Best brunch in London: 25 of the top brunches in the capital

David Ellis, BEN NORUM, Ailis Brennan
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Best brunch in London: 25 of the top brunches in the capital

Who needs a meal between breakfast and lunch?

Well — anyone who knows how they want their food. Brunch is for when you didn’t set an alarm in the morning and have nowhere to go that afternoon. It’s not scoffed in a work break or for winding down at the end of a long day — it’s a meal to linger over, one just for enjoying (and perhaps for curing the odd hangover).

Brunch, therefore, deserves to be done properly. Luckily, London has them in all shapes and sizes, from traditional fry ups to the ever-present avocado toast, from sushi spreads to Middle Eastern-inspired treats.

We’ve rounded up some of the very best lazy weekend meals in the capital, all of which run beyond noon (meaning you can hit the snooze button as many times as you like). If you don’t see your favourite, it might be because it appears in our booze-filled bottomless brunch round up instead.

So roll out of bed, get dressed (sort of) and head down to these ultimate weekend brunch spots, which are listed in no particular order.

Kudu, Peckham

One of the highlights of Peckham’s pickings, the brunch at South African-inspired Kudu is just as sprightly as the rest of its acclaimed menu. Sourdough waffles come with home cured bacon or trout, and a brioche roll is stuffed to breaking point with densely meaty, spiced boerewors sausage, a fried egg, German mustard and a sprinkling of crunchy frazzled onions. Even if you’re not one for a sweet brunch, leave room to split the babka with a friend after – served as French toast, the chocolate-swirled brioche is topped with hazelnuts, sour candied kumquats and lashings of salty miso-infused caramel.

When? Saturday and Sunday, 11am-2.30pm

119 Queen's Road, SE15 2EZ, kudu-restaurant.com

Nobu, Shoreditch

Start the weekend like a Californian A-lister at Shoreditch’s Nobu hotel: it’s not cheap, but if you’re looking to get a taste of Japanese chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s legendary food, the deal is difficult to beat. £53 buys unlimited selections from the sushi bar, with offerings ranging from chirashi boxes topped with salmon caviar, to shrimp tempura maki and delectable sashimi slithers of jalapeno miso salmon. Main dishes offer Nobu versions of brunch favourites (french toast is served with banana and a soy-infused syrup) and the chef's signature dishes, including the showstopping black cod, served at brunch with miso aubergine. Add unlimited drinks for £30 – a negroni sounds like an unforgiving start to the day but made with sake, it is silky and surprisingly reviving.

When? Saturday and Sunday, Noon-4pm

10-50 Willow Street, EC2A 4BH, nobuhotelshoreditch.com

Caravan, across London

What you eat at Caravan will depend on how virtuous or gluttonous you’re feeling. Fresh fruits and almond milk overnight oats rub shoulders with eggs, spreads or smashed avocado with soy pumpkin seeds. Then there’s a kimchi and pork belly pancake the Caravan fry up or, for those with a sweet-tooth, a stack of buttermilk vanilla hotcakes with date butter and maple syrup. The restaurant also famously roasts its own coffee, so a cup of java or Espresso Martini with your meal is a must.

When? Saturday and Sunday, 9am-4pm

N1, EC1, SE1, W1, EC4, caravanrestaurants.co.uk

St Leonard’s, Hackney

Jackson Boxer and Andrew Clarke found their groove at Brunswick House and took it to Shoreditch, where St Leonard's became a bona fide hit when it opened in the summer of last year. Brunch is brief; menus are printed daily but will reliably offer up six dishes, which lean into classic brunch fare. Go for eggs, properly soft and gooey, that sit over smoked pork hash, or hot smoked salmon on rye, served with a dollop of vivid pink beetroot yoghurt given heat with horseradish. For something more filling, try the bavette steak. Still, the best of things are liquid: the Bloody Mary is up there with the best in London, while the walnut margarita is beautiful, the walnut and pale ale syrup nicely softening the kick of tequila.

