The 25 Best Breakfasts In Britain (2023)

The 25 Best Breakfasts In Britain (1)

Never has a meal encapsulated so much hope. Here at Esquire, we cherish the morning meal, eaten at an appropriately early hour, in brass-bright brasseries and vinyl-upholstered cafes — even a cheery service station. From eggs to bread to rice to oats, there's all kinds of breakfast-only deliciousness out there in the UK. Here, from north to south, is what to eat and where to find it. Now, go and make the most of those precious hours when the day holds nothing but promise. The Breakfast Bible (Bloomsbury, £17) by Seb Emina is out in paperback on 12 February

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The King's Wark Bigger Breakfast

Sundays at this 15th-century pub sees it rammed full of diners jostling to get their hands on what is commonly deemed to be Edinburgh's best breakfast: an impeccable full Scottish, including, as these things do, a slice of haggis and a tattie scone.

£8.50. The King's Wark, 36 Shore, Edinburgh EH6, +44 131 554 9260. thekingswark.com

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Eggs Hebridean

The island of Stornoway makes some damn fine black pudding and this eggs Benedict variation deploys it in place of ham. Cafe Gandolfi is a splendid room, with decor that is the wood equivalent of a daring but stylish double denim.

£7.50, Cafe Gandolfi, 64 Albion Street, Glasgow G1, +44 141 552 6813. cafegandolfi.com

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Ulster Fry, Harrisons of Greyabbey,

Ulster's glorious interpretation of the fry-up doctrine includes a strong carb presence in the form of both soda bread and potato bread, and a welcome reduction of grease. It's this garden-centre restaurant that really nails it, assembling the produce from its own farm shop.

£6.75, 35 Ballybryan Road, Co Down BT22, +44 28 4278 8088. harrisonsofgreyabbey.co.uk

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Cumberland Sausages,Tebay Services, Cumbria

Given that most service stations offer little more than commercial coffee, fruit machines and Burger King, the farm-fresh, locally sourced fare at Tebay is something of a revelation. Many breakfast foods are on offer, but the jewel in their organic crown is the succulent, handmade Cumberland sausage in a bap.

£4.25, Orton, Cumbria CA10, +44 1539 623 511. tebayservices.com

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Bircher Muesli, Betty's, York

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Attempts to rebrand bircher muesli as "summer porridge" have, thankfully, been unsuccessful, but it is a useful description, the dish having more in common with Quaker Oats than Alpen. An eccentric hybrid of Swiss café and English teahouse, Betty's does one of the few versions that people will travel for.

£5.25, 6–8 St Helen's Square, York YO1, +44 1904 659 142. bettys.co.uk

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Cinnamon Toast, Leaf, Liverpool

The buttery cinnamon toast, served with a splodge of crème fraîche and an ooze of berry compote, is the kind of thing you suddenly realise you have been lying awake at night thinking about, years after you tried some off someone else's plate.

£5.50, 65–67 Bold Street, Liverpool L1, +44 151 707 7747. thisisleaf.co.uk

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Staffordshire Oatcake, High Lane Oatcakes, Stoke-on-Trent

The oat fields around Stoke-on-Trent gave rise to a new kind of breakfast carb, the Staffordshire oatcake, a flat pancake made from oatmeal and served with cheese and any combination of breakfast favourites (sausages, baked beans, mushrooms, etc). High Lane's are as good as they get.

£2.12, 597–599 High Lane, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6, +44 1782 810 180. highlaneoatcakes.co.uk

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Laverbread In An Overcoat,Tyddyn Llan, Corwen

They do not literally put an overcoat on the Welsh breakfast staple of boiled seaweed. That would be odd. At North Wales' only Michelin-starred restaurant, an overcoat is made from scrambled eggs, toast and streaky bacon.

£20, Llandrillo, Corwen LL21, +44 1490 440 264. tyddynllan.co.uk

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Fry-Up Inspector breakfast,Pandora's Kitchen, Norwich

Having been marked out as an all-time favourite of The Fry-Up Inspector, a mysterious Norwich-based blogger, Pandora's responded by immortalising his name in menu form. Featuring all of the fabled "magic nine"* full-English breakfast ingredients, it is not for daily consumption.

