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A croissant pressed into a waffle shape is drizzled in blueberry jam and a scoop of whipped cream.
The croffles at Cafe Weekend in Allston are essential breakfast eating.
Erika Adams/Eater Boston

14 Essential Breakfast Spots Around Boston

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The croffles at Cafe Weekend in Allston are essential breakfast eating.
| Erika Adams/Eater Boston

Put away that sad, burnt toast and lukewarm coffee: The restaurants on this list take the first meal of the day very seriously. Crisp waffles, buttery grits, and pillowy egg yolk buns abound in and around Boston. While some of the spots also do weekend brunch, these 14 restaurants were chosen with weekday breakfast in mind — the doors open early, service is prompt, and the hearty breakfast fare is top-notch.

Looking for a leisurely weekend brunch spot instead? Check out some top options in and around Boston here. Only eat breakfast sandwiches in the morning? Head right this way.

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Sofra Bakery & Cafe

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The daytime sibling to citywide Mediterranean favorites Oleana and Sarma, Sofra is the place to go for sweet and savory Lebanese, Turkish, and Greek fare just after sunrise. The shakshuka is excellent, as is the Turkish-style breakfast with soft-boiled egg, feta, and veggies, and the asure, a flavorful pudding made with chickpeas, milk, rose water, and apple butter. And yes, the correct move is ordering one of every breakfast pastry to go.

A shallow pewter bowl filled with tomato sauce, a green oil, and two poached eggs.
Sofra’s rich and satisfying shakshuka.
Erika Adams/Eater Boston

Brookline Lunch

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The name is a bit of a misnomer; Brookline Lunch serves breakfast and brunch all day in Cambridge (on Brookline Street, to be fair; and sure, there’s lunch too). Dating all the way back to 1937, this old-timey spot has become especially popular in recent years for its pancakes, especially the baklava pancakes, which were originally meant to be a special but jumped to the regular menu. The rest of the breakfast menu is full of eggs: omelets, Benedicts, and such. Cash only.

A green ceramic bowl filled with veggies, pita wedges, poached eggs, and chickpeas.
Za’atar eggs at Brookline Lunch.
Erika Adams/Eater Boston

Cafe Weekend

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This charming cafe sports the motto “Make Everyday Feel Like the Weekend,” and they achieve that goal with flying colors. The croffle, a cross between a croissant and a waffle, is a must with a cup of coffee. From there, options abound with four egg omelets, breakfast sandwiches, and a nutella banana brioche French toast.

A toasted white bread sandwich with bits of bacon and cheese peeking out of the sides.
A bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich from Cafe Weekend.
Erika Adams/Eater Boston

Great Taste Bakery & Restaurant

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From the sausage rolls to the molten egg yolk buns, Great Taste knows how to produce an unbeatable breakfast spread. It’s hard to go wrong on the menu, but be sure to nab the fried turnip cakes, custard rolls, and any of the sweet or savory buns.

The Friendly Toast

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The Friendly Toast is a reliably weird and wonderful place to hang out for breakfast. The restaurant originated in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and has since brought its scrambled egg rolls, hash brown bowls, and doughnut breakfast sandwiches to six locations in Massachusetts, including this nearly eight-year-old Back Bay spot.

Rochambeau

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Why wait for the weekend to order a mimosa when Rochambeau serves brunch seven days a week? Order French toast with nutella cream feuillertine, banana and aged rum anglaise or a croque madame on buttered brioche. There are plenty of classic savory French dishes as well like escargot and steak tartare.

Two halves of an English muffin topped with sauteed spinach, tomatoes, poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, and grilled ham on the side.
Rochambeau’s eggs Benedict.
Rochambeau

Kupel's Bakery

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A good bagel is one of the best possible breakfast options and Kupel’s Bakery near Coolidge Corner has perfected the art. This kosher bakery makes more than 20 different bagel flavors every day. Load one up with a flavored schmear like jalapeno, strawberry, green olive, or lox, or request a made-to-order sandwich named after a Boston neighborhood. The Coolidge Corner includes the best-selling chive cream cheese with smoked salmon and tomato on an onion and salt bagel, whereas the Harvard mixes honey walnut cream cheese and jelly on a bagel of your choice.

Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe

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Sure, “sandwich” is right there in the name, but don’t let that fool you into thinking Charlie’s is just a lunch destination. Swing by to start your day with crisp-edged stacks of griddle cakes topped with your choice of goodies like walnuts, bananas, and cranberries. The generous banana bread French toast is a must-try, too. If savory is more your style, find plenty of omelets and breakfast sandwiches on the menu.

