HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >

where to eat in the wee morning hours in Boston

morninglemon Aug 15, 2012 10:41 PM

I'm taking a red-eye from Phoenix that gets me to Boston by 630am midweek. I have about three hours to kill before my friend arrives so we can get a rental car (it's under her reservation). I'll be hungry and as I recall, Logan is small and restaurants don't open til 11.

So my options are:
1. Leave the airport, go somewhere for food then come back to the airport to meet my friend.
2. Leave airport, go somewhere and have my friend pick me up when she arrives and gets the rental car.
3. Leave airport, wander Boston and meet up with my friend at South Station, where we are supposed to pick up another friend around 11am.
4. Stay at Logan until my friend gets there. Starve.

My question, to you boardies, is:
Are there any breakfast places open around 7am to make it worth my while to leave the airport at all?

*Note I will have one small rolling suitcase with me. I don't mind wheeling it around, though it could be cumbersome since if I leave the airport, I'll be on the T during rush hour. And Logan does not have storage so I cannot stash it there.

Thanks in advance.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. opinionatedchef RE: morninglemon Aug 16, 2012 02:12 AM

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/460458

    this is a thread for bkfst in the North End (our wonderful historic Italian harborside neighborhood.
    )If you think you'll arrive w/ energy to spare, i would say to come to the North End from the airport(very close), get bkfst and/or fresh baked goods at Modern Bakery; walk the area which includes a large C Columbus Park and our new Greenway, and walk up to So Station to meet your friend.

    That early in the morning you will be one of the priveleged few to witness the No End waking up before all the bustle. I found a place called Anthony's Cafe which is at 252 Commercial St. and it sounded like a really early morning neighborhood spot but i couldn't find a website or a posting of their hours.

    Another thought w/ regards to your rolling suitcase- you could take the T to So Station first, check your bag into a locker, then walk down to the North End(15 min.) etc.

    8 Replies
    1. re: opinionatedchef
      morninglemon RE: opinionatedchef Aug 16, 2012 02:25 AM

      thanks for the suggestion. i've been in the north end for breakfast, but not until 10am-ish. it seemed pretty dead when i was there, all i found were little coffee places with baked goods open. i guess i should be more exact in that i was looking for an AWESOME sitdown breakfast place that would make it worth the trek, especially since i'll be tired from not sleeping on the plane.

      1. re: morninglemon
        Matt H RE: morninglemon Aug 16, 2012 03:34 AM

        The Paramount in Beacon Hill opens at 7am during the week. You could also go to the Bristol Lounge at the 4 Seasons which opens at 6:30am.

      2. re: opinionatedchef
        a
        AGM_Cape_Cod RE: opinionatedchef Aug 16, 2012 04:53 AM

        Great idea about the luggage storage but unfortunately it doesn't exist at South Station.

        1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod
          k
          kooshball5 RE: AGM_Cape_Cod Aug 16, 2012 08:53 AM

          It does. Go up to the fifth floor and follow the signs for Package Express; you can check bags during the day for $5 apiece.

        2. re: opinionatedchef
          t
          Taralli RE: opinionatedchef Aug 16, 2012 05:18 AM

          Anthony's doesn't open until 9AM.

          1. re: Taralli
            k
            KevinJF RE: Taralli Aug 18, 2012 11:45 AM

            That is not true. I live on Fleet St about 50 yards from Anthony's. I do not know the exact hours, but I believe it opens at 6 AM.

            1. re: KevinJF
              9
              9lives RE: KevinJF Aug 19, 2012 07:42 AM

              Anthony's says 5 AM. I grabbed breakfast today. Golden Goose, on Commercial usually open at 5:30 for breakfast sandwiches. Both would be nice for picnics in nearby Columbus Park.

              The water taxi from Logan is a nice treat. If you ask nicely, they'll usually throw in a "harbor tour" at no extra charge, just say you don't mind going for a ride. Go for an AM boat ride and get dropped off at the Intercontinental or other big hotel for a good breakfast or CTown for dim sum.

              My current faves for dim sum are Winsor and China Pearl...short walk from the Water Taxi stops. I think the closest is Intercontinental but ask the driver.

              1. re: 9lives
                itaunas RE: 9lives Aug 19, 2012 11:42 AM

                Dim Sum houses start opening between 8-9 weekday, which is why I suggested Ctown bakeries. In the AM I haven't gotten much of a "tour" for the water taxi because they wait until the very last minute hoping to have some other living soul on the boat. If they are now being measured on on-time-departure that might be different.

        3. itaunas RE: morninglemon Aug 16, 2012 06:00 AM

          I fly out of Logan a fair amount at 6am and the selections depend on terminal, but there certainly are options open inside security and in most but not all terminals one option outside security. The choices are mainly Au Bon Pain and Dunkin Donuts, with a few other cafes depending on terminal and the addition of McDonald's and Starbucks inside security.

