In Lincoln we are spoilt for choice when it comes to enjoying a great breakfast! One of our favourite treats at weekends is to hit up one of our favourite cafés or greasy spoons for a fry up, or on special occasions go for a posh brunch. And there are plenty of options in between, whether you are on a health kick or you just want to begin the day with some proper Lincolnshire sausages. We’ve been on a mission to find the best breakfasts in Lincoln and document what we find, and in this article we share our recommendations.
As with many of our blog posts, this guide is an ongoing work in progress, and we will keep adding new ideas for breakfasts in Lincoln the more places we try. In each of our reviews we also include the opening times, so you’ll know where you can go if you’re out and about early.
Breakfasts in Lincoln: Cathedral Quarter
Uphill Lincoln is where you will find many of the city’s best independent restaurants and cafés, on the cobbled streets between the iconic landmarks of Lincoln Cathedral and Lincoln Castle. The Cathedral Quarter is a great area to come if you want to enjoy a top-notch breakfast in historical surroundings.
Eastgate Pavilion by Seven Districts Coffee
If your idea of a perfect breakfast includes a satisfying cup of specialist coffee, then make sure you pay a visit to Eastgate Pavilion by Seven Districts. This local venture began in 2020 in nearby Welton, but now has three locations in the area, including this lovely spot in uphill Lincoln within the grounds of Eastgate Tennis Club.
You don’t need to be a member of the tennis club to pop in here for breakfast – it’s open to the public, and there is free parking too. It has a bright, airy, indoor space with a scattering of cosy tables and plush sofas, as well as a sun-kissed outdoor garden space by the courts.
It’s not just the coffee we love here – the full English is one of our favourites in town. Proper Lincolnshire sausages of course, complemented by bacon supplied by one of our go-to local butchers Foster’s, and fresh craft sourdough from the Welbeck Bakehouse of Nottingham.
There are all sorts of other brekkie options as well, such as smoothie bowls, bagels, and a sumptuous looking “honey dough”, with avocado, honey, chilli flakes, prosciutto and figs on sourdough.
The breakfast comes in a generous portion that hits the sweet spot to fill you up. I had a mid-morning full English here before taking a long-distance train journey, and didn’t need another bite until dinner.
For a boozy breakfast, there’s a great cocktail menu as well. I’m a sucker for gin cocktails so I tried the salty dog, which is a super refreshing tipple, especially if you’re having brekkie outside in the sunshine.
Eastgate Pavilion by Seven Districts opens at 8:30am Monday to Saturday and 9:30am on Sundays.
Cafe St. Paul’s
Cafe St Paul’s is one of Uphill Lincoln’s real hidden gems. It opened in late 2022 and it was a while before we noticed it ourselves, but we’re glad we did!
The entrance to this cosy, stylish café bar is on St Paul’s Lane, tucked away behind Bailgate. It has a downstairs seating area by the bar, but for us the highlight is the upstairs room and outdoor terrace area that looks directly onto the walls of Lincoln Castle.
Food is served for breakfast, lunch and dinner at Cafe St Paul’s, so we went along to try the morning offering. The breakfast menu is simple, but also very appealing; you can order a full breakfast for £10 with double sausage and streaky bacon, black pudding, fried egg, tomato and bread, or upgrade to the big breakfast for £15 with more helpings. Pay an extra £2.95 and you can enjoy a helping of home-made crispy hash browns with tomato relish on the side.
There are some lighter breakfast options available, such bagels or paninis, but we chose to stick to basics and tried the full breakfast, with a portion of those hash browns each.
The sausages and bacon were full of rich flavour, which is no surprise given that the café is supplied by two of our favourite local butchers, Foster’s and Pepperdine’s. You can read about a taste test we did on their produce a couple of summers ago to try and find the best Lincolnshire sausages in Lincoln.
Everything else was cooked to perfection, and the portion sizes were just the right amount to fill us up – not a morsel too little or too much. But the real stars of the show were those crispy hash browns. Simply, wow! I told the serving team that they were the best hash browns I’d ever tasted, and I was not exaggerating. Don’t leave this place without trying some!
There’s a really friendly vibe at Cafe St Paul’s, and the owners and waiting staff are lovely people. We can’t wait to try their Sunday roasts next time.
Cafe St Paul’s is open for breakfast from 10am Wednesday to Monday.
Update: The Terrace has been replaced in 2023 by CASK Kitchen, which is run by Seven Districts. We’re booked in to check it out soon, and will update this guide just as soon as we’ve tried the breakfast!
When the sun is shining in Lincoln, another great spot for breakfast is The Terrace, which comes with rooftop views. We love dining here in the fresh air for the amazing vistas of the cathedral and castle.
