Winnie Yang went to MIT and is a famous food person who is an editor
at Art of Eating. Her make-you-very-hungry blog has an article on
where to eat on weekend mornings in Central Square.
I’ve been meaning to write up a post on brunches for awhile now. A is
a big fan of brunch, so even though I’m not really into it (given the
limited vegetarian options) we’ve checked out a lot of different
places. Here’s a quick run-down of some places worth mentioning (in
approximate order of preference).
At the top of the list for A (and not far from the top of my list
either) is Tosci’s in Central Square (899 Main St.), yes the ice cream
place. Although brunch is a small operation mostly focused on
sandwiches, eggs, and pastries, the food is solid and they always have
some version of pancakes for me which are actually some of the most
enjoyable I’ve had as they’re not too heavy. The wait is generally not
long because (for now) it’s still a lesser-known secret, although be
forewarned that on holiday weekends brunch usually isn’t served. Also,
although I don’t think I’ve mentioned it already, Tosci’s is by far my
favorite ice cream place in Boston. Or anywhere for that matter.
Here’s an interesting post about some of their more-unique flavors,
from their website.
Next up, and just down the street, is Craigie on Main (853 Main
Street). Craigie is much more of the complete brunch, and although it
has a high standard, the two times we’ve been the presentation was a
bit better than the actual food which didn’t quite achieve greatness.
We both really appreciate its move to Central Square, and A finally
made it over there for dinner and it was apparently just as good as we
had hoped (although he went without me the jerk and I still haven’t
been yet. So sad.) It gets crowded, but they take reservations.
Onto the second tier. Among the places that are perfectly serviceable
but not really standouts is Plough & Stars (912 Mass Ave., between
Harvard and Central Squares). We actually just checked it out for the
first time last week, and although they didn’t have much in the way of
vegetarian/vegan options the food was still pretty good.
Another place we checked out recently is S&S in Inman Square (1334
Cambridge St.). This place really feels like a well-oiled institution,
and in that sense reminded me of Katz’s Deli in New York. The food is
hearty; the waitresses are diner efficient; and the place is huge.
Cafe Luna (403 Mass Ave.), just up the street from Tosci’s, is another
viable brunch alternative. They always seem to be packed when we walk
by, and in the summer there were a lot of people sitting on the tables
outside. The couple of times I’ve been they had musicians on Sundays,
which made the small space even more cramped. I’m not a fan of live
music for brunch, but it’s a nice alternative and I appreciate that
its popularity keeps Tosci’s from getting crowded, haha.
Brookline Lunch (in Central, 9 Brookline St., a few steps away from
The Middle East) is kind of dark inside and definitely on the slower,
greasier side of food life, but it’s another viable brunch
At the bottom of the barrel of course there’s the afore-mentioned
Miracle of Service (i.e. Miracle of Science). I’m also going to have
to include Sunny’s Diner (7 Landsdowne St.). Although W has praised
them on several occasions, the two times A and I tried to go we waited
for more than 10 minutes without any acknowledgement that we were ever
going to get even a coffee so we just gave up and left. Although
brunch is a leisurely meal, there’s a difference between leisurely and
complete lack of service, particularly when a place isn’t even busy.
And to wrap up, some places where the food is edible but why go there
when you can go somewhere much better are Mass Avenue Restaurant (906
Mass Ave.), a greasy-spoon-type eatery, and Zoe’s (1105 Mass Ave.),
which is less greasy and definitely better overall, but still hasn’t
been worth a second trip for us. Both are in between Harvard and
Looking over the lists of brunch places in Cambridge there are still a
lot of places I haven’t been or haven’t been in a long time, so at
some point I may make a sequel to this post. Reader, beware …