The Full English Breakfast Guide
Because there's no better way to start your day.
There’s breakfast. There’s brunch. There’s that pack of Soreen bars you ate at 2pm after claiming you “only eat one meal a day”. But none of those hit quite the same as a full English. Because there’s something undeniably satisfying about constructing a bite with the perfect ratio of sausage, beans, scrambled egg, mushroom, bacon, and buttered toast. And yet excellent versions aren’t found on every high street—but you can find them on this list. Here are our favourite spots to get a hearty breakfast that will inevitably end in you unbuttoning everything.
photo credit: Karolina Wiercigroch
E. Pellicci manages to juggle being both a tourist destination for those seeking a glorious, coronary-inducing fry-up and a stalwart for regulars who have been coming to the Bethnal Green caf for donkey’s years. Plates here are whatever you want them to be, but its gargantuan English breakfast is royalty in these parts. Purists may argue against the inclusion of hash browns but nobody can deny that bubble and squeak always elevates our much contested national dish.
photo credit: Giulia Verdinelli
This classic all-day brasserie in Mayfair is grand and bright, and just a little medieval thanks to the black pillars, vaulted ceiling, and huge wrought iron chandeliers. Short of having Olivia Coleman serenade you with God Save The Queen over your toast, having a full English here is the most British way you can start your day. Yes, it’s £22 but it’s a huge portion, and if you’re rolling here as a pair, sharing this and another dish is an excellent game plan.
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photo credit: Norman's
The Tufnell Park cafe prides itself on faultless, high-quality British breakfast and lunch classics. Plates of food and white bread sandwiches that make you wistful for the playground or gasping for someone to put the kettle on. The breakfast sets are reliably delicious and a plate of sausage, egg, bacon, hash browns, and beans is a fine way to start your day. Though be aware that it will happily lead you straight back to bed.
The legendary Westminster cafe is just as popular with tourists as it is with blokes named Terry. One thing that never changes inside its beautiful black tiled exterior is the blood-curdling cries that are shouted through to the kitchen after you order. ‘FULL ENGLISH! Double eggs! Extra black pudding!’. A fried breakfast here is never not an event.
In an area filled with excellent brunch options, this North African cafe on Balham High Road is the one that will have you searching for flats in SW12. A cosy 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 the roasted seasoned potatoes is a winner, but stick with the full English—it comes with enough of those little fried bites to ensure you won’t run out while you work your way through the rest of the plate. With grilled mushrooms, beans, a halal beef sausage, halal turkey bacon, and scrambled eggs, you won’t be needing another meal for a while. Except maybe the Moroccan msemmen for dessert.
Lumi is an all-day cafe in Camden that serves things like creole chicken waffles, hot salt beef sandwiches, and—deep breath—curly fries, but still respects the classic eggy stuff. And by respect we mean make pretty excellent versions of. Take the classic fry-up that comes with hash browns. A delicious, satisfying dish that’s made all the more satisfying by ordering some curly fries on the side.
The phrase ‘this is nice isn’t it’ is guaranteed to be said by at least one member of your group if you head to Cafe Beam on Westbourne Grove. Maybe they’re referring to the hanging lights or the exposed brick, maybe it’s the spaciousness of it all, or maybe it’s the brunch menu that includes three different remixes of a full English, with vegetarian and vegan options. We’ll tell you—it’s all of the above. This spot is walk-in only and open until 6pm everyday, which is helpful if you only manage to get out of bed at 3.30pm.