The humble bowl of oats has come a long way in recent years. While once a bland breakfast option, porridge is now well and truly in vogue: bowls have become works of art, crafted with fancy ingredients and accessorised with decorations galore. Renowned for their nutritious quality, jazzed up oats are now a staple on the menus of breakfast spots across London. We’ve rounded up the best places in town for porridge, guaranteed to warm your soul.
The 10 Best Places for Porridge in London
The Chanel of the porridge world, 26 Grains is the creation of Alex Hely-Hutchinson, who came up with the idea while studying in Copenhagen. Inspired by the Danes’ love for grains, she set out to spice up the British oat scene, opening a tiny open-fronted café in pretty Neals Yard. With its wooden benches and blackboards, 26 Grains has the feel of an artisan workshop about it, even more so when you discover Alex rolls and flakes the oats herself. Offerings include an ever-changing menu of sweet and savoury porridge bowls, made with nut milks and spices and jazzed up with blitzed nut butters, homemade fruit compôtes, cacao crumbles and coconut palm sugar.
1 Neal’s Yard, London WC2H 9AW; 26grains.com
Flotsam & Jetsam
Another Antipodean-style breakfast spot perched next to Wandsworth Common, Flotsam & Jetsam is popular with South London locals – so get in early to beat the queues, particularly on weekends. Their porridge offering is made up of oats, red quinoa and almond milk, topped with a blackberry and cardamom compote, sprinkled with roasted, silvered almonds. Warming and delicious, this hearty bowl will keep hunger at bay for hours.
4 Bellevue Parade, London SW17 7EQ; flotsamandjetsamcafe.co.uk
Rude Health Café
You’ll most likely have seen their breakfast goods lining the shelves at Whole Foods – but you might not know Rude Health has its very own café. A bright and airy spot tucked away in Fulham, oat experts at the Rude Health Café serve up perfectly warm, hearty bowls of sprouted porridge, made with almond milk and topped with your choice of fruit, granola, nuts, yoghurt, honey and seeds.
Kiln House, 212 New Kings Rd, London SW6 4NZ; rudehealth.com
A pioneer of London’s healthy breakfast scene, Australian-inspired Farm Girl now has branches dotted around London, in locations like Soho, Notting Hill and Fitzrovia. As with all of the restaurant’s dishes, its porridge features a plethora of the healthiest ingredients around, such as chia, Himalayan salt and turmeric – so you can get your superfood fix before the day has even begun.
Various locations; thefarmgirl.co.uk
A trip to Ottolenghi’s Nopi is always a treat. Light and airy with metallic gold lights, cream walls and wooden tables, it’s particularly pleasant in the mornings. Food-wise, NOPI offers something a bit different: breakfast options are surprising, with porridge featuring innovative ingredients like miso butterscotch and poached quince.
21-22 Warwick St, London W1B 5NE; ottolenghi.co.uk
A healthier alternative to bottomless prosecco, Dishoom offer unlimited refills of their medjool and date banana porridge. A recipe inspired by Mumbai’s Irani cafes, this oat concoction is sweet, smooth and filling.
Various locations; dishoom.com
Maple & Fitz
Health foodie brand Maple & Co has locations in both Kings Cross and Fitzrovia, ideal for inner city dwellers keen to grab some breakfast en route to work. Porridge bowls are accessorised with the likes of medjool dates, almond butter and toasted walnuts – with the option for a naked bowl, made with just water, milk or soya milk. We know what we’ll be choosing…
Various locations; mymapleandco.com
If you like your porridge with a view, head to Darwin Brasserie at the Sky Garden. Simple yet effective, offerings include the classic, mixed with dairy-free milk and topped with either demerera sugar and honey, or raspberries and pomegranate, and a bowl made with quinoa and coconut milk instead of oats, complete with banana, blueberry and Manuka honey.
Level 36 Sky Garden, 20 Philpot Ln, London EC3M 8AF; skygarden.london