From vegan pikelets to lobster and short rib, there’s a crumpet for everyone.
Crumpets are a very comforting, very British institution, often eaten with lashings of butter at breakfast or teatime (we’re not fussy).
They’re deceptively simple to make - just water (or milk), flour and yeast - and easy enough to buy in multipacks from the shops, and you probably ate them as a mid-morning or afternoon snack when you were younger.
But crumpets are more than just a nostalgia snack: the humble crumpet is now a key part of the menu for many restaurants and cafes, who are serving it for breakfast, brunch, or even as a bar snack in the evening.
Whether you’re after a traditional but excellently made crumpet served with salt and butter, or something more innovative, like a crumpet that’s a twist on the Chinese classic prawn toast, cafes and restaurants across the capital are stepping up to the plate.
Here are seven of the best places to get crumpets in London.
Sourdough crumpets at Good and Proper Tea
Good and Proper Tea has been making sourdough crumpets in house for the last six years, first out of its tea van at festivals and at Kings Cross, and now out of its Leather Lane tea bar.
Its daily crumpet menu includes butter and salt, marmite and cheese, jam, and its own homemade “notella”.
Good and Proper Tea also holds monthly #CrumpetCollaborations. So far collaborations in 2019 include January’s matcha white chocolate spread, topped with G&P granola and berries by Georgina Wong.
For February Tom Cenci, former executive chef at Duck and Waffle, has designed The FlufferNutter: crunchy peanut butter, banana and blow-torched marshmallow fluff, while March’s collaboration is a vegan pikelet stack with Bianca of Breakfast London.
And if that wasn’t enough to tempt you, the crumpets at Good and Proper Tea are square.
Where: Good and Proper Tea, 96A Leather Lane, London, EC1N 7TX
When: 8am-6pm Monday to Thursday, 8am-5pm Friday
How much: From £2.50
Short rib crumpets at Dirty Bones
Dirty Bones serves up New York City-inspired food and cocktails in four London locations, and its signature dishes include crispy fried chicken and freshly baked waffles with maple syrup, and the Mac Daddy, a double brisket and dry aged steak burger with pulled beef short rib.
The short rib also features in Dirty Bones’ crumpet dish: crumpets are served with 12-hour slow-cooked short rib, poached eggs and hollandaise.
Where: Various locations – Kensington, Shoreditch and Soho
When: 11am-4pm, Saturday and Sunday at Kensington and Soho, 10am 4pm at Shoreditch
How much: £9
Potted shrimp crumpets at Cornerstone
Cornerstone is the new restaurant from Tom Brown, who has previously worked in restaurants owned by Rick Stein and Nathan Outlaw. The Hackney Wick eatery is named after Brown’s favourite Arctic Monkeys’ song.
Its dishes, including pickled Porthilly oysters, celery and horseradish, smoked haddock tart with rarebit, leeks and pickled walnuts, are designed for sharing.
But you won’t want to split its potted shrimp crumpets, served with kohlrabi, gherkins and parsley, with anyone.
Where: 3 Prince Edward Road, Hackney Wick, E9 5LX
When: Tuesday to Saturday
How much: £12
Crumpets with bacon at Bluebird Café
Bluebird is a Chelsea landmark, and now it has an outpost - Bluebird Café - in the legendary Television Centre in White City.
Its just-launched brunch includes crumpets served with a choice of peanut butter, honey, bacon and maple syrup. For those who want something more, there is the option to add avocado, streaky bacon or smoked salmon as an extra.
The crumpets are available as part of Bluebird Café’s two- or three-course brunches.
Where: Bluebird Cafe, 2 Television Centre, 101 Wood Lane, London W12 7RF
How much: From £15
Crumpet lobster toast at Rovi
Love prawn toast? Love crumpets? Rovi, the newest restaurant from Ottolenghi, has you covered with its bar menu.
It’s crumpet prawn toast is a twist on a Chinese classic - a crumpet topped lobster meat and black and white sesame seeds, and served with a pickled kumquat and chilli dipping sauce.
And if you’re looking for something for breakfast, Rovi also does a smoked Haddock and Welsh rarebit crumpet served with piccalilli.
Where: Rovi, 59 Wells Street, London, W1A 3AE
When: 12-3pm and 5.30-10.30pm, Monday to Friday
How much: £8
Seafood crumpets at Fish Market
Fish Market has launched Brunch Off The Boat, a seafood brunch that includes an oyster and Bloody Mary station, and twists on breakfast classics, such as trout roe egg ‘n’ soldiers.
Its Crumpet Royale, served with hollandaise, is a luxury crumpet: diners can choose between toppings of prawn, smoked salmon or crab.
Where: Fish Market, 16 New St, London, EC2M 4TR
When: 11am-4pm, Saturdays
How much: From £35
Traditional crumpets at Ask for Janice
Sometimes you just want a good, old-fashioned crumpet, done really well. Step in Ask for Janice.
Crumpets are a signature dish at the bar and restaurant, which is opposite Smithfield Market. Its fresh crumpets are served up with a pinch of sea salt on top, and Ask for Janice recommends eating them with butter and house jams.
Ask for Janice makes its crumpets fresh everyday, but be quick, the restaurant has been known to run out by 8.30am!
Where: Ask for Janice, 50-52 Long Lane, Farringdon, London, EC1A 9EJ
When: 8am-11.45am, Monday to Saturday
How much: £3
Images: Courtesy of venues