The 20 Best Brunch Spots in Boston Right Now

Make the most of the weekend with decadent doughnuts, breakfast pizzas, and much more.


South End bistro Frenchie is open for brunch takeout every Saturday and Sunday. / Photo courtesy of Frenchie

Behold a guide to restaurants across the city that dish out fabulous brunch menus, full of sweet and savory standouts that actually make it worthwhile to crawl out of bed. Your rewards include decadent doughnuts and breakfast pizzas, a drag queen-headlined “Disco Brunch” in Dorchester, and a Southie “Breakfast Test Kitchen” full of epicurean experiments. Last updated: May 5, 2021.

The patio at Aquitaine. / Photo provided

Aquitaine

Bon matin! Rise, shine, and get thee to this French stalwart in the South End that’s just fancy enough to make weekend brunch feel like a bit of an occasion. What delicious delights did you wake up for? Omelettes with Lyonnaise potatoes, brioche French toast, malted Belgian waffles topped with Chantilly cream and blackberries, and moules-frites in a Sancerre wine-spiked broth with shallots and crème fraîche—that’s what. Très bon.

Saturdays and Sundays; 569 Tremont St., Boston, 617-424-8577, aquitaineboston.com.

The Chicken ParMezzana is available at Bar Mezzana every Monday night

Alert: There’s a chicken Parmesan sandwich on the brunch menu at Bar Mezzana. / Photo provided by Bar Mezzana

Bar Mezzana

Bright Aperol-orange umbrellas draw us like a beacon to the sidewalk patio at chef Colin Lynch’s coastal Italian stunner, the perfect place to soak up brunch cocktails like the Orange You Glad I Didn’t Say Mimosa, which adds to that aforementioned aperitif some sparkling wine, blood orange, and Dimmi (an herbaceous Italian liqueur). You’re not only here for a liquid brunch, though, so tuck into bucatini carbonara, tuna tartare, duck confit hash, or a blackberry frosted doughnut before your shopping spree at the nearby SoWa Open Market, back in May for a pared-back season.

Saturdays and Sundays, 360 Harrison Ave., Boston, 617-530-1770, barmezzana.com.

Blend

Even as we wait for nightclubs to reopen, this Dorchester hangout brings big gay-bar energy to its weekly “Disco Brunch,” when diva tunes get cranked to 11 and face shield-sporting drag queens lip sync for their lives, or at the very least, to take home a little extra bacon. Speaking of, you’ll find sizzling strips inside a decadent waffle sandwich topped with rich hollandaise; breakfast doughnuts, meanwhile, arrive studded with bacon and childhood-favorite breakfast cereals. Soaked in bourbon maple syrup (and stuffed with Nutella and banana), the 21+ French Toast, on the other hand, is strictly for adult appetites—so is the slew of coffee cocktails, including the Reese’s Cup Cold Brew, made with peanut butter whisky and chocolate liqueur.

Sundays; 1310 Dorchester Ave., Boston, 617-265-8846, blenddorchester.com.

There’s a big ol’ brunch menu at Boston Chops’ South End location. / Photo provided

Boston Chops

If the scent of a sizzling steak is what it takes to bait you out of bed on a weekend, be tempted by this beefy brunch menu. Besides the expected prime cuts, carnivores find a steak and egg burrito with chipotle aioli and chimichurri dip; bowls of linguini bolognese loaded with veal, beef, and pancetta; and, yes, one hell of a burger. Add a Bloody Mary to the mix—as well as a giant, ice cream-topped sticky bun—then enjoy on the pleasant patio.

Sundays; 1375 Washington St., Boston, 617-227-5011, bostonchops.com.

Brassica Kitchen + Café

This fantastic, funky, fermentation-forward Jamaica Plain cafe serves A-plus breakfast sandwiches on weekdays, including fried chicken on a biscuit with pickled jalapeños and a tamari hollandaise. On weekends, though, a fuller brunch menu ups the ante with plates such as kimchi pancakes, spicy toasted seed grits, and caper powder-dusted frites, plus a list of kicky cocktails that includes an Old Fashioned imbued with maple umeboshi, or brined Japanese plums.

Saturdays and Sundays; 3710 Washington St., Jamaica Plain, 617-477-4519, brassicakitchen.com.

Brewer’s Fork

Wood-fired brunch pizzas abound here—sample pies covered in chili-spiced clams; fennel sausage with pickled peppers and ricotta; and smoked chicken with pork cracklins, pickled collard greens, and Alabama-style white barbecue sauce. Stellar hints of smokiness also accent the weekly changing, wood-fired frittata; a skillet of stellar meatballs; and the roasted onions with bacon jam atop a juicy Wagyu burger. As for those brews? There’s always plenty of craft beer on draft—you might try the Upland Peach, an eye-opening sour—plus some nice ciders.

Saturdays and Sundays; 7 Moulton St., Charlestown, 617-337-5703, brewersfork.com.

