back to article The ultimate full English breakfast – have your SAY

A turf war has broken out among the scribes at Vulture Towers North over the fried delicacies that should and should not be included in the world famous Full English gut buster Breakfast. Based as El Reg is, in deepest hipster central - East London - we've witnessed people starting their day in local coffee shops, consuming …


  1. DontFeedTheTrolls

    I see a distinct lack of coffee or tea being mentioned. Preferably unlimited refills.

  2. JimRoyal

    You really need to sort yourselves out. I had a look at the picture in this piece and was horrified to see something green on the beans and tomato. No part of a proper English breakfast is green. And what the hell are those beans doing in their own dish. Poncey metropolitan gits.

    Fried egg. 1 or 2. Scrambled is NOT an option.

    Bacon. 2 rashers. Unsmoked, back or streaky.

    Sausage. Cumberland.



    I think after that you can add extras from a list of acceptable options

    Tomato, mushrooms, fried bread, black pudding, fried potato (must be mashed)

    Hash browns are an abomination from a former colony that has lost the plot.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "Hash browns are an abomination from a former colony that has lost the plot."

      Yep. Well made ones can be nice, even for brekkie, but not part of the Full English!

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge
    2. Pedigree-Pete

      Baked Beans...

      "Hash browns are an abomination from a former colony that has lost the plot."

      So are baked beans and as such do not belong on a Full English. PP

  3. Ben1892

    Sausages - any local variety with a good herb flavouring

    Bacon - fried well enough so there's no stringy-ness to the rind but not so overdone it shatters

    Tomatoes - personally I don't like these but they should be included for a "proper English"

    Black Pudding - essential for the peppery spice it brings to the party

    Fried eggs - runny yolk

    Fried bread - fat soaked all the way through and crisped up enough, but again - no shattering!

    Anyone who adds mushrooms is just plain wrong, but any variety of sauces and condiments are acceptable.

  4. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Abomination in the sight of God

    Our local cafe (which welcomes hippies) has recently added what it calls 'Vegan black pudding' to the veggie breakfast. The mind totally boggles - how can you have vegan blood pudding? Squeeze the juice out of a beetroot?

    Having said that I am partial to the odd veggie brekkie in another cafe in Aberystwyth. Obviously not a real full English (or Welsh) but they understand the concept - 2 slices fried bread, 2 hash browns, 2 nice fried veggie sausages, 2 fried eggs, sliced mushrooms fried in butter, baked beans (and I have some tinned toms as an extra)

    1. Diogenes

      Re: Abomination in the sight of God

      Just wattched an episodeof the Australian Better Homes and Gradens, and blasphemy of blasphemies, has a donut made with beetroot

    2. davemcwish

      Re: Abomination in the sight of God

      I used to have vegetarian leak sausages in a certain purple-hued city center hotel chain. Quite nice they were too and better than the porky ones. Until that its they went to the dark side and went to Quorn branded ones. Other tasteless meat substitute products are available.

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Abomination in the sight of God

        I lived in North Devon for a couple of years in the late '70s, I remember a very hippie veggie cafe in Barnstaple called Sunfoods, they made veggie Cornish pasties that were as good as the real thing.

        On a side note a Devonian treat to rival an English breakfast for artery clogging goodness was Lardy cake. Made with a lard based dough, dried fruit and added sugar, it could equal a brekky in terms of cholesterol and carbs then had enough sugar in it to make a dentist smile.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Abomination in the sight of God

          they made veggie Cornish pasties that were as good as the real thing.

          I've passed your details onto t'missus. Being of Cornish stock[1], she has a somewhat firm view of what constitutes a proper pastie.

          And it doesn't involve meat-substitutes. Expect an outraged delegation of piskies sometime soon.

          [1] Any jokes about being overboiled and reduced too far (she is under-tall) are not appreciated.

    3. Mycho Silver badge

      Re: Abomination in the sight of God

      Vegan black pudding?