          I have taken the airport bus to the T station, walked out the back entrance and down Brooks Street to Bennington and turned left to head towards Central Square. And then had breakfast on Bennington -- there is two Salvadoran restaurants across from each other which seem to serve pretty early (see link below), another offering $1 breakfast closer to Central Square, possibly a Columbian restaurant (can't remember if this is the same as the $1), and some bakery/pastry options again central americans as well as a Brazilian store which sells "salgadinhos." However, you are going to be doing some walking and since East Boston can be confusing for non-native drivers, I would suggest your friend pick you up right in Central Square at the CVS Pharmacy which is easy to find at the "local exit" when they get to the tollbooths for the Rt93 Sumner Tunnel. Total you are going to be walking about a mile with your suitcase and not certain the restaurants are what you have in mind. The Blue Line would get you to Maverick with minimal walking which has even more options, but will probably be challenging for your friend.

          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/819401

          If you don't like your airport options and don't want to walk far, Helado Juli's on Brooks Street is very near the Airport T and has several Central American pastry options, savory and sweet. I just don't know what time they open, so you would have to call. However, you could take the free shuttle bus to the T, walk there (2 minutes), take the bus from the T back and meet your friend. They might have one or two tables, but its really small and I assume the warming oven is now working but not 100% certain.

          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/819023

          In the North End I mostly go to Caffe Paradiso on Hanover which would be easy for your friend to find and there is some interesting shopping near by if you end up waiting longer than expected. Its opens at 7am, 7 days a week. Good breakfast options there are pretty much limited to the Bindi Apricot Croissants which are pretty tasty, but not flaky pastry, and excellent Italian drinks. Modern Pastry opens a bit later (8?) as far as I know. Mangia Mangia is an option for a full breakfast, but its just a sub shop, no local charcuterie or duck fat fried hash browns, there also is less shopping nearby. Its off of N Washington which is a main thoroughfare (and you could check out Eastern Baking Supply), although your friend would have to be careful with the turns so they don't end up on the expressway. I haven't been early, so would call to check their opening time but it should be early because they only do breakfast/lunch.

          There are some options in South Boston, which you can search for. L Street Diner (better, but may not open early) and Muls are the ones I have tried, probably some newer options or along the route of the Silver Line, but most I know of are weekend brunch. There are also Dim Sum options near South Station, but I don't know of anything that opens before 8:30am for weekday Dim Sum (Hei La Moon 8:30, Windsor 9am). There are lots of Chinese bakeries which could get you something, walking distance from South Station.

          1. C. Hamster RE: morninglemon Aug 16, 2012 06:06 AM

            Go to the 24/7 diner on West street right by South Station.

            I can't recall its name.......

            3 Replies
            1. re: C. Hamster
              s
              ScotchandSirloin RE: C. Hamster Aug 16, 2012 06:44 AM

              You can't recall its name because it is not on West Street, it is on South Street, hence the name, the South Street Diner.

              1. re: ScotchandSirloin
                j
                jajjguy RE: ScotchandSirloin Aug 23, 2012 07:37 PM

                A solid straight ahead diner, no more no less.

                1. re: jajjguy
                  f
                  femmevox RE: jajjguy Aug 24, 2012 08:49 AM

                  actually breakfast there is pretty bad--stale grease, hard bacon, stiff eggs, etc.

            2. Niblet RE: morninglemon Aug 16, 2012 07:02 AM

              I suggest you take the Silver Line to South Station. Pick up the paper or a magazine in South Station then have breafast on the waterfront at Miel restaurant at the Intercontinental hotel. http://www.intercontinentalboston.com...

              It's short few blocks from South Station, and you can have breakfast with a pretty view of the water and see Boston coming to life around you.

              Sportello on Congress St, or Flour just off Congress, are only slightly longer walks and also offer nice breakfast options, albeit not the same view.

              If you're looking to kill some time, the water taxi picks up at the Intercontinental dock, and you can cruise around to the airport and down by the coast guard area. It's only $20 or so and a nice way to see Boston from the water.

              Or you can just stroll along the waterfront before heading back to South Station to meet your friends.

              BTW I assume you'll be driving out of Boston which is why your friend is renting a car. If you're staying right in the city you will not use it.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Niblet
                m
                mkfisher RE: Niblet Aug 16, 2012 07:14 AM

                If you're going to Miel/Flour and taking the Silver Line, get off at the Court House not South Station

              2. g
                Guinness02122 RE: morninglemon Aug 16, 2012 07:41 AM

                I went to Mike's City Diner on Washington Street on Sunday and had great french toast. Everything I've ever had from there has been very good. It might be a little to far though.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Guinness02122
                  libertywharf RE: Guinness02122 Aug 16, 2012 08:02 AM

                  You can take the silverline for free from the terminal and get off at the first stop in the seaport district. You can have breakfast at the seaport hotel or next door at Sebastians. Sebastians is inexpensive and has pretty good breakfast sandwiches and crepes. This is counter service, free wifi and the news will be on. After you can leave your bag with the seaport hotel and walk around. Getting back to logan is easy either by the silverline or water shuttle.

