Nourishing, pampering and essential for fuelling your body first thing, breakfast is, as no doubt your parents told you, the most important meal of the day. But it’s not just about cereals and eggs — there’s a whole world of exciting morning meals out there. Here's a comprehensive guide to breakfasts from around the world, available right here in London. From Danish rye bread porridge and Ethiopian flatbread in spicy sauce, to Mexican sweetcorn fritters and French lobster imperial, we’ve included them all. So why not try a different breakfast each week for the next few months.
This smart all-day mittel-European restaurant, based on the old European grand café tradition, serves a fabulous selection of Austrian breakfast dishes. There’s top-quality viennoiserie freshly baked on site, hot food including pancakes and rösti, plus cereals, fruit, and a not-to-be-missed range of coffees and hot chocolates.
Fischer's, 50 Marylebone Street, W1
Another all-day grand European café from Chris Corbin and Jeremy King, this much-adored venue serves a similar breakfast to its younger sister Fischer’s — but with additional specialities, such as oatmeal soufflé with pear compote, grilled kipper with mustard butter, and cured and slightly smoked Kassler ham with fried egg. The coffee comes with whipped cream; and time seems to slow right down while you linger over newspapers.
The Delaunay, 55 Aldwych, WC2
Named after the classic crescent-shaped nut biscuits, this casual café migrated from a small site in Barbican to a larger space in Islington, and also has another branch in Kensington. The Islington branch does breakfast, while the other only offers weekend brunch. Tuck into potatoes fried with onions, bacon and egg, smoked salmon with herbed quark and rye bread, Austrian-style French toast with fruit compote, apple and cinnamon, ‘mountain cheese’ omelette with rye bread, and more. Both branches serve a set Viennese breakfast of semmel (wagon wheel-shaped bread rolls) with jam, honey, tea/coffee and orange juice.
Kipferl, 20 Camden Passage N1 and 95 Golborne Road W10
Martin Morales’s cheerful Shoreditch venue is a modern picanteria: an all-day restaurant serving healthy food and drink inspired by the Peruvian Andes. Their juice bar serves freshly pressed juices, superfood smoothies and their own-blend Peruvian coffee. Andean ‘power’ drinks include fuerza (amaranth, quinoa, apple, cinnamon, milk and maca), and hot emoliente (barley, linseed, alfalfa and quince).
Andina, 1 Redchurch Street, E2
Honey & Co
Can’t get a table at husband-and-wife Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich’s dizzyingly popular Fitzrovia favourite? Us neither. So breakfast is your best bet. Go early to sample the delights of properly made shakshuka (eggs baked with spicy tomato sauce), roasted aubergine with tahini and fried egg on pitta, and toasted fig, orange and walnut loaf with marmalade. There’s also a ‘big breakfast’ to share for £16.50 per person, encompassing a selection of breads, tomato and feta salad, olives, pickles, a couple of dips, own-made jam, ashura (porridge-like whole grain cereal), yoghurt, fresh fruit and eggs.
Honey & Co, 25a Warren Street, W1
Arabica Bar & Kitchen
Start your Borough Market shopping morning with a hearty breakfast at this acclaimed restaurant owned by the Arabica food brand. Choose from plenty, including a wonderful selection of spicy egg dishes. This is one of the few places in London where you can find ful medamas — classic Egyptian spicy broad beans — correctly served at breakfast. To drink, there’s Turkish coffee and several fragrant hot and cold beverages.
Arabica Bar & Kitchen, 3 Rochester Walk, SE1
The Cinnamon Club
This classically handsome restaurant located inside the former Westminster Library was one of the first in the capital to serve an Indian breakfast. The delicious, regularly changing menu may include uttappam (South Indian rice pancakes with pizza-like toppings) served with coconut chutney and lentil sambar broth, kedgeree, spiced omelette and Bombay-style scrambled eggs with layered paratha (flatbread). Expect to see an MP or two at the next table.
