Get the weekend off to a good start by heading out for a Saturday morning brunch. Bloody Mary and Eggs Benedict, anyone?
Where you’ll find it: Most bigger UK cities including Cambridge, London, Oxford, Manchester, Leeds and Durham.
The lowdown: Bill’s restaurant grew out of a tiny greengrocery shop in East Sussex that was wiped out by floods in 2000 and rebuilt with a cafe attached. Now, it’s a massively successful nationwide chain that’s part-deli, part-restaurant and open “from breakfast til bedtime” for quirky takes on home-cooked comfort food (think burgers, fish finger sandwiches, posh mac ‘n’ cheese and steak). It’s great for food whatever time you go but especially well known for the breakfast menu, which runs until 1pm at weekends making it the perfect spot for brunch.
Best bits: The blueberry and buttermilk pancakes topped with banana, strawberries and maple syrup and a side of streaky bacon are definitely a highlight, with breakfast smoothies, porridge, eggs benedict, smoked salmon and the obligatory full English also on offer.
Where you’ll find it: London – there are four branches in Canary Wharf, Chelsea, Somerset House and St Katharine Docks.
The lowdown: Tom’s Kitchen is the less formal counterpart to celebrated chef Tom Aiken’s Michelin-starred fine dining restaurants, offering traditional British comfort food with a modern twist. The Canary Wharf branch is ideal for grabbing breakfast before a busy day of trading, while the weekend brunch menu runs until 4pm and offers everything from granola and breakfast juices to burgers and ‘Eye Opener’ cocktails.
Best bits: There are plenty of classics to choose from, but Tom’s kitchen is best for fancy brunch favourites like smoked haddock, pan-fried calves liver and duck eggs. Or for those with a sweet tooth, the brioche french toast with cinnamon cream and caramelised apples.
Tenth Avenue Cookshop
Where you’ll find it: New York (Tenth Avenue, obviously).
The lowdown: This Chelsea brunch spot takes its name from the 19th-century cookshops, where cooks shared home-cooked meals in private houses. And it certainly keeps that traditional feeling, with ethically-sourced ingredients and furniture, a cozy yet bright decor that’s perfect for waking you up from a Sunday morning slump and a brunch menu that offers up fresh pastries, french toast, gingerbread pancakes, and eggs pretty much however you fancy.
Best bits: We’re not going to lie. The food menus may be impressive but the stars of the show are the breakfast cocktails – there are six Bloody Mary variations to choose from (even one incorporating bacon vodka) as well as Irish coffee, hot toddies, champagne cocktails and a blood orange mojito. Hair of the dog?
Where you’ll find it: Boston, home of the jazz brunch.
The lowdown: The Beehive is a Bohemian eatery and bar in Boston’s South End, as well known for its live music as it is for its simple, satisfying comfort food made from local ingredients with a rustic Middle East twist. Head over for brunch and you’ll find oysters, tomato soup and grilled cheese, calamari, french toast, pulled pork and scrambled eggs on offer, washed down with a mimosa and a side of live jazz.
Best bits: The famous Beehive Breakfast is a welcome change from a fry-up: scrambled eggs with spinach and feta, hummus, ghanous and falafel . Or try the Eggs Shakshuka: poached eggs, tomato sauce, polenta and Moroccan sausage.
Where you’ll find it: San Francisco (and if there’s one thing San Francisco does well, it’s brunch).
The lowdown: Park Tavern took over the space of the famous Moose’s restaurant (known as a hangout for power brokers and other wealthy punters) in 2011, and has already developed a reputation as a casual eatery with good food and stiff drinks – so where better to stop for brunch? From pastries, pancakes and savouries to pitchers of breakfast cocktails, there’s plenty on offer to get the morning off to a good start.
Best bits: Oatmeal, walnut and raisin pancakes, lemon bread and warm baguettes with jam for the sweet-toothed, and the pan-fried corn beef hash or chorizo and eggs for a meatier option.
Jekyll & Hyde
Where you’ll find it: Sydney.
The lowdown: Jekyll and Hyde is a split personality: coffee bar by day, wine bar by night and home to one of the most famous brunches in Sydney.
Best bits: We’re torn between the bacon & egg spring rolls and the Jekyll & Hyde scramble (eggs with fresh mint and feta on sourdough bread) – get both and split them. Plus, the vegetarian toast plate is excellent for veggies and non-veggies alike, with avocado, tomato, rocket, pomegranate dressing and haloumi cheese.
Where you’ll find it: Hong Kong.
The lowdown: For something a little different, head to Blue Butcher for their signature three-course steak-themed brunch. Start off with a cold buffet, choose your main course (whether you’re ready for a steak or you’d rather stick with more traditional breakfast fare) and dessert (salted caramel apples with dulce de leche is just one choice) and choose your tipple from free-flowing prosecco or sangria, mimosas or a Bloody Mary.
Best bits: The Belgian Waffle and Foie Gras stations that top off the starter buffet would make an impressive brunch on their own.
Granger & Co.
Where you’ll find it: London – Notting Hill and Clerkenwell. There are also sister restaurants in Sydney, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Tokyo and Seoul.
The lowdown: Granger & Co. is just one of Bill Granger’s restaurants, known for their chilled-out, easy going Australian vibe inspired by Granger’s first restaurant in Sydney. The Notting Hill and new Clerkenwell branches are no exception and a perfect break from the London rush with Aussie-inspired brunches, iced coffee and fresh juices and smoothies.
Best bits: The “Big Plates” – try the courgette fritters with deep fried eggs, haloumi cheese, tahini yoghurt and parsley salad, or a “Full Aussie” with scrambled eggs, sourdough toast, bacon, tomato, mushrooms and chipolatas. And skip the breakfast cocktails this time around and go for iced tea or coffee.