Brunch: it’s an institution. It may not be the most important meal of the day, but it’s definitely the best – if you know where to go! We’ve rounded up the top brunch spots in London, from the classic Wolseley to the hottest brunch party of the moment. Your weekend starts here…
The Best Brunches in London
Fancy Crab, Marylebone
Situated right behind Selfridges and with a strong commitment to everything crab-like from the interior design to the menu, book a comfortable booth for brunch at Fancy Crab and prepare for super-fresh food, friendly service and an all-together fun, laidback brunch experience. Having been harvesting crab since 1993, the Fancy Crab team are experts in how seafood should be made, prepared, what it should be paired with and how it should be served. Their brunch menu is a concise list, a crab-themed spin-off of a typical brunch menu, featuring dishes such as King Crab Benedict and Crab Omelette. If nothing on the Brunch menu takes your fancy, venture out into the main menu, which is large and full of recommendations the thoughtful server was happy to explain. For the full Fancy Crab experience, order the Premium Platter, perfect for two people. With this, enjoy bottomless prosecco for 90 minutes. What this means is that your beautiful champagne/prosecco flute will be topped up often, even just a touch, giving your dining experience a touch of luxury. Order the Crab Tempura on the side, and finish off by sharing the Buttermilk Blueberry Waffles from the Brunch Menu, should you require, as I did, a sweet treat to end the meal on.
If you’re heading into Marylebone for a spot of weekend shopping, be sure to stop at on Baker Street for some much-needed fuel. Weekends are for indulging, so forsake your usual green smoothie to tuck into a steaming hot plate of Çiblir – poached eggs drenched in yoghurt, Aleppo chilli butter, garlic and burnt leek. Add a portion of homemade Baklava and bottomless Turkish tea and you’re ready to go. There’s a reason Anatolian cuisine has come back into fashion, and Yosma’s just the place to try it. 50 Baker Street, London W1U 7BT.
Farm Girl Soho
While everyone else is busy queuing outside the original Farm Girl in Notting Hill, head to one of their other venues. The uber-popular cafe now has a second location in Chelsea, as well as an outpost in the You will have seen the Super Lattes all over your Instagram feed, and we can confirm they are just as delicious as they look – the Rose Latte is a classic, while the Butterfly Matcha and Liquid Gold (made with turmeric, cinnamon, astragalus, honey and coconut milk) are definitely worth a try if you like your drinks to be of the ultra-nourishing kind. Their avocado toast is undoubtedly one of the best in town, and their salad and Acai bowls are a great hangover cure that’ll leave you feeling fresh. The ‘build your own bowl’ option will ensure everyone’s kept happy. 1 Carnaby Street, London W1F 9QF.
The Providores & Tapa Room, Marylebone
is a classic brunch spot for Marylebone locals, thanks to its buzzing atmosphere and food with a difference. This is the place to go if eggs ‘n bacon don’t quite cut it for you… The innovative and exciting fusion food on offer includes brunch dishes such as Turkish Eggs (poached eggs with whipped yoghurt and chilli butter) and an excellent grilled chorizo, sweet potato miso hash, boiled egg, labne and cashew praline – great for those who want a bit of everything. Book ahead to get a table upstairs by the window for some excellent people watching. 109 Marylebone High Street, London W1U 4RX.
Abuelo Cafe, Covent Garden
Antipodean brunch dishes have taken London by storm – but how about trying something a little different at Abuelo Cafe which combines the best of Australia and South America? Launched by a mother and daughter team, there’s a distinct family feel to this compact Covent Garden coffee house and kitchen. Brunch is a highlight, blending flavours from both cuisines to bring guests vibrant dishes including labneh poached eggs with salsa roja, chimichurri and avocado, fresh salads packed with flavour (think mint, wild garlic leaves and baby spinach topped with goats cheese and slow-cooked lamb tostada) and a smoked paprika arepa which packs a punch with slow-cooked pulled beef, mustard mayo, pickled cabbage and raw slaw. Your caffeine hit comes in the form of South American coffee beans brewed using Aussie techniques for the ultimate best of both worlds. Make sure you leave space for a sweet treat, too – the cruffin (croissant/muffin) is to die for. 26 Southampton Street, London WC2E 7RS.
