Food & Drink

The Best Breakfast Spots in Boston

Published On 09/14/2015 Published On 09/14/2015
Christina Ng/Thrillist

Let’s face it, brunch is the charmer that gets all the attention, but breakfast is the one working for you day in and day out. Also, if your mother/WebMD is to be believed, it's the most important meal of the day. So whether you’re looking for a bagel with cream cheese, a sausage-and-egg sandwich, or an all-out continental buffet, these are the 12 best breakfast joints in Boston.

Henrietta's Table

Henrietta's Table

Harvard Square
What you’re getting: Malted waffle and red flannel hash
 
Henrietta’s Table is your classic farmhouse kitchen nestled inside Harvard Square's Charles Hotel -- but don't let the fact that it's in a hotel deter you. Known for its hearty, New England farm-to-table fare and local ingredients, HT serves up burly breakfast plates like cream chipped beef on buttermilk biscuits and sirloin with eggs, not to mention its popular red flannel hash with poached eggs and malted waffle with homemade apple butter.

Blunch

Blunch

South End
What you’re getting: Sausage eggwich and a chocolate chip cookie
 
Sometimes you just want a sandwich for breakfast and for those times, you go to Blunch. Think thick, fluffy frittata-style eggwiches and warm toasty bagels filled with melted mozzarella, smoked turkey, and spicy aioli.
 

Dave Baldwin/Thrillist

Mike and Patty's

Bay Village
What you’re getting: Breakfast torta and The Fancy sandwich
 
Mike and Patty’s may be a small sandwich shop with a small kitchen in a small Boston neighborhood, but its breakfasts pack a big punch. Actually, everything it whips up is delicious. So when you show up and realize there's nowhere to sit inside, don't walk away. Grab your breakfast torta and go find a park bench.

Christina Ng/Thrillist

Flour Bakery and Cafe

Fort Point, Cambridge, Back Bay, South End
What you’re getting: Breakfast egg sandwich and pecan sticky bun
 
First, it was the famous pecan sticky buns, and now it’s an over-the-top, butter- and sugar-infused croissant called a kouign-amann. Flour has been Boston's breakfast bakery of choice since it opened in 2000, and thankfully now boasts four locations about town.

Courtesy of Zaftig's

Zaftigs

Brookline
What you’re getting: Banana stuffed French toast, potato pancakes, and corned beef hash and eggs
 
The only complaint about breakfast at this Jewish deli is that weekend lines can be OUTRAGEOUS. Luckily, Zaftigs serves breakfast all day, every day. Enjoy fan favorites like the challah French toast and the corned beef hash and eggs.

The Friendly Toast

The Friendly Toast

Kendall Square
What you’re getting: Friendly Toast Benny, breakfast burrito, and Green Eggs and Ham
 
When your best-known dishes include “Green Eggs and Ham” and the “Sklarmageddon” (which the restaurant describes as “chaos personified in an omelette"), the place better be something special. Friendly Toast doesn't disappoint. A spinoff of the popular Portsmouth, NH, spot of the same name, this funky, retro breakfast joint (with a full bar) has been a Kendall Square/MIT favorite since 2009 and serves your favorite morning fare until 10pm.

Johnny's Luncheonette

Johnny's Luncheonette

Newton
What you’re getting: Crunchy French toast and Madeline Omelette
 
This throwback, '50s-style diner has been Newton’s go-to breakfast spot for over 20 years. Expect perfectly crunchy French toast, fluffy omelets, and flapjacks stacked nice and high -- unless you order the short stack.

Ames Street Deli

Ames Street Deli

Kendall Square
What you’re getting: Bacon and egg donut and the honey butter corn muffin
 
Ames Street Deli is somewhat of a hidden gem for breakfast because it’s mainly known for its cocktails and artisanal sandwiches like the smoked char rillette or beef jibarito. But when the sun rises, the brains behind ASD (and Journeyman and Study) also whip up insane breakfast eats like scrambled egg donuts, honey butter corn muffins, and a bacon and piquillo cheese breakfast sandwich.

Christina Ng/Thrillist

South End Buttery

South End
What you’re getting: Buttery breakfast sandwich and an almond croissant
 
After munching on this popular South End bakery's famed breakfast burrito or buttermilk sandwich, be sure to grab a pastry for the road to satisfy your afternoon sweet tooth. The banana walnut muffin or a doggie cupcake (inspired by the owner’s three dogs Madison, Harriet, and Dexter) is definitely your move.

Christina Ng/Thrillist

3 Little Figs

Davis Square
What you’re getting: Halloumi sandwich, spinach pie, and lavender biscuit
 
This cozy cafe tucked away just off Davis Square draws in locals with its espresso, homemade pastries, and breakfast faves like lox on toast, egg and feta sandwich, and the best spinach pie this side of the Charles River.

Sound Bites

Sound Bites

Ball Square
What you’re getting: Challah French toast, 2^3 Royale
 
Weirdly, there’s a competitor with a similar menu that sells breakfast food right next door. And the owners have actually engaged in fisticuffs. But locals know that if there's a table available, you go into Sound Bites first. Around for almost two decades and known for the large portions, it truly is Somerville's breakfast gem.

