Where to find the best breakfasts in the UK
From desi dishes in Birmingham to a sticky plum duck benedict in Newcastle, here’s our pick of the UK’s 10 best bets for a brilliant breakfast.
1. The Pig & Pastry, York
This multi-award-winning neighbourhood cafe serves breakfast with a generous side of banter — witness the eggs Benedict Cumberbatch, which comes complete with ‘juicy Cumberland sausage’. Also on the menu are fry-ups, homemade granola, buttermilk waffles, breakfast burgers, homemade pastries and much more. The cafe also produces its very own zine. Breakfast dishes from £4.95.
2. Twelve Triangles, Edinburgh
This mini chain of bakeries prides itself on its slow-fermented sourdough bread and handmade pastries using local ingredients. Among the creations are gooseberry and ricotta curd cruffins and banana and peanut butter croissants. There’s excellent coffee to wash it all down, too. Breakfast dishes from £2.20.
3. Hive Beach Cafe, Dorset
This place is right on the sand, with panoramic views of Lyme Bay and Chesil Beach, though you may be too busy enjoying your breakfast to pay much attention. The team pride themselves on using local ingredients where possible, and you can’t get much more local than Portland crab served on home-baked toast with rocket and a fried egg. Breakfast dishes from £6.
4. William Cafe, Glasgow
A favourite of restaurant critic Marina O’Loughlin, who describes it as ‘an idiosyncratic, tiny and hugely friendly slice of cafe heaven’, this characterful little place has the full range, from porridge to eggs Alec — a type of benedict, ‘but a little more pompous, i.e., with smoked salmond’ (sic). There are several vegan choices for those not convinced by the idea of a Bute black pudding morning roll. Breakfast dishes from £2.20
5. General Merchants, Belfast
Arrive hungry when visiting this Antipodean-inspired Belfast chain if you want to do justice to the General Manwich — a toasted brioche roll stuffed with double bacon, two black puddings and two fried eggs, although you might prefer the Street Hawker scrambled eggs with chilli oil, roasted sweet potato and spring onions, or the simple Irish porridge bowl. Breakfast dishes from £3.
6. Quay Ingredient, Newcastle
In the shadow of the Tyne Bridge, Quay Ingredient offers diners the chance to try the northeast’s famous stottie cakes (soft, white rolls with a distinctive dent in the top), filled with sausage, bacon, egg or all three. Other options include smoky Craster kippers from just up the coast, and more surprising specials such as eggs benedict with tempura soft-shell crab, grilled halloumi or sticky plum duck. Breakfast dishes from £2.45.
7. Luminary Bakery, London
Producer of stunning pastries, but also an award-winning social enterprise empowering women from disadvantaged backgrounds to get back into work, this is the kind of place that will gladden your heart as well as your stomach. The bright, welcoming sites in Stoke Newington and Camden are both perfect for whiling away a lazy morning with a coffee and a fluffy cinnamon roll. Breakfast dishes from £2.20.
8. No 33, Norwich
It’s a good sign when the vegetarian fry-up looks tasty enough to tempt omnivores away from the meat version, and this tiny independent cafe delivers with its homemade bubble and squeak, sautéed spinach and rosemary and sea salt mushrooms — though there's serious competition from the sweetcorn fritters with bacon or halloumi, and the homemade maple and vanilla granola. Breakfast dishes from £2.50.
9. Alpine Coffee Shop, Betws-y-Coed
The name is slightly misleading; not only does this cosy Snowdonian stalwart stock almost 100 loose-leaf teas to enjoy by the open fire, but it also serves all-day breakfasts alongside various cakes and pastries. Regulars recommend the herby potato hash that comes with the free-range meat or vegan fry-ups. Palm oil-free, dog and walker friendly. Breakfast dishes from £2.25.
10. Apna Lahore, Birmingham
Crisp, fresh poori (fried bread), deliciously oily chana masala (spiced chickpeas) and sweet, fluffy halwa (semolina pudding) — this small Pakistani cafe in Ladypool isn’t the only one in the area serving up desi breakfasts, but it does do them very well. You can have your chana with naan or paratha if you prefer, or go for an omelette or pakoras instead, but chai on the side is a must. Breakfast dishes from £3.50.
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