The Cinnamon Club, 30-32 Great Smith Street, SW1
This mini-chain is a glittering homage to the diminishing ‘Irani cafés’ (set up by Iranian immigrants) of Bombay. Few Indian restaurants in London offer a separate breakfast menu with such an extensive choice, so treat yourself to their famous bacon, egg or sausage naan roll featuring freshly baked naan, cream cheese and chilli tomato jam; or the classic ‘bun maska’ in which a toasted bun is stuffed with a slice of butter and dipped into masala chai. Spicy Bombay omelette is not to be missed; and other eggy delights include fried eggs on chilli-cheese toast, Parsi-style spicy scrambled eggs, and chicken mince and chicken liver topped with fried eggs. To drink, there’s breakfast lassi, breakfast cocktail and a range of teas, including the hugely popular chocolate chai.
Dishoom, locations in Shoreditch, Kensington, King's Cross, Carnaby and Covent Garden
Famous South Indian ‘tiffin’ snacks such as dosa (rice and lentil pancakes) and idli (steamed rice cakes) are meant to be eaten for breakfast. In India, you would grab them from a local teashop on your way to work, or congregate in a tiny café and eat hurriedly, standing up. Although there are several South Indian restaurant chains in London, few are open for breakfast. This bright, no-frills vegetarian chain with several branches in Greater London, is an exception: it’s open for breakfast, and serves dozens of tiffin classics. Expect plenty of variation on the rice, lentil and semolina theme, and steamed or fried dishes with soft and crunchy textures.
Saravanaa Bhavan, 115-127 Cranbrook Road IG1, 300 High Street North E12, 403 Alexandra Avenue HA2, 97 South Road UB1, 22 & 22A Ealing Road HA0 and 254 Upper Tooting Road SW17
Hugely popular with Indian families (though we’ve also spotted the odd restaurant critic, newspaper editor and TV celebrity here), this basic Gujarati vegetarian café has branches in Wembley and Hatch End. You’ll find old-school Gujarati classics such as poori-bhaji (puffed deep-fried breads with spicy potatoes), jalebi-ganthiya (sweet spirals in sticky sugar syrup accompanied by savoury cracked pepper-flecked chickpea flour nuggets) and masala chai. There are also a few traditional South Indian breakfast dishes.
Sakoni's, 127-129 Ealing Road HA0 and 330 Uxbridge Road HA5
Ensconced within a ‘secret courtyard’ close to King’s Cross station, this bustling branch of a mini-chain of Spanish restaurants and bars is, quite literally, a hidden gem. It’s one of the few in the capital to serve traditional Spanish breakfast. There’s plenty to choose from: a range of tortillas, Spanish toasted sandwiches and churros con chocolate. There’s also a ‘full Spanish’ (£7.75) comprising eggs fried in olive oil, chorizo, bacon, morcilla (blood sausage) and roasted piquillo peppers. The drinks list is imaginative, and includes horchata (Valencian tiger nut milk), Spanish hot chocolate and espresso with condensed milk that’s a speciality of the Canary Islands. A variety of hams, cheeses and aged vinegars are also available, along with sweet treats like star anise and almond biscuits. A few items like Andalusian toast with own-made jam are available to take away.
Camino, 3 Varnishers Yard, N1 (with other locations, but they don't serve breakfast)
Named after an Australian plant, these tiny cafés in Fitzrovia, Camden and Shoreditch are acclaimed for their sunny Aussie breakfasts. You’ll find dishes as simple as white sourdough toast with Vegemite, and as elaborate as sautéed wild mushrooms on potato bread with crumbled baked ricotta, crispy parsley and fried egg. And you gotta love a place that sells cakes for breakfast.
Lantana, 13 Charlotte Place W1, 45 Middle Yard, Camden Market, and Unit 2, 1 Oliver's Yard EC1
Granger & Co
The casual, relaxed vibe at Bill Granger’s Notting Hill, Chelsea, King's Cross and Clerkenwell restaurants is the main draw, and both venues are renowned for breakfasts with a modern Australian sensibility. The must-try dishes are scrambled eggs and ricotta hotcakes — both of which have enjoyed a cult following in Granger’s Sydney restaurants. There’s an imaginative range of cereals too, and freshly pressed juices and soft drinks.
