London may not yet specialise in the lavish, unlimited-champagne brunches so common in places like Hong Kong and Dubai, but an increasing number of restaurants are offering innovative and intriguing brunch menus - diners can now choose from much more than basic egg dishes and bottomless options with unlimited prosecco and Bloody Marys becoming more popular too. From inventive champagne brunches to classic lazy Sunday brunches, Telegraph writers select their favourite brunches in the capital.
Berber & Q, Hackney
Can’t stomach another eggs Benedict? Brunch at Berber & Q – hidden beneath the railway arches at Haggerston – is an altogether more exotic experience. A Middle East take on the full English, our "full Israeli" came groaning with dishes so tempting we didn't know where to start. Avocado with soft-boiled eggs is the most obviously breakfasty in this sharing spread, served with buttery-soft pitta to dunk into dips lifted by imaginative spicing and scattered pomegranate seeds.
Though there have been occasional complaints about music at the venue being too loud, the bass-driven clubby-yet-chilled soundtrack we encountered made for an atmospheric backdrop to our conversation, rather than drowning it. Other items on the diverse menu include honeyed feta and roast beetroot given a textural fillip by toasted hazelnuts. To finish, try the blissful yogurt pot topped with date syrup and tahini.
Top treat: The Rose Harissa Mary is a lush and scented take on the traditional bloody.
Times and cost: Saturday and Sunday, 11am to 3pm; Israeli Breakfast, with tea or coffee, costs £13.50 for a vegetarian full Israeli or £15 for the meat-based Mangal breakfast. Harissa Rose Marys are £9.
Address: RCH 338 Acton Mews, E8 4EA, London
Review by Cat Weakley
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Duck & Waffle, the City
On paper Duck and Waffle might sound a bit gimmicky - highest brunch in London (40 floors up), open 24 hours a day and with a name that celebrates an unlikely and eminently curious culinary marriage - but leave your prejudices at the door because this is a superlative choice. Firstly, the setting is hugely enjoyable, the altitude given special treatment thanks to a light, airy interior with nothing obstructing the view from one side of the building to the other. The room certainly cultivates a satisfying morning buzz. And second, crucially, the food is excellent. Options are creative without being intimidating - we particularly enjoyed the duck egg en cocotte with mushrooms, gruyere and truffle, which arrived looking like a posh egg and soldiers. This is a good bet for a brunch intended to mark a special occasion.
Top treat: It feels almost obligatory to order the signature dish: a crispy leg of duck, topped with a fried egg, and sat atop a waffle.
Address: The Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY
Days and times: Saturday and Sunday; 9am-4pm
Prices: The House Breakfast costs £16; duck and waffle costs £18.
Review by Hugh Morris
Yauatcha City, Liverpool Street
Yauatcha City’s appropriately named Supreme Saturdays offer one of the most sophisticated brunches in London. After a potent welcome martini or punchy negroni, the feast commences: first platters of dainty, delicious dim sum; to follow, decadent mains – perhaps lobster vermicelli or truffled pork belly rib. Enticingly displayed on a counter and served with a farewell cocktail, some of London’s prettiest desserts are a fittingly delightful finale for a brunch that scores top marks for service, style and savoir faire. Also worthy of commendation is the sophisticated alternative this generous menu offers to the city's growing slew of brunches offering bottomless booze - we appreciated our carefully made cocktails and wine far more than we would have limitless pours of a shoddy prosecco for an extra £20 a head.
Top treat: Crumbly and rich venison puffs were the stars of the dim sum platter, but desserts deserve commendation too - they're so beautifully presented that choosing just one can prove unexpectedly time-consuming.
Times and cost: Saturdays from 12pm to 6pm; £52pp for all of the above, sides, and a half bottle of wine
Address: Broadgate Circle, EC2M 2QS
Review by John O'Ceallaigh
Caravan, the quintessential brunch venue - and vegetarians’ favourite - now operates four branches so it's easier to enjoy its scrambled eggs and sourdough than ever. Decor-wise, Caravan Bankside, tucked away behind the Tate Modern, offers that tried-and-tested hipster combination of exposed brick, air vents, and old-fashioned light bulbs. The menu is also largely the same: inventive, affordable, and with influences from across the globe. Our favourite dishes? The jalapeño cornbread with black bean, fried egg and avocado made a refreshing change from the bog-standard avocado on toast (though that, too, is available); healthy food doesn’t get more delicious than the aubergine puree with lemon gremolata, sumac, yoghurt and grilled flatbread; and we could’ve eaten about five portions of the restaurant's succulent slow-roasted tomatoes.
Top treat: Spoil yourself with vanilla ice cream and salted caramel espresso - Caravan is renowned for its coffee, roasted daily on the premises.
Times and cost: Saturdays and Sundays; 10am-4pm. Dishes from £5-£12; cocktails and prosecco from £7.
Address: 30 Great Guildford Street, London SE1, UK, London SE1 0HS
Review by Oliver Smith
Flesh & Buns, Covent Garden
The boozy Japanese fusion brunch at Bone Daddies' Flesh & Buns is a gloriously indulgent affair. Patrons are welcomed to the izakaya-style underground space with a cocktail (bloody Mary or strawberry bellini) and edamame. Both fizz and starter dishes are truly bottomless: prosecco glasses are attentively topped up throughout, while guests are encouraged to order as much as they like from a selection of small plates (think fat California rolls and zingy seafood ceviche). For mains, it's one of the restaurant's signature gua bao with a choice of "flesh" including streak, salmon and a gorgeous miso-grilled veggie option. The subterranean location means sun-lovers may prefer to go elsewhere on pleasant days, but during inclement weather the underground atmosphere is intimate and buzzy, helped along by a rock soundtrack.