Many people familiar with Lincoln might know this place as Citadel, as it has only recently rebranded as The Terrace. Citadel caused a stir when it opened during summer 2020 with special dining domes on its rooftop terrace, allowing groups to eat in their separate bubbles while restrictions were in place. That caught our attention, and it was only a matter of time before we went to try out its highly reputed breakfast offering.
We both tried the classic breakfast at The Terrace. Lisa added a black pudding to hers for the £1.50 extra, which she assures me was worth it! There are many more breakfast favourites options to choose from, such as the vegan breakfast, eggs royale, benedict or florentine, Belgian waffles, and a range of breakfast burgers.
The finer details of a full English breakfast are what makes a great one, and The Terrace got all of these spot on. It was just the right amount of food to satisfy our fill without leaving us too stuffed. And the food was excellent; the Lincolnshire sausages were flavoursome, the eggs cooked to perfection, and the hash browns deliciously crispy.
Along with some coffees, we washed down our Terrace breakfasts with a couple of mocktails. The Peachy Clean is made with peach puree, vanilla syrup and soda water, and it’s a real doozy if you like something sweet! Or if it’s a refresher you’re after, then the Elderflower Spritz with apple juice, mint, lime and cucumber is the way to go.
We weren’t quite ready for a stiffer drink, but if you want to start early then the Terrace bottomless brunch for £30 combines any of the breakfast choices with unlimited prosecco, bloody mary, aperol spritz and mimosas.
If you’re visiting the city for the first time, The Terrace is a great option for breakfast in Lincoln at a prime uphill location with iconic views. The perfect place to begin a day out in Lincoln! It opens from 10am Tuesday to Sunday.
Quite a few of our favourite places for breakfast in Lincoln offer good vegetarian and vegan options. But as the city’s first vegetarian café, Pimento has the most extensive range of meat-free breakfasts we’ve found.
Pimento is situated right near the top of Steep Hill Lincoln, a hub of independent shops and eateries that climbs up to the heart of the Cathedral Quarter. This makes it perfect for a bite to eat during a morning’s shopping and sightseeing.
I tried the vegan full English breakfast at Pimento, which is good value at £10.20. This is a delicious way to start the day whether you are vegan or not. The vegan sausages are full of herby flavour and have a satisfying texture – you can barely tell the difference from meat sausages.
If you order the vegetarian breakfast it comes with scrambled eggs, which are replaced with tofu in the vegan breakfast. Other options on the menu include mushrooms royale, breakfast wraps and homemade granola.
Another breakfast highlight at Pimento is the range of speciality international coffees, which are served in a personal 12oz cafetiere. I tried the Salvador Cloud Forest coffee, with a sweet twist of cream, fruits and nutmeg. You can choose from several dairy-free milk options, and I went for coconut milk, which was the perfect complement. Thanks to the staff for helping me choose!
If tea is more your thing, you can opt for a pot of speciality tea instead, with various blends from around the world on the menu. Pimento is open for breakfast from 10am, Wednesday to Sunday.
Breakfasts in Lincoln: Cornhill Quarter
Lincoln’s Cornhill Quarter has undergone major change in recent years after a hefty investment was injected into its redevelopment. This has seen the old Cornhill Exchange and its surroundings transformed into a thriving hub of trendy bars, restaurants, galleries, shops, and a new Everyman Cinema.
This is now one of our favourite places to hang out in the city centre, not least in the morning! Because it’s where you will find two of the best breakfasts in Lincoln that we’ve tried. Beginning with…
Cosy Club is a great example of the restoration that has happened at the Cornhill Quarter. The historic building that was once part of the old Cornhill Exchange has been reimagined as a 1930s restaurant and bar. When you enter it’s a little bit like stepping back in time – in a good way.
The restaurant is set in a vast upstairs hall with high beams, hanging lights and sunshine streaming in through skylights above. Immense care been taken to be respectful to the building’s old features, and in the decorations on the walls you can also see the footprint of Lincoln’s industrial history in portraits and decades-old advertisements.
The breakfast menu at Cosy Club is varied and extensive. There are variations on the classic English breakfast, with all the usual features plus special quirks like sourdough toast, spicy ham hock beans and ham rostis, depending on which option you choose.
For something slightly lighter but still filling, you can try the likes of bubble and squeak, huevos rancheros, shakshuka, buttermilk pancakes or ham hock hash.
I am always drawn towards hash whenever I see it on the menu, so naturally I tried the ham hock hash, which was served with a delicious breakfast gravy. It really hit the spot! Meanwhile, Lisa went for the classic breakfast. You really can’t go wrong with this, and we must give a special shoutout to the crispy hash browns.
