Where to Wake Up with the Perfect Breakfast Sandwich in Boston
Rise and shine—and chow down.
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A great breakfast sandwich is a beautiful thing. It can power us through the slog of a morning commute, nurse us through a hangover, fortify us for a weekend hike, or serve as an indulgent antidote to work-from-home ennui. Here’s where to find some of the best around—a few favorite joints catching our eye right now, as well as our all-time faves.
Boston’s got a corner on the bagel market now, and it’s thanks in no small part to this pioneering Porter Square bakeshop. Thanks to its current takeout-only format, which allows for preordering and pickup during designated time slots, you won’t see the same long lines that you used to snaking down the sidewalk outside. But rest assured, baker Mary Ting Hyatt’s chewy-on-the-inside, crackly-on-the-outside bagels are just as popular as ever—and still used for fantastic breakfast sandwiches. A swipe of mustard butter elevates a classic egg-and-cheese, and the Hot Smoked take on cream cheese-and-lox features pickled red cabbage and fresh dill. But the crown jewel is the Eggspañola, with a slightly runny egg, feta, pimentón aioli, and parsley gremolata.
1796 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 857-285-6103, bagelsaurus.com.
We’re kind of obsessed with this breakfast-lunch joint tucked into a South End street corner, a previous Best of Boston winner for its signature “eggwiches.” The frittata-style egg patties are baked but still fluffy, and come on a hard roll topped with fire roasted peppers, goat cheese, artichoke hearts, fried shallots and more. Meanwhile, the “bagelwiches” (sense a theme?) offer fixings like sausage, boursin, ham, and aioli—plus even more whipped eggs—on your choice of locally-made Zeppy’s bagels.
59 E Springfield St., Boston, 617-247-8100, eatblunch.com.
Brassica Kitchen & Cafe
Jamaica Plain’s morning-through-night neighborhood restaurant is packed with punchy flavors from the get-go. You can kick off your day with one of several stellar breakfast sandwiches, from the Low Country—a salty-sweet combo of sausage, egg, crispy cheddar and grape jelly on one of the best brioche rolls around—to the fried chicken and sunny-side egg sandwich with tamari hollandaise and pickled jalapeños on a flaky biscuit. Brassica’s gourmet coffee bar has you covered java-wise, too.
3710 Washington St., Jamaica Plain, 617-477-4519, brassicakitchen.com.
Chef Will Gilson (Puritan & Co.) has planted a trio of spots at the new Cambridge Crossing neighborhood, including the Lexington, a roof deck-equipped restaurant for seasonal New American, and Geppetto, an Italian eatery opening in early October. His first project to open there, though, was the all-day Café Beatrice, a beautiful brass- and stone-filled spot named for Gilson’s young daughter. It’s a showcase for the talents of acclaimed pastry chef Brian Mercury, who pulls together fabulous pastries (such as chestnut-apple linzer tarts) as well as breakfast sandwiches that slide sausage, salmon, pastrami, Swiss cheese and other options onto a bagel or brioche.
100 N First St. (the Lexington at Cambridge Crossing), Cambridge, 617-945-1349, thelexingtoncx.com.
Clover Food Lab
A decade after hitting the Boston streets, Clover has stayed true to its mission of converting meat lovers to veggie lovers. In fact, it’s even managed to lure at least some of us away from Dunk’s with its Impossible breakfast sandwich, for which plant-based, lab-derived Impossible meat is blended in-house with brown sugar and spices to closely replicate a sausage patty. Also super New England-y is Clover’s popover breakfast sandwich, which pops tomatoes, fried leeks, Vermont cheddar, and local-made smokey tempeh into a flaky roll.
Multiple locations, cloverfoodlab.com.
Mike & Patty’s
This tiny eatery cures hangovers on the spot with an extensive sandwich selection for a.m. visitors, homemade English muffins, and all-around good vibes. Head to the original Bay Village shop or the new outpost at Somerville’s Bow Market for a classic bacon, egg, and cheese—and then make it “baller” by upgrading the bacon to Ibérico de bellota. Or go crazy with what they term the “breakfast grilled crack,” which has double the bacon, plus an option to add even more (recommended for those who keep their cardiologist on speed-dial).
