Where to Find the Breakfast Sandwiches That Make Boston Mornings More Bearable
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 with availability updated for the COVID era. [Last updated: October 26, 2020]
We’re kind of obsessed with this breakfast-lunch joint tucked into a South End street corner, a recent 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.
Opening a restaurant during COVID-19 is quite a feat—opening three? Brave, indeed. But over the next few months, chef Will Gilson (Puritan & Co.) is unleashing a trio of spots at the new Cambridge Crossing neighborhood; the first, just-debuted entry is Café Beatrice, a beautiful brass- and stone-filled spot, named for Gilson’s young daughter, that is open all day long. 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 with smart flavor combos—say, broccoli rabe with mushrooms and Muenster.
100 N First St. (the Lexington at Cambridge Crossing), Cambridge, 617-945-1349, thelexingtoncx.com.
You’ll still find Caffé Ducali’s mobile espresso truck parked outside Cunard Tavern, jazzing up guests who come by for brunch fare like cannoli-inspired, pumpkin-spiced pancakes. But starting this month, java junkies can also find Caffé Ducali’s brick-and-mortar shop at the gateway to the North End, where it’s attached to its elder sibling pizzeria. Besides the coffee, there’s a couple breakfast sandwiches among the takeout bites—including one with egg, pancetta, and pecorino cheese; get it served on a bagel, English muffin, or piadina (Italian flatbread).
289 Causeway St., Boston, 617-742-4144, duca.li/caffe.
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 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.
Pastry chef Sarah Murphy’s charming, still-newish 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.
The 11 Best Breakfast Sandwiches in Boston
You know ’em, you love ’em—and they’re back in action. Here’s our recap of the best places to find best breakfast sandwiches in Boston, with details on the availability of takeout, delivery, and on-site dining. Watch this space for more updates!
Status: Open Tuesday through Sunday for pickup via online ordering only.
Boston’s got a corner on the bagel market now, and it’s thanks in no small part to this Porter Square bakeshop. With flavors ranging from cinnamon raisin to cheddar garlic, Bagelsaurus is sure to cure your cravings for chewy-on-the-inside, crackly-on-the-outside bagels. And the house breakfast sandwiches do not disappoint: 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.
City Feed and Supply
Status: Open daily for takeout and patio dining.
For an early-morning post-yoga treat, duck into the Centre Street outpost of this Jamaica Plain grocery store—which is always working to “craft delicious combinations that feed the heart, soul, and gut in equal portions,” according to cofounder David Warner. Omnivores have options, but don’t miss the best-selling vegetarian sausage, egg, and cheese combo; or even the vegan-friendly version with smoky tempeh strips, avocado, and tomato sandwiched between an Iggy’s bagel. Wander through the maze of natural foods until you arrive at the draft kombucha to wash it all down.
671 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, 617-524-1700, cityfeedandsupply.com.
Clover Food Lab
Status: All locations are open for takeout via online order—find specific schedules here.
A decade after hitting the Boston streets, Clover has stayed true to its mission of converting meat lovers to veggie lovers. This year it took it a step further, hoping to lure the masses away from Dunk’s with the 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. Plant meat not your thing? Stick to the signature tomato-cheddar breakfast sandwich, served on Clover’s fluffy house-made pita.
Multiple locations, cloverfoodlab.com.
Status: Open Thursday through Sunday for takeout via online ordering only.
Known for superlative sandwiches, Cutty’s penchant for top-notch breakfast should come as no surprise. And yet, according to owner Charles Kelsey, “Our breakfast menu is the unsung hero of our shop—so many great sleeper hits on this menu.” It’s true: The shop boasts a wide range of options, from the basic egg sandwich to a Thai version featuring a complexly herbaceous sausage made in-house. For condiment connoisseurs, truffle ketchup, spicy mayo, and espresso-spiked red-eye mayo are all on the table.
284 Washington St., Brookline, 617-505-1844, cuttyfoods.com.
Deluxe Town Diner
Status: Open daily for takeout as well as indoor and outdoor dining.
