The home of shopping, art and wide-paved streets is also home to some excellent places to eat a fabulous breakfast. From crumpets with Marmite to acai bowls and eggs florentine, read our guide on the very best restaurants and cafés to start your day with.
Restaurant, French, British, $$$
The Wolseley opened in 2003, sharing the same space with The Ritz on an affluent boulevard in Piccadilly. It models itself on the European Grand Café tradition, while its glorious interiors evoke 1920s London. The home-made Viennoiserie is a star attraction on its breakfast menu, along with potato rösti, tomato, avocado and a hen’s egg, but you can’t go wrong with anything you order. Reservation is definitely recommended, particularly as tourists are hell-bent on witnessing this mystical place with their own eyes.
CUT at 45 Park Lane
Restaurant, Contemporary, American, $$$
CUT at 45 Park Lane is the European outpost of the CUT steakhouses created by legendary chef Wolfgang Puck. Just like at the original restaurant in Beverly Hills, the menu is a celebration of the best fish and meat, including Japanese wagyu. You can enjoy a breakfast steak or head down a more traditional route with eggs, pancakes and french toast, all in luxurious surroundings and whisper-quiet attentive service. If you head there for brunch, you can even order tempura onion rings to go with your scrambled eggs.
Riding House Café
Cafe, Restaurant, American, Dessert, $$$
Riding House Café is a trendy and affordable spot that not only serves delectable brunches but also keeps its customers on trend by exposing them to new music and great new art exhibitions while they’re eating. The milkshakes are to die for, with the hard shakes being especially delicious. Try the Racer shake, a combination of espresso, bananas, milk and chocolate liqueur. The creamy, comforting kedgeree is a an ideal breakfast choice or try their ‘burgerdict’, a cross between a burger and eggs Benedict.
The Brass Rail at Selfridges
Restaurant, Food Court, Kosher, European, $$$
Founded in 1966, this historic restaurant is one of the best places in London to eat salt beef – and what better time to eat salt beef than breakfast? Located in the corner of Selfridges food hall, it’s the ideal spot to people watch while you enjoy a sandwich not much smaller than your head. Breakfast items are served all day, so you never need to worry about not getting there in time to get your hands on a bagel. If you’re not in the mood for salmon and cream cheese, the crispy salt beef potato hash with a soft-boiled egg is the perfect option. The Brass Rail doesn’t open until 9.30am, so is definitely a brunch spot rather than somewhere to head for an early-morning breakfast, but the inch-thick slices of salt beef make up for that.
Bar, Restaurant, Contemporary, Tea , $$$
A five-minute walk from Oxford Circus station, Conduit Street’s sketch dwells inside an 18th-century townhouse that is home to a host of fine restaurants and bars, as well as an array of artistic influences. Head there for breakfast to experience the location at a quieter, more intimate time. The Glade, a small bar area decorated to look like a sun-dappled forest, is the perfect place to gently start your day. We recommend the french toast suzette, served with orange sorbet and caramel sauce.
Restaurant, Italian, British, $$$
A Mayfair instituion, Cecconi’s has been turning out beautifully presented platefuls of cacio e pepe (spaghetti with cheese and pepper) for years. What you might not know, however, it that it serves some of the best eggs in Mayfair. Head to the restaurant for a relaxed breakfast in the light-filled dining room. You’re sure to get delicious coffee, because Italians know their beans, and a breakfast of eggs florentine or a ham and cheese omelette will set you up perfectly for the day ahead.
Restaurant, British, $$$
For an upmarket start to your day, look no further than Berners Tavern. Awarded the GQ Best Restaurant Interior 2015 and AA Restaurant Of The Year 2014, Berners Tavern is under the direction of Michelin-star chef Jason Atherton. Breakfast is available from 7am during the week, making it perfect for those early business meetings. The menu looks further afield than just the breakfast classics, offering ham hock croque monsieurs or roasted sweet potato with halloumi, eggs and pine-nut pesto for those who get ravenous early in the day.
45 Jermyn St
Restaurant, British, $$$
Owned by the impeccable Fortnum & Mason, this boutique spot is just the place to head when you feel like you deserve a treat. The menu skews very British, with kippers and crumpets on offer, but what you really want to do is order the scrambled eggs and ask for caviar. They’ll send the caviar trolley over to your table in the blink of an eye. If you need a drink to fortify yourself for the day ahead, the range of Bloody Mary variations is excellent – try the Hinomaru Mary, with artisanal Japanese gin, smoked salt, Sriracha and rice wine vinegar.
Farm Girl @ Sweaty Betty
Restaurant, Healthy, Australian, $$$
Farm Girl, the Australian café chain with other locations in Chelsea and Notting Hill, is a great place to go to find a nourishing breakfast. The offering is focused on plant-based dishes that not only taste amazing but also photograph beautifully, ready to be posted to Instagram. The pink, shabby chic tables, ample plant life and pretty little jars of wild-cut flowers make it cosy and welcoming, and the friendly staff add to the chilled-out vibes. The acai bowls and avocado toast are just what you need to refuel your body (and your social media grid).