Where to Grab Breakfast in Boston

Breakfast has always been touted as the most important meal of the day, the meal we eat to break the long fast of the previous night’s slumber.

eating french toast at boston breakfast restaurants

So, it’s no surprise that breakfast restaurants have been a staple for over a century.

A case in point is the diner, a northeastern tradition that remains an iconic part of American culinary culture.

As one of the most iconic cities in the Northeast, Boston upholds the standard for amazing breakfast restaurants.

Whether you want a diner, a bakery, or a fine dining restaurant, you’ll find the best breakfast restaurants in Boston on the following list.

Flour Bakery + Cafe

Multiple locations
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From self-taught baker Joanne Chang, Flour Bakery + Café is a beloved neighborhood bakery with nine locations, including Cambridge, Harvard Square, and South End.

Together with her husband and co-owner Christopher Myers, Chang has created a beloved chain of bakeries offering fresh pastries, custom cakes, coffee, and a full breakfast and lunch menu.

Flour Bakery and Café uses local purveyors to supply their flour, produce, and dairy ingredients.

All their bread and baked goods are made in-house daily.

I have a fondness for decadent drinks, so I couldn’t help myself to a vegan dark chocolate mocha with some light and flavorful avocado toast.

That yummy serving came with sourdough with a poached egg, pickled chilis, salsa verde, cilantro, and cotija cheese.

The Friendly Toast Restaurant

35 Stanhope St, Boston, MA 02116
Phone: 617-456-7849
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The Friendly Toast is a modern take on a classic diner, located in a bustling dining room with a soda fountain, green walls, and retro vinyl booths and bar stools in Back Bay.

They provide a fun atmosphere to enjoy creative and innovative takes on breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes typical in Northeastern diners.

This spot offers a full cocktail bar with multiple variations of brunch cocktails that you can sample as cocktail flights.

What’s more, they have a weekend brunch menu and a weekday breakfast menu.

I wanted something fancy, so I indulged myself with the cordon bleu benny with smoked ham, rice crispy coated chicken breast, cheddar cheese sauce, poached eggs, hollandaise, and sriracha glaze over a thick-cut English muffin.

Mike’s City Diner

1714 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118
Phone: 617-267-9393
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Located in South End a few blocks from Franklin Square, Mike’s City Diner is a beloved neighborhood diner that’s always packed.

Opened by owner Jay Hajj in 1995, it has been featured on the Food Network’s Diners Drive-ins and Dives and receives consistent praise from Boston Magazine, The Boston Globe, and Improper Bostonian.

Mike’s City Diner offers breakfast and lunch daily, and they’re most famous for their Thanksgiving-inspired Pilgrim Sandwich, which won the Food Network’s vote for best Thanksgiving dishes in America.

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When I visited, I was in the mood for a comforting and hearty breakfast, and that’s just what I got with their Lucylou breakfast burrito with eggs, chorizo, cheese, and onions hit the spot.

South Street Diner

178 Kneeland St, Boston, MA 02111
Phone: 617-350-0028
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Named The Best Late-Night Food in the US by Esquire and Best 24-hour Diners in the US by Thrillist, South Street Diner is a historic landmark in Downtown Boston.

Originally The Blue Diner, South Street Diner opened in 1947 and continues to serve the most comforting diner fare all day and night seven days a week.

It’s been the setting for many Hollywood movies and continues to be a favorite spot for local celebrities, sports teams, and students.

They serve breakfast all day and night, along with brunch cocktails and six rotating beers on tap.

While I didn’t have a drink, I fell in love with their Boston cream pancakes.

The Paramount

Multiple locations
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The Paramount is a classy yet cozy, historic breakfast and dinner bistro that has been a Boston staple since 1937.

Its flagship restaurant in Beacon Hill is close to many of Boston’s most popular tourist destinations like the Boston Public Garden.

They also opened a second location in Boston’s South End.

Their breakfast menu offers gourmet presentations of iconic American breakfasts from every region.

I wanted something different, so I tried out their shakshuka vegetable dish with poached eggs, broccoli, Mediterranean roasted vegetable soffritto, and feta cheese with fresh pita bread.

I’m glad I did, as it left me feeling as if I had been transported to warmer climes!

If you’re looking for a sweet breakfast, I recommend the Nutella waffle, a twist on a classic topped with strawberries, banana, whipped cream, and coffee Nutella sauce.

Theo’s Cozy Corner Restaurant

162 Salem St, Boston, MA 02113
Phone: 617-241-0202
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Situated in a cute and homey diner-like dining space in the heart of Boston’s North End, Theo’s Cozy Corner Restaurant is a family-owned breakfast and brunch restaurant that is a local favorite.

There’s always a line out the door to enjoy hearty plates of comfort breakfasts at low prices.

The owner is Brazilian, so you’ll see traditional breakfasts like picanha steak and egg.

They serve their continental breakfasts with coffee included in the price.

I adored the ham steak and eggs.

While that might sound simple, it went so well with perfectly cooked home fries, toast, and coffee.

Mike & Patty’s

12 Church St, Boston, MA 02116
Phone: 617-423-3447
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Mike and Patty’s is a hip and trendy brunch and breakfast eatery specializing in breakfast sandwiches.

Their flagship location is in a quirky old-school corner storefront in Chinatown, but they’ve opened a second location in Downtown Boston’s Financial District.

Their incredible breakfast sandwiches have garnered acclaim, so I had to try one out for myself.

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Their sandwiches have funny names like Baller and Grilled Crack.

I thought every sandwich looked divine but I opted for the Grilled Crack with fried eggs, two thick-cut bacon strips, American cheese, cheddar, swiss, and gruyere on buttered sourdough. It made an addict out of me!

