In the last couple of years, I developed a love for brunching in London. Everyone wants to find the best avocado toast in town, or the perfect poached eggs, without mentioning the rise of Middle Eastern brunch dishes such as shakshuka, mezze platters, dukkah sprinkled everywhere and tahini drizzled on all sorts of dishes, even your chocolate brownie! I’m personally loving this brunch revolution and happily plan my weekends around which new place I will discover next.
It isn’t all great though. I have tried watery shakshukas, horrible ‘sourdough’ toasts, and boring eggs royale. This is why I thought I would share my favourite spots in town, the ones I would happily go to over and over again. They are listed in no specific order, just whatever came to my mind first.
- Duck & Waffle : If you know me, it is no surprise to you that this restaurant is featured here. It’s open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and it’s the highest restaurant in the U.K., set on the 40th of floor of Heron tower. I’ve been for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner and recommend all of them. Their signature dish, the Duck & Waffle, is perfect for any time of the day and I highly recommend it if it’s your first time there. But please, do start with the bacon wrapped dates because they’re my absolute favourite item on the menu and I can easily order 10 for myself! Their full English is also a great classic for brunch and I mostly recommend it for the black pudding and cheese scones. If you have a sweet tooth like me, then you will probably drool over the different waffle options they have. Delicious food with a stunning view of London and one of the most original cocktail lists I’ve seen, if you’re visiting London for the first time, make sure to reserve your table well in advance to avoid being disappointed.
- Berners Tavern : As you walk into the restaurant, you will be amazed by its incredible interior. The walls are covered in beautifully framed paintings, uneven in size and definitely not matching or following specific themes, yet it all works perfectly. Now onto the food. I love smoked salmon and do tend to order eggs royale when I see them on a menu but my personal issue with that dish is that many hollandaise sauces can be sickly and not all English muffins are worth eating. At Berners Tavern, they’ve managed to serve me the *best* hollandaise sauce I’ve ever had and their perfectly poached eggs are served on homemade English muffins, which make all the difference when it comes to any form or variation of eggs Benedict / Royale / Florentine. Their pancakes are also to die for, perfectly fluffy, balanced and tasty. Layered with bananas (or a substitute of berries if you don’t like bananas) and nutella, they are a perfect ending or beginning of brunch served from a highly skilled kitchen.
- The Good Egg : Speaking of Middle Eastern brunch places, this one has served me the best shakshuka I’ve had in London. Generous portions, perfectly spiced, packed with flavours, and served with delicious sourdough from the Dusty Knuckle. It’s definitely worth a visit and the queue because it’s one of those restaurants that doesn’t take reservations for brunch. I tried both the normal and green shakshuka and highly recommend both. The tricky thing with green shakshukas is getting them not to taste too watery from the spinach and they have managed that perfectly. I’m actually craving it as I’m typing this… Don’t forget to order a slice babka for later!
- Strut & Cluck : Another one of my favourite Middle Eastern restaurants in London. They opened a few months ago, in Shoreditch, and have done our cuisine very proud. Their food is so well balanced in terms of spices, flavours and textures, and the restaurant is so beautifully designed by the owner herself. If you go for brunch then you must try the fried egg on hand-pulled turkey shawerma. It’s absolutely divine! The feta cheese with honey and sumac in the mezze dishes is also one to rave about. I tend to find that a lot of the feta cheese we get in London is too salty but theirs isn’t and I love that. I’m yet to try their shakshuka so I can’t comment on it but from what I’ve tried so far, it’s definitely enough for me to want to go back for more.
- Salon : One of my favourites in Brixton, with a weekly changing dinner menu and celebration of seasonal ingredients. Their brunch menu is full of delicious options and I went on a day I was really hungry so I ordered quite a few dishes. I’m a big granola addict, and theirs was unbelievably delicious, served with yoghurt and seasonal fruit. I also had their their homemade foccacia, served with tomatoes, a poached egg and feta cheese. Their homemade sausage rolls are also a must try!
- The Watch House : My absolute favourite ‘local’ coffee shop, serving delicious brunch. Their hand-pulled pork is absolutely succulent and divine, I highly highly highly recommend it. It’s their take on eggs Benedict and I don’t want to have it any other way! Genuinely delicious and the setting is perfectly casual and relaxing. Make sure to leave space for some of the delicious bakes from different local bakeries. And not to mention the amazing coffee from Ozone. Only a 20 minute walk from my flat, I can’t be more grateful for this place in our area.
- Friends of Ours : One of my other favourite brunch spots in Shoreditch, with a seasonal changing menu serving all day brunch every day. If the home smoked trout is on the menu, then I highly recommend it. They usually serve it with scrambled eggs. They have great coffee too, as well as my favourite pressed juice (the ‘purple one’). Nothing beats fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients, cooked properly!
- The Barge House : Carb loading dreams. I developed a love for real bread when I lived in Paris and I struggled to good bread for a long time in England. Finally, sourdough bread has become a lot more accessible in London, despite being overpriced in my opinion but I don’t mind paying that premium for fresh bread, made properly. Now imagine a round sourdough, filled with all your favourite brunch items. From vegetarian options, to smoked salmon, or chorizo or even sausages and bacon, topped with cheese and baked for you to savour warm. It’s my idea of heaven when it comes to brunch. You must go hungry and probably plan not to eat anything again for the rest of the day – maybe include a long walk after it too.