This railcar-style diner, which has been a Watertown institution since the 1940s, is a place with a history as rich as its sour-cream flapjacks. Wife-and-husband team Daryl and Don Levy took it over in the early 2000s and brought it back to its roots, installing the original marble counter found in the basement, and tearing down wall paneling to let the original tiling shine. The one thing they did modernize, however, was the menu, with additions including a formidable roster of breakfast sandwiches such as the smoked salmon egg sandwich, the triple-decker Breakfast Club, and the aptly named B.E.S.T. (a panini with bacon, eggs, spinach, tomato, and cheese on rosemary garlic bread). And don’t worry, you can sleep in—breakfast is served all day (one of the core tenets of Dinerism).
627 Mount Auburn St., Watertown, 617-926-8400, deluxetowndiner.com.
Status: Nearly all locations are open daily for takeout and delivery, as well as patio seating. Check out specific schedules here.
With an eighth location landing soon for the Seaport, this Boston institution by James Beard Award-winning baker Joanne Chang shows no signs of slowing down. But while Flour is famous for satisfying your sweet tooth with cult-followed sticky buns and Boston cream pies, the savory side is worth exploring, too: The breakfast egg sandwich is a best-seller piled high with an impossibly light and fluffy egg soufflé, cheddar, arugula, tomato, and Dijonaise.
Multiple locations, flourbakery.com.
Status: Open Thursday through Sunday for takeout.
Don’t expect the standard meat-egg-cheese approach from Juliet—after all, this cheery Somerville café and restaurant is hardly known for staying in one lane. The rotating prix-fixe dinner menu and focus on in-season ingredients bring inspiration to the breakfast menu, too: “We’re presenting some really technical and delicious recipes, that are normally just for dinner, and offering them in an accessible and casual way,” chef-owner Josh Lewin says of their breakfast sandwiches. Creations have included an over-easy egg on anadama bread with whipped burrata, lobster roe, and dried-chili butter. Even the occasionally available “original” egg sandwich is unique, featuring chicken-and-lemon terrine and a condiment made from spiced Swiss chard.
257 Washington St., Somerville, 617-718-0958, julietsomerville.com.
Status: Open daily for takeout and delivery.
Mamaleh’s embraces the Jewish diner aesthetic down to the counter stools and retro (and excellent) soda fountain-bar, shaking up egg creams and milkshakes alongside creative cocktails. While the pastrami on marble rye draws raves come dinnertime, this Bon Appetit-noted establishment brings its A-game when it comes to its bagels—perhaps best enjoyed in the form of sandwiches piled high with lox, whipped dill cream cheese, tomato, red onion, and capers.
1 Kendall Sq., Building 300, Cambridge, 617-958-3354, mamalehs.com.
Mike & Patty’s
Status: Open daily for takeout and delivery.
This tiny eatery cures hangovers on the spot with an extensive sandwich selection, homemade English muffins, and all-around good vibes. Head to Bay Village for a classic bacon, egg, and cheese—and then make it “baller” by upgrading the bacon to Ibérico de bellota. Or go crazy with 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.
Status: All locations are open daily for takeout—except for the Harvard Square site, which remains closed.
Breakfast sandwich connoisseurs can’t sleep on Pavement’s creations with cafés found all around Boston and another on the way to Harvard Square. 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, 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.
Status: Open daily for takeout only.
If the name wasn’t already a major hint, you can rest assured that Veggie Galaxy has you covered, herbivores. This Central Square classic is a diner with a twist: Not only is the menu completely vegetarian, but every item can also be made vegan (tofu scramble for fried egg, vegan cheese for classic cheddar). Look for a vegetarian version of egg and cheese on toasted sourdough, which is customizable with such add-ons as seitan sausage, tempeh bacon, and avocado. Or take things to a higher level of indulgence with the Great Galaxy, served on a griddled house-made bun with an over-easy egg, hash browns, tempeh bacon, and cheddar cheese.
450 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-497-1513, veggiegalaxy.com.