Best of Boston

2018 Best Brunch, North

C.K. Pearl

Let the tourists stand in line for fried clams across the way while you claim a seat at Patrick Shea’s riverside Essex spot and let the clams come to you. The scene here is pretty darn scenic, with boaters and paddleboarders drifting by as live music plays in the background. Yet you may have a hard time pulling yourself away from what’s on the table: Shea’s brunch favorites include house-made smoked salmon, a wicked good lobster Benedict, and a bloody mary to make you forget all others.

112 Main St., Essex, 978-890-7378,