Breakfast and Coffee
In the Thick Of It
If you plan to get something from anywhere here prepare for a line and a wait, but it will be worth it. That’s why there is a line. In the thick of it:
Just a scant block from the Charles River Get your bagels and coffee from Black Sheep Bagel Café. I love their deviled egg salad toast bagel.
Less busy especially for grab and go but also delicious is Henrietta’s Table (they make delicious pumpkin and banana bread) just get coffee and a baked good at the host counter. Also inside the Charles hotel at the ground level entrance is The Outpost.
Pop into the Smith Campus Center for Pavement Coffee, Blackbird Doughnuts, and Mother Juice. Come back again later for lunch with variety of dining options.
Newcomer The Sea Hag had pastries and breakfast (and it is so new you may be able to get in before the crowd finds out.)
Flour is always a hot spot, but you can try to skip the line by ordering ahead online or on the app.
You don’t have to head to the North End and stand in long lines for cannoli. You can stop in at Mike’s Pastry in Harvard Square and get coffee and Italian pasties for breakfast.
Circus Coop Café is another option for coffee, breakfast sandwiches and baked goods.
Rite in the Charles River Speedway is a perfect spot for coffee, tea and some small bites.
Faro Café is the great to grab a coffee and small pastry. The pastries are made by nearby La Saison, which is also worth a visit, but is a little farther off.
Get the map of of all these places to see which one you’re close to when you get a hankering for some coffee and breakfast.
Get Away from The Crowd: Hop on a Bike or Take a Hike
While some of these spots are a little further from the crowds, don’t expect to breeze right in without a line. These are popular spots in the area for weekends on a regular weekend and tend to be even busier for Head of the Charles weekends. If you have time constraints, try to order ahead, call and find out wait times, or go during odd times.
Bagelsaurus is a hot spot for bagels and bagel sandwiches. There is always a line here, but it’s a nice walk away from Harvard Square if you need a break from the crew crowd.
Sofra Bakery and Café is definitely a destination for all food loving folks and is always busy on the weekend, but worth the wait for every drink and bite you will sink your teeth into here.
Praliné tends to be a little quieter. There is no seating, but it’s a great spot for a coffee and to pick up some French pastries.
Hi Rise is a lovely little spot to sit and enjoy baked goods, breakfast sandwiches and coffee or tea.
If you want a little more breakfast or Hi Rise is too busy, head over to Sarah’s Market for eggs, pancakes and more.
Brookline Lunch is a Central Square institution, despite the name it is in Cambridge not Brookline. The baklava pancakes are unique, sweet and delicious, but they also have classic pancake, shakshuka, eggs Benedict, omelettes, and egg sandwiches.
Friendly Toast has finally opened in Harvard Square. It is extremely popular and has a large breakfast/brunch menu, which they serve all day. You can also go online to get on the waitlist if you want to plan ahead.
Deluxe Town Diner always has a line on the weekend, but it is (you guessed ur) worth it. This is in a diner car, and they have real maple syrup, a great tea menu, and something for everyone from vegan diners to omnivores.
Café Weekend is a cute spot for something a little different. They make fluffy Japanese style pancakes and croissant waffles aka croffles, which are delicious.
Uncommon Grounds is our regular spot as a family. We alternate between Uncommon Grounds and Deluxe Town Diner. They have a large menu of coffees and breakfast options. They don’t have the vegan options that Deluxe Town Diner has. but they have options for those with gluten sensitivities.
Little L Bakery is worth the extra distance just to get away from it all for a minute. They have coffee and green tea lattes as well as Japanese style breads, sandwiches and pastries.
If you like a visual for where to go, check out the map of all these place and then you can see which one are nearby or how to get to where you want to go by walking, biking, public transport or car.