Eating out at breakfast time in London isn't just about fried food and toast. Find out where Londoners head for the best breakfasts in town. The following recommendations have been suggested by Londoners. They all offer reasonably-priced dishes, including vegetarian options and are all in a central London location.
A big thank you goes to Malcolm of The London Review of Breakfasts for his help in narrowing down the long list. A true expert on this subject.
Address17-19 Regency St, London SW1P 4BY, UK
Phone+44 20 7821 6596
If you're looking for a traditional London breakfast spot for a Full English, the Regency Cafe is the place for you. The cafe has been in Pimlico since the 1940s and has a tiled exterior and interior. The seats are fixed and there are framed pictures on most walls, including displays of the Tottenham Hotspur football team from the early 70s.
The breakfasts are big, hot, fast, and cheap and the kitchen shouts your order almost before you've found a seat. It's closed between 2:30 p.m and 4 p.m. but open again until 7 p.m. so it's a great choice for dinner too.
Address: 17-19 Regency Street, London SW1P 4BY
I love The Wolseley as it's so grand. The high ceilings and chandeliers are stunning and the decor is striking with its black lacquered wood and natural marble.
It's best to book a table as although it's a large venue, it's always busy. The service is impeccable and the food is always delicious. I sometimes go just for a pot of tea as it's a lovely way to start the day. Or I might have crumpets, or a pastry, or boiled egg and 'soldiers', or Eggs Benedict. Breakfast is served until 11:30 a.m. but the restaurant remains open all day and evening. Whatever time you go you will be made to feel very special indeed.
Sacred is run by two New Zealanders who have created an Antipodean style of cafe in London. A New Zealander told me, "I find the UK's general lack of breakfast/brunch places – and a menu which goes outside of fried food – to be quite disappointing – and it's even worse if you leave London."
Thankfully Sacred steps up to the mark here and "the coffee and food are fantastic." They have branches across London. Expect to find muesli, bagels, scrambled eggs on toast and more. Open all day.
The Breakfast Club can be found in Soho, Hoxton, Islington, Shoreditch and the South Bank and all branches received praise from our London reviewers: "brilliant – reasonably priced, huge selection of food and great atmosphere." "Cheap, cool, relaxed. And the grub's great!" "They also do take away, there's plenty of healthy and not so healthy stuff, great music and always friendly staff." Open all day.
Balans is "good and dependable." The Soho cafe on Old Compton Street is open 24 hours. There are two branches in Soho and other branches across London. If you have a Balans card, you can get 2 for 1 deals. The menu includes porridge, pastries, burritos, pancakes and a Full English, so there's something for everyone. The venues are large and they have funky interiors. All branches are open all day.
Anthony Carluccio is an icon of Italian dining in London. There are Carluccio cafes across London and they aim to provide quality, authentic Italian food at sensible prices. They definitely meet the criteria for this list as they are all about excellent service in an informal, yet busy environment. They were recommended as having "quick service if needed, several locations and good tasting, quality food." Open all day and evening.
"The best breakfast has to be at Blandford's on Chiltern Street in Marylebone, just off Baker Street. It's a traditional cafe, which is a dying breed in London these days. You can get a full English for just £5.50, in a superb, relaxed cafe, where hardened cab drivers rub shoulders with amorous couples and the well-bred elite of W1."
Be warned, service is slow. And surly. The owner wears super-tight jeans and a skinny white vest - always - and doesn't seem to want to serve you, yet people love this place.
Yes, they do actually bake on the premises so there are lots of lovely fresh muffins and croissants. The scrambled eggs are also noteworthy.
Fleet River Bakery is behind Holborn station on the edge of Lincoln's Inn Fields. They have comfy chairs, offer Monmouth Coffee, and open all day. Takeaway is available.
Lantana is an Australian-run cafe so you can get your 'flat white' and 'baked eggs' (popular orders). I was told "this place is definitely the best place for breakfast" and although it's small, it has a nice atmosphere. Service isn't always the fastest but the varied breakfast menu is always appealing. Open all day.