The London Review of Breakfasts

"Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper." (Francis Bacon)

Friday, August 20, 2010

The brekkies: 10 of the best breakfasts available to humanity

by Malcolm Eggs

Exactly five years have passed since a morning when – in no small part to stave off the need to get up, have a shower and do something useful – I logged onto a blogging website and wrote something rousing about how a semi-invented ‘we’ was incredibly passionate about breakfast. It was surprising that the ‘we’ became a self-fulfilling overblown claim: no less than 80 individuals have joined my mission to cut out the gristle of lazy and disdainful breakfast-serving with the simple fork of truth and the trusty knife of literary pretension.

Five years in seems like a fitting moment to do something new, and compile a list of some of the best breakfasts we’ve sampled along the way. For the sake of usefulness I’m only including places that (a) are still open and (b) I’m reasonably confident have maintained their standards. A big apology goes to Konstam, recently closed in what is a tragedy both personal and regional – they consistently served some of the finest breakfasts we’d encountered and we miss them very much.

Here is the list, in alphabetical order. As always, we apologise for the East London bias.

Bistrotheque, 23-27 Wadeson St, Bethnal Green E2
"It is, without doubt, the mark of a quality establishment, when you are offered the wine list at 11 in the morning."
(Full review here)

Caravan, 11-13 Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell EC1R
"The chorizo and eggs (£11 for two) were delivered chicken madras-style in a handled silver pot"
(Full review here)

Hawksmoor, 157 Commercial St, Spitalfields E1
"The very definition of an event breakfast."
(Full review here)

Mess, 38 Amhurst Rd, Hackney E8
"Breakfast for two for just shy of a tenner - full marks for both, and happy tummies all round."
(Full review here)

Muratori, 162 Farringdon Rd, Clerkenwell EC1R
[Closed in early 2012] "I'd learnt no more about the postal strike, but for less than £4 had had a lovely breakfast."
(Full review here)

Regency Cafe, 17-19 Regency St, Pimlico SW1P
"Explosively flavourful tomatoes gently frosted with char, a perfectly-fried egg slithering on brown toast of the exact right thickness."
(Full review here)

The Uplands Cafe, 21 Upland Rd, East Dulwich SE22
"The kids in the cafe restored my faith in human kindness after the previous night’s unnecessary violence. And what more could you want from a breakfast outing than that?"
(Full review here)

The Walpole, 35 St Mary's Rd, Ealing W5
"A hearty, old-fashioned Full English."
(Full review here)

The Wapping Project, Wapping Wall, Wapping E1
"It was a good breakfast."
(Full review here)

York & Albany, 127-129 Parkway, Camden Town NW1
"A single artisanal Lincolnshire sausage, a slice of Old Spot bacon, a perfectly presented free-range poached egg…"
(Full review here)


Blogger Greedy Diva said...

Have to agree with you on Bistrotheque (black pudding and perfect poached eggs) and Hawksmoor (meaty heaven). Still need to try Caravan...

5:16 PM, August 20, 2010  
Anonymous Rhys Chris Peese said...

How any list of the ten best breakfasts in London could omit Automat is baffling. Indeed, a list of the one best breakfast in London should include it.

6:06 PM, August 20, 2010  
Anonymous Malcolm Eggs said...

I desperately need to visit Automat. Perhaps when the brekkies become The Brekkies - a major public awards ceremony - Automat will get what it no doubt deserves.

6:09 PM, August 20, 2010  
Anonymous Larry Lard said...

Happy 5th birthday LRB!

9:03 PM, August 20, 2010  
Anonymous Frances said...

Breads Etc on Clapham High Street does an excellent breakfast and has the best coffee I've had in London (but that's because I'm an Aussie and love their flat whites).

1:23 PM, August 24, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phoenix Cafe in Brixton - best cooked breakfast in the world.

1:27 PM, August 24, 2010  
Anonymous H.T said...

How can this list not consist of Automatic and Tom's Kitchen?! Really they serve THE best breakfast ever!

1:33 PM, August 24, 2010  
Anonymous H.T said...

Automat* sorry for misspelling it

1:34 PM, August 24, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Banner in Crouch End? No?

1:41 PM, August 24, 2010  
Anonymous Matt Gould said...

Plug for breakfast for Lord Stanley Pub in Camden, great New Zealand style breakfasts with home made bread, prefect eggs, and great meat and vege sausages.

