If London is the brunch capital of the UK, one could certainly argue that Camden is the brunch capital of London. Camden has always been a hub of killer food, quirky cocktails and pseudo-industrial settings in which to enjoy the first two. As well as larger restaurants, venturing into the market, there are tiny street food spots doing their own take on the late morning meal, so we’ve made sure not to miss them out, no matter how cosy.
Brunch is only getting more and more popular, to the extent that restaurants who would never have considered the breakfast-lunch hybrid have now thrown their hats into the ring. That’s why we now see such a range. Brunch is no longer poached eggs on sourdough with coffee and/or a mimosa - it’s so much more than that.
It must be said that one factor fuelling the brunch fire is Instagram. For whatever reason, those who like to post pictures of their meals on the platform have taken a special liking to brunch. That’s why this list highlights which entries are best suited for the ‘gram.
Due to the current breadth of brunch offerings in Camden, we’ve made sure to cover all types, from the more hen-do-style pink cocktails, pink prosecco and even pink bagels, to the more meaty steak with eggs and a bloody mary, not to mention everything in between as well. The setting matters too, and there is a wide range in this regard as well, from the quiet intimate spaces to rooftop blowouts.
Of course, this list isn’t all boozy, but since the only trend growing faster than brunch is its boozy counterpart, we had to mention it. Evenhanded as ever, we’ve made sure to balance the bottomless entries with an equal amount of bottom-ful(?) ones for good measure.
Without further ado, here is our guide to the best brunch in Camden, from the rough and ready cheap eats all the way up to the truly extravagant affairs.
York & Albany
Architect John Nash built many a fancy structure around North London, and York & Albany is one of them. With handsome interiors and classic brunch dishes, headed up by Gordon Ramsay himself, you can’t really go wrong. Since this is a hotel and restaurant, we recommend staying the night so you can enjoy the full brunch experience the next day. Opt for eggs Benedict or Royale, a full English or mouthwatering ricotta pancakes with maple-cured bacon and honeycomb butter. As a bonus for families, kids eat free all day, every day.
Book now: York & Albany
Inspired by their road trips across America, Joy and Simon Brigg decided to bring the ‘sweet tastes of Southern soul food’ to Camden with this funky joint dedicated to smoky porcine pleasures and rocking Tennessee tunes. The breakfast menu at Porky's is available until midday and features all the brunch essentials, but if you’re feeling a little adventurous, we’d go for the Porky Muffin with pulled pork, Cumberland sausage, fried egg and cheese in an English muffin with tater puffs.
Book now: Porky's
The Cheese Bar
Name a better breakfast than a cheese toastie, we’ll wait... You can get four variations of this classic snack at The Cheese Bar in Camden – the slick, stylish and fun graduation of the street-food-serving Cheese Truck. Delivering max on both stringy, gooey cheese and on Instagrammability, we can understand why it’s a popular spot. Not brunch-specific, the menu also features more cheese-celebrating dishes such as a four-cheese rotelle (essentially posh mac ‘n’ cheese) and supreme mozzarella sticks.
Book now: The Cheese Bar
As its up-front moniker suggests, The Diner re-imagines the classic American diner of a million movie scenes through a London lens, with red vinyl booths, vintage car pictures and booming 60s’ music offset by dim lighting. Ideal for brunch if you ask us. It serves an all-day breakfast with some brunch classics, but what really caught our attention was the large three-stack pancake menu as well as the Diner Breakfast Burger. We would also try to fit in the Lumberjack Breakfast with its eggs, buttermilk pancakes, bacon, tater tots served with maple syrup and whipped honey butter – phew!
Book now: The Diner
Fun fact, this area of London was once nicknamed Greenberry Hill rather than Primrose Hill – which makes sense given the name of this eclectic, all-purpose eatery. The brunch menu offers everything you’d expect with stand-out dishes of fluffy pancakes with ricotta, mixed berries and maple syrup, and roast squash, cherry tomatoes, feta and pomegranate on spinach with poached egg and sumac. Also, don’t leave without trying the colourful wellness lattes!
Book now: The Greenberry Cafe
The Fields Beneath
The Fields Beneath started out like any other café in the area when it opened in 2012, but then in 2017 announced its full transformation to serving vegan food only. It has also branched out to Camden Town, which operated with the same ethos: ‘make coffee, make food, make it tasty’. It claims to be serving up some of London’s finest croissants and it offers a wide range of vegan wraps and lovely cakes. Brunch treats change regularly but a firm favourite of ours has to be the croissant banh mi, combining French pastry with Vietnamese fillings for the ultimate mash-up.
