2020 Awards – Best Breakfast

The SLOW Cafe logo hanging outside the coffee shop in Prague.We enter the final day of the 2020 Coffee Spot Awards shortlists with the “Best Breakfast” Award, which in 2019 went to SLOW Café. Along with cake, breakfast has a special place in my heart.

It used to be that I rarely got up and out of the house early enough to get to places before they stop serving breakfast. However, in recent years I’ve been travelling so much that this is usually a healthy shortlist.

This year, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve had fewer breakfasts than usual, but, helped by those wonderful places that serve all-day breakfasts, I’ve managed to get a decent shortlist together. 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 find out who is on the shortlist after the gallery.

  • Voyager Craft Coffee, San Pedro Square Market, where I had avocado toast.
  • The Flower Cup, home of some amazing breakfasts and brunches.
  • Brother Hubbard South, where I had the Brother Hubbard eggs and avocado.
  • Meet Me in the Morning, for the excellent cheesey tattie cakes.
  • Little Woodfords, simple breakfasts done well.
  • Fairgrounds Bucktown, where I had my last breakfast in America in 2020 (in March!).
  • Little Yellow Pig, combining its breakfast and lunch menus, but losing nothing as a result.
  • Wayland's Yard, Birmingham, where I had the one-pan hash with halloumi & mushrooms.
  • Bold Street Coffee in Liverpool, where I skipped the Buoys in favour of the BSC Veggie Fry.
  • The Collective in Caversham, newly opened this year, serving a killer Brioche French Toast.
  • Catalyst: coffee shop, roaster and home to the best pancake I've had this year.
  • And finally, Amtrak's Full Dining Service and the joy of breakfast in the dining car.
Voyager Craft Coffee, San Pedro Square Market, where I had avocado toast.1 The Flower Cup, home of some amazing breakfasts and brunches.2 Brother Hubbard South, where I had the Brother Hubbard eggs and avocado.3 Meet Me in the Morning, for the excellent cheesey tattie cakes.4 Little Woodfords, simple breakfasts done well.5 Fairgrounds Bucktown, where I had my last breakfast in America in 2020 (in March!).6 Little Yellow Pig, combining its breakfast and lunch menus, but losing nothing as a result.7 Wayland's Yard, Birmingham, where I had the one-pan hash with halloumi & mushrooms.8 Bold Street Coffee in Liverpool, where I skipped the Buoys in favour of the BSC Veggie Fry.9 The Collective in Caversham, newly opened this year, serving a killer Brioche French Toast.10 Catalyst: coffee shop, roaster and home to the best pancake I've had this year.11 And finally, Amtrak's Full Dining Service and the joy of breakfast in the dining car.12
Photo Carousel by WOWSlider.com v4.6

There are 12 Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.

A Finca Las Ventanas from Costa Rica, roasted by Voyager Craft Coffee and served as an espresso in its new location in the San Pedro Square Market in San Jose.Voyager Craft Coffee, San Pedro Square Market

When I first visited the San Pedro Square Market in San Jose, it was home to B2 Coffee but on my return at the start of this year, Voyager Craft Coffee, had taken over. The basic layout was the same and Voyager had a similar offering, from which I selected that Californian staple, avocado toast, for breakfast, rewarded with a single, large slice of toast loaded with smashed avocado, which was perfect.

Detail from a drawing of a wreath of the wall of The Flower Cup, a Botanical Coffee Shop in Chester.The Flower Cup

Back in the UK, The Flower Cup is rightly proud of its extensive brunch menu, with includes a dedicated vegan selection and a wide variety of egg-based dishes. I managed to sample the Hip Breakfast (sourdough toast, poached egg, halloumi, avocado, cherry tomatoes and beans) plus, on my return, the pancakes. The Flower Cup has also been shortlisted for the Best Flat White Award and Brian’s Coffee Spot Special Award Awards.

An excellent flat white, made with the Farmhand house-blend, and served in a classic blue cup at Brother Hubbard South.Brother Hubbard South

Over in Dublin, I had the Brother Hubbard eggs and avocado (with extra toast). Consisting of two slices of toast, topped with smashed avocado and chickpeas, with two poached eggs on top, it was more of a feast than a breakfast. I loved it, finding it an interesting mix of textures and flavours. Brother Hubbard South has also been shortlisted for the Best Outdoor Seating and Coffee Spot with the Best Lighting Awards.

Meet Me in the Morning, written in capitals on the whitewashed upstairs wall next to the window.Meet Me in the Morning

Staying in Dublin, I had the cheesey tattie cakes, (with halloumi instead of black pudding) at Meet Me in the Morning. The whole ensemble was topped by a mix of green leaves, including kale, underneath which was a really nicely-poached egg, while the halloumi was very tasty indeed. Best of all, two pan-fried potato and leek cakes were buried at the bottom. A brunch fit for a king.

