Food & Drink

The Best Brunches in Boston Right Now

Updated On 02/07/2018 at 04:57PM EST
Island Creek Oyster Bar

Island Creek Oyster Bar

Kenmore Square

The best brunch to pretend it’s summer
They offer one of the best selections of oysters in the city and the opportunity to chase them with a couple of lobster rolls. The seasonal cocktails are bracing, the service is on point, and the brioche French toast and giant homemade biscuits easily fulfill your carbs quota.

Kristin Teig

Myers + Chang

South End

American twists on Taiwanese, Thai, and Vietnamese classics
This is the spot to overindulge on both drinks and dim sum. Fried egg banh mis with sweet soy bacon, stuffed baos, and tea-smoked ribs are all worth loading up on. Bonus: No need to worry about sleeping in -- Myers + Chang has one of the latest brunches in the city (running until 3:45pm), so it's good for those winter mornings when you can’t bear to leave the comfort of bed until noon.

Tremont 647 & Sister Sorel

South End

Attending brunch in your pjs is encouraged
It’s simple, really: It’s a pajamas brunch, which means flannel is not just accepted but encouraged. Add to that Stoli-spiked mimosas, a fried chicken eggs Benedict, and their famous Golden Girls French toast sticks, and you have a real reason to leave the comforts of your overheated home.

Puritan & Company

Puritan and Company


New England brunch done perfectly
Puritan and Company has everything you’d expect from a seasonal New England brunch: crispy fish sandwich, sourdough griddle cakes, potato and leek quiche, and one of the best croissants in the city. Most tempting of all, the pick-and-choose pastry basket means you don’t have to choose between the cider donut and cinnamon bun.

Kirkland Tap & Trotter


A welcoming, woodsy space serving huge platters of brunch fare
Corned beef hash, grilled pork belly with eggs, brioche French toast, and a classic Irish coffee? They all do a chilled body good. And yes, there is an brunch time cheeseburger, as well as several cold-weather friendly “brunch beers.”

Bistro du Midi Boston

Bistro du Midi

Back Bay

A marriage of French and New England cooking that works beautifully
The French do everything better, including surviving winter. So don your most European daywear and lean into a classic Francophile menu of charcuterie, croque monsieurs, lemon ricotta pancakes with lavender creme anglaise, and a niçoise salad. You might want to spring for a Champagne cocktail, but on the other hand, the bouillabaisse Bloody Mary with seared prawn is pretty damn epique. And you have to love the class of a waiter who takes your order down in a leather Moleskine.

Brian Samuels Photography

The Gallows

South End

Possibly the best brunch poutine in all of Boston
Someone at the table has to order the Sunrise Poutine, which includes scrambled eggs, fries, cheese curds, chicken gravy, and Canadian bacon. If you’re feeling guilty, add in the kale and Brussels sprout salad (then snag a bite of someone else’s hangover burger). But the coziest dish has to be the bourbon apple French toast, which you’ll immediately want to replicate at home during the next snow day.

Galdones Photography


Harvard Square

If you want to ball out on brunch, you have the option
If Waypoint’s smoked whitefish pizza doesn’t sustain you until spring, the brown butter pancakes might. Or hell, you could just commit to playing Kardashian for a day and come for mimosas and the caviar service, which runs for $195. In other words, there is no way to get it wrong at this seafood-centric spread, which also includes tremendous raw bar choices (the smoked and salted peel-and-eat shrimp is one star here) and a sweet tooth-satisfying (and enormous) raisin and walnut cinnamon roll.

Trina's Starlite Lounge


They do a White Russian made with chocolate Nesquik
And there's also hot chocolate French toast with whipped cream and marshmallows. The towering piece of sweet corn bread piled high with a heaping scoop of melting butter is what dreams (and diabetes) are made of, and that's before you even attacked the fried chicken and waffles with hot pepper syrup. There's ample reason to get yourself to Somerville on a snowy Monday for their service-industry focused brunch.

Area Four

Area Four


Obsessively crafted pizza in an industrial-chic restaurant and cafe
Brunch cocktails, high-quality coffee, and monstrous sticky buns? That's reason enough to don the Bean Boots -- and that's before you even begin implementing plates like the appropriately named Hot Mess, a skillet packed with home fries, bacon, breakfast sausage, Cheddar, scallions, and caramelized onions, all topped off with a couple of farm eggs and banana pepper relish. Bonus: Those farm eggs can also be used to breakfast-ify the pizza of your choosing.

