Best Brunch in Boston

10 Best Boston Brunch Spots Bring you Everything from Neighborhood Hot Spots to Upscale Buffets and Harbor Cruises

When enjoying a Sunday morning in Boston means more than just curling up with the local newspaper (or tablet) and a cup of coffee you'll want to head out to one of Boston's best brunch spots. Finding the perfect place to dive into a plate filled with breakfast and/or lunch items that will curb your cravings can be a daunting task, but 10best makes it easy by providing a list of the best places to eat that offer a varied selection of food styles that best represents the diversity of Boston's brunch scene. Often a laid back affair, you may find yourself longing for a setting like that of Area Four, where lines of locals arrive comfortably dressed to fill their bellies with hearty treats like the popular Hot Mess. Maybe you'd prefer a more formal affair where you can refill your plate with the over the top buffet of seasonal local food, including a luxurious raw bar like that of Henrietta's Table. Perhaps you'd like to make a little more of brunch and get some sightseeing in at the same time, if so, a cruise around Boston Harbor while enjoying the brunch buffet on the Odyssey is ideal for you. 


Washington Square Tavern is an upscale neighborhood hangout where Brookline locals flock to enjoy fabulous New American cuisine at communal tables, or a bit of banter at the bar (often with the ever present, and extremely friendly owner). Lights are set low and create a sense of calm that permeates the entire place. A low key evening of conversation with strangers awaits. The word "rush" does not seem to be the dictionary here, because no one makes you feel that you can no longer linger over your last few sips of beer or bites of brunch. The live Jazz playing in the corner pairs well with a Mimosa or Bloody Mary.

Recommended for Brunch because: The Washington Square Tavern serves one of the best Irish Breakfasts you'll find in Boston in relaxed atmosphere ideal for enjoying your Sunday brunch.

Local Expert tip: The burger, which is always on the menu, is a must, but don't overlook the "appetizers" because you are sure to find something fun to share with friends.

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A casually elegant interior is swanky without being stuffy. Small tiles seem to glisten from the light reflecting off their shiny surface. The lively bar scene is the perfect place to sit solo and order a light meal, or a simple snack including something from their impressive selection of raw bar essentials even during their brunch hours. Enjoy the leisurely scene at one of their many private or communal tables, or opt for a patio seat; with warming stations you can enjoy the sunshine and fresh air well after summer ends and much in advance of when it begins. Gaslight's brunch is as inviting as its atmosphere; order a few things to share from their sweet and savory options to create your perfect brunch.

Recommended for Brunch because: Gaslight offers a kid friendly brunch atmosphere where parents can enjoy French inspired sweet and savory breakfast items, or favorite lunch and raw bar menus.

Local Expert tip: Gaslight's crepes are worth every calorie but if you'd prefer something savory try the Steak & Eggs with pommes confit, casramelized onions, & sauce meurette. And if you're feeling more like lunch order the Moules Frites.

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Outside the City

J's is perfectly set among the vineyards of the Nashoba Valley Winery in breathtaking Bolton, Ma. About one hour outside the city you'll find a serene setting that is sure to please all of your senses. The food, simply prepared using the freshest ingredients, is a pleasure for your tastebuds, and paired with wines direct from the Nashoba Valley Winery you'll be certain to have the perfect glass to accompany your dish. Serving lunch, dinner and brunch, this restaurant gets filled fast with foodies, as well as tourists sauntering in from a tour of winery or fresh from picking fruit from the orchard. Brunch is a top notch buffet that often draws a crowd, and patio seating is at premium when the weather if perfect.

Recommended for Brunch because: Enjoy J's brunch overlooking the Nashoba Valley Winery. Served buffet style, you'll have plenty of choices to put together your perfect plate.

Local Expert tip: Nashoba Valley Winery offers tours and tastings, and seasonal fruit picking. Start with brunch at J's then complete your afternoon on the lovely grounds.

Read more about J's at Nashoba Winery →


The Painted Burro brings something different to the Boston brunch scene- a Mexican inspired menu! In addition to their over the top appetizers and creative tacos (like the spicy favorite- white gulf "diablo"), you'll also find an endearing list of Mexican inspired breakfast items. Including the over the top vaquero hash: a combination of 2 fried eggs, achiote-braised pork, potatoes, kale, roasted poblano, onion rajas, & chipotle mayo that will dazzle your taste buds. The modern Mexican decor of this happening Davis Square restaurant creates a cozy feel that welcomes diners to linger with one of their interesting tequila based cocktails.

Recommended for Brunch because: A Mexican brunch menu filled with creative takes on breakfast staples, like the Vaquero Hash served in a fun setting sets the Painted Burro apart.

Local Expert tip: Order the Fundido for the table and try a taco or two, the Cucumber Margarita is a refreshingly tasty step up from the original.