The Little Woodfords sign, hanging outside the store on Forest Avenue in Portland, Maine. It's a design based on the clock tower which sits atop of the building and reads "little woodfords | coffee + snacks".Little Woodfords

Back in America, both times I went to Little Woodfords in Portland, Maine, it was for breakfast. On the first occasion, I had fried egg and cheese on a biscuit and, on my return, I had the avocado toast, my toasted bagel being topped with a whole sliced avocado. In both cases, they were simple breakfasts, but beautifully done. Little Woodfords is also on the shortlist for the Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot Award.

Fairgrounds, Craft Coffee & Tea | Taste One, Taste All, written on the back wall at the Bucktown location in Chicago.Fairgrounds Bucktown

Staying in America, my final breakfast was at Fairgrounds Bucktown in Chicago. where I had the scrambled egg sandwich for lunch. This consisted of a toasted English muffin over-flowing with scrambled egg and red peppers, which was excellent. Fairgrounds has also been shortlisted for this year’s Coffee Spot with the Best Lighting Award.

A lovely flat white, made with Colonna Coffee's Trio espresso blend, served in a cup at Little Yellow Pig.Little Yellow Pig

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Little Yellow Pig in Chester had separate breakfast and lunch menus. These have been combined into a single brunch menu, from which I selected the excellent Eggs Florentine, three small slices of crunchy toast topped by two well-poached eggs, with rich, thick yokes and an equally rich hollandaise sauce. Little Yellow Pig is also on the Best Flat White and Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot Award shortlists.

The new one-way system at Wayland's Yard to keep everyone safe during COVID-19.Wayland’s Yard, Birmingham

Continuing the fine tradition of having breakfast for lunch, I had the one-pan hash with halloumi and mushrooms at Wayland’s Yard in Birmingham. This has a hash base consisting of plenty of potatoes, topped by a perfectly-poached egg, all in a rich gravy, served in the pan it was cooked in. Wayland’s Yard has also been shortlisted for the Best Physical Space and Best Espresso Awards.

The Bold Street Coffee sign, back outside the shop on Bold Street, Liverpool.Bold Street Coffee

Liverpool‘s Bold Street Coffee makes much of its “Buoys”, toasted brioche buns with various fillings, but I had the BSC Veggie Fry, selecting poached eggs and extra toast, which was a good move. Although it came with toast, this was on the bottom with everything (homemade beans, spinach, mushroom, hash browns, plus my poached eggs) piled on top. Bold Street Coffee has also been shortlisted for the Best Flat White Award.

The latte art in my flat white, made with Extract's Rocket Espresso, at The Collective in Caversham.The Collective

The Collective, in Caversham, Reading, opened this summer, providing café, lifestyle store and grocer all-in-one. I had the Brioche French Toast: a large plate stacked with triangles of light, fluffy French Toast, which avoided the mistake of being overly sweet, topped with copious quantities of raspberries and blueberries. The Collective is also shortlisted for the Brian’s Coffee Spot Special Award and the Most Popular Coffee Spot Award.

An Ethiopian Chelelektu, roasted and served as an espresso in a classic, white cup at Catalyst.Catalyst

Although it has made its name as a coffee shop (which sees it on the Best Filter Coffee shortlist) and roaster, Catalyst has an innovative brunch menu too. I had the pancakes, being rewarded with a single, thick, plate-sized pancake. Light and fluffy, it was drizzled with just enough maple syrup to make it sweet but not sickly and came with a variety of toppings. It was, quite simply, the best pancake I’ve had all year.

The black bean and corn veggie burger, from Amtrak's lunch menu, served on the California Zephyr, April 2019, en-route to Chicago.Amtrak’s Full Dining Service

Our final entry isn’t strictly a Coffee Spot. Rather it’s Amtrak’s full dining service, now sadly relegated to its Superliner Services (and suspended on all routes for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic). However, there is nothing better than waking up to a cooked breakfast in the dining car as the American landscape rolls by. Amtrak’s full dining service has also been shortlisted for the Best Saturday Supplement Award.


And the winner is Catalyst
Runners-up: Brother Hubbard South and Meet Me in the Morning

Don’t forget to check out the other 19 Coffee Spot Awards for 2020.


If you liked this post, please let me know by clicking the “Like” button. If you have a WordPress account and you don’t mind everyone knowing that you liked this post, you can use the “Like this” button right at the bottom instead.


Don’t forget that you can share this post with your friends using the buttons below.

8 thoughts on “2020 Awards – Best Breakfast

  1. Pingback: 2020 Awards – Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot | Brian's Coffee Spot

  2. Pingback: 2020 Awards – Best Flat White | Brian's Coffee Spot

  3. Pingback: 2020 Awards – Coffee Spot with the Best Lighting | Brian's Coffee Spot

  4. Pingback: 2020 Awards – Best Espresso | Brian's Coffee Spot

  5. Pingback: 2020 Awards – Brian’s Coffee Spot Special Award | Brian's Coffee Spot

  6. Pingback: Brother Hubbard South | Brian's Coffee Spot

  7. Pingback: Meet Me in the Morning | Brian's Coffee Spot

  8. Pingback: Catalyst | Brian's Coffee Spot

Please let me know what you think. Guidelines for comments are in the "Posts" drop-down menu.