One of the questions I get asked the most from friends or on social media is where to eat the best breakfast in the city. My answer to that is always …
1. This is a big city and there are so many good places to eat breakfast!
2. What’s your budget? Location? Occasion? Mood?
The breakfast and brunch scene in London has tripled in size to when I first moved to London in 2011 and it continues to grow with a new place popping up nearly every week. Well, it feels like that, anyway! Breakfast has become my absolute favourite meal to eat out and the choice, quality and creativity in London has made that experience so much easier and enjoyable.
I’ve put together a series of some of the best breakfast and brunch spots in each area that I’ve eaten at, loved and would recommend to you hungry lot out there. To make it easier, I’ve also narrowed it down to area depending on where you live or where you are staying in the city.
Here are, in no particular order, London’s Best Breakfasts & Brunch | Central London.
Sister restaurant to the iconic Duck & Waffle in East London, Duck and Waffle Local is a slightly more casual and affordable affair than its swankier bigger sibling. As the name suggests expect lots of duck inspired dishes with their confit duck leg and waffle being their signature dish. If you’ ‘re a vegetarian don’t fret. There are plenty of other options for you and a great selection of waffles for those with a sweet tooth in the morning.
Why go? To experience Duck & Waffles signature food but without the price tag.
52 Haymarket, St. James’s, London SW1Y 4RP, duckandwafflelocal.com
2. Circolo Popolare, Soho
Circolo Popolare landed in London just a year or two ago and quickly gained a reputation for being the most beautiful restaurant in London. They do a selection of both sweet and savoury brunch dishes such as eggs florentine with Tuscan ham and thick french toast layered with Italian mascarpone. All dishes are served on tableware worthy of an Instagram snap. They get VERY busy so booking is essential.
Why go? To get a good Instagram snap.
40-41 Rathbone Pl, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1HX, www.bigmammagroup.com/en/trattorias/circolo-popolare
Inspired by the cafes of Bombay, Dishoom is one of London’s most sort after breakfast haunts. They have a really unique take on breakfast with such items as their naan bread bacon sandwiches, bottomless date porridge and a giant Bombay breakfast which is a twist on the classic English fry up. Don’t leave without a cup of their homemade sweet and spicy chai tea. Book in advance or expect to queue.
Why go? For something a bit different.
12 Upper St Martin’s Ln, London WC2H 9FB, www.dishoom.com
The Black Penny is a chic café just off Covent Garden with bare brick walls and funky lighting. The breakfast menu is substantial and creative and categorised into classic dishes, breakfast hash’s and oats. The salt beef hash with a poached egg is a particularly popular option. A great choice for anyone who loves their coffee, also.
Why go? If you love coffee as well as breakfast.
34 Great Queen St, London WC2B 5AA, www.theblackpenny.com
Balans Soho Society originated in Soho (hence the name) but now have cafes across London. They’re an effortless place to grab breakfast with a menu ranging from classic full English to a fancier lobster eggs benedict. Their pancakes are some of the best around (See London’s Best Pancakes here) A great all-rounder for both a casual or a special breakfast.
Why go? A place to please everyone.
34 Old Compton St, Soho, London W1D 4TS, www.balans.co.uk
This Danish bakery is most famous for their cinnamon buns which, in my opinion, are perfectly acceptable for breakfast. However, if you want something a bit less sugary in the morning they do a small menu of topped toasts, eggs and oats. A good solo breakfast spot. See all of London’s best cinnamon buns here.
Why go? For their famous cinnamon social or a fuss-free buy at the counter breakfast.
Unit 8, 67-79 Charing Cross Rd, London WC2H 0NE, oleandsteen.co.uk
Lundenwic are a small, minimalist ‘Scandi-esque’ coffee shop just off Covent garden. They have a cozy basement area for seating and a small but fantastic brunch menu. Their avocado on toast is some of the best around. A perfect little spot for some scandi ‘hygge’ in London.
Why go? For the best avocado toast ever!
45 Aldwych, London WC2B 4DW, www.lundenwic.com
The Wolseley are a modern European restaurant in central London. Inside has a grand art deco design and a feeling of extravagance about it. The Wolseley is not just your bog-standard breakfast, it’s an entire experience. Tea is served in silver teapots and the waiters wear classic black and white uniforms which transports back to the 1920s. Just because it’s a bit fancy doesn’t mean portions are small. Just look at those pancakes! A perfect place for a breakfast for a special occasion.
Why go? To treat yourself.
160 Piccadilly, St. James’s, London W1J 9EB, www.thewolseley.com
Dirty Bones do an NYC-inspired brunch menu of hearty food & cocktails. They’re not one to visit if you want a healthy granola or a green juice but if you’re in the mood for chicken and waffles and steak and eggs, this is the one for you. Expect a grungy and edgy atmosphere. A great one for a boozy brunch.
