We enter the final day of the 2015 Coffee Spot Awards shortlists with, appropriately enough, the “Best Breakfast” Award, which in 2014 went to Saint Kitchen. Along with cake, breakfast has a special place in my heart. The only snag is that I rarely get up and out of the house early enough to get to places before they stop serving breakfast, so they don’t feature on the Coffee Spot as often as I would like!
That said, I still managed to get up early enough to generate a healthy shortlist this year, helped by those wonderful places that serve all-day breakfasts! In fact, given how often I have things from the breakfast menu for lunch, I wonder if I should rename this award “Best Brunch”…
You can see the shortlist after the gallery.
There are 12 Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.
Ants Pants is a slice of Aussie cafe culture in Philadelphia. Given this heritage, I had to have brunch, selecting Eggs Florentine. It was all lovely, the eggs and hollandaise sauce being particularly good. Ants Pants was also shortlisted for the Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot Award.
Café Coho, on Brighton‘s Queens Road, is another great breakfat. The poached eggs I ordered were lovely, coming on two huge slices of excellent sour-dough toast. Indeed, such was the size of the toast in comparison to the eggs that one commentator on twitter wondered what tiny bird had produced such small eggs! Café Coho has also been shortlisted for the Best Coffee Spot near a Railway Station Award.
The Electric Coffee Company, above Ealing Broadway Station, kept it simple with a flat white and some lovely crunchy, chewy, sourdough toast for breakfast, proving that breakfast doesn’t have to be complicated. The Electric Coffee Company has also been shortlisted for the Best Coffee Spot near a Railway Station, Happiest Staff and the Coffee Spot Special Award.
The flagship La Colombe branch in Philadelphia‘s Fishtown has many things going for it, including the food, I selected something from the specials menu, the BBQ bean skillet topped with a fried egg. It was excellent, tasty and filling, reminding me that I should eat (good) beans more often! La Colombe has also been shortlisted for the Best Physical Space Award.
Sheffield‘s Upshot Espresso has a simple breakfast menu, although one a month it opens on Saturday for brunch. I selected toast for breakfast, but then the staff took pity on me and made a one-off second breakfast of poached eggs on toast. Both sets of toast were amazing, while the eggs were done to perfection, with rich, creamy yolks. Upshot Espresso was also shortlisted for the Best Espresso, Happiest Staff and Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot Awards.
Still in Sheffield, Marmadukes is as well known for its food as it is for its coffee, so I had to try the Eggs Florentine from the all-day brunch menu, which I had for my lunch, with crunchy, sourdough toast on the side. This was a real treat, with well-poached eggs and a rich, creamy hollandaise sauce. Marmadukes was also shortlisted for the Best Outdoor Seating, Best Physical Space and Happiest Staff Awards.
This shortlist is in danger of becoming a Sheffield love-in. However, Tamper Coffee’s Sellers Wheel branch is a go-to brunch place so, I had to have the Eggs Florentine, which arrived with two eggs, each on its own muffin, and an interesting (and tasty) onion/potato cake resting between the two. The eggs were superbly poached, the yolks creamy and the hollandaise sauce delightful. Tamper was also shortlisted for the Best Lighting Award.
I actually had breakfast (not brunch) at Newcastle‘s Café 1901, once again opting for Eggs Florentine. The well-poached eggs came with a huge slab of toast and another on the side, topped with a rich, creamy sauce. Café 1901 was also shortlisted for the Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot Award.
York‘s Brew & Brownie came with a reputation for American-style pancakes, so I selected the blueberry stack: four thick, fluffy pancakes with blueberries on the side, which is just how I like it. The pancakes (saucer-sized rather than the more American-standard plate-sized) were lovely, not too sweet, with real maple syrup, and cooked to perfection. Brew & Brownie was also shortlisted for the Best Lighting Award.
Lemana has long been a favourite of mine for its impressive breakfast menu. I took a couple of friends there. I, of course, had Eggs Florentine, with a lovely, creamy hollandaise sauce and beautifully-poached eggs, while my American friend had the full English and my English friend had the American blueberry pancake stack… Lemana was also shortlisted for the Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot and Best Cake Awards.
This nomination could easily have gone to either of the other Boston Tea Party branches I covered (Salisbury or Honiton). At least at Ringwood I glanced at the lunch menu before ordering Eggs Florentine…
Nottingham‘s Pudding Pantry is all about comfort food (and great coffee). I had an interesting combo for breakfast: scrambled eggs, homemade beans, mushrooms and two generously-proportioned American-style pancakes with a pot of maple syrup, plus some toast on the side. The Pudding Pantry was also shortlisted for the Best Outdoor Seating Award.
Don’t forget to check out the other 19 Coffee Spot Awards for 2015.
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