A plate with two blueberry pancakes on a red table.
Blueberry pancakes at Charlie’s Sandwich Shoppe.
Erika Adams / Eater Boston

Milkweed

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Like other spots on this list, Milkweed is typically overrun during weekend brunch hours, but diners will find a much more relaxed atmosphere during the weekday breakfast window. Take advantage of the relative quiet to linger over shakshuka, steak and cheese egg scrambles, and dutch baby pancakes topped with blueberry compote and strawberries. The restaurant’s grilled “love muffins,” topped with a generous scoop of butter, may taste more like dessert than breakfast, but an order isn’t complete without one.

A chocolate muffin sliced in half with butter melting on top.
That gorgeous grilled muffin. The flavors change frequently; here, it’s chocolate.
Erika Adams/Eater Boston

Dudley Cafe

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Dudley Cafe has been a go-to spot for morning coffee and breakfast sandwiches in Nubian Square for nearly a decade. Sandwich and bowl names pay homage to local history, like the Roxbury Deluxe breakfast sandwich featuring egg, spinach, bacon, cheddar, and jam on an English muffin, and Ayanna’s Bowl, a savory nod to Representative Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts. Community is also at the core of this cafe, where they showcase local artists and hire staffers from the nearby Madison Park Technical High School.

Dudley Cafe’s Roxbury Deluxe, a breakfast sandwich with egg, bacon, and fruit jam on an english muffin.
The jammy Roxbury Deluxe.
Erika Adams/Eater Boston

The Joint

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The breakfast menu at the Joint is full of the usual suspects — pancakes, waffles, huevos rancheros — but the restaurant shines in the execution. Sure, it’s pancakes, but these are fluffy, buttermilk beauties with just a touch of crispiness around the edges. The fist-sized, golden brown Belgian waffles, served alone or topped with fried chicken, are a crowd-pleaser too.

A blue plate filled with waffles, bacon, two eggs, and a side cup of syrup.
Waffles, bacon, and sunny-side-up eggs at the Joint.
Erika Adams/Eater Boston

McKenna's Cafe

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McKenna’s Cafe is a decades-old Dorchester institution that knows its way around a solid breakfast. Diners are spoiled for choice here, from the Irish breakfast with black and white pudding to the breakfast burritos, egg sandwiches, and 15 — yes, 15 — different types of omelets.

Blue Mountain Jamaican Restaurant

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Blue Mountain is one of the city’s top destinations for classic Jamaican breakfast fare, including ackee and saltfish, and callaloo, a flavorful mix of stewed greens. Pair any order with banana porridge and a couple of flaky patties to round out the meal.

This stylish, welcoming Hong Kong-style cafe has just about everything one needs for a satisfying start to the day. Dip crunchy you tiao, or fried dough, into housemade soy milk and grab a spam-and-egg bolo bao for a quick, delicious meal. For savory breakfast fans, the bowl of rice rolls with cubes of tender brisket is one of the finest ways to start the day.

A sandwich with square cuts of spam, egg, and yellow cheese placed between two tall, fluffy buns.
The spam bolo bao from Rubato.
Erika Adams/Eater Boston

Sofra Bakery & Cafe

The daytime sibling to citywide Mediterranean favorites Oleana and Sarma, Sofra is the place to go for sweet and savory Lebanese, Turkish, and Greek fare just after sunrise. The shakshuka is excellent, as is the Turkish-style breakfast with soft-boiled egg, feta, and veggies, and the asure, a flavorful pudding made with chickpeas, milk, rose water, and apple butter. And yes, the correct move is ordering one of every breakfast pastry to go.

A shallow pewter bowl filled with tomato sauce, a green oil, and two poached eggs.
Sofra’s rich and satisfying shakshuka.
Erika Adams/Eater Boston

Brookline Lunch

The name is a bit of a misnomer; Brookline Lunch serves breakfast and brunch all day in Cambridge (on Brookline Street, to be fair; and sure, there’s lunch too). Dating all the way back to 1937, this old-timey spot has become especially popular in recent years for its pancakes, especially the baklava pancakes, which were originally meant to be a special but jumped to the regular menu. The rest of the breakfast menu is full of eggs: omelets, Benedicts, and such. Cash only.

A green ceramic bowl filled with veggies, pita wedges, poached eggs, and chickpeas.
Za’atar eggs at Brookline Lunch.
Erika Adams/Eater Boston

Cafe Weekend

This charming cafe sports the motto “Make Everyday Feel Like the Weekend,” and they achieve that goal with flying colors. The croffle, a cross between a croissant and a waffle, is a must with a cup of coffee. From there, options abound with four egg omelets, breakfast sandwiches, and a nutella banana brioche French toast.

A toasted white bread sandwich with bits of bacon and cheese peeking out of the sides.
A bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich from Cafe Weekend.
Erika Adams/Eater Boston

Great Taste Bakery & Restaurant

From the sausage rolls to the molten egg yolk buns, Great Taste knows how to produce an unbeatable breakfast spread. It’s hard to go wrong on the menu, but be sure to nab the fried turnip cakes, custard rolls, and any of the sweet or savory buns.

