When Sunday arrives in Boston, the city awakes to the sound of bacon crackling on a hot griddle and spicy Bloody Marys filling expectant pitchers. Brunch is a routine weekend affair—basically a lifestyle staple—and thankfully Boston’s culinary scene knows this well. It’s not uncommon to find your favorite late-night dinner spot serving late-morning buffets only a few hours after last call. In the hours spanning breakfast and lunch, discerning Bostonians crave everything from effervescent mimosas to hand-ground estate coffee. Health-conscious diners seek vegetable-driven fare, while still-boozy college students flock to all corners of the city for towers of pancakes mortared with syrup and whipped cream. In this waterfront city, you’ll find cozy mom and pop diners for kicking back across from refined, white tablecloth haunts with prix-fixe brunch service. Whether you’re feeling on point or recovering from a weekend of debauchery, there’s a brunch menu in this diverse collection to appeal to every palate.
The Pour House
This delightfully kitschy, no-frills Boylston Street party bar turns into the hottest spot for brunch on the weekend. The menu is massive—if you can dream it, you can eat it—and all for under $10. Wake up with a 22 oz. behemoth of a homemade Bloody Mary, crowned with salt, lemon and lime wedges, a celery stalk, and olives, and let the unfussy tomato juice and well vodka antidote wash away your hangover. Arrive early, as the two-story dive fills up fast.
This laid-back farm-to-table restaurant is dear to the hearts of Somerville brunch-goers. A Southern-style Sunday brunch comes with a side of live country and bluegrass music. Show up before it opens to get a good spot in line—the sound of twangy banjos and the aroma of fried chicken, buttermilk biscuits, or deep-fried cornmeal hushpuppies is a powerful beacon for hungry denizens on the weekends.
Sunday brunch at this award-winning Cambridge classic is an elegant affair. Since the 1970s, the kitchen has seen the culinary finesse of dozens of acclaimed Boston chefs, and is currently helmed by respected New Englander Mary Dumont. Feel refreshed picking from a seasonal, three-course, prix-fixe menu crafted with local produce from sources like Eva’s Garden, Verrill Farm, and Captain Marden’s. Feeling indulgent? Don’t miss Dumont’s legendary lemon and ricotta pancakes, topped with strawberry rhubarb jam, syrup, and hand-whipped cream.
If traditional brunch hours don’t fit your schedule, this Jewish-style restaurant in Brookline’s Coolidge Corner is one of city’s few legendary places serving breakfast all day long. While you vacillate between traditional favorites such as loaded latkes with smoked salmon and sour cream, or challah French toast with a side of turkey hash, your waiter will calm your tablemates with crispy bagel chips and cream cheese dip. The line can get long on weekends, so arrive early or check it out on less-crowded weekdays.
The Friendly Toast
Creative flavor combinations (new potato home fries with soy sauce; cayenne-cheddar toast with eggs and mango sour cream) and gaudy, 1950’s décor are a surprising hit at this Kendall Square favorite. As a haven for those seeking vegetarian or gluten-free options, anyone can order a stack of their much-loved King Cakes—named for Elvis himself. Thick cakes stuffed with banana come slathered with peanut butter, surrounded by bacon (or veggie bacon), and topped with whipped cream. Now that’s money, honey.