      That ... actually sounds kinda tasty. I mean if you can't get good black pudding. I'd always prefer the vegan alternative to the cheap stuff. Bacon excepted, cheap bacon's nice.

  5. yellowlawn

    Here you go ladies, the Fat Bastard Special. And just down the road from me

    1. Franco Silver badge

      Man v Food has a lot to answer for!

      mate of mine lives in Bristol though, so I'm sure he'll have sample that one in Portishead.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Aaaaarggg!!!. There should bowls of anything on the plate. FFS I've been in pubs and they server the curry in a BOWL on the plate with the rice! No proper breakfast has a bowl of toms and bowl of bean on the plate. It ALL goes on the plate!

      Phew! I feel better now.

  6. Black Rat

    Hienz beans, Cumberland sausage really?

    IMHO the classic full English breakfast should only be made from ingredients sourced at the local cash & carry and served in the ambiance of a run down 1960's café. Smedley's baked beans stewing in the pot for a week, Ketchup that could strip paint and sausages of such questionable content a tourist from Ankh Morpork would feel at home.

  7. davemcwish

    Bubble & Squeek or Chips

    My local has this option but I think that's too many carbs. On sausage, and being a Jock, I'd prefer mine to be square and not long and thin covered in an edible case.

  8. Just Enough

    Breakfasts around the nation

    How is a discussion about an English breakfast going to unite Britain?

    All it's going to do is emphasis the difference between the "full English" and the "full Scottish", and I don't doubt there's a "full Welsh" as well.

    1. Mycho Silver badge

      Full Welsh

      In Swansea you could get a full english style breakfast with whelks.

    2. Franco Silver badge

      Re: Breakfasts around the nation

      There is also a Full Irish and the Ulster Fry

      I don't think it's something you can definiteively categorise though, we've already seen from the other comments that there are huge local variations across England. Given that it's often post-alcohol breakfast for so many people, what goes in will be determined by what's in the house.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Breakfasts around the nation

        "there are huge local variations across England."

        Well, historically, England is also united kingdom in it's own right. Even the certain Cornish are trying to claim they are a separate nation, despite the genetics showing they are all Grockles. Personally, I'm a member of the Northumbrian Popular Front. Frreeeeeeedommmm!!!!!! (and black pudding!)

        1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

          Re: Breakfasts around the nation

          "Personally, I'm a member of the Northumbrian Popular Front."


          But yes, Freedom!

  9. muddysteve

    OK - here we go

    Quantities up to the individual.

    Bacon - unsmoked - crispy - preferably streaky

    Sausage(s) - ideally Lincolnshire or Cumberland.

    Fried bread - white.

    Egg(s) - fried with runny yolk

    Black pudding - ideally the Scottish stuff with oats in that goes really crunchy

    Baked beans - Branston - not Heinz


    Bubble and squeak - ideally made with leftover sprouts - cooked so that you get crispy bits in

    Tea - mug of

    Bread and butter to mop up the bean juice and egg yolk.

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: OK - here we go

      Streaky bacon is only useful for pigs in blankets.

      1. Pedigree-Pete
        Thumb Up

        Re: OK - here we go


        I thought pigs in blankets was a leftpondian reference.

        We call them kilted sausages. PP

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: OK - here we go

      Bacon - unsmoked

      Why are so many people going for this? *Proper* bacon is smoked..

      (My version of the FEB is: Bacon (lots). Sausages (several, preferrably Cumberland). Mushrooms (lightly done in butter). Eggs (two, fried with solid yolk). Fried potatoes (preferrably, left over ones boiled the previous day, left to go cold and then fried). No beans, black pudding or tomatoes[1]. Although, if you must have tomatoes, make it fried fresh tomatoes, not plum tomatoes out of a can)

      [1] Sadly, they react badly with my Annoyed-Rottweiler-mode immune system and give me joint pain. As do uncooked citrus fruits.. Which is a shame because I really, really like tomatoes and citrus fruits..