North Street Grille

229 North St, Boston, MA 02113
Phone: 617-720-2010
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Found on a catty-corner to the Paul Revere House in North End, North Street Grille is one of the best breakfast restaurants in Boston.

Owner Robin Sidell uses family recipes and novel interpretations of traditional brunch dishes in a family-friendly atmosphere.

When I visited for a late brunch, I found myself feeling at home—which only made their food that much more delicious.

Brunch is an all-day everyday affair, with a wonderful menu of brunch cocktails to accompany your meal.

I loved Robin’s Favorites menu, with creative dishes like burrito pancakes and blueberry cobbler pancakes.

My favorite was the chicken and waffle sliders. Its melted cheddar, bacon, and sriracha maple were mouthwatering.

Parker’s Restaurant

60 School St, Boston, MA 02108
Phone: 617-725-1600
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Boston’s most famous and iconic fine-dining restaurant, The Parker House is the inventor of many of Boston’s most famous culinary contributions, including parker house rolls and Boston Crème pie.

It’s been a coveted destination since the 19th CEntury and launched the careers of celebrity chefs.

Even Malcolm X worked at the Parker House in the 1940s!

The stunning dining space inside Downtown Boston’s Omni Hotel is the height of historic fine dining, with a menu to match.

Of course, Boston cream pie is on the menu, and it’s a must-try.

I started with their savory corned beef hash to prepare my palate for the ultimate Boston-famous dessert.

Tatte Bakery & Cafe

Multiple locations
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Tatte Bakery and Café is a chain of elegant and fashionable counter-service coffee shops, bakeries, and breakfast and lunch eateries.

Founder, immigrant, and pastry chef Tzurit Or began selling her pastries at Copley Square Farmers Market.

Today, there are 20 locations around Boston, including every Ivy League and notable university campus.

There’s an all-day coffee, baked goods, salads, and sandwich menu along with an all-day brunch menu Friday-Sunday.

I recommend ordering a savory or sweet tartine.

For an unforgettable experience to give your tastebuds, try the roasted peach and ricotta tartine on homemade sourdough.

That was delicious, but what truly stunned me was the maple syrup-coated peaches over whipped ricotta on sourdough bread topped with mint and cashews. 

Thornton’s Boston Breakfast & Lunch Restaurant

150 Huntington Ave #02115, Boston, MA 02115
Phone: 617-267-6336
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Teetering between Back Bay and South End, Thornton’s Boston Breakfast & Lunch Restaurant is a family-friendly and casual spot for breakfast and lunch dishes.

Owners Ozgun Unver and Murat Tezcan draw from their Mediterranean roots to create a globally inspired menu.

Thornton’s has won multiple accolades and is a Good Food Award finalist.

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Their vast menu has egg scrambles, poached egg dishes, crepes, pancakes, waffles, and specialty breakfasts.

One standout during my visit was their delicious take on Mexican huevos rancheros.

It features three fried eggs on a tortilla topped with irresistible heapings of Texas chili, cheese, sour cream, and a side of home fries.

Cafe Bonjour

55 Temple Pl, Boston, MA 02111
Phone: 617-779-0062
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Café Bonjour is a gorgeous breakfast bistro committed to sustainability, whole ingredients, and ethical sourcing.

Located in a stunning dining space in Downtown Crossing with an old-world French café feel, Café Bonjour serves French-inspired breakfast and lunch dishes with gourmet presentations.

They source all their ingredients from organic and certifiably sustainable farms and purveyors and have options for every dietary preference, from keto to vegan.

I loved their savory crepes, and found their lox crepe with smoked salmon, whipped scallion spread, tomato, red onions, capers, and baby spinach to be particularly delightful.

Wheelhouse Boston

75 High St, Boston, MA 02110
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Nestled in downtown Boston inside High Street Place Food Hall, Wheelhouse Boston is a burger stand and boozy brunch spot, offering the most decadent and creative breakfast dishes you’ll see on my list.

They take inspiration from various culinary traditions, from Creole to Asian to Mexican street food.

Wheelhouse has all the essential breakfast beverages, including hot and iced coffee, screwdrivers, and mimosas.

It was hard to choose just one of their creative breakfast dishes.

I was torn between the breakfast fried rice and the Nola breakfast sandwich.

Having a soft spot for Louisiana cuisine, I chose the Nola, a perfectly spiced sandwich with fried egg, andouille sausage, cheddar cheese, and spicy creole sauce.

Boston’s eclectic breakfast scene honors the classic diner culture as much as it welcomes creative new takes.

Whether you want Boston Crème pie at a fine dining institution or delight in a cheap, heaping plate of corned beef hash, you’ll find every dining experience on my list of the best breakfast restaurants in Boston.

If you’re looking for a great place to grab a drink while you’re in Boston, check out these fun Irish pubs around town!

Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment and we’ll check it out!

Why Trust Us?

When it comes to local restaurant recommendations, we pride ourselves on being a reliable and trustworthy resource. Our suggestions are not just based on our personal experiences, ensuring a more authentic and well-rounded perspective, but also on extensive online research. We diligently searched the internet and reviewed 6 credible sites and blogs, including and 

We compiled all the findings in one location and sorted them by the frequency of mentions to ensure you receive top-notch recommendations. We strive to present you with a curated list of establishments that truly stand out, allowing you to enjoy the best dining experiences possible. 

Interested in the sources we consulted? Check out the list of all 6 sites we referenced below this paragraph, offering transparency and an opportunity for our readers to explore further. Our commitment is to deliver trustworthy and unparalleled recommendations, helping you make informed decisions on your culinary journeys.

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

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