The Absolute Best Brunches in Boston
From lox pizza to foie gras chicken and waffles.
What a difference a year makes. (Sort of.) When we last updated this roundup, it was all about creative brunches to-go. And the pickings were admittedly pretty slim, as none of us knew how long we were going to be mired in this mess. But here we are, emerging from another mild winter, patio dining already up and running, and restaurants emerging from their winter hibernations. Which means our brunch options across all neighborhoods are far more plentiful than they have been in quite some time.
However, because of the rising caseloads and hospitalizations across the state over the last month—which far too few people are paying attention to—we’re here to advocate for al fresco and takeout brunches only at this time. As always, keep yourself and others safe, tip your waitstaff generously, and keep checking in on your favorite spots—more patios are opening up every day.
Can we sell you on a smoked salmon breakfast pizza accompanied by a carafe of aperol spritz? Dbar has mightily muscled its way through the pandemic, and now it’s ready to invite you back for al fresco daytime dining. In fact, this might be the most inviting patio on the block, what with the vibrant murals painted by local artists and the heat lamps for cooler days—and the space is also covered, so you can even indulge in the rain.
How to order: Make a reservation online or order pickup and delivery via GrubHub, Postmates, Caviar, and DoorDash.
Safe to say we could all use an Aperol spritz right about now—and that’s why we’re so excited Bar Mezzana is reopening on April 1st after an extended winter hibernation, patio included. The starting brunch menu includes two different crudo, homemade spaghetti with prosciutto, steak and eggs, and turkey hash—and of course, many a shoulder season cocktail. (If all tables are taken, skip down the street to sister restaurant Black Lamb, also reopening April 1st complete with $1 brunch oysters.)
How to go/order: Reserve a table through Resy or order pickup and delivery via DoorDash
It’s truly the restaurant with nine lives. Coppersmith was supposed to close for good back in 2019, but got a reprieve; then like so many others, it went into hibernation during the winter months of the pandemic. Yet here it is, resplendent once again, patio, rooftop, and all. Chicken and waffles with strawberry butter, shakshuka, challah French toast with Grand Marnier… It’s the same decadent, globally-tinged fare you remember, and it’s not going anywhere.
How to go/order: Reserve a table through OpenTable or order pickup and delivery via DoorDash
Rotisserie chicken might not be your brunchtime go-to ; then again, why not, especially when it’s this delicious? Still, that’s just one of the daytime options you can enjoy on Branch Line’s expansive patio. There’s also a divine bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich, spicy sausage hash, and a half-pound prime burger plus mimosas in either orange or pomegranate form.
How to go/order: Make reservations through OpenTable or order pickup delivery online or via DoorDash, Tock, and Caviar.
Confession time: Takeout from Stillwater got us through more than a few quarantine rough patches, brunch included. And the full daytime comfort fare menu is now available on the restaurant’s small, front-facing patio, weather permitting. Deviled eggs, PB & J creme brulee, classic Benedict, and the hot honey chicken and biscuits plus lots of mimosas makes for an indulgent—deservedly so—weekend morning.
How to go/order: Head to Resy or call 617-936-3079 for patio reservations or order brunch to-go online and via Uber Eats, GrubHub, DoorDash, and Caviar.
Al fresco beer and a brunchtime pizza on a warm spring day is one of those treats you’ll never take for granted again. And if you’ve overindulged on pizza during the last 13 months, check out the weekly rotating waffles, Columbian chorizo plate, or egg and sausage muffin and thank us later.
How to go/order: Call 617-337-5703 for day-of reservations (Saturday and Sunday) or order delivery via Uber Eats.
It’s nice to know that old-school Harvard Square hasn’t completely disappeared, even during a pandemic. The farm-to-table brunch on the garden terrace still delights with current early spring pleasures like salmon tartare and a cool weather green salad plus fried chicken and foie gras waffles, Brandt prime beef flat iron steak with eggs, and buttermilk pancakes with toasted coconut. If you’re feeling indulgent, a cheese plate and the Harvest Bloody Mary make excellent additions.
How to go/order: Back patio seating is first-come, first-served or make reservation through OpenTable; Delivery and pickup available via Caviar.
Buttermilk & Bourbon
This one reopened its patio while the mid-March winds were still wailing. Why? Because Jason Santos wants you to have fun, dammit, pandemic or no (but, obviously, still keeping things safe). So that means soft serve ice cream before noon and a midday meal of Nashville hot alligator fries and boiled peanut hummus. Traditionalists have plenty of options as well, from cinnamon French toast to the Low Country egg scramble. Whatever poison you pick, just be sure to order fried chicken for the table.
How to go/order: Make a reservation through OpenTable or order pickup and delivery via Toast, GrubHub, and Caviar.
OAK Long Bar + Kitchen
Not only has the famed hotel restaurant just reopened after a four-month hiatus (as of April 1), but it’s also reopened it’s heated patio and introduced a new brunch menu for both Saturday and Sunday. We’re already impressed: double chocolate pancakes, corned beef hash with hollandaise, smoked salmon pizza, and a lobster roll, plus classic craft cocktails like the mai tai and the bee’s knees.
How to go/order: Make reservations online
Yes, the sidewalk patio has reopened and the roof deck is soon to follow. It’s still not the party scene of yore—nor should it be—but you can still kick back for a relaxed daytime meal of steak and eggs, sweet potato and chorizo hash, chocolate chip pancakes, and one of three eggs Benny (baked ham, lobster, or carnitas).
How to go: Make reservations through Resy or order pickup and delivery online and via Uber Eats.
Our beloved ICO franchise has taken a recent beating, what with the Island Creek Oyster Bar closing in both Kenmore and Burlington. So what a special joy it is to see Row 34 reopened, side patio included. And it’s just as you remember: A proper sit-down brunch with simple seafood-centric pleasures like avocado toast with house-smoked salmon and smoked haddock hash with sweet potato and a fried egg. We’re also jonesing for the new eggs Benedict with a toasted homemade biscuit, shaved ham, and spring asparagus. And yup, both the warm and cold lobster rolls make an appearance, though this time you’ll be chasing them with a blood orange mimosa.
How to go/order: Make reservations through OpenTable or order pickup and delivery via Toast, Caviar, and DoorDash.
China Pearl Restaurant
Doesn’t dim sum sound simply divine right now? China Pearl is part of the city’s dim sum old guard, and its full menu, from divine dumplings to rice noodles to spring rolls, is thankfully available to order online for pickup and delivery. (We’ve already done it once, and let us just say that it got us through several weary weeks of lockdown.)
How to order: Call 617-426-4338 or order delivery through DoorDash.
Nothing, not even a pandemic, can keep you from your favorite corned beef hash. Not only is The Paramount still chugging along with its classic breakfast offerings—pancakes, omelettes, waffles, breakfast toast—but it’s serving the whole shebang to-go until 4pm every day. Plus, a recent drive by the Beacon Hill location indicates that the small street patio is going to be up and running any day now.
How to order: Order delivery through Postmates, Uber Eats, and Caviar.
Brassica Kitchen & Cafe
To answer your most pressing question: Yes, you can also order Brassica’s famed fried chicken off the Sunday brunch menu. But it’s a tough decision when you’re also choosing between the mushroom omelette, sourdough pancakes, and the morning fried rice slathered in hollandaise. The ball is in your court.
How to order: Call 617-477-4519 or order online for pickup and order delivery through Grubhub; call ahead to see about patio seating.