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Jan 27, 2011 08:52 AM

Seeking breakfast venue in Woburn ... (prior to a pitstop @ Woburn Mall)

In a few weeks, my sister and I will be headed back East to visit friends/family. And yes, I'm well aware of the brutal winter weather that's been hitting New England.

Will be arriving EARLY, early on Friday morning, 2/18, and after picking up rental car will drive from Logan north on Rte. 93. Before we reach our final destination in NH, our plan is to eat breakfast in the Woburn area and then hit the Talbots Outlet.

Sooooooooo, any suggestions for a good Woburn breakfast spot? Or are our options limited to an IHOP or Bickford's ..... assuming there's one in neighborhood.

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  1. Pretty grim area: mostly casual-dining and fast food chain restaurants, plus some North Shore-style roast beef joints, bad American-Chinese, bad delis. And yeah, there are a couple of really depressing Bickford's, too. There's decent lunch food to be had (some worthy Sichuan, Thai, Korean, Vietnamese, and Brazilian nearby), but my favorites don't do breakfast.

    I'd say if you want a real indie diner breakfast, you'll have to venture an Interstate exit or two afield, like to Christopher's in Reading, Swanton Street Diner in Winchester, or any of several places in Wakefield: North Avenue, Captain's, or Chuck Wagon.

    Swanton Street Diner
    72 Swanton St, Winchester, MA 01890

    1 Reply
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      As MC says, it's pretty slim pickings here for breakfast. The Swanton Street Diner is great, but not really close to The Woburn Mall, where Talbots is located. Here is what I would do, make your pit stop at Panera Bread for breakfast, right in the Mall and then go to Talbots. With the crazy amount of snow we have on the ground now, driving conditions around Boston are terrible. We have so much snow, the streets are narrowed and the snow piled high on every sidewalk. And then you'll have easy access to 95 North, where you'll want to head anyway. I am not a huge fan of Panera's, but most of my friends are.

      Swanton Street Diner
      72 Swanton St, Winchester, MA 01890

    2. There's The Restaurant in Woburn Center, which is a popular breakfast spot for locals, as is a little breakfast place called Cousins, also on Main St., a block away.

      On Washington St, not far from the mall, is an Au Bon Pain - probably a little better than Panera. From the mall, take Mishawum to Washington, turn left, cross over 128, and look for ABP about a half mile away, at the Cedar St. traffic light.

      1 Reply
      1. re: greygarious

        Hi Grey,

        The Restaurant is cafetaria style and I don't care for it at all, so wouldn't recommend it.

        Also, Au Bon Pain, turned into Sal's Pizza's last summer. Not much in Woburn that's for

        The locals do go to Cousin's, which is right near The Restaurant. It's a family run
        breakfast spot, with okay breakfast fare. I've been a couple of times, but nothing
        to write home about for me.

        That's why I mentioned Panera Bread, which is right in the Mall where they are headed.

      2. Thanks for all the responses thus far ..... if I broaden my options to include Medford or Stoneham or Burlington, will that offer up any better breakfast spots?

        Also, any hope that the weather system which appears to be stuck in "snow storm mode" will be better by the time of my trip (3 weeks from yesterday ... yikes!!) ??? I grew up on the south shore and don't ever recall a winter season as bad as this has been.

        3 Replies
        1. re: rk4me

          In Woburn Center there is Hot Breads (Indian), Roma's bakery, and a couple of places offering Brazilian salgadinhos but none of these are perfect for breakfast. However, there are some options which are pretty easy off the highway and more convenient for you. Masa does brunch Sat/Sun but no dice on Friday.

          At the Route 60 Medford exit you can take Salem Street towards Malden and two blocks up on the right is "House of Bread" a Brazilian bakery. Its been up and down in quality, they were doing well 6 months ago with a fairly new baker, but its a decent place with seating and a wide selection of sweet/savory options, juices, basic coffee. You also have Dempsey's which is further out rt 60 in Haynes square.