Avenue, St James’s
in the heart of St James’s is always buzzing with the chatter of London’s trendy set, and never more so than at weekends during the brunch service. Choose from two or three courses, sit back and enjoy a catch-up with friends as your Prosecco and Bloody Mary’s are constantly topped up by waiters on stand-by – and trust us, the drinks are top-notch. Don’t leave without trying one of the ‘Hard Shakes’ – milkshakes decadently blended with alcohol that are pure genius. Standout dishes include truffle mac’n’cheese, the buttermilk kimchi burger and the dark chocolate brownie if you still have space for dessert. A great venue for a special occasion with the spectacular Decanting Bar at the centre of the room and sparkling chandelier of wine glasses for added glamour (and decently priced for the location, too). 7-9 St James’s Street, London SW1A 1EE.
Situated just a few metres from the old American embassy, this brunch spot exudes Upper East Side style and you’d be forgiven for mistaking another patron for Jay Gatsby himself. The Art Deco burnt-ochre booths and lighting are dispersed with pops of colour from bright, flowery Liberty London print cushions and matching menus (the pattern was developed exclusively for the restaurant). And then the food. You won’t find smashed avo on toast here, but instead enjoy Japanese wagyu croquettes, stone bass ceviche tacos and melt-in-mouth short rib mac and cheese. For those after more traditional brunch offerings, there’s lobster omelette thermidor, waffles with foie gras or buttermilk fried chicken (a nod to the traditionally Southern delicacy). Wash it all down with a delicious green juice, or for something slightly more indulgent, a bloody Mary. What’s are you waiting for, old sport? 34 Mayfair’s Summer of Brunch menu includes all the classics from 34, and is now available on Fridays too, and all summer long. 34 Grosvenor Square, London W1K 2HD
The Orange, Pimlico
Pub and mini-hotel is a lovely spot for a Sunday brunch. Pop in after a slow saunter through the elegant streets of Belgravia, having picked up some flowers from Nikki Tibbles Wild at Heart just across the street and some fresh fruit and veg from the market which appears in the small square opposite. The menu includes only a few dishes, but so curated that you won’t find yourself wanting for anything more. The Full English is old-school perfection, while the chilli cornbread with smashed avocado, poached eggs and herbs is a London-best brunch dish. Opt for a fresh juice to keep it healthy, and get comfortable in your chair with a copy of The Times in this light-flooded haven of calm. For a real treat, book yourself in for a weekend staycation – in true style, there are only four bedrooms, each designed in exceptional taste to create a cosy, retro retreat in the city that you’ll struggle to leave. 37 Pimlico Road, SW1
recently launched its first ever Sunday Brunch – and it’s truly amazing. Every Sunday from 11 to 3pm, guests can enjoy a selection of Nobu’s “greatest hits” as well as brand new dishes that have been specially created. The bespoke Brunch Bar alone is worth making the trip for – signature Nobu sushi, sashimi, tiradito, tataki, oysters, hot foods and lots more all laid out enticingly before you, and, amazingly, it’s unlimited. Don’t get too carried away, though. As part of the brunch you’ll also be served round after round of sharing dishes, including a heavenly parmesan truffle rice toban, tangy grouper tempura with amazu ponzu and roasted short ribs. And, as if that weren’t enough, there’s a dessert bar too packed with sweet treats and exotic fruits. Arrive hungry and emerge quasi-delirious… The perfect way to while away a Sunday. Food only: £45 per person; from £55 including drinks.
