Where to Find the Best English Breakfast in London
No visit to London would be complete without indulging in a fry up – a traditional meal that has stood the test of time.
London is lucky to have an abundance of restaurants serving breakfast, with the options comprising a variety of cuisines. From buttermilk pancakes and avocado toast, to eggs benedict and shakshuka, you really are spoilt for choice. However, if you’re visiting London for the first time, or simply want to be a tourist in your own city, opt for one of London's best English breakfasts. This indulgent fry up is a breakfast tradition dating back to the early 1300s and can be thoroughly enjoyed in the early morning, for brunch or, indeed, at any time – are there any more glorious words in the English language than "all-day breakfast"?. Read on for where to find the best English breakfast in London according to Plum Guide.
For a truly classic, no frills, greasy spoon-esque experience, E. Pellicci in Bethnal Green is definitely one of, if not the best English breakfast in London. Open since 1900, it has been serving full fry ups for over a century and is now an East End landmark. The cafe is still in the hands of the same Italian family who opened it, so it’s no surprise that the small, humble space is brimming with history and an endearing atmosphere.
If you’re prepared to loosen the purse strings a little to experience an iconic London breakfast experience, The Wolseley will not disappoint. From the grand European interior to the impeccable food, it’s a winner. It even became a favourite haunt for the renowned critic A.A.Gill, who loved the breakfast so much, he wrote a whole book about it. Open from 8am at the weekends, the Wolseley is perfect for experiencing one of London's best English breakfasts bright and early, or you can opt for a more lie-in friendly time.
If you've opted to stay in a characterful Plum home in Peckham, or need an excuse for a journey off the beaten track, grab a seat at the kitchen counter of Coal Rooms and enjoy the scents of fresh food being cooked in the coal oven. The full English here comes with all the trimmings: pork & caramelised onion sausages, hash browns, pigs head blood pudding and, drumroll please, roast beef butter on toast.
Quo Vadis is a quintessential London restaurant, steeped in tradition and history. Its past is pretty colourful – it once housed a Soho brothel and was home to Karl Marx. Today, customers return time after time for the consistently high level of food, sourced from local and seasonal ingredients. The cooked English breakfast here is no exception, best enjoyed right by the beautiful stained-glass windows. If you fancy in this central part of town, choose from our collection of homes like this stylish space.
Parlour is a relaxed gastropub with a menu to match, committed to providing top quality pub grub. The menu here is celebrated for the innovative takes on British classics, and while the full English is fairly by the book, it’s a pretty knockout version. Named, The (No Subs) Full Parlour Breakfast, it’s hearty and delicious. Make sure to accompany it with a freshly baked soda bread roll. What's more, Parlour is happy to welcome your furry companions (combine breakfast here with a stay at one of Plum Guide's pet-friendly London homes).
Sitting right alongside E. Pellicci in terms of the best traditional cafes London can offer, Regency Cafe is another old-school breakfast institution. Serving city punters since 1946, an art deco exterior, gingham curtains, photo framed walls and extra portions of baked beans continue to be a winning formula. It’s also been a popular destination in the media over the years, appearing in films such as Layer Cake and Rocketman, and featuring in Japanese Vogue. Regency Cafe is located in Pimlico, an ideal neighbourhood for visiting the annual Chelsea Flower Show. We love this light-filled space in the neighbourhood.
Since its opening in 2010, Dishoom has quickly become a favourite in the city. Presently, no matter what night of the week you try and visit, there will be a long queue snaking out of the door. Another ingenious way to try their delicious food is to go at breakfast time, the menu of which is fresh and innovative. They have a vegan take on the full English, the Vegan Bombay – an innovative yet tradition-inspired alternative to London's best English breakfasts.
The Full Nelson
If you’re vegetarian or vegan and are reading this, do not be disheartened – you need not miss out on the best English breakfast in London. With a pub feel, rhe Full Nelson offers a veggie twist on the classic fry up, which includes scrambled tofu, potato and apple rostis and a beer battered vegan "sausage". Heading to London for a concert? The Full Nelson is set in Deptford, meaning you can add it for your list of things to do near the o2 Arena.
On the other end of the scale, Hawksmoor Guildhall serves up an incredibly hearty full English in a high-end restaurant setting. More widely recognised for their high quality meat, popular with the city crowd, their inventive take on the breakfast classic is just as impressive. Order the breakfast for two to share: arriving on a chrome iron serving plate, it has all the trimmings of a traditional full English, complete with additional items such as short-rib bubble and squeak and grilled bone marrow.
Located in the hugely popular and buzzing location of Covent Garden, Balthazar is a favourite amongst both tourists and locals for fuelling up before a day in the city. A concept originally born as a French brasserie-style restaurant in the heart of New York, the London version is now equally successful as its Manhattan equivalent. Go straight for the full English (bypassing the eggs and caviar) and you won’t be disappointed. Stay nearby in a wonderful Westminster homes like this.
Known for late night croque monsieurs and champagne, and set one of the liveliest streets in Soho, this popular brasserie will never let you down, especially if you are looking to fuel up with arguably the best English breakfast in London before a day of exploring. The full English in particular is executed really well, and best enjoyed on one of the al fresco tables, enjoying the relative calm of morning.
Photo credits: E. Pellicci, The Wolseley, Coal Rooms, Quo Vadis, Parlour, Regency Cafe, Dishoom, The Full Nelson, Hawksmoor Guildhall, Balthazar, Cafe Boheme