When you know where to look, outdoor brunches in London aren’t actually too tricky to find. Brunch has become such a mainstay that it's almost hard to think of a time when it wasn’t a key part of our lives, when people only either ate their eggs in the early morning or tucked into a sandwich at lunch. Now it's a staple part of our weekend routine, whether you need an intimate event for a friend's birthday, or are after the best outdoor brunch in London to merely celebrate summer.
The truth is, this mid-morning meal isn’t an invention coined by millennials to simply justify having a lie in, it was actually established in 1895 by Guy Beringer in his piece for Britain’s Hunters Weekly called ‘Brunch: A Plea’. The aim was to combine the best of both breakfast and lunch, to create something new to be held later in the day on Sundays (and allow time to recover from the previous night's festivities). Word spread pretty quickly through London, and before long the concept was working its way around the world and becoming a weekend long affair. The trend really kicked in in the 90s though and has been a hit ever since - with some even meriting its popularity to programmes like Sex And The City which associated it with a glamorous lifestyle.
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Considering this is where it all began, it’s no wonder that London has such an impressive list of spots to get your brunch fix. Even when looking for specifics, such as places with outdoor seating, it’s still a struggle to narrow it down to just a few. However, we’ve powered through and done the hard work for you, even separating each restaurant into different areas of London. So whether you’re in the east and want a laid back meal, or after something a little fancier in the West, this list is sure to have what you’re looking for.
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- Best outdoor brunches in west London
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Each restaurant below provides the perfect place to kick start your day during the warmer months, varying between terraces on the King's Road to balconies on Regent's Canal, with an impressive selection of menus to boot. So grab some sunglasses and bring your appetite, because London’s brunch scene is waiting for you.
Chiltern Firehouse, Marylebone
What: If you’re feeling fancy, there’s nowhere quite like Chiltern Firehouse to kickstart your weekend. Known as a key place for celeb spotting, it’s the perfect restaurant to get dressed up for, where you can enjoy the finer things in life. If the marble top tables and chic monochrome decor wasn’t enough to convince you, then maybe the brunch menu with caviar and lobster will.
Where:1 Chiltern Street, W1U 7PA
Book Now: Chiltern Firehouse
No 197 Chiswick Fire Station, Chiswick
What: If you’re looking for a good brunch with a side of minimalist interior inspo, then head to No.197 Chiswick Fire Station. The menu provides options beyond the ordinary, with everything from sweetcorn and courgette hash, to pancakes with smoked salmon and harissa cream cheese, as well as all of the classics. All made even more enjoyable when eaten on the ultra chic terrace.
Where: Chiswick High Road, W4 2DR
Book now:No 197 Chiswick Fire Station
What: Bluebird is somewhat of an institution, being known for both its frequent appearances on Made In Chelsea, and its seasonal British dishes. Ideally located just off the King’s Road, and boasting an impressive outdoor terrace, it’s one of the best spots to be when the sun’s out. Expect classic brunch dishes like eggs royale and French toast with streaky bacon.
Where:350 King's Road, SW3 5UU
Book now: Bluebird
Dalloway Terrace, Bloomsbury
What: Located within the Bloomsbury Hotel, Dalloway Terrace offers a romantic oasis away from the city buzz. Flowers line the walls at this dreamy spot, and arch above marble top tables and wicker chairs. Not only is it Instagram friendly, but the brunch menu is pretty magical too. Choose between two or three courses of delicious brunch favourites.
Where:16-22 Great Russell Street, WC1B 3NN
Book now: Dalloway Terrace
Alto by San Carlo at Selfridges, Marylebone
What: Okay, so it may not have a specific brunch menu, but it does do all day dining, and the rooftop is just too good to not include on this list. The chances are you’ve already seen the terrace on social media, with its flower laden pergola and views over London, as it’s gained a reputation as one of the glammest spots in the city. Alto by San Carlo is open from 11am and sits at the top of Selfridges, serving an entirely Italian menu.
Where:400 Oxford Street, W1A 1AB
Book now: Alto by San Carlo
Towpath Café, Haggerston
What: Towpath Café is loved by locals, chefs and celebrities alike - Keira Knightley actually once described it as the reason she lives in London. The menu changes regularly, but the theme remains as simple, seasonal food that has been executed to perfection. It’s worth getting here early though, as it practises a no booking policy and it’s VERY popular.
Where:42 De Beauvoir Crescent, N1 5RY
Book now: Towpath Café
Barge East, Hackney Wick
What: As brunch venues go, this one’s a little more quirky, and (unsurprisingly) located in Hackney Wick. Barge East is a cargo boat that was built in 1905, and has since been transformed into a cosy yet buzzy venue that serves up seasonal dishes daily. If you head to ‘The Gardens’, you can enjoy a brunch from the Street Kitchen, with an option of going bottomless.
Where: White Post Lane, E9 5EN
Book now: Barge East
Brunswick East, Dalston
What: Brunswick East is known for its breakfast buns, and if you want to find out why you’ll have to get in there quickly because it regularly sells out. These are filled with either folded egg, peanut rayu and crispy leek or bacon and fried egg with BE brown sauce, and they’re worth the hype. Thankfully the terrace has plenty of space whether you make it for a bun or not, so it’s still perfect for working through the rest of the menu.
