The Hot List

The Buzziest Brunch Spots in and Around Boston

Start your day off with the best of brunch. 

13 min read
7/25/2022
Buttermilk & Bourbon

If your brunching requirements exceed the tourist trap of bottomless mimosas, look no further. We know the ins and outs of Boston’s brunch scene, from the casual to the classic. Check out these 25 spots that generate the biggest buzz. They’re available for delivery on Caviar, which means you don’t have to wait in line for your Benedict and bloody. 

Rosebud American Kitchen & Bar

Open since 2014 in Somerville’s Davis Square, Rosebud American Kitchen & Bar serves brunch every day in a revitalized diner car. Brunchy foods like the Country Croque Madame abound. It’s made with sourdough, Gruyère, smoked Gouda, hickory ham, Dijon aioli, and a sunny-side-up egg. The Plain Jane Pancakes are made with buttermilk and come with whipped butter, maple syrup, and a whole lot of love. 

Buttermilk & Bourbon

The Back Bay’s Buttermilk & Bourbon remains readily in demand for brunch. This New Orleans–inspired restaurant, which opened in 2017, belongs to celebrity chef Jason Santos. Brunch is a rich affair, with warm honey-glazed biscuits, Nashville hot oyster fries with pimiento queso, and fresh fried beignets all in attendance. No matter the time of day, you won’t want to skip the fried chicken. 

Frenchie Wine Bistro

In the South End you’ll find this French bistro that has been serving up compelling brunch to clamoring crowds since 2017. The Nutella crêpewith caramelized banana is a favorite among restaurant devotees, as is the bread, butter, & jam: a freshly baked baguette served with local Vermont butter and housemade jam. At brunch, you can also order a cheeseburger, served on a perfectly butter-rich brioche and topped with Gruyère, lettuce, tomato, caramelized onions, and Dijonaise. 

Harvest

Harvest has been a Harvard Square institution since 1975, and, on the weekends, brunch still reigns supreme. The Scituate lobster roll features local sweet lobster meat served on a griddled roll alongside homemade potato chips — and a pickle, of course. The hearty steak & eggs is also a notable way to go: a prime hanger steak served with sauce au poivre, two sunny-side-up eggs, and hand-cut fries. It’s no wonder that people are still lining up nearly half a century later. 

North Street Grille

The North End may be known best for its Italian food, but the North Street Grille, which opened in 2004, has established itself as Boston’s preeminent brunching establishment. From their iconic Lobster Benedict to their Banana Bourbon French Toast, the North Street Grille delivers (figuratively and literally, as it turns out). The Sweet & Salty Sandwich — scrambled eggs, cheddar, and bacon served on French toast with a side of home fries — is a hit among regulars. 

Cafe Luna

Cafe Luna

Matt and Teri Haymer opened Cambridge’s Cafe Luna in 2007, and the restaurant has continued to generate brunchy buzz ever since. The Harvest Chopped salad, teeming with butternut squash, chipotle-spiced sweet potato, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, pecans, and cheese, is a perennial favorite, as are the Wings & Waffles, six wings atop a thick, Belgian-style waffle, with syrup, honey butter, and a choice of mango-habañero or barbecue sauce. 

Branch Line

Branch Line opened in Watertown in 2015, a rotisserie and wood-fire grill–centric restaurant that also serves a compelling brunch. Some brunch specialties include the Espco pretzel, served with honey mustard; Iggy’s ciabatta & drippings, fresh bread served with chicken drippings; and the rotisserie chicken salad sandwich, served with heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil, and chips. Order a side of the crisp rosemary fries, and, if you’re nursing a sweet tooth, a Belgian waffle with whipped cream and chocolate. 

Lulu's Alston

Open since 2014, Lulu’s Allston — which added an outdoor space in 2018 to accommodate their increasingly busy brunch service — is known for their comfort food, including their much-discussed tater tots. Order them Cajun spiced with a garlic aioli or as part of the Breakfast Totchos with cheese sauce, bacon, an over-easy egg, mozzarella, ranch, and scallions. Smash burgers are epic for those who lean into lunch more than breakfast, as is the short rib mac & cheese, made with shredded short ribs braised in a rich stout beer. 