                  1. re: libertywharf
                    a
                    awkwardpause RE: libertywharf Aug 16, 2012 02:08 PM

                    How do you take the Silver Line for free? I've always had to pay.

                    1. re: awkwardpause
                      k
                      kooshball5 RE: awkwardpause Aug 16, 2012 02:24 PM

                      For some reason, despite its purported financial difficulties, the MBTA is running the Silver Line free this summer.

                      1. re: kooshball5
                        m
                        mikeinboston RE: kooshball5 Aug 16, 2012 03:24 PM

                        Yes, in an effort to speed up boarding times (most people aren't carrying the correct fare) and to position Boston as friendly city for tourists, MassPort has been running trips originating at Logan Airport on the Silver Line for free. The program is slated to end in September.

                        They have also added real time countdown signs to the terminals to let you know how long the wait will be for the next bus.

                        http://www.massport.com/news-room/New...

                      2. re: awkwardpause
                        libertywharf RE: awkwardpause Aug 16, 2012 05:02 PM

                        It's only free from Logan. Massport is picking up the tab.

                  2. drewinmrblhd RE: morninglemon Aug 16, 2012 09:43 AM

                    Little Stevies is open late!

                    1. Dave MP RE: morninglemon Aug 16, 2012 11:14 AM

                      I like some of the ideas already mentioned: Miel, The Paramount (good pancakes), Muls Diner (for the corned beef hash).

                      Rush-hour on the Blue Line from the airport isn't really that bad, especially if it's around 7:30 or 8:00 AM. I did it last week, and while it's a bit crowded, there was plenty of room for a roll-on suitcase. It wasn't like the green-line, which can get super packed. If you take the silver line from the airport, there are luggage racks and you'd be first on the bus, so there'd be no problem at all. So I wouldn't let the luggage issue deter you from heading into the city proper, where you'll find lots of great breakfast options.

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: Dave MP
                        f
                        femmevox RE: Dave MP Aug 16, 2012 02:21 PM

                        You can go to South Station, drop off your bag, and get congee and a cruller starting at 6 AM at Great Taste (the bakery part). I think the Crowne Royal Bakery on Edinboro Street is open that early, too. Sip your strong coffee or Hong Kong milk tea, eat your cruller, with or without congee, watch old Chinese men shoot the breeze, and, in no time at all (8 AM), Hei La Moon is open for dim sum. And they're best, really fresh, at that hour.

                        1. re: femmevox
                          morninglemon RE: femmevox Aug 18, 2012 12:39 AM

                          thanks for all who played! the winner is.. femmevox. You had me at congee (and the cruller just takes the cake, so to speak. as well as the offer of a HK-style milk tea, which I will say yes to any day). I also like the idea of having my congee and getting dimsum too. Haven't been to Hei Lai Moon, though, and the Yelp reviews are less than inspiring. The last time I had dimsum in Boston was 10 years ago at China Pearl and it was revolting. Should I bring my high expectations to Hei La, or just try to pass two hours at Great Taste nursing my congee?

                          *high expectations = grew up in NYC, frequent trips to Hong Kong

                          1. re: morninglemon
                            maillard RE: morninglemon Aug 18, 2012 03:58 AM

                            I would skip both China Pearl and Hei La Moon and go to Winsor Dim Sum Cafe. It's cart-less, but the food is fantastic and very hot and fresh.

                            1. re: maillard
                              opinionatedchef RE: maillard Aug 18, 2012 05:30 PM

                              i don't know what time winsor starts dim sum but it seems to get the most CH love for dimsum. China Pearl supposedly got the better chefs from Hei la Moon this yr, so CP may be the better bet if not going to Winsor.

                              1. re: opinionatedchef
                                morninglemon RE: opinionatedchef Aug 18, 2012 06:27 PM

                                what about great taste for dimsum? crown royal opens at 8, and Winsor at 9. the bakery in great taste opens at 730 and the restaurant for dimsum starts at 8. it seems more convenient for me to just be at one place. I'm guessing that with a 630 eta, I will be at south station by 7, and not sure whether I want to wander an hour until crown royal opens at 8.

                                1. re: morninglemon
                                  j
                                  Jenny Ondioline RE: morninglemon Aug 18, 2012 09:25 PM

                                  I've had some tasty dim sum at Great Taste, particularly the turnip cakes with XO sauce.

                                  1. re: Jenny Ondioline
                                    f
                                    femmevox RE: Jenny Ondioline Aug 21, 2012 02:47 PM

                                    I just checked the other day, and Great Taste isn't open till 6:30 AM (sorry for the bum steer!) Yes, you can probably nurse your coffee for an hour and a half till the restaurant part opens. Or maybe even ask if they can steam you up some dim sum earlier. You might be able to get a pork bun or "big steamed bun" from the bakery side earlier as well, then move over.

                                    Hei La Moon is OK first thing in the AM--but you're right, why not stick to one place?

                                    Hope you enjoy--

                      Show Hidden Posts