Frankie and Benny’s for Breakfast

Italian-American diner.

Frankie and Benny's WrapPicture this, dear reader: it’s early(ish) morning in the Strand at the foot of Waterloo Bridge. The weather is freezing, and our breath hangs in clouds. Time for a hot breakfast and a nice sit down, so it’s to Frankie and Benny’s we go.

This restaurant is part of a small chain. Frankie and Benny’s could, perhaps, be described as a cross between a retro American diner and a casual Italian restaurant. The menu is solid with likely something for everybody. The food is good, and prices are reasonable, especially for the location. The décor has hints of New York in the 50’s: there are cosy booths, sepia pictures and studded, leather-look banquettes. The only things missing were red and white gingham tablecloths!

We ordered a tea and a coffee on arrival. Service was speedy as one would expect at that time on a winter’s morning. We were almost the first guests to arrive, but the place filled up in short order. Many of the tables were populated by tourists and Ladies Who Breakfast. Some of those folks seem to be regulars and that is always a good sign.

Innovation and Classic

Frankie and Benny's HashThe menu is full of familiar dishes for breakfast but also plenty of innovation. We ordered the ever-popular Breakfast Wrap. This was a warm flour tortilla stuffed with cheese, sausage, bacon, potato tots and fried egg with one’s choice of ketchup, red chilli dressing or brown sauce. A nice presentation and perfect for a quick morning snack.

My companion was taken by the more unique Beef Brisket Hash. This was a hearty plate of tender meat dressed in a tangy BBQ sauce with a good helping of potato tots and fried onions alongside. The whole was topped with a brace of fried eggs with creamy rich runny yolks. This should be a signature dish at Frankie and Benny’s. He ordered black pudding as a side dish but for ordinary humans that might have been a little over the top – although it is a traditional British breakfast offering.

I thought my pick of Chicken and Waffle with Maple Flavoured Syrup was going to be on a more modest scale, but this was also a substantial plateful. The well-seasoned chicken portions were stacked between waffle quarters which were light and airy even when soaked with the sweet syrup. One can order the waffles sans chicken but with chocolate, banana and maple-flavour syrup instead, a kid’s dream breakfast, or with just bacon and syrup.

Frankie and Benny’s is family-friendly with a menu boasting classic and comforting dishes. No, it’s not fine dining but the prices aren’t fine dining prices either. It is one of the better choices of eatery in central London and we will return.


Visit Frankie and Benny’s here