Weekends and sunshine call for only one thing in London, and that’s brunch. The West End is a treasure trove of culinary delights when it comes to sumptuous brunch spots to chose from, so stop off at one of our top picks to fuel up for the weekend ahead.
Pioneers of the raw food revolution, the Wild Food Café gets the stamp of approval from healthy foodies. It provides a welcome change from greasy fry-ups. The plant-based menu—including the pan-fried wild mushrooms on an organic sourdough toast for £8 and the famous Forgotten Ecstasy raw cacao, maca, coconut cream, maple syrup smoothie, £6.20—is an impressive collection of experimental, organic dishes. Along with the premises (open from 12pm), the menu has recently been re-launched. It will take on more guilt-free delicacies like wild rice pancakes and coconut crepes. The location itself is also worth the visit for a relaxed weekend stroll, within Covent Garden’s pretty, hidden courtyard of Neal’s Yard.
This lively and modern Fitzrovia brasserie has range of both communal and more intimate seating, and provides a variety of breakfast dishes on its weekday breakfast menu. For those with a sweet-tooth, try the brioche French toast with vanilla-clotted cream and maple syrup at £7, while the £12 chorizo hash brown with mushroom and poached eggs will hit the spot for fans of savoury breakfasts. Served until 4pm, The Riding House Café’s weekend brunch menu extends to more typical brasserie dishes—including burgers and roasts—from noon.
The second branch of Koya’s recently closed udon noodle-joint, Koya Bar wouldn’t look out of place in Tokyo. The small yet spacious Soho spot is an exciting brunch alternative. It offers the standard Japanese native morning meal of grilled fish, miso soup with rice and pickles for £13.90, as well as its creative bowls of udon and rice porridge. Try the ‘English breakfast’ at £10.90, a testament to the innovative menu, whose brothy boll of fried egg, bacon and shitake mushroom udon serves as a hybrid of the classic British fry-up with an authentic Japanese twist.
The stunning decor, generous menu and quality service means this grand-brasserie is by no means in the shadow of its famous sibling The Wolseley. Opened in 2012 and decked out in green leather, dark wood and antique mirrors, the Aldwych grand European cafe is the ideal setting to enjoy The Delaunay’s confident brunch menu. This menu is served on weekends between 11am and 5pm. Choose from the traditional Viennese breakfast at £11.50 of smoked ham, salami, gouda, boiled egg and a pretzel, as well as the kedgeree and wide selection of German würstchen (the pork, apple and smoked black pudding sausage is exquisite). Don’t forget the variety of freshly baked pastries.