Where to Get the Best French Toast around Boston
From Southie to Dorchester, options abound.
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We’ll happily sing the praises of a well-made breakfast sandwich or eggs benedict all morning long. But when it comes to the fine art of carbo-loading, few dishes rival the bread-y satisfaction of a heaping plate of French toast. From traditional, yet elevated, recipes served with a splash of maple syrup to outside-the-box creations boasting all manner of sauces and toppings (lemon curd, anyone?), these nine area restaurants have the goods.
Beloved bartenders, killer dance music, and must-see drag shows lure the local Sunday Funday set to this Dorchester spot, where an equally festive brunch menu matches the party-like vibe. Case in point: the 21+ French toast, whipped up with Irish cream and maple-bourbon syrup. Make sure you eat all the berries that come with your slices of boozy brioche; you’ll need the fruity goodness to balance out the rich chocolate sauce drizzled over your meal (which can be made alcohol-free, if you’d rather enjoy your liquor in one of Blend’s tasty cocktails instead).
1310 Dorchester Ave., Dorchester, 617-265-8846, blenddorchester.com.
Brassica Kitchen + Cafe
Creative, unexpected fare has no doubt played a major role in taking Brassica from successful pop-up to neighborhood go-to. And the J.P. team’s innovative brunch offerings, including the doughnut French toast, certainly deserve some of the credit. Both savory and sweet thanks to the addition of apriums—an apricot-plum hybrid—and Thai tea butter, Brassica’s novel twist on a breakfast-table classic is the best kind of mealtime surprise.
3710 Washington St., Boston, 617-477-4519, brassicakitchen.com.
If you’ve ever tried and failed to secure a table at this Cambridge cafe, we know just how you feel. The popular eatery regularly (and quickly) books up for its stellar weekend brunch service, anchored in no small part by its 10 French toast options. Dipped in graham-cracker crumbs, the fried Mexican Churro French toast, for one, appeals to your sweet tooth with a dulce de leche topping. Citrus fans, meanwhile, may gravitate toward the restaurant’s lemon-curd variety, finished with lemon mascarpone and blueberry compote. So, really, which is harder: Snagging a reservation at Cafe Luna, or deciding which of its dishes to try first?
612 Main St., Cambridge, 617-576-3400, cafeluna-centralsq.com.
Whether you’re back in the office three days a week or still hopping on daily Zoom calls from the comfort of your couch, you probably don’t always (or ever?) have time for a leisurely breakfast. Lucky for all of us, Flour makes it possible to enjoy French toast on the go. With a smattering of convenient locations across Boston and Cambridge, the bakery offers its delicious focaccia-fueled version in one- and two-slice portions—each lightly dusted with powdered sugar and easy to chow down while you race back to your computer (wherever it is these days).
1595 Washington St., Boston, 617-2674300; and other locations; flourbakery.com.
The Friendly Toast
Not super chatty in the morning? The brightly painted walls and quirky décor at this local favorite are natural conversation starters, as is the extensive (and consistently well-executed) menu of breakfast and brunch treats like the Highway Strawberry French toast. Fancied up with cheesecake glaze, chocolate ganache, and (surprise!) strawberries, the decadent dish is surely one you’ll be talking about long after you take your last bite.
35 Stanhope St., Boston, 617-456-7849; and other locations; thefriendlytoast.com.
North Street Grille
You’re likely headed to the North End to dig into great Italian food, but, word to the wise, the neighborhood also happens to be home to one of the most robust French toast lineups in town. Enter North Street Grille, where no fewer than a dozen French toast dishes—including a pair of “French toast sticks” offerings that come with cream-cheese dip—routinely dazzle brunch seekers. One standout? The brie-stuffed Crudite, complete with apples and walnuts for a satisfying crunch.
229 North St., Boston, 617-720-2010, bestbrunchboston.com.
Coffee-spiked Nutella and buttery brioche are just a couple of the tempting ingredients this city institution leans on for its French toast masterpieces, available seven days a week at its Beacon Hill and Southie locations. While each restaurant’s French toast menu is a bit different, both spots serve up big flavor in a caramel-and-banana variety—perfectly complemented by one of the Paramount’s freshly made lattes or mochas. Sip and savor while you follow the action in the restaurants’ open kitchens.
44 Charles St., Boston, 617-720-1152; 667 E. Broadway, 617-269-9999; paramountboston.com.
Rosebud Kitchen + Bar
Davis Square restaurant-goers got very welcome news in 2014, when the shuttered Rosebud Diner re-opened as the Rosebud Kitchen + Bar. And now, nearly a decade later, the revamped Somerville hangout continues to win over hungry bellies with brunch staples like the Classic French toast. Infused with orange, vanilla, and cinnamon, the entree’s thick-cut slices come with berries, maple syrup, and mascarpone whipped cream. Need a drink to wash it all down? Stay on theme with the vodka- and prosecco-powered “Spritz End,” which also features citrus and cinnamon.
381 Summer St., Somerville, 617-629-9500, rosebudkitchen.com.
With free-flowing booze and start times that take into account the late hours you may or may not have kept the night before, brunch can feel like an “adults only” meal. But, as Sonsie’s Tempura French toast attests, that’s not to say the menu can’t have a few whimsical (read: child-friendly) touches. Made with strawberry compote, cereal-milk anglaise, and—most important—Fruity Pebbles, the Back Bay restaurant’s novel concoction is sure to have you feeling like a kid again. (Albeit one with excellent taste.)
327 Newbury St., Boston, 617-351-2500, sonsieboston.com.