The Best Breakfasts in Boston

From diners to dim sum, 39 ways Boston is revolutionizing the most important meal of the day.

Edited by Christopher Hughes
Photographs by Jim Brueckner


Sofra upgrades a morning classic: bacon, egg, and halloumi cheese on brioche with feta butter. / Photograph by Jim Brueckner

Here in New England, we’ve always been big believers in the first meal of the day. Hell, we practically invented it. Last night’s boiled dinners became corned beef hash. In the 19th century, Dutch olykoeks were transformed into the modern doughnut by Elizabeth Gregory and her seafaring family. Lunch wagons evolved into dining cars on the streets of Providence. And we all know what beverage America runs on today.

But now, thanks to an influx of globally influenced techniques and flavors, we’re no longer beholden to scrambled eggs, “coffee regulars,” and combo plates. These days, without leaving our neighborhoods, we can wake up to a traditional Japanese prix fixe. Our classic glazed doughnuts have been replaced by airy rounds blanketed with dulce de leche. Even that ubiquitous Sunday favorite, the bloody mary, has been improved upon with one restaurant’s mobile arsenal of house-made pickles, jerkies, and bacon-fat-washed spirits.

To find all the fare worth setting your alarm for, we scoured every diner, bakery, and weekend brunch bistro from here to the ’burbs. Prepare to rise and dine with the best of the early-bird canon.

With additional reporting by Jacqueline Cain, Brittany Jasnoff, Scott Kearnan, and Chris Sweeney.

See the List »