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favorite breakfast places

On a mission to try a new breakfast place once a week, not on weekends so hopefully crowds will not be an issue. Here's where we've been recently and what's next.

Been there:

Ball Sq. Cafe
Sugar Magnolia's, Gloucester
Papa Razzi, Burlington........weekend brunch is surprisingly delicious
The Spot
Cliff House, Ogunquit..............dreadful!

To do:

Mike and Patty's
Stolen Menu, York ME (quote from husband "you're going to drive to Maine for a pancake?")

Maybe we'll save ME for later if I can gather a longer list of closer venues, but we don't mind driving.

Sugar Magnolias
112 Main St, Gloucester, MA 01930

Stolen Menu Cafe
127 Long Sands Rd Ste 7, York, ME 03909

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  1. Some of my favorites include:

    McKenna's Cafe, Dorchester
    McKay's, South Quincy
    Centre Street Cafe, Jamaica Plain
    Victoria's Diner, Roxbury
    Paramount, Beacon Hill
    Toast, Hull

    And in Maine:
    Bintliff's, Ogunquit

    1. Stolen Menu is so worth the drive. You will love it.

      Stolen Menu Cafe
      127 Long Sands Rd Ste 7, York, ME 03909

      7 Replies
      1. re: pathfinder

        Hey, pathfinder. I've been curious about the Stolen Menu. My husband and I are more than willing to drive an hour or so on a pleasant day for breakfast, but tend to like places with a pleasant (not fancy, though) atmosphere so we can spend some relaxed time together. What's the space like?

        Stolen Menu Cafe
        127 Long Sands Rd Ste 7, York, ME 03909

        1. re: bear

          Hi Bear. We love it. the decor is not fancy, very pleasant. Honestly, if you were driving by you would think it was an average breakfast place. However, the menu, creativity and presentation are over the top. I can barely narrow down my menu choices to 4 items. The portions are very, very generous and the staff could not be more helpful and friendly. A true hidden gem. We have now been 3-4 times and every time we leave my husband insists on taking a menu to show to all of his chef friends. Only wish we had one in Boston. Please report back when you give it a try.

          Stolen Menu Cafe
          127 Long Sands Rd Ste 7, York, ME 03909

          1. re: pathfinder

            I was very impressed by the stolen menu the morning after nye dinner at Arrows. French toast and bacon were a godsend for my hangover

            1. re: pathfinder

              What is so special about the menu? I looked on their website and it looked sort of standard and frankly a little expensive....$7 for two buttermilk pancakes? What am I missing here?

              1. re: Bob Dobalina

                They offer the regular menu, that is on the website. But they also have a full sheet on specials offered daily. The specials are amazing!

                1. re: pathfinder

                  you can also see the specials on the website.

        2. tweetie, there's a new breakfast place in the North End that is worth a try. It opens at 7 a.m. daily, I believe. Caffe Nuovo on Salem St. Prices are reasonable, the space is pleasant, and we've enjoyed the food the times that we've gone. We've managed to find meter parking on Cross Street at the head of Salem and Hanover several times. We always go on Saturday mornings, so I'm not sure what weekdays are like.

          Caffe Nuovo
          76 Salem St, Boston, MA 02113

          1. Have you been to the Deluxe Town Diner in Watertown yet (or Newton, if it's open yet)? I think some find it overrated, but it also has many fans and I am one of them. I am a little bit obsessed with their pancakes and my wife feels the same way about their corned beef hash.

            Deluxe Town Diner
            627 Mt Auburn St, Watertown, MA 02472

            1. Have you tried Henrietta's (Cambridge) or the breakfast buffet at Rowes Wharf Sea Grill (Boston harbor hotel)?

              1. Sugar Mag's is excellent, been going for many years, you'll wait a bit on week-ends.

                1. Head over to West Roxbury to the Rox Diner (formerly Auntie B's). It's what would happen if an awesome old-school greasy spoon started making real food with high-quality ingredients... which actually *is* what happened when the current owners took over from the original owners a few years ago.

