Known for its excellent restaurant scene, Islington is bursting at the seams with great breakfast and brunch spots. Whether it’s a weekend boozy brunch or a coffee pit stop on the way to work, make sure to check out the top 10 places to get breakfast and brunch in Islington.
Restaurant, Bakery, Bar, Italian, $$$
An Italian bakery, café and bar with a gorgeous rooftop terrace, Vivo is a great option for brunch in the sunshine hidden from the hustle and bustle of Upper Street. Its breakfast menu includes classics such as the full English, as well as more unusual dishes such as ricotta hotcakes. Breakfast is served until 3pm every day. If you would like to give your brunch a bit of sparkle, opt for the Breakfast & Bubbles menu – any breakfast and unlimited prosecco by the glass.
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Inspired by the ’80s movie of the same name, this popular chain prides itself on excellent all-day breakfasts. The Islington branch, situated on Angel’s quaint Camden Passage, boasts a menu of British classics such as The Full Monty and its vegetarian counterpart, plus an extensive American pancake selection, breakfast sandwiches and eggs every which way. With so many choices on the menu, you’ll need to visit every weekend to try it all.
The Ottolenghi name has become synonymous with quality and creativity. Owner and creator Yotam Ottolenghi takes inspiration from his Israeli roots, but the food offered at his restaurants has a pan-Mediterranean vibe. The biggest in the chain, the Islington branch features communal tables for an open and relaxed atmosphere, to share with friends and strangers alike. The breakfast is an eclectic mix, from the simple self-toast bread board to shakshuka. The cinnamon french toast is a consistent favourite – simple but absolutely delicious.
Celebrating its love of travel and shared culture, Caravan takes inspiration from around the world, presenting an exciting ‘well-travelled’ menu. Elegant twists on breakfast classics include the buttermilk vanilla hotcakes with date butter and maple syrup, or the fried jalapeño cornbread with black bean salsa, a fried egg, tomatillo, feta, pickled red onion and chipotle mayonnaise. Fry-up fans will love the Caravan Fry, featuring eggs, bacon, sausage, tomatoes and mushrooms. A selection of fruit, cereal, toast and baked goods offers a lighter option, and its location on the bustling Exmouth Market means a street-side seat will afford an interesting spot to watch the world go by. Weekday breakfast starts at 8am, and you can tuck into brunch from 9am on weekends. The coffee roaster in the basement means Caravan’s brews are extra fresh.
This small and perpetually busy coffee shop prides itself on its use of locally sourced ingredients, including fresh coffee from its own East London roastery, 165 Roasters, and delicious fresh pastries and bread from The Little Bread Pedlar. During the week, the place is packed with laptop-laden freelancers, though its early 7.30am weekday opening time means it’s perfect for those who want to grab a coffee on the way to the office. A small garden at the rear of the building offers an excellent place to chill out on sunny days.
Get here early to beat the queues at this popular brunch spot. Its fresh menu changes frequently, but the selection is always extensive. Enjoy a traditional full English or the more decadent french toast with banana and salted caramel. Sunday also has a great variety of innovative vegetarian breakfasts, such as the cornbread with avocado, halloumi and poached egg. The cosy mixed-wood furnishings with bold splashes of colour create a simple, stylish setting.
Had your fill of smoked salmon and crushed avocado? If you’re after something a little different for weekend brunch, look no further than this small pan-Asian restaurant. At £34.95 per person, its bottomless brunch menu offers a three-course feast, including starters, dumplings and a generous brunch bowl, plus two hours of unlimited prosecco or beer.
Boulangerie Bon Matin is a bakery and coffee shop bringing modern French-style cuisine to the north Islington neighbourhood of Finsbury Park. If you have a sweet tooth, this is the place you need to be heading for your weekend brunch. Pastries, bread, croissants, muffins and a selection of beautifully presented cakes are lined up on the counter. There are delicious savoury options too, such as the Mediterranean Eggs, with two poached eggs, avocado, garlic Greek yoghurt and rye toast and a drizzling of sweet butter. Pair with a cappuccino, and you’re good to go.
For fancy breakfasts and gourmet brunches, head to The Modern Pantry. Its refreshing smoothie selection will give you a vitamin pick-me-up, and there’s also a whole menu dedicated to its extensive tea selection. Its farm-to-table breakfast menu includes the sugar-cured prawn omelette, eggs with a choice of bacon, halloumi or chorizo, and sourdough toast topped with gooseberry and elderflower jam or grapefruit and pink peppercorn marmalade. Weather permitting, you can dine al fresco at its sunny outdoor terrace in St John’s Square.
Whether you want to go continental with crêpes and croissants or treat yourself to a full English, this lovely French brasserie on Islington Green has you covered. As Bellanger is run by the team behind The Wolseley, the oh-so-stylish Mayfair café, you can expect quality food and sumptuous interiors. Tuck into its weekend brunch or pop in to try its great weekday breakfast menu.