The Absolute Best Brunches in Boston

From classic Benedicts and hearty stacks of pancakes to raw bar towers and oysters, there's something for everyone.

Brunch is everything you want in a meal: carbs, casual dress code, reasonable prices, and some well-deserved day drinking. Plus, we’re barreling toward patio season, which means you can soon savor your eggs Benedict and mimosas alfresco.

So when you’re looking for the best spot to ward off the Sunday scaries, take solace in the fact that Boston is a city awash in hollandaises and there are plenty of restaurants elevating the midday meal. From laid-back spots to nurse a hangover to top-notch restaurants offering steak and eggs and seafood towers, these are the best restaurants for brunch in Boston.

Alcove

West End
$$$$

Don’t worry, the restaurant’s famed charred avocado is also available at brunch, but that’s hardly this spot’s only daytime allure. French toast with whipped cinnamon mascarpone; frittata with salsa verde, spinach, and ricotta; and fried chicken sandwiches are obvious crowd pleasers. The restaurant also gives you the opportunity to break out of your typical brunching habits and show the small plates some attention—nothing like a basket of freshly made pastries, Jonah crab cocktail, and house burrata with lemon-ginger dressing to pair with a well-deserved weekend cocktail or two.

Available for Reservations

Alden & Harlow

Harvard Square
$$$$

A dinnertime table is still hard to snag, so start with the slightly more accessible Sunday brunch featuring dishes like pickled corn pancakes, croissant toad in the hole, and hickory smoked pig tails with grits and a poached egg. The spicy Bloody Mary is a hangover cure like no other, although the rotating cast of cocktails proves consistently invigorating. Oh, and psst: the secret burger is available on the brunch menu too, although it proves just as elusive as its nighttime counterpart.

Available for Reservations

Ashmont Grill

Ashmont Hill
$$$$

Ashmont Grill has translated its famed Train Wreck Fries into an epic morning meal: an open-faced omelet topped with hand-cut fries, jack cheese, bacon, jalapeno, scallions, and sour cream. The rest of the menu is a deep dive into brunch’s savory best-ofs, from huevos rancheros and steak and eggs to a Benedict done three ways.

The Banks

Back Bay
$$$$

It’s sweet, it’s savory, and it’s seafood-driven. The Banks’ brand-new brunch menu includes unusual options like fried whole belly clams and waffles, an uni Benedict, steamed mussels, and smoked bluefish pate alongside more traditional fare like lemon pancakes and steak and eggs. The Banks Bloody Mary features the restaurant’s house-fermented persimmon fresno pepper hot sauce (it’s the same one they use on every raw bar platter), and the house mimosa has both orange and yuzu, fortified with dry curacao.

Available for Reservations

Bistro du Midi

Back Bay
$$$$

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,” or Belgian waffles served with duck confit and foie gras butter. 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.

Available for Reservations

Boston Chops

South End
$$$$

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 sandwich or a crab cake Benedict, which pairs perfectly with the Prime Raw Bloody (that would be a Bloody Mary enhanced by a raw oyster and jumbo cocktail shrimp).

Available for Reservations

Bowery Bar

Lower Mills
$$$$

Bowery understands that your brunch conundrum isn’t about sweet versus savory, but rather breakfast versus lunch—which is why they’ve divided the menu accordingly. Breakfast choices include baked stuffed French toast, country fried steak with eggs, and an aptly named Hangover Breakfast Bowl with corned beef hash, poached eggs, and toast. On the lunchtime side of things, there’s seafood chowder, two different 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.

Available for Reservations

Brasserie

South End
$$$$

Brasserie is exactly what brunch in the South End should be. The restaurant is classically French in the best way possible, with a menu covering classic eggs Benedict, quiche Florentine, steak and eggs, and croque monsieur. There are mimosas, there’s a spiked coffee drink, and there’s absolutely no reason to leave your booth.

Available for Reservations

Cafe Sauvage

Back Bay
$$$$

A multicultural Parisian bistro brought to us by a husband-and-wife team born and raised in France—and they do brunch? Cue the stampede of local Francophiles. Croques madames and omelets are absolutely represented, and things from there only get more exciting: banh mis, duck eggs Benedict with caraway hollandaise, crispy chicken sandwiches, Nutella crepes. Absolutely start with Viennoiseries cakes, and if some truffle fries happen to make it to your table, so be it.

Committee

Seaport
$$$$

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, 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, cocktails like the Pigs & Booze (bacon-washed bourbon, maple syrup, orange, and chocolate bitters) make perfect brunch pairings.