£9.95, 67 London Street, Norwich NR2, +44 1603 766 695. pandoras-kitchen.co.uk

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Eggy Bread, The Harbourmaster Hotel, Ceredigion

Bracingly slotted into a row of buildings alongside the harbour in Aberaeron, the Harbourmaster serves sublime hunks of eggy bread with local bacon and maple syrup. As they ought to say: French toast always tastes better with sea air.

£5.50, 2 Quay Parade, Aberaeron SA46, +44 1545 570 755. harbour-master.com

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American Pancakes,The Wheatsheaf Inn, Gloucestershire

The setting is truly English, so it's surprising to encounter what are perhaps the UK's most authentic American pancakes. They come with bacon and maple syrup, and you can order an LA-worthy "green juice" (£5) on the side.

£8, West End, Northleach, GL54, +44 1451 860 244. cotswoldswheatsheaf.com

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Jamaican breakfast,Banners, Crouch End

Eggs? Boiled, then peeled. Bread? Roti. Beans? Spicy. Bacon? Mixed with ackee, peppers and courgettes. Hash brown? Yes. Do they eat this in Jamaica?

Yes, they do! And salt fish, too.

£8.75, 21 Park Road, London N8, +44 20 8348 2930. bannersrestaurant.com

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Baked eggs,Caravan, Clerkenwell

Head chef Miles Kirby took his inspiration from the Tunisian/Israeli shakshuka. The ragout, eggs, chorizo and yoghurt look like a strangely delectable UFO crash site.

£9, 11–13 Exmouth Market, London EC1R, +44 20 7833 8115. caravanonexmouth.co.uk

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Spiced crab omelette,Chiltern Firehouse, Marylebone

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At breakfast, there is a disappointing absence of paparazzi outside this celebrity spot; yet the crab omelette deserves fame.

£17, 1 Chiltern Street, London W1U, +44 20 7073 7676. chilternfirehouse.com

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Belgian waffles,Duck & Waffle, Spitalfields

It's wise to be wary of restaurants with incredible views, so much credit is due to the 40th-floor Duck & Waffle for serving such celestially good waffles as part of their "Full Elvis", which comes with peanut butter, jelly, bananas brûlée and pelvis-boosting Chantilly cream.

£15, Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N,+44 20 3640 7310. duckandwaffle.com

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Steak and eggs,Hawksmoor, Guildhall

The City branch of London's finest nouveau chop house brings high-end beef to the morning menu. Fried eggs and hash browns keep it breakfasty. It's like when a character from one TV show cameos in another, and it's a classic, and you want them to stay in the new show forever.

£22, 10 Basinghall Street, London EC2V, +44 20 7397 8120. thehawksmoor.com

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Rice porridge,Koya Bar, Soho

Glistening, glutinous and close to tasteless, the rice porridge served at breakfast in the Far East is, to many a Western palate, an acquired taste too far. But Koya Bar's take on the Japanese okayu version is highly moreish and for the nervous, it offers a variety with bacon and fried eggs.

£10.70, 50 Frith Street, London W1D, koyabar.co.uk

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Kedgeree,The Delaunay, Covent Garden

There are few better settings in which to eat kedgeree than this vast, vaguely Habsburg room awash with mirrors, roll-neck jumpers and uncreased aprons. Its take on the dish is buttery and unctuous, a delirious hybrid of curry and breakfast.

£13, 55 Aldwych, London WC2B, +44 20 7499 8558. thedelaunay.com

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Egg, bacon, chipsand beans,The Regency Cafe, Pimlico

The art deco and Formica dining room of The Regency Cafe is one of the wonders of the breakfasting world. All the classic caff combos (need we list them?) are available. It's tasty and good value. It's a greasy spoon. That's what greasy spoons do.

£5.50, 17–19 Regency Road, London SW1P, +44 20 7821 6596

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Full SpanglishNo 67 at the South London Gallery, Peckham

Nobody in Spain eats this. It's a six-part fry-up, no bacon. There are two eggs and mushrooms, sure, and toast and beans. But there's grilled chorizo and the black pudding is Spanish morcilla. It just works.

£10.50, 67 Peckham Road, London SE5, +44 20 7252 7649. number67.co.uk

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Spaniard crêpe,Senzala, Brixton

Many argue the crêpe-style pancake has no place at the breakfast table; that a morning pancake should be of the stackable US variety. Well sure, but sometimes along comes a crêpe like the Spaniard — cheese, chorizo, fried egg, onions, spinach — and frankly, who gives a monkey's?

