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Recs for breakfast near Arlington?

  • g

I'm not much for breakfast out, but SO would like to see if there are any hidden gems in or near Arlington. We know Classic Cafe in the Heights, Sound Bites in Ball Sq. Any recs in NoCa or Belmont? Lexington/Burlington/Winchester maybe?

On an unrelated topic, we had a dozen assorted East Coast oysters tonight at Les Zygomates ($1/each from 4-6 Mon - Fri) and they were superb! Came with mignonette (very strong!) as well as cocktail sauce and lemons.

Sound Bites
704 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02144

Les Zygomates Wine Bar & Bistro
129 South St, Boston, MA 02111

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  1. we are regulars at soundbites but lately a little less wowed than at first, so have been wondering about the place next to it... I know of nothing good in the areas you've mentioned but watertown sq has a place i've read raves about. sorry i can't remember name but i found it through brunch search on CH.

    3 Replies
    1. re: opinionatedchef

      I think there's some rather bad blood between those two places.. something about poaching a chef or something.

      The bagel place up past the Center on Mass Ave is decent..

      1. re: grant.cook

        yes, very bad blood between the neighboring joints.

      2. re: opinionatedchef

        I like Common Ground on Mt Auburn, east of Watertown Sq.

      3. It's been a while, but I enjoy the brunch at Tryst. I remember liking their hash and their muffin/bread basket. I think they used to have a band play on the weekends too. :)

        1. Istanbul'lu in Teele Square Somerville near the Arlington line serves great Turkish breakfasts all day.

          Teele Square Cafe
          Somerville, MA, Somerville, MA

          5 Replies
          1. re: Madrid

            wow, that sounds interesting. I have eaten there for dinner and really liked the food. What might a Turkish breakfast consist of, Madrid?

            1. re: Guido

              the breakfast portion of the menu is here

              I really want to try to "plate of turkish mornings" once local tomatoes are in.

              1. re: Madrid

                I tried the plate of turkish mornings and it is a beauty! Here's a picture.

                Ooops. Picture didn't take... hold please.

              2. re: Madrid

                On this note - If you're willing to gamble on available seating, Sofra has a Turkish breakfast that is pretty darn tasty.

                1 Belmont St, Cambridge, MA 02138

              3. Not sure what you're looking for but there's Andy's Diner on Mass Ave in Porter Square, a good basic bacon and eggs type place.


                Andy's Diner
                2030 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140

                1 Reply
                1. re: steinpilz

                  +1 on Andy's. My brother and I frequently meet there when I'm in town and he's working Sunday morning. Nothing fancy, but they cook their omelets exactly how I like them!

                2. For straight-up American style breakfast, my two favorites are Bagels By Us in Arlington and The Restaurant in downtown Woburn.

                  Bagels By Us
                  791 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: cambridgejen

                    I can't get over the fact that "Bagels By Us" does not make their own bagels.

                    1. re: Parsnipity

                      I do know a little about this - my SO is from LI-NY and says BBU gets their bagels partially cooked from H&H in NY. They finish them at the store and, according to her, they are perhaps the closest you can get to a true NY bagel around here. I think they're good but I'm not from NY and therefore not entitled to an opinion ;-)

                      1. re: Guido

                        Have you had them, though? They hallmark all the signs of a crappy old bagel, when fresh and untoasted. Soft outside, mealy inside, yuck.

                        I am a born and raised NJ-ite, which doesn't make me an expert, but certainly makes me qualified. Go to Katz.

                        1. re: marcreichman

                          Ok NJ-ite, where do you buy your bagels in the area?

                          (I'm an ex. rockland county NY-ite missing the bagels of bergen and rockland counties)

                          1. re: LStaff

                            I have only found bagels I like at Katz's in Chelsea. Haven't tried rosenfeld yet though.

                          2. re: marcreichman

                            I don't particularly recommend their bagels - they are definitely not NYC quality - but I do enjoy their cooked breakfasts. I happen to like their scrambled eggs, home fries, and blueberry pancakes. They are nothing revolutionary but very good basics. (As far as the bagels go, I will say that their veggie cream cheese appears to be homemade with fresh bits of grated vegetables. If I do get a bagel, it's only for the cream cheese.)

                        2. re: Parsnipity

                          "Bagels by Somebody Else" didn't fit on the street sign.

                      2. I went to Rafiki Bistro on Mass. Ave. in between Harvard and Porter once for breakfast shortly after it openend and enjoyed it. I'll be going back soon to use a Groupon and will report back after I go.

