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Breakfast in Brookline/JP/Longwood area

Hello. Looking for a good breakfast place (open weekdays) in Brookline/JP/Longwood. Not crazy about Omelettry so far and didn't like Brigham Circle Diner at all. We like Sorella's but want to find another decent breakfast around here. I like Sealey's, but hubby doesn't. Any suggestions?

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  1. The Busy Bee on Beacon Street right at St. Mary's is decent for breakfast and you can't beat the old time diner atmosphere.

    1. Zaftig's in Coolidge Corner opens at 8, and serves breakfast all day (I always get potato pancakes, but others recommend challah french toast).

      It may barely count as Brookline, but Eagle's Deli in Cleveland Circle has good (to me) greasy spoon breakfast (I make a meal from the home fries. Hmm, it's possible I have a breakfast potato problem....)

      1. I'm someone who views the**Big Line** that inevitably forms outside of Zaftig's as something of a mystery. The strength of that place is the lack of effective competition in the neighborhood. Admittedly, I've not gone in quite a while, but my bfasts there in the past have been mediocre and quite expensive! I've never been served bad food there, just overpriced moderately good food in a great atmosphere.

        On the Coolidge Corner slope, I would say that the bagels and cream cheese at Kupel's are a steal for how well they fill you up and how good and cheap they are! (NB: Skip the rest of the bakery at Kupel's, as it is second-rate.) If you can find it on Thorndike Street, there's Clear Flour Bakery. Amazing European bakery at reasonable prices, and a little teeny park across the street in which to enjoy nosh-y munchies. (No seating at Clear Flour: Limited seating at Kupel's...)

        Weekends in JP provide two great options: The Center Street Cafe (another **Big Line** kinda place) serves amazing breakfasts for those willing to endure the necessary wait. The "hidden gem" in this neighborhood is across the street from Center Street Cafe: The Purple Cactus serves breakfast burritos on weekends, and only after 9 or 10. There are a couple of variations on the bfast menu, but the ingredients are always super fresh and the food super tasty. Also: Purple Cactus isn't that bad on the wallet.

        1 Reply
        1. re: bigmami

          There was a time when we really loved Zaftig's; it's hit or miss now, one has the feeling that they are not paying attention any longer, and I am inclined to agree that the cause is lack of competition.

          When we want a fantastic breakfast, we leave the neighborhood entirely and go to Talk of the Town in Watertown (I think they have 1 or 2 other restaurants in other towns, but the place is family-run). Their omelettes alone are worth a trip: perectly cooked, some nice combinations, and about a millimeter thick.

        2. yeah, centre street cafe is pretty good. my understanding is that while they do not open until lunchtime during the week, you can order their breakfast items once they are open. i'm not sure about this, though.

          sorella's i thought was pretty mediocre and uninspiring. i never understood the attraction of that place.

          purple cactus is ok, but is closer to a fast-food, hippie-organic take on a taqueria than a sit-down restaurant per se.

          sort of in jp is canto 6, a bakery at the intersection of green and washington streets. their yeast breads come from clear flour, i believe, and are very good. they have nice quick breads (muffins, scones, etc.) as well, and they even have seating where you can enjoy your baked good and coffee and a newspaper in the morning. it's my favorite bakery in jp.

          you can also check out some of the other bakeries in jp too, though: blue frog (uninspired and uninspiring), sweet finnish (huge, quiet space, but limited selection) and fiore's (i'm not sure what they have for breakfast type things) come to mind.

          1 Reply
          1. re: autopi

            JP response: Always liked Sorella's; mango banana walnut pancakes.

            Try the pulla (like brioche with cardamom) at Sweet Finnish, they are excellent. They have free wifi now as well for people who like wired breakfast.

            Had some sort of Irish Mexican eggs and potato dish at Centre Street Cafe; portions are *huge*. Kinda nosy and close inside though. Nice staff.

            Best coffee is at JP Licks on Centre Street. They have H&H bagels there too.

          2. Martin's in Brookline Village is good. The Longwood Grill in the Galleria serves breakfast. Game On in Kenmore Sq. is open early but it doesn't look like anyone goes for breakfast yet. Bon Savor on the corner of Centre St. and Pond has a nicer breakfast (on weekends, not positive about weekdays) and the Forest Hills Diner is a greasy spoon across from the T stop.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Joanie

              Bon Savor is open for breakfast from 7:30 Monday - Friday, according to their website (http://www.bonsavor.com/menu.html). Haven't tried it personally, but friends are very into their omelets.

            2. Unfortunately, I do not know the name of my favorite breakfast place in the area, but it is in Roslindale, across the street from Delfino's. The place consists of one large round counter. Their coffee is just okay, but their breakfast sandwiches and home fries are delicious. However, since the only seating is at the counter, you might not want to go with a large group.


              1. Turkish Family Restaurant in Brookline Village does a very good and reasonably priced breakfast. Counter service.

                1. Thanks everyone! We tried Bon Savor this morning. Great potatoes, pretty good omelette. A little dry, but maybe I just got the wrong ingredients (tomatoes & bacon). It's a cute little place. Slooowww service, but friendly. Will try Brookline Family Restaurant next.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mabelm4050

                    I like the Russian crepes at Bon Savor.

                  2. I also vote for JP's Sorella's and Centre Street Cafe.

                    1. sigh...i guess i've been outvoted on sorella's. i just don't see how the food there comes even remotely close to being in the same league as centre street cafe. to me, that's like comparing baskin-robbins to christine's or toscanini's, or mcdonald's to bartley's, or ... you get the picture. plus i thought the service was surly, the flatware we got was soiled and the place has about zero character.

                      i know it's popular though--i used to live a couple doors down, and people would invariably steal our sunday paper on their way to brunch.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: autopi

                        I'm with you - I've been there a few times in the past, each time hoping I'd like it better than previously because that huge menu seems so fun, but eventually I gave up.

                        For Centre Street, on the other hand, I used to take the #66 bus to the #39 to get out there from Allston, about every two weeks, for the fabulous breakfasts. (For which I usually atoned with a walk once or twice around Jamaica Pond - all in all a lovely way to spend a weekend morning.)

                        1. re: autopi

                          I totally agree. Sorellas was cool a zillion years ago when it was a small funky neighborhood place and that old guy hung around bussing tables. The food is mediocre at best.

                          Centre St. cafe is very good. Family Restaurant -- eh.

                          But in over 25 years of living in JP and Brookline (mostly in JP) I will always vote for THE BUSY BEE on Beacon St, in Brookline.

                        2. Centre Street Cafe wins hands down. Just go there. We go there whenever we can. It's busy, and there's usually a line out the door, but they turn over tables as fast as I've ever seen. The food is excellent, with an emphasis on locally-grown ingredients, and the wait staff is probably the best I know of. You can get a cup of coffee if you're waiting in line, and Mark will come out and let you know how long you can expect to wait.