                  I would advise against Center St. Cafe in JP, myself. I've been many times over many, many years, and I've never found the breakfasts to be anything special. It also always feels rushed to me. If you want to try something in JP, I'd recommend Fiore's Cafe: admittedly it's more about baked goods than cooked food, but those baked goods are GREAT, as are the coffee, tea, and brekkie sandwiches. There's seating too, so it can feel a bit more like a Proper Breakfast Event.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: TimTamGirl

                    I second West Rox Diner - it's great - get there early - I drove by at noon and there were about 8 people waiting outside...

                    1. re: TimTamGirl

                      rox diner is awesome. great for lunch too. weekends there are very busy, weekdays are mellow. they're also opening a new place in Roslindale Square called Sugar Bakery.

                      maybe it's too obvious but what about Charlie's Sandwich? maybe it's a cliche, but their breakfasts are pretty great. also mellow on weekdays.

                      1. re: TimTamGirl

                        I'm pretty strongly in the pro-Centre Street Cafe camp myself, but there's one important caveat: if I read tweetie's original post correctly, they said that they're mostly looking for weekday breakfast places, and last I knew Centre Street only serves breakfast on the weekends.

                        1. re: Allstonian

                          Centre St. Cafe does serve breakfast weekdays, but a smaller menu than the weekend brunch.

                          1. re: Trumpetguy

                            Odd - their own website says that they don't open until 11:30 on weekdays, and only lists brunch on the weekends (and holidays.)

                            1. re: Allstonian

                              Hmmm... I guess I shouldn't be so sure! But eggs on the lunch menu are breakfast for a trumpetguy ;)

                              1. re: Trumpetguy

                                Ha! You're right - I had not noticed the "Slacker's Breakfast" items on the lunch menu. Well, then, if tweetie is interested in a weekday breakfast at Centre Street, they can go at lunch time.

                                Unfortunately, the Slacker's Breakfast items do not include either the raised waffles or the oat & corn waffles, which are my favorite items on their weekend brunch menu.

                      2. Definitely McKennas and McKays as Hiddenboston suggests and I would add Sonnys Pub in the Adams Village section of Dorchester for their Irish breakfast that is served all day. If you want something lighter; than scones at Greenhill Bakery also in Adams Village.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: turleyandkatey

                          Deluxe in Watertown. Haven't tried the new place yet.
                          Spot cafe in watertown.
                          In a pickel in Waltham.
                          Joesephs 2 in waltham.
                          Mels Sunnyside cafe in ashland.
                          Golden spoon in Hopkinton.
                          Crema in harvard square for pastry and coffee.

                        2. Henrietta's Table is one of my favorite places for breakfast --- but breakfast only, not for brunch, which I find both lackluster and extremely expensive, while their breakfast is outstanding and surprisingly inexpensive.

                          I'm also a big fan of SoundBites, and find almost everything on their menu to be of uniformly high quality, except for the corned beef hash. If you haven't had their stuffed french toast with goat cheese and pear, you have to go back.

                          Mike and Patty's makes a terrific breakfast.

                          Toro does a nice weekend breakfast, and is quite a bit different.

                          Toscanini's (the ice cream place in Cambridge) does a nice breakfast on weekends.

                          You might like the Friendly Toast in Cambridge too, although it's not one of my favorites.

                          If I didn't grow up around the corner, I probably wouldn't go out of my way for Cabot's in Newton, but it is a fun atmosphere and has a nice breakfast (which is served all day).

                          1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

                          Henrietta's Table
                          One Bennett St., Cambridge, MA 02138

                          The Friendly Toast
                          1 Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: lipoff

                            I've long suspected that Cabot's might turn out a decent breakfast, but I'm simply never over there at breakfast time.

                            1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                              I like their Belgian Waffles, but have never figured out why they don't open until 9:00 AM. A place serves breakfast, but doesn't open until 9....huh? My schedule has been such that I've only made it over there once for breakfast because of this. Oh well I guess it works for them!

