Stories may look like a pub from the outside, but inside it’s a light, airy space containing bare wooden tables, unusual light fittings and the odd well-placed splash of colour. In terms of atmosphere, Stories feels more like a creative space than just a restaurant, but the food speaks for itself. A ‘Barrow Boy’s Breakfast’ includes a whole gamut of breakfast foods from Cumberland chipolatas to fresh roast tomato and black pudding. The ubiquitous avocado on toast is revitalised here with lime, red pepper flakes and watercress salad. The huevos rancheros will garner jealous looks from any dining companions thanks to a smash of tomato and red pepper salsa, black bean sauce and the optional addition of BBQ pulled pork. Stories has a dish for everyone, and thanks to the long tables you can bring all your friends to try them all out.
Stories, 30 Broadway Market, London, UK, +44 20 7254 6898
Don’t be fooled by Beagle’s location in the arches of Hoxton station; Haggerston can be proud to include this restaurant. While the main menu is a triumph, brunch is a major player. Breakfasters will be treated to kid kofte with freekeh, labneh and griddlebread, smoked pollock kedgeree, or apple and blackberry buttermilk pancakes. For the decadent, opt for the Dungarvan rock oysters with cucumber and elderflower vinegar. If you’re in too much of a rush for a sit down breakfast, drop by Beagle’s dedicated coffee shop to the left of the restaurant for excellent coffee and delicious pastries, all served by friendly staff who seem to know all the customers by name.
Beagle, 397-400 Geffrye Street, London, UK, +44 20 7613 2967
Otherwise known as the Haggerston Espresso Rooms, this laid-back gem on Downham Road will give you the best possible start to the day. Alongside an extensive coffee menu using beans from local roasters Climpson & Sons, the menu also boasts the intriguing Sexy Toast, a combination of cinnamon, honey and cream cheese. Other options include grilled breakfast croissants, avocado on toast and porridge, all at extremely reasonable prices. HER serves all purposes, whether you need a place to hang out with friends or a space to get your head down and tap away on your laptop. With chirpy staff and an opening time of 7.30am, the café is a welcome addition to the area.
HER, 13 Downham Road, London, UK, +44 20 7249 0880
If you’re not looking for it, you might just stroll right past Long White Cloud. You’d be making a huge mistake if you did. Part of the wave of Antipodean style cafés, Long White Cloud’s fairly unprepossessing breakfast menu will astonish you in taste. Dishes are simply described but packed full of fresh, organic ingredients. The veggie breakfast with halloumi includes perfectly grilled vegetables, green chili livens up scrambled eggs, and those in need of something a little stodgier can try the bacon and egg pie. Don’t forget to get an Anzac biscuit for the road.
Long White Cloud, 151 Hackney Road, London, UK, +44 20 7033 4642
Along the urban wonderland of Kingsland Road sits A Little Of What You Fancy, a charmingly named venue with a broad breakfast selection. While menus change frequently, major players have included truffled mushrooms on sourdough, black pudding with fried eggs and roasted vine tomatoes and brioche French toast with bacon and maple syrup. Always fresh and visually appealing, Fancy is a strong contender to the East London brunch scene. Grab a look at the lunch and dinner menu and you might be tempted to stay all day. After all, A Little Of What You Fancy does you good.
A Little Of What You Fancy, 464 Kingsland Road, London, UK, +44 20 7275 0060