After a week full of mundane sandwiches and microwave-blasted soups, the weekend is an ideal time to take your taste buds out for a refreshing brunch. And where better than Walthamstow?
Among the boutique coffee shops and unique attractions (like the neon heaven of God’s Own Junkyard or the beautiful William Morris Gallery), this outer London suburb still retains its East End character of greasy spoons and local cafés, as well as having some cosmopolitan cuisine options. All this makes Walthamstow the perfect place for a weekend pick-me-up.
With their signature smokey bacon jam appearing on supermarkets shelves up and down the country, it’s likely you’ve heard of Eat17 before even stepping foot in the door. After dedicating a decade to developing a humble-yet-enticing menu chocked full of quality local ingredients, Eat17 is a popular choice for ’Stow residents, so seats tend to get snapped up early here. The brunch menu is the standard fare with a few twists such as their sumptuous chorizo beans on toast. After a recent facelift (think walnut woods, cream walls and plush leathers), the restaurant presents a casual setting that’s perfect for families and couples alike.
This community café is a perfect escape from the humdrum of the high streets. With a continually changing vegetarian and vegan breakfast and brunch menu, Hornbeam has a big weekend following, and there’s always something to satisfy their clientele – from light bites like tofu and chickpea fritters through to formidable nut, mushroom and bean burgers. As a community café, Hornbeam plays host to myriad events throughout the week such as Swedish language lessons, film screenings and knitting workshop, to name but a few. Follow them on Twitter for instant updates.
If you’re looking for something on the lighter side, The Deli Café is a great spot to relax and partake in a little people watching as the weekend crowd saunters through the village. It’s somewhat snug inside, but there’s a good selection of outdoor seating nestled among the other restaurants on the street. With a warm and speedy service, and an excellent variety of indulgent wraps, sandwiches, soups and pastries, there’s something to sate every appetite.
Just across from Blackhorse Road Station, under gleaming Vitrolite and mint-green tile work, the attentive staff at Rodi offer a real taste of the classic East End café. You know what you’re getting with the breakfasts – hearty fry-ups, big, fluffy omelettes and soup-bowl-size mugs of tea. This is the perfect spot to clear your head after a heavy Friday night or in preparation for a Saturday night drinking session at the Beavertown Brewery.
If you’re looking for a spot to take the newspaper and relax into your weekend, 56 is the place. Plates are small but mighty, with bacon sarnies and full English breakfasts, along with homemade beans and grilled halloumi for the vegetarians. There’s more than enough here to keep you going until dinner time. Just down the road from St James Street station, 56 is a great meeting point before venturing into the Walthamstow Wetlands.
Whether you’re on a health kick or a quest for a big breakfast, The Old Station Yard Café has something tempting to offer. Based on Wood Street, which is home to a wide range of neighbourly, creative shops, the café is a favourite spot for locals with its airy and spacious setting (you’ll almost always get a table) and delicious homemade dishes. Made with fresh, organic produce, the eggs royale here are light and fluffy and the hollandaise is without rival in Walthamstow.
You may have a hard time finding Wood Street Coffee – for starters, it’s no longer on Wood Street. The café has teleported across Walthamstow and made a new home within the burly confines of Blackhorse Workshop’s industrial units. While the outside of the building is not much to look at, the interior is bright and airy with a clean decor, plants and a lot of natural light. The café boasts a selection of artisan roasters (at the time of writing, the award-winning Dark Arts Coffee) as well as a menu with everything from light pastries (though the croissants are definitely on the heavy side) to larger plates.
For a classic brunch fare, The Village offers a great selection. With a formidable full English and tall stacks of American pancakes that won’t break the bank, The Village is an excellent stop off if you’re thinking of heading up for a walk in around Hollow Ponds. As The Village is free from ties to any brewery, there’s a specialist selection of beers. They also boast one of the best beer gardens in Walthamstow with an array of heated seating so you never go chilly.
While pizza might not be the first thing that springs to mind for a late breakfast, Sodo is quickly making a name for itself on the brunch scene. Sourdough bread is their speciality, and with a signature sharp tang, it’s the base that the menu is built on. A must-try is Sodo’s selection of baked eggs. Served in a thick tomato sauce with either mozzarella, feta or goats cheese, this hearty dish is an exceptional alternative to the standard poached fare. Topping things off with a bloody mary or a nude espresso, you may have just found your new local.
This recent addition to Walthamstow has by far the most imaginative cuisine on the list. With a constantly changing menu and a wide range of exotic dishes, you may not even notice the menu being vegetarian and vegan. Buhler & Co stands out for the time and scrutiny that have gone into the palette of tastes for each aspect of the menu. Dishes like their quinoa cake and poached egg will convert even the most stubborn of orderers.