Top treat: The s'mores and chocolate fondant dessert (£46 menu) tops off the meal with a bit of fun, allowing diners to melt their own marshmallows in a mini charcoal fire.
Times and cost: Sunday 12-5pm; £39/£46
Address: Flesh & Buns, 41 Earlham St, London WC2H 9LX
Review by Hannah Meltzer
Christopher's Covent Garden
Set in a Grade II-listed building (in 1870, it was London’s first licensed casino) and with a rustic spiral staircase leading up to its intimate, stylish dining room, Christopher’s offers a smart and sophisticated - but not stuffy - setting for a relaxed weekend brunch. The elegant restaurant serves American fare with European touches, from the Texas grill Cumberland sausage with maple-cured bacon to corn beef hash with Béarnaise sauce, as well as American classics like buttermilk pancakes and macaroni & cheese. Its “superfood” brunch offers savoury dishes with a healthier twist, including a surprisingly filling avocado on toast topped with cherry tomatoes, lime, chilli, flax seeds, sunflower seeds and walnut pesto that create a crunchy explosion in every bite. Add poached egg, smoked salmon or Devonshire crab if you'd like it a touch grander. Other enticing options include buckwheat pancakes served with camu powder, made from the camu berry which is said to have 60 times more vitamin C than an orange.
Top treat: The chocolate brioche French toast with vanilla ice cream (£12) feels like a ridiculously indulgent way to kickstart a weekend.
Times and cost: Saturday & Sunday From 11.30am – 3.30pm; dishes from £6 to £26
Address: 18 Wellington St, London WC2E 7DD
Review by Soo Kim
Ceviche may not seem the most likely start to a slap-up brunch, but Coya Mayfair is not your average restaurant. Previously offered on Sundays but now available on Saturdays, this outstanding Latin American brunch is now on offer throughout the weekend. The four-course set menu combines refined modern recipes with traditional street food and is filled with punchy flavours, from the elegant opening trio of ceviches and kingfish tiradito (a Peruvian sashimi-ceviche hybrid) to the irresistibly stodgy pulled pork chicharrón. There’s also a delicious choice of mains and unlimited champagne, pisco sours or zingy pisco Marys to blow hangover cobwebs away. With elegant decor, impeccable service and a live DJ, this is a brunch experience that feels like a special occasion.
Top treat: Tongue-tinglingly delicious, the mixed ceviche starter is a zesty blend of seafood that kickstarts the brunch in memorable style. The unassuming anticuchos de pollo (chicken kebabs), a traditional Peruvian street food, is also a highlight.
Times and cost: Saturdays, from 12:30pm to 4:30pm. The three-course brunch costs from £36-£46 dependent on main course chosen. Bottomless pisco sours or pisco Marys are £20; bottomless champagne is £30.
Address: 118 Piccadilly, W1J 7NW
Review by Sarah Wagner
Sea Containers, Mondrian London
Whether it’s down to the stylish art deco surroundings, the buzzing atmosphere, the riverside setting (nab a window seat for views of St Paul’s Cathedral), the friendly service - or simply the bottomless bellinis - it’s hard to wipe the smile off your face during brunch at the Mondrian London hotel's Sea Containers restaurant.
The menu offers a nod to the building’s transatlantic history, pairing UK ingredients with US recipes. Think Dorset crab omelette; The Reuben, made with British salt beef and smoked cheddar; spicy Boston beans, slow cooked with Cumberland sausage; and the Brooklyn sandwich: waffles with bacon, maple syrup, and vanilla ice cream. Traditional roasts are also on offer and popular on colder days, while summer sees the Thames location really come into its own, with tables available outdoors when the weather allows.
Top treat: There are three horrendously indulgent hard shakes, including the Mississippi Mudslide. Bourbon, chocolate and whipped cream at 2pm? Why on Earth not.
Times and cost: Saturday & Sunday, Noon-4pm. Dishes from £10-£25, hard shakes £13, bottomless prosecco and bellinis £18
Address: 20 Upper Ground, London SE1 9PD
Review by Oliver Smith
Darwin Brasserie, The City
While the silhouette of the City’s 20 Fenchurch Street skyscraper, better known as the Walkie Talkie, is divisive, the skyline views afforded those who are positioned inside the building are incontestably exceptional. Located in the building’s top-level Sky Garden, Darwin Brasserie’s brunch incorporates a starter buffet featuring charcuterie-style snacks and fresh salads; plump, indulgent mains such as roast pork belly with pearl barley risotto and chicken Kiev with chips; and a limitless spread of classic desserts and pastries. If occasionally indistinct, it’s a pleasant offering that’s made special by the setting. While views from some seats are restricted, those who have an unimpeded vista can enjoy a panorama that takes in the Shard, winding Thames and the ever-growing spread of spires and towers perforating the financial district.
Top treat: Plundering a dessert buffet crammed with brownies, profiteroles and the like feels a particularly indulgent end to proceedings.
Times and cost: Saturdays & Sundays 11:30am to 3:30pm; £44.50 per person (£19.50 for under-13s)
Address: Sky Garden 1, Sky Garden Walk, EC3M 8AF
Review by John O'Ceallaigh
Tried everything on offer? If you're ready for something a bit different then book a visit to one of London's most unusual brunches or you could try making brunch at home using our guide to London's best brunch recipes and sweet and savory brunch recipes. And for brunches elsewhere, see our round-up of boozy bottomless brunches available throughout Britain.