Café Luna

Its name nods to the moon, but this Cambridge café actually earned its neighborhood-hangout rep for morning fare: both weekday breakfast spreads and a super-popular, wide-ranging brunch menu on weekends. The latter’s lineup includes signature omelets with fixings like grilled pear with gorgonzola; double-thick Belgian waffles with berry compote; and a “surf and turf” Benedict of lobster and steak. Though it moved to a larger location a few years ago, crowds remain strong–so reservations are still recommended.

Saturdays and Sundays; 612 Main St., Cambridge, 617-576-3400, cafeluna-centralsq.com.

Chicken and waffle tacos photo courtesy of Citrus & Salt.

Citrus & Salt

Get ready to start and end your week with chef Jason Santos. With the season 20 premiere of Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen on Monday, May 31, the blue-haired toque—who placed runner-up as a show contestant in 2010—will return to his new role as Gordon Ramsay’s right-hand man and mentor to the current crop of competitors. After you’ve watched Santos on TV, maybe you’ll spot him in the kitchen during weekend brunch service at Citrus & Salt, his colorful, coastal-inspired cantina. Either way, it’s worth showing up just for the pink cornmeal pancakes topped with peaches and tres leaches cream; blue corn and tequila waffles paired with fried chicken, jalapeño-BBQ syrup, and watermelon salsa; and soft-serve mimosas. They’re all stars in their own right.

Saturdays and Sundays; 142 Berkeley St., Back Bay, Boston, 833-324-8787, citrusandsaltboston.com.

Greek-inspired brunch plates lure crowds to Committee. / Photo courtesy

Committee Ouzeri  + Bar

Even when it’s not hosting the occasional DJ appearance, there’s still a buzzy scene at this hip Hellenic operation in the Seaport. Crowds come for the breakfast gyro (pita filled with grilled halloumi, loukaniko sausage, and more) and “For the Table” feasts, including Greek-yogurt pancakes topped with honey and sour-cherry preserves. The patio, meanwhile, is a fine perch for sharing Champagne trays with various garnishes, or a bottle from the all-natural, all-Greek wine list.

Saturdays and Sundays; 50 Northern Ave., Boston, 617-737-5051, committeeboston.com.

Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen

Live instrumental music is allowed back at Boston restaurants (with singing set to resume on June 1), so it’s high time to pull up a seat at Darryl’s, a South End street-corner spot that is beloved for its Southern-style comfort food and history of hosting fantastic jazz bands. Here, toes tap under the table while forks up top dig into sweet peach chili-smothered chicken wings; Cajun shrimp with cheddar grits and fried okra; and rum raisin French toast sopping with honey butter and caramel sauce. While you’re sipping on a minty sweet tea mojito, you’ll find you agree that, more than a decade after Darryl’s debuted, it hasn’t missed a beat.

Saturdays and Sundays; 604 Columbus Ave., Boston, 617-536-1100, dcbkboston.com.

Frenchie

This charming wine bar, equipped with a patio and glass-enclosed indoor conservatory with views of South End gardens, serves le petit dejeuner to go every weekend. The lip-smacking highlights include eggs a la Provençal, poached in tomato ragu with Parmesan cheese and basil; a Croque Monsieur with ham or mushrooms; and French toast with berries. And you know what no one has ever said “no” to? A Nutella crêpe. That’s just science.

Saturdays and Sundays; 560 Tremont St., Boston, 857-233-5941, frenchieboston.com.

Sip through mimosas with flights at Friendly Toast. / Photo by David Hayman

The Friendly Toast

Come for the kitschy, colorful interior, covered in vintage bric-a-brac and parlaying a campy spin on a 1950s-suburban-kitchen aesthetic. Stay for the all-day breakfast grub, which seems like the work of a stoned Suzy Homemaker: Cinnamon-sugar pancakes with a cheesecake glaze; hot bowls of spicy buffalo-chicken dip; and toasted, powder sugar-dusted doughnuts that are used to sandwich scrambled eggs and sausage. This quirky, New Hampshire-founded brand has local outposts in Boston’s Back Bay and the Burlington Mall in the ‘burbs.

Open daily; 35 Stanhope St., Boston, 617-456-7849; 75 Middlesex Turnpike (Burlington Mall), Burlington, 781-272-9777, thefriendlytoast.com.

The secluded patio at Harvest. / Photo provided

Harvest

This venerable, decades-spanning stalwart in Harvard Square, which happens to have one of the best patios around, remains a fine-dining favorite in a trending-casual industry. It’s the kind of place that is excellent for entertaining the in-laws over mignonette-dabbed oysters or boards bearing local cheeses; waffles topped with fried chicken, decadent foie gras butter and wild apple purée; and buttermilk biscuits enhanced with rose rhubarb jam and almond crémeux. Don’t relegate Harvest to special occasions, though. It’s fine, but not fussy—you may even catch the occasional doughnut pop-up from pastry chef Josh Livsey, a finalist from the Food Network’s Holiday Baking Championship.

Saturdays and Sundays; 44 Brattle St., Cambridge, 617-868-2255, harvestcambridge.com.

