3 Really Great Places for Breakfast in London
Breakfast when I’m traveling is basically the highlight of my vacation. There is just something so luxurious about having a pretty meal replace the normal cereal that I have. The sunny morning, the warm coffee, and yum—breakfast food is really just my favourite. Avocado on toast, bacon, pancakes and waffles buried under berries and cream…. It’s hard to resist starting a day off with options like that.
Luckily, London has fantastic breakfast places. Some are fancy, some are casually cool and others are just really simple options to grab something quick and easy. Here are three of my favourite places to go throughout the week. (And I really do hit up some of these almost weekly!) For the sake of keeping things original, I didn’t include Granger & Co.—but that’s really only for the reason that I already talk about it a bit too much.
So without further babbling, I’m adding to my new “3 Great Places” series three of the places that are, off the top of my brain, the best places for breakfast in London. Any of these listed below will definitely start your day out in the right direction.
3 Really Great Places for Breakfast in London
RIDING HOUSE CAFE | There are popular places that come and go in London. It’s just what happens in big cities as newer spaces come. However, Riding House Cafe is a spot that is just as popular on a regular weekday morning now as it was years ago. (And maybe now, it also has the benefit of being seen as a “neighbourhood gem,” so not only do people think it’s great… but they also treasure and come back for regular meet-ups.) But you know why I go? The fluffy-yet-sorta-crispy-on-the-edges pancakes covered in berries and clotted cream. And the chorizo skillet. (Go with a friend so you can get one of each and share them.) And okay, yeah, I’m guess I’m a bit of a sappy Londoner, too. I love going back because it’s been the backdrop for some really great memories we have had and made with friends and each other throughout the years. But, you know, if they ever stopped crowning those pancakes with that glorious clotted cream, I might be able to move on.
43-51 Great Titchfield St, Fitzrovia, London W1W 7PQ | +44 20 7927 0840
EXMOUTH MARKET GRIND | If you’re in Central London, but looking for a more neighbourhood feel (where you know, Londoners actually live), head towards Exmouth Market. There you’ll find along the lovely pedestrian Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell’s very own Grind. It’s a funky, Instagram-worthy little spot where the customer service is top-notch, the food is as aesthetically pleasing as it is delicious (their crispy, American-style bacon is my favourite in town), and is praised by coffee snobs in London as making “really good coffee.” I like a sunny spot by the window, but really, any place inside is great. (As a little bonus, if Grind is full, you can walk over to Caravan across the street as a solid Plan B.)
8-10 Exmouth Market, London EC1R 4QA | +44 20 3019 7709
GAIL’S | If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that we have a little Saturday morning tradition of going to Gail’s for cinnamon rolls. But what you may not see is the avocado toast with tomato chutney that Viola and I share. It is SO delicious. Luckily, Gail’s has become quite popular, so there are several of them scattered across London. Take your pick of the closest to you. All are great, and the simple-but-chic setting will feel like the perfect start to your day. When you’re finished, you can grab a coffee for the road or, you know, a cheese twist or chocolate chip cookie. Whatever works for you. Our favourite locations are on Portobello Road, Bloomsbury Square (though the small seating area is a bit rough) and Exmouth Market, but let’s be honest—all the locations are perfectly consistent and tasty.
138 Portobello Rd, Notting Hill, London W11 2DZ | +44 20 7792 8715
A Londoner Recommends….
LIZ CAFE | “Liz Cafe is a snug little neighbourhood cafe just off Shepherd’s Bush Green, and is a great breakfast stop if you’re just in the mood for a croissant and coffee or a full-on hearty brunch. I usually go for something in between—it’s hard to beat their avocado on sourdough with poached eggs and piccalilli. They’ve got lovely coffee, a cute space and decent prices for a great quality food.” — Sarah Dixon*
7 Goldhawk Rd, Shepherd's Bush, London W12 8QQ | +44 20 3689 1668
*Sarah Dixon is currently living in London studying Multimedia Journalism. She’s smart, cute and going places, and I feel extra proud of her because she before she was a fancy postgraduate, she was once a student in London studying in my program.
*images original to Aspiring Kennedy