  10. GorgeFodder

    Hospital Canteen

    From our canteen, run by a French company. You can get for £4: 2 Lincolnshire sausages, 2 rashes unsmoked back bacon, 2 slices black pudding, scrambled eggs, hash brown and a bottle of OJ.

    This is the best breakfast.

  11. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    Half English

    I've always disliked the term "full english".

    How many other meals have to be prefixed with word explaining , not very well, the proportion of the meal you will be getting?

    And this on a meal that no one seems to agree what the "full" list is!

    Also the terms hal , 3/4 , whatever are never used. sometimes "small" is - presumably to indicate you are getting a less than full full english?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Half English

      "Full" indicates the bare minimum of bacon, sausage, eggs, tomatoes and beans. "Small" merely means a smaller quantity of each of the full list of ingredients, eg only one sausage, one slice of bacon etc. Simples!

  12. Oddbodd

    At least two sausages. At least two rashers of bacon, nicely crisped. None of this chewy nonsense. Black pudding definitely. No two ways about that. Eggs fried, yolk runny. As long as we have all that, add whatever else you want - hash browns, mushrooms, beans, but remember - the tomato is just there to make it look nice. Never eat the tomato.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      Nah, the tomato is there to get an extra sausage or rasher of bacon by requesting a substitution.

      At least it is for me at Garfunkels in Gatwick ready for the stupid o'clock EasyJet flight out to the continent, but then I don't like tomatoes anyway.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "At least it is for me at Garfunkels in Gatwick ready for the stupid o'clock EasyJet flight out to the continent, but then I don't like tomatoes anyway."

        Yikes! I'm surprised places like that haven't gone full "motorway services" yet. Each item on the plate priced separately. Even the butter and marmalade for the toast! Even if you just go in for toast and coffee, they charge extra for the butter. Who the hell would buy toast and expect to eat it dry?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Baked beans, sausage, half-boiled eggs, tomatoes from a can. An empire was built on that suffering!

  14. roiperez

    Perfect full english

    Bacon - back bacon, ideally grilled, crispy, 2 rashers

    Eggs - fried, yolk must be runny, 2 of em

    No friend bread, crusty wholemeal bread for me, toasted til golden, lots of real butter

    Sausage - would eat any, prefer better quality ones, 2 please!

    Tomatoes - real tomatoes halved and fried in the pan. Need to be good quality ones, well seasoned.

    Baked beans - Heinz baked beans, in their own ramekin

    Tomato ketchup - on the side!

    Mushrooms, fried with lots of garlic.

    Black pudding - two slices.

    Black coffee, 1 sugar, and orange juice on the side.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The "K" Word


    There, I said it.

    Relax, I don't commute on the tube, and go through a complete decontamination shower before leaving the house.

  16. RyokuMas Silver badge

    To quote James Bond

    “I don’t drink tea. I hate it. It’s mud. Moreover, it’s one of the main reasons for the downfall of the British Empire. Be a good girl and make me some coffee”

  17. arfamind

    Everything starts with a B

    Back Bacon, Black pudding, Baked Beans, Bubble & squeak , Bangers, Brown sauce, Button mushrooms, Buttered toast, Builder's tea or Black coffee and, errrr, Beggs

  18. Chz

    To taste

    What *should* be in there is entirely to taste, so long as it comes from a definitive list of acceptable ingredients (which has been discussed to death). I don't like tomatoes. Some people hate mushrooms. I'll only eat black pudding if it's the oaty, Scottish stuff and not the fatty Bury style. That's fine, so long as their replacements come from an accepted list. There's some arguing to be had (I like streaky bacon, but I don't think it belongs in the FEB), but I think we're fairly clear on what's OK. The closest thing to proper heresy I've seen here is that some people don't like tea.

    What's more interesting to discuss is what *shouldn't* be in a Full English. Like omelettes, and chips. Not that an omelette with chips isn't a nice breakfast, but neither of the items have any place in a Full English. Or putting it all on something other than a fucking plate. Yes, I've eaten breakfast off a slate tile, and no I wasn't amused by it.