The Friendly Toast

The Friendly Toast is a reliably weird and wonderful place to hang out for breakfast. The restaurant originated in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and has since brought its scrambled egg rolls, hash brown bowls, and doughnut breakfast sandwiches to six locations in Massachusetts, including this nearly eight-year-old Back Bay spot.

Rochambeau

Why wait for the weekend to order a mimosa when Rochambeau serves brunch seven days a week? Order French toast with nutella cream feuillertine, banana and aged rum anglaise or a croque madame on buttered brioche. There are plenty of classic savory French dishes as well like escargot and steak tartare.

Two halves of an English muffin topped with sauteed spinach, tomatoes, poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, and grilled ham on the side.
Rochambeau’s eggs Benedict.
Rochambeau

Kupel's Bakery

A good bagel is one of the best possible breakfast options and Kupel’s Bakery near Coolidge Corner has perfected the art. This kosher bakery makes more than 20 different bagel flavors every day. Load one up with a flavored schmear like jalapeno, strawberry, green olive, or lox, or request a made-to-order sandwich named after a Boston neighborhood. The Coolidge Corner includes the best-selling chive cream cheese with smoked salmon and tomato on an onion and salt bagel, whereas the Harvard mixes honey walnut cream cheese and jelly on a bagel of your choice.

Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe

Sure, “sandwich” is right there in the name, but don’t let that fool you into thinking Charlie’s is just a lunch destination. Swing by to start your day with crisp-edged stacks of griddle cakes topped with your choice of goodies like walnuts, bananas, and cranberries. The generous banana bread French toast is a must-try, too. If savory is more your style, find plenty of omelets and breakfast sandwiches on the menu.

A plate with two blueberry pancakes on a red table.
Blueberry pancakes at Charlie’s Sandwich Shoppe.
Erika Adams / Eater Boston

Milkweed

Like other spots on this list, Milkweed is typically overrun during weekend brunch hours, but diners will find a much more relaxed atmosphere during the weekday breakfast window. Take advantage of the relative quiet to linger over shakshuka, steak and cheese egg scrambles, and dutch baby pancakes topped with blueberry compote and strawberries. The restaurant’s grilled “love muffins,” topped with a generous scoop of butter, may taste more like dessert than breakfast, but an order isn’t complete without one.

A chocolate muffin sliced in half with butter melting on top.
That gorgeous grilled muffin. The flavors change frequently; here, it’s chocolate.
Erika Adams/Eater Boston

Dudley Cafe

Dudley Cafe has been a go-to spot for morning coffee and breakfast sandwiches in Nubian Square for nearly a decade. Sandwich and bowl names pay homage to local history, like the Roxbury Deluxe breakfast sandwich featuring egg, spinach, bacon, cheddar, and jam on an English muffin, and Ayanna’s Bowl, a savory nod to Representative Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts. Community is also at the core of this cafe, where they showcase local artists and hire staffers from the nearby Madison Park Technical High School.

Dudley Cafe’s Roxbury Deluxe, a breakfast sandwich with egg, bacon, and fruit jam on an english muffin.
The jammy Roxbury Deluxe.
Erika Adams/Eater Boston

The Joint

The breakfast menu at the Joint is full of the usual suspects — pancakes, waffles, huevos rancheros — but the restaurant shines in the execution. Sure, it’s pancakes, but these are fluffy, buttermilk beauties with just a touch of crispiness around the edges. The fist-sized, golden brown Belgian waffles, served alone or topped with fried chicken, are a crowd-pleaser too.

A blue plate filled with waffles, bacon, two eggs, and a side cup of syrup.
Waffles, bacon, and sunny-side-up eggs at the Joint.
Erika Adams/Eater Boston

McKenna's Cafe

McKenna’s Cafe is a decades-old Dorchester institution that knows its way around a solid breakfast. Diners are spoiled for choice here, from the Irish breakfast with black and white pudding to the breakfast burritos, egg sandwiches, and 15 — yes, 15 — different types of omelets.

Blue Mountain Jamaican Restaurant

Blue Mountain is one of the city’s top destinations for classic Jamaican breakfast fare, including ackee and saltfish, and callaloo, a flavorful mix of stewed greens. Pair any order with banana porridge and a couple of flaky patties to round out the meal.

Rubato

This stylish, welcoming Hong Kong-style cafe has just about everything one needs for a satisfying start to the day. Dip crunchy you tiao, or fried dough, into housemade soy milk and grab a spam-and-egg bolo bao for a quick, delicious meal. For savory breakfast fans, the bowl of rice rolls with cubes of tender brisket is one of the finest ways to start the day.

A sandwich with square cuts of spam, egg, and yellow cheese placed between two tall, fluffy buns.
The spam bolo bao from Rubato.
Erika Adams/Eater Boston

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