12 Church St., Boston, 617-423-3447, mikeandpattys.com.
Breakfast sandwich connoisseurs can’t sleep on Pavement’s creations with cafés found all around the Boston area. It all starts with kettle-boiled bagels, rolled from scratch and stone-fired at Pavement’s Brighton kitchen. One surefire hunger-slayer is the Harper, slathered in lemon-dill cream cheese and topped with tomato, cucumber, and sprouts. Another is the Vegan Tequila Sunrise, which features seasoned tempeh, diablo tofu spread, which gets a kick from habanero and jalapeño peppers, pico de gallo, and sprouts.
Multiple locations, pavementcoffeehouse.com.
Pepita Coffee Co. at Lamplighter Brewing Co.
Even before the draft lines start flowing at Lamplighter’s taproom, the hot (or iced) coffee drinks are being already poured at Pepita, the craft brewer’s on-site cafe. They go well with awesome breakfast sandwiches, including a croissant with fried egg, banana peppers, cheddar, and “special sauce,” as well as a pressed sammie of ham and egg custard, caramelized onions, yet more cheddar, and beer mustard (natch). Want a sweet accompaniment to your savory sandwich? Take note: Now that his Cambridge restaurant Bondir has closed, acclaimed chef Jason Bond is turning out pastries for Pepita on weekends.
248 Broadway, Cambridge, 617-945-0450, lamplighterbrewing.com/pepita.
It comes from the folks behind Boston’s beloved Blackbird Doughnuts, so it’s no surprise that Sally’s is a standout when it comes to breakfast noshes—including its own a.m.-time sandwich of egg and cheese on a bulkie roll. But here’s an even better reason to go: Sally’s is now the place to pick up takeout from its late, much-loved South End sibling the Gallows, and boy, the Gallows Breakfast Sandwich is a beaut. An Italian baguette stuffed with fried egg, hash brown patties, bacon, avocado, cheese, and spicy aioli? We die for it.
492 Tremont St., Boston, 857-449-0443, sallyssandwiches.com.
Sofra Bakery & Cafe
When it comes to building a great breakfast sandwich, sometimes you have to think outside the bagel or brioche. Sofra certainly does. The perennially kinda-perfect Middle Eastern-inspired cafe from local legend Ana Sortun and similarly celebrated pastry chef Maura Kilpatrick puts out an amazing breakfast pita, in fact, filled with spicy sausage, orange, pickled peppers, olives, and feta. Pair it with some potent Turkish coffee, while you’re at it.
1 Belmont St., Cambridge, 617-661-3161, sofrabakery.com.
At his Union Square operation, Tim Wiechmann uses Montreal-style bagels—slim, crunchy, honey-sweetened, and baked in a wood-fired oven—as the basis for sandwiches like the cheffy sausage, egg, and cheese, which uses smoky gouda, tabasco-ketchup, and house made kielbasa (he’s the man behind neighboring Bavarian restaurant Bronwyn, after all). You can also build your own bagel sandwich, piling on everything from smoked salmon and fried eggs to roasted garlic and tarragon cream cheese, among other spreads.
258 Washington St., Somerville, turennebagels.com.
Pastry chef Sarah Murphy’s charming New England bakery distills the rural New Hampshire native’s knack for seasonality into sweet treats like wild blueberry muffins and maple walnut scones, as well as sandwiches (see: the Ham Jamboree with apple cider jelly and brie). Those sammies, by the way, can be made with buttermilk biscuits or Murphy’s famously fantastic English muffins; either is perfect for morning-time options like the Sausage McVinal (turkey with an over medium egg, cheddar, and spicy may0) and the G.O.A.T. (egg with goat cheese butter, pesto, and arugula).
222 Somerville Ave., Somerville, 617-718-0148, vinalbakery.com.