotspot for breakfast in London. Roast sits proudly above the world-famous market, and offers an unsurprisingly impressive selection of dishes packed with fresh, local produce. Highlights for early risers include avocado on sourdough with tomatoes and poached duck egg, and the full Scottish, complete with smoked streaky bacon, black pudding, haggis, tattie scone, sausages and your choice of egg.
4. Bad Egg
From barbecue maestro Neil Rankin, Bad Egg is, you guessed it, an egg specialist. Popping up at Neil’s Little Smoke restaurant each weekend, Bad Egg has become a brunch institution, serving up the likes of cheeseburger hash with a fried egg, guacamole and poached egg on toast, and pulled pork, beans and kimchi on toast. The bottomless brunch option brings a hair of the dog touch to this ultimate of hangover cures.
5. The Wolseley
Inspired by the tradition of the Austrian grand café, The Wolseley is surely the most celebrated spot for breakfast in London, with a loyal celebrity following including gastronomic connoisseur chef, Heston Blumenthal. The classic eggs Benedict with an immaculate hollandaise sauce are a must, whilst haggis fried duck eggs offers something a little different. You don’t have to be rolling in it to have a decent breakfast here, but it feels like somewhere special. However, if you are feeling flush, there’s a luxurious caviar omelette, a snip at £80!
6. Foxlow Book Foxlow
Hawksmoor’s little sister, Foxlow has become a staple on the London brunch scene, particularly its fried chicken, egg and croissant waffle. Joined on the menu by a bottomless bloody Mary, other morning masterpieces include squash with avocado and poached eggs on toast, and steak with harissa yoghurt and roast tomato.
Housed within a Grade-II listed Victorian grain store, Caravan screams cool – from its open kitchen to its on-site coffee roastery, via its signature breakfast and brunch. Adding a real twist to breakfast tradition, dishes include grain pancake with maple mascarpone, pomegranate and walnut salsa, aubergine puree with poached eggs and merguez sausage on sourdough toast, and coconut bread with lemon curd cream cheese and poached rhubarb.
8. Urban Coterie Book Urban Coterie
On the 16th floor of the M By Montcalm Hotel, the view from Urban Coterie is worth getting up for. The bottomless brunch is as enticing as the view, with eggs Benedict, duck confit, and waffles with caramelised pear joined by unlimited mimosas.
9. The Riding House Café
As well as offering one of the best Sunday roasts in London, The Riding House Café is also a hit with breakfast set. Eggs hussard with spinach, thick ham and rich bordelaise is an excellent and mildly quirky twist on the classic, while chorizo hash browns with curly kale and fried eggs is one of the most popular breakfast dishes. To accompany your breakfast, there are some top-notch juices and smoothies, like The Racer, comprising chocolate, espresso, banana and chocolate liqueur.
10. Pimlico Fresh
Pimlico Fresh is a haven for hungover and non-hungover diners alike. Avocado, chargrilled bacon, juicy-sweet red cherry tomatoes, and wholegrain toast alongisde a steaming-hot mug of strong coffee are sure to repair some damage. Rustic bench tables allow for laidback communal dining in front of elegantly scrawled big blackboards with daily specials.
11. Duck & Waffle
A breakfast icon, Duck & Waffle specialises in what it says on the tin – duck, and waffle. The highest 24/7 restaurant in Europe, signature confit duck with fried duck egg and mustard maple syrup is served on the 40th floor of 110 Bishopsgate in London. This is truly starting the day on a high.
12. E Pellicci
When talking about breakfast in London, you can’t overlook a classic fry-up. E Pellicci is about as authentic as it gets – a family-run East End cafe, once frequented by The Krays, this place is more cockney than a knees-up in the Queen Vic.
13. Balans Soho Society Book Balans
Open 24 hours, Balans is the stuff of London legend. Fuelling those still enjoying the night before, or those recovering, the Balans breakfast menu is a hearty affair. As well as a classic full English, there’s day-starters with a kick like the breakfast burrito with spiced scrambled eggs, or for something more lavish, the high society eggs Benedict comes with poached eggs, lobster, avocado and bacon.