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Brunch in Somerville area

Hey guys,

A friend and I have been going to brunch places around Davis, expanding to Porter, and now Harvard, but we're running out. Obviously we've been to Soundbites and Ball Square Cafe, but we're looking for some more places to go for a nice, solid, brunch (nothing too fancy though).

Any recommendations?


EDIT: I looked at previous brunch threads for the area and they're all focused on the more impressive brunch; we're looking for more of a diner-style brunch.

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    1. re: rknrll

      I was pretty disappointed with Magoun's brunch. I love Highland Kitchen and also really like Renee's Cafe.

      1. re: maillard

        I had the same reaction to Magoun's brunch the first time...the biscuits with sausage gravy were not appealing...but we ended up there on a Sat. recently thinking we could lunch but there was only brunch and I got the egg and bacon sandwich, asked for well done bacon, and it was surprisingly very good. I love huevos rancheros but can't imagine eating that with white beans, however.

        1. re: Madrid

          hi there madrid, did you see the CH kudos for the Mex place near MIT on Mass Ave- Beantown Taqueria? IIRC the photo of their chiles rellenos looks spot on and the huevos rancheros read excellent. Zero atmosphere but maybe worth trying? (no white beans!)

      2. re: rknrll

        At the risk of being too much of a Magouns fangirl I was hoping someone else would mention it. Their Irish breakfast is one of my favorite brunches anywhere. Eggs bangers white and black pudding Irish bacon mushrooms beans and a grilled tomato. With brown bread. Sooo good.

        1. re: yumyum

          yy, once the snow clears, I have a plough all ready and waiting for you after that meal :-}

        2. re: rknrll

          After trying highland kitchen and neighborhood only to find massive lines, we went to Magoun's this time.

          The ambiance was definitely different (pub vs diner), but the food was great! We were both really surprised to have liked it as much as we did. I got the breakfast burrito (warning: huge.) and my friend got corned beef (really well done, it was falling apart as he ate it). All in all, good times.

          We've already got plans to hit up the first two, I'll report back when we get to it. Thanks for all the recommendations!

        3. Neighborhood Restaurant in Union Square.

          Get the cream of wheat and thank me later. ;)

          4 Replies
          1. re: Bob Dobalina

            I second that recommendation! Cream of Wheat is a must.

            1. re: UnclePH

              reminds me how much my son loves that stuff. must be full of sugar!

              1. re: Madrid

                I think that's why I love it, too!

                1. re: UnclePH

                  I think I love it for the fat content. Anyone know what is in it, exactly? Butter? Heavy cream? Condensed milk?

                  I've been there on weekdays and seen people pop in just to get cups of it to go. It's that good.

          2. I love Highland Kitchen for brunch on Sundays...

            1 Reply
            1. Precinct in Union Square has the basic breakfast items...also a bar.

              1. My favorites would be the Neighborhood and Highland Kitchen with an honorable mention to M3.

                1. Daddy Jones (across from Olde Magoun's in the former Lil Vinny's space) just announced they will be serving brunch. I have only been there for dinner - but their food is excellent (a Mediterranean/Greek influence) and reasonably priced. Casual, cool atmosphere.

                  And other than that - count me on the Highland Bandwagon. It is our fav brunch spot in the 'Ville.


                  1. -the Neighborhood
                    -Highland Kitchen
                    -Kellys Diner

                    Places I'd skip: Rosebud, the Indepdent, Supreme Kitchen.

                    Has anyone here had breakfast at Potato Freak in the Cobble Hill Plaza?

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: LeoLioness

                      We have gotten rosties for breakfast at Potatoe Freak a few times. They are nice and crispy on the outside and have a good amount of filling on the inside. But coffee is pretty weak and food is heavy. It's perfect hangover food or if you are a big fan of potatoes. It's usually empty when we are there so I haven't had a chance to check out the other food.

                      1. re: viperlush

                        Thanks! I've been tempted to get delivery but thought the potatoes would suffer for it. I'll have to give it a try next time I'm walking by.

                      2. re: LeoLioness

                        I always forget to mention Supreme Kitchen on Highland Ave. - I think it's quite decent for what it is - simple breakfast diner chow. Everything I've had there was perfectly fine - nothing special but it's a good option when the brunch line at HK is stretching down the street.

