The 19 Best Breakfasts In London guide image


The 19 Best Breakfasts In London

Whether you need to impress at an early morning meeting, or the endorphin hit of your knife nudging open an oozing yolk, these are the best breakfasts in London.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Or, so your mum and that pseudoscience podcast you listen to say. Whether you need to impress at a breakfast meeting, or just need the endorphin hit of your knife gently nudging open an oozing yolk to kickstart the day, these are the places to go when early morning consumption is your priority. 


photo credit: Giulia Verdinelli

Towpath Cafe review image

Towpath Cafe


42 De Beauvoir Crst, London
Earn 3X Points

Sitting down to a glistening plate of multicoloured tomatoes on toast as the sun dances off of Regent’s Canal is the reason why Towpath is London’s most idyllic breakfast spot. The Haggerston cafe is strictly summer-only and its walk-in policy is much the same. On the weekend bikes will whizz past and chic crowds will gather, but swing by Wednesday to Friday at 9am, and you’ll have a much more peaceful breakfast experience. Crispy fried eggs with mojo verde and hulking spiced sausage sandwiches are favourites, but even if just for an alfresco coffee and pastry, Towpath Cafe is second to none.

Though Juliet's is a must-visit destination for brunch, the Tooting cafe is open from 9am daily for delicious breakfasts to jazz up dreary weeks. There’s a confident, creative panache to everything this cafe makes. Their benedict comes with smoked eel or rainbow trout and it’s smothered in deeply flavoured espresso hollandaise; their bread end waffles are paired with bitter almond ice cream or kalamansi lime curd; and their Montréal-style everything bagels are made in-house.

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photo credit: Anton Rodriquez

Koya Soho imageoverride image

Koya Soho



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Getting a counter seat at Koya, a Japanese udon bar with an open kitchen, is a foolproof start to the day. The Soho spot serves breakfast every day, which is just as well because after that inhaling the first bowl, you’ll want it with alarming regularity. The English breakfast udon bowl—a combination of crispy bacon, mushrooms, gooey egg, broth, and noodles—is a must-order. 

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Hash E8 review image

Hash E8

Perfect For:BrunchDelivery

Hash E8 in Dalston is an excuse-me-sorry-just-squeezing-by kind of place serving US-inspired breakfast food. There are cosy seats that put you elbow deep in someone else's plate, but that just invites conversation, even if it is to apologise for kicking over someone’s Cézanne tote bag. True to its American-inspired theme, there’s a steady flow of filter coffee and classics like french toast and pancakes, as well as a hearty chorizo and sweet potato hash.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Ta'mini Lebanese Bakery review image

Ta’mini Lebanese Bakery


Earn 3X Points

This small Lebanese bakery, slap bang in the middle of Fulham Road, makes excellent pastries. Put your daily croissant order to one side and survey the counter full of freshly baked fatayer (a bready pastry with anything from minced meat to a tangy sumac-heavy spinach filling). If you’re after a more substantial start to the day, manakish, a soft dough topped with cheese or za'atar, is the way to go.

Although Norman’s is only open from Wednesday to Sunday, the trendy Tufnell Park caff is a favourite for a young and mulleted crowd in dire need of aesthetically pleasing plates of bacon, bubble and squeak, beans, and whatever else you stomach is grumbling for. The vibe is slices of white bread and squeezes of ketchup in the most stylised but reasonably priced way. The breakfast sets are reliably delicious, though a chip butty can go a long way too. That said, it might also see you stagger back to your duvet.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

The Quarter Kitchen review image

The Quarter Kitchen

A churchyard isn’t a conventional breakfast spot, but The Quarter Kitchen isn’t a conventional place. The Mexican kiosk, round the back of St John at Hackney church, slings excellent breakfast burritos—tortilla-swaddled scrambled eggs, sausage, hash brown, American cheese, and salsa roja—plus hearty egg, bacon, and hash brown tacos. One important thing to note about the simple seating setup is that it’s alfresco and open to the elements, although everything is available to take away. But they’re breakfast dishes we’d brave outdoor seating for even in winter. 

The Stoke Newington cafe is best-known for its weekend brunch that has N16 locals lining up outside like it’s a YMC sample sale. But the equally lovely weekday breakfast served from 8am until midday is a much less busy affair. Like the brunch plates, breakfast at Esters is equal parts comforting as it is creative. Bodega-style breakfast sandwiches (if said bodega stocked Perelló olives and biodynamic wines) with egg, honey mustard mayo, cheddar, and wild garlic are the perfect example.

photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch

Heart Of Balham review image

HOB ~ Heart Of Balham

Perfect For:BrunchHalal
Earn 3X Points

In an area filled with excellent breakfast options, this North African cafe on Balham high street is one that will have you googling house prices in SW12. A cosy little spot that’s often packed on the weekend, this is the place to come for an excellent halal full English. Just about everything on the menu that includes their roasted seasoned potatoes is a winner. If you’re torn between the buttermilk pancakes or another hot chocolate with marshmallows, get both. And Moroccan m’semen for dessert and thank us later.

