The Best English Breakfasts In London
Where to eat the best English breakfast? In London, of course.
The Covent Garden branch of this Bombay-styled café is ideally placed for morning meetings but has enough colonial knick-knacks to make you feel a million miles away from London. The Parsi power breakfasts and gently spiced chai are a hit among the masses. Green-chilli-flecked scrambled eggs are just as popular – a warming plate with traditional (and fluffy) pau buns served on the side.
Dean Street Townhouse
Even at an early hour, the dark-panelled dining rooms of this ever-popular all-day Soho restaurant buzz with the animated chatter of media types. The smooth service eases things along nicely, too. It’s largely classics on the breakfast menu: eggs all ways, porridge, kedgeree, full English. There are fruit smoothies and Scots will be heartened to see tattie scones and Lorne (square) sausage.
Coppa Club Tower Bridge
This riverside joint near Tower Bridge has plenty going for it – ace aquatic views from the sunny south-facing terrace, a luxe brass wraparound bar, striking herringbone flooring – but the glam-but-chilled breakfast menu is one of its best features. The eggs line-up is benedict or kiln-smoked salmon royale, both served on toasted English muffins or waffles; while the virtuous ‘super bowl’ is a hefty helping of quinoa, almonds, avocado and citrus wedges.
This most fashionable of London restaurants is virtually impossible to get a dinner reservation at unless you’re an A-list celeb. However, it does breakfast from 7am-10.30am on weekdays. Be warned: prices are very high. A lobster and crab omelette costs £26, eggs benedict £15, granola £11, pancakes £12 – but the dishes are all excellent. No bookings are taken, so arrive early – and smile!
The Black Penny
In the lowlands between Holborn and Covent Garden lies The Black Penny, a cheery café where diners will struggle to choose just one of the enticing cooked breakfasts on offer – there are brioche french toast, crispy confit duck hash and even bubble and squeak. High-quality, fresh ingredients and ample portions justify the prices, and attention to detail is a strong point – look out for cucumber-infused tap water. A selection of arty magazines and a super-soulful soundtrack make it far too easy to spend all day here.
Rise and shine for this Fresh Prince of a morning pitstop. The colourful café (with a pineapple for a logo) is on the commute route for many in the City and makes your morning grab-and-go all the sunnier. You can see how the bowl of shredded courgette with scrambled egg and the option of chorizo gets its nickname ‘hangover hash’. A range of Cali-style buns blows any breakfast butty out of the water. Best of all, though, Bel-Air has its own granola bar where you can customize your yoghurt and granola (toasted in-house, obvs) with all kinds of seeds, nuts, honey and berries. Pret who?
The breakfast menu at this lauded, lavish New York-style brasserie covers the usual eggs every which way (boiled with soldiers, Florentine, pimped omelettes), to American-style pancakes and almond waffles. The full English breakfast costs £15.75, but if you’d prefer something a little lighter (actually, a lot lighter), porridge, fruit salad or granola are all good options.
Arabica Bar & Kitchen
Breakfast is a great time to visit this handsome Borough Market restaurant – it fills up pretty much as soon as the non-existent lunch bell chimes, but before then you can lounge on their comfy banquettes in peace. The menu is pure Levant: think za’atar spiced flatbreads, Turkish eggs, and breakfast pide topped with sausage, peppers, eggs and halloumi – plus refreshing juices and cardamom-scented Turkish coffee.