The full English breakfast is a British institution. No matter where you are in the world, you can tell there are other Brits about when you see cafes and restaurants advertising full English breakfasts and Sunday roasts.
A full English breakfast is one of the most satisfying ways to start your day. A proper full English consists of eggs, bacon, sausages, tomatoes, mushrooms and toast with more recent additions including baked beans, black pudding, potato cakes or hash browns.
A bad full English is made from poor quality ingredients and is swimming in grease. A good one is a thing of beauty and can set you up for the rest of the day.
Enjoy with friends and family – or if you’re still out the morning after the night before.
Manchester’s poppy American diner served up their Breakfast Plate whilst we listened to Grease and upbeat tunes which might not be everyone’s cup of tea that early in the day. They serve Illy coffee so a great start there and our breakfast arrived within fifteen minutes. Service was professional although not as chirpy as I would have expected. I was almost hoping for it to be delivered on roller skates. A good size dish for your dollar with fantastic sausages that aren’t overly herby. Hash browns come as a welcome addition in this American version of the classic dish. My eggs were overdone which was a shame, but an all round decent offer.
I was a little frustrated with my British Brekkie from what must be one of Manchester’s busiest breakfast establishments. The food was of the best quality – herby thick sausages, very tasty black pudding, grilled heritage tomatoes, trendy sourdough toast etc. The problem was the way in which it was served, all piled up on quite a small plate and smothered in some rather tangy smoky beans. This meant everything was tainted by them and I couldn’t get past that. Service is always friendly and warm and they serve some of the best teas in the city with your own individual perfect tea timer to get your brew spot on. Just ask for the beans on the side.
Another American-inspired diner, but this one feels less preppy and much more Canadian Mountain lodge. It was very busy when we arrived and we had to come back half an hour later just to get a table. As a result we waited a bit longer for our Lone Star Moose breakfast but when it arrived it was huge – easily the biggest serving of all the places we visited. Not only was there also griddled potato hash (a little dry unfortunately) but also a minute steak – fantastic – although the gourmet chipolata sausages were my favourite thing on the plate. Great value for money considering the amount of food you get would easily feed two.
Home Sweet Home
A very speedily served breakfast in this comfy little kitchen but no fried eggs here. They were scrambled but pretty good – light, fluffy and well-seasoned. I wanted my bacon crisper and I was unsure about the sausage patty as I’m a bit of a traditionalist and would have preferred the classic banger. Aside from that, a very good mushroom – possibly the juiciest of the competition, lovely toast, and not too many beans on the plate. And a very nice brew. Now what’s on the cake counter today?
Very cool serving staff all wearing beanies looked after us on our visit. We waited over twenty minutes for our full English which was served in a tin bowl which we are prepared to overlook as the breakfast itself was that good. Outstanding sausages (from Frosty the butcher, obviously) made to their own recipe, fresh bread direct from their own bakery, lovely free range eggs with runny yellow yolk laid in Cheshire (where else?) and tasty earthy mushrooms. What’s not to like?
Frosty the butcher makes another appearance on this menu where we found a great all round full English at a very reasonable price. As expected, the meat is very tasty, and we got three slices of bacon, which was a first. Two perfectly cooked eggs and some of the best sourdough toast I’ve eaten made this breakfast stand out. Service is really laid back and chilled here, which I like – attentive enough but not bothering you every few minutes. I just wanted to sit here all morning with a good book and a coffee after I’d finished.
This is one of the best hotel breakfasts and then some – and you don’t even have to be a guest. Don’t let the price put you off as it’s beyond good value for what you actually get. Not only is the full English (with some rather special leek sausages that warrant a special mention) included, but also a visit to the continental breakfast buffet with a selection of cereals, fruits, cheeses, charcuterie and pastries. Also included are fresh juice, toast, tea and coffee. The Big Mal Breakfast will set you up for the day and have lunch covered too if you’ve got a serviette and a bag to hand (come on we all do it). They stop serving at 10am so don’t leave it too late.
The Albert Square Chop House BRONZE AWARD
This British dining pub sits in Thomas Worthington’s iconic Memorial Hall built in 1866. The Best of British Breakfast comprises Grandad’s Olde English sausage, homemade black pudding, streaky bacon, sautéed mushrooms, roast tomato, free range egg cooked how you like, baked beans (in a pot on the side as they should be) all served on a Povey’s Staffordshire oatcake. Every item on the plate was top quality and well executed. But I do have one problem and it has cost them second place. They charge £3 for two slices of toast, which seems excessive and loses them points for value.
The Laundrette SILVER AWARD
Sometimes it’s hard to say what makes one breakfast better than another, but I think balance has a big part to play, with all the items on the plate in proportion, not too much of one thing or too little of another. No fancily-named ingredients and no supplier name dropping, just really good sausages, bacon, eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes, black pudding, beans and toast. A bit like one you would make at home but better. Find them on First Street or venture to Chorlton.
The Koffee Pot GOLD AWARD
Take one British institution – the full English – and one Manchester institution – The Koffee Pot. It’s a match made in heaven. The Koffee Pot is our winner for food, the comfort, service and value. The full English here is what I would describe as a builders breakfast – not in a derogatory way but in that it does exactly what it says on the tin. No frills, everything you crave when you want a proper fry-up with some Bury black pudding thrown in for free if you want it. The place is always filled with creative types and the vibe is lovely and Bohemian but with that Manchester edge. The staff are lovely, the food arrived in just over five minutes, and it only cost £7, so it’s amazing value. The Koffee Pot scored full marks in every category and was our clear winner.
Tell us where/how you eat your breakfast below…