Some days you wake up and want someone waiting on you with a butter dish and a freshly ironed newspaper as you carve the top off of your boiled egg. For those days, there’s The Twenty Two, a grand Edwardian manor turned hotel in Mayfair. There’s a calming energy in the morning, and it’s one of the only times you’ll remember that you’re on the ground floor of a hotel. The breakfast crowd ranges from guests starting their day with a full English, to people in suits discussing business over ricotta and blueberry pancakes. Best of all, you can come wearing jeans and your friend in their electric pink co-ord, and neither of you will look out of place.

Whether you’ve got out-of-towners to impress or it’s payday, starting your day at The Wolseley is an experience you’re not likely to forget. You’ll walk past Green Park, up to their beautiful double door entrance, and the doorman will let you in. As you first glimpse this huge jaw-dropper of a space, you’ll think that getting this kind of treatment before your first coffee of the day is a human right. Around you business breakfasts are happening over seasonal berry pancakes that are as thick as a bible, groups of tourists order a full English each, and someone is getting a birthday viennoiserie and eggs benedict. Starting your day here is just glorious. 

Going to Pophams in Hackney is sort of like starting your day in a lovely, whitewashed dough factory where the setting is just as photogenic as the passion fruit and mango custard pastries. As well as excellent coffee, this place has great options if you find choosing between sweet or savoury super taxing. A lot of the best things here include both—yes, we’re looking at you bacon and maple danish. 

A raging perfectionist, Hide is a huge three-storey, and somewhat ridiculous, Mayfair restaurant that doesn’t do breakfast by halves. Arrive via a private lift from the car park or waft up the sweeping oak staircase, like you aren’t usually swigging from a Sports Direct mug and microwaving eggs at this time of the morning. Which brings us to the food—expect everything from smoked maple butter banana bread, to Porthilly oysters with caviar, to a seriously tarted-up version of your classic full English. 

Don’t be put off by the fact that the Regency is London’s most famous, best-looking, and most photographed cafe. It’s also—alongside E. Pellicci—its best. Portions are generous without being too much, which is why you should get your plate loaded up with as much as you can afford. The fact that your order will be yelled to the room when it’s ready shouldn’t deter you from being a glutton. There’s no shame here. And hearing Claudia holler ‘full English, beans, all the extras, twice’ is the reason you came.

E. Pellicci opened in 1900 and has been run by the same family ever since. If you’re looking for a slap on the back, a joke about your mum, and a fry-up so big you’ll need a half-time break, then this is the place to go. The food is all about comfort. They serve some fairly epic fry-ups, which includes the long-forgotten, much-loved, heart disease-inducing fried bread. The rest of the menu is made up of old-school Italian classics, including a lasagna that is likely to put you into a deep coma.

This old-school American-style grill room in the Beaumont Hotel is the kind of place you want to merrily grow old in, until one day you keel over into your perfect pile of mixed berry buttermilk pancakes. There are plenty of big red leather booths, crisp pink tablecloths, and black and white portraits of Hollywood screen sirens to make you feel appropriately Mayfair fancy. But there are also breakfasts that’ll shut your stomach up until dinner time. All the usual suspects are here, but there are also some wild cards that are worth a try, like the duck egg hash or the savoury cucumber yoghurt pot.

There’s a reason why everyone—from your neighbour to your boyfriend’s little sister’s best friend’s mum’s dog walker—has recommended the Dishoom bacon and egg naan. It is really, really, really good. So good you’ll probably want more than one. Of all the Dishooms, the Shoreditch branch is one of the best, mostly because it has a chilled-out atmosphere. There’s a nice verandah with wicker chairs that’s made for warm days, and the booths overlook busy Shoreditch High Street and City skyscrapers in the distance.

Ozone is less a coffee shop and more of a breakfast emporium. Food at this Leonard Street outpost ranges from an excellent kedgeree to roasted hispi cabbage with whipped tofu. During the week you’ll be sitting among people pitching up with their laptops and catching up over miso granola. Expect to fight for seats at the counter if you’re someone who chooses violence in the morning, or get to know your neighbours on one of the massive shared tables.

Ottolenghi, the veg-forward cafe in Islington, is the place that made London fall in love with salad, firing dozens of fresh flavours on to each plate in a way that wasn’t just healthy but also exciting. Salads are the main draw, but it’s also a reliable choice first thing in the morning, whether you’re craving polenta cakes or some bacon, eggs, and focaccia. And the five locations mean it’s a go-to around the city.

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Suggested Reading

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The 28 Best Brunches In London

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