                              1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                My problem with breakfast is that I'm simply never anywhere at breakfast time. In grad school I joined a breakfast-lunch-dinner meal plan. The difference in cost between that and a lunch-dinner plan was $25. I figured I only needed to go to breakfast once every other week to stay ahead. Halfway through the semester I hadn't made it to breakfast once. I stayed up all night just so that I could eat breakfast at least one time.

                              2. re: lipoff

                                Mike and Patty's—love it but you might want to wait 'til spring, since there's basically no indoor seating.

                              3. Sugar Mag's in Gloucester is very good and has some creative, interesting dishes and yet when I want a breakfast that's consistent and solid up and down the lineup, I generally go to Two Sisters on Washington Street.

                                That said, the best breakfast in the world is here: http://www.pollyspancakeparlor.com/

                                Two Sisters Restaurant
                                27 Washington St, Gloucester, MA 01930

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: resipsaloquitor

                                  Haven't been to Polly's for such a long time! Just had brunch at Ryle's today. Lovely jazz music, and the food was very good. I had the quiche Lorraine, and it was freshly made, and full of flavor.

                                  1. re: CookieLee

                                    Does Ryles stlll serve the same brunch menu as S&S?

                                    1. re: Gabatta

                                      Someone in our party said it was similar. I ate at the S&S recently, and was not happy w. the food nor the surroundings, so was concerned how the food would be. One of my friends had the blintzes, and they looked much better than the ones at the S&S. She said they were v. good. They had lots of omelettes, and poached eggs on English muffins with different sauces, and, now that I"m writing all this, I think Ryle's has a bigger selection of Brunch items.

                                  2. re: resipsaloquitor

                                    I don't get up to Gloucester much, but I like Two Sisters too. I also had a very decent breakfast once at Morning Glory, back when they were down behind the Gloucester House. Don't know if the fare has changed in the newer location.

                                    Two Sisters Restaurant
                                    27 Washington St, Gloucester, MA 01930

                                    Gloucester House Restaurant
                                    , Gloucester, MA 01930

                                    1. re: chowfox

                                      Also, you know who makes a terrific breakfast is Lobsta Land in Gloucester. A little pricey but delish. I had some gingerbread pancakes there that were incredible

                                  3. My favorite is City Girl Cafe in Inman Square. Their breakfast sandwiches are so delicious!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: toki

                                      Oh god, City Girl just broke my heart. I've been going there for years for their egg and asparagus sandwich. On and off, maybe 3 times a year when the craving struck. Well, the craving struck so I drove over to get one and now apparently it's a seasonal item. Killed me! I've been eating them for probably 8-10 years.

                                    2. It seems like your list is mostly north of town, but just in case you want to venture towards the south shore...South of the city we like:

                                      Early American in Quincy for excellent homemade corned beef hash
                                      Kristin's in Braintree for the Johnny Cake pancakes
                                      Arthur & Pat's in Marshfield (closed in the winter) for lots of creative options
                                      Toast in Hull
                                      Strawberry Fair in Norwell
                                      McKay's in Quincy

                                      Arthur & Pat's Restaurant
                                      239 Ocean St, Marshfield, MA 02050

                                      Strawberry Fair Restaurant
                                      14 Pond St, Norwell, MA 02061

                                      McKay's Breakfast and Lunch
                                      144 Franklin St, Quincy, MA 02169

                                      121 Nantasket Ave # 5, Hull, MA

                                      Kristin's Breakfast & Lunch
                                      349 Washington St, Braintree, MA 02184

                                      Early American Restaurant
                                      1054 Hancock St, Quincy, MA 02169

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: mangorita

                                        Went back to Arthur and Pat's in Marshfield and it was as fantastic as ever. Had my usual, which waitress Dee always remembers, the omelette with eggplant, pesto, roasted tomato & provolone. I gotta go back one more time this season before they close October 30! So nice to digest on the seawall afterward :)

                                      2. I'm a creature of habit. I love oysters and the duck tortilla @ East Coast Grill. If I'm feeling adventurous ( or maybe just not predictable) then it's pulled pork hash at Highland Kitchen. If I can handle a booze free brunch then I love the artichoke eggs bene at Ball Sq Cafe. With the fried mashed potato, of course.