Granger & Co, 50 Sekforde Street EC1, 237 Pavilion Road SW1X, 7 Pancras Square N1C, and 175 Westbourne Grove W11
Herman Ze German
Sausages made at a family butcher in the Black Forest are the main draw at this lively, centrally-located mini-chain of German deli-cafés. For breakfast, they serve hearty leberkäse rolls with mustard. This German speciality — literally meaning ‘liver cheese’ — is traditionally made from minced corned beef, pork, bacon and onions baked into a loaf until crusty. To drink, there’s Union hand-roasted coffee.
Herman Ze German,19 Villiers Street WC2, 33 Old Compton Street W1 and 43 Charlotte Street W1
Thomasina Miers’s buzzy, vibrantly decorated Mexican chain, serves breakfast in its Great Portland Street restaurant. There’s a colourful range of traditional and modern dishes, such as huevos rancheros (here, blue corn tortillas with fried eggs, frijoles and red and green sauces), Mexican scrambled eggs, breakfast burritos and that 21st century cult classic, avocado toast. Don’t miss sweetcorn fritters topped with avocado mash, roast chipotle salsa, slow-roast tomatoes and crema. Delicious drinks include Mexican hot chocolate, and freshly pressed juices and smoothies, such as one made with almond milk chia seeds, dates and bananas.
Wahaca, 26-28 Great Portland Street, W1
Decorated with bright urban street art, this lively Mexican taco and tequila bar serves contemporary spicy treats for early risers. Try ‘avocado breakfast’ featuring poached egg with avocado and lime on rye, buttermilk waffles with blueberries, agave syrup and hibiscus reduction, and tacos with blackened salmon, avocado, sweetcorn, coriander and lime. There’s a great selection of hot and cold drinks, including Mexican cinnamon and rice drink, tamarind soda, and hibiscus and cranberry fizz.
Habanera, 280 Uxbridge Road, W12
Snaps & Rye
Owned by a local couple, this achingly hip Danish café in Notting Hill sells food, books, gifts and crockery. On its breakfast menu are own-made Danish pastries such as tebirkes (puffed marzipan-filled butter pastries with poppy seeds) and spandauer (the more familiar variety with pastry cream).
Snaps & Rye, 93 Golborne Road, W10
Cooper & Woolf
Its name might sound quintessentially English, but this family-run café in Lower Clapton, overlooking Millfields Park, cooks Swedish recipes that have been handed down through generations. Morning eats include Swedish fish roe spread with a boiled egg on crispbread or toast, and oatmeal porridge with grated apple, cinnamon and sweet Swedish syrup.
Cooper & Wolf, 145 Chatsworth Road, E5
Curious Yellow Kafe
This funky café with outdoor seating serves Swedish and British dishes — including a weekends-only Scandinavian breakfast. Treat yourself to gravlax with ham, cheese, pâté, gherkins and crudités, all served with a selection of Swedish breads.
Curious Yellow Kafe, 77 Pitfield Street, N1
This bright deli sells a wide range of groceries from Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland. Its on-site café serves a small number of Scandinavian breakfast dishes, including Nordic porridge with chopped apples and sticky sugar paste, breads with Scandinavian cheeses, and rye bread with Scandi cream cheese and jam.
Scandinavian Kitchen, 61 Great Titchfield Street, W1
This stylish mini-chain has four branches in central London. They’re open early, so you can pop in and buy (or sit down to eat) delicious cinnamon or cardamom buns, butter buns, almond twists, cakes in flavours like coffee, almond or dates, assorted salads, Finnish potato pies, large pancakes, oat bake with blueberries and raspberries, and much more. Sandwiches are also available in flavours like Danish salami, herring and gravlax.