There is also an interesting selection of drinks to accompany your breakfast at Cosy Club. On a hot day we tried some house coolers – the morning cooler, with lemon, elderflower and mint, and a pink lemonade. These were beautifully refreshing and a nice balance to our coffees.
Cosy Club opens at 9am, seven days a week.
Another of our favourites in the redeveloped Cornhill Quarter is the Botanist, which first opened its doors in mid 2020. It took us a while to check this place out with our plans disrupted by the ongoing pandemic, but it was worth the wait!
The Botanist is almost like a secret indoor garden within the city, which serves innovative dishes and is famed for its botanical-themed cocktails. The interior is hung with all sorts of plants and botanical decorations, which gives it a calming vibe even when it’s busy.
The tables at the Botanist are really nicely spaced out, and if you sit upstairs by the large windows or outside on the terrace you can enjoy your food with a lovely view over the Cornhill Quarter.
When Lisa’s best friends came to stay in Lincoln for the weekend, she took them to the Botanist to try their popular bottomless brunch. I had serious FOMO seeing their pictures of the amazing food, and they couldn’t speak highly enough of the experience!
The way the brunch works is that you choose one item from five different sections of the menu. One of our friends has allergies, and the staff were very considerate and understanding in allowing items to be swapped from different parts of the menu to suit her dietary requirements.
As with a typical bottomless brunch, for £30 you can keep ordering prosecco and spritzes to accompany the delicious food. Lisa and our friends had their dishes served on various appetising platters so they could share it among them, while enjoying the views and the chill vibes of a band playing downstairs.
The Botanist also now serves a regular brunch menu without needing to get the bottomless package. You can choose from the likes of ham hock or smoked trout eggs benedict, bircher muesli, buttermilk fried chicken waffles, and much more.
Doors open at the Botanist at 9am, seven days per week. We’re also working on a separate article compiling the best brunches in Lincoln, which will feature the Botanist too, so keep an eye out for that soon!
Breakfasts in Lincoln: around the High Street
As the main thoroughfare in the city centre, Lincoln High Street is a hive of activity for shopping and daytime dining. But it’s not just wall-to-wall chain establishments like you will find in some cities. In between high street brands you will also find an array of interesting local businesses, including several where you can enjoy a tasty breakfast.
For a breakfast with character and a sweet twist, Madame Waffle on the High Street is a place you must try. If you hadn’t guessed it already from the name, it is an establishment that specialises in dishes based on Belgian waffles.
There are savoury and sweet waffles for any mood or any time of day. And the breakfast waffles are not time limited – you can enjoy them in the afternoon too if you want.
We like to eat down in the basement area of Madame Waffle if we can get a table there. Towards the back it protrudes into the old city vaults under a bricked archway, bringing a rustic ambiance to the place.
Old pipeworks visible on the walls add to this vibe, along with photos of historic characters hung on the walls. The owners have made really creative and optimal use of the space to give it character.
I had the classic Madame Waffle breakfast, while Lisa went for a croque madame waffle with smoked salmon. The presentation is all part of the experience, and the taste is great too, especially the waffles!
Madame Waffle roast their own beans on site, which is evident in the quality of the coffee. When we noticed a Vietnamese-style coffee on the menu we had to try that too – which has a strong and sweet flavour profile – along with a regular flat white.
Madame Waffle is open from 9am Wednesday to Saturday, and from 10am on Sundays.
Somewhere we can always count on getting a filling fry-up in the middle of town is Jenny’s Café, situated on Saltergate just a few paces away from the historic Guildhall and Stonebow building.
If you are ever in the city centre super early and feeling hungry, this might just be the only place you will find serving food. It opens its doors at 7am, except on Sundays when it opens at 8am. The café typically starts to get busy at 9am. I like to come in earlier when it’s a bit quieter and have a chat with the staff.
Jenny’s Café has been around in Lincoln for years, and there is now a chain of them in various locations around the country. There’s even one down the road in Newark, where I grew up, right next to where I went to school.
The formula is simple and you can see why it’s popular. Large all day breakfasts are cheap and cheerful at £7.50, and you select from various combinations to get just the right amount of each item you want, or add extras. I like the ‘hale and hearty’, which is a bit cheaper at £6.95 and comes with sautéed potatoes.
Jenny’s has that classic diner feel. Wooden tables and chairs are arranged neatly, and you can see the food being prepared and cooked out the back, sizzling away.
As well as all-day breakfasts you can get burgers, omelettes, steaks and scampi. And, different to other breakfast joints in town, you can also get a tasty milkshake to go with it. What’s not to love when you just need a calorific treat?
Churchills of Lincoln has been a fixture on the High Street for nearly a decade. As a daytime restaurant it opens from 8am to 5pm throughout the week, so you can head here bright and early for your fill of breakfast.
