This post needs no introduction but first, a disclaimer: I am a north and east London girl, so whilst these are some hella good brunches, they are definitely my hella good brunches. Maybe someone could pick up the south and west side of things and we’d have the ultimate list. Just sayin’
Kopapa, Covent Garden
If you can bear the tourist hordes, this super social café and restaurant in Seven Dials in a beautiful place for a weekend brunch, or even an early weekday breakfast treat pre-work. Their brunch menu includes bloody marvellous Crosstown doughtnuts (in flavours like sea salt caramel and banana cream – yes, I know). The is the chorizo hash with two fried eggs, sriracha chilli sauce, crispy shallots, and rocket is my pick. You’ll have onion breath for the rest of the day, but it’ll be worth it.
The Modern Pantry, Clerkenwell
Chef Anna Hansen opened this popular restaurant in 2008, and it’s been booked up pretty much ever since. Reserve a table a fortnight in advance, and give yourself something to look forward to – trust me, it makes a refreshing difference to scrambling for a table at The Breakfast Club. Their raspberry and ricotta pancakes are like nothing else I’ve tried, so go for originality alone. Go when it’s sunny and ask for a table on their outdoor terrace on St. John’s Sqaure. A better brunch spot you’d be hard-pushed to find.
Riding House Café, Fitzrovia
The first time I went to RHC, my immediate impression was: I want my house to look like this. It’s all parquet floors and NYC tiles with a smattering of, err, taxidermy. But seriously, it’s amazing. Even the loos are great. But onto the food – oh, the food. Where The Modern Pantry wins the pancake originality awards, RHC wins the ‘doing pancakes better than anyone else’ award. Their buttermilk pancakes with vanilla clotted cream, berries, and maple syrup will give you a sugar rush but they are absolutely freakin’ incred. Wash them down with an ABC Ginger juice (apple, beetroot, carrot, ginger) to make it feel slightly less sinful.
Caravan, Exmouth Market
Located on the corner of Farringdon’s Exmouth Market and benefitting from large windows on two sides, Caravan feels like a lovelier, light, airier version of your flat. Plus anywhere you can get cornbread (especially when it’s served with bacon, rocket, and avocado) is a winner by my standards. I’m also a big fan of their baked goods, particularly the friands. Beware the staff, though: they’re edgier-than-thou and will make you feel distinctly uncool.
Mr Buckley’s, Hackney
On August 18, 1883, a man called William Buckley tried to set fire to what was then a Victorian men’s institute after being refused entry, and lo, a few years ago Mr Buckley’s was reborn as a fabby small plate café on the Hackney Road. They serve a wonderful rainbow of fruit and veggie juices and their potato and rosemary rosti with poached eggs, bacon, avocado and hollandaise is a thing of brunchy beauty. You can’t get much better than eating it at one of the front tables in this split level joint.
Bourne and Hollingsworth Buildings, Farringdon
Interiors nuts: this one is for you. It’s also one for mimosa lovers, too. The thing about B&H Buildings is that the food is almost the least important thing. When I took my BFF Immy there for a birthday brunch back in July, we were sat in too-low chairs by the bar eating food which I must admit to forgetting, but we still had a freakin’ fabulous time because the peachy, unctuous and most importantly BOTTOMLESS mimosas kept on coming and by 3pm we’d drunk eight each and were in a very happy place. So go. You’ll leave a satisfied (and drunk) customer.
The Kitchen Table, West Hampstead
Similarly to The Spoke, this place is no Delaunay, but that’s great, because you wouldn’t want it to be. It’s an unassuming shop front on NW6’s Mill Lane which can only fit 20 or so people in at once, but the staff and the food are the dream. The bar is strewn with homemade bakes (their chocolate and raspberry friands at excellent) and the food is homely as. I go for the bacon and roast tomato sandwich with a side of avocado inside. The only downside is that it’s not open on Sundays. Boo.
Dishoom, various locations
There’s only one thing you wanna eat when brunching at Dishoom, and that is the bacon naan roll. It’s pure charred bread, tomato chutney-laden, cream cheese-dolloped bacon-strewn delicousness. Washed down with a cup of chai, you’d be hard pushed to find a tastier or better value brunch in London. Be warned, though: it’s one of those pesky places that doesn’t take bookings, so get in there early or off the hour if you want a seat sharpish.
London Grind, London Bridge
Thanks to a stint spent working next to London’s most confusing transport hub, I discovered this place, perched on London Bridge just as it arches over the Thames. It became my go-to breakfast spot, and for good reason. The smoothie bowls (pictured in the main image) are excellent, packed with fruit, and probably one of my favourite ways to start any day. This place also does a fabulous avocado on toast – order the feta as an extra, you won’t regret it.
Duck and Waffle, Liverpool Street
In a place renowned for its height and 24-hour dining as much as it’s food, you might expect the brunch at Duck and Waffle, which sits on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower, to be a bit meh. After all, it’s all tourists Instagramming from the lift, right? Wrong! Once you’ve reached the restaurant and done the Instagramming, a babin’ menu awaits: think duck eggs en cocotte with wild mushrooms, gruyere, truffles and soldier, and wild Cornish Pollock meatballs with lobster cream and parmesan. Delish. And those views <are> pretty special.
The Spoke, Archway
This cosy little place doesn’t often appear on these sorta lists, but I think that’s why I like it. On entering, you feel like you’ve discovered a gem. Situated in an old pub on the Holloway Road and described on its website as a place where the owners want to “make customers feel at home”. They do a vegetarian full English with actual vegetables (think aubergines courgettes, and mushrooms, rather than bread, beans, eggs, and tomatoes) and their avo on toast is a-ma-zing.