The Ultimate New London Breakfast and Brunch Guide
Bored of the same old breakfast and brunch destinations? Check out our list of the hottest new spots in town. We’ve also thrown in a few established places you may not have tried, because we’re nice like that.
New in town
Smoking Goat Shoreditch
Just when you thought Smoking Goat couldn’t climb any further up the pleasure palace scale, they start serving breakfast. From 10am Thursday – Saturday you could be feasting on freshly made roti and curried saffron eggs with lardo. There’s also a smoked fish and galangal soup with freshly made coconut milk and honey-drenched doughnuts, crisp and rustling from the fryer. Slake your thirst with melon juice.
Smoking Goat, 64 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6JJ
This restaurant and champagne bar with rooms has had a no-holds-barred Soho House makeover and the breakfast is suitably luxurious. Nibble on blini with scrambled eggs, sour cream and caviar, or request your straight up eggs be adorned with a flurry of freshly shaved black truffle.
There’s lobster royale (with caviar, natch), which really should be accompanied by a few glasses of fizz. It is the morning, after all.
Kettner’s Townhouse, 29 Romilly Street, W1D 5HP
The original branch of Koya has always served one of the best breakfasts in town to those in the know and the new branch in the Bloomberg Arcade is no different. The breakfast udon is a must if you’ve never tried it, and we’ve set our hearts on the kippers with egg and butter rice.
Koya City, 10-12 Bloomberg Arcade, EC4N 8AR
Mix up your eggs
Bibendum Oyster Bar
The Bibendum Oyster bar is the brasserie-style restaurant underneath the super swanky Michelin-starred restaurant Bibendum, now run by Claude Bosi. The oyster bar is where you’ll be wanting to head for breakfast though, and don’t worry; it’s considerably cheaper than the food served by ‘im upstairs.
It’s a lovely, light room, populated by a mixture of ladies who want to be seen brunching and lone diners getting stuck into the papers. In short, it’s great for people watching.
There are pastries and a selection of ‘wholesome’ dishes like muesli and things that come with yoghurt on top, but the real fun is to be had in the ‘hearty’ section, where you’ll get all the egg dishes (Benedict, royale, boiled, scrambled, sandwiched) and the meatier stuff like a full English.
Don’t ignore the sandwich section either: the crab and cucumber bridge roll is well worth exploring, and we’ve always wanted to try the single ingredient filling which is, simply, white truffle paste. That’s one luxurious bap.
Bibendum Oyster Bar, Michelin House, 81 Fulham Road, SW3 6RD
Chef Ben Mulock has taken over the kitchen at this rebranded and revamped spot in South West London (it was previously known as Powderkeg Diplomacy).
A lot of the dishes are served on round potato flatbreads, which are charred on the grill before topping with ingredients like wood roasted peppers, buttermilk fried chicken, Gloucester old spot sausages or thick cut bacon from the rare breed meat company.
Ben had been making similar breads for brunch at home and loved the way he got to eat the bread that was soaking up all the goodness from ingredients on top, like runny egg yolk.
There’s a bacon sandwich, too, which we asked Ben to tell us about. He said, ‘The tidy bacon roll is for customers who want something a bit more simple. However we have developed a banging coffee ketchup that adds brilliant savoury notes along with the normal acidity bacon needs to set it off.’ We’ll take two, thanks.
Powderkeg, 147 St. John’s Hill, SW11 1TQ
Egg tacos at Taco Queen
For many people, brunch isn’t right without eggs. Most places do them straight-up fried, poached or scrambled, but it’s time to mix up your egg game. Taco specialists Taco Queen are box-fresh in a permanent home and we suggest you head over for their Lonestar taco, which comes with a fried egg, guacamole, black beans, feta and bacon. There’s also a veggie version (without bacon) and simpler arrangements like the one above.
Taco Queen, 191 Rye Lane, SE15 4TP
Kuku sabzi at Gitane
Gitane is a family-run Persian restaurant in Fitzrovia doing wonderful things with eggs on Saturdays. Kuku sabzi is a perfect example of the way that Iranian cooks use herbs, which is by the fistful. Their fantastic omelette is made green with a mixture of soft herbs and will blow your mind — served with yoghurt and marinated tomatoes.
Gitane, 60 Great Titchfield Street, W1W 7QF
Eggs with dates and fragrant spices at Persepolis
Think it sounds weird? Try it. These are scrambled eggs given the Persepolis treatment, which is to inject them with a big whack of fun flavours. Iranians scramble eggs with dates all the time, and food writer Sally Butcher is married to an Iranian man, hence the appearance of this dish on her lovely vegetarian menu. She embraces flavours from across the Middle East and closer to home and in fact, you’d do well to go here with no set ideas about what you might order — specials and other dishes change frequently throughout the day.