                        Rafiki Bistro
                        1682 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: bear

                          Just thought I'd update breakfast at Rafiki Bistro. We went this morning and thought it was just okay. My husband had hanger steak and eggs over easy. The steak was cooked medium-rare as ordered, and the eggs were properly over easy. The rest of the breakfast was just sort of meh. The toast is listed as organic multi-grain on the menu, but seemed like cheap supermarket white. My Mediterranean scramble was fine if unremarkable. The home fries were quite dry, covered in way too much paprika for my taste, and some were not completely cooked through. I didn't finish them, which says a lot since I'm a home fries lover.

                          Not a terrible breakfast, but nothing we'd bother returning for. Service was very pleasant, though.

                          Rafiki Bistro
                          1682 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

                        2. On the Belmont/Watertown line check out Deluxe Town Diner. Many, many posts on the board for you to research. My personal favorite items there are the pancakes, corned beef hash, and English muffins, all of which are, IMHO, the best around.

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

                          1. Masa in Winchester does an excellent brunch. They also have an early bird deal on Saturdays, if you go before noon there's a 2 course brunch menu with coffee for only 7.99. Including a basket of breakfast breads. One of my faves! I'm only sorry they stopped offering the deal all day on Saturday...too many people must have found out about it.

                            439 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: myladyfae

                              I don't think there is a "Masa" in Winchester. Are you sure you have the right town?

                              1. re: myladyfae

                                we were very not impressed by Masa's brunch.not returning.

                              2. I almost don't want to reveal this, but the crappy-looking Broadway Diner is a gem for beakfast and lunch. The food isn't gourmet in any way, but it's well-prepared and tasty, for a very reasonable price. I've had breakfast there a bunch of times and loved everything I've tried. I recently went there for lunch and was blown away by some of best crinkle cut french fries I've ever had - crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside. But I digress... my usual for breakfast is one of their omelets, which are large, well-filled and toothsome. Their homefries are fine though I'm more of a hashbrown fan (shredded vs chunked potatoes). The only negative I've encountered there is service which can be slow. This seems to be due to understaffing rather than incompetence though.

                                Broadway Diner
                                117 Broadway, Arlington, MA 02474

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: Dea

                                  I really like their corned beef hash.

                                  1. re: sablemerle

                                    Thanks for the corned beef hash rec. I tried this and it is addictive. i think they add butter to it.

                                    1. re: gourmaniac

                                      pulled pork hash at Abigail's in Kendall Sq is outstanding

                                  2. re: Dea

                                    Where is that one? I saw a diner on Broadway, the one next to Dunkin Donuts that I was interested in, but it appeared to have closed...Is it nearby?

                                    1. re: jumpingarcher

                                      That's the one - it does look closed from the outside. I'd driven by it many times thinking it was, then a friend who lives in the neighborhood took me there for brunch!

                                  3. For a quick breakfast at a casual cafe/coffee shop, you should definitely check out the Quebrada Bakery on Massachusetts ave, right next to the Capitol Theatre. They have great classic almond croissants, pumpkin bread, cinnamon rolls, other croissants, and tasty coffee!

                                    Not quite what you're looking for, but a place you might want to avoid is the 'Arlington Diner', on Mass ave as well in East Arlington. My bf and I tried there for breakfast, and the food was just so-so with the kitchen not caring too much about the preparation - there was a large chunk of eggshell in bf's omelette, which is something easy for a cook to avoid, and when we mentioned it to the hostess/waitress as we paid, she just shrugged and didn't seem to care. Coming from NJ, diner land, this lack of care seemed unnecessary =/

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: jumpingarcher

                                      Totally agree - I am amazed to see people wait in line for that place. The food is so boring and sometimes just outright bad.

                                      1. re: Dea

                                        Different strokes, I guess. We lived within sight of the Arlington Diner previously and now within sight of the Broadway Diner. Broadway is a acceptable in a pinch, but we'll still hike to Arlington if the weather isn't bad. The home fries with onions at Arlington, while on the greasier side, are much better than Broadway's, and I won't even order the bacon at Broadway anymore. The Eggs Mykonos at Arlington are a favorite for us, too. Like I said, Broadway is okay in a pinch, but I was surprised to see some posters echoing my exact sentiments (unimaginative, lower quality, etc.) - just the other way around.

                                    2. I tried broadway diner this past weekend due to the positive reviews from this board, and given that it is easy walking distance from my apartment. While the food was pretty good, it was by no means great. Next time I will make the drive to Ball Sq. Cafe in Somerville for a truly great breakfast. Everything lacked in comparison; food (quality +taste), decor, cleanliness, and service. This place looks abandoned on the outside, and in parts on the inside too.