Andy Ryan

Boston Chops

South End

Your go-to for meat piled on top of meat
Sometimes getting through a brisk morning requires a lot of meat, and here you’ll find a perfect curing combo in the form of a brisket, shank, and tongue hash poutine. The South End steakhouse embraces brunch as a paleo affair,  which means braised beef cheek huevos rancheros and a hefty serving of steak and eggs. For lighter -- or at least less beefy -- fare, try the fried chicken and a lobster Benedict, which pairs perfectly with the Prime Raw Bloody (that would be a Bloody Mary enhanced by a raw oyster and jumbo cocktail shrimp).

Katie Noble

Oak & Rowan

Fort Point

Split the rib-eye if you're celebrating something
Champagne can chase away the deepest of wintertime blues. Three different offerings by the glass, including the Veuve Clicquot rosé, pave the way for duck confit croque madame, butter-poached lobster, and pork belly tartine, all of which exceed the hype. Then there’s the rib-eye for two, accompanied by crispy poached eggs, caviar hollandaise, and hash brown potatoes (arguably the most decadent brunch dish in town).

Lion's Tail

South End

What you really need to know about Lion’s Tail weekend brunch is that it encourages you to wear pajamas -- in other words, you should don your most forgiving bottoms and dive into the bourbon butter French toast, pork belly Benedict, corn cake arepa, and a fried chicken waffle sandwich. And because it’s Lion’s Tail, cocktails are pretty much mandated (any Hemingway fan knows that daytime daiquiris are quite overdue for a comeback).

Lincoln Tavern and Restaurant

Lincoln Tavern & Restaurant

South Boston

The best part of brunch actually happens before brunch
Yes, Lincoln serves brunch on both Saturday and Sunday, but what makes this place special is the prelude: The Friday Brunch Test Kitchen (10am-3pm) is where chefs experiment with a new brunch menu every week and then offer up a few favorites over the next two days. Past winners have included Nutella s’mores pancakes, wake and bake tater tots, breakfast fried rice, and the insane Cinnamon Toast Crunch boozy milkshake (Fireball whiskey, RumChata, vanilla ice cream, and cereal). You can brunch there during your lunch hour and then commit to nesting during the weekend.


Back Bay

Perhaps pricey, but perfect French cuisine usually is
Have you been squirreling away your money all winter? Then splurge on a three-course prix fixe brunch that’s a study in chichi excess: caviar omelette, lobster bisque, roasted duck breast, and a grilled beef sirloin croque madame, plus a warm honey caramel sticky bun with salted butter ice cream for dessert. If money is no object, go ahead and splurge on caviar service, cheese flights, and a Champagne cocktail or two.

Up Next
PAGU | Tracy Chang
Food & Drink

Boston's Best New Restaurants of 2017

Published On 11/13/2017
B oston's culinary year wasn’t about big, splashy openings, but instead filled with sneaky surprises. We got a delightful little Quebecois bistro, a new Mario Batali Italian grill, a sleek yet unpretentious Japanese fusion spot, and more from restaurateurs both new and established. In general, eating in 2017 felt less about being seen and more about eating well -- a refreshing change of pace that felt right for our tumultuous times. Field & Vine's fried chicken and Frenchie's steak frites might have had something to do with that. As you browse our picks for Boston’s best new restaurants, just remember: none of these tables comes easy, so book your end-of-year dining plans now.
Nir Landau

Cafe du Pays

Kendall Square

The ne plus ultra of Boston's French Canadian fare
Who would have thought a French Canadian restaurant would be one of the year’s most exciting debuts? But the State Park/Mamaleh’s team lured us in immediately with dishes both familiar -- oysters, charcuterie, a crispy, fatty half-duck -- and uniquely Quebecois, including poutine, mushroom oreilles de crisse (a vegetarian twist on fried pork jowls), and tarte du sucre, or maple sugar pie. Even the sourdough bread slathered in butter and topped with radish slices is a snack to be savored. The dark, atmospheric back room is for romance, the brighter front space for large-group conviviality; for the sake of eating your way through the whole menu, we suggest multiple visits to both.

