Food & Drink

The Best Brunches in Boston Right Now

Updated On 03/22/2019 at 05:46PM EST Updated On 03/22/2019 at 05:46PM EST
waypoint
Waypoint

Alcove

West End

Your chance to eat tapas style at noon
Don’t worry, the restaurant’s charred avocado is also on the brunch menu. And that’s hardly its only allure: banana bread French toast, poached eggs over pork belly, and a fried chicken sandwich are obvious crowd pleasers. But now’s the opportunity to break out of your typical brunching habits and show the small plates some attention -- nothing like some shared polenta cake, Jonah crab cocktail, and yes, charred avocado, to make that Irish coffee go down easy.

Nahita Restaurant

Nahita

Arlington

The self-described “Latin American Izakaya” keeps things equally singular and glamorous with its new brunch menu. King crab avocado toast, Mexican shakshuka, and beef rib empanadas are some of the diverse offerings, though it’s hard to resist the breakfast tacos (counter them with the blueberry acai bowl). If it’s a celebratory meal you’re after, spring for the NY strip loin, chase it wit the made-to-order torrija, and wash it all down with a flight of mimosas.

Buttermilk & Bourbon

Back Bay

Proof that fried chicken works any time of day
Jason Santos wants you to have fun at brunch, dammit, even if that means serving you soft-serve ice cream before noon. And that’s just one of his New Orleans brunch menu’s many quirks -- when’s the last time you made a midday meal of crawfish boudin croquettes and house smoked rainbow trout dip. Traditionalists have plenty of options as well, from the apple cider French toast to the country egg scrambled skillet (though Santos makes his hollandaise with hot sauce); whatever else you eat, just be sure to order some fried chicken for the table.

Tallula

Cambridge

Intimate daytime dining
Some weekends you want a boisterous, genre-bending brunch; others you simply want classic dishes executed perfectly. For those latter times, head to Cambridge’s 12-table gem for beautiful, delicate dishes like the boucheron omelette, challah French toast (with butterscotch!), and lobster Benedict. The big sticky bun is a must starter, although the chicken liver mousse is hard to resist when that mimosa also beckons.

TABLE Boston

Table Boston

North End

The rare opportunity to brunch family-style
Jen Royle has pulled off an amazing feat: She’s proven that Bostonians can actually be convivial courtesy of her instant-hit family-style restaurant. And now the group dining comes to the daytime. A single 11am seating on Sunday nets you a $42 prix fixe spread of fried dough, breakfast flatbread, omelet tacos, parmesan truffle fries, and chicken and waffles (to name just some examples; menu subject to change). And because Royle just gets us, the coffee is self-serve.

Committee

Fort Point

Gyros and champagne tray service? Committee is a singular treat during the daylight hours, too. You can (and should) start with smaller Greek plates for the table: zucchini crisps, artichoke moussaka, dolmades. But then it’s time to spread your wings (just not Icarus-style), with platters of baklava oatmeal, Greek yogurt pancakes, and that aforementioned breakfast gyro: scrambled eggs, grilled halloumi, loukaniko and florina pepper coulis wrapped in a pita. At the opposite end of the champagne spectrum is the Pigs & Booze: bacon washed bourbon, maple syrup, orange, and chocolate bitters.

Row 34

Row 34

Fort Point

Who says clam chowder isn’t a brunch dish?
What was once a casual counter brunch has grown into something far more satisfying: a proper sitdown with simple seafood pleasures like steamed littlenecks, smoked salmon avocado toast, and shrimp hash. No lobster rolls on this menu, but that’s just your excuse to try their other bunned offerings (shrimp po’boy, creamy crab, crispy salad), best chased with a pitcher of Pils.

Loyal Nine

East Cambridge

Loyal Nine does so many things well that it might take you awhile before you return for their brunch. But time to reprioritize, because this is your chance to try fry bread, a Navajo classic that Loyal Nine serves with grilled honey baked ham and apple butter. Some of the brunch menu is a dive into yesteryear New England cooking, from the lobster popover to the sweet corn samp; other dishes are simply New England-inspired, the fried clam and bacon sandwich especially.

Island Creek Oyster Bar

Island Creek Oyster Bar

Kenmore Square

A year-round summertime brunch
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. Cold dan dan noodles, stuffed baos, and tea-smoked ribs are all worth loading up on -- and of course, the famous Mama Chang’s pork and chive dumplings. Bonus: No need to worry about sleeping in -- Myers + Chang has one of the latest brunches in the city (running until 4pm), so it's good for those mornings when you can’t bear to leave the comfort of bed until noon.

Puritan & Company

Puritan and Company

Cambridge

New England brunch done perfectly
Puritan and Company does the hearty brunch thing right: pork belly & poblano hash, sourdough griddle cakes, grilled skirt steak & eggs, 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.

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 brunch. So don your most European daywear and lean into a classic Francophile menu of moules frites, 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 salad (then snag a bite of someone else’s burger). And no need to run down the street for your sweet fix after: Blackbird Doughnuts are front and center on the menu.

Galdones Photography

Waypoint

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

Somerville

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.

Andy Ryan

Boston Chops

South End

Your go-to for meat piled on top of meat
Sometimes getting through Sunday 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 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).

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 cinnamon French toast, BLT benedict, crispy chicken wings, and steak and cheese frittata. 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

Finally, seven days of brunches
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 (a full lunch menu of pizzas and burgers is also available). Meantime, 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). Brunch on your lunch hour? All the kids are doing it.