Katherine MacAlister reviews The Breakfast Club in Oxford's Westgate Centre

I was unsure. Did I want to eat breakfast at, well, any other time apart from first thing in the morning?

I am aware that brunch is a thing, carrying you right through to lunch, as life’s clear parameters, ie when to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, become irreversibly blurred.

But The Breakfast Club still seemed a slightly depressing choice of a Saturday, as I perused the menu wondering if anything would appeal, something other than smashed avocado (the only vegetable to warrant such violent attention it seems).

It is set on the roof terrace at The Westgate, one of a long line of restaurant choices at the top, stretching into infinity towards John Lewis.

Presumably named after the cult coming-of-age 80s film with Judd Nelson and Molly Ringwald, it’s a lovely space actually, boasting a huge outdoor area, more suited to the summer months now admittedly, and a bright cheerful interior; retro, funky, open plan, and full of students, families and shoppers alike.

It even has a party room at the back.

But on sauntering through the door, swaggering a bit I’ll warrant you, like a boxer before a fight – you can do this – I was met by the unexpected figure of Lucy Wyatt, one of my favourite front-of-houses of all time.

I first came across Lucy running vegetarian cafe The Rookery in Faringdon, cooking all the dishes behind the counter so well you forgot about the meat.

She was also a regular recipe contributor for The Oxford Times and her sunny nature won The Rookery a nomination in our restaurant awards.

And now here she was, beckoning me in with that lovely smile, reassuring me with her very presence that it was going to be alright.

Yes I could eat nachos for breakfast at noon. Get in.

Lucy, the assistant manager, led us to a central table and presented us with the numerous menus. It turns out you can eat breakfast, lunch or supper there after all, with a menu for each, even if the dishes do merge.

As it was just before the cut off point of noon, when all things brekkie related turned back into pumpkins, we rushed to order. But what a bewildering list.

What happened to the good old greasy spoon choices of a fry up with a cup of tea you could stand a spoon up in? Or a good old chip butty? My country for a bacon sandwich? Scrambled eggs on toast? Pretty please.

Lucy obviously picked up my panicky vibes – perhaps the ashen face and sweaty sheen had given the game away – rescuing me with a thorough description of the more colourful options on the menu, while pouring us glasses of freshly squeezed orange juice.

The kids then immediately moved onto the milkshakes (£5.25) – thick salted caramel and the Elvis (peanut butter and banana), meaning they had already surpassed their daily calorie intake without a morsel passing their lips.

Which then only seemed to encourage them to order the most unhealthy food on the menu - huge piles of pancakes with berries, vanilla cream and maple syrup (£9.50), which as you can see in the pictures exceeded even their expectations of overindulgence.

Another tried the pancakes and bacon with maple syrup (£9.50) while I opted for the ‘BC breakfast burrito’ (scrambled eggs, peppers, avocado, sour cream, cheddar, hash browns, jalapenos, refried beans and spicy pepper sauce (£9.50).

So many of my favourite ingredients – I’m just not sure putting them all together was a good idea.

We also sampled the healthier ‘butternut bubble’ with asparagus, avocado, potato, spinach, mushrooms with hollandaise (£9.50) which was really tasty, and some sort of bacon and scrambled egg roll.

Oh my. There was no way you could go to work on all that! You needed a forklift just to get out of the door.

We loved it though. The Breakfast Club was fun, naughty, novel and attractive, just like the film.

Or as John Bender, aka Judd Nelson, put it himself: “Being bad feels pretty good, huh?”

The Breakfast Club

303 The Westgate

Queen Street


01865 526210


Opening Times:

Sunday – Wednesday: 8am – 9.30pm

Thursday – Saturday: 8am – 10.30pm