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Everything you'd expect in a steakhouse sits under the roof of Abe and Louis. This well-known, Back Bay restaurant corners the market when it comes to tasty steaks, and even wins kudos for it's fabulous raw bar, but a little known fact is that Abe & Louis serves one decadent brunch. In addition to savory egg dishes, and sweet breakfast renditions, you'll also find a long list of Abe & Louis famous steaks; just as good for brunch as they are for dinner. The interior is elegant and dark, like you'd expect in a steakhouse, decorated with brass, mahogany, and marble accents- dark enough to fend off the pesky Sunday morning sun, and a welcome respite for sipping a hangover helping Bloody Mary.

Recommended for Brunch because: Bringing their "worth every penny" steakhouse classics to the brunch crowd, Abe & Louis menu only gets better when kicked up breakfast staples become an option.

Local Expert tip: Eggs Benedict three ways is a rare treat for the taste buds; gracing your plate you'll find the poached pillows atop filet mignon, crab cake and lobster.

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Area Four
Photo courtesy of Marlo Marketing

Area Four boasts an ideal setting for tech savvy Kendall Square. The modern digs house both a constantly packed coffee shop and a restaurant that caters to the locals who love it. Those in the know are aware of Area Four's mind boggling good brunch menu. Served Saturday and Sunday mornings, their menu is more than bacon and eggs but nothing overly fancy. The perfect mix of menu favorites, like the must try A4 Mozzarella- house-made and served with Apple-Cranberry Relish Crostino and hearty breakfast choices like the very popular Hot Mess-a savory combination of eggs, home fries, bacon, sausage, caramelized onions, cheddar, scallions & pickled banana pepper that has a loyal following. Top it off with a brunch cocktail and you'll have enjoyed the perfect start to your day.

Recommended for Brunch because: Area Four's brunch menu is anything but light; but their hearty local fare will fill your cravings. And the entire menu is priced under $15.00.

Local Expert tip: The hot mess has had people lined up on Sundays since Area Four started serving brunch,; don't leave without tasting it yourself.

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Photo courtesy of 451 Marketing

Walking into Catalyst you're met by a sense of calm, the large space is filled with inviting elements that make you want to find a seat and stay there for a very long time. The double sided fireplace is surrounded by benches begging for you to take a seat and hanging from the wall you'll see live greenery adding a splash of color to the industrial chic decor. But what makes Catalyst special is their food. Serving a brunch that starts with appetizers invites a family style experience for the first part of the meal. Their freshly baked scones and cinnamon skillet coffee cake could fill you before your main course, but don't let them as the brunch entrees are even better. In the spirit of eggs benedict, you'll find a breakfast that could satisfy a movie star- a poached egg atop a tournedo of beef sitting on a pile of grits all doused in hollandaise. Don't forget a brunch drink, the Bloody Mary is an unexpected take on the classic- served with gin rather than vodka.

Recommended for Brunch because: Combine fun brunch "appetizers", a balanced list of sweet and savory meals, and a not so average cocktail list for brunch perfection at Catalyst.

Local Expert tip: Share a few "For the Table" treats like the Skillet Cinnamon Coffee Cake and the Scones, but order your own meal as you'll devour the entire plate, especially if yours includes their flavorful grits.

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Odyssey Cruises
Photo courtesy of Jessica Polizzotti

Viewing the Boston skyline from the outer, upper decks of the Odyssey while slowly setting sail around the Harbor erases all worry. Fellow cruisers are dressed to impress as the Odyssey dress code inspires you to don only your best attire. The refined crowd varies in age and is far from stuffy; as the cruise wears on you'll find the dance floor filling up and the outer decks abuzz with cocktail party type chatter. Offering a variety of cruise options that range in price (topping out at over $100 per person for a Saturday night dinner cruise) there is sure to be one that will perfectly suit you.

Recommended for Brunch because: The most unique brunch experience in Boston, the Odyssey is a harbor cruise and brunch buffet in one with views rivaling the food.

Local Expert tip: Leave your table and enjoy the outer decks, and be sure to dip into the chocolate fountain.

Read more about Odyssey Cruises →

This eclectic restaurant, located in the elegant Charles Hotel, emphasizes New England-inspired dishes, and the use of fresh local ingredients has become one of Henrietta's most enduring qualities. Farmhouse-chic decor distinguishes the interior, and sidewalk seating is available, weather permitting. A three-course, a la carte brunch is featured on Saturdays, but Sunday's brunch is the one you should not miss. Having won well deserved awards over the years, they manage to take the stigma out of the word buffet by serving fresh fare favoring local ingredients. Platters of perfectly seasoned grilled vegetables, a cheese plate that includes delectable terrines, and pates, a raw bar overflowing with jumbo shrimp and Wellfleet oysters and bagels with all the trimmings welcome you to fill your plate as often as you'd like.

Recommended for Brunch because: For $45.00 you can bet that Henrietta's serves a buffet you'll never forget. Stations include brunch basics as well as an impressive raw bar.

Local Expert tip: Pace yourself! The food is so well prepared you may want to pile it all on your plate right away, but Henrietta's is a nice place to linger so resist the urge and enjoy more than one trip through the buffet.

Read more about Henrietta's Table →


Meet Jessica Polizzotti

Born and raised in Boston, Jessica knows her city like the back of her hand.  Always looking to uncover something new, Jessica keeps up on the latest and greatest Boston offerings. 

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