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Funky brunch

I have lived in a lot of other cities where you can get really great brunch for very reasonable prices (i.e. The Kitchenette in NYC, Thumbs Up and the Flying Biscuit in Atlanta) served in a funky, hip atmosphere. Does these places exist in Boston? If so, please enlighten me?!

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  1. The usual suspects here include Centre St Cafe in JP (long lines if you don't get there ahead of time...) and Tremont 647 in the South End. But generally, Boston doesn't strain to do what might conventionally be considered hip or funky that often.

    1. I think Blue Room in Cambridge does an interesting brunch. I like the unique dishes; the way it's lined up along the kitchen itself (except if you're sitting at one the the tables where everyone snakes around you waiting in line.) Admittedly, I don't go out for brunch all that often, but I think this one is quite good.

      1. I agree with the Blue Room rec. The food is good with an interesting variety of dishess which are replenished frequently. I also agree with the other commment about "funky in Boston" The Blue Room is about as funky as you are going to get in this city

        1. Besides Centre St. and Tremont, I think East Coast and their bloody mary bar could be considered funky. Maybe the Neighborhood in Somerville and their breakfasts. As far as a deal goes, Paparazzi on Dartmouth St. includes a mimosa or bellini (as do many places in NYC) for a good price but not funky. Funky brunch is definitely not a big Boston thing.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Joanie

            Joanie: What are Tremont and East Coast? Can you give me more of a name?

            1. re: jandazza

              Tremont 647 in the south end and East Coast Grill in Inman Sq.

          2. I love the Blue Room for brunch but would not consider it funky in the least, nor the Neighborhood. And I don't consider jazz brunches (of which there are a few around) funky as a category.

            I should offer my speculation about the lack of funkiness here: it's a combination of our city's longtime anti-glamor culture (that is, glamor is not only rare here but is normally considered a negative) and that abundance of students, to whom the province of funkiness is ceded.

            1. In that vein, I'd consider the B-Side Lounge (Sundays till 4pm), maybe the polka brunch at Cafe Polonia in Andrews Square. For the kind of brunch food they serve at The Kitchenette, consider Bob's Southern Bistro in the South End.

              2 Replies
              1. re: MC Slim JB

                Oh! A polka brunch instantly runs to the top of the list.

                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  MC - if you see this, do tell more about polka brunch!

                2. The Otherside Cafe used to do a brunch and Lucky's also had a Sinatra Sunday Brunch or something like that. Both can be slightly pricey for what they are -- reasonable price is the Neighborhood.

                  1. There's Sound Bites in Ball Square in Somerville. The food ranges from decent to quite good and the owner is a bit like the Soup Nazi sometimes. There are some North African influences on the menu, too. Go on a weekday for breakfast or go early to avoid the lines (and the owner hustling you out so he can turn another table hasta muy pronto).

                    1. There definitely is a dearth of funky brunch places in Boston. Even in my 'hood, West Side of Providence, we have Julian's and Nick's on Broadway.

                      How about Johnny D's in Davis? Or The Sunset in Allston (best to go now before the students come back)? They used to have an all-you-can-eat taco bar back when I lived 'round the corner.

                      1. The Other Side Cafe does a very funky brunch Saturday and Sunday until 2 or 3, the french toast was a baguette with sauteed berries and bananas, it was killer, and the huevos rancheros were great, we didn't get the migas but want to try it. Good Bloody Marys in foot-tall glasses. You can sit outside and bring the dog.

                        1. I agree on the Center St Cafe in JP. Close to Cambridge you can check out Soundbites near Tufts for a similar hip vibe (long lines and hipsters but at both places you can get coffee while you wait). The places are tiny with funky decor and very reasonably priced super tasty and interesting food. CSC has a more Latin flare (think Portugese Scramble in addition the malted banana split waffles)... Blue Room is delicious but a bit more upscale. I've heard East Coast Grill does a great brunch too but haven't been.

                          1. I never realized it but Goodeater I believe you're right. I've lived in Boston pretty much my whole life but have lived in Chicago for about 3 years. In Chicago, my husband and I used to go to brunches or breakfast at artsy, funky neighborhood joints. Boston seems to only have either high end places such as Aquitaine or diners. Although I don't venture too much in the Somerville area, I have a feeling you can find what you're looking for there or close to it.

                            1. Does the brunch at the Neighborhood Restaurant in Somerville qualify as "funky brunch?" The "Ur" cream of wheat they make sure is funkalicious!

                              Incidentally, Tremont 647 is a "pajama brunch," as in you are welcome (and even encouraged) to dine in your bed clothes. The staff also is game and wears the appropriate nighty/flannel.

                              The jazz brunch at Johnny D's in Davis is also pretty funky in terms of sound - you know, jazz/funk.

                              Funny how the Daily Toast in Portsmouth, NH is way funkier than anything in Boston...go figure.

                              Don't know how it compares to Chicago, but definitely the funkiest I've seen are the brunches at Gampy's and the Paper Moon Diner in Baltimore, but then, those places were funky all the time.

                              1. People have mentioned the Other Side Cafe and that's a great suggestion! I was there recently and it's definitely a hip place with a decent brunch menu.