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 12 restaurants were chosen with weekday breakfast in mind — the doors open early, service is prompt, and the hearty breakfast fare is top-notch.Read More
12 Essential Breakfast Spots Around Boston
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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.
Flour Bakery + Cafe
Flour is a breakfast mainstay around Boston. This Central Square spot is one of ten locations where they are churning out consistently good egg sandwiches and a standout baked French toast made with focaccia, dusted in powdered sugar, and drizzled in maple syrup. Or, assemble an entire breakfast at the pastry case. Start at the stacks of ham and cheese croissants and don’t miss the homemade pop-tarts.
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.
Parisian bistro Café Sauvage is a newer spot in Back Bay and, on the weekends, it's an extremely tough time to get a table at brunch time. Opt instead for a weekday breakfast, and dig into croque madames, crepes, and omelets with either coffee or cocktails depending on how the day ahead is looking.
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.
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.
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.
Southern-inflected breakfast spot Soleil in Roxbury is a must-stop for salmon cakes served with a creamy, unfortunately-not-bottomless remoulade, crispy smashed potatoes, buttery grits, and more, all orchestrated by acclaimed Boston chef Cheryl Straughter.
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.
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.
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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.