We enter the final day of the 2017 Coffee Spot Awards shortlists with the “Best Breakfast” Award, which in 2016 went to Flat Caps Carliol Square. Along with cake, breakfast has a special place in my heart. The only slight snag is that I rarely get up and out of the house early enough to get to places before they stop serving breakfast!
That said, I’ve been doing so much travelling this last year that I’m now able to generate a healthy shortlist, 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 15 Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.
First out of the blocks is Timmy Green, the restaurant off-shoot of the Beany Green coffee shop chain. Building on the awesome brunch menus of the Beany Greens and Daisy Green before that, you can be sure of a good breakfast at Timmy Green. Timmy Green has also been shortlisted for the Best Coffee Spot Near a Railway Station Award.
The speciality coffee scene in Hong Kong almost exclusively offers western-style food, including all-day breakfast options, and Barista Jam is no exception. I had scrambled eggs with toast, which arrived extremely promptly. The eggs were very well done, moist, but not too wet, while the toast was also done to perfection. Simple, but extremely tasty. Barista Jam was also shortlisted for the Best Filter Coffee Award.
Bristol’s Tincan Coffee Co started life serving coffee from a van, so it’s perhaps surprising that it’s bricks-and-mortar stores have such great food. My breakfast, baked egg, in the North Street branch was excellent, the egg well-baked in a very spicy tomato sauce with peppers and lovely sourdough toast. Tincan Coffee Co, North Street, has also been shortlisted for the Best Espresso Award.
Baltzersens partly made its name through its excellent food, so it was no surprise that my breakfast there was excellent. I had the avocado on toast: half an avocado, topped by shredded fennel (a pleasant surprise) with roasted tomatoes on the side, plus garlic aioli and lingonberry ketchup. It’s an impressive twist on an old classic. Baltzersens has also been shortlisted for the Happiest Staff Award.
Glasgow’s The Steamie turns out some excellent breakfasts, the owner, Stephen, recommending “The Finniestan”: a massive chunk of smoked salmon, piled up on a slice of toast with an egg on top. Food fit for a king! I also ordered a toasted soda scone, which was lovely, reminding me of how much I enjoy soda bread. The Steamie has also been shortlisted for the Happiest Staff Award.
Another that made its reputation as much for its food as for its coffee, Caravan Exmouth Market served me my standard breakfast of two poached eggs on sour dough toast. Both the toast and the eggs were done to perfection.
Caravan Exmouth Market has also been shortlisted for this year’s Best Outdoor Seating Award.
At home, I frequently have porridge for breakfast. However, when travelling, I rarely order it since it’s often disappointing. Fortunately this wasn’t the case with Glasgow‘s Primal Roast where the porridge was as lovely and creamy as the flat white I ordered with it.
Primal Roast was also shortlisted for this year’s Coffee Spot with the Best Basement Award.
I was spoiled for choice at St Martin’s in Leicester, where a stack of American-style pancakes looked particularly tempting. However, I felt back on an old favourite, avocado on toast, which was did not disappoint.
St Martin’s has also been shortlisted for this year’s Best Outdoor Seating Award.
Belfast’s Established Coffee has an excellent breakfast menu. I went (unsurprisingly) for poached eggs on sour dough toast, adding mushrooms and spinach. The eggs were beautifully poached, while the toast was wonderfully crunchy.
I’ve lost count of the number of breakfasts/brunches I’ve had at Brew Coffee Co on Bristol’s Whiteladies Road and I’ve never been disappointed. The particular breakfast that has earned it a spot on this shortlist was the poached eggs with labhen and dukkah, which turned out to be a very fine combination. This was served on two generous slices of sourdough toast.
North Star Coffee Shop doesn’t just do awesome coffee. I had Baked Beans with Turkish Peppers, Ricotta and Hazelnut Dukkah, with sourdough toast, my plate piled high with baked beans, the crunchy Dukkah providing a contrast of textures. North Star has also been shortlisted for the Best Cake Award.
District on Belfast’s Ormeau Road, served me sweetcorn and coriander fritters which came with spicy beans and avocado (I could also have had a poached egg). I initially worried that the spicy beans would be too spicy, but they were on the mild side, perfect for me. The best part of a superb dish was the fritter itself. Despite being packed with sweetcorn, it was close to an (American) pancake in its fluffy consistency. Heavenly.
I had the Laynes Breakfast: two slices of gorgeous sourdough toast were topped with braised beans and a perfectly-poached egg, with whole roast cherry tomatoes and shallots around the edge. The beans were covered with melted Mayfield cheese, while I had a grilled Portobello mushroom instead of the menu’s chestnut & lemon patty. Also shortlisted for Coffee Spot with the Best Basement & Best Coffee Spot Near a Railway Station Awards.
Breakfast at Homeground Coffee + Kitchen was so good that I went there twice, having the sourdough toast and poached eggs on the first morning and the Huevos Rancheros on my return. Both were awesome. Homeground was also shortlisted for Most Unlikely Place to Find a Coffee Spot and the Best Coffee Spot Near a Railway Station Awards.
Manchester‘s Another Heart To Feed has an excellent all-day brunch menu. I selected the smashed avocado and feta on sourdough, with beetroot hummus and dukkah, plus a poached egg on the side, which made for filling start to my day.
Another Heart To Feed was also shortlisted for this year’s Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot Award.
Don’t forget to check out the other 19 Coffee Spot Awards for 2017.
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