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Jun 25, 2005 07:00 PM

best breakfast in boston?

  • k

Hi all

I'm here for a few months, and am looking for a great weekend breakfast spot. Greasy spoon or deli with all the traditional fare would be great.

Must have good pancakes :)


p.s. I ride the T, so a reasonable walking distance is appreciated.

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  1. I just had another very fine breakfast at Mul's Diner today, near the Broadway Red Line T stop in South Boston: perfectly poached eggs on respectable corned beef hash, and a really tasty waffle with actual fresh strawberries. Haven't had the pancakes, but they look really good. A bargain.

    I'm also a big fan of Mike's City Diner, on Washington St near Mass Ave (Silver Line Mass Ave stop). Superb value. No surprise there are lines on weekends. Its newer sister restaurant, Victoria's Diner near Newmarket Square on Mass Ave in Roxbury, is a virtual clone with shorter lines and free parking. It's on the #10 City Point bus line from Copley Square.

    You might get pointed to Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe on Columbus Ave in the South End. I used to love this place, which really looks like it's 70 years old (it is), but I feel it's gone through a bit of a decline over the past couple of years, maybe coasting on its reputation. I'm particularly upset that its once justly-vaunted turkey hash is a shadow of its former self, mostly potatoes. A shame. Breakfasts here are okay, but pricey for a diner.

    My favorite breakfast spot overall isn't subway-accessible (I expect you could take a bus there): the Deluxe Town Diner in Watertown. Spectacular breakfast food on many fronts, including the pancakes (I love their johnnycakes). Worth a trip.

    2 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      There's frequent bus service between Watertown Square and Harvard Square that passes right by the front door of Deluxe Town Diner.

      1. re: MC Slim JB

        As far as a weekend breakfast spot, I agree on Charile's. However from a standpoint of overall best breakfast, I think they still reign supreme.

        Let me qualify by saying that I lived in walking distance for 12 years. I went often during the week (M-F), and still do even since I moved a bit farther away. I never really went there on Saturday, and Saturday's have gotten much busier there due to all the press Charile's garners. I can't speak to the quality on that day (they are closed on Sun). I have heard from others that the turkey hash comes out of the back pre-made on Saturday's to keep up with the pace, and the overall quality and atomsphere is generally not what is is during the week.

        During the week however, Charile's is as excellent as ever. The hash is made to order at the stove. The same family still runs the place. It is the same people cooking and serving as it was 12 years ago. The quality has not slipped in that time.

        IMO, Charlie's is hands down the best breakfast in Boston.

      2. Try Zaftig's in Coolidge Corner. Not a greasy spoon but really great breakfast and deli food. Try the banana-stuffed French toast or the buttermilk pancakes. Potato pancakes are also yummy there.

        The only problem is the long wait on weekends. Show up early if you can.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Hamster

          I was at Zaftig's earlier this week and was a little underwhelmed ... have had delicious meals there before (potato pancakes, yum) but when I ordered plain ol' fried eggs they just weren't that tasty (and they skimped on the home fries, too - boo). Should have gone for that banana french toast! :(

          Wanted to put in a good word for the Paramount on Beacon Hill, another place that it's best to hit during the week ... delicious, no-frills breakfast food.

          1. re: Hamster

            I actually find the potato pancakes at Zaftig's aren't so great, and yet I always really want them to be so try them repeatedly -- the dressing up with the sauce and salmon is delicious but the pancakes themselves feel a bit pre-made/fryolated and sometimes upset my stomach.

          2. I really like The Breakfast Club (270 Western Avenue), which is in Allston near Harvard's business school. You could get off at Central (red line) and walk there - it would probably be about a mile or so - and I think that there's also a bus that goes there. Their home fries are amazing (nice and brown with a good crust, which I like), and they use one of those cast iron presses on their bacon and corned beef hash that definitely adds a nice touch. Everything aside from regular ol' toast is toasted with tons of butter on the grill (I had a corn muffin this way once, mm). Sit at the counter near the stove if you can - it's so much fun to watch it all in action.

            And yes, they have pancakes. "Fake" maple syrup, unfortunately.

            Cash only, longish lines on weekends. They also serve lunch on weekdays (and maybe weekends too? But I always get breakfast).

            3 Replies
            1. re: jacinthe

              Best way to get there is probably to take the 86 bus (Sullivan Sq.--Cleveland Circle, passing through Harvard Sq.), which goes down Western Ave. Probably the second stop along that street, outbound route.


              1. re: Emma F.

                #70 & 70A buses between Central & Watertown/Waltham also go right by.

                1. re: Taralli

                  And the 66 from Dudley to Harvard Sq. lets you off very close.

            2. As mentioned earlier, The Deluxe Town Diner in Watertown rocks! Others may have great ambiance(Charlies,Mike's)but use premade mixes and grease from plastic buckets. The pancakes(jonnycakes, blue corn or traditional)at Town Diner are unmatched in this area. Easy public transport, bus from Harvard. Go on a weekday for optimum experience, weekends after 8am, you will experience long waits.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Tobin

                Best pancakes ever; seriously. Real syrup. Fresh squeezed oj. Real diner. High quality ingredients to make the classic dishes. It's what you imagine could happen if real focus-on-ingredients-foodies ran a diner.

              2. Has anyone here tried the Capitol Diner in Lynn? Haven't tried it yet - heard the virtues on some TV program recently (can't remember which one).