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Top 5 (+2) Brunches in South London

15 March 2018 | Kate Plummer

As regular readers will know, we love a Top 5 here at London Calling, and this writer was ready to whip up a special little ode to 5 of their favourite brunch spots in Saaaaaath London. But then something happened. More accurately, stacks upon stacks of light fluffy pancakes happened. Golden crispy fritters wearing a crown of a perfectly poached egg happened. BREAKFAST BAO BUNS HAPPENED. Before we knew what was happening, our Top 5 had expanded (much like our waistlines) so here’s our Top 5 (+2) of some of the best brunches south of the river.

Ben’s Canteen – Clapham Junction & Earlsfield

 
If you’re still debating the age old question of what came first – the chicken or the egg – then either of SW London’s Brunch wizards venues that are Ben’s Canteen can give you the answer - which is who cares when you can eat both in the form of their Fried Chicken Benedict? Fried. Chicken. Benedict. We kid you not. There’s something incredibly indulgent and satisfying about tucking into some golden chicken smothered in hollandaise with some poachers, and, along with their decadent Banana Pancakes and veggietastic Sweetcorn & Courgette Fritters, these are our favourites on their menu that balances the naughty with the nice perfectly. A special mention goes to their Bloody Mary’s that are so popular they’ve actually created their very own bottled spice mix Bloody Bens to help you create that perfect weekend pick-me-up from the comfort of your own home. With a new restaurant coming soon to Battersea Power Station, there’s no excuse not to visit.
 
Boyce da Roca - Streatham Hill

 
A little London trivia for you; Streatham High Road boasts the title of the longest high street in Europe. So really it’s no surprise to find a selection of fantastic cafes dotted along the length of it and Boyce da Roca is one of them. This quirky boutique café has some wonderful (and sometimes wacky) art and décor, some of which are even available to buy, from skull shaped salt and pepper pots to masks and prints adorning the walls. Luckily the food is as well-thought out as the atmosphere including the humungous full breakfast, stacked like a tipi with sourdough toast triangles hiding a feast of soft eggs, succulent sausage, crispy bacon, wilted spinach and their ridiculously good homemade baked beans. If a lovely food coma isn’t the way you prefer to start your day, then a cup of their quality coffee and a slice of one of the mouth-wateringly moist cakes on display are also highly recommended. Either way, you’re going to need a lot of fuel if you plan to explore the rest of the longest high street in Europe.
 
Burnt Toast Café  - Brixton

 
If you have never spent a morning exploring Brixton Village then what are you doing with you life quite frankly? The gems that are the cafés and restaurants tucked away in Brixton Village are worthy of a feature all to themselves, and many brunch spots are amongst them. However, the Burnt Toast Café is our pick thanks to their innovative menu that’s often refreshed as new dishes are dreamt up, as well as the novelty factor of the toasters dotted around so that from anaemic to charred, you can have your toast exactly the way you like it. Their lighter than air pancakes are something of an institution when combined with berries or bacon but it was their version of Eggs Benedict where the bacon was replaced with, wait for it, duck confit, that was an absolute brunch game changer and has since been the benchmark for all future brunch dishes. Well played Brixton, well played.
 
Mr Bao – Peckham & Daddy Bao - Tooting

 
When Mr Bao opened it wasn’t long until it became one of the most popular restaurants in Peckham, packing a punch with both originality, warmth and flavour, without also punching you right in the bank account, so it was no surprise when Daddy Bao opened in nearby Tooting to spread the Bao love. There’s something really quite special about the Taiwanese take on brunch, particularly when it involves succulent slow braised pork, wilted spinach, egg and hollandaise in a ridiculously tasty Bao bun, or a spring onion pancake with kimchi, cheese and sunny side up eggs. To really celebrate the tradition of brunch, why not take up the offer of making it bottomless with either of their delicious cocktails? The Bloody ‘Hell’ Mary incorporates sparkling sake and wasabi for a wickedly good twist on the popular breakfast cocktail, whilst the white rum, passionfruit jam, lychee and lime of the White Night in Taipei is surely good for you, right? It has fruit in it after all…
 
Brother Marcus – Balham

 
As much as we love a good Full English and all of the tea to put the world to rights after a big weekend or simply just a tough week, sometimes the best cure to ward off the Sunday blues is something a little different. Step forward Brother Marcus, who in the heart of Balham provide inventive quirky takes on the joy that is brunch. If you’re feeling those post-gym saintly Sunday vibes then keep your halo firmly in place with the five-a-day filled Yummy Mummy involving roasted veg and cannellini beans on toast with delicious beetroot hummus and black quinoa. However, we must admit it’s the cinnamon crumpet French toast with caramelised bananas, pecans and vanilla Greek yoghurt that is the Sugar Daddy or the Bob’s Your Uncle (tender pork belly with fried egg, sriracha and pals wrapped in a pitta) that would happily have us committing the sin of gluttony every weekend. Maybe more than once.
 

 
Konnigans – Wandsworth Town

 
Nestled in lovely Wandsworth Town, Konnigans is a popular spot for food whether you’re in need of breakfast, lunch or dinner with a menu to hit the spot no matter what you fancy. With its friendly local feel it’s a great place to while away a lazy weekend with friends or bring your book to enjoy some downtime with side orders of people watching and a spot of brunch. Highlights include their hearty Country Breakfast (any full English including hash browns is a winner with us) and their flavour-filled Huevos Rancheros but there’s something about a cup of coffee with their perfectly toasted banana bread drizzled with maple syrup, creamy yoghurt, bananas and bacon that just sums up a morning well spent to us.

 
The Dynamo – Putney & Balham

 
The team behind The Dynamo clearly know the secret to a great food venue – serve delicious brunches and then crack straight on to making equally delicious sourdough pizza later in the day. All of the good food all of the time essentially. With a strong focus on a love of cycling where you’re welcome whether you arrive on two wheels or two feet, choose the 100 Mile Porridge involving bananas, dates, seeds, cocoa nibs and oat milk to get you up and out on your bike or the chorizo, patatas bravas, poached egg, hollandaise and sourdough dream that is the Chorizo Hash if you’re in a position to leave with more of a relaxed waddle.
 
 

 
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