10-50 Willow Street, London EC2A 4BH,
Sexy Fish, Mayfair
Since opening in 2015, Sexy Fish has been widely regarded as one of the most fashionable and luxurious places to eat in town, and constantly has hoardes of paparazzi waiting outside. Now offering a , it’s undoubtedly the coolest place to be on a weekend. Sexy Brunch is essentially a daytime party featuring Japanese-inspired brunch items, fun cocktails and the likes of Nick Grimshaw on the DJ decks.
The food is nothing short of exceptional: having tried and tested it ourselves, we can tell you that you should go with an empty stomach and be prepared to indulge. The wagyu beef, foie gras and truffle gyoza are heaven on a plate, while the signature Sexy Benedict of poached eggs served on black charcoal muffin with lobster and truffle is unique. We really cannot recommend this place more, but be prepared to spend, spend, spend… Berkeley Square, London W1
The Wolseley, Piccadilly
Classic and timeless. You can’t help but feel that you’re a ‘someone’ from the moment you step inside. The menu is extensive and caters to all tastes; the devilled lambs kidneys, haggis and grilled kippers are big-hitters, but for those who aren’t big morning eaters there’s granola, fruit and bread to graze on. If AA Gill wrote a whole book about it, then it’s got to be good. 160 Piccadilly, London W1, 020 7499 6996,
Balthazar, Covent Garden
Eat like a New Yorker. The eggs here are unrivalled: scramblers with Cornish crab, herb omelette, Benedict, Royale or Florentine, or ‘as you wish’. Hungry? Get the whole grilled lobster. 4–6 Russell Street, London WC2,
Señor Ceviche Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia
The ultimate Peruvian-inspired brunch in the heart of London. With some of the best food and drinks this side of Lima, the new Señor Ceviche site in Fitzrovia offers an exclusive brunch menu to start your weekend in style. In a colourful space inspired by the grand colonial architecture of the Peruvian capital, enjoy signature ceviches and tiraditos for a fresh start to the day, or opt for the innovative and delicious cornbread french toast with tomato salsa, avocado, poached eggs and yuzu truffle hollandaise. Make it a boozy brunch with free flowing Piscos or Cusqueñas for just £18 a person. We’ll drink to that! 18 Charlotte Street, London W1,
The Ivy, Tower Bridge and Soho
Within touching distance of London’s impressive Tower Bridge is the , complete with its own special Weekend Brunch menu that is one of London’s top contenders. Begin by looking out over the river while sipping a classic peach Bellini on the outdoor terrace, complete with gloriously soft signature green blankets for when there’s a chill. Start with the tuna carpaccio and truffle arancini to nibble on, before diving into a classic Eggs Benedict or steak sandwich – or both! The build-your-own waffles will keep the kids happy, too. Meanwhile, Soho is a brunch haven all of its own. From Friday, 10 August to Sunday, 16 September, The Ivy Soho Brasserie’s façade will be beautifully dressed in a wall of glittering sequins, mirror balls, copper roses and flowers, all inspired by Soho’s glamourous heritage as London’s party quarter and Absolut Elyx’s unique copper distillation process. Ensuring diners can socialise and unwind in style, Absolut Elyx and The Ivy Soho Brasserie’s bar team have also concocted two exclusive cocktails. The ‘Absolut 29’ (£9.95) features Absolut Elyx Vodka, Cointreau, a juicy mix of pineapple, berries and lime, topped with prosecco and served in a copper martini glass, whilst the glittering ‘Red Elyxir’ (£8.95) incorporates Absolut Elyx Vodka, infused red fruit tea, Earl Grey tincture, lime, agave and soda. One Tower Bridge, London SE1, 26-28 Broadwick Street, London W1F 8JB
Aquavit London, St James’ Market
A Nordic brunch may not be an obvious choice, but it definitely should be! If you’ve had your fill of the usual eggs ‘n bacon, head to stunning contemporary Nordic restaurant for one of the coolest brunches in the city. With live music every weekend, feast on Gravlax and Herring for something typical, go for the Eel Benedict for a modern brunch twist, or enjoy the Aquavit breakfast if a full English is still your favourite. Add unlimited wine for £15, too… St James’ Market, 1 Carlton Street, London SW1,
