Don’t limit yourself to the Freedom Trail: Trendsetting stores, restaurants, and cultural spaces are blazing a new path through one of the country’s oldest cities. From serving modern, award-winning cocktails in a 17th-century mansion to coming up with innovative takes on a 4,000-year-old culinary tradition, Bostonians are now making a different kind of history. Get ready to shop world-class vintage at a mile-long market and indulge in the state's only five-star spa; then cap it off with a midnight party at the Museum of Fine Arts. Cheers!
Is there anything more delightful than brunch? Any meal that allows you to guzzle down a Bloody Mary (or two, or three) and stuff your face with pancakes is okay by us. If you’re a Boston native—or just passing through for the weekend—and consider your weekend empty without an epic food outing, we’re here to help you find the best (read: most delicious) spots. Keep scrolling for our favorites.
1. ALDEN & HARLOW
Chef Michael Scelfo serves up delicious American dishes in his rustic-chic Harvard Square restaurant, from hickory-smoked pigs’ tails to pancakes. Portions are on the smaller side, so bring friends, order lots of plates, and share.
40 Brattle Street, Cambridge; aldenharlow.com
2. Deep Ellum
This gastropub serves up brunch all week long and offers an impressive craft beer list. Menu highlights include duck confit hash, grilled tuna salad nicoise, chicken and biscuits, and a breakfast burrito—so even the pickiest eater will find something to order.
477 Cambridge Street, Allston; deepellum.com
3. EASTERN STANDARD KITCHEN
If you’re looking for a good bang for your buck, Eastern Standard Kitchen delivers. Their brunch menu is much more reasonably priced than their dinner one, so you can enjoy the charming brasserie-style digs with a bill that’s easy to stomach.
528 Commonwealth Avenue; easternstandard.com
4. Café Luna
This modestly sized café boasts a lengthy four-page menu. If the number of choices overwhelms you, then we recommend the lobster and avocado omelet or the lemony pancakes with honey butter.
403 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge; cafeluna.com
5. Island Creek Oyster Bar
When in New England, do as the New Englanders do and dig into some serious shellfish. Island Creek Oyster Bar specializes in—you guessed it—oysters, but you can also order a lobster roll or fish and chips, as well as more traditional brunch options like French toast.
500 Commonwealth Avenue; islandcreekoysterbar.com
6. HIGHLAND KITCHEN
Assessments of this Somerville joint often include the description, “like a dive, but nicer.” In other words, Highland Kitchen is comfortable and modest. But don’t underestimate it—the food will blow you away.
150 Highland Avenue, Somerville; highlandkitchen.com
Whether you’re looking for a nosh your bubbe would approve of or just really want some matzah ball soup, Mamaleh’s is your safest bet. The Kendall Square eatery opened this past summer and is very much in-demand, so you’d do best to make a reservation.
1 Kendall Square, Bldg. 300, Cambridge; mamalehs.com
Charming and rustic, this upscale bakery offers brunch all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The menu, which reads like Le Pain Quotidien with a Middle Eastern twist, has many healthy offerings. We recommend the shakshuka: a delicious blend of eggs, pepper, and tomatoes.
Multiple locations; tattebakery.com
Tapas are just as great for brunch as they are for dinner. Don’t believe us? Toro will set you straight. Their small plates are award winning, after all. Don’t forget to top it all off with a pitcher of their Jalapeño Bloody Maria.
1704 Washington Street; toro-restaurant.com
10. TREMONT 647
Tremont 647 is the place to be if you’re in search of a brunch experience that’s far from ordinary—not to mention highly Instagrammable. The staff dresses in pajamas and serves up inventive dishes like cinnamon roll pancakes, house-made pop tarts, and French toast sticks.
647 Tremont Street; tremont647.com