By Nina Derham in London—
If your accommodation in London doesn’t include breakfast, then a hearty brunch can be a great way to set yourself up for a busy day of sightseeing. It also saves you from splashing the cash on two separate meals. As if that weren’t reason enough, it’s also darn tasty and a great way to recover from a heavy night out.
London is awash with options for brunch, but steer clear of the pricey smart hotels that target tourists and head to some of these local’s favorites instead:
18 Ganton Street
Tucked away just off London’s Carnaby Street and a safe distance from the bustle of Oxford Street, The Diner offers all-American indulgence in the form of tasty all-day breakfasts and shakes to those in need of a little TLC. Pancake stacks, muffins, huevos rancheros and omelettes stuffed with all the ingredients you could wish for grace the menu, making it the ideal retreat for when you’re feeling a little on the fragile side.
The prices are nice too, with breakfasts ranging between £5 and £9 each, so you’re even left with some change for a bit of retail therapy afterwards.
71-73 Stoke Newington Church Street
“Stokey” is an area well worth exploring if you haven’t already discovered it and Church Street is absolutely packed with quirky little cafés and bars. Homa is a beautifully airy restaurant and an absolutely perfect spot for reading the paper and enjoying brunch on a lazy morning. The product of the Turkish and Italian owners, the menu is quite unusual, offering everything from bruschetta with wild field mushrooms to taleggio cheese and rocket, and smoked haddock kedgeree with slow cooked hen’s egg.
Prices are very reasonable, with most dishes costing between £6-£8.50, unless you decide to splash out on the sumptuous champagne English muffin combo, which rocks in at £14. Brunch is served from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. Monday-Friday and until 4 p.m. on weekends.
St Martin’s Courtyard (off Long Acre)
A small, funky chain with six outlets across England, Bill’s is a really fun choice for brunch with a laid-back vibe and delicious food. The colorful Covent Garden branch is definitely my favorite, mainly due to its hard-to-find location in a relaxed square in the city centre. Choose from full English breakfasts, to all kinds of eggs (benedict, florentine, royale) or indulge that sweet tooth with the amazing french toast topped with banana, strawberries, walnut yogurt and maple syrup… heavenly.
Breakfast prices range from £2.95 to £9.50 and is served weekdays until midday and weekends until 1 p.m.
The Breakfast Club
33 D’Arblay Street
This place is so popular on weekends that queues have been known to stretch right down the street, but Londoners “in the know” are happy to wait as their patience will be rewarded. The Breakfast Club’s brunch menu is extensive and covers all bases, from generous English breakfasts and all-American pancakes, to green eggs and ham or breakfast burritos. For those who like their brunch with a twist, the posh sausage sandwich (with smoked cheddar cheese, red onion chutney and portobello mushrooms) really hits the spot, and the chorizo hash browns are also well worth sampling.
The Soho branch is the original and most central Breakfast Club, but other branches can also be found in Hoxton, Spitalfields and Angel. Brunch is served every day from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Also in our guide: Now that you have your brunch plans settled, we’re here to help out with choosing a hotel, as well. Our editors sneak around London, inspecting budget hotels and choosing their favorites — only hotels that are central, clean and cheap. Read their suggestions in our London hotel guide.