“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” is a commonly heard phrase in the United Kingdom. We’re urged to eat a hearty breakfast to “set us up for the day,” and it’s seen as vital for productivity and health. Breakfast in the UK has become so important that it now stretches all the way to lunchtime and includes every kind of food you can think of!
In London, you’ll find a huge choice of breakfast spots, from traditional greasy spoons to tapas places and waffle houses. One of the coolest cities you’ll ever head out to get breakfast in, London has some popular and famous breakfast spots. Here’s our pick of the best places to get breakfast in London.
1. The Breakfast Club
The queue that snakes outside the doors of The Breakfast Club is a good indicator of how great the food is here. When you get inside, there’s a modern, rustic vibe, with the café’s own merchandise for sale on the walls and photos of previous customers at their tables. The menu is fun and varied. Try the Disco Hash — Barbara Gibb used to feed the dish to The Bee Gees before a big gig, according to the café. But what draws most people to The Breakfast Club is the incredible pancake stacks! The Breakfast Club has cafés in Canary Wharf, Spitalfields, Battersea, Angel, Hackney, London Bridge, Soho, Croydon, and Chiswick. So, wherever you are in London, a Breakfast Club is never far away.
Pro Tip: There are some great vegetarian options on the menu, and you can ask the waitstaff to make your pancakes vegan — they’re just as incredible as the regular pancakes!
Editor’s Note: The Breakfast Club is not included on our Google Map. Instead, check out locations on the café’s website.
2. The Tapas Room
This Spanish delight is just about to open its fifth location, and there’s quite a buzz around it. Although The Tapas Room had previously focused on its wine bar and dining experiences, the new site is shining the spotlight on its brunch menu. And the star of this menu is the octopus crumpet! This new location in Peckham has a large upstairs dining room, but it still offers the intimate wine bar experience downstairs, where you can join in a tasting session of Spanish sherries and wines.
Pro Tip: The Tapas Room’s other sites in Tooting, Deptford, and Battersea have later opening times and focus on dinner and drinks. The site at Brixton opens at 11 a.m., so be sure to note which location you’re going to if you’re looking for breakfast.
Another brand-new option with a focus on breakfast is Chameleon. Chameleon calls itself a “multi-experiential space” and is housed in an incredible historic building in Marylebone. There’s a lot going on at Chameleon, including art exhibitions and dance classes, but on weekends, from midday (perfect for late risers and for those who like a late breakfast), you can sit outside in the beautiful garden space and enjoy a delicious brunch. You can even take your dog! With a focus on al fresco dining, the restaurant offers blankets and has umbrellas and patio heaters in case there’s a chill or some light drizzle. The chef at Chameleon is from Tel Aviv, and the menu does reflect this. It’s not your traditional English breakfast, but it’s fantastic for anyone who likes something different.
Pro Tip: Try the matbuch, a Moroccan spicy tomato stew dip, or for something sweet, try the Israeli mille feuille with spiced nuts, roasted white peaches, and pistachios.
4. Terry’s Cafe
If you want a traditional London café, you won’t find one more authentic than Terry’s. Now run by Terry’s son, Austin, this is a greasy spoon with red checkered tablecloths and a bustling atmosphere. But don’t be put off by the old image of the London cabbie’s café — Terry’s is traditional, but it also operates to a very high standard. Most people who go to Terry’s want the traditional English breakfast fry-up of sausage, bacon, eggs, beans, and perhaps some black pudding. But Terry’s isn’t only about the old ways — there is now a vegetarian fry-up option and even a vegan full English breakfast. Take a seat and spend some time gazing at the old photos and memorabilia on the walls and shelves.
Pro Tip: Pay £6, and you’ll get bottomless tea or coffee of your choice. There’s an impressive selection of teas and coffees, so choose the one you like, and Austin will keep it coming.
What says breakfast like a Sunday morning? When you open a café called Sunday, it leaves customers in no doubt that the menu is all about leisurely breakfasts and lazy brunches, and that’s exactly what you’ll get at this laid-back café. The great thing about Sunday is the mix of naughty cakes and cream-filled pancakes and healthy options like avocados, poached eggs, and fresh berries. If you really love breakfast, start with the poached eggs and salmon, and then have yourself a breakfast dessert with the most amazing cream-filled cookies and French fancies. It’s the ultimate Sunday-morning meal.
Pro Tip: Pick up a copy of the café’s recipe book Brunch the Sunday Way, and you can make your favorites at home. You’ll find all the recipes with easy-to-follow instructions and photos. It’s perfect for when you’re back home and still want to enjoy those amazing Sunday breakfast foods.
With both Argentinian and Australian roots, Abuelo has some diverse influences, and it shows! Abuelo means “grandfather” in Spanish. The owner’s abuelo was where this all started — he used to bake cakes at home. The Argentina-meets-Australia-meets-London vibe is reflected in the menu here, where you can order a Basic Bondi — smashed avocado, chili flakes, snap peas, and watercress salad on sourdough — or a Huevos Divorciados de Turco (“Saucy Eggs and Toast Dippers”) with poached eggs, labneh, salsa roja, chimichurri, creamy avocado, and smoked paprika on sourdough.
Pro Tip: If you love breakfast at Abuelo, know that the coffee shop becomes a supper club in the evenings, with a secret members-only feel to it and a separate menu.
7. Regency Cafe
Probably the most basic café on our list, Regency Cafe has featured in films such as Layer Cake and is famous for being a true London café. Built in 1946, this is a no-frills spot that serves a great English breakfast. You won’t find any avocados or specialty coffees here, and it’s hard luck if you’re vegan, but there’s usually a queue to order, since the food is so good. This is an authentic London café experience — in fact, you’re unlikely to find a place that’s more authentic. Photos of football games on the wall add to the vibe, and the booming shouts from the kitchen for service are entertaining parts of a visit.
Pro Tip: Don’t try to save a table while another member of your party orders. The Regency has a strict policy of no sitting down until you’ve ordered your food, so that no one is left standing waiting with their food while tables are filled with those yet to receive theirs.
Bright and airy, and where the Mediterranean meets London, Amber is what modern London is all about. The menu includes Greek feta cheese, shakshuka, grilled Jerusalem pita bread, Turkish coffee, and Kandula tea. You can order a fry-up here, but it won’t be your traditional English breakfast — this one is more likely to include Spanish sausages and halloumi cheese. If you like your breakfast a bit more international, Amber is for you. This is a very friendly and welcoming café, where everyone who walks through the door is treated like an old friend. With great food and a great atmosphere, Amber is popular, but the staff will always do their best to find you a table.
Pro Tip: You can also hire the Amber team to cater your party or event. The catering menu is extensive and takes the international flair to the next level. You’ll find Korean kimchi and sea bass with tiger milk!