While the lesser-documented West London has its fair share of noteworthy breakfast destinations, it’s East London that often springs to mind when you think of independent cafes, top notch coffee and the best veggie or vegan food. We’re spoilt for choice with Spitalfields Market, Brick Lane, Shoreditch, Dalston… so there’s good reason that flocks of foodies head East for their fix.
This said, Hackney deserves a special Breakfast London mention; it has so much breakfast-fayre to explore, tonnes off culinary variety and constant innovation. Also, Taylor Swift sang about it in ‘London Boy’ and if that’s not the highest accolade, I don’t know what is. So, without further ado, my top picks if you’re hungry (or hangry) in Hackney:
WAVE stands for We Are Vegan Everything, which is pretty self-explanatory in terms of the food on offer. WAVE has beautifully dreamy boho interiors, transporting you from rainy Hackney high-street to beach-side Bali café in a matter of minutes. Enjoy stylish low tables, cosy couches, swinging cocoon chairs and a calming colour palette. The food also deserves rave reviews, once you’ve stopped ogling the interior of course… The staff will likely recommend the Vegan mac and cheese and it truly is amazing; the coconut bacon is revolutionary and the seasoning, including edible flowers (!), is completely delicious. If that wasn’t enough, in off-peak hours the space turns into a Yoga studio, with classes available to book on the cafe website. A fan of yoga, food and interiors? You might as well move in.
This much-loved Hackney gem is an independent, organic bakery situated beneath London Fields Station. In 2015 the E5 Bakehouse team converted a railway arch and installed a stone mill to give rise to an on-site bakery using locally-sourced grain. The result: the freshest and most nutrient rich flour for some seriously tasty bread. As you’d expect in a bakery, the breakfast options are celebration of all things flour; there’s toast with a range of tasty toppings, galettes with greens, cheddar and egg, as well as croissants and pastries, all made in-house. If dough’s a no, the house-made granola is equally delicious, or opt for one of the weekend brunch specials, which change seasonally. E5’s sustainability credentials are equally fab; the whole operation is fuelled by 100% renewable energy sources, fully biodegradable packaging and they use nothing but pedal power to deliver their loaves around London. Minimal carbon-footprint + maximum carbs = the dream!
Located on Mare street, just a few doors down from the much-Instagrammed Palm Vaults, is Palaette. Not a typo, Palaette is a combination of taste palate and colour palette – and its dishes are exactly that, a treat for the senses and a beautiful marriage of taste and colour. The menu features all your typical breakfast and brunch options, but the standouts include the green shakshuka, avocado on Rye, or, for dessert lovers, there’s an ultra-indulgent French toast. As you’d imagine, this is a great one for the Instagram, and you can definitely stand on a stool to take your pics, no one will judge.