When? Saturday, Noon-4pm

70 Leonard Street, EC2A 4QX, stleonards.london

Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings, Clerkenwell

Brunch is the best time to be at Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings – light and bright industrial-chic surroundings are bedecked with tumbling cascades of greenery, making it an invigorating spot for refuelling (alongside a glass of prosecco or three). Brunch is a classic affair with contemporary twists: a huevos benedictos option is on offer alongside your average Benedict and Royale, topped with chorizo, avocado, béarnaise sauce, pico de gallo, while courgette pancakes come with roasted tomato and a caper dressing.

When? Saturday and Sunday, 10am-4pm

42 Northampton Road, EC1R 0HU, bandhbuildings.com

Chicama, Chelsea

Peruvian bites and pretty pastel colours make Chelsea haunt Chicama a particularly pleasant brunch spot. Fish is the focus here, but expect more than the standard salmon and scrambled eggs. Breakfast-like dishes on the menu include sweetcorn pancakes with crab, ají amarillo hollandaise and pickled chilli, alongside a brioche bun filled with fish and red cabbage.If you're craving salmon, have it here in its ceviche form, with smoked ají limo tiger’s milk, avocado, tomato and puffed rice. A must-order is an opening snack of savoury tapioca marshmallows, that are flavoured with parmesan, fried and served with ocopa sauce.

When? Saturday and Sunday, 11am-4pm

383 King's Road, SW10 0LP, chicamalondon.com

Club Mexicana at the Spread Eagle, Homerton

London’s first 100 per cent vegan pub, the Spread Eagle, is a gem of a venue in Homerton, serving food by Club Mexicana in comfy surroundings. The pub puts on a particularly strong brunch menu over the weekend. Go for the Mexican fry up – which includes “chorizo” sausage, tempeh “bacon”, scrambled “eggs” and many more veggie breakfast favourites – with a side of triple fried potatoes, and don’t be shy when ordering off the cocktail menu either. The Bloody Mary and the boozy Beetroot Punch, made with dark rum and ginger kombucha, are both excellent.

When? Saturday and Sunday, Noon-4pm

224 Homerton High Street, E9 6AS, thespreadeaglelondon.co.uk

Dean Street Townhouse, Soho

With its discrete booths and velvet armchairs, Dean Street Townhouse boasts one of the cosiest dining rooms in London. You feel like you could stay there all day – and with an all day breakfast menu that goes on until 1am on Saturday and 11am on Sunday, it’s a very tempting prospect. Full English, kedgeree and lorne sausage with tattie scones are on the menu, but the extensive brunch offering doesn’t stop at eggy things. It spans home-cured salmon and steak tartare alongside fish and chips and the house classic dish of mince and potatoes.

When? 8am-1am (Saturday) and 8am-11pm (Sunday)

69 - 71 Dean Street, W1D 3SE, deanstreettownhouse.com

The Providores and Tapa Room, Marylebone

Peter Gordon’s The Providores and Tapa Room (the former is a formal dining room found upstairs, the latter a bustling street level cafe) deals in bright, exotic flavours. Think grilled chorizo with a sweet potato and miso hash, topped with a soft boiled egg, garlic labneh and star anise cashew nut praline. Turkish eggs are a welcome order, arriving swimming in oily Aleppo chilli butter on top of cool, fresh layers of whipped yoghurt. Brunch drinks include a fresh passionfruit bellini — or Pashillini — alongside a Bloody Mary seasoned with wasabi.

When? 10am-3pm (Saturday and Sunday) at The Providores, 9am-3pm (Saturday) and 9am-4pm (Sunday) at Tapa Room

109 Marylebone High Street, W1U 4RX, providores.co.uk

Granger & Co, across London

Queues out the door at all Granger & Co’s restaurants can be seen of a brunch time, as Londoners flock to try Bill Granger’s bright and breezy dishes – he is, after all, the man credited with the avocado toast gobsmacking popularity. Tuck into an almond milk chia seed pot with berries, pomegranate and coconut yoghurt, or opt for a Fresh Aussie, which features jasmine tea hot smoked salmon, poached eggs, greens, furikake, avocado and cherry tomatoes. For a sweet something, order the famed ricotta hotcakes, topped with slices of banana and a good drenching of honeycomb butter.

