Food & Drink

The Best Boozy Brunch in Every London 'Hood

Published On 02/04/2015 Published On 02/04/2015
Courtesy of Q Grill

Brunch might just be the best merger in history -- it takes the best bits of breakfast, the best bits of lunch, and then throws in cocktails. While London may have been a little slow on the uptake of this glorious tradition, now it's here, and it's fantastic. Here's where to get the best one wherever you are...

Cafe Boheme

Soho

Cafe Boheme (address and info)
While this might be on your list of late-night spots, you should definitely return to the scene of the crime for brunch as well. If you’re feeling a little fragile, you can get something small and simple like the ham & cheese croquettes, or go for the full deal with one of its juicy burgers (throw an egg on it if you really want an experience). Grab a couple mimosas as well -- the juice is fresh squeezed!

Dishoom

Covent Garden

Dishoom (address and info)
Three words for you: Bacon. Naan. Roll. Flaky-yet-chewy naan bread with bacon that's been cured with salt and sugar over the course of five days and then cold-smoked over oak chips. Go ahead, read that again. And then there’s the rest of its brunch menu, loaded with Indian twists like the Kejriwal w/ fried eggs on chilli cheese toast, and speciality breakfast cocktails. 

Duck & Waffle

The City

Duck & Waffle (address and info)
How do you know it's good? Because this place is named after a brunch dish: confit duck and a fried duck egg, stacked on a crispy waffle drizzled over with mustard maple syrup. Or, of course, there's the Ox Cheek Benedict with hollandaise and Sriracha. But then there’s also Richard Woods' drinks like the Ristretto Negroni, which is slow-dripped through coffee grounds.

The Riding House Café

Fitzrovia

The Riding House Cafe (address and info)
Chorizo hash brown with mushrooms and poached eggs? Lobster Benedict? Can't decide? Then get a bunch of small plates and try everything. Its drink list will help the wake up process with a selection of "Horticultural" drinks made with some of nature's finest, plus of course, good old-fashioned booze.

Smiths

Farringdon

Smiths of Smithfield (address and info)
These guys got into the brunch thing early, adopting the New York mentality that eggs, bacon, waffles, and lots of booze is a great way into the afternoon. The ground floor is huge, which means you can pretty much always find a seat, or if you’re really lucky, snag one of the overstuffed sofas in the back and settle in for the long haul.

Mr. Buckley's

Shoreditch

Mr. Buckley's (address and info)
Lets just say this: its Bloody Mary comes with bacon. That in itself makes it an obvious choice before you even get to the food. Which, by the way, involves potato & courgette rosti with bacon, avocado, and poached eggs.

Courtesy of Q Grill

Camden

Q Grill (address and info)
Bloody Marys are personal. Some like them spicy, others more pickled. At Q, they’ve made it simple with a Bloody Mary station where you can customize to your heart's content making that glass of recovery exactly how you need it to be. With all the brunch basics covered, you can add its house-smoked salmon to anything, or just get a good old-fashioned full English.

Stories

London Fields

Stories (address and info)
Huge portions and extremely reasonable prices await at this Broadway Market number. The Barrow Boys Breakfast will leave you fat and happy with cumberland chipolatas, bacon, black pudding, mushrooms, baked beans, plum tomatoes, hash brown, fried egg, and toast -- and be sure to wash that down with a Toy cocktail (tequila, coffee & Nutella).

Bunga Bunga

Battersea

Bunga Bunga (address and info)
With two specific seatings at preset prices, Bunga Bunga allows you to choose from a limited, buffet-style menu of your favorites done Italian-style (breakfast pizzas, essentially, incl. An Englishman's Breakfast w/ sausage, mushrooms, pancetta, tomato, and a soft egg), plus starters, sweets, unlimited Prosecco & Bellinis to accompany stage shows & karaoke.

Electric Diner

Notting Hill

Electric Diner (address and info)
The Electric's full English is fairly legendary, and that's not to mention its honey fried chicken with chilli and sesame seeds. Looking for the liquids? Its bar program will make sure you want for nought, with cocktails, Marys, craft beers, and even boozy milkshakes for good measure.

Plateau

Canary Wharf

Plateau (address and info)
This end of town turns into a different world on the weekends. Stylish and blessedly quiet, sit back, relax, and let the Prosecco flow like water when you get two/three courses filled with classics like steak & eggs, house-cured salmon with lemon & capers, or even larger dishes incl. slow-cooked ox cheek, and the terrifyingly good Triple Pig Burger: pork patty with smoked bacon & pulled BBQ pork shoulder.

Cookbook Cafe

Mayfair

Cookbook Cafe (address and info)
Once you get past the fact it’s in the InterContinental, this is the kind of brunch that will have you rolling out the door in a food coma. It goes all out with its all-you-can-eat (and drink!!) buffet, which includes everything from pancakes and waffles to omelets and tapas-style mains, and unlimited Prosecco and Bellinis.

