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Aug 15, 2012 10:41 PM

where to eat in the wee morning hours in Boston

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.

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    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

      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

        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

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

        1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

          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.

          1. re: Taralli

            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

              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

                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.

        2. 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.

          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.

          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. 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

              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

                A solid straight ahead diner, no more no less.

                1. re: jajjguy

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

            2. 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.

              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

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

              2. 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

                  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

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

                    1. re: awkwardpause

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

                      1. re: kooshball5

                        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.


                      2. re: awkwardpause

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