Gather

Boston’s Seaport District is a buzzy place to brunch due, in no small part, to its inimitable view of the water. But don’t sleep on the food, which is just as good at home as it is with a water view. The award-winning New England clam chowder comes chock-full of the bivalve (it’s a five-time Boston Harborfest winner). Pair it with the Gather Burger, a thick patty that’s smothered in gooey Muenster, caramelized onions, and special sauce, served with lettuce and tomato on a brioche bun. 

Stillwater

Chinatown welcomed this comfort-food spot in 2019, and it serves buzzworthy brunch day in and day out. It’s where in-the-know eaters head for ricotta donuts, which come with a dark chocolate dipping sauce; Ritz cracker–crusted fried chicken; and warm, homemade blue cheese–thyme biscuits made with rich chicken drippings and served with whipped butter. The Flat Patty Burger — two griddled butter-and-herb Brandt beef patties beneath melted Cabot cheddar, shredded lettuce, pickles, and special sauce and accompanied by hand-cut fries — is a special treat, no matter when you order it. 

Myers + Chang

Joanne Chang and Christopher Myers’ South End restaurant, which opened in 2007, embraces flavors from Korea, China, Vietnam, and Taiwan. At brunch, American traditions meet Asian ones. Indulge in the fried egg and bacon banh mi, a take on the classic sandwich from Vietnam; this one comes with soy-glazed bacon, two eggs, pickled daikon and carrot, cilantro, jalapeño, and a Sriracha aioli. The Coal-Black Chicken Wings are, in fact, coal-black, but no less tasty. Glazed with soy and honey, they come with a Sriracha and blue cheese dipping sauce. Order them, but also the trio of Mama Chang’s Pork and Chive Dumplings, served with a black pepper–scallion dipping sauce. 

Trident Booksellers & Cafe

Open since 1984, this hip bookstore and cafe defies the upscale norm on Newbury Street. Here, you can still get a low-key brunch like a build-your-own omelette, deli breakfast sandwich, or Southwestern breakfast burrito. The Mega Tots — three jumbo tater tots filled with cheddar cheese and deep-fried — may be one of the reasons that this restaurant still sees a healthy crowd week in and week out. Or maybe it’s the Morning Monte Cristo: two fried eggs, Canadian bacon, raspberry preserves, and cheddar cheese between two pieces of challah French toast. 

The Banks Fish House

This new-to-the-Back-Bay spot (it opened in 2021) has already established a loyal brunch following, and it’s not hard to see why. Fresh seafood takes precedence here, filtering to inventive takes on traditional brunch dishes, from the fried clams and waffles (move over, fried chicken) to the steak and eggs — served with fried oysters, of course. A comprehensive list of crudos include the restaurant’s already iconic Unicorn Oysters: Maine uni served with wasabi tobiko and a housemade spicy relish. 

Thornton's Restaurant

If diner culture moves you, this Fenway haunt is for you. Hungry brunchsters know what’s up, from the Breakfast Burrito Grande (scrambled eggs, sausage, cheddar, tomatoes, onions, and peppers in a tortilla and served with a hearty helping of home fries) to the Philly Steak Sandwich, smothered with provolone and served with a plate of perfectly crisp fries. The Amaretto-Vanilla French Toast, with sliced almonds and powdered sugar, is an outrageous end to a delicious start-of-day meal.  

Bistro du Midi

Bistro du Midi

A stalwart in the Back Bay since 2009, Bistro du Midi delights diners with a Parisian feel right in the heart of Boston. Ricotta pancakes — topped with almonds, toasted coconut, and apples and served with maple syrup — are ever popular, as is the bavette steak and rggs, a perfect bavette cut with poached farm eggs, herby beurre maître d'hôtel, and sourdough toast. The intrepid diner should definitely opt for the duck confit “foieffles” — a Belgian waffle with sweet and savory sides; it comes with braised duck, strawberry-rhubarb compote, maple syrup, and foie gras butter. 

South End Buttery

Long a Boston favorite, this South End spot serves a long, affordable brunch for those who need it. The breakfast torta is a work of genius, a sandwich that deserves a place in the canon of breakfast sandwiches. Made with two scrambled eggs, slow-roasted tomato, avocado, pickled red onion, black bean spread, and Oaxaca cheese on a sesame roll, it’s an umami-rich explosion. Also delicious: the caprese sandwich, featuring a buttermilk biscuit, scrambled egg, fresh mozzarella, nut-free basil pesto, and roasted tomato. 