Jason Allen/Thrillist

Angel

Caravan (address and info)
It’s up for debate what's the best here: coffee, booze, or food. But however you look at it, you’d be a fool to not come here for brunch, when you can acceptably have all three. Score some Cornbread French Toast with bacon, rocket, and avocado, then throw back a coffee, and finish up with an Espresso Martini.

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1. Cafe Boheme 13 Old Compton St, London, W1D 5JQ (Soho)

Cafe Boheme might not be the only late-night French restaurant in London, but it's definitely the place to hit up if you're looking for French fare until 3am.

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2. Dishoom 12 Upper St Martins Ln, , London, WC2H 9EF (Covent Garden)

This Covent Garden spot is touted as London's first "Bombay Cafe,” a '60s Asian staple resurrected here across two floors with the traditional bentwood chairs, marble countertops, low-hung lights, and slowly turning ceiling fans. Dishoom really tick all the boxes: breakfast (bacon naan!), lunch, dinner, cocktails, snacks, Bombay-inspired decor that oozes cool without being overly kitsch, attentive staff, reasonable prices -- it's all that and big enough to never feel overly packed.

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3. Duck & Waffle Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London, EC2N 4AY (The City)

If you're not good with heights, you might want to request a table away from the windows. This classy establishment offers an incredible view of London, 40 stories above the ground in the Heron Tower. And regardless of when your hunger pangs pop up, Duck & Waffle has you covered 24/7.

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4. The Riding House Cafe 43-51 Great Titchfield St, Fitzrovia, London, W1W 7PQ (Fitzrovia)

Located in Fitzrovia, the Village East/Garrison team's third drinkery offers three price tiers of small plates (slow-roast lamb shoulder, salt-cod fritters, etc.), plus larger goods like the foie gras'd Titchfield burger, and full English breakfasts.

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5. Smiths of Smithfield 67-77 Charterhouse St, Clerkenwell, EC1M 6HJ (Clerkenwell)

Located in the heart of Smithfield Market, Smiths is a four-floor resto (!), with each level exhibiting a distinctive style and ALL levels serving up delicious and simple tastes. Pro tip: you can't miss their full English breakfasts.

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6. Mr. Buckley's 277 Hackney Rd, , London, E2 8NA (Hackney)

Offsetting its spartan finish of undecorated brick walls & wood floors, this Hackney Road place's food is not quite so plain: an all-day array including crab cake Benedict, lobster mac & cheese, and slow-braised ox cheeks in apricot stew, to accompany a short-but-sweet cocktail list including the apple brandy & grenadine Jack Rose, which you should definitely have on ice.

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7. Q Grill 29-33 Chalk Farm Rd, London, NW1 8AJ (Camden)

Brought to you by the man who started Islington's Fish & Chip Shop, the Q Grill specializes in Memphis-style BBQ with big cuts of meat that are tender and smokey with enough fat to keep things moist, but what really steals the show here is their bag o’ wings.

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8. Stories 30 Broadway Market, Hackney, London, E8 4QJ (Hackney)

This Broadway Market spot features eating, drinking, art, events, and more from the people who brought you Shoreditch's Book Club.

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9. Bunga Bunga 37 Battersea Bridge Rd, , London, SW11 3BA (Battersea)

Located in Battersea, this monument to Berlusconi's Berlusconi-ness includes a huge, brass-rail staircase painted like the Sistine Chapel, and a main space with polished wood floors, a gondola-shaped bar, and Vespa-helmet light fixtures.

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10. Electric Diner 191 Portobello Rd, Notting Hill, W11 2ED (Notting Hill)

Electric Diner... having recruited Windy City chef Brendan Sodikoff to rebirth the charred remains with his own award-winning vision of high-end doughnuts & diner food, the brunch is outstanding and the libations are ever-flowing.

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11. Plateau 4th Floor Canada Pl, Canary Wharf, E14 5ER

This Canary Wharf resto offers up impressive French fare and a fantastic view. And it also features one of the best brunches in town, with classics like steak and eggs to less-traditional dishes like cooked ox cheek.

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12. Cookbook Cafe One Hamilton Pl, London, W1J 7QY (Mayfair)

Located in the InterContinental hotel in Mayfair, CC champions classic British ingredients to craft its upscale fare. And if you want a brunch that will seriously tackle you hunger, grab the all-you-can-eat option here, which features everything from pancakes to omelets.

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13. Caravan 11 Exmouth Market, Clerkenwell, EC1R 4QD (Clerkenwell)

It’s up for debate what's the best here: coffee, booze, or food. But However you look at it, you’d be a fool to not come to this Angel eatery for brunch. And while you're at it, order an Espresso Martini to start your day off right.

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