Hot chocolate pancakes at Lincoln Tavern

Hot chocolate pancakes are on the “Brunch Test Kitchen” lineup at Lincoln. / Photo provided

Lincoln Tavern & Restaurant

For many of us, daily schedules have been a bit different during the pandemic era—and that makes Lincoln’s weekday brunch service a bright spot for anyone who can now escape midday for Fruity Pebble pancakes (soaked in cereal-milk anglaise, natch) or wood-fired pizzas topped with everything from Buffalo chicken to butternut squash. The weekend brunch menu is even more expansive, though if there’s any single day you’ve got to swing by, it’s Friday: That’s when the special “Brunch Test Kitchen” service trots out all-new experiments like brisket and egg breakfast sandwiches and peach croissant bread pudding, the best of which wind up graduating to the regular lineup. Either way, we’re always left feeling like very well-fed guinea pigs.

Daily; 425 W Broadway, South Boston, 617-765-8636, lincolnsouthboston.com.

Loyal Nine

The Cambridge restaurant’s inventive explorations of classic New England cuisine aren’t relegated to dinnertime. Its daily, all-day cafe service includes a stellar breakfast sandwich with fried egg and herb aioli-swabbed smoked pork belly, as well as a super-tasty toad in the hole with mushroom gravy and smoked carrots. There’s even more to discover on the weekend brunch menu, though, such as the smoke broccoli croquette swimming in melted Grafton cheddar.

Daily all-day service, plus brunch on Saturdays and Sundays; 660 Cambridge St., Cambridge, 617-945-2576, loyalninecambridge.com.

Lulu’s Allston

The extensive list of craft beers on draft is just one reason to return over (and over, and over) again to Lulu’s, a playful gastropub serving brunch daily. Why else? How about the creative cocktails, like the Chill Pill, a pineapple-vodka elixir with coconut cream and nutmeg, or the Super-Brew Smoothie, a vodka tincture with enough fruit juice to fool you that it’s totally a health drink. Of course, the comfort food is a draw too, including White Trash Hash with stout-braised short ribs and a half-pound burger covered in cognac onions. Not that you needed one more reason, but the spacious, cheery patio provides it anyway.

Daily; 421 Cambridge St., Boston, 617-787-1117, lulusallston.com.

The dining room at Myers + Chang. / Photo by Ruby Wallace-Ewing

Myers + Chang

Indecisive? Spread yourself thin with this Asian icon’s dim sum brunch menu. It offers a smattering of bites, from cold (papaya salad with peanuts and mint), to sweet (lemon-ginger mousse with a house made fortune cookie), to savory (braised pork belly buns with brandy hoisin)–plus wonderfully spongy bao, potsticker-style dumplings, and bowls of noodles. Restaurateur Joanne Chang’s Flour empire offers plenty of lovely morning pastries, but this is her spot where you can build a more substantive brunch-time meal. 

Saturdays and Sundays, 1145 Washington St., Boston, 617-542-5200, myersandchang.com.

The Neighborhood

When you think of exciting, attention-grabbing brunch dishes, cream of wheat is probably not the first thing to come to mind. But the rich, warm bowls offered at this 1983-founded, family-owned Somerville stalwart are famous for a reason. Don’t believe us? You will soon. But the daytime-only operation offers plenty of other reasons to head over–from fabulous, fluffy pancakes to some Portuguese-American seafood specialties. The place is friendly, low on frills, and full of neighborhood-legend charm.

Daily, 25 Bow St., Somerville, 617-623-9710, theneighborhoodrestaurant.com

Oak Long Bar + Kitchen

After spending much of the last year at home, a staycation at a local hotel probably sounds pretty good right now. That said, you don’t need to book an overnight at the regal Fairmont Copley Plaza to reserve a seat at its swanky restaurant, where chocolate-glazed pancakes, smoked salmon pizza with crème fraîche and tobiko toppings, and a succulent Maine lobster roll tossed in roasted lemon and parsley aioli are all on the itinerary. The patio is postcard-pretty, too, so you’ll look fabulous snapping selfies while sipping on Mama Flamingo, a communal vodka cocktail served inside a copper vessel shaped like the bird.

Breakfast served Monday through Fridays, brunch service on Saturdays and Sundays; 138 St. James Ave., Boston, 617-585-7222, oaklongbarkitchen.com.

Rosebud American Kitchen & Bar

A historic diner car in the middle of Davis Square is home to crave-worthy comfort food of the Americana-eats variety–and a star-studded daily brunch menu that earns its stripes. Standouts include fried chicken with waffles, bacon, and maple and black-pepper gravy; crispy tater tots covered in beef and pork chili, cheese sauce, Kewpie mayo, and sour cream; and an indulgent “Country Croque Madame” that douses hickory ham with gooey gruyère, smoked gouda, and béchamel. You’ll want a boozy brunch drink to wash it down–like the Kentucky Iced Coffee, bourbon with amaretto, cold-brew coffee and maple syrup.

Daily; 81 Summer St., Somerville, 617-629-9500, rosebudkitchen.com