Brian Samuels

Frenchie Wine Bistro

South End

Cozy, accommodating French bistro and wine bar
There’s a little Francophile in all of us, which is why it’s so hard to resist even the most mediocre French bistro. But co-owners Sandrine Rossi and Loic Le Garrec (Petit Robert Bistro) know their way around an authentic French meal, and Frenchie is thus a small-scale revelation. The diminutive, subterranean space serves mostly small-plate versions of classic dishes: think escargot toast, a drumstick coq au vin, mussels with chorizo, and beef bourguignon. The 32 wines by the glass seal the deal, and a solo diner could do far worse than cozying up to the snug bar and ordering steak frites with a couple of glasses of French red.

Huge Galdones



Sustainable, beautifully arranged new American cuisine
If there was one unambiguous Instagram food-porn star of 2017, Cultivar was it. The moment Mary Dumont’s hotel restaurant opened, stunningly plated entrees started populating our feeds. But none of this is about flashiness for its own sake; Dumont merely seeks to please as many of your senses as possible. Though sustainable seafood and dry-aged meats feature prominently on the menu, the on-site hydroponic garden is what elevates so many of the dishes, with bright, fresh vegetables adding texture and depth of flavor to both the pastas and entrees.

Emily Hagen

Les Sablons


Europe by way of Harvard Square and excellent for cocktails or foie gras
From the supergroup behind Eastern Standard, Island Creek Oyster Bar, and Row 34 comes yet another unabashed winner, this one housed in Harvard Square’s historic Conductor’s Building. The first floor is bartender Jackson Cannon’s masterpiece, a funky, expansive cocktail space with a long bar, cow-print bar stools, and some booth seating. After you’ve downed a French 75 or three, head upstairs to the austere, narrow dining room for a decidedly European repast. Beef tartare and foie gras torchon are two of the decadent starters that segue into equally rich entrees like braised rabbit and beef tournedos with bordelaise. If you seek a less hedonistic spread, the lunch or brunch menus are your gateway drugs.

Tracy Chang


Central Square

Japanese fusion in sleek loft space
Chef-owner Tracy Chang may not yet be 30, but the wunderkind has already cut her teeth at O Ya, built buzz with a late-night ramen pop-up, and now hit the big leagues with her restaurant debut. Hers is a Japanese menu with many twists and surprises: mazeman and fried rice and sashimi and a sumptuous pork belly bao, yes, but also ikura avocado toast, curry crab croquetas, and a tortilla espanola (Chang draws inspiration from many of her overseas travels). Don’t be fooled by the polished loft space: PAGU is a place of warmth and sociability, even in the early mornings when it serves a cafe menu that includes bottomless congee -- the ultimate comfort food before 9am.

Field & Vine

Field & Vine


Neighborhood spot celebrating locally sourced comfort fare
Why can’t every restaurant be like this? Field & Vine plates simple American dishes impeccably prepared with seasonal, sustainable ingredients -- so simple, so straightforward, so successful. There isn’t a single miss on this small-plate menu, but highlights include the fried chicken, the gnocchi with foraged mushrooms and kale, and the bluefish pâté. The chocolate lavender pot de crème, meanwhile, arguably deserves its own Instagram account. The former Journeyman space, once chilly and inaccessible, now feels homey and pretension-free, with wood tables and an open kitchen  where you can watch the magic happen. This is a neighborhood spot you’d visit for some oysters and glass of sauvignon blanc on Monday and a multi-hour, multi-course spread with friends the following Saturday.

Courtesy of Eataly Boston


Back Bay

Eataly's homage to all things wood-grilled
This massive space feels a world removed from the controlled Eataly chaos downstairs, but you can feel Batali’s imprint nonetheless. Terra delivers on rugged, rich, primal cooking driven by the behemoth wood-fire burning stove in the center of the restaurant. You could eat your way through the skewers menu and leave sated and raving, but every entree offering gives you the salt and fat fix you crave, from the crispy, brick-grilled chicken to the extra-rare grilled lamb chop, seasoned only with lemon and mint. But gluten lovers needn’t fret: the bruschetta and pasta menus deserve equal love.

Three Rivers Park District

11 Cold-Weather Activities That Will Remind You Why Winter in Minnesota Is Actually the Best

Published On 01/07/2019
Courtesy of Pammy's
Food & Drink

The Very Best Restaurants in Boston Right Now

Updated On 01/11/2019 at 04:22PM EST