5 Chilled Brunch Spots in Clapton

5 Chilled Breakfast Spots in Lower Clapton

Weekend breakfasts get me excited. There's nothing like the thought of rocking up in my jeans and t-shirt to a local chilled-out cafe and get served the most luscious, well-balanced, nourishing and great-tasting fresh food. Here are some of my favourites and some tips to get you tasting the winning dishes. All doggie-friendly!

1. Pacific Social Club

    8 Clarence Rd, London E5 8HB

    5 Chilled Breakfast Spots in Lower Clapton

    This is a tiny cafe with an air of being the lovechild of a small hole in La Habana crossed with Kitsch Japanese paraphernalia. It's whimsical, busy, and has a relaxed, almost tired look. The furniture is a mishmash and the walls are plastered in Japanese posters. The vinyl collection is impressive and they're always playing some obscure good tunes. Their coffee is truly delicious (as rated by several Italian friends of mine & myself). But best of all is their menu, hung on the wall behind the counter.

    My favourite dishes there are:

    • The Venezuelan avocado, beans and black pudding sandwich. It's huge. Two people can easily share it. You can't taste the black pudding, it's just a well-balanced humongous dish
    • The peppers toastie. With oozing cheese and jalapenos. Yum!
    • The Salmon and Avocado on sourdough with wasabi mayo. You just can't go wrong!
    They also make great fresh juices.

    Top tip: go with a friend (or with 2 friends!) and order 3 different things. Take a bite, then rotate the dish clockwise so you all get to try the dishes

    2. Palm Vaults

    411 Mare St, London E8 1HY

    5 Chilled Breakfast Spots in Lower Clapton

    This small room on Mare Street, The Narrow, is an unlikely spot. It is decked in pink and gold decor, full of little, potted plants both on the wall and hanging from the ceiling and is served by some awesome chicks.

    As you walk in, there's a counter on the left, with the menu again behind the counter. They make cakes that look lush, smoothies that are out of this world (seriously gourmet. They're expert smoothie-mixologists!) and they only offer about 3 basic dishes that you can then personalise with whatever you want (avo on sourdough, mushroom toastie or oatmeal bowl, etc.)

    My favourites at Palm Vaults are:

    • Their "tonic" coffees. They come in different colours and all have sublime nuanced flavours. They're not just a gimmick "purple coffee" or "pink latte". They actually taste so good
    • Their passionfruit "dragon" smoothie
    • Their avo on toast. It's intricately decorated with edible flowers and it's bound to satisfy the biggest of hungers!

    Be warned, this is a favourite with bloggers and you're likely to be sat amidst a sea of them!

    Top tip: make a booking. You will not get in for brunch on the weekend unless you've made a booking on Open table or directly on their website

    3. Palm2

    152-156 Lower Clapton Rd, London E5 0QJ

    5 Chilled Breakfast Spots in Lower Clapton

    This wondrous organic corner shop sells fresh local and imported produce and has a handpicked selection of the more sophisticated stuff (burratina, truffle oil, all sorts of mushrooms...). Upstairs, it also has an ample bright space in a very Scandi / East London style. It's decked with tables upon tables and surrounded by huge windows that let in the glorious morning light.

    They serve a mean Saturday and Sunday brunch with Vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free as well as Pescetarian options. 

    My favourites at Palm2:

    • Vegan tacos. Simple but oh so delicious
    • Their strong dish is the Turkish Menemen, a most filling hot breakfast that has everything you might want in it, oozing flavour

    Top tip: fab place to meet friends, as they have lots and lots of space. You can also come here and relax, bring your Sunday papers or a book and chill out

    4. The Black Cat Cafe

    76 Clarence Rd, London E5 8HB

    5 Chilled Breakfast Spots in Lower Clapton

    This vegan cafe is around the corner from my house. I loved it even before I turned vegan, as it's cheap but they serve an abundance of fresh, super tasty (I'm all about the taste and the well-seasoned dishes) dishes. Their veggie curries are sure to satisfy hungry tummies, and their brekkie options hit the spot no matter what. 

    My favourites:

    • Full English fry up (vegan), without the "sausage"
    • Falafel bowl. It's exciting to look at AND to eat. The falafel isn't dry like most I've tried

    Top tip: great place to have breakfast by yourself. Bring a book and your dog and just sit by the windows (which open fully to the street in the summer)

    5. Le Merlin

    78 Lower Clapton Rd, London E5 0RN

    Image from HackneyGazette

    The new kids on the block, Le Merlin are a creperie serving amazingly authentic buckwheat flour galettes (savoury crepes) with interesting and well-picked flavours, sweet crepes to die for and other French goodies like Breton Cider. All their cheese is brought straight from France to their door, and what's more, the guys there are just lovely.

    My favourites:

    • Toulouse sausage with gruyere and mustard sauce
    • Bacon, goats cheese and fig jam
    • Duck confit galette
    • The Breton cider!

    Top tip: Bookmark this place! It's not just great for brunch but also fab for dinner! Amazing French food.

    And that's it! These are my favourite places to go for a weekend brunch, within walking distance so I don't even have to think about stepping into the kitchen. 

    What are your favourite places for weekend brunch in Hackney? I would seriously love to hear!