The very best breakfasts and brunches in London

From the classic English fry-up to the now-ubiquitous antipodean import that is smashed avo

When it comes to the most important meal of the day, London has no shortage of options. From greasy spoons to gilded dining rooms, there’s something for every taste, budget and hunger level – which means that the once-straightforward act of choosing a breakfast spot has never been more fraught. That’s where we come in. Whether you’re looking to impress an important client with a midweek power breakfast, or want to keep things low-key with a lazy Sunday brunch, these are the best breakfast and brunch spots in the capital to have on your radar.

The Wolseley, Piccadilly

A veritable London institution, The Wolseley continues to play host to the capital’s movie stars, minor royals, supermodels and socialites. There are few grander places to begin your morning than its elegant art deco dining room, complete with marble pillars and Venetian archways. Choose from a range of British breakfast classics, from bubble and squeak to a crispy bacon roll to eggs any way.

Sartoria, Mayfair

While Sartoria’s weekday breakfasts – think pain au chocolat, polenta cake and granola – have long provided fuel for Savile Row’s bespoke tailors and their customers, it’s only recently that the restaurant has opened for Saturday brunch. Highlights of the brunch menu include an omelette with white crab meat, fried eggs with asparagus and spring truffle and Sartoria’s take on the full English, “The Italian Job”, with tomatoes, pancetta, grilled polenta, Tuscan sausage and a fried egg. An afternoon nap might be in order after that one.

Hide, Piccadilly

The light-filled ground floor of renowned chef Ollie Dabbous’s multistorey Michelin-starred restaurant Hide serves some of the prettiest breakfasts in the capital – from artfully plated avocado and eggs on toast to a flower-strewn granola bowl. Duck in for a quick pre-work bite or make a morning of it and linger over freshly baked viennoiseries and breakfast bellinis.

Studio Frantzén, Knightsbridge

We all know Harrods as a glamorous shopping destination, and now it’s also a glamorous dining destination. When you tire of shopping up a storm, head up to Swedish chef ​​Björn Frantzén’s critically-acclaimed restaurant Studio Frantzén, which occupies the top floor and rooftop. An all-day brunch menu is available on Sundays, which features Nordic-Asian dishes like toasted furikake bagel with smoked salmon, yuzu butter, cream cheese and avocado or buttermilk pancakes, plum compote, shiso and vanilla ice cream. Wash it all down with a brunch cocktail: the Mandarin and Yuzu Mimosa gets our pick.

Regency Cafe, Pimlico

The caff of all caffs, Pimlico’s Regency Cafe has been serving its signature fry-ups and strong brews since it opened in 1946. Its mid-century decor – all Formica-topped tables, tiled walls and red and white chequered curtains – is as iconic as its menu.

Towpath, Haggerston

Towpath is a buzzy alfresco spot set on the Regent’s Canal towpath in east London. Open between March and November, it’s especially popular when the sun shines and doesn’t take bookings, so don’t expect to be seated right away. When you do finally nab a spot, tuck into one of the signature brunch dishes like homemade granola or crispy fried eggs with caramelised sage, and linger a while as you watch the world (or the cyclists and swans at least) go by.

Granger & Co., Notting Hill

When you see people queuing around the block for an hour, just for breakfast, you know the food has got to be worth it. We wouldn’t normally advocate waiting in line, but we can say – hands on heart – that Granger & Co.'s ricotta hotcakes with banana and honeycomb butter are worth it.

Koya, Soho

When you want to up the ante at breakfast time, Japanese udon noodle bar Koya has you sorted. Open from 10am, it serves a classic Japanese breakfast combo of grilled fish, miso soup, pickles and rice, as well as morning dishes like hot noodles with egg, soy sauce and spring onion (KamaTama udon), and a full English breakfast-inspired egg, bacon and shiitake mushroom udon.

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