The best of brunch
Food & Drink

The best of brunch

Words: Steve Burdett
Published: Summer ‘17

Brunch is big business. A bunch of independent cafés and restaurants in North and East London are dishing up eclectic, eccentric and, of course, delicious plates of food to start your day and adorn your Instagram account. Woodberry Life checks out the best brunch spots in your neighbourhood.

The Good Egg

93 Church Street, N16 0AS

020 7682 2120

You can set your watch at the weekend by the queue of good-natured and good-looking Stoke Newington types eager for a taste of this Middle-Eastern-influenced joint on Church Street. Inside, people sit at cosily close tables and at the marble bar, and eat specialties like Jerusalem breakfast and the glorious shakshuka, which is baked eggs with mutton (or halloumi), tomato, peppers and yoghurt. The Good Egg does a mean Mimosa, and the Cardamom Coffee – double espresso, vodka, cardamom syrup – is the kind of drink that is sure to make you forget about queuing in a hurry.

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1 Redchurch Street, E2 7DJ

020 7920 6499

If you’re looking for something a little different, then how does brunch Peruvian-style sound? Andina in Shoreditch, with its buzzy downstairs and airy upstairs, takes reservations, which is something a little different in itself. The juices include the Supay, which contains aji limo chilli, and the Andean hot drinks are porridge-like concoctions with ingredients like quinoa. The more adventurous might find themselves drawn to the pisco cocktails, while the chicharron sandwich (confit of pork belly in a soft bun) and pudin de maiz (corn soufflé with bacon and poached egg) should guarantee that stomachs are lined sufficiently.

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The Coal House Café

Access via Woodberry Wetlands,
New River Path, via Lordship Rd, London N16 5HQ

020 8809 6207

The Coal House Café is open daily for breakfast, brunch and lunch. Serving quality roasted coffee and homemade seasonal food with locally sourced ingredients – all with a view over the beautiful Woodberry Wetlands.

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587 Green Lanes, N8 0RG

020 8341 2939

Blend’s unassuming shop front gives way to a wonderfully light room that looks as much mid-century Danish design showroom as it does brunch spot (in fact, it is a homeware shop too), and it’s part of a growing number of food and drink spots popping up at this end of Green Lanes. The warm, friendly staff serve particularly good coffee in a variety of ways (Chemex or Aeropress coffeemakers, anyone?) and the food is equally elegant. Amaretto Brioche French Toast is a joy and the Croque Blend is piece of foodie design that belongs very much to this century.

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Zer Café & Juice Bar

Goodchild Rd, N4 2LY

020 8809 5270

Tucked away near the West Reservoir at Woodberry Down, Zer Café and Juice Bar does classic brunch items like eggs Benedict, pancakes, pastries and a cooked breakfast with sourdough bread, all at affordable prices and in a relaxed environment, with the weekend papers close at hand. There’s a Turkish twist to the menu that doesn’t disappoint: the Istanbul Express offers up grilled halloumi and spicy sausage, and the menemen really stands out with its eggs, spinach, sausage and feta served in a skillet. All of which can be washed down with a Liver Lover fresh juice.

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169 Hemingford Rd, N1 1DA

020 7607 3868

Word has clearly got out about this neighbourhood café and restaurant judging by the queue outside. Thankfully, Sunday is well worth the wait whatever the weather, because inside this bright, bijou space is a big menu with something for everyone. Courgette fritters with halloumi, avocado, poached egg, yoghurt and dukkah is a dish that should start everyone’s weekend, while the buttermilk pancakes and the smoked-haddock rarebit are always a winner. Hidden away from the bright lights of Islington near Caledonian Road & Barnsbury station, Sunday is well worth a look on any day of the week.

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