Book now: The Fields Beneath
This one goes out to all the vegans. Purezza, having conquered vegan pizza, has set its eyes on vegan brunch and it’s not messing around. ‘The Big One’ is the main event, a true vegan full English, but with an Italian twist: Beyond Sausage, scrambled ‘egg’, wild forest mushrooms, roast potatoes (which every meal should have in our opinion), vine tomatoes, homemade Italian-style baked beans and sourdough. For a sweeter option, try the Tiramisu overnight oats, to which you can add a shot of espresso if it takes your fancy.
Book now: Purezza
The Blues Kitchen
Often immediately associated with late-night drinking and dancing, The Blues Kitchen actually puts on a seriously good brunch – even bottomless ones. The food is themed around America’s deep south, so you can expect the likes of Creole crab Benedict or buttermilk pancakes. Classic brunch dishes are also up for grabs, as well as other Blues Kitchen specialities such as buffalo wings with blue cheese dip, a range of burgers and zingy cocktails. Go bottomless with Bloody Marys, Mimosas or Prosecco.
Book now: The Blues Kitchen
Some would argue that Aperol Spritz is the ultimate brunch drink. For those people in particular, Camden Social has something special. This isn’t just brunch - it’s a three-course meal. Starters include chicken liver parfait, burrata or beetroot hummus, while main options range from a flat iron steak to ravioli with butternut squash and tempura courgette flowers. Finish on a high with a Mississippi mud pie or baked cheesecake. All of this can be washed down with unlimited Aperol Spritz, served from a ‘tree’ in the middle of the table.
Book now: Camden Social
Near & Far
Near & Far is a true brunch destination. It has it all: four floors including a stunning roof terrace, cocktails, bottomless brunch, DJs and gluten-free Mexican food. What’s not to like? Expect the likes of huevos rancheros and smashed avocado, as well as not just a full English but also a full Mexican and full Vegan. Bottomless brunch is very reasonably priced here and includes two hours of unlimited Margaritas, Aperol Spritzes, Prosecco or Bloody Marys, as well as a brunch, dish plus tea or coffee.
Book now: Near & Far
Duo might be the most Instagrammable entry on this list. The motto is ‘everything is better in pairs’, and as such, every dish can be ordered with an accompanying array of Prosecco-based cocktails. Small plates include panko prawns with garlic butter and chilli aioli or halloumi fries with yoghurt and pomegranate, while the large platters go all out: huge burgers of the beef, chicken or vegan persuasion, or mixed platters with wings, corn, fries and the rest. Cocktails include all the classics you would expect, plus house concoctions like the blue or pink stiletto (yes it does come in a glass high heel, which you can then keep).
Book now: Duo
The second fully plant-based entry from the brand, Powerplant is on a mission to show London just how exciting vegan food can be. Brunch is just one of their areas of expertise, and there is a great range of dishes on offer for the late morning. Try the ‘huevos’ rancheros, made with silky tofu, smoky tomato sauce, avocado, Padron peppers, pickled onions, coriander and corn, or the full English which features Moving Mountains sausage and house dhal, alongside the expected trimmings. More health-conscious visitors can opt for a power bowl, packed with vegan nutrients inspired by global cuisine.
Book now: Powerplant
The Black Cow
Like the sound of an American/Middle Eastern pub offering bottomless brunch? Head to The Black Cow this weekend. This Middle Eastern steakhouse prides itself on seriously decadent brunches, perfect for those looking for hair of the dog, or to kick off their weekend with some bubbly. Don’t miss the buttermilk chicken and waffle topped with maple syrup, or the brik pastry with spiced potato, herbs, soft eggs and American cheese. Visitors can go bottomless to add free-flowing Prosecco or Bellinis.
Book now: The Black Cow
While the Farrier’s Sunday menu might not quite qualify as brunch, it does include Bloody Marys and Mimosas, so it meets our requirements. Dishes for one include corn-fed chicken, beef sirloin, roast pork or a vegan pithivier, and dishes for the table include the same meat dishes but bigger. This, however, is just a sample menu. To find out what’s on offer right now, and the daily specials, it’s best to check the website to stay up to date.
Book now: The Farrier
What better cuisine for sharing with bottomless drinks than tapas? The sample brunch menu at Bar Gansa is packed with mouthwatering Spanish small plates like croquetas, chorizo with white wine, calamares, and grilled prawn and octopus. All of that can be washed down with unlimited beer or sangria.
Book now: Bar Gansa
Heading East? Check out the best places to go for brunch in Hackney.