Why go? If you’re not watching your calories and love cocktails.
14 Denman St, Soho, London W1D 7HJ, dirty-bones.com
Abuelo is an Australian/South American coffee-house and kitchen. The space is small with a large communal kitchen table for you to connect with those around you over coffee, cake and brunch. Sits just off the hustle and bustle of Covent Garden.
Why go? If you don’t mind communal seating.
26 Southampton St, London WC2E 7RS, abuelocafe.co.uk
Voted as Europe’s best independent coffee shop, Timberyard doubles as a friendly workspace for anyone living that laptop lifestyle (purchases are required). However, you don’t have to have a laptop to visit for a speciality tea and a pick of their breakfast menu. It’s a lovely bright space with sleek wood design and large windows. A good one for a solo breakfast.
Why go? For a place to work without feeling guilty.
7 Upper St Martin’s Ln, London WC2H 9DL, www.tyuk.com
Jacob The Angel are an independent coffee house, as well as eatery and bakery. They serve Square Mile coffee which goes perfectly with their pastries with are made fresh in house every single day. If you prefer they do a small selection of sourdough with a variety of toppings. A cosy, sort after spot in the lovely Neals Yard.
Why go? To enjoy the sights and bustle of Neal’s Yard
16A Neal’s Yard, London WC2H 9DP, www.jacobtheangel.co.uk
26 grains also sits in Neal’s Yard. This sweet spot is London’s one & only porridge cafe specialising in sweet and savoury oats. Rest assured this isn’t one of those ‘fad’ places. Their cracking bowls of oats are beautiful and laden with healthy nut butter, fresh fruits and alternative milk. If you’re not a fan of porridge they also do a small alternative breakfast menu. Limited seating inside but plenty outside.
Why go? If you love porridge.
1 Neal’s Yard, London WC2H 9DP, www.26grains.com
Lantana are a popular Aussie brunch spot just behind London’s busiest shopping destination, Oxford Street. Pop in for a stack of their sweetcorn fritters with bacon, chilli jam and a poached egg. There are not many tables in this small cafe but it’s worth the wait. Book a table in advance if you can.
Why go? A nice brunch before shopping.
13 Charlotte Pl, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1SN, www.lantanacafe.co.uk
Chiltern Firehouse are a sophisticated dining room inside a former fire station and 5* hotel. It’s a real destination for a swankier breakfast, popular with celebrities including Lindsey Lohan and Dr Who’s Matt Smith who has been spotted multiple times.
Why go? To spot a celeb.
1 Chiltern St, Marylebone, London W1U 7PA, www.chilternfirehouse.com
This California style restaurant is dedicated to all things Avocado. It’s easy to think that this might be a bit of a fad breakfast spot but it has both style and substance. Of course, you’ll find your classic avocado toasts but it’s joined by things like avocado on sweet potato with coconut cream, avocado eggs benedict and pancakes with avocado butter. The perfect place for avocado lovers.
Why go? If you love avocado, of course!
24 Henrietta St, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8ND, www.avobar.co.uk
Named after the 80’s cult hit movie, The Breakfast Club is the perfect retro hangout to nurse a hangover or just when you want a good substantial all-day breakfast. There’s something for everyone on their huge menu of eggs, breakfast sandwiches and pancakes. A funky and trendy spot with no reservations. Expect to queue.
Why go? To nurse a hangover.
33 D’Arblay St, Soho, London W1F 8EU, www.thebreakfastclubcafes.com
20. Eggslut, Fitzrovia
If you like eggs in the morning, Eggslut is the place for you. They first made a name for themselves in NYC and in the last year have brought their famous egg inspired breakfast to the UK. They’re most famous for their Fairfax sandwich which has a soft buttery, scrambled eggs inside a fluffy brioche bun topped with cheddar, caramelized onion, They also do other flavours such as egg, cheese & bacon and egg, cheese & sausage. Can be ordered to sit in or takeaway.
Why go? If you love eggs.
19 Percy St, Bloomsbury, London W1T 1DY, http://www.eggslut.uk/
The Savoy is one of London’s most beautiful and most iconic hotels. While a stay there should be on your list, you don’t have to be a guest to dine at the restaurant. Breakfast is served at The Grill which is ran under the name of Gordon Ramsey himself. It’s a quintessentially British experience you will be hard pushed to find elsewhere. The menu has all your breakfast favourites styled with 5* flare! The English breakfast and the home-made dulce de leche pastry are not to be missed.
Why go? For a 5* Experience.
Strand, London, WC2R 0EU, https://www.gordonramsayrestaurants.com/savoy-grill
Wait! Before you go…
You might also be interested in these other breakfast posts.