What makes a breakfast great? Crispy bacon? Quick service? The best freshly brewed coffee? A good breakfast should have everything you need to kick start the day with positive energy. London has so much to offer when it comes to breakfast and brunch that it can be almost overwhelming to find what you’re looking for. Whether you’re on holiday looking for the best eggs benedict in south London or you’re hungover and need one of the best fry ups to bounce back, we have you covered with our guide to the best breakfasts in the capital.
By the way, don’t forget to check out the best hostels in London.
- Most Exciting Breakfast Menu in Town – Brother Marcus
No one does breakfast quite like Brother Marcus. Their breakfast menu is teeming with original dishes inspired by modern Eastern Mediterranean cuisines like harissa fried eggs, Shakshuka with poached eggs and a mouth-watering selection of mezze including grilled halloumi. You may have seen their stunning Sweet Potato Fritters dish on Instagram already. We highly recommend this delicious stack of gluten-free fritters made with sweet potato, courgette and feta and topped with avocado, kale, turmeric yoghurt and a poached egg. With four locations, including central London, Brother Marcus, you don’t have to travel far to sample their amazing brunch menu.
- Best Traditional Full English – Hawksmoor Guildhall
Some mornings you wake up, your belly grumbles and the only answer for it is a traditional fry-up. If you’re looking for a bang-up, spot-on full English breakfast, look no further than the Hawksmoor Guildhall. Featuring all the trimmings; plump, succulent sausages, crispy bacon, fried eggs, black pudding, freshly baked beans, mushrooms and roasted tomatoes and we suggest adding their signature option of bone marrow (because why not!?). Their breakfast menu also includes breakfast cocktails and essential staples done well; from eggs benedict to brioche French toast. Tuck in!
- Best Fried Eggs – Polo Bar
The keys to a perfect fried egg are the quality of the egg, the skillet it’s fried in and the chef should pour some hot oil or fat over the egg while it’s cooking to get the edges nice and crispy. No one understands that better than Polo Bar which offers an extensive breakfast menu but the star of the show is the full English with the crispiest, tastiest fried eggs in town.
- Best Pancakes – Where the Pancakes Are
Where the Pancakes Are have truly mastered the art of the pancake. Their menu boasts an immense variety of pancakes to satisfy any customer, from sweet buttermilk pancakes to savoury dinner dishes to be washed down with some freshly brewed coffee. Our favourites are the Royal pancakes that come with St. Ewe’s poached eggs, smoked salmon, tarragon and asparagus, topped with zesty Hollandaise sauce. If you have a sweet tooth, we’d recommend the Dutch Baby; an American interpretation of a German oven-baked buttermilk pancake recipe with roasted apples, toasted almonds and vanilla cream.
- Best Signature Dish – Dishoom
It wouldn’t be a list of London eateries without Dishoom. This London institution offers the most creative twists on Bombay cuisine in town but did you know their morning meals are also exceptional? Try the Kejriwal, two fried eggs on chilli cheese toast or the Akuri, scrambled eggs spiced and served in a bun with grilled tomatoes. The real showstopper is their signature breakfast: the bacon naan. Streaky Scottish bacon smoked over Applewood and Beechwood chips paired with cream cheese, chilli tomato jam and coriander and served in a fragrant, fluffy naan. This dish is pure heaven and is rightfully crowned as the king of bacon sandwiches.
- Eat Breakfast with a View – Duck and Waffle
If you’re feeling peckish for a Sunday morning brunch but want a seat with a panoramic view get your butt to Duck and Waffle. Located in the Heron Tower, you will have an incomparable view of the capital as you feast on one of the best waffle breakfasts in the Big Smoke. We suggest ordering the eponymous dish, a crispy duck leg confit with a fried duck egg on a dense, fluffy waffle. For those of you with vertigo, maybe stick to a ground-floor spot!
- Best Traditional London Caff – Regency Cafe
London is famous for its greasy spoons, what the locals call caffs, not cafes; unpretentious interiors and cracking food at an affordable price that has been keeping London bellies full for decades. The Regency Cafe has been open since 1946 and is so synonymous with central London that it has been used as a shooting location for many TV shows and films. Cut into the runniest soft-boiled eggs and savour the crispiest hash browns around at the Regency.
- Best Porridge – 26 Grains
Sometimes, one of the best breakfasts you can have is a warm hug that’s healthy enough to help you take on the day. 26 Grains in Covent Garden is a Danish-inspired specialist offering a vast range of porridges, birchers and toasties. With so many sweet and savoury choices, it can be hard to pick but some stand-out dishes are the mozzarella toastie with roasted red peppers, cheddar, basil with aioli and the porridge with stewed stone fruit, cherry molasses, greek yoghurt and almond brittle.
- Fanciest Breakfast – Hide Restaurant
If you’re looking for something a bit more special and fancy to start your day, book a table at Ollie Dabbous’s Michelin-starred Hide restaurant. Exquisite furnishings, unparalleled ambiance and elite service help make this one of London’s most luxurious breakfasts but the food is worth the price tag. Their menu offers a divine array of unique viennoiseries and tantalising twists on brunch staples like the cacklebean eggs with spiced butterbeans, tomato & smoked paprika. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, there’s also caviar and oysters. Treat yourself!
If we’re talking about a traditional British breakfast, the ‘full English’ or a ‘fry-up’ is the go-to dish. This feast is usually compiled of sausages, streaky bacon, black pudding, baked beans, fried eggs (or sometimes scrambled eggs), mushrooms and tomatoes. The Scottish variation features fried haggis too. Be sure to have the appetite to conquer this hearty breakfast as it is a lot!
The full English experience is widely available, from greasy spoon caffs to upscale brasseries and Michel-starred restaurants but roughly it can cost 6 pounds at its lowest and anywhere to 25 pounds at its most expensive. This obviously depends on the quantity and quality of the ingredients used.
London is a huge, diverse city that is home to communities from all over the world and as a result, you can sample food from every corner of the globe. You can enjoy some of the tastiest Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Jamaican, Nigerian, Middle Eastern, and Brazilian cuisine in the world. The hard part is deciding on which one you want!
London is a bustling metropolis and many people eat on the go but lots of commuters have a sit-down breakfast before work. On the weekends the breakfast rush will be a bit later, around 11 a.m. as most people are enjoying a bit of a lie-in so it’s better to arrive early.