Available for Reservations

Contessa

Back Bay
$$$$

This rooftop oasis is one of the most coveted dinner tables in town—which is why brunch might be your best chance to get in there. The daytime Italian menu invites you to dine on Florentine Benedict, Panettone French Toast, carbonara scramble, and smoked salmon carpaccio. Start with a spritz, move onto a Negroni if you’re feeling cheeky, and revel in a morning spent with your head literally in the clouds.

Available for Reservations

Krasi

Back Bay
$$$$

Maybe you haven’t been paying attention, but Krasi has been putting on the best themed lunches in town for more than a year now, impeccable playlists and all. Come for the Mariah Carey, stay for the full Greek spread that includes baklava muffins, lemon-mizithra filled fried pancakes, tomato and feta scrambles—and of course, mimosas made with Greek bubbles.

Available for Reservations

Lincoln Tavern

South Boston
$$$$

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.
How to book: Via website

Myers and Chang

South End
$$$$

This is the spot to overindulge on both drinks and dim sum—I mean, bubbly is the first item on the menu. Wild boar 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 are practically required on every table. Bonus: The dim sum menu is served Fridays and Saturdays, so while Sunday is off the table, mid-day dim sum to kick off the weekend is on the docket.

Available for Reservations

The Pearl

South Bay
$$$$

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.

Available for Reservations

Waypoint

Harvard Square
$$$$

From smoked whitefish pizza to mimosas and caviar service, there is no way to get brunch wrong at this seafood-centric restaurant. The brunch menu also features tremendous raw bar choices (the crab and avocado is the star here) and a sweet tooth-satisfying (and enormous) raisin and walnut cinnamon roll.

Available for Reservations

The lobster popover may be the expected star of the brunch menu, but the hits hardly stop there. Breakfast beignets, three different Benedicts, cinnamon-swirl French toast, fried chicken and sourdough waffles, and, of course, many, many oysters. The authentic farm-and-sea-to-table experience is complemented by nine different brunch cocktails like the Early Bird (barrel-aged rum, coffee campari, giffard banane, pineapple, lime).

Available for Reservations

Dbar

Savin Hill
$$$$

Can we sell you on a smoked salmon breakfast pizza accompanied by a carafe of aperol spritz? Dbar might party through the night, but it’s always ready to invite you back for daytime dining. The menu covers all the classics like pancakes and huevos rancheros, but they also offer up creative dishes like the smoked salmon breakfast pizza, which is not to be missed. Another thing to keep in mind: This might be the most inviting patio on the block with vibrant murals painted by local artists and heat lamps for cooler days.

Available for Reservations
Bar Mezzana
Bar Mezzana | Photo Courtesy of All Heart PR

Bar Mezzana

South End
$$$$

Nothing like an Aperol spritz to make the looming work week more palatable—or to cure your night-before hangover. The brunch menu includes two different crudo, homemade carbonara, polenta topped with poached eggs, and duck confit hash—and of course, many a seasonal cocktail.

Available for Reservations

Stillwater

Chinatown
$$$$

Confession time: Takeout from Stillwater got us through more than a few pandemic rough patches, brunch included. And you’ll soon understand why. 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.

Available for Reservations

Harvest

Harvard Square
$$$$

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 current early spring pleasures like salmon tartare plus fried chicken and foie gras waffles, hanger steak with eggs, and brioche French toast with candied pecans. If you’re feeling indulgent, a cheese plate and the Harvest Bloody Mary make excellent additions.

Available for Reservations

Buttermilk & Bourbon

Back Bay & Watertown
$$$$

Jason Santos wants you to have fun, dammit. 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.

Available for Reservations

OAK Long Bar + Kitchen has a brunch menu built for indulging. Double chocolate pancakes, corned beef hash with hollandaise, smoked salmon pizza, and a lobster roll make up the menu, plus classic craft cocktails like the mai tai and the bee’s knees are available on the beverage side.

Available for Reservations

Cunard Tavern

East Boston
$$$$

It’s still not quite the party scene of yore, but you can still kick back for a relaxed daytime meal. Feast on steak and eggs, sweet potato and chorizo hash, chocolate chip pancakes, and one of three eggs Benny (baked ham, lobster, or carnitas) at this friendly gastropub, and you may even plan a return visit for next weekend.

Available for Reservations

Brassica Kitchen & Cafe

Jamaica Plain
$$$$

To answer your most pressing question: Yes, you can also order Brassica’s famed fried chicken off the Saturday and Sunday brunch menu. But it’s a tough decision when you’re also choosing between the mushroom omelet, sourdough waffles, and the morning fried rice slathered in cheese. The ball is in your court.

Available for Reservations
Meaghan Agnew believes every day should be brunch day, which explains why she ate pancakes for lunch on Tuesday. See how else she’s flipping the eating script by following her on Twitter and Instagram.