The Absolute Best Brunch in Boston
From classics to hot debuts, the Boston brunch scene is in a class of its own.
Brunch has been getting a bit of a bad rap lately (see: “The Bear,” Season 1, Episode 3). But why? It’s everything you want in a meal: carbs, casual dress code, and some well-deserved day drinking. So whether you’re looking to shake up your Saturday routine or need a spot to ward off the Sunday scaries, take solace in the fact that there are plenty of restaurants elevating the midday meal.
From laid-back diners where you can nurse a hangover to top-notch restaurants offering elegant seafood towers, here are the best restaurants for brunch in Boston.
This is brunch appointment dining at its finest. Chef Stephen Bukoff takes inspiration from his Italian grandmother to put forth an eclectic spread of midday surprises like Carbonara Benedict, Manicotti Crepes, Tiramisu Overnight Oats, and Lobster Cannoli (don’t worry, it’s savory). If you’re craving something a little more traditional, you can spring for the Egg White Frittata or Banana Bread French Toast; just be sure to save room for the insanely decadent Candied Almond Frangipane.
Beacon Hill Hotel
The Paramount will always be there, but sometimes you want your Beacon Hill brunch to be a bit more upscale. Thankfully, good things have finally come to those who’ve waited for this hotel restaurant to reopen. The decor is more eclectic than before, as is the brunch menu: on top of the two different Benedicts (hello, lobster!) and various omelets, there’s also Brioche French Toast with Lemon Creme Fraiche, Shakshuka, and gnocchi with, yes, more lobster.
It turns out you don’t need bacon to have an indulgent brunch. This diner-esque joint hybrid vegan bakery offers coffee-shop food without a single carnivorous ingredient. Swap out your normal Canadian bacon Benedict for Corned-Beef Seitan Hash, Vegetarian-Gravy Poutine, and Vegan Shepherd's Pie. Even the pastries are egg- and milk-free, which makes that second slice of Boston cream pie feel almost virtuous.
Trina's Starlite Lounge
Brunch on Sunday and… Monday? We’re down, especially when they do a White Russian with chocolate milk. It’s a smorgasbord of low-fi deliciousness: the Pizza Bagel, the House-made Pop Tart, the Tex-Mex Lasagna. And that's before you even attack the Fried Chicken & Buttermilk Waffles with hot pepper syrup. In other words, there are plenty of reasons to WFH at the start of the week.
The twee Union Square cafe and restaurant has woven equality into its ethos: fair wages for all of its employees and a gratuity-free pay structure. The dining joys begin in the morning with a Saturday/Sunday brunch menu that includes Salmon Scrambled Eggs, Ricotta Toast, Roasted Mushroom Omelettes, and Roman Braised Beef with two sunnyside eggs. But don’t overlook the smaller dishes: an epic meal could be made of the Breakfast Tacos, Caramelized Grapefruit, and Juliet’s spin on the Kir Royale.
Bistro du Midi
For a classic Francophile brunch spread, look no further than Bistro du Midi. Moules Frites, Croque Monsieurs, and other traditional picks make up the bulk of the menu, but other must-trys include the Prosciutto Benedict with a lemon-chive hollandaise sauce and Duck Confit “Foieffles” (aka Belgian waffles) served with duck confit and corn purée. You might want to spring for a champagne cocktail, but on the other hand, the bouillabaisse Bloody Mary with seared prawn is a worthy order.
Bowery understands that your brunch conundrum isn’t about sweet vs. savory, but rather breakfast vs. lunch—which is why they’ve divided the menu accordingly. Breakfast choices include Tiramisu Pancakes, Steak & Eggs, and an aptly named Hangover Bowl with corned beef hash, poached eggs, and toast. On the lunchtime side of things, there’s Crab Rangoon Dip, multiple burgers, and even Nachos—a guaranteed enticement for that brunch cynic in your life. If the weather is even halfway decent, patio time is mandatory—there’s no better spot to savor one of the bar’s hangover-slaying boozy iced coffees.
Brassica Kitchen & Cafe
To answer your most pressing question: Yes, you can also order Brassica’s famed B.K. Fried Chicken off the Saturday and Sunday brunch menu. But it’s a tough decision when you’re also choosing between the Kimchi Grilled Cheese, Corn Cachapa, B.K. Omelette with mushroom, B.K. Chicken & Waffles, and Cheesy Eggs & Rice. The ball is in your court.
A multicultural Parisian bistro brought to us by a wife-and-husband team born and raised in France—and they do brunch? Cue the stampede of local Francophiles. Favorites like the Croques Madam and Omelette are ready to be devoured, and things from there only get more exciting.Go for the Yassa Chicken Sandwich, Duck Eggs Benedict with caraway hollandaise, Sauvage Crispy Chicken Sandwich, and Nutella Crepes. We absolutely recommend starting with selections from the Viennoiseries & Cakes with croissants galor. and if some Truffle Fries happen to make it to your table, so be it.
Gyros and Champagne Tray service? Committee is a singular treat during the daylight hours. You can (and should) start with smaller Greek plates for the table: Zucchini Crisps, Artichoke Moussaka, and Dolmades. But then it’s time to spread your wings with platters of Baklava Oatmeal, Greek Yogurt Pancakes, and that aforementioned Breakfast Gyro, which comes with scrambled eggs, grilled halloumi, loukaniko sausage, and florina pepper coulis wrapped in a pita. Beyond champagne, choose from a variety of craft cocktails.
Maybe you haven’t been paying attention, but Krasi has been putting on the best themed lunches in town for a long time now, impeccable playlists and all. Come for the Mariah Carey, stay for the full Greek spread that includes Bougatsa, Rizogalo, Spanakopita—and of course, the signature Krasi Mimosas made with Greek bubbles.
It’s nice to know that old-school Harvard Square hasn’t completely disappeared. The farm-to-table brunch on the garden terrace still delights with seasonal pleasures like Salmon Tartare and Hubbard Squash Bisque plus Hash Browns Breakfast Pizza, prime hanger Steak & Eggs, and Brioche French Toast with candied pecans. If you’re feeling indulgent, a cheese plate and the Harvest Bloody Mary make excellent additions.
Yes, Lincoln serves brunch on both Saturday and Sunday, but what makes this place special is that it offers some manner of brunch every day of the week. Monday through Thursday, satisfy your hankering with the Smoked Salmon Benedict or the Fruity Pebble Pancakes. The Brunch Test Kitchen from 10 am to 3 pm on Fridays 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, and the insane Cinnamon Toast Crunch Boozy Milkshake. Brunch on your lunch hour? All the kids are doing it.
Myers and Chang
This is the spot to overindulge on both drinks and a Dim Sum Brunch (it’s no coincide that Bubbly is the first item on the menu). Taiwanese Cool Dan Dan Noodles, stuffed baos, and Tea-Smoked Pork Spare Ribs are all worth loading up on—and of course, the famous Mama Chang’s Pork + Chive Dumplings are practically required on every table. Bonus: The dim sum menu is served Fridays through Sundays, so midday dim sum to kick off the weekend is on the docket.
Seafood Newburg may not be the most popular brunch dish, but The Pearl has created a singular sensation with its version that’s served atop savory cheese grits. The Crab Cake Benedict is the other star here; then again, the Brioche French Toast comes with whiskey glazed pecans, so we’re torn. All of the restaurant’s small plates and salads are also available, which means the famous Charbroiled Oysters and Lobster Rolls are still yours for the taking. And once you’ve had your classic Bloody Marys and Mimosas, move onto the Sweet Tea Mojito.