When? Everyday, full breakfast menu until 12pm, “Classics” menu until 5pm

W11, SW1, N1, EC1, grangerandco.com

Flesh & Buns, Covent Garden and Fitzrovia

Flesh & Buns now boasts two sites, both with a slightly different approach to brunch. At the new Fitzrovia location, brunch runs on both weekend days, and focuses on the signature steamed buns and their fillings. For £25, diners get snacks and dessert and the choice of a flesh to fill diners' buns, ranging from rabbit katsu to chilli miso brisket. Over at Covent Garden, Sundays mean unlimited everything. Well, practically. For £39 a head, you’ll get chips, dips and edamame on arrival, followed by unlimited starters and fillings for a set of steamed buns, finishing with a pudding to share. For an extra £15, go bottomless on the drinks too.

When? Noon-3.30pm (Saturday) and Noon-9.30pm (Sunday) at Fitzrovia, Noon-9.30pm (Sunday) at Covent Garden.

WC2, W1, fleshandbuns.com

Berber & Q, Haggerston

Berber & Q fans will be pleased to know that the slow-cooked, seductively spiced meats, tasty dips and fluffy breads of the main menu are enthusiastically involved in brunch. The Mangal Breakfast features lamb bacon chops, pork merguez, chicken livers and roasted bone marrow, while a less meat-driven red shakshuka is piquant from an abundance of roasted red peppers. The Full Israeli — for two to share — is an enlivening platter of hummus, honeyed feta, boiled eggs, avocado, roasted beetroot and more.

When? Saturday and Sunday 11am-3pm

338 Acton Mews, E8 4EA, berberandq.com

The Modern Pantry, Farringdon

Diverse and international influences abound in Anna Hansen’s cooking, and the dishes at her two branches of The Modern Pantry zing all the more brightly for it. Try the sweetcorn, feta and spring onion waffles with maple syrup , or opt for grilled cornbread with chorizo, fried eggs, charred sweetcorn, avocado and red pepper salsa. Don’t forget the must-try house classic: sugar-cured prawn omelette with smoked chilli sambal, spring onion and coriander. Prosecco, mimosas and bellinis are also on hand, alongside a lively menu of "Fruits, grains and seeds" for the more health conscious bruncher.

When? Saturday and Sunday, 9am-4pm

47-48 St John's Square, EC1V 4JJ, themodernpantry.co.uk

Hand, Stratford

There is an awful lot of avocado toast in London, but few are quite like Hand’s. Allow this unassuming Stratford cafe – the red plastic chairs there are of the sort you got at schools in the Nineties – to reinvigorate your affections towards the millennial breakfast. Authentic Greek ingredients mean simple Hellenic-inspired recipes come packed with flavour – dishes include oregano-sprinkled toasties, lemon-infused spanakopita pastries filled with spinach and mizithra cheese, baked sausage and bean stews, and a heavenly dish of avocado, bacon and sourdough. Served with fennel, Cretan olive oil and black sesame seeds, it might just be the best avocado toast in the city.

When? 8am-4pm (Monday, Wednesday-Friday), 9am-4pm (Saturday-Sunday)

11 Victory Parade, E20 1FS, eastvillagelondon.co.uk

The Delaunay, Aldwych

This grand brasserie, from The Wolseley and Brasserie Zedel owners Corbin and King, serves a brunch offering that’s almost as impressive as its beautiful interiors. There’s something for everyone on the Mittel-European menu: the Viennoiserie showcases a tempting array of homemade pastries, tartes flambees come flavoured with smoked bacon and shallots, and classic egg dishes range from kedgeree to Florentines. Plus, there's lots of opportunity for people-watching — you’ll want to linger.

