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The best brunch in Boston

Which restaurants are worth getting out of bed for on a weekend morning? Check out our picks for the best brunch in Boston.

Photograph: Margaret Belanger
The Sinclair

Sure, brunch doesn't explicitly appear in the government’s new dietary guidelines, but no regimen is complete without it. Whether you’re fighting a hangover or fueling up before taking in a few museums or galleries, these are the best places for brunch in Boston.

RECOMMENDED: See the best Boston restaurants by cuisine

Best brunch spots in Boston

1

The Gallows

Critics' pick

What is a Sunrise Poutine, you ask? Oh, just a delicious albeit cholesterol-raising pile of scrambled eggs, fries, cheese curds, chicken gravy and Canadian bacon. Tear yourself away long enough to sample the bangers and mash and wild mushroom omelette, or at least save room for one of the pulled pork corn muffins and a potent Bloody Mary. 

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The South End
2

Island Creek Oyster Bar

Critics' pick

Anytime is a good time for oysters, but Sunday at 11am, with a lobster roll to follow? That’s why you make your reservation early. A freshly baked pastry basket (cinnamon roll, double chocolate babka) plays precursor to a seafood-centric menu that includes oyster sliders, a lobster omelette, smoked trout pate and a fried fish sandwich. Coffee snobs will appreciate the Chemex selections, while everyone will appreciate the shrimp cocktail and rotating wine recommendations.

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Fenway and Kenmore
3

Ribelle

Critics' pick

Chef Tim Maslow cuts to the chase: You either want it savory or you want it sweet.  If you’re sugar-centric, the chia seed pudding and banana bread pancakes will do nicely, though the savory set makes a serious case: brisket hash with egg noodles and Hollandaise, truffle egg toast, Bolognese with a sunny side up egg. The bar is firm on one point: no variations on the Bloody Mary, a truly unique elixir made with a farro bonji that imparts a bit of umami.

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Brookline
4

TW Food

Critics' pick

Tim Wiechmann carries his impeccable technique into Sunday morning with a singular prix-fixe spread accompanied by a side of live jazz. Start with sweet potato soup or warm Scottish oatmeal before tasting your first-ever pork belly polenta. Traditionalists will still be wowed by the hash-braised chicken and rutabaga Eggs benedict. Since dessert is included, you might as well learn to enjoy a daytime sundae with Ethiopian drip coffee or one last Lambrusco. 

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Cambridge
5

Belly Wine Bar

Critics' pick

The subterranean wine bar famed for its charcuterie and orange wines has seamlessly ventured into daytime noshing. Kick things off with monkey bread and an avocado salad before going full-on glutton with eggnog-soaked brioche French toast and beef tongue tartine. The chicken fried steak is an exercise in restraint, if only because you must save room for potato hash and slab bacon. Insider tip: The divine beignets are best enjoyed dunked in the hot chocolatey Brown Cow cocktail. You read it here first. 

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MIT
6

Bistro du Midi

Is there a more civilized way to enjoy your salmon Benedict than while gazing out at the Boston Public Garden? The new menu leans classically French, with pâté, steamed mussels, and tuna tartare serving as lead-ins to goat cheese quiche, croque madame and niçoise salad. A champagne cocktail is the perfect complement, though the bouillabaisse Bloody Mary with seared prawn should be tried once to be believed. Little flourishes abound, including a sleek coffee serving set and a waiter who writes down your orders in a leather Moleskine.

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Back Bay
7

Boston Chops

Sure, you can have the kale omelette, but why skew healthy when a brisket, shank and tongue hash is up for grabs? The South End steakhouse reinvents Paleo fine dining for a daytime crowd, with braised beef cheek huevos rancheros and a surf and turf of lobster grits and beef tournedo. Classics like French toast and eggs Benedict still make an appearance, as do four different variations of the Bloody Mary. The addition of oysters and steak frites ensures all palates are pleased.

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The South End
8

Henrietta's Table

When you’re in the mood to splurge on brunch, Henrietta’s Table is the place to do it. Two different brunch options are on offer, both of them elegantly presented and made from fresh, local ingredients. On Saturdays, you can pick three items from a selected collection of dishes on the breakfast and lunch menus for $35 per person. On Sundays, indulge in the decadent all-you-can-eat buffet for $45 per person: a raw bar, omelet and salad stations, fresh waffles, grilled vegetables, a number of hot entrées and several desserts are all featured. Orange juice, coffee and tea are unlimited. Brunch served noon–3pm Sat–Sun. Reservations for Sunday brunch are recommended but not required.

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Cambridge
9

Highland Kitchen

Critics' pick

Highland Kitchen has a limited brunch window, but don’t let that deter you from trying its belly-filling and heart-warming Southern cuisine. Choose from favorites like Shrimp and Grits, Smoked Trout & Bacon Hash, and Buttermilk Pancakes with fresh berries and bourbon maple syrup. Highland also offers a number of unique breakfast cocktails including Man’s Ruin—made with rum, orange juice, orange bitters and ginger beer, and Fiona—a mix of tequila, Campari, orange juice and lemon. If you’re in the mood for a mimosa, skip the $8 version (it’s served in a champagne glass) and go for the “Biggie” instead. For just $2 more, you’ll get a whole pint glass. Brunch served 11am–2:30pm on Sundays. Reservations can be made for parties of six or more.

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Somerville
10

Myers + Chang

Critics' pick

It’s dim sum without the noise, the wait or the worry (crap, is that tripe?). Fresh rolls and shrimp dumplings are most def on the menu, but they’re almost upstaged by Szechuan dan dan noodles, grilled corn with Sriracha butter and four different kinds of bao (tofu, chicken, pork belly, braised beef). Do not fret, however: Mama Chang’s pork and chive dumplings are still front and center. 

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The South End
11

The Sinclair

This is a brunch menu that keeps it on point: three Benedicts, three omelettes and four different waffle offerings (eternal dilemma: berries, bananas and Fluff or fried chicken and butter?) You’ll find a few surprises as well, including turkey hash, pork and beans, and breakfast tacos. A bacon Bloody Mary aperitif with a side of brioche donut holes never hurt anyone. 

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Harvard Square
12

Trina's Starlite Lounge

Critics' pick

And now for something completely different: brunch on Mondays. The odd timing might cater to restaurant industry workers, but call in sick at least once to sample the fried chicken and buttermilk waffles topped with hot pepper syrup. Other regulars swear by the Starlite muffin, a breakfast sandwich catering to your inner seven-year-old: griddled hot dog, American cheese, fried egg and sweet chili sauce bookended by a homemade English muffin. Only slightly more grown-up are the cocktails: a white Russian made with chocolate Quik and a shandy that’s mixes Miller High Life and Kool Aid. 

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Central Square
13

Kirkland Tap & Trotter

Go for the hot dog hash, stay for the Guinness-glazed donuts. The Somerville gastropub keeps it short and savory, with a mushroom frittata and vegetarian-friendly Turkish breakfast (eggplant and chickpea stew, grilled vegetables, fried egg). Those keeping it light can opt for the homemade granola or kale and apple salad, but a foray into daytime drinking is a must, considering that “morning beer” is its own category. 

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Somerville

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