You can enjoy the classic ‘petit déjeuner’ at Colbert until midday all week, making it the perfect early brunch spot. Inspired by French pavement cafés, it’s perfect for people watching as one of the hottest spots to see and be seen in the capital. Try the unbeatable eggs Florentine and sip on a café crème for the closest thing to Parisian chic in London. 50-52 Sloane Sq, London SW1,
Roast, Borough Market
Deliciously British in style, sits high above the crowds of Borough Market shoppers. Long a favourite among those in the know who wish to avoid the hustle and bustle, the restaurant has recently launched a brunch menu that’s well worth sampling. Opt for the Lobster Benedict which is especially generous, or try the classic grilled bacon chop with sausage, fried egg and chips which is great for curing hangovers. Top it off with one of their delightful cocktails – our favourite is the cucumber slushie – and to finish, pick up a punnet of strawberries from the stalls downstairs. Stoney Street, Borough Market, SE1,
Hidden in the depths of Tooting you’ll find MUD, a laid-back, Antipoedian-style café serving up a top-tip brunch right through to the afternoon on weekends. There’s often a bit of a queue, but it’s worth the wait. The menu changes often, but you can expect big portions of tasty Aussie-style dishes – their corn fritter stack, served with smashed avocado and optional bacon, is a popular dish. For the sweet-toothed among you, go for the buckwheat pancakes, served with pecans and caramelised pear puree, and be warned: there are lots of pancakes to get through! Decor is rustic and relaxed, with exposed brick walls, wooden boards and colourful flowers dotted around, and during the summer their terrace makes a lovely spot for breakfast in the sunshine. Being an Aussie cafe they serve proper coffee too, a selection of fresh juices. 141 Mitcham Road, Tooting, SW17 9PE
The Ukiyo Brunch at Aqua Kyoto is a friend to hangovers and resolutions alike. The menu is divided up into two sections: Indulgence and Purity, both equally delicious. Leave it to the swish and streamlined cosmopolitan interiors of the restaurant to lend class to the sloppy food and excess to the healthy dishes. Go for the Japanese pancake with honey cured bacon, ton katsu sauce and katsuoboshi from the indulgent side and the perfectly crisp and fluffy vegetable ika gyoza with wasabi sauce from the purity side. But we’ve gotten ahead of ourselves. Before you even need to make decisions, the starters are brought out: delicate and delicious miso soup with rice crisps and edamame, followed by a gorgeous sushi try that features a prawn tempura that is itself reason enough to do it all again next week. The child in you will squeal with delight at a Japanese waffle filled with your choice of warm custard, served with a miniature miso ice cream cone on the side. £36 per person, Saturday, 12noon – 3:30pm & Sunday, 12noon – 6:15pm. With bottomless bubbles or Bellinis: £49.00. With bottomless Veuve Clicquot Champagne: £65.00. 5th Floor, 240 Regent Street, (Entrance 30 Argyll St, W1F 7EB, London W1B 3BR
The MAV Music Brunch Sessions
From 1 September, MAV Music will launch a series of brunches at , , and aimed at those seeking a little bit of soul and hip hop whilst enjoying a Bloody Mary and Eggs Benedict. The brunch menus use only sustainable and local ingredients and can be virtuous or indulgent – mood dependent. The weekly sessions will feature the best DJs in the game all curated by MAV Music – the guys behind the soundtrack for Soho House, Es Vive and more… The MAV Music Brunch Sessions start from September, from 12pm – 4pm. Bookings can be made directly through the restaurants.
The Daisy Green Collection
For a healthy Aussie-inspired brunch that will look great on your Instagram, head to one of the Daisy Green spots. Dishes are delicious and beautifully presented; highlights include the broccoli & corn fritters with avocado, poached eggs and chilli pesto and The Bondi, a healthier version of the classic fry up – bacon, sausage, mushrooms, avocado, poached eggs and charcoal toast. If you’re feeling something sweet, go for the banana bread sandwich, which comes with berries, almonds, honey, mascarpone and honey. Celebrating something? Make it boozy with their bottomless deal, which includes unlimited prosecco and mimosas for two hours.