When? Saturday and Sunday, 11am-5pm

55 Aldwych, WC2B 4BB, thedelaunay.com

Red Rooster, Shoreditch

Started Sunday morning half-asleep? There’s no danger of dozing off at Red Rooster’s brunch – the menu is accompanied by a full-voiced and decidedly awake gospel choir, who perform live throughout the day, and get you shaking off those cobwebs. Back at the table, Marcus Samuelsson’s menu harks to the original location in Harlem, New York: devilled eggs and cornbread with honey butter are among the generously portioned snacks, while main events include a rooster scramble with “truck stop” potatoes and heritage bacon. Alternatively, groups can opt for an eye-widening sharing offering featuring an entire fried chicken (which is presented to the table with a sparkler sticking out of it) with waffles, biscuits, pickles, mac and cheese laced with collard greens, and a pot of spicy Rooster sauce.

When? Sunday, 11.30am-3.30pm

45 Curtain Road, EC2A 3PT, redroosterldn.com

Jikoni, Marylebone

Ravinder Bhogal’s cooking is clever, different and deliciously multicultural – and the brunch menu is no different. Selections from the brunch signatures menu include tamarind and maple-glazed bacon on fenugreek waffles with fennel slaw, a spicy fish cake with poached egg and curry hollandaise, and a poached egg with Szechuan chilli oil and congee – a kind of porridge made with rice that is a popular breakfast in parts of Asia. More favourites from Jikoni are also on the menu at brunchtime, including the prawn toast scotch egg, which is served with banana ketchup and pickled cucumber.

When? 11am-3pm (Saturday), 11am-4pm (Sunday)

19 - 21 Blandford Street, W1U 3DG, jikonilondon.com

Merchants Tavern, Hackney

Come the weekend, the cavernous space of Angela Hartnett's Shoreditch restaurant makes the perfect spot to revive yourself – it is, after all, housed in a former apothecary. A concise menu goes beyond the standard smashed avocado, and offers salmon gravalax with dill crème fraîche and wheaten, as well as a mushroom and spinach frittata. For more carnal thrills, Merchants Tavern also serves a "dirty" bacon and egg sandwich. Special mention for the cocktail menu, too, which includes a particularly zingy Merchants Bloody Mary or the Savoy-approved Corpse Reviver #2.

When? Saturday and Sunday, 10am-1pm

36 Charlotte Road, EC2A 3PG, merchantstavern.co.uk

The Good Egg, across London

The array of brightly flavoured dishes at these Middle Eastern-influenced restaurants – one decidedly central in Soho and one way up north in Stoke Newington – are sure to spark up a morning. The offering includes pitas, challahs and bagels for dipping in labneh, golden beetroot hummus and more. Larger plates on the all-day menu include marinated feta hash with red harissa, Unsurprisingly given the name, eggs are also a major player: you'll find shakshuka with za'atar sourdough, and an egg and cheese bagel with Aleppo greens and smoked cheddar. Spicy Bloody Marys, mimosas and cardamom-infused coffee are on hand to lubricate.

When? From 8am (Monday-Friday), 9am (Saturday), 10am (Sunday) at Soho, from 9am (Monday-Friday), 10am (Saturday-Sunday) at Stoke Newington

W1, N16, thegoodegg.co

Mac and Wild, Fitzrovia and Spitalfields

Brunch at Scotch restaurant Mac and Wild is no wee undertaking. Its passion for meat and game from north of the border is played out in the Full Scottish breakfast: consuming Portmahomack bacon, a homemade tattie scone, venison sausage, black pudding, mushrooms, lorne sausage, scrambled eggs and bone marrow beans is a considerable endeavour. If you’re not quite full, however, Big Jim’s breakfast doubles up most of the meat on offer and adds two slices of venison toast for good measure. If you’re not quite up to Big Jim’s challenge, the mega brunch can also be ordered to share.

