Is there any food more versatile than the egg? These culinary shape-shifters are eaten globally, transporting and transforming themselves through starkly contrasting cuisines and finding comfortable homes in starters, mains and desserts alike. From scotch eggs to baked eggs, from tortillas to the odd cured yolk: London has a whole world of eggs waiting to be discovered. These dishes will put anyone right, sure as eggs is eggs.Read More
15 Places to Eat Excellent Eggs in London
Oozing yolks, irresistible shakshuka and the perfect Benedict: London’s good eggs, mapped
1. Eggs & Bread
London E17 3NU, UK
Pay-what-you-can boiled eggs and bread. A great cafe with a conscience, where diners cook the eggs themselves, however they like.
2. Max's Sandwich Shop
Even the most kitchen-averse student knows that the difference between a good sandwich and a great sandwich is, more often than not, a fried egg. Max Halley’s creations are far better than the average butty, but the rule still stands. With melting chunks of slow braised ham hock, piquant homemade piccalilli, brittle shoestring fries, malt vinegar mayo and a crowning egg carefully layered between a couple of slices of springy-soft focaccia, this is a masterpiece of culinary construction.
3. Black Axe Mangal
London N1 2UP, UK
One of London’s most instantly-recognisable dishes, this jet-black flatbread is a sparkling testament to Lee Tiernan’s high-impact cooking. There’s squid ink, smoked cod’s roe and edible glitter to excite, but it’s the oozy dribble of yolk on the first bite that really carries this pile-up of flavours. Charred, gooey and seductive, it’s a dish that raises an eyebrow and provokes a smile.
4. Milk Beach
This Australian-inflected cafe-meets-wine-bar-meets-roastery hidden away down a Queens Park mews egg-cels itself at breakfast time. As well as scrambled, poached and fried orange-yolked Clarence Court eggs on buttered sourdough and a glorious Benedict, there’s a standout take on the nursery favourite of dippy eggs and soldiers: a jar of softly baked eggs, cream and sweet potato purée with fingers of toast for dunking.
5. Bodega Rita's
London N1C 4DR, UK
Missy Flynn and Gabriel Pryce’s deli-slash-sandwich shop has proved to be one of the biggest draws at Coal Drops Yard – and a temple to egg excellence. For breakfast, order the white miso-scrambled eggs with sesame on a soft, buttery brioche bun. Come lunchtime, opt for The Highway Dan: a might medley of hot sauce-spiked egg mayo, celery and sesame seeds piled high on Dusty Knuckle potato sourdough. Well worth the eight napkins it takes to eat.
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London E1 6JL, UK
It’s pretty good going to have three paragraphs devoted to food in a Giles Coren review, so for that airtime to be afforded to an individual dish is quite the occasion. Shoreditch’s Brat may be built around its namesake turbot, but the chopped egg and bottarga is genius of a more understated nature. This ‘heroic dish’ sees the dried roe achieve its best self in the hands of Tomos Parry, supported by sturdy sourdough rye and, of course, an accomplished chopped egg salad.
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7. Holborn Dining Room
Callum Franklin has reached Insta-stardom with his showstopper pies, so it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine that he knows his way around a scotch egg too. And, well, he does. The Monkshill Farm scotch egg at Holborn Dining Room is a past Scotch Egg Challenge champion, and acts accordingly. A crisp breadcrumb crust with juicy, well-seasoned meat cocooning a luscious runny-yolker; it’s unashamedly traditional and utterly exceptional.
The Barrafina tortilla is a final destination any egg would crave. Whether it’s laden with artichokes, cradling prawns and piquillo peppers or just being the inimitable classic, it’s a marvel at every location. Far from the stodgy one-note comfort of a good, but not great attempt, the Barrafina tortilla oozes class and flavour in equal measure: the contrast between the crisped potato exterior and that almost molten centre is as much an indicator of flawless technique as it is a joy to eat.
9. Hoppers Soho
The optimum tool for dipping, scooping and mopping up a lamb shank kari? Yep, turns out it’s an egg. With a soothing, metallic yolk and blanketing white, eggs provide a natural foil for big spices. However, it’s when baked into the bottom of a fermented rice pancake basket that they reach their true potential. Hoppers’ signature egg hoppers are a classic example of a support act stealing the show.
A good shakshuka provides a surprisingly tender, restorative whack of flavour, not to mention its position as ideal Instagram fodder. Yotam Ottolenghi’s empire is built on colourful blends of herbs, spices and vegetables, and they’re all present and correct in the shakshuka at Nopi. Anointed with smoked labneh and toasted foccacia, it more than warrants an early trip to Soho.
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Pulpo. Mullet. Sardines. Jamon Iberico. Rhubarb. All stunning. But when Nieves Barragan and Jose Etura’s Sabor started popping up on the ‘Gram, it was the humble camarones fritos that captured the collective imagination. Invitingly simple and novel in equal measure, it’s easy to understand why. Available on the bar menu, there’s overwhelming joy to be found in crisp and chewy miniature shrimp, the frazzled tang of a fried egg and smoky sweetness of a dusting of paprika. Pair with a cold drink for optimal eating.
12. The Wolseley
A breakfast offering adored and immortalised by the late, great AA Gill, The Wolseley serves eggs every which way. Retaining its place on the lunch menu and available for order until midnight is the eggs Benedict. Everyone knows the score: English muffin, sliced ham and a perfectly poached egg drowning in a sharp, luscious hollandaise. With such a renowned classic there can be no room for error, but that’s of little concern here — there is really no better place for it.
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13. A. Wong
The menu at A Wong hosts a number of dishes that justify a visit on their own. Among these — alongside xiao long bao, Sichuanese aubergines, rabbit puffs, stuffed chicken wings, the list really could go on — is the duck egg custard bun. Gloriously sweet, fragrant custard bursts from a pale, yielding dough with a crisped base, which adds an enticing crunch. Disclosure: to eat this dessert without spilling custard everywhere is tricky, but roll with it: it is also immensely pleasurable.