The lavish Georgian wake-up calls so beloved of Jane Austen and friends during the Regency period still impact on life in Bath today; from down-to-earth bacon butties to exotic Shakshuka via, of course, the classic, full-on Full English and much, much more, it’s all going on.
Many of Bath’s best coffee shops are at your service from dawn to dusk and serve multiple variations on the early riser theme, which makes compiling a Best Breakfast Spots in Bath list a tricky task indeed – but it’s a task that kickstarts the appetite in the best possible way.
Yup, breakfast in Bath is a very big deal – if you fancy starting your day in fine style, you’ve definitely come to the right place, so here’s a look at the best Breakfast spots in Bath.
1. Boston Tea Party
Boasting the biggest alfresco terrace of all the Kingsmead Square watering holes, the city centre branch of the Boston Tea Party was one of this small, independently-owned chain’s very first establishments, opening over a dozen years ago.
The second Bath branch, meanwhile – located just behind the Assembly Rooms – enjoys an equally glowing reputation for providing the ultimate contemporary cafe experience.
BTP menus are all good stuff, all of the time (and their sourcing policy commendable), but The Boss, the sweetcorn hash and the Shakshuka are just three of the reasons why the Boston Tea Party regularly tops multiple Best Breakfast in Bath charts; party on indeed.
Address: Boston Tea Party, 19 Kingsmead Square, Bath BA1 2AE / 8 Alfred Street, Bath BA1 2QU
2. The Courtyard Cafe
In the town centre and want to visit one of the best breakfast spots in Bath, then this is it.
Based in and around an ancient courtyard off Bath’s historic North Parade Passage, the Courtyard Cafe‘s breakfast menu is served until a very civilised 4pm and runs the whole breakfast in Bath gamut including porridge, traditional and vegetarian full English, breakfast butties, waffles and the popular Havana Toast – if, that is, you can resist the comforting prospect of ‘two round of crumpets with jam’ or the glamorous Summer Tartine, guaranteed to start your day off with a sunshine kiss whatever the weather.
Service? Always with a smile. Surroundings? Super cute!
Address: 3 Lilliput Court, Bath BA1 1ND
3. Wild Cafe
According to a little sign outside the Wild Cafe, Jane Austen declared the full English breakfast served here to be “the bestest in town.”
Okay, so Jane might not have actually, honestly said that. But it is indeed a truth universally acknowledged in Bath that the Wild Cafe’s morning menus are things of beauty to behold.
Breakfast is served all day, every day, seven days a week, and runs the whole glorious gamut from healthy yoghurt/fruit compote/granola combos to the full-on full English blowout via fruit or bacon pancake stacks, eggs Royale, Florentine and Benedict, smoked kippers, avocado on sourdough… and a rather intriguing dish involving faggots.
Vegetarian options abound and pretty much everything is made on the premises to order using locally sourced, seasonal ingredients.
Address: 10a Queen Street, Bath BA1 1HE
4. The Kingsmead Kitchen
Historic, leafy Kingsmead Square represents the epicentre of Bath’s cafe society, and the Kingsmead Kitchen is the second establishment within this charming foodie/merrymaking zone to earn a footing on our Best Breakfast in Bath charts.
Cooked breakfasts are served all day here (apart from the massive bacon/egg/sausage combo sandwiches, which go off-menu at 11am) and includes the classic full English, the cafe’s very own supersized variation on the theme and fabulously fluffy omelettes, while the Cowboy Beans – a west country meets the wild west combination of slow-cooked pancetta with Boston beans, baked eggs and cornbread – is an off-the-scale, get-up-and-go game-changer.
Local produce is pushed to the fore across the whole menu, and alfresco seating further ups the holiday vibe ante, making it one of the best breakfast spots in Bath.
Address: 1 Kingsmead Street, Kingsmead Square, Bath BA1 2AA
5. The Whole Bagel
Based on one of Bath’s liveliest thoroughfares The Whole Bagel – Bath’s only dedicated bagel shop, established back in 2007 – has the, erm, whole bagel thing fully loaded.
Eat in at the cosy, split-level cafe or take a table in the gorgeous secluded courtyard and choose from six flavours of freshly baked breaded ring things all waiting to be filled with your choice of breakfast boisterousness including locally-sourced smoked farmhouse bacon, smoked salmon with egg mayonnaise or smashed avocado from 8am-11.30am every day.
That doesn’t mean, however, that tantalisers such as the Mighty Swiss, the Chicken Caesar, the classic Pastrami or any of the myriad gourmet specials aren’t available until lunchtime. For bringing an authentic taste of NYC to Upper Borough Walls, we salute The Whole Bagel!
