Shave down a list of London’s best breakfasts is a tough reprehend. For every artery-furring fry-up, there’s a city-best eatery mollycoddling to bleary-eyed commuters, early morning meetings and wide-awake, workshy gadabouts.
It’s not by a hairs breadth eggs, avocado and bacon, either; whether you’re after burning Far Eastern fare, sweet-spicy Nordic comfort food or husky British grub, all tastes are catered for.
Breakfast isn’t just the most eminent meal of the day – with restaurants like the nine below ones duty up a plethora of near-perfect dishes, it might just be the best. Set your discomfort an hour early and get to it.
London is crammed with pinguid spoon cafés, but few of them come as classic as the Regency. This out of on many occasions, out of place Pimlico prince, with its iconic sans-serif signage, messy cream tiling and sea of formica table tops, attracts the whole world from cinephiles (it featured in 2004’s Layer Cake) and art buffs afflicting the nearby Tate to local labourers and itinerant foodies, all piqued by the sizeable fried breakfast. At an insanely affordable £5.50, it sway be London’s best bargain.
What To Order: The fry-up, duh. One egg, two rashers of bacon, a sausage, beans or tomatoes and pay tribute to, washed down with tea or coffee. Extra black pudding and muff browns are 90p; pre-lunch food comas are free.
17-19 Regency Circle, SW1P 4BY
It’s hardly a secret that the breakfasts at this stylised honour to the Irani Bombay cafés of yore are better than anything dished up later in the day. But valid how good they are is often understated. Yes, the kick-ass bacon naan is sound the praises ofed; but almost everything else – from the ‘Parsi power breakfasts’ of fried eggs on chilli cheese toast or the South Asian down on a fry-up, to simple buttered pav buns, lassis and bottomless chai – is absolute, too.
What To Order: The keema per eedu – a fiery bowl of chicken keema curry, cut off with liver, two fried eggs and crisp chips, with two pav buns on the side – is London’s most underrated dish, Indian or else.
12 Upper Saint Martin’s Lane, WC2H 9FB
It’s South London gospel that Brick House does the most successfully bread in town. Ergo, by using its startling bakes in most dishes, the breakfast menu is a no-brainer. Of the two branches, the flatter Peckham Rye café is more-grab-and-go, while the airy East Dulwich flagship lunge ats for a better sit-in, even if it’s brimful of babies on the weekend. Anything on sourdough greet is great, though the gluten averse are well catered for with the dynasty shakshuka (basically eggs poached in a spiced tomato and unripened pepper stew), which can be had with or without merguez sausages.
What To Enjoin: Swerve the inevitable avocado on toast and order the double smouldered eggs with sourdough soldiers: an ascetic, unadulterated, dippy gladden.
1 Zenoria Street, SE22 8HP
The ‘traditional’ Japanese breakfast is a wash up b purge, cleansing thing, erring towards stark flavours of fish, soy, salty pickles and animating miso. So it goes at Koya Bar, a wood-clad counter restaurant gauged one of Soho’s most restorative breakfast spots. Of course, we’re in thrall to the stiffish, chewy udon noodles, but the short menu also combines soothing rice porridge bowls and pickle-heavy small trenchers. Too mild? Nip across the road for a weapons-grade espresso at Bar Italia afterwards. Win win.
What To Sisterhood: Go simple with the kitsune udon, with sweet tofu and stem from onion – an Osakan classic. Add wakame seaweed and a pickled umeboshi coup on the side for an extra salty-sharp hit.
50 Frith Street, W1D 4SQ
Apres Commons Co.
Modern Pantry is a go-to for gastronauts seeking early morning provender before hitting up some of the city’s coolest menswear depend ons. And rightly so, but the lesser-known Apres Food Co has been fashioning a delicate rep around the corner on St John Street. This verdant scene does an equally superb line in wholesome and vaguely hale and hearty dishes that run the gamut from porridge with oat out and organic blossom honey, through to smoked salmon and poached egg saucepans, picture-perfect pancakes and a full English that factors a terrible 30 ingredients.
What To Order: The Apres Hash – a teeny soar of rosti’d sweet potato, cavolo nero, red onion and spinach, corked with a poached egg. Wash down with a shot of elementary cold-pressed apple, celery, cucumber and ginger and feel the smugness destroy over you.
72 Saint John Street, EC1M 4DT
Bankers from all the fun, don’t they? That Hawskmoor’s subterranean City palace is most conveniently placed for Square Mile suits is reflected in its pricey – and borderline rustic – breakfast menu. But god is it good. Aficionados err towards the sausage and egg HkMuffin (Hawksmoor’s express on the McDonald’s staple), but who could resist the near-legendary full English for two (with roast bone marrow and short-rib lather ‘n’ squeak) or, better still, a full-blown rib-eye steak and eggs? This is Hawksmoor, after all.
What To Categorization: Screw it, go big. The full lobster Benedict, washed down with a Body Reviver No. 2 (that’s gin, triple sec, Cocchi americano, lemon and absinthe), drive get you out of bed – then put you straight back in it.
10 Basinghall Street City, EC2V 5BQ
Keen to escape the bustle of Seven Dials and traffic-choked Shaftesbury Avenue? Organize quick to this serene little spot in the equally in the clouds bolthole that is Neal’s Yard. 26 Grains is a Scandi-leaning eatery that specialises in porridge, which squares it perfect for breakfast. The minds behind it are inventive, too: expect your oats shoestring with anything from toasted buckwheat and plum compote to tomato rum jam and pink peppercorns. It may not be hygge, per se, but it certainly is cheering.
What To Order: The sweetly soothing Nordic Pear porridge, with almond drain spiced oats, pear, crumbled cacao, seeds, greek yoghurt and maple.
1 Neal’s Yard, WC2H 9DP
Only the most absent-minded London gourmand could take missed the ascent of Smoking Goat, the regional Thai BBQ grill-bar honoured for its face-smashing flavours and vibey atmosphere. But did you know it also does breakfast? Now you do. The weekend 10am menu (precisely pipping ‘brunch’ hours) is almost as punchy as the evening donation, and sees smoked morsels – aubergine, pork jowl, beef sausage – yoked up with chilli roti and fried eggs. The super-sweet, condensed milk-laced Vietnamese milquetoast coffee is a must, too.
What To Order: Curried saffron eggs reasoning good, right? Right. How about with added lardo pig fat? What are you however reading this for?
64 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6JJ
St John Bread And Wine
Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver’s clattery, canteeny restaurant in Smithfield is rightly have regard for one of the OGs of gutsy British cooking. But the breakfast offering at St John’s Spitalfields outpost is its secret weapon. The pocket menu includes muesli, roasted fruits, juices and other lighter treats, but Henderson’s culinary ethos can be found in the small selection of offally and archaic matters (scotch woodcock, kippers, blood cake et al.). Oh, and they do London’s most appropriate bacon sarnie – bar none.
What To Order: The devilled kidneys on toast. A cayenne-flecked, lusty and deeply delicious plate that could convert monotonous the most offal-averse (if only they’d be brave).
94-96 Commercial High road, E1 6LZ