FOOD AND DRINK
Where to Brunch in Boston
From alligator po’boys to tapas to “hangover soup”, Boston’s best brunches offer so much more than eggs. And also, eggs.
Brunch is more than just breakfast served nearer to lunchtime: It’s a celebratory meal celebrating the end of a long work week. In Boston, loyal weekenders and late-risers head out in masses to restaurants that are usually closed in the morning as they open their doors early offering a special menu filled with eye-opening dishes and of course, adult libations.
At this point, it’s hard to find a restaurant in Boston that doesn’t offer brunch. The list is long and ever-growing. But which are the spots that really take brunch seriously? The restaurants below are some of the very best around town, specializing in everything from classic egg dishes to inventive dim sum.
City Girl Café
At night it’s a friendly neighbourhood dinner destination offering up some terrific pizza, pasta and paninis, but on Saturday and Sunday morning, this cozy nine-table café transforms into a brunch haven. Everything here is done a little healthier, with vegetable-forward options. The bacon, egg and goat cheese sandwich with caramelized onions is a crowd favourite, while recent additions like veggie hash and eggs have given long-time regulars new reasons to get out of bed. Check the blackboard for the omelette du jour and wash it down with beer, wine, basil sangria or the mimosa of the day. If the weather is nice, you may have to endure a small queue, but don’t be discouraged, turnover is quick and the meal is well worth the wait.
Brunch hours: Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
204 Hampshire St., Cambridge, 617-864-2809
It may not be the most straightforward morning menu, but if you want to feel as though you’ve been transported to a tiny corner café somewhere in Europe, then head to this acclaimed enoteca for a meal to remember. Located in the South End, Coppa has both indoor and outdoor seating, perfect for people watching while noshing on some salumi. Coppa is geared for the adventurous eater, serving up wood-grilled grapefruits and yogurt with strawberry-rhubarb jam and hazelnuts to more obscure offerings like pig’s bones and tails with mostarda glaze, but always ready to cater to the everyday appetite. With a charcuterie platter, wood-fired pizza and artisanal cheeses, the best things on Coppa’s dinner menu are available in the morning and appear alongside a variety of breakfast options reimagined through Italian eyes, such as the “panino di taleggio” with wilted greens and over easy eggs, and a dish of baked polenta, meatballs and poached eggs.
Brunch hours: Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
253 Shawmut Ave., 617-391-0902
Priding itself on an elevated standard in service and quality, Eastern Standard’s food and cocktails have garnered critical acclaim all over the world. Already open seven days a week for breakfast, the restaurant outdoes itself on weekends, offering Saturday and Sunday brunch – each with a slightly different menu. Classic dishes are a strength here: Try the eggs benedict, tuna niçoise and quiche florentine. The staple raw bar offerings and “hangover soup” (a chicken soup with a jalapeno-cilantro broth) will help even the heaviest of heads snap back into action, while the skilled craftsmen behind the bar are well-equipped to put you right back into dreamland.
Brunch hours: 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
528 Commonwealth Ave., 617-532-9100
Myers + Chang
If you’re the type who consistently misses brunch because you worked too late, partied too hard, or if you’re just catching up on sleep, then Myers + Chang is the place for you. Understanding your plight, their weekend dim sum brunch is served until the generous hour of 5 p.m. Offering up a unique take on gourmet Asian comfort food, Myers + Chang is a hit with workers in Boston’s restaurant service industry, and if there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that restaurant workers always know the best places to eat. Egg banh mi and tea-soaked ribs are go-to dishes, although fans of M+C also wake up craving potstickers, kimchi and bao sliders.
Brunch hours: Saturday and Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
1145 Washington St, 617-542-5200
For one of the best tableside views in all of Boston, head over to the Taj for the Sunday champagne brunch. Overlooking the Boston Common, the hotel’s exclusive seasonal brunch offers an epic spread of chilled seafood, sushi, artisanal cheeses, a carving station, a plethora of pastries and of course, the bubbly. Hold up a glass and enjoy the breathtaking views at one of Boston’s most scenic and serene settings. With only four seatings per Sunday, reservations are highly recommended. If you’re staying in the hotel, you are automatically granted a complimentary late checkout by booking brunch. Luxury comes with a cost, however. At US$84 per person, the experience may seem pricey, but the prime views and delectable delights are worth every penny.
Brunch hours: Sunday 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 1:30pm
15 Arlington St., 617-536-5700
Tapas for breakfast? Absolutely! Boasting the authentic tastes of Barcelona within Boston city limits, Toro is consistently ranked as one of the top restaurants in town (and beyond). Chefs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette both have James Beard Awards in their ever-expanding trophy cases, and their acclaim continues to grow. Dinner appetizers like Marcona almonds, Medjool dates, Spanish cheeses and anchovies are available early and provide a transition to breakfast staples like huevos rancheros and brioche French toast. How about some more protein-packed choices, perhaps infrequent visitors to your brunch plate: raw tuna, Spanish hams, European cheeses and delicacies like roasted bone marrow and foie gras with chamomile roasted peaches, lily bulb and chive blossoms. Wash it down with some sangria, vino and creative brunch cocktails and you may start to forget you’re still in Boston.
Brunch: Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
1704 Washington St., 617-536-4300
Tupelo specializes in dishes from the South, especially Louisiana and Virginia. There’s Cajun gumbo for the heat-seeker, a frittata of the day, duck confit hash, grilled watermelon, and chicken and waffles for some extra Southern comfort. Adventuresome eaters, meanwhile, will zero in on the spicy alligator po’boy. (There’s an oyster po’boy, too, if you’re not big on reptile for breakfast.)
Brunch: Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
1193 Cambridge St., Cambridge, 617-868-0004