Sure, brunch doesn’t explicitly appear in the government’s dietary guidelines, but no regimen is complete without it. And if you’re going to do it, you might as well do it right, with the best brunch in Boston—or, in this case, the best 13. Whether you’re fighting a hangover or fueling up before taking in a few of the best museums in Boston, whether you’re in South End or Cambridge, these restaurants offer the best brunch in Boston.
RECOMMENDED: See the best restaurants in Boston
Best brunch in Boston
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.
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.
Two words: cake table. For $15, two midday diners get unlimited access to a smorgasbord of seasonal baked goods. The only caveat? A little social media nudging via the hashtag #caketable (which, let’s be honest, should be no problem whatsoever). The rest of the brunch menu is equally singular and alluring, from a breakfast cassoulet to a cinnamon bun grilled cheese to a bologna pony to a Jamaican jerk bagel. Adding to the allure is the fact that this brunch only happens once a month, on the last Saturday, so reservations are a must for #braggingrights.
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.
Looking to impress an out-of-towner? This seasonal rooftop brunch is as sure a bet as any. The elevated locale offers sweeping views of the Back Bay, including the picturesque Public Garden. The spread is equally intense and includes sushi, raw shrimp and oysters, Indian entrees, classic breakfast offerings, and several carving stations. Did we forget to mention that it’s a champagne buffet, and a free-flowing one at that?
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 $50 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 and customers are served on a first-come, first served basis.
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.
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.
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.