Persepolis, 28-30 Peckham High Street, SE15 5DT
Bacon sandwiches with a difference
BLT at Black Axe Mangal
You might think you know the BLT sandwich but wait until you experience the version served at Kiss-worshiping ‘kebab shop’ BAM. They do wonderful things with bread here, leavened and puffed in their wood burning oven, usually topping it with in-yer-face flavours like lamb offal and loads of spice.
This time it’s stuffed with the best quality bacon (about 80% fat, so streaky fans will be in heaven) and rolled up with aioli dressed lettuce, black chilli and pickled red onion, which hangs the whole thing together. Magnificent.
Black Axe Mangal, 156 Canonbury Road, N1 2UP
Daisy Green bacon paratha
Another crazy variation on the bacon sandwich, this one is more of an arrangement on a plate. A flaky, warm paratha is topped with a generous portion of crisp bacon, plus a poached egg, just to make sure all those brunch boxes are ticked. Spring onion, chilli and coriander keep this perky and although the portion is massive, you’ll soon look down to find it all gone. Make sure to get a table downstairs in the ‘garden’ and don’t be freaked out by the giant papier mâché rabbit head.
Daisy Green, 20 Seymour Street, W1H 7HX
The bacon here is coffee cured and cut into big fat slices which are more like ham than crisp bacon. You get to choose the cut to make sure you get exactly the right ratio of fat to meat and of course, there’s a choice of sauces. It’s a highly unusual addition to the scene, which is why we added it to our essential London bacon sandwich hit list.
Coal Rooms, 11a Station Way, SE15 4RX
Malibu Kitchen at The Ned
One of the nine restaurants inside The Ned, this is the place to fill up on chia seeds, fresh fruit, raw veg and smoothies. There’s undeniably a lot of Instagram-friendly design going on here but dishes like Bircher muesli are actually satisfying and everything’s very fresh. Pretend you’re in California, about to whizz off on rollerblades among skinny palm trees rather than hop on the 42 to the Old Kent Road.
Malibu Kitchen, The Ned, 27 Poultry, EC2R 8AJ
Almost anything at Granger & Co
Yeah, it’s a tried and tested option, but did you know it’s actually illegal in the UK to write a brunch article without mentioning Granger & Co.?* There’s something about the food here that leans so far towards the healthy, with its collection of smoothies, grain bowls and granola, that you don’t even feel guilty ordering a portion of the ricotta hotcakes or soft shell crab. Remarkable.
*This may not be true
Granger and Co., see website for locations
Ceviche at Casita Andina
Ceviche is the perfect dish for brunching without feeling like you need to go back to bed afterwards. Thinly sliced fish is marinated in ‘tiger’s milk’, which is a mixture of citrus juice (usually lime) with other spices and ingredients depending on the variation. We particularly love the scallop ceviche with chicharron and pork dashi because all healthy breakfasts should have crackling.
Casita Andina, 31 Great Windmill Street, W1D 7LP
Bang Bang Oriental Foodhall
North Londoners are very lucky to have this gigantic Asian food hall in their hood. It’s a classic canteen, filled with loads of vendors serving everything from steamed dumplings to lacquered roast duck with rice and custard tarts. Fill yer boots.
Bang Bang Oriental Foodhall, 399 Edgware Road, NW9 0AS.
Did you know that Shackfuyu now does a bottomless brunch on Sundays and — wait for it — Mondays? For £35 you can have 2 small dishes and 1 large dish per person, plus unlimited Prosecco and pineapple sake for two hours — oof! Oh, and dessert for the table. We love the Katsu Sando Iberico Pluma with homemade tonkatsu sauce, and of course, it has to be that famous French toast with matcha soft serve for dessert.
Shackfuyu, 14A Old Compton Street, W1D 4TJ
Mr Bao comes into its own at brunch, serving meat, eggs and mushrooms inside fluffy, steamed milk buns. Bao Benedict is stuffed with slow cooked pork and we love the veggie filling of mushrooms bound in nose-clearing wasabi crème fraiche. Make sure to take advantage of the bottomless Bloody Marys and sparkling sake, too.
Mr Bao, 293 Rye Lane, SE15 4UA
South Indian restaurant Kricket have started doing brunch, and it’s something we’d happily travel into town for. It runs from 11–4 on Sundays, so it could be argued that this is more of a lunch than a brunch but whatever, if it gives us an excuse to eat masala dosas with coconut chutney and pancetta that’s been cured with star anise, chilli and jaggery, then we’re more than happy.
