Best brunch in Boston
One of the city’s coolest dim sum brunch scenes can be enjoyed on weekends at this South End stalwart. Local couples and packs of culinary enthusiasts gather to share selections from the lengthy menu, much of which veers into vegetarian and vegan territory. Inviting options run the gamut from delicate fresh rolls and lemony shrimp dumplings to wild boar dan dan noodles. Refreshing cold salads provide a nice counterpoint to fiery dishes such as spicy tofu bao.
One of the city's most creative weekend brunches is served at this popular South End hangout. What is a sunrise poutine, you ask? Oh, just a heart-stopping pile of sunny-side eggs, fries, cheese curds, savory gravy and smoked ham. Other highlights include a hangover burger (topped with fried Babybels, spicy pickles, and a sunny-side egg), and a dish of fried chicken and pancakes that comes with black pepper maple butter and Vermont maple syrup.
The three-course prix fixe brunch, available on both Saturdays and Sundays, just might be one of the best fine dining deals in town, given L’Espalier’s astronomical dinner prices. Indulgent dishes such as lobster bisque and a caviar omelette impress, as does the impeccable service. Take your brunch to another level with selections from one of New England's most decorated wine lists, all the better when paired with a gourmet cheese flight.
For an Italian-accented Sunday brunch, make a beeline to this hot spot in the South End's Ink Block complex. Menu highlights include bucatini carbonara, pork belly and potato hash, and a mortadella sandwich with muffaletta relish. Strawberry cream cheese donuts, cinnamon buns, and mixed berry pop tarts are just some of the sweet treats on offer. Whenever the weather allows, opt for a table on the sunny sidewalk patio.
For more than four decades, this refined Harvard Square restaurant has set the local standard for farm-to-table dining. Sunday brunch service offers a decidedly grownup affair (no hangover hash here). Culinary gems include brown butter parsnip soup, strawberry-buttermilk pancakes, and a Scituate lobster roll. Come summer, a seat on the garden terrace is one of the most coveted al fresco brunch options in Cambridge.
Puritan's Sunday brunch service is a social affair, with crowds of youthful Cambridge residents splitting pitchers of mimosas, bloodies, and Aperol spritzes. Chef-owner Will Gilson preps an inviting brunch menu: popular options include sourdough griddle cakes with honey butter, and beet-cured salmon atop an everything bialy. Housemade pastries run the gamut from pesto monkey bread and twice-baked cashew croissants to sugar-and-spice donuts.
Is there a more civilized way to enjoy your citrus-cured salmon Benedict than while gazing out onto the Public Garden? Midi’s weekend brunch service leans classically French, with oysters, charcuterie and artisanal cheeses serving as lead-ins to "les croques" (madame or monsieur), beet gnocchi, or bavette steak frites. If someone's treating, pick out a bottle of Sancerre to pair with one of the seafood towers; the grand plateau features oysters, clams, shrimp cocktail, Chatham mussels, crudo, and salmon poke.
Chef-owner Michael Scelfo churns out some of Cambridge's most inventive weekend brunch offerings. Pickled corn pancakes jockey for attention alongside the likes of hickory smoked pig tails with cheese crisps, grits, and a soft poached egg. Lighter options include local burrata with spring onion jam, or what's billed as the "ubiquitous" kale salad, featuring shaved fennel, pistachio, and lemon. Plus, the bar's Szechuan Bloody Mary provides a textbook hair-of-the-dog option for those in need.
Promising to satisfy “champagne wishes and pastry dreams,” this Fort Point restaurant offers one of the neighborhood's most elaborate Sunday brunches. The pastry team's homemade selection of sweet treats changes frequently; items may include strawberry shortcake and salted caramel doughnuts. An assortment of plates small (kale caesar salad, toad in the hole) and large (lobster gnocchi, french toast with blood orange marmalade) ensures there's something for every appetite.
Befitting a modern steakhouse, Boston Chops pulls out all the carnivorous stops during its Sunday brunch service. We're talking a dish of brisket, shank and tongue hash, served with fries, cheese curds, gravy, and a poached egg. Steaks, tartare, and burgers are on offer, as are classics such as French toast, eggs Benedict, and several different variations of the Bloody Mary (including one with smoked beef tongue).
Warning: as one of Kenmore Square’s most popular weekend brunch spots, Island Creek Oyster Bar gets packed to the gills whenever the Sox have an afternoon home game. The seafood-centric menu satisfies savory hankerings for smoked salmon, fried clams, and most notably the kitchen's award-winning lobster roll. Those looking for a classic start to the day can opt for cinnamon French toast or an egg white frittata.
This Inman Square haunt may be the only spot in town to offer brunch on both Sundays and Mondays. The odd timing might cater to restaurant industry workers, but anyone can stop by to enjoy fried chicken and buttermilk waffles topped with hot pepper syrup. Other temptations: a brunch burger topped with chocolate-covered bacon, and blueberry French toast made with Texas toast, malted whipped cream, cobbler cookie crumble, and maple syrup. The bar whips up a bevy of creative booze-forward drinks for hair-of-the-dog types.
For a seafood-focused Sunday brunch, look no further than Fort Point's Row 34. Start with clam chowder or cider-steamed mussels before choosing between classic-leaning creations (blueberry griddlecakes, Arctic char lox toast) or new-school options like a nori bagel topped with trout pâté. Many a table is topped with a lobster roll, sometimes both the cold and hot varieties. One of the neighborhood's best draft lists allows beer snobs to drink the afternoon away.
Waypoint invites Sunday brunchers to indulge their seafood obsessions while the sun's out. Celebratory types eschew fresh oysters or smoked and salted peel-and-eat shrimp in favor of the inventive caviar service, complete with plankton and white corn blinis. Other nautically-inspired brunch offerings include a potato latke Benedict topped with lobster, an everything bagel pizza topped with smoked whitefish, and a plate of chicken-fried oysters and waffles featuring buttermilk-bacon gravy and roasted apple honey.
The rare restaurant that offers brunch seven days a week, this welcoming Southie hangout has developed a reputation for sinful brunch treats. Eye-catching eye-openers include Fruity Pebbles pancakes and short rib poutine (rosemary truffle fries, bone marrow gravy, smoked short rib, mozzarella, sunny-side up egg, crumbled bacon, and shaved truffle). If there’s a big game on, expect the place to be packed.
Head to the Seaport for a most unique weekend brunch option; where else can you have moussaka alongside champagne tray service? Meze plates (zucchini crisps, a tzatziki trio) demand attention alongside classic breakfast faves. The breakfast gyro (scrambled eggs, grilled halloumi, loukaniko, and florina pepper coulis wrapped in a pita) is a house favorite. When the weather allows, the breezy outdoor patio is a great spot for people-watching.
For a historically-minded Sunday brunch, look no further than East Cambridge’s Loyal Nine, where the kitchen reinvents New England classics for modern-day palates. This approach translates into a rare opportunity to start your day with an order of sweet corn samp (a traditional porridge featuring poached egg, roasted rainbow carrots, confit mushrooms), or eggs baked in a cast iron with parsnip, squash, and thyme cheese sauce.