Nordic Bakery, 14a Golden Square W1, 37b New Cavendish Street W1, 55 Neal Street WC2H and 48 Dorset Street W1
Popular with local Turkish families, this colourful Stoke Newington restaurant is one of the best in the capital for Turkish breakfast. Along with traditional menemen (pan-fried eggs with tomatoes, onions, green peppers and herbs), there’s a full Turkish breakfast consisting of Turkish bread with honey, jam, feta, olives, tomatoes, cucumber, fried egg and tea. Even more impressive is the ‘village breakfast’ for two: hot bread with pan-fried eggs, garlic sausage, feta, halloumi, goats cheese, honey, cream, quince jam, cherry jam, olives, tomatoes, cucumber and Turkish tea. On Sundays, there’s a large buffet breakfast with over 50 items, including cheeses, eggs, olives, jams, pastries and hot and cold drinks.
Istanbul Restaurant, 9 Stoke Newington Road, N16
This mini-chain of centrally-located contemporary Turkish restaurants serves breakfasts with a modern Mediterranean touch. Try scrambled eggs with feta or spicy sausage, traditional menemen, or pide bread toasted sandwiches with assorted fillings such as halloumi.
Sofra, various locations
Located bang opposite the Chiltern Firehouse, this cool, minimalist offshoot of the trendy Monocle magazine is a lovely place to linger with a book. Their Japanese breakfast of rice cube stuffed with tuna, tofu ‘cheese’ with sesame, egg roll, Japanese pickles, miso soup and salad is great value. They also serve a set Scandinavian breakfast, to-die-for cardamom buns, muesli and more.
Monocle Cafe, 18 Chiltern Street, W1
As the capital’s original Japanese canteen (innovative and ground-breaking in its day), Wagamama needs no introduction. Its Heathrow Terminal 5 branch serves a breakfast menu of ‘traditional’ (European) and ‘adventurous’ (contemporary Japanese) dishes — and the latter includes classic Japanese rice with miso soup and pickles, okonomiyaki pancakes and yaki soba noodles.
Wagamama, Heathrow Airport, Terminal 5
Perched inside the unlikely location of Elephant and Castle shopping centre, this cheap-as-chips Polish café is a quirky place to while away the time with a newspaper. Cheerful, hearty breakfasts include fried kielbasa (Polish sausage) with bread, panini-style breakfast sandwiches in flavours such as bacon, and traditional toasted baps with assorted meaty fillings. ‘The big daddy’ consists of hash brown potatoes, bacon, kielbasa sausage, fried eggs, Polish gherkins, cucumber and tomatoes with bread and butter.
Mamuśka, 16 Elephant & Castle
We’ve already told you about Marylebone’s contemporary Greek diner, but it’s also one of the few places in London to go for a Greek breakfast. They serve Greek yoghurt, mastic-flavoured tsoureki brioche with own-made chocolate praline spread, slow-poached eggs on koulouri milk bread with Greek yoghurt hollandaise and bacon, and more.
Opso, 10 Paddington Street, W1
Ting Restaurant at Shangri-La Hotel at the Shard
Tower Bridge, the Thames, Greenwich and Canary Wharf are all visible from this contemporary Chinese and Modern European restaurant, located on level 35 of the Shard.
Ting, Level 35, The Shard, SE1
Alongside a number of other breakfasts (a la carte, Continental buffet, Japanese and healthy), this lavish hotel serves a Chinese breakfast in its main dining room. On the menu are dim sum, duck eggs, chicken congee, Chinese pickles and much more; and the room gives spectacular views over Hyde Park. In fine weather, you can eat al fresco on the terrace.
Mandarin Oriental, 66 Knightsbridge, SW1
Keith McNally’s famous New York brasserie opened a glittering Covent Garden outpost amid much fanfare — and mixed reviews. It has now found its feet, and serves a great selection of French pastries, tartines and egg dishes such as omelette with fine herbs de Provence, along with lashings of distinctive London and New York style.
