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Where to go for breakfast in Boston - Brookline area other than Zaftigs

Our daughter goes to Boston University and we have had two bad breakfast experiences - one place charged extra money for real maple syrup and real fruit on the pancakes and the other place the food was just awful. Any suggestions would be appreciated. We are not limited to Brookline so surrounding neighborhoods would be fine as well.

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  1. Where were your bad experiences? I will say that I'm not at all bothered by places that charge extra money for real maple syrup. Real maple syrup is expensive stuff. The places that aren't charging for it don't offer it, because you can bet what you're getting is maple-flavored HFCS fake syrup stuff. At least the ones that charge offer you the option.

    1. If you can park in the area, my favorite place is Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe in the South End. Very old time. Terrific hash.

      I'm not a fan of the breakfast places around here. (I live in Brookline.) People like Martin's Coffee Shop on Harvard in Brookline Village. It's a counter with a large number of omelets, etc. My daughter went to BU and liked Busy Bee on lower Beacon near St. Mary's. There isn't a great pancake & waffle place really close by. The best breakfast used to be Herrell's on Brighton and Harvard in Allston and some people tell me they like its replacement Refuge Cafe.

      1. I've found Audubon's brunch to be very good, and surprisingly it never seems to be crowded. Never a Zaftigs-length wait.

        Which place charged for syrup? That's pretty cheeky.

        I've heard good things about Brookline Family Restaurant's breakfast/brunch, but i've only had their Turkish dinner menu.

        3 Replies
        1. re: nightsky

          I think the name was Coolidge Corner - it is right down the road from Zaftigs - since the wait at Zaftigs was so long we opted for this place. Didn't particularly care for the food and the additional charges!

          1. re: mboxermd

            The Coolidge Corner Clubhouse? Brunch is not their strong suit. (Television saturation and comically large menus may be.)

          2. re: nightsky

            When we lived in the area, Brookline Family Restaurant was one of our regular breakfast places, although that was a while back. Busy Bee as well, although I'm not sure I ever liked the food there as much as I liked the kitschy atmosphere. O'Leary's used to do a nice Irish breakfast on weekends.

            Coolidge Corner Clubhouse is mediocre at breakfast, lunch and dinner, IMO.

          3. In Brighton Center - Cafe nation - crepes, and other breakfast goodies, excellent coffee.

            In Allston - The Breakfast Club - your standard silver sided diner car-type place.

            1. Eastern Standard is excellent - classic choice for brunch

              Temptations Cafe in coolidge corner is a great place to grab a quick breakfast sandwich

              Dorado tacos has a Mexican style breakfast - cheap and quick

              Orinoco on Harvard St has a Venezuelan brunch

              Lineage, also on Harvard St. also has a pretty great brunch.

              I wouldn't recommend the Fireplace in Washington Square


              Eastern Standard
              528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

              1. What about the Paris Creperie in Coolidge Corner, 278 Harvard St? It's on the small side, but comfortable if you can get in. I love their ham and cheese crepes. And the Nutella crepes. And the hot chocolate...

                1. Brookline Family Restaurant does a very nice breakfast. Sealys on Cypress St and Rte 9 is an excellent greasy spoon sort of place

                  1. When I first moved to Boston in the late '70s I lived across the street from the Busy Bee. It's a sonetimes loud diner open for breakfast and lunch ("a snack or a meal").

                    Nothing much has changed since then besides the addition of a tv that plays CNN all day. Even some of the waitresses are still there.

                    Cheap, basic diner fare.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: C. Hamster

                      Have they always been closed on sundays? One would think that a place that serves breakfast would want to be open on the busiest brunch day of the week.

                      1. re: Kinopio

                        Yes. I cant figure it out either, but its a family-run place so maybe they needed a family day.

                    2. If shopping or a trip to the Back Bay area is on your list you might enjoy Trident Booksellers +Cafe. They do breakfast all day and it's one of my favorite breakfast spots. There is sometimes a wait but you have the bookstore part of the operation to keep you entertained while you wait.

                      Real maple syrup is an option here. Again, I don't mind paying for it and I'm glad to have my own little bottle of it to enjoy with my blueberry pancakes.


                      Trident Booksellers & Cafe
                      338 Newbury St, Boston, MA 02115

                      1. Watertown is not far - The Spot on main street has the best pancakes, Deluxe town diner on Mt. Auburn St. has the best sour cream flapjacks, and Victor's is a great all purpose diner on North Beacon Street. These are about a 20 minute ride from Brookline and all are superior to the Brookline options. I do like Family well enough, but only if I order the Turkish homemade bread, which is excellent. otherwise, it is reasonably good and reasonably priced conventional breakfast, with a few nice Turkish options as an aside. The Spot is the best breakfast place, of all these recommendations, with really lovely food and excellent bread.