There is one absolute must-order dish here, and it’s the kichri with smoked haddock, pickled cauliflower and raw egg yolk. This is one of the best brunch dishes we’ve ever eaten, anywhere, with its dreamy combination of rice, lightly vinegared cauliflower and sticky, rich egg yolk. It may remind you of kedgeree but it’s actually based on its predecessor, a dish of rice and lentils.
The Goan sausage roll is also fantastic; we’re not sure it needs the curry leaf mayo alongside, to be totally honest, but there’s only one way to find out whether or not you agree.
Kricket, 12 Denman Street, W1D 7HH
This exciting duo of Bengali restaurants serve brunch, and it’s well worth your money. Head over for Mughlai parathas, which come stuffed with minced lamb and egg, or Calcutta style scrambled eggs, served with buttered buns and smoked salmon.
The Calcutta Kati rolls are not to be missed either — spiced meat and vegetables inside paratha wraps, served with house chutneys and copious amounts of chai.
Calcutta Street, 9 Tottenham Street, W1T 4RU and 395 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8LQ
Ravinder Bhogal’s pretty, cushion-stuffed restaurant is a feast for the eyes and feels a bit like brunching in your stylish mate’s living room. Traditional British ingredients are given the spice treatment here, and you’ll find that eggs come with curried hollandaise and bacon is glazed with tamarind.
We love the sandwiches. Don’t miss the mutton keema sloppy Joe, a spiced take on the classic American minced meat sandwich and the Bombay sandwich, a traditional snack filled with spiced potatoes and chutneys.
Jikoni, 19 – 21 Blandford Street, W1U 3DH
If you like your chicken hot, Nashville style, then head to this South West London joint where the brunch chicken comes with waffled French toast. Don’t forget to order some cheese grits, hash browns or corn bread on the side. Bottomless booze is available, too, including mimosas and Bloody Marys.
Stagolee’s, 453 North End Road, SW6 1NZ
OK, so this place is more about the theatre than the food. In fact, it’s all about the theatre. The fried chicken comes with a gigantic sparkler on top, and brunch is accompanied by a gospel choir. If that’s your thing, then all power to ya.
Red Rooster, 45 Curtain Road, EC2A 3PT
Chick ‘n’ Sours
We have to mention Chick n Sours because they still do the best fried chicken brunch in London (not to mention the best fried chicken full stop). The brunch burger is an absolute must-try — a towering beast piled with chicken, avocado, their rainbow coloured ‘slaw, a fried egg and Gochujang mayo.
The whole fry (available on Sundays) is quite the thing to behold however and is loads of fun if a few of you are brunching. A whole chicken is battered and deep fried, and served squizzled with sauce. They spent ages working out how to keep it succulent inside and finally cracked it. You need to experience this at least once.
Chick ‘n’ Sours, 1A Earlham Street, WC2H 9LL and 390 Kingsland Road, E8 4AA
Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavours
The recently opened Tuyo sits on the canal at Broadway Market and is a lovely spot for blowing those cobwebs away. Food takes inspiration from all over the Mediterranean and the full breakfast reflects this.
There’s lamb merguez in place of the usual British sausage, plus halloumi, tomatoes, olives, a rich duck egg, tahini, grape molasses and watermelon. Top tip: watermelon does wonders for hangovers.
Tuyo, 129 A Pritchard’s Road, E2 9AP
Borough Market’s Arabica does a brilliant fry-up including eggs with spiced beef sausage served in thick slices, roasted tomatoes, mushroom and flatbread. You can work off a few of the calories with a stroll around Borough Market afterwards.
Arabica, Borough Market, 3 Rochester Walk, SE1 9AF
Morito Exmouth Market
Morito Exmouth Market has just started serving breakfast, and North Londoners are flocking to it. They’ve been loving these Spanish and North African flavours at lunch and dinner, but rarely get to scoff them early doors.
At Morito, the full English is replaced by the full Catalan, which is a happy plateful of xistorra (a sausage made with pork, garlic and paprika); black butifarra (a blood sausage like black pudding); Calabrian fennel sausage (we hope you like sausage); fried egg; roast tomatoes and mushrooms.
You can also have huevos, scrambled or ‘broken’, with added jamon, anchovy, or chorizo (mmm, sausage).
Morito, 32 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QE
Berber & Q
If you love smoke and spice then get yourself to Haggerston’s Berber & Q on a weekend morning. Mezze flows, pitta toasts and eggs are baked at this lively restaurant under a railway arch. Sizzling lamb chops beat a limp sausage any day.
Berber & Q, 338 Acton Mews, E8 4EA
Allow us to direct you towards our handy London’s Best Bottomless Brunches article. You’re welcome.
We are here to help. See our article about the best hangover food in London.