                                        East Coast Grill and Raw Bar
                                        1271 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

                                        Highland Kitchen
                                        150 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

                                        1. The Friendly Toast in Cambridge
                                          Vic's Diner in Watertown


                                          The Friendly Toast
                                          1 Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: scotty27

                                            Second Victor's in Watertown! Classic diner food, less fancy than Deluxe Town Diner which is also good (but come on, a real diner doesn't have a separate tea menu). Uncommon Grounds is also good, down the street from the Deluxe and mainly locals there during the week. The egg scrambles with boursin cheese and salami are great. You've already hit my favorite breakfast place in Watertown, the Spot Cafe. Vicki Lee's in Belmont also does a good breakfast, if a little pricey. I like the eggs with cheese and bacon on their scallion-cheddar biscuit.

                                            Deluxe Town Diner
                                            627 Mt Auburn St, Watertown, MA 02472

                                            Vicki Lee's
                                            105 Trapelo Rd, Belmont, MA

                                            Uncommon Grounds
                                            575 Mount Auburn St, Watertown, MA 02472

                                            1. re: Pia

                                              i do love Victor's, especially the waitresses. The new owners are very sweet. The eggs and locaniko are great (no, they also can't make an omelet, but nobody seems to have conquered that simple task). The Spot makes much better pancakes but Victor's feels like it has been in your life for years.

                                          2. Fun lists so far! Have you tried Scup's in the Harbor in Eastie? Other than Mike & Patty's, that was probably the place with the tastiest breakfast last year for me.

                                            1. I would add Supreme Kitchen on Highland Avenue in Somerville - nothing too crazy, just quick, fast, plentiful, cheap, hot breakfast.

                                              Ball Square Breakfast and Neighborhood are better, more plentiful, etc. but Supreme does a perfectly reasonable breakfast.

                                              I would also shout-out for the brunch at Red Lentil in Watertown - have never had anything less than yummy chow there.

                                              1. I'll add a cautionary note about Deluxe Town Diner: You only want a short stack of pancakes. No, really, unless you haven't eaten in like three days. They're the size of manhole covers and not significantly lighter (but very very yummy).

                                                Deluxe Town Diner
                                                627 Mt Auburn St, Watertown, MA 02472

                                                1. The Wheelhouse diner in Quincy

                                                  1. Rox Diner

                                                    Jim's Deli

                                                    Jim's Deli & Restaurant
                                                    371 Washington St, Brighton, MA 02135

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: hynespb

                                                      Amber Road in Canton (Washington Street - downtown). This place is to breakfast what Ted Williams was to baseball - $$$ but well worth it!

                                                    2. Perhaps because I've been eating there my whole life, I am partial to Johnny's in Newton. I recently had their pumpkin pancakes and died. Mmm. So good.

                                                      1. tweetie, whatever happened to your plan of trying one new bkfst place every week? i was hoping you'd report back, as we're looking for new places too. (our latest good bkfst was Istanbul'lu, but wkends only and i know you said wkdays.) Plse update us on your search!

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                          Ah yes, the one new breakfast a week idea. You know what they say about the road to hell....
                                                          Sadly our breakfast club fizzled when a member became gravely ill and reality intervened. However, last week I finally got to Vic's Waffle House in Tewksbury. It was everything folks have written about it and all in the party were delighted with both the atmosphere (hello, Bravo TV!) and food. Classic and solid French toast and chocolate chip pancakes for the kids while I took advantage of a half and half option offered by our server. I suffer from serious entree indecision and when I couldn't choose between the cranberry nut banana bread French toast and the Elvis waffle she suggested a slice of each. I was delighted. French toast was not particularly notable but the Elvis, a crispy waffle spread with peanut butter and topped with sliced fresh banana, 2 slices of crispy bacon and a drizzle of honey.....honestly, one of the most divine dishes I've tasted ever.