          Unfortunately is easier from 93S to work your way to Broadway in Somerville (from North you need to go through Sullivan Sq or take the 28 exit and work your way south), but Montecristo is decent for breakfast and another Brazilian snack place with a wide offering is the Pastelaria Vitoria Broadway (they might even have an acai bowl for something more along the health food lines).

          In Medford Sq you have mystic coffee roasters, Donuts with a difference, and on Mystic south of the square is the greasy spoon Audrey & Lino's (is this still open??).

          Winchester also has a couple of other options, but is not super convenient. Stoneham is a bit easier and has a few options, but someone else could state better (you do have a Bickford's easy off the highway at Montvale since you mentioned that).

          348A Cambridge Rd, Woburn, MA 01801

          Montecristo Restaurant
          146 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02145

          1. re: rk4me

            In Stoneham, a great little place I go to is Pignone's Cafe.

            Here's a link, and they are in a little strip mall with plenty of parking too.


            I love their eggs benedict. Have fun with your sister. :


            Pignone's Cafe
            319 Main St, Stoneham, MA 02180

            1. re: mcel215

              Ditto on Pignone's; they serve a very nice breakfast sandwich...

              Pignone's Cafe
              319 Main St, Stoneham, MA 02180

          2. There's a little local diner called Jimmy's Family Restaurant in Burlington, easy to miss, as it's set back in a strip mall without great signage. Solid hash-house kind of place, old-timey, a real locals-only kind of spot.


            Jimmy's Family Restaurant
            279 Cambridge St Ste 15, Burlington, MA 01803

            2 Replies
            1. re: MC Slim JB

              I've driven that stretch for over 30 yrs and never heard of it. I conclude from the address that it's in that spot with medical offices in a brick bldg perpendicular to the street, and the big sign on the Animal Eye Clinic that is (was?) visible from the street. Anything you particularly recommend there?

              1. re: greygarious

                It's in a pi-shaped strip mall, one strip mall north of the one that contains Burlington Jade (not the worst American-Chinese takeout around), same side of 3A. The most visible sign from the street is for the Law Offices of Peter T. Damore, Jr. On the upside-down U, it's at 1 o'clock. I nearly missed it the first time I drove into that parking lot, and I parked right in front of the place.

                It's the kind of diner where I'm likely to get a bottomless cup of good filter coffee, two eggs over easy, bacon, homefries, wheat toast, and maybe a little glass of tomato juice. I'll read a Herald some previous diner left behind. I think I got a tuna melt on white at lunch once, and noticed that they do American chop suey as a special once in a while.

                It's a hash house, and the hash probably comes from a can. That said, it's spotless, friendly, and a good value, a mid-century throwback kind of place. When it closes, the neighborhood will miss it; those little joints aren't replaceable.


            2. There's an all-day breakfast place towards the south end of the middle of Wilmington (next town north from Woburn) called As Good as it Gets, in the strip mall where 129 merges with 38. I end up there now and then and find the food to be pretty good, and shockingly good for what's otherwise pretty close to a food wasteland. (Horrible coffee, though.) It also might be a feature (depending on how early EARLY is) that they open at 6. Menus etc. are at

              I'd head for AGAIG before Panera by a long shot, though it's less convenient; it's maybe 8-10 minutes up 38 from I-95, or from Logan just take I-93 to 129. (There are various sneaky ways to get between the Woburn Mall and 38, but just taking 95/128 for an exit wins for being painless and obvious.)

              That said, as you drive up 93 you're also just a few minutes from the Somerville standbys that everyone loves to hate, or at least complain about, and early on a weekday you should have your pick of them without the lines and hassle.

              1 Reply
              1. re: kf2vv

                Just had breakfast there this morning. It's a good deal: 2-egg panini breakfast sandwich (with bacon), homefries and coffee (agree - not good) for $8.13 plus tip.