Christina Ng/Thrillist

In House Cafe

Allston/Brighton
What you’re getting: BU/BC Sampler and cheesy French toast
 
More than even the chocolate chip pancakes or banana caramel pecan French toast, In House Cafe is known for its eclectic cafe space and mish-mash of chairs, sofas, and tables. The breakfast/brunch menu is 14 pages (!!) and includes everything from fennel crepes and a Mediterranean omelette, to apple cinnamon pancakes and fruit-filled French toast.

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Christina Ng is a Boston-based food and recipes writer. She's one of those annoying girls who has to take a picture of everything she eats. Follow her @EastMeetsKitchn or see what she's cooking in the kitchen at EastMeetsKitchen.com.

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1. Henrietta's Table 1 Bennett St, Cambridge, 02138

Henrietta’s Table is your classic farmhouse kitchen nestled inside Harvard Square's Charles Hotel -- but don't let the fact that it's in a hotel deter you. Known for its hearty, New England farm-to-table fare and local ingredients, HT serves up burly breakfast plates like cream chipped beef on buttermilk biscuits and sirloin with eggs, not to mention its popular red flannel hash with poached eggs and malted waffle with homemade apple butter.

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2. Blunch 59 E Springfield St, Boston, 02118

We actually love that this place is named after what they would have called "brunch" if "brunch" wasn't the most obvious choice. Come here for a hearty meal somewhere in between breakfast and lunch.

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3. Mike and Patty 12 Church St , Boston, MA 02116 (Bay Village)

From two Formaggio Kitchen vets (cheesemonger, prepared foods chef), this 9-seat spot's a study in gender yin-yang: a corner store's potato-chipped counter abutting an upper-crust, pot-and-pan-festooned open kitchen prepping two classes of 'wich: classic French and fatly comfortable American.

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4. Flour Bakery & Cafe 12 Farnsworth St Fl 1, Boston, MA 02210 (Fort Point Channel)

True to its motto, Flour Bakery’s many Boston locations make Bostonian’s lives sweeter with its varying baked treats and savory lunch options. The light-filled Fort Point storefront is charming with its trademark chalkboard menu, cutesy decorations, and irresistible smell of cakes rising and butter melting. If you have a sweet tooth you can’t go wrong with the soft sticky bun with its hot cinnamon and pecan topping or a decadent, pleasantly crunchy double chocolate chip cookie. If you need something more substantial than a warm muffin or a buttery scone, the crowd-pleasing Breakfast Egg Sandwich with a truly fluffy egg, bacon, cheddar, arugula, tomato, and creamy dijonaise on a ciabatta might be right up your ally. At meal-times expect to wait in a line … beware of the tantalizing packaged goodies that wait with you.

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5. Zaftigs 335 Harvard St, Boston, 02124

The only complaint about breakfast at this Jewish deli is that weekend lines can be OUTRAGEOUS. Luckily, Zaftigs serves breakfast all day, every day. Enjoy fan favorites like the challah French toast and the corned beef hash and eggs.

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6. The Friendly Toast 1 Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA 02139

The Kendall Square spinoff of the cult Portsmouth favorite, FT's Fri/Sat 24-hr, 150-seat full-service diner featuring a 22-seat bar, front lounge, and two dining areas adorned w/ lime green walls and hunter green vinyl seats and booths.

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7. Johnny's Luncheonette 30 Langley Rd, Newton, MA 02459

This throwback, '50s-style diner has been Newton’s go-to breakfast spot for over 20 years. Expect perfectly crunchy French toast, fluffy omelets, and flapjacks stacked nice and high -- unless you order the short stack.

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8. Ames Street Deli 73 Ames St, Cambridge, MA 02142 (Kendall Square)

The geniuses behind Journeyman and Backbar deliver a one-two punch in the suddenly hyper-charged Kendall Square. First up is Ames Street Deli, the extra-funky sammy haven featuring not-your-grandpa’s meat-on-bread combos. Think zanier, more to the tune of rabbit mortadella on carrot bread (ironic) and foie gras on coconut brioche.

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9. South End Buttery Market 312-2 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118 (South End)

Having annexed and gutted the neighboring Hudson Furniture, SEB unveiled a market: a bakery meets upscale grocer meets prepared-foods-go-to peddling everything from pastries, sammies, and dinners like lobster/ shrimp & corn pot pie or fried haddock w/ Idaho chips, to pints of small batch ice cream and even a new line of pies and tarts -- although, how one can really improve on Gina Gershon is anybody's guess.

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10. 3 Little Figs 278 Highland Ave, Somerville, 02143

This cozy cafe tucked away just off Davis Square draws in locals with its espresso, homemade pastries, and breakfast faves like lox on toast, egg and feta sandwich, and the best spinach pie this side of the Charles River.

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11. Sound Bites 704 Broadway Ball Square, Sommerville, MA

This place has been a Sommerville breakfast staple for two decades. Come with an appetite, because they are known for their large portions.

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12. In House Cafe 194 Harvard Ave, Allston, MA 02134 (Allston Brighton)

In House Cafe is a great place for a quick coffee, but even better for breakfast. A variety of tasty menu items include, banana caramel pecan French toast and apple cinnamon pancakes.

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