When you think of brunch, Peruvian food probably doesn’t spring to mind – but Marylebone hotspot Pachamama are challenging our preconceptions. Despite its location in the basement of one of the buildings on Thayer Street, the restaurant is bright, airy with an art deco feel. Their brunch waffles, which come with either a quinoa or sweet potato base, taste just as good as they look. Choose between a mixture of sweet and savoury toppings, from Peruvian fried chicken to peanut butter with grilled plantain and cacao nibs. Or if it’s not too early in the morning, try one of their ceviche dishes like the sea bass with tiger’s milk and sweet potato crisps. Can’t decide? Go for the brunch tasting menu, which includes a number of dishes designed to be shared by two people. 18 Thayer Street, Marylebone, W1U 3JY
No. 32 The Old Town
Located a stones throw away from Clapham Common, No. 32 The Old Town is a popular evening spot for Clapham locals – but it also does a really good brunch. If you fancy something sweet, go for their banana and ricotta pancakes, served with coconut yoghurt and warm berry compote. More in the mood for savoury? Their creamy mushrooms and butter beans on toast, with a truffle, tarragon and parmesan dressing, is a good option; while their sourdough bruschetta with roasted tomatoes, avocado and bacon, is a classic. Pair with one (or a few) of their brunch cocktails, and allow breakfast to merge into afternoon drinks. During the summer, get there early to nab a place on the sun-trap roof terrace. 32 The Pavement, SW4
Balham has become something of a brunch mecca in recent years, with hip Hildreth Street spot Milk taking centre stage. Set up by Aussie duo Julian Porter and Lauren Johns, Milk first opened back in 2012 as M1LK, but in 2015 it underwent a refurbishment, re-opening without the numeral as Milk. First thing’s first: you will have to queue on weekends, as the Balham brunchers are out in force – but hold out, because the food really is top-notch. Hungover? Go for their sweetcorn fritters, served with smashed avo, halloumi and smoked bacon; or the Kurdish baked eggs with chorizo, spinach and labneh. If you’re after something quirky, the fillet’o’fish sandwich is a popular choice, made with red snapper, baked eggs and nut milk. Decor is light, bright and simple, with outdoor tables set on cobbled Hildreth Street, ideal for the summer months. Great coffee, delicious food, friendly staff – what more could you want?
Bluebird Café White City
Channel your inner child at White City’s Bluebird Cafe, who are launching a new Retro Brunch this February. Think crumpet stations with all the toppings imaginable, alphabet spaghetti hoops on toast, all-time favourite cereals, and banana split with chocolate, nuts and wafers. The old school tunes will be playing and the chocolate milk will be flowing – unless you feel like kicking things up a notch with a boozy milkshake, or going the whole hog with bottomless prosecco. Available from 2 February and running every Saturday
B&H Garden Room
Like your brunch with a view? Head to Bourne & Hollingsworth’s newest rooftop venture Garden Room, who are launching a stylish brunch. If you fancy something a bit different, try the sweet potato frittafle (frittata meets waffle) with fried duck egg; or the eggs in red wine – a spin on the classic Eggs Royale. Vegan? No problem! Refresh with a fruity smoothie bowl, or fill up with some tasty vegan waffles topped with blueberries, coconut yoghurt and caramelised banana. Wash it down with one of B&H’s signature cocktails, such as B&H Garden Mary, a twist on the classic Bloody Mary, which you can customise by picking your own spirit, juice and salt combination. Enjoy all this amid the restaurant’s impressive interiors, with a jungle of plants dotted around, fully-grown trees, white-washed floors and wicker furnishings, as well as floor-to-ceiling windows displaying the spectacular city skyline. Available from 2 February
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