When? 11am-6pm (Saturday) 11am-5pm (Sunday) at Fitzrovia, 11am-6pm (Saturday) at Devonshire Square

W1, EC2, macandwild.com

Lantana Cafe, across London

This Antipodean cafe group serves up indulgent yet reasonably healthy brunches, with a menu spanning corn fritters with avocado, streaky bacon and fresh spinach to a duck hash made with sweet potato, edamame beans, kale and a plum ketchup. Vegetarians are also well served with The Veg Big Bubble serving bubble and squeak with mushrooms and halloumi, or courgette bread slow-cooked five beans and more halloumi. "The Lantana Blowout" offers the option to go bottomless for £30 (Bloody Marys, prosecco or mimosas and coffee) with any brunch option, or go booze-free with limitless juices and coffee for £25.

When? Saturday and Sunday, 9am-4pm

W1, SE1, EC1, lantanacafe.co.uk

Cinnamon Bazaar, Covent Garden

Vivek Singh is spicing up brunch at his Covent Garden spot Cinnamon Bazaar. On weekends, the Indian restaurant serves as extensive array of dishes ranging from dishes that are more recognisably breakfast-style, to a full-blown curry and biryani menu. The mughlai paratha fills flatbread with spiced lamb and egg, while the bun omelette folds spicy masala eggs into home-baked fluffy brioche. Diners can also tuck into tandoori chicken chaat with red onion, green chilli and coriander or chargrilled cauliflower with pickling spices and a sumac crumble. Three courses will cost you just £27.50, and another £5 will get you a cocktail designed by acclaimed bartender Ryan Chetiyawardana.

When? Saturday and Sunday, 11am-4pm

28 Maiden Lane, WC2E 7JS, cinnamon-bazaar.com

Señor Ceviche, Fitzrovia

The Kingly Court branch of Señor Ceviche will always hold a special place in our hearts for igniting London’s passion for Peruvian, but its new quarters in Fitzrovia comes with the welcome addition of brunch. For £39, brunch guests can choose a dish from each of the four sections of the menu, which range from snacks and sides to Peruvian barbecue dishes and ceviches, with limitless peach bellinis or wine included. Tantalising tidbits include pastry tequenos filled with pork belly and feta cheese and the signature Señor Ceviche dish, made with seabass and octopus cured in aji amarillo tiger's milk, with sweet potato purée, avocado and crisp baby squid.

When? Saturday, 11am-3pm

18 Charlotte Street, W1T 2LZ, senor-ceviche.com

Black Axe Mangal, Highbury

(Adrian Lourie)

There are some aspects of Black Axe Mangal that untrained hangovers may find a little difficult to grapple with – namely its boundless enthusiasm for playing heavy metal music. This excellent Highbury Corner restaurant is, however, well worth taking an ibuprofen or two to facilitate a visit. The fiery mangal of its name cooks up an exhilarating array of Middle Eastern-influenced dishes ranging from fully flavoured flatbreads to super succulent meat dishes. Like all of its menu, the brunch offering changes almost daily, so it’s difficult to anticipate what you’ll get. A returning example of the restaurant’s ingenuity is, however, a coal-black squid ink and cod’s roe flatbread, which is served topped with an oozing egg yolk and a generous sprinkling of edible glitter.

When? Saturday and Sunday, 11am-3pm

156 Canonbury Road, N1 2UP, blackaxemangal.com

Coal Rooms, Peckham

The combination of a coffee and a bacon sandwich has saved many a difficult morning in the capital. Coal Rooms in Peckham has, however, managed to pack these two divine offering into a single handful, by curing its bacon in a mixture of coffee, maple syrup, sugar and salt for a whole week before serving it up at Saturday brunch. Further forward-thinking and spot-hitting brunch dishes include bubble and squeak made with burnt hispi cabbage and a fried egg and a coal-roasted cauliflower with miso-infused bagna cauda sauce and Japanese furikake seasoning. The bacon appears again, of course, in a very Full English featuring pigs head blood budding and toast with roast beef butter.

When? Saturday, 10am-3pm

Coal Rooms, 11a Station Way, SE15 4RX, coalroomspeckham.com