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Flour Bakery & Café
Photograph: Kristin TeigFlour Bakery & Café

The best breakfast spots in Boston

Here’s where to go to start your day off right with an amazing morning meal

Olivia Vanni
Written by
Eric Grossman
&
Olivia Vanni
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Whether it's a bagel to go or a full plate of bacon and eggs, you’ll find whatever morning meal you seek with the best breakfast in Boston. Sure, weekends are for splurging on one of Boston’s best brunch spots, but during the week, you also need those standby places that'll help psych you up for work with quick, convenient yet still delicious baked goods, sandwiches, toasts and more. If your morning preferences lean more towards the traditional Boston breakfasts that you’ll find at those mainstay, greasy-spoon joints, check out our list of the best diners in Boston—and if your only breakfast requirement is a jolt of caffeine or carbs, try one of Boston’s best coffee shops or one of the best bagels in Boston.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Boston

Best breakfast spots in Boston

  • Restaurants
  • East Cambridge

When it comes to breakfast baked goods, Café Beatrice is a must—especially with local pastry talent Brian Mercury at its helm. This cafe, located at Cambridge Crossing, offers delicious morning pastries—from salted hazelnut sticky buns to smoked salmon and everything danishes—as well as breakfast sandwiches and healthier options, like overnight oats and Greek yogurt with granola. Its doors are open starting at 7am during the week, so you can grab some goodies before having to head to work. And if you have time on the weekends, be sure to make use of its beautiful patio and take your orders al fresco.

  • Restaurants
  • North End

Crammed amongst the North End’s Italian eateries, Theo’s Cozy Corner is a welcome respite from the frenzy of pasta, pizza and cannoli places around it. This tiny joint is situated on the outskirts of Salem Street, where it serves up classic and straightforward breakfast fare to tourists and locals alike. Whether you’re opting for the timeless “special” (that’s a combo of two eggs with toast, home fries and coffee, plus the option to add your favorite morning meat) or digging into one of their enormous omelets (get the one with hot Italian sausage and provolone, if you still want North End vibes), you’re sure to get a filling meal and a great start to your day.

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  • Restaurants
  • South End
  • price 2 of 4

Neighborhood favorite South End Buttery is the place to be for brunch on Sundays, but it’s worth a stop for a morning fuel-up any day of the week. House-made pastries, breakfast sandwiches and toasts (they come smeared with avocado or ricotta) are all-natural and satisfying, whether you’re dining in or taking out. Canine companions are also taken care of with fresh doggie cupcakes.

  • Restaurants
  • Somerville
  • price 1 of 4

A local gem for nearly 30 years, this family-owned restaurant is beloved for its huge portions of American breakfasts with a Portuguese twist—and served on the cheap. While every breakfast dish at this Somerville staple will hit the spot, its cream of wheat has basically a cult following amongst locals, and once you’ve tried it, you’ll find yourself converted, too. Folks who are looking for a hearty, distinctly Portuguese bite should also be sure to snag some linguica sausage, whether it be tucked inside a fluffy omelet, on top of a breakfast sandwich or simply as a solo side order. Keep in mind that the vine-covered patio makes this place a popular choice when the weather is warmer, so show up early or be prepared to wait on the weekends.

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  • Restaurants
  • Vegan
  • South Boston

Start your day with a bang of plant-based energy—or keep it going—with LuLu Green’s extensive vegan breakfast menu. Served all day, Mediterranean-inspired items at this Southie spot include healthy staples like veggie-loaded hummus or avocado toast (both are on house-made za'atar and sea salt focaccia), as well as acai bowls. Have a liquid brekkie by choosing one of their smoothies or juices, or grab a quick baked good to-go, like a gluten-free muffin or celebrated cinnamon bun coated in an orange blossom glaze. While a solid selection of breakfast items are available during the week, there are also “brunchy” additions on the weekends, such as a seitan prosciutto scramble and THE Brunch Sandwich (a mashup of chickpea egg, tofu bacon, potato pancake, marinated kale and avocado drizzled with tahini and hot sauce—all between a homemade simit bun).

  • Restaurants
  • Diners
  • Downtown
  • price 2 of 4

South Street Diner welcomes hungry patrons at any hour. This retro spot looks like it's straight out of a '90s sitcom—complete with the giant coffee cup sign perched atop its roof. But the true appeal of this place is that it serves breakfast staples and diner classics 24/7, accomodating early risers, night owls and everyone in between. The “Diner Special” (three eggs, two pancakes or French toast, home fries, toast, and choice of bacon, corn beef hash, ham or sausage) is always a winner.

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  • Restaurants
  • Somerville

If its name leaves any room for confusion, this Davis Square eatery specializes in crepes—and a whole lot of them. With an entire menu spanning savory and sweet, this place satisfies every palate and even allows for multi-crepe meals (because you know you want more than one). Favorites include the Super Pesto (it’s stuffed with smoked chicken, fresh mozzarella, baby spinach, roasted mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes) and the Belgian chocolate with strawberries, with the option to substitute in buckwheat crepes for gluten-free guests. It’s open every day and offers a full coffee and tea menu, as well as an espresso bar, so you can wash down that magically thin French pancake with your morning beverage of preference.