Address: 8 Upper Borough Walls, Bath, BA1 1RG
Breakfast (or rather, colazione) is as vital to Italy’s cultural icon landscape as Nonna’s gnocchi, Sophia Loren’s curves and the angle of the lean on a certain tower. Enjoy the Bath version of a taste of little Italy at Rosario’s, located in a quirky, characterful Grade ii listed building with pavement tables on the equally quirky, characterful, quirky Northumberland Passage.
This friendly, bustling dolce vita hotspot specialises in all manner of freshly-baked Italian pastries to accompany what’s probably the best Italian coffee in the west – or, perhaps, one of Rosario’s legendary hot chocolates, guaranteeing chocoholic paradiso?
If, however, you’re in the mood for a more substantial morning feast, the full-on breakfast menu is served from 8am-4pm every day; think, full English, loaded bagels, granola, porridge, perfect pancakes or soft boiled eggs with Marmite soldiers (yes!); that’s amore indeed.
Address: 18 Northumberland Place, Bath BA1 5AR
7. The Ivy Bath Brasserie
From the moment you set foot in the Ivy Bath Brasserie on super-chic retail therapy epicentre Milsom Street you can expect your attention to be subtly arrested at every turn, from the sparkling bar and shimmering chandeliers to the modern art work on the walls, the colourful tiles underfoot, and the smartly-dressed staff dancing easygoing yet uber-professional attendance at every turn.
It is, quite simply, an utterly stunning environment designed to attract and appeal to those who want to experience a red carpet restaurant vibe at any time of the day… not least of all at breakfast time.
From dinky breakfast pastries to a massive full English by way of omelettes, Eggs Benedict and Royale, crumpets, kippers, vegan and veggie options and an attention-grabbing range of smoothies, juices, teas and coffees, The Ivy puts the fabulous into the concept of fast-breaking.
Address: 39 Milsom Street, Bath BA1 1DN
8. Cafe Lucca
Situated just off the cobbled slope of Bartlett Street at the epicentre of super-stylish shopping zone The Loft and offering chic chill out opportunities a-plenty at tables both indoors and on the pavement outside, Cafe Lucca is a long-established, elegant cornerstone of Bath cafe society.
Wake up and smell the coffee here and you’re instantly transported to central Milan; team that coffee with a toasted croissant Croque Monsieur and you’ve jumped on the Eurostar to Paris.
Elsewhere on the breakfast menu, Belgian waffles, brioche bacon rolls, well-dressed breakfast wraps and paninis and crushed avocado on toast (with or without the enticing option of parmesan grilled eggs) turn your morning into a chic and cheerful continental-style experience.
Address: 1-2 Bartlett Street, Bath BA1 2QZ
9. The Locksbrook Inn
Directly adjacent to the canal, offering easy access from/to the cycle/towpaths, featuring a spacious alfresco sun trap terrace to drop anchor in and effortlessly exuding the family/dog friendly vibe, breakfast at The Locksbrook Inn proves that it’s never too early for a pub session.
The early bird menu is an easygoing, accessible affair served from 8.30am seven days a week, with granola, pancakes and Eggs Benedict/Florentine diverting the attention away from fully-laden breakfast baps and classic, veggie and vegan variations on the full English theme.
If there’s a more welcoming neighbourhood pub in Bath (in such picturesque surroundings, too!), we’ve yet to discover it. This is hands down one of the best breakfast spots in Bath.
Address: 103 Locksbrook Road, Bath BA1 3EN
10. The Archway Cafe
According to generations of locals, The Archway Cafe offers the best breakfast in Bath. It may not look like much from the outside – you’d be forgiven for mistaking that it’s little more than a takeaway hut on the prosaic, busy thoroughfare that is Lower Bristol Road).
Venture within, however, and you’ll discover a lovely little old school transport-style cafe built into the railway arches, where colourful chalkboards promise all manner of classic breakfast variations from straightforward bacon sarnies to the cafe’s legendary full English (aptly named ‘The Mighty’) with omelettes and simple ‘on toast’ options lightening the load along the way from 7am-12noon every day except Sunday.
The staff here are renowned for offering a warm welcome to truck drivers and tourists alike and prices are refreshingly down to earth, offering amazing value for the high-quality home cooking on offer.
Address: Arch 7 Lower Bristol Road, Bath BA2 1EP
Melissa relocated from Liverpool to Bath in 1999 and has since made the city her official first home. She has 30+ years of published freelance writing commissions on her CV and is a regular contributor to several local and national publications, typically specialising in restaurant and theatre reviews, food-related features and interviews with interesting people.