To enter Hoi Polloi, first go through Hattie Fox’s That Flower Shop to a room reminiscent of a 1970s canteen, with wonderfully high ceilings. Instead of a menu, you are greeted with a newspaper detailing all the delights on offer – how very Shoreditch. While ‘hoi polloi’ means ‘the common people,’ this establishment, run by Ace Hotels, is more home to the Shoreditch hipster crowd. The menu is full of great breakfast classics, eggs all ways and some healthy shakes and juices. If healthy drinks aren’t your thing, there is also a breakfast Bloody Mary on offer. The mixture of retro and contemporary styling along with the 80s pop music and great food make Hoi Polloi a great place to enjoy breakfast with friends.
Ace Hotel, 100 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6JQ, UK +44 20 8880 6100
With an idyllic location beside the boating lake in Victoria Park, Pavilion Café has unsurprisingly become the place to be in Tower Hamlets. All ingredients are fresh, the eggs and milk provided are from a single farm and the bread is still hot upon delivery. The hipster baristas are more than happy to make you an artisan coffee, and there’s always service with a smile. The breakfast menu has about 10 dishes, offering pancakes, eggs and three versions of the full English. The smoked salmon with scrambled eggs on rye is a particular draw. If you’re after something lighter, there are plenty of yoghurts, granola and fresh juices to choose from, as well. If you’re lucky, you can get a table on the veranda along the water, which is the perfect place for breakfast.
Corner Old Ford Road, Victoria Park, London E9 7DE, UK +44 20 8980 0030
If you’re after some honest, tasty comfort food for breakfast, head straight to Albion in Shoreditch. Albion may be self-styled as a ‘caff’. But, no other caff in London was designed and is run by Terence Conran, and none have their own maître d’. This contemporary cafe, which opened in 2009, has become known for serving sizeable portions of British favourites in comfortable surroundings. It’s a place for locals to drop in for a casual bite of breakfast, or just for a cuppa and a slice of cake. The breakfast choices include the Albion Breakfast, porridge with prunes and kidneys on toast. There are a special few dishes which have been created with the help of a nutritionist. Don’t forget to pay a visit to the Albion’s in-house bakery to pick up a treat for later.
2-4 Boundary Street, Shoreditch, London E2 7DD, UK +44 20 7729 1051
Hidden within the Andaz London Liverpool Street Hotel is the Eastway Brasserie. Eastway gives off East Village vibes, but with a touch of East London quirkiness. The menu has a host of options, from traditional English breakfast fare to muesli, granola and home-baked pastries. There are also some unusual taste combinations—something for everyone. Most ingredients are locally sourced and organic, and most menu items are also available gluten-free. There is also an open server area, for those who like watching the food preparation. In addition, there’s a self-service, DIY Bloody Mary station, which is tremendous fun. Don’t be put off by the ‘in-hotel’ location; Eastway’s is reasonably priced and worth a visit.
40 Liverpool Street, London EC2M 7QN, UK +44 20 7618 7123
E Pellicci is a Bethnal Green institution; the family-run cafe has stood the test of time since 1900. The place just oozes East End character, and the staff is down-to-earth and genuinely friendly. As is tradition with East End breakfast cafes, the full English is the big draw here. It does not disappoint. The atmosphere is what makes E Pellicci stand out. It has a retro-opulent feel that recalls days when cafe culture reigned supreme in the East End. With its wood-panelled interior and Formica tables, here you can’t help but feel at home. Don’t forget to check out the celebrity photo album—many a famous name has dropped in over the years and had a photo taken with members of the Pellicci family.
332 Bethnal Green Road, London E2 0AG, UK +44 20 7739 4873