2011 BEST [food&drink] POLL: Best restaurants for a good morning

It's that time of year again, the time when we start asking...nay,, our valued Readers, for your unbiased opinions. Because, for once, it's not ours that matter. (Yeah, coming to terms with that each year is a bit of a process). But, hubris aside, we always really dig the Boston Phoenix Best Poll. 'Cause we know that you guys all have valuable opinions and thoughts too, or whatever. So give 'em to us, and give 'em to us straight. Your voice must be heard! Power to the people and stuff, right? For reference, check out last year's picks for the best spots around town for breakfasting, brunching, and staving off hangovers with eggs, bacon, and coffee. The weekend's coming up again...perhaps some research is in order?
The Friendly Toast

The Friendly Toast | Best Brunch

One of the most popular brunch spots in town for good reason. For the second year running, you all chose the Friendly Toast as your go-to spot for eggs and bacon as a hangover cure-all or to continue drinking from the night before. Great spot for both people-watching and chowing down. Just be prepared for a long-haul...there's