Travelers know there’s nothing more comforting than a hearty—and leisurely—breakfast while on vacation. After all, the daily grind usually leaves little time for full breakfast spreads, pastry baskets, or pitcher-sized cocktails (meant for sharing, of course).
During a trip to Cambridge, Massachusetts, you’ll find there are no shortage of restaurants serving excellent brunches of all varieties. From boozy brunches at Puritan & Co in Inman Square to the fiery, Mexican-influenced plates at East Coast Grill, we’ve got at least seven reasons to stay in town for a relaxing Sunday brunch in Cambridge.
Of course, you can always stick around Freepoint Hotel for breakfast at Chef Matthew Gaudet’s casual Freepoint Kitchen & Cocktails, where morning meals are served daily from 7:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.
Brunch at Mameleh’s feels an awful lot like visiting your favorite Jewish grandmother. You’ll learn a word or two of Yiddish and enjoy such classics as a bagel sandwich with kippered salmon and pickled beets or an egg and cheese on challah with pastrami.
Mameleh’s: 1 Kendall Square; 617-958-DELI
East Coast Grill
Sunday brunch is an unusual affair at the recently reopened East Coast Grill. Instead of French toast dippers, you can start with churros or griddled corn arepas. Omelettes come stuffed with scotch bonnet sausage and sweet plantains or avocado with salsa roja, black beans, and avocado. Order the signature bloody mary and make it “hot as hell.”
East Coast Grill: 1271 Cambridge St; 617-714-4662
Puritan & Company
During Sunday brunch, patrons can nurse oversized pitchers of aperol spritz, bloody mary, and house mimosa (“orange juice, bubbles, duh”). Other favorites on the largely New England menu include a hand-selected pastry basket with sweets like cinnamon buns, blood orange donuts, and chocolate-pretzel croissants, or the hash with eggs and herbed-creme fraiche.
Puritan & Company: 1166 Cambridge St; 617-615-6195
In Central Square, the international tapas restaurant by star chefs Jamie Bissonnette and Ken Oringer is now serving Sunday brunch 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Expect a mix of reliable favorites (avocado toast with za’atar, quiche with gruyere, spinach, and caramelized onions) and reimagined classics (toad in a hole made with miso-banana bread and habanero sausage; a short rib hash with green sriracha aioli).
Little Donkey: 505 Massachusetts Ave; 617-945-1008
The Friendly Toast
Affordable breakfast items for people who want reliable, familiar morning fare (egg sandwiches, house-made granola with fresh fruit, Belgian waffles) should head directly to this Portsmouth, New Hampshire import. Now with locations in Boston and Cambridge’s Kendall Square, the vibe here is decidedly eclectic and laid-back. Arrive early if you want to skip the line.
The Friendly Toast: 1 Kendall Square; 617-621-1200
The Kirkland Tap & Trotter
Sirloin tips and eggs, a Turkish breakfast with eggplant and chickpea soup, grilled vegetables, and a fried egg, and standard chilaquiles — there’s not much you won’t find on Chef Tony Maws’ brunch menu. But you’re really here for the brunch cocktails (a spicy Michelada with house-made green chile sauce, lime, and Bohemia lager) and the house-made doughnuts.
The Kirkland Tap & Trotter: 425 Washington St; 857-259-6585
The folks behind East Coast Grill are also responsible for Highland Kitchen in Somerville. Here, Southern-inspired fare results in a brunchy mix of beignets, hushpuppies, grits with fried catfish, biscuits topped with sausage gravy, and more. You can even get a pressed “Elvis” sandwich with sunflower seed butter and bananas on white bread.
Highland Kitchen: 150 Highland Ave; 617-625-1131
Photo via @littledonkeyboston.