Breakfast is the speciality at Churchills, and the prices are cheaper than anywhere else that we’ve found so central in town. You can get a homemade full English breakfast for as little as £5.99!
I was in the mood for a lighter bite on my last visit to Churchills, so I had a smoked salmon and avocado bagel. The portions are generous, especially for the price, and in our experience the service is always friendly.
There are more early morning classics on the menu, such as eggs royale, scotch pancakes and mackerel breakfast. And you can wash it down with a freshly ground home blend coffee.
So, if you’re looking for a quick, easy and satisfying breakfast in the middle of Lincoln, Churchills fits the bill.
Stokes To Go
Stokes High Bridge Café is more than just a great place to eat – it’s also one of Lincoln’s historical landmarks. It stands on High Bridge, which is the oldest bridge in the UK to still have buildings on it. You can’t miss the 14th-century building as you walk up the High Street with its brilliant white facade and black wooden beams.
Stokes Coffee has been operating in the building for 85 years, making it one of the oldest coffee houses in Lincoln. After recently purchasing the shop on the right-hand side, it now owns the whole building, and has used this part of the space to open a new takeaway breakfast offering – Stokes To Go.
We went along to Stokes To Go to check it out. You can buy various breakfast goodies to take away, or dine in the atmospheric room upstairs, with cosy booths, hanging lights and old wooden beams.
This part of the building had previously been used by the Proper Pasty Co, and Stokes has struck an arrangement with them to keep serving their popular pasties from the premises. Naturally, we tried out the breakfast pasty. It was piping hot, packed generously with filling, and full of flavour.
We love the range of coffees at Stokes too, which is a big reason behind their popularity. As well as roasting their own beans in the city, they’re always experimenting with different blends and flavours. We tried a hazelnut coffee, which was delicious.
Stokes To Go opens bright and early at 8am Monday to Saturday, and 10am on Sundays. It’s perfect for picking up a tasty morning snack to eat on the go while exploring the city, or enjoying the surroundings of one of our city’s most famous buildings.
Breakfasts in Lincoln: classic cafés
Sometimes you just can’t beat a classic slap-up full English at a local family-run ‘greasy spoon’ café. We have a couple of go-to options in Lincoln for those occasions when we want to blow away the cobwebs with a fry-up or simply go back to basics for our morning fill.
Breakfast in Lincoln’s surrounding villages
Lincoln is a small city, and as you travel outwards, busy streets soon give way to quaint little villages as you get into the countryside. We love exploring these surrounding villages and finding the many gems among them for eating out. Lately, we’ve been looking out for places to enjoy a cosy village breakfast.
Homestead, Bracebridge Heath
Set in a gorgeous grade II listed building in the historic Roman village of Bracebridge Heath, just a couple of miles south of Lincoln, Homestead has become one of our go-to pubs at weekends.
We first tried it for lunch because it ticks a lot of boxes for us, especially that it’s dog friendly, and we can even walk there from our home down the River Witham and up the fields from the south side of Lincoln. As you get to the top of the hill at Bracebridge Heath there are some lovely views across Lincolnshire.
We discovered that the pub, which is part of the Chef and Brewer chain, opens early on weekends (9:30am), and serves a brunch with a range of breakfast dishes and the option to add alcoholic drinks. I headed out early with the dog one Saturday to check it out while Lisa was away on a trip.
The food at Homestead is excellent value. No breakfast dish is more than £9.49, and there is a great range of options. I was in the mood for a full English breakfast, but the menu also includes the likes of smashed avocado and poached egg, beef rib hash, baked berry oats, and a ‘sundae brunch’ stacked with granola, curd, berries and Greek yoghurt.
The quality of the breakfast was just as good as we had come to expect from the food at Homestead. The use of streaky bacon was a bit of a quirk, and it was cooked nice and crispy just to my liking.
Homestead gets extra marks for going above and beyond on dog friendliness. As you enter the building there is a ‘dog station’ where you can fill up a bowl of water and get some treats. It’s also clearly a place where the staff love dogs and will give your furry friends a lot of attention.
Inside the tables are really nicely spaced out, which is great for a long stretchy dog like our boy Regan. I even ordered him a sausage, and the waitress cut it up for him and brought it over in a little bowl. Now he gets immediately excited whenever we arrive back at Homestead!
Map of breakfasts in Lincoln
You can locate the restaurants and cafés serving breakfast in Lincoln that are featured in this article on the map below:
Do you have some recommendations on the best breakfasts in Lincoln? Please feel free to share them in the comments below.
See our guide to the best things to do in Lincoln for more inspiration on activities in the city.