Says its open from 10-12 for breakfast, but in truth go to early and no food has arrived, go late and they get grumpy because they are trying to get lunch ready. Go on time and it's wonderful.

1:43 PM, August 24, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This seems to be biased towards east london slightly ???

2:02 PM, August 24, 2010  
Anonymous Malcolm Eggs said...

Anonymous - yes it is and I apologise for that. Somehow most of us live East of Centrepoint.

Do explore the reviews by area page everybody for all of our verdicts over the years. We've been to the Phoenix in Brixton, Automat, Tom's and Banners. All good places.

2:50 PM, August 24, 2010  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

I recommend the Toads Mouth in Brockley. The Full Toad is the perfect hangover cure.

3:40 PM, August 24, 2010  
Anonymous Blake Pudding said...

Damn you Malcolm and your loyal readers! I tried go for bunch at Bistroteque on Sunday and it was rammed. I had to wait an hour for a table.

(When I say wait an hour I mean I made a reservation and then popped home for a pot of tea. I didn't actually stand there for an hour. No breakfast is worth queuing for an hour.)

The eggs benedict was perfect.

9:50 AM, August 25, 2010  
Blogger Phil Letts said...

Given the focus on the East End, E Pellicci in Bethnal Green looks like an omission. Certainly the best room I've ever had breakfast in. Haven't been for a year or two - perhaps I've missed something?

8:49 AM, August 26, 2010  
Anonymous Malcolm Eggs said...

Phil, it is a great room - I visited recently. I think Blake Pudding's review from 2006 still gives a very accurate description, including why it's not top ten material.

9:57 AM, August 26, 2010  
Anonymous Krista said...

Next time I'm back in London (nnot sure if you knew but I moved back to Chicago August 6th) we should meet up at The Market Cafe on Whitecross Street. I've been going there since right before the White X Renaissance began. Nice people. Good food.

4:23 PM, September 05, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've not been to all of these but can't believe that the Wolsely isn't on the list.

10:27 AM, September 16, 2010  
Anonymous Malcolm Eggs said...

The Wolseley is quite nice, but the food never quite matches the decor, the service or the constant assertion that theirs is the best breakfast in the known universe.

12:42 PM, September 16, 2010  
Anonymous Matt said...

The Lord Stanley in Camden does amazing antipodean style breakfasts on the weekend. Great vege sausages. Better coffee would be all it takes to make this perfect.

11:17 AM, December 02, 2010  
Blogger Alan Wylie said...

What no 'Maria's Market Cafe' in Borough Market, the finest bubble know to man or woman! Shame on you!

2:24 PM, December 21, 2010  
Anonymous London hotels said...

I'm sorry I don't have a place to suggest but the list seems good enough to me. Cheers

8:10 PM, February 15, 2011  
Blogger Fry Up Inspector said...

Many thanks for adding my blog to your links!

7:26 PM, June 05, 2011  
Anonymous London Personal Trainer said...

One of my favourite, informal breakfast experiences is at The Honest Sausage, in Regent's Park. They serve a tasty free-range 'Park Porker' from 8.30am, in which I indulge occasionally, after training my first client of the day. Some mornings, sitting on the benches outside the cafe, you can hear the distant roar of the lions, drifting over from the zoo, at the far end of the park.

12:04 PM, March 08, 2012  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The best breakfast in the UK, if not the world, is at

Go and try it. See if you agree. I spend year in to year out trying to find a breakfast that even remotely matches up to Duncan and Alex's, never managed it :(! I dream of Hill House breakfasts every year, before going, after coming back, practically continuously. (Alex Polizzi said it was the best breakfast she's ever eaten, and she's tried quite a few). I've tried all the supposedly 'best breakfasts' in London, in desperation, in vain hope, none come anywhere near close to the amazingness of the Hill House Breakfasts. They are the stuff of legend!

And after it is eaten, you need to go back to bed, and stay there, for a goodly while, to rest unbelievably full, happy and contented tummy! (And because you can't move, at all, stuffed to the gills).

12:46 PM, April 11, 2012  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Best breakfast in St James is Franco's. Far better than The Wolsley. Very Yellow Italian Eggs!

2:49 PM, October 02, 2012  
Anonymous Food home delivery said...

Best part of mornings, only if someone cooked for me :P

12:00 PM, March 11, 2013  
Anonymous mtmoocher said...

Try Maggie's by Lewisham Station. a unique experience!

8:15 AM, February 13, 2015  

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