Feature

9 Hottest Brunches in Boston

By Scott Kearnan  |  September 29, 2014

Brunch. Few words are more beautiful to the food lover's ear. But here's the thing: if you're going to miss out on that extra weekend sleep, you can't waste time at subpar midday meals. To help you find the best new brunch spots in the city, here is a list of no-fail destinations, starting with some of the newest additions to the scene. Keep an eye here for regular updates. Because if you snooze, you lose.

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  • Merrill & Co. 

    Over the summer this fun seafood-focused eatery in the South End launched brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 AM-3 PM. You'll find spins on Southern fare like shrimp & grits with bacon and pepper, smoked fish hash with fried eggs and béarnaise and plenty of cornbread and biscuits. Other options include a veggie frittata with Greek brined cheese and a mini-bottle of champagne, plus brunch cocktails like a hot-sauce-laden michelada and oyster shooters (a small Bloody Mary with a freshly shucked oyster, to which you can add uni and quail egg if you choose.) Best of all, that beverage program is presided over by Kevin Mabry, an industry-fave cocktail guru who happens to be among our most recent class of 30 Under 30 stars. 1 Appleton St.; 617-728-0728

  • Loretta's Last Call

    At Loretta's Last Call, first call for brunch is 11 AM on Saturdays and Sundays. The Southern-inspired restaurant and live-country-music space recently opened in the former space of Ken Oringer's La Verdad on Lansdowne Street, right across the street from Fenway. The Texas-roadhouse-style interior is the perfect setting for a brunch menu that includes larger-than-life dishes like peanut-butter-and-banana-stuffed French toast with bourbon whipped cream; a pulled pork and jalapeño frittata; and the "Truck Stop Breakfast," a loaded spread of chicken and waffles, eggs and home fries. Bonus: moonshine cocktails. 1 Lansdowne St.; 617-421-9595

  • Lulu's Allston

    This Allston newcomer has carved out a comfortable neighborhood niche with quirky comfort food. (You can check out our Cheat Sheet on dinner options here.) The Saturday and Sunday brunch service, which runs from 10:30 AM-3:30 PM, features a "white trash hash" of braised short rib with poached eggs and hollandaise; s'mores pancakes made with marshmallow, chocolate chip and a graham cracker crust; hair of the dog pancakes that pair a batter of pilsner and bacon with Bloody Mary-infused butter; and a hipster omelet with braised portobello mushrooms. Wash them down with a "Man-Mosa," which is basically a screwdriver with a champagne float, served in a pint glass. Cheers. 421 Cambridge St., Allston; 617-787-1117

  • Parla

    ​Blue bloods and new money unite over mimosas at Parla's Great Gatsby Brunch on Sundays. The menu is divided into two sections. Head to the East Egg side for "timeless brunch items" like The American Dream (eggs with bacon, sausage and biscuit with gravy) and The Oxford Man (hanger steak with eggs and home fries).  For "brunch done ostentatiously," look to the West Egg section, filled with flamboyant foods like Daisy's Pearls (blueberry- and mascarpone-filled donuts), Nutella- and banana-stuffed Green Light Crêpes and Gatsby's Grand Ball (tater tots stuffed with cheddar, bacon and quail egg, served with a hollandaise dipping sauce). How rich! 230 Hanover St.; 617-367-2824

  • Alden & Harlow

    Undoubtedly one of the buzziest new Boston-area restaurants of the year, Alden & Harlow gave its devoted diners a new reason to be excited when it dropped a brunch menu over the summer. On Sundays (10:30 AM-2:30 PM) you can dive in to a spread that includes kale toasts ($13, pictured) with anchovy aïoli, fried eggs and bacon; pickled corn pancakes ($13) with honey and stone fruit; pig-blood scrapple ($14) with Thai basil crema, kimchi and grilled red-miso avocado; and that now-not-so-secret Secret Burger ($14), which ranked among your reader-based picks for the Best Burgers in Boston. 40 Brattle St., Cambridge; 617-864-2100

  • Kirkland Tap & Trotter

    Chef Tony Maws manages to create a simultaneously hipster- and young-family-friendly brunch at his Somerville spot Kirkland Tap & Trotter. The menu, available Sundays from 10 AM-2 PM, includes a spice-crusted pork chop with fried eggs ($26), hot dog hash with a soft poached egg and hollandaise ($15), a grass-fed cheeseburger with kimchi Russian dressing ($16) and house-smoked fish rillettes with a garden pickle and everything bagel ($14). And as with dinner service, the new brunch will include a kids' menu with illustrations by Maws' son. So while you're digging into grilled Florida shrimp with creamy polenta ($18), the little one can dig into familiar, wholesome favorites — like whole wheat pancakes with cherry compote. 425 Washington St., Somerville; 857-259-6585

  • Bronwyn

    If you tire of brunch menus filled with delicate parfaits and cute quiche, take note: hearty fare is here. Bronwyn's Sunday brunch service (11 AM-2:30 PM) is filled with rib-sticking items that are in line with the German and Central European fare of chef Tim Wiechmann's Somerville restaurant. You'll find pig's-head scrapple with fried eggs and oat honey challah, schnitzel and biscuits covered in gravy with soft-boiled eggs, the now-signature "Bronburger" topped with sauerkraut, and pfannkuchen (pictured), a German apple pancake. In time for tailgate season, Bronwyn recently introduced a Super Giant Smoked Kielbasa that is served by the pound ($13.99/lb.). The massive sausages are infused with coriander and garlic, lightly smoked and grilled, and served with a side of potatoes, sauerkraut and mustards. Danke, Wiechmann. 255 Washington St., Somerville; 617-776-9900

  • Commonwealth

    Riding the welcome wave of '90s nostalgia is chef Steve "Nookie" Postal's"Marky Mark and the Funky Brunch," an all-day (10 AM-7 PM) spread at Kendall Square's Commonwealth. Debate the discographies of Nirvana and Alanis as you dig into dollar oysters; a "ginormous sticky bun" with bacon; or the massive "18 Wheeler," three eggs with bacon, pastrami and duck-fat home fries. Then pick up at Commonwealth's adjacent market all the ingredients you need to whip up some platters for your own retro dinner party. 11 Broad Canal Way, Cambridge; 617.945.7030

  • Boston Chops

    Breakfast meets lunch and surf meets turf at this sleek South End steakhouse's "Prime Brunch." From 10 AM-3 PM you'll find housemade pecan sticky buns, French toast with rum anglaise and a selection of juicy steaks. Even the huevos rancheros are served with machaca beef cheeks. But for those unwilling to roll out of bed early, Chops immediately follows brunch with weekends-only happy hour from 3-5 PM, featuring fresh-shucked oysters for $1 and the hair of whatever dog bit you last night.