                        1. re: LeoLioness

                          I've has Potato Freak for breakfast - last summer, so a little out of date. The rosti were excellent, and the eggs/bacon/potatoes/toast plate was exactly equal to a diner (prefab-bag eggs poured flat onto a griddle, precooked bacon). I don't object to that, but wouldn't seek it out. I was disappointed to find the potatoes on the plate were home fries (cubed), rather than hash browns (shredded), but I bet you could request the other if you prefer.

                        2. Love The Neighborhood and will agree that the cream of wheat is insane awesome.

                          Johnny D's does a serviceable brunch with a guitarist playing jazzy renditions of Flaming Lips songs, which is fun.

                          1. Since no one's mentioned Sound Bites and it's well-known so doesn't need an introduction, I'll note that the pumpkin waffle special is excellent. It's topped with spiced apple compote and I like it a lot. Since pumpkin has so much moisture, it's difficult to get a crispy waffle crust, but they succeed (not as crispy as the regular waffle, but more than I'd expect).

                            Also, I'll take the opportunity to put the "Yassir as crusty/mean guy" thing to rest. I haven't heard of him nudging people on their way in at least two years.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: enhF94

                              I'd also give big thumbs up to the Wonder Waffle topped with fruit salad (which usually includes stuff like mango, papaya, watermelon, blueberries, raspberries, and all sorts of good things). Last time I was there, Yassir gave me a big hug.

                              1. re: Boston_Otter

                                yeah. Always at least eight different fruits on that thing, usually ten. I don't think the whipped cream is necessary, so order without. And with the fruit, it'll hold you for enough of the day you can budget for the fact that it's maybe 2/3rds of my calories for the day if I finish it.

                            2. Istanbulu in Teele Square has an interesting Turkish brunch. And Tu y Yo (Powderhouse Circle - near Tufts) has an excellent Mexican brunch. Unlike most places, it's not hard to get a table.

                              1. I'm surprised no one has said the Deluxe Towne Diner. Not quite Somerville, but if you have expanded to Harvard Square you are getting closer. I know it's not a diner style brunch, but I assume you tried Painted Burro in Davis Square. Service there is iffy but I like their off-beat brunch options.


                                1 Reply
                                1. re: hungrytommy

                                  since youve been all around Davis, have you been to Johny D's? Or the Friendly Toast in Kendall Sq (i have never been to that one but love the one in Portsmouth.. its actually breakfast anytime, so not technically brunch)

                                2. East Coast Grill in Inman Sq is a fav of ours. Don't know if you call that 'fancy'. The Mex plates are pretty hefty peasant food and there's a great happy vibe there.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                                    Have you been to brunch at ECG since the change In ownership?

                                    1. re: Gabatta

                                      yes, maybe 4 times. i really miss the cilantro dressing salad and the corn sweet potato soup (there is NO salad or soup on the new menu !) And i miss the single rib side too. But other than that :-( ,my regular dish (basically huevos rancheros) is as stellar as ever . My Love was very happy with his (new menu item) hanger steak plate which had many interesting components on it (compared to, say, the French Toast plate) including a really good poblano hash.

                                      btw, we learned on our last visit, a week ago, that Robin has left. I understood him to be the new co-owner with the chef, so this worries me, plus i really liked him(and gosh, he worked so hard there for so many yrs; i can't imagine this split wasn't a bad one.) Brian, the also affable bartender, is now working into Robin's spot.

                                  2. Places I like in the area include S&S for old school deli style, The Druid does a good irish breakfast, Sound Bites, and East Coast Grill.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: ColoradoXJ13

                                      I loved Sound Bites at first, and I still think fondly of the place and the staff, but we stopped going there when the eggs benedict sauce started coming out curdled and it could never be fixed, no many how many times i sent it back. at first i thought to myself that 'the chef must be on vacatn' but it was like that every time. They must make it in advance and keep it in the walk in, and they just can't reheat it w/o its curdling. too bad.

                                      Stella made an excellent eggs bene. last sunday but service was so bad we'll not likely return. Aquitaine's is spot on but prices are a bit high for what you get there. Marblehead's Five Corners Kitchen is our go-to for EB now. (And they do this really luscious Basil blueberry spritzer too.)

                                    2. el paisa - east boston -- super!

                                      1. Mixtura on Beacon St is excellent, might NE just what you're looking for.