The Paramount

The Paramount opened in Beacon Hill 1937 as The Paramount Deli and still retains its classic diner charm and buzzy draw. Crowds are attracted to the classics they can trust, like the caramel and banana French toast served with whipped butter; the BBQ chicken chopped salad; the grilled steak fajitas and eggs; and the burrata caprese omelette with roasted tomatoes. A comprehensive roster of breakfast sandwiches fills out the menu, though it's possible to order from The Paramount again and again without ever getting bored. 

Stephanie's on Newbury

When it comes to brunch, there’s no place like Boston’s Newbury Street, and Stephanie’s, which opened in 1994, remains an institution. Expect upgraded classic brunch food, like the truffled croque madame with country ham, cheese, and a fried egg on brioche, served with french fries; avocado and Maplebrook Farm burrata toast with heirloom tomatoes, corn salsa, and Iggy’s Bread; and the eggs Benedict with poached eggs, smoked ham, Wolferman’s English muffins, a lemon Hollandaise, and homemade home fries. 

Cafe Sauvage

Parisian in style, Cafe Sauvage opened in the Back Bay in 2021. This casual cafe offers viennoiseries (sweets) like banana bread, butter croissants, and tartines, but you’d be remiss to skip the savory items. The burrata salad, served with sweet potato, pomegranate, croutons, and chermoula, is a delightful way to brunch, as is the avocado toast, toasted bread topped with Earl Grey tea, frisée, and pickled mustard seed chile crisp.

Cafe Landwer

With three locations in Boston (the newest of which opened this year), Cafe Landwer, a coffee brand from Berlin, has a buzzy following in Beantown. The restaurant serves an extended breakfast and lunch, with a menu that digs into Middle Eastern dishes; there’s a whole category dedicated to shakshuka (eggs poached in a spicy tomato-pepper sauce). Order the Landwer’s Shakshuka — two eggs poached in the tomato-pepper sauce with a side of tahini — as well as one of the restaurant’s superlative hummus bowls, which are good any time of day. 

Flour Bakery and Cafe

Flour Bakery + Cafe

Joanne Chang and Christopher Myers of Myers + Chang are behind Flour Bakery + Cafe, which has multiple Boston locations. Homemade breads, decadent sandwiches, and perfect midmorning composed salads are the name of the game here. But the restaurant also offers some of the best pizzas in town, featuring their own homemade dough and a rotating host of toppings: meats, vegetables, and even pepperonis change daily. 

dbar

In Dorchester's Savin Hill, you’ll find this brunch institution which opened in 2005. It’s hard to know what the best item on the menu is here with so many iconic dishes, but the fried chicken sandwich certainly ranks toward the top — it comes with barbecue sauce, pepper Jack cheese, bacon, and kale slaw and a choice of fries or home fries. The smoked salmon breakfast pizza combines all the greatness of a bagel with the crispness of a pizza. Cream cheese, dill, capers, shallots, and parsley atop a pie? We’re in. 

Mike & Patty's

With several locations in and around Boston and a reputation for sandwich excellence, it’s no surprise that Mike & Patty’s remains a brunchy favorite among Beantown denizens. Casual sandwiches are the name of the game here, but there’s no shame in it. The Carolina Caviar comes with a fried egg, sausage, and pimiento cheese atop a housemade English muffin. Or go fancy — the Fancy sandwich, that is: two fried eggs, bacon, cheddar cheese, avocado, red onion, and house mayo on toasted multigrain bread. 

Sonsie

One of Newbury Street’s oldest restaurants is a place to see and be seen. Brunch on the weekends is a much-coveted affair among regulars and visitors alike. A Mediterranean-inspired menu offers delights like steamed mussels with white wine and a beurre blanc, hot shaved lamb with cucumber and tzatziki, and baked quiche with country ham and spinach. For those who prefer a bit of something sweet, opt for the decadent French toast, oozing with a caramel sauce and topped with rum-soaked bananas. 

Cunard Tavern

In East Boston, Cunard Tavern has tapped into the brunch market with a menu that makes you go “yum.” The sweet potato and chorizo hash (mashed sweet potatoes, chorizo, eggs, lime, cilantro, and cream) is a boost to any day, as is the carnitas Benedict, which comes with beer-braised pork shoulder, sliced avocado, and a chipotle Hollandaise. For something sweeter, try the Greek yogurt, fruit, and granola bowl, a honey-sweetened delight.  

Topics

Author

Hannah Selinger

Use the code SPOTLIGHT10 for $10 off your first order of $30 or more.