It is well-documented that Kiwis are a little obsessed with a crazy little thing called brunch. Some might almost accuse us of an almost cultish obsession with the in-between meal worshipped mainly on the weekends at home and here in London. I get teased for a seemingly never-ending string of weekend blates, but as a nation we simply revel in the meal where eggs, cocktails, burgers, dessert and well poured Flat Whites share the same altar table.
So, with the flourish of a waiter presenting a freshly balanced dish of Eggs Benedict, may I present to you 15 of the best brunches in London for less than £15. Luxury for a little less. To clarify, when I say £15, I’m usually thinking my classic favourite combination of a plate of eggs benedict or a cracking granola and a good coffee – usually more than just a pastry and a caffeine hit.
Disclaimer: These are some of my most recent favourites (see the last brunch bunch here) and my definitions of London areas are a little free and loose – blame it on being a foreigner armed with an oyster card but without patience for long journeys first thing in the morning. There are a fair few Kiwi/Aussie favourites in this list, and a couple of places I was invited to (marked with a ** but I’ve either been on my own dime before the invite and/or since my visit I have taken people there afterwards I enjoyed it so much. #AnyExcuse)
Central London Brunch Bastions
Cafe Boheme – Picadilly Circus
This is a proper little Soho local spot that somehow manages to transport a piece of Paris to the busy streets of London’s red light district. We loved a recent foray here, and fell head over heels when the table next to us was set with cutlery and a water bowl for the four-pawed regular who brings his owner every weekend. My eggs royale was delectable – with the just the perfect levels of saltiness – and my brunch date’s Croque Madame gave me all the food envy. Luckily she is nice enough to share her fries with me too – if that’s not a basis for friendship, I don’t know what is!
Greyhound Cafe – Goodge Street or Tottenham Court Road **
When you think toast, you think limpid pieces of cardboard, topped with butter and a scraping of jam from the fridge, right? Well Greyhound Cafe has turned toast into an emotional experience with their happy toast (pictured at the start of this blog post) – a delicious dessert (aka bressert) concoction of thick cut toast served with 4 squeeze bottles of Thai tea, coffee and salted caramel custards + condensed milk to DIY to your taste. Their granola is pretty scrumptious too, not to mention their more traditional dishes which banished my cold…
26 Grains – Covent Garden
I was a little wary of going here – there is something about frou-frou modern & healthy eating restaurants (something like the Emperor’s New Clothes) but 26 Grains is not only delicious, it is found in the amazingly central Neal’s Yard. Oh, did I mention how good the ever-changing menu is? No? More for me then!
Christophers Martini Bar and Restaurant – Covent Garden/Leicester Square
DIY Pancake menu. Need I say anything else? Oh, wait, Chocolate French Brioche Toast.
Berners Tavern – Fitzrovia **
So, you want flair with your breakfast? Berner’s Tavern is beautiful, they deserve an utterly delicious brunch menu, and a little birdie told me that the Bloody Mary’s there are delicious. It is somewhere that has to be seen to be believed.
Iris and June, Victoria
We (3 quarters of the table who all ordered the same smashed avocado dish – our table mate went mushroom toast) never quite expected a show-stopping tower of brunch to arrive in front of us. Poppadoms stacked with sprouted lentils, a sweet green tomato salsa, the pop of kasundi, homemade grilled paneer which was heavenly and a perfectly poached egg. Delicious, gluten-free AND healthy… we followed it up with an (also delicious) brownie chaser and another well-brewed flat white as we nattered on. Read more about Iris and June here.
East(ish) London Brunch Eateries
Aqua Shard – London Bridge
Yes, it is possible to enjoy the breakfast times views of London for the princely sum of £15 per person – from Eggy Soldiers to the infamous Lobster Benedict, simply sit back, enjoy the views and sip your coffee in contentment. Read more of my thoughts on Aqua Shard breakfasts here.
Treves & Hyde – Aldgate
This coconut granola is the stuff dreams are made of. (I never dreamt that I’d one day be getting moon-eyed over an oat-based breakfast, but there ya go.) Not to mention that the interiors of Treves and Hyde are simply instagram heaven!
MouseTail Coffee Stories – Whitechapel, Borough, West India Quays, and Canada Water
“In barista language ‘mouse tail’ refers to the ideal shape of the stream of espresso. Fine and continuous like a mouse tail = the perfect extraction of espresso. And Coffee Stories? Well, our people like to talk.” This tells you much about the ethos of this small but mighty independent coffee chain – and why I keep going back. Famed for their coffee (and seriously chilled out teams) MouseTail do a cheeky bacon, brie and chutney brioche bun that once toasted is guaranteed to cure any malingering Monday-itis.
South London Brunch Specialisations
Secret Goldmine Cafe – Bermondsey
Small, but mighty, the Secret Goldmine is tucked away underneath the London Bridge railway arches, and is a haven for those that a) like pies b) live or work locally or are c) homesick Kiwis enjoying the delicious pies that are hand-made on the premises. Their brunch menu varies, but it’s always delicious and if not home-made (which it usually is), will be locally made.
Gigalum – Clapham Common
This was a wild card for me – we went in knowing this as a prime spot for night time shenanigans (usually kicked off by the Kiwis and Aussies) but the food is seriously underrated. Cooked with delicacy, deftness and as a definite hangover deterrent, the chefs at Gigalum certainly know their French Toast. Saturdays are busy with the post-partying crowd, but Sundays are altogether more relaxed.
Brickwood – Clapham Common, Tooting & Streatham
Cute, quirky, and serving TimTam Muffins. That’s all I needed to hear to venture out to Clapham, and I wasn’t disappointed. With cute interiors, delectable banana bread and a lovely back terrace, I can see why it gets so busy.
With a few branches throughout London, I always return to Antipodea for the Sweetcorn fritters which are a very traditional Kiwi brunch item; and these ones served with bacon, avocado, bacon jam and an intriguing lime aioli absolutely hit the spot. For me the lime aioli made the dish, giving it a hint of piquancy that, dare I say it, reminded me of the inventive Kiwi brunches at home. For more of an in-depth musing on the Antipodea cafes, read here.
Flotsam and Jetsam
A friend of mine raved about Flotsam and Jetsam for an age before I made it out to Wandsworth, but now I get the excitement. The interiors are SUPER cute, but the biggest draw here is the food – they serve an amazing coffee hollandaise with their eggs benedict that works so very well (so well in fact that my friend always orders an extra helping, and spends time in the gym just for it). It’s a busy, suburban spot and deserves all the rave reviews.
West (of centre) London
Rhythm and Brews – Turnham Green/Chiswick
This is my spiritual home. A quirky neighbourhood joint where the barista remembers your order and starts prepping it as soon as you walk in, and the cheese and ham croissants are as big as your face. They always have funky tunes spinning, creating a lovely atmosphere – even first thing in the morning while the kitchen issues tasty repast that will have you returning. Their granola sundaes are also all kinds of epic. Can you tell I love this place?
Mari Vanna – Knightsbridge
Cherry dumplings. Cheery dumplings served in what feels like a Russian doll house in the heart of Knightsbridge. What more could you need to know?
Which London brunch spots are your favourite at the moment? Do you have a signature dish that you always order?
<< Pin for later >>