Balthazar, 4-6 Russell Street, WC2
Jackson + Rye
London’s American restaurants are better known for their brunches than breakfasts, but Soho’s sleekly designed New York-style diner is an exception. Here you’ll find classic breakfasts including buttermilk pancakes.
Jackson & Rye, 1 Heron Square TW9, 217-221 Chiswick High Road W4 and 56 Wardour Street W1
Breakfast is not really a part of Italian culture: working professionals normally just grab a coffee and pastry on their way to work. However, this pizza shop in Leadenhall Market specialises in pizza per square slice and has introduced a ‘sweet pizza’ for breakfast in daily-changing flavours like chocolate and raspberry. Other sweet treats include Italian cornetti (filled pastry horns similar to croissants) and bite-sized cakes.
Pizza Rossa, 4-12 Whittington Avenue EC3 and 168 London Wall EC2
Soho’s buzzy Milanese bakery and pizzeria serves freshly baked pastries with jams and chocolate spreads to early risers. Also on the morning menu is focaccia with leek, gruyere and cherry tomatoes, olive bread, baguettes filled with mortadella and parma ham and much more.
Princi, 135 Wardour Street, W1
This much-loved chain of British steak restaurants, with several venues around the capital, serves breakfast at its Guildhall branch. On the menu are some amazing breakfast cocktails. An extravagant option is breakfast for two (£37) comprising smoked bacon chop, pork, beef and mutton sausages, black pudding, short-rib bubble and squeak, grilled bone marrow, ‘trotter baked beans’, fried eggs, grilled mushrooms, roast tomatoes, toast, and HP brown sauce gravy. Are you brave enough to finish it?
Hawksmoor, 10 Basinghall Street, EC2
Dean Street Townhouse
The restaurant of this handsome, upscale venue in Soho serves a lovely selection of classic English breakfast dishes. Choose from sausage or bacon sandwich, ham hock hash with fried duck egg, grilled kippers with butter, kedgeree and crumpets with preserves. There’s also a ‘full English’ (£9/£14) with eggs, sausages, bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms and black pudding.
Dean Street Townhouse, 69-71 Dean Street, W1
The Riding House Café
Fitzrovia’s cool, contemporary all-day brasserie serves smoked salmon with scrambled eggs, and bacon sandwiches along with a full English (£14.50). Also on the menu are cereals, pancakes, fresh fruit, pastries and an enticing choice of juices and smoothies.
The Riding House Cafe, 43-51 Great Titchfield Street, W1
Located in an old grain store in increasingly foodie King’s Cross, this much-loved restaurant is incredibly busy at breakfast. There’s a daily changing selection of baked goods such as morning buns, cereals with fruit, toasts with assorted toppings and hot dishes like jalapeno cornbread with fried eggs, black beans and guindilla pepper. They’re serious about their coffee here, too: speciality, single estate coffee beans are sourced from around the world and roasted daily in small batches on-site.
Caravan, 1 Granary Square, N1
Ottolenghi’s smart, elegant Soho restaurant serves breakfast dishes with Asian and Middle Eastern influences. On a regularly changing menu, you might find French toast with star anise sugar, berry compote and orange yoghurt, black rice cooked with coconut milk, banana and mango, and sausage or bacon sandwich with coriander aioli.
Nopi, 21-22 Warwick Street, W1
The Providores and Tapa Room
The ground floor Tapa Room of Peter Gordon’s renowned Marylebone restaurant is named after a ceremonial cloth from the Pacific (and not Spanish tapas). Breakfast is incredibly popular, so get there early or you’ll have to queue. There’s an excellent choice of hot dishes showcasing unusual ingredients from around the world, several fry-ups, and a delicious and colourful range of non-alcoholic cocktails. Don’t miss one of London’s best-loved and most iconic breakfast dishes: Turkish eggs made from poached eggs with whipped yoghurt with hot chilli butter.
Providores and Tapa Room, 109 Marylebone High Street, W1
So, what’s your favourite breakfast in London? Tell us in the comments below.