We’re calling it now: brunch has overtaken the roast as the most sacred of all weekend meals
If you’re brave enough to venture to Soho at the weekend, eat away the after-effects of the night before and head to Koya Bar, neighbour and sibling of the ever-popular noodle joint Koya. The English breakfast udon (complete with bacon, gooey fried egg, shiitake mushrooms and udon noodles) is the cleanest-feeling alternative to a fry-up. Slurp away.
Where: Frith Street, London
When: 8.30am-10.30pm weekdays, 9.30am-11pm Saturdays, 9.30am-11pm Sundays
There's no standing on ceremony here and the brunch menu is simple (with a few cheffy additions) but good: grilled kippers with lemon parsley; cinnamon sweet potato pancakes; bacon, sausage and fried egg sandwich; scrambled eggs with white truffle oil and toasted brioche.
Where: Queen Street, Newcastle upon Tyne
When: served weekdays until 11.30am and all day at weekends
Dig your bacon butty? Say hello to Dishoom’s bacon naan roll. That’s a freshly-baked naan wrapped around The Ginger Pig’s smoked streaky bacon with a seriously good combo of chilli tomato jam, cream cheese and herbs. Weekend complete.
Where: Shoreditch / King’s Cross / Covent Garden, London
When: 8am-11.30am weekdays, 9am-midday weekends
Photo: PR / Dishoom
This is New York meets Brighton seafront. There are enamel dishes and their burgers are much acclaimed, but we digress. They serve a mean breakfast and good coffee – we’re talking full classic breakfast, breakfast burgers, pancakes and brioche bacon rolls. And did we mention the great views?
Where: King’s Road, Brighton
When: 9.30am – 4pm. That’s right, it’s an all day affair, baby
Breakfast at this Middle Eastern haunt is a sweet affair. Go for the toasted fig, orange and walnut loaf with butter and marmalade, it’s like eating cake for breakfast and who doesn’t want to do that?
Where: Warren Street, London
When: from 8am weekdays and 9.30am on Saturday
Tucked away in the hip northern quarter of Manchester, this quirky little brunch spot does a great line in all-day eggs (poached, benedict, royale, florentine, dippy with asparagus spears). Toast is made from their own sourdough and you can have it with smoked baked beans, homemade rose petal and strawberry jam or toffee peanut butter.
For something a little more virtuous, the superfood porridge is made with oats, mixed seeds, toasted coconut, raisins and agave syrup. Alternatively, kill a hangover with a fish-finger wrap.
Where: Thomas Street, Manchester
When: Sun–Mon 10am-6pm, Tues-Sun 10am-9.30pm
A culinary institution when it comes to breakfast (AA Gill’s Breakfast At The Wolseley confirms this for us). This is the place for birthday treats or when you want to impress, well, anyone really. If you need to hide a hangover go for one of the Art Deco booths in the bar. A choice of fried, poached or scrambled eggs with bacon, sausage, baked beans, tomato, black pudding and mushrooms – who ever said a fry-up can’t be classy?
Where: Piccadilly, London
When: 7am-11.30am weekdays, 8am-11.30am weekends
Photo: PR / The Wolseley
This is the sort of place you could loiter in for hours, and handily their brunch menu is served all day until 5pm. There are lots of healthier options including poached pears with natural yoghurt and quinoa but there are also, shall we say, some more weekend appropriate grub: brioche french toast with cinnamon, bacon and maple syrup, or smoked haddock with a soft poached egg, spinach and hollandaise sauce.
Where: Hanover Street, Edinburgh
When: 9am-5pm every day. Oh yes
It’s a little more formal than his other cafes but Ottolenghi’s Soho restaurant still has the same ethos and trademark Middle Eastern flavours. It’s so much more than just your average bacon and eggs, it’s shakshuka (braised eggs with piquant tomato sauce and smoked labneh); it's sausage sandwiches with coriander aioli and a fried egg; and it's black rice with coconut milk, banana and mango.
Where: Warwick Street, London
When: 8am-12pm weekdays, 10am-11.30am Saturday, 10am-12.30pm Sunday
Set on a rather grand street right round the corner from the Liverpool Philharmonic, this deli-come-restaurant is a traditional all day breakfast affair: sausage and bacon baps, eggs done numerous ways or the full English (complete with veggie option that features guacamole and hummus. Sold).
Where: Falkner Street, Liverpool
When: 8am-11pm weekdays, 9am-11pm weekends
Not socially acceptable until you’ve had your caffeine fix? Caravan will be your saviour – they have a coffee roaster on site for pity's sake. A plate of french toast and a killer espresso martini (yes, this is a brunch necessity) and you’ll be able to take on anything.
Where: Exmouth Market or Kings Cross, London
When: 8am-11.30am weekdays, 10am-4pm weekends