The Halal Brunch Guide
The best brunch spots in London, but make it halal.
The most important rule of brunch is that there is no judgement allowed. It’s a lawless place where you can eat shakshuka at 3pm after spending a reckless amount of time in bed, or have fried chicken and maple syrup at 11 in the morning, or even admit that you don’t even really like avocados. Brunch can also, however, get a bit repetitive. Especially if eating halal means you’re having to alternate between eggs florentine and an omelette. These 11 spots are all serving exciting, delicious, and most importantly halal options. From meat-heavy mana’eesh, to hot chicken sandwiches and a halal full english, these are some of the best halal brunch spots around the city.
This family-run bakery and restaurant in north Acton has been around for years. And it’s one of the few places we’d travel across the city to eat breakfast. While the menu has enough range to keep most people happy, with Lebanese classics like shish taouk and batata harra, what makes it worth going out of your way is the bakery section of the menu. Their clay-oven baked mana’eesh are some of the best you’ll find in London and at £2.50 a pop, are also some of the best value. These flatbreads, topped with things like za’atar, spinach, or sujuk and cheese are all delicious—they’re crispy, fluffy, and perfectly baked. Our go-to order is a couple of lahm bi ajeen and spinach mana’eesh, all with additional cheese. Because… cheese. When served in a tray surrounded by labneh, foul modames, and falafel, it’s a complete Levantine breakfast spread, at an excellent price.
The Apple Blue
Sometimes brunches all just merge into one big foggy memory of fried eggs. So if you’re tired of turning up to brunch every Saturday only to discover another menu that appears to be holding a social experiment called How Many Ways Can You Smash An Avocado, then we’d like to introduce you to Apple Blue Patisserie. Although this cute little Balham spot has still got those avocado bases covered, it’s also home to ‘dutch babies’. Essentially an XXL vehicle for fried chicken that is part pancake and part Yorkshire pudding, we promise this maple-syrup topped carb-fest will help you avoid any brunch deja vu. The iced Korean coffee is also a real winner.
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Starting your day with a peanut butter and banana-heavy french toast just because you can is what life is all about, because making that decision will lead you to places like Popina. This little Mayfair spot has scrambled eggs and all the other usual culprits on the menu, but there are some exciting alternatives that you should get involved in here, from their house special ranchos with lime guacamole to the green shakshuka and raclette cheese melt. And that’s not all. The French toast section—yes, a whole section—includes a Nutella marshmallow melt that sounds just as good as it tastes.
Though their coffee is good and their homemade pastries, cakes, and cookies quite irresistible (we’re looking at you, salted caramel brownies), it’s the weekend when you want to be eating at Bake Street. Their fried chicken sandwiches are McDz-like in the best possible way. Soft buns, crisp pounded chicken, and completely inhaleable in under a minute. Gone in sixty seconds. Flavours, be it a Nashville-inspired hot chicken or a silky sweet and spiced makhani fried chicken, are above and beyond anything fast food-related, though. Don’t ignore the tacos either. Or the just-introduced biryani.
Shepherd’s Bush isn’t lacking options when it comes to halal Lebanese restaurants and bakeries. But if you’re only going to try one, it should be Zeit & Zaatar. This little spot on Uxbridge Road has been specialising in manakeesh for over a decade, and it shows. They’ve got all the classics like zaatar and labneh and halloumi, as well as some Z&Z specialties like basterma with cheese and cheese and honey. You can’t go wrong with a classic lahm beajin or spinach, and we like to ask for some cheese on them, because... well... melted cheese. What’s more, most of them come within the £3 to £5 range.
When you come to this two floor American restaurant opposite the Lyceum in Covent Garden for brunch, you’ll want to sit in the upstairs dining room. It’s got high ceilings, an open and airy feel, and round tables with white tablecloths that will make it hard for your friend to reach over for a bite of your wagyu steak. Which, by the way, is halal, as are all of the wagyu beef options on the menu. Our go-to move is to get one of their hefty wagyu burgers (it's perfectly acceptable to eat a burger for brunch), and leave enough stomach space for the chocolate filled brioche French toast. Thick brioche with a soft gooey centre, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and more melted chocolate—this is our favourite French toast in the city. We’d also steer clear of any of the classic egg dishes that start at £12 for an omelette, because… it’s just an omelette.
Chestnut Bakery Belgravia
The theme at this Victoria bakery is ‘international baking’, which means you’ll find a selection of breads from around the world. Bagels, monkey bread, focaccia, ka’ak and more, served both plain and stuffed with things like halloumi and roasted tomatoes, or pastrami and pickles. There are also inventive pastries like a za’atar and gruyere croissant, or an aubergine parmigiana filled number, which can be hit and miss depending on how soon you catch them after they’re baked, but the most important thing about this place isn’t the bread or the cakes, it’s the excellent flatbread you’ll find on their clay oven menu. Topped with delicious combinations like merguez and garlic aioli, or burrata and honey, these breads are what make this spot worth going out of your way for. And it's all halal.
In an area filled with excellent brunch 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 and as well as the tasty brunch options, they serve chermoula chicken burgers and pastas from 11am. If you’re torn between the buttermilk pancakes or another hot chocolate with marshmallows, get the Moroccan msemen for dessert, and thank us later.
This cafe in Camden knows better than to pick a side on the whole war on Avocados thing. It’s got a menu that respects all the classic eggy breakfast stuff, as well as offering things like creole chicken waffles, hot salt beef sandwiches, and—deep breath—curly fries. The food here is pretty tasty, with halal chicken and beef options, and with none of the brunch dishes exceeding the £15 mark, it’s a solid option around the area.
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 shakshuka, a halal full english, and nutella-filled doughnuts. We’ll tell you—it’s all of the above. This spot is walk-in only and open until 5pm everyday, so plan accordingly.
Beit El Zaytoun
All-day restaurant Beit El Zaytoun is making some seriously good Middle Eastern brunch. Located in Harsleden, just off the canal, the semi-outdoor area is a good place to be when the sun is out and you're in the mood for hummus. With a brunch menu filled with things like meat and cheese manakeesh, halloumi, and zait w zaatar, it’s the perfect scenic spot to spend a couple of hours nibbling away at some falafel and tahini.