    1. Roger Varley

      Re: To taste

      Breakfast off a slate? There's worse. Much worse. (Cite:

      1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Re: To taste

        I ate in a chain pub a few months ago. They were serving the carvery on prison trays.

  19. 45RPM Silver badge

    It's not difficult. Just add everything.

    Fried egg, runny yolk x2

    Fried slice

    Baked beans

    Fried tomatoes

    Fried mushrooms

    Fried potatoes

    Bacon x2

    Black pudding x2

    Sausages x2

    Chilli sauce

    And all washed down with strong black coffee.

    And don't get religious about the sauce either - save the prejudice for whether to eat veggie or pork sausages.

  20. Murphy's Lawyer

    Crisp back bacon. Sausages with at least 90% pork and some texture. Fried bread - toast at a pinch, or farl if you can get it - to soak up the yolk from the runny fried eggs (sunny side up or over easy are equally valid). A large tomato, halved, and properly cooked on both sides. Black pudding - white pudding instead or as well if you prefer.

    There are never enough mushrooms.

    Grilled lambs' kidneys should never be turned down if offered.

    Baked beans are optional.

    Hash browns are a heresy.

  21. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Bacon: dry cured, smoked or not to taste.

    Eggs: fried, hard white, soft yolk.

    Beans: Sainsburys', full fat none of your reduced salt and sugar tasteless pap.

    Fried slice: A bit yuppie, I know, but sourdough makes a damn good fry.

    All else is optional. And a cup of lapsang souchong... :)

  22. smudge Silver badge

    Steak frites!

    Gatwick Airport used to have a branch of Chez Gerard. Once arrived there at stupid o'clock for an early flight, after a 90 minute drive.

    One of the best breakfasts I have ever had :)

  23. Just Helen

    Hash browns are an abomination. It's got to be Tattie scones, though I've recently been introduced to the Staffordshire oatcake, which will definitely be making an appearance on my breakfast menu from now on.

    1. Just Another Script Monkey

      Up vote for Staffordshire Oatcakes

  24. Rol Silver badge

    How not to do it

    Visit many of the cafes and restaurants in England and order a full English breakfast, and what you get is exactly what a proper English breakfast should not look like.

    Firstly, if the bacon came from a supermarket it isn't bacon, well it is in a very superficial sense, but any form of matter that is only two dimensional has no substance. You'll need to go to a proper meat retailer to buy bacon.

    Secondly, and oh boy have I had some arguments about this one, buttered bread, NOT SLICED IN HALF!!!! It's the choice of the eater to make or not make a sandwich out of the smorgasbord of deliciousness, not the goose-stepping, Nazi, butty fascist "chef"

    And black pudding, which should be at least half an inch thick, and not sliced into nothingness as they do with bacon.

    The rest is pretty standard, oh, except for the brown or red sauce argument. It is perfectly acceptable to force the people who have a one bit digital taste bud to eat their sugar ruined meal out of sight, like behind a skip or in a toilet cubicle.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Minimum vs Best

    The minimum fry-up:

    Bacon - any

    Sausage - any

    Egg - Fried or Scrambled

    Sauce - Brown

    Beverage - Tea


    The best fry-up :

    Bacon - Streaky

    Sausage - Cheap and cheerful (the lower the meat content the better)

    Egg - Fried

    Black pudding

    Plum Tomatoes - with plenty of pepper

    White bread - plenty of it

    Sauce - Brown

    Beverage - Tea


    Things that don't belong on a fry-up : grilled tomatoes, Baked beans, potato of any kind, bubble & squeak, sausages with more than 50% meat content.


    Regardless of the above, I think we can all agree that fry-ups always follow the rule :

    "any other meal" < "bad fry-up" < "minimum fry-up" < "best fry-up"

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: Minimum vs Best

      Streaky bacon? Get to fuck.

  26. hatti

    The essential ingredient

    The Full English Breakfast always tastes better with a hangover.


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