While we were in London, our friend Michael from Symmetry Breakfast recommended a few breakfast spots for us, the first of which was the Regency Cafe, serving delightful full English breakfasts since 1946! We headed there one morning to start a day of exploring Westminster, like the Changing of the Guard and Westminster Abbey. Now, I maybe need to do some more research, but I’d put Regency Cafe up there with one of the best breakfasts in London.
The Regency Cafe is a delight. The space is lined with cream-colored tiles, carpeted floors, and hard-backed booths. Half curtains cover the windows, photos of famous sports figures hang on the walls. It’s bustling with locals. A line snakes to the door but moves quickly.
You order at the counter and your food comes out lightning fast. When we visited, the lady at the counter loudly and efficiently doled out orders in a deep alto voice, calling out your selections to the crew in the back. “Set breakfast, beans, toast!” Although not unfriendly, she moved with a drill sergeant’s efficiency.
All four of us ordered the house signature, the set breakfast, an English breakfast with an egg, bacon (which is back bacon, not belly – so closer to ham for those in the States), sausage, beans or tomatoes, toast or bread, tea or coffee. The set breakfast is £6.95, and you can add in hash browns, black pudding, and bubble and squeak (mixed up and fried potatoes and cabbage).
What can I say, aside from the fact that it was glorious.
I opted for fried egg, bacon, beans, and sausage. English sausages, or bangers, have the most wonderful texture: finely ground meat with spices and bread crumbs in a crispy casing. There’s no beating it.
Beth chose the grilled tomatoes over the beans, and added hash browns plus bubble and squeak.
The hustle and the crowds can be intimidating, but people cycle through and tables open up quickly, so you’ll be able to find a seat right away.
I’d make the Regency Cafe a regular stop any time we’re in London. They really do serve one of the best English breakfasts I’ve ever had, and it’s hard to beat the historic digs and the sense of local color, too.
17-19 Regency St.
Westminster, London SW1P 4BY