  • Restaurants
  • Beacon Hill
  • price 1 of 4

This Beacon Hill mainstay has been in business since 1937 and has become only slightly snazzier over the years—and that's just how we like it. Its greasy grill, Formica tabletops and cafeteria-style service all add to its charm, making breakfast here a low-key yet satisfying affair. Standards such as omelettes and corned beef hash are on the menu, but there are also somewhat fancier items like avocado toast, Nutella waffles and healthy quinoa parfaits. It's perfect for late starters because breakfast goes well into the afternoon, and there's even a Southie offshoot for folks who live too far from Charles Street.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Somerville
  • price 2 of 4

3 Little Figs is a tiny but top-notch spot when it comes to getting your morning caffeine fix. This Highland Ave cafe carefully selects its coffee beans from a variety of roasters, and its espresso-based drinks are appropriately strong with impressive foam work. On the food front, try any number of its scratch-made muffins, scones and sandwiches (go for the feta and egg with prosciutto) for a complete breakfast on the go.

  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • South End
  • price 2 of 4

For a sweet start to the day, head to Joanne Chang’s popular cafe and bakery. You’ll be tempted by the glasses cases filled with baked goods galore, including sticky buns, scones, brioches, slices of coffee cake and so much more. For a savory option, definitely go for the egg sandwich with bacon, cheese, tomato, arugula and dijonaise served on house-made bread. With multiple locations sprinkled throughout the city, Flour is a handy option for a quick, high-quality breakfast.

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  • Restaurants
  • Mediterranean
  • West Cambridge
  • price 2 of 4

Casual sibling to Oleana and Sarma, Sofra attracts throngs of guests to its location on the Cambridge-Belmont border with its selection of Mediterranean specialties like gözleme, shawarma and börek. But this spot isn't all about the savory; it also offers Turkish, Greek and Lebanese baked goods, including tasty breakfast treats. Try items like the olive oil granola, chickpea pancakes or a morning bun with orange blossom glaze, available for breakfast on weekends. 

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Bay Village
  • price 1 of 4

This tiny Bay Village eatery specializes in quick and comforting breakfast sandwiches. Having only two stools in house, Mike & Patty’s is ideal for grabbing breakfast and enjoying it on a park bench or maybe even a nearby stoop. The Fancy is their claim to fame and has customers lining up around the block, including at their more recent Bow Market outpost in Somerville. They’re open daily until 2pm for anyone who craves breakfast for lunch... or just hit the snooze button a couple too many times.  

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  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Harvard Sq
  • price 3 of 4

Henrietta’s Table is a Harvard Square institution, serving farm-to-table fare to the locals, scholars and powerful business people who consistently fill its tables. With a menu spotlighting seasonal ingredients, its breakfast is a real treat, especially when enjoyed on its sunny patio during the warmer months. Wake up with hearty favorites like malted waffles, red flannel hash and sirloin steak beef with farm fresh eggs. Don’t miss out on its freshly squeezed juices and baked goods.

  • Restaurants
  • American
  • Back Bay
  • price 2 of 4

Nestled on a low-traffic side street in Back Bay, The Friendly Toast's menu is just as eccentric and colorful as its dining room decor. With a big menu, big portions and big flavors, this place will have you leaving full, happy and quite possiby ready to go back to bed for a nap. The Friendly Toast has mastered the art of breakfast and makes everything in house, from its hollandaise sauce right down to its freshly baked bread. It serves breakfast all day, as well as signature sandwiches, soups, burgers and more. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Kendall Sq
  • price 1 of 4

Tatte is a local success story, building a little empire that now boasts more than 15 locations around the city. With a super European ambiance, each café is friendly and welcoming, making it the perfect spot for a morning linger over coffee and pastry. Breakfast highlights include freshly baked croissants, pan au chocolatea, kouign amanns and delicious coffee. But we highly suggest you order items inspired by founder Tzurit Or's Israeli roots, such as the lamb hash, halloumi and egg breakfast sandwich, and selection of shakshukas. 

  • Restaurants
  • Diners
  • Allston/Brighton
  • price 2 of 4

This Allston diner is somehow simultaenously a throwback to the 1950s and a nod to the classic, 1980s Brat Pack flick for which it’s named. Homemade breakfast items all feature fresh ingredients and cage-free eggs, resulting in killer pancakes and incredible omelets. The menu is playful, calling out its big screen namesake with specials like “The Basketcase” (two eggs, home fries, toast, pancakes or French toast, and choice of meat) and “The Dean’s Office” (toasted bagel, smoked salmon, cream cheese, onions, tomatoes, capers).

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