£7.30, Brixton Village Market, 41–42 Coldharbour Lane, London SW9, +44 20 7274 2211. senzalacreperie.com

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Hash,Billie's, Brighton

"Billie's famous hashes" announces the menu, and you'd be forgiven for thinking it's the old "say it's famous and they'll believe it" trick. But no, the nine-strong menu has a huge following. Why? Because from "Farmhouse hash" to "Irish hash", their homemade-hash-browns-plus-other-stuff formula is executed with rare zeal.

£8.10, 34 Hampton Place, East Sussex BN1, +44 1273 774 386. billiescafe.co.uk

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Coldstream eggs,Woodlands Country House, Padstow

Moustachioed B&B proprietor Hugo Woolley has published several recipe books on the morning meal. Unique to his award-winning establishment, "Coldstream" eggs are baked in rich Cornish cream with flaked kippers.

Rooms from £75pp, Treator, Cornwall PL28, +44 1841 532 426. woodlands-padstow.co.uk

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Fat Buoy,Lifebuoy Cafe, Fowey

One boon to the cause of Cornish nationalism is the existence of a "full Cornish". What English county can boast the same? The Lifebuoy's take is a classic fry-up with added hog's pudding, the local sausage celèbre.

(Video) LIVE: TalkTV

£7.25, 8 Lostwithiel Street, Cornwall PL23, +44 7715 075 869. thelifebuoycafe.co.uk

FAQs

What is a typical British breakfast? ›

Sometimes also called a 'fry-up', the full English breakfast consists of fried eggs, sausages, back bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms, fried bread and often a slice of white or black pudding (similar to bloodwurst). It is accompanied by tea or coffee and hot, buttered toast.

What is a German breakfast? ›

A German breakfast consists of hearty Brot (breads) and Brötchen (rolls), decorated with butter, sweet jams and local honey, thinly sliced meats, cheese and even some Leberwurst.

What is a Scottish breakfast? ›

What's in a Scottish Breakfast? Ingredients vary from place to place, but the basic ingredients to a traditional breakfast include square lorne sausage, link sausages, fried egg, streaky bacon, baked beans, black pudding and/or haggis, tattie scones, fried tomatoes and mushrooms, and toast.

What is a full Welsh breakfast? ›

Some people count bacon and eggs as a full breakfast, whereas for others it must include sausages, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, toast or fried bread, hash browns, black pudding and even bubble and squeak or potato cakes!

What is a full American breakfast? ›

Full American Breakfast - Large portion of eggs, breakfast meats such as bacon or sausage, potatoes or hashbrowns, pancakes or waffles, toast, and coffee.

What Europeans eat for breakfast? ›

Pastries, cold and hot, are also common breakfast items. Porridges and cereals have become quite common, though breakfast cereals are usually plain rather than sweet. Cornflakes and muesli – similar to granola, though not nearly as sweet as American granola – are popular dishes.

Which country has healthiest breakfast? ›

Iceland comes out on top!

Their breakfast is high in protein, fibre, and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and low in fat and salt.

Which country is famous for its breakfast? ›

Thailand. Thailand's food is delicious on its own but breakfast is on a whole new level. There's plenty of spice and heat in these dishes and if that's the way you like to start your morning, then this is the place to be.

What is a traditional breakfast? ›

Typical items on the breakfast menu in America and Canada include porridge, grits (maize porridge), eggs, bacon, hash browns, toast, pancakes, waffles, bagels and pastries. Cereal has become very popular in recent decades and most will have coffee, tea and juices.

What foods do British people eat? ›

7 traditional British dishes you need to try
  • Fish and Chips.
  • Bangers and Mash.
  • Full English Breakfast.
  • Sunday Roast.
  • Toad in the Hole.
  • Shepherd's Pie/Cottage Pie.
  • Steak and Kidney Pie.

What is a typical British lunch? ›

Traditional English Food for Lunch

For many families, a Sunday lunch of roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, pot roast pork with apples or roast lamb with green beans and mint sauce, is still a cherished tradition. If you don't fancy cooking it at home, your local pub is the place to go to for traditional English food.

What do the British eat for lunch? ›

Lunch. The typical English lunch is normally eaten between 12:00 and 1:30 p.m., and consists of a sandwich, such as sausage and onion, ham and pickle, or shrimp or tuna and mayonnaise. Along with the sandwich, an English person might have a packet of crisps (potato chips), fruit or biscuits.

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