Where: Gillett Street, N16 8JH
Book now: Brunswick East
What: It seems almost criminal to create a brunch list without including Dishoom, as the bacon and egg naan is one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes. Whilst most of the sites are dark and moody spaces that are better suited to evening meals, the Shoreditch option boasts The Verandah which offers a space to lounge in the sun as you prepare for the day ahead.
Where:7 Boundary Street, E2 7JE
Book now: Dishoom Shoreditch
Pavilion Café, Victoria Park
What: Pavilion Café offers a calming presence in an otherwise hectic city, where you can sit lakeside and enjoy the kind of food that your mum used to make. Open 7 days a week, you can sample either an English or Sri Lankan brunch with freshly baked goods and some top quality coffee.
Where: Old Ford Road, E9 7DE
Book now: Pavilion Café
Caravan, Kings Cross
What: Caravan has a reputation for being one of the best brunches in town, and the one in King's Cross comes with an enormous terrace to boot. Each plate manages to be both indulgent and fairly healthy, with options like smashed avo on toast with crispy chickpeas and sprouts or a grilled bacon chop with kimchi pancake, gochujang ketchup and a fried egg.
Where:1 Granary Square, N1C 4AA
Book now: Caravan
The Lighterman, King's Cross
What: The Lighterman is a canalside pub and dining room with wraparound terraces and a bar along the towpath. The menu is small, but offers a variety of sweet and savoury options, with our recommendation being the fried chicken Benedict with sriracha hollandaise.
Where:3 Granary Square, N1C 4BH
Book now: The Lighterman
Common Ground, Finsbury Park
What: Common Ground is a neighbourhoodcafé with a big reputation, serving up an eclectic choice of dishes to start your day. Think potato latke with poached eggs and hollandaise, or Turkish eggs with focaccia for dipping. Head through to the back and you’ll find a terrace where you can enjoy your brunch al fresco.
Where:49 Stroud Green Road, N4 3EF
Book now: Common Ground
The Narrowboat, Islington
What: Just a short walk from Angel station is one of north London’s hidden gems, located next to the Regent's Canal. The Narrowboat boasts balconies that overlook the water, and serve as a great little suntrap for those summer mornings. Sandwiches are the name of the game here with fillings like fillet steak and caramelised onion or smoked salmon, cucumber and creme fraiche.
Where:119 St Peter's Street, N1 8PZ
Book now: The Narrowboat
Milk Beach, Queen’s Park
What: Milk Beach sits along a quiet back road, with outdoor seating to the front. The brunch menu ranges from overnight oats with poached pears and coconut granola to soft boiled eggs in a jar with pumpkin puree, cream and sourdough soldiers. If you needed one clue that the restaurant takes this meal seriously, it’ll be that it orders sourdough from the St. John bakery.
Where:19-21 Lonsdale Road, NW6 6RD
Book now: Milk Beach
Daddy Bao, Tooting
What: Steering clear of the standard eggs Benedict and pancakes, Daddy Bao offers a selection of different bao buns for brunch (who’d have thought it?). You can choose from meat or vegan fillings, as well as a choice of sharing plates like dumplings, fried chicken and kimchi fritters.
Where:113 Mitcham Road, SW17 9PE
Book now: Daddy Bao
What: No one does rooftop brunches quite like Skylight in Peckham. This pergola covered terrace is full of comfy sofas, big tables, and incredible views of London’s iconic skyline. The food is equally as special, with options like burrata on toast, Indian scrambled eggs and Belgian waffles with Hennessy maple syrup.
Where: 120 Peckham Hill Street, SE15 5JT
Book now: Skylight
What: Kudu is more commonly known for its South African inspired dinner menu, but it actually does a great brunch offering too. Whether you need to start your day with something savoury, or are a sucker for a sweet treat, you’ll find what you’re looking for here. The honey roast ham crumpet with black pudding, eggs and hollandaise, or the caramelised banana bread tatin and amarula chantilly get our votes. There are a couple of tables at the front of the restaurant, as well as an enchanting garden to the back.
Where:119 Queen's Road, SE15 2EZ
Book now: Kudu
Where the Pancakes are, Southwark
What: It may not come as a surprise that the brunch menu here is made up entirely of pancakes. You’ll find savoury toppings like slow cooked brisket with Cheddar and sauerkraut, as well as sweet options such as banana, honeycomb, marshmallow cream and a choice of sea salted caramel or chocolate sauce. Dishes like those are only made better by eating them on the terrace on a warm summer’s morning.
Where: 85a Southwark Bridge Road, SE1 0NQ
Book now: Where the Pancakes are
Megan's on the Hill, Balham
What: Megan's is often one of the first names to come to mind when looking for a reliable brunch in London (especially a boozy one). There are sites all across London and beyond, but Balham’s version has tables to the front of the restaurant where you can dine outdoors. Expect everything from an nduja brunch brioche to a loaded hash brown, as well as a selection of pastries that are perfectly paired with a coffee.
Where:41-43 Bedford Hill, SW12 9EY
Book now: Megan's On The Hill
A classic brunch is all well and good, but sometimes you need a supply of bottomless fizz to help you forget that hectic week at work. London is host to a wide range of restaurants that serve up their eggs with a side of booze, from sky high eateries with a view, to laid back pizzerias. We’ve rounded up our favourites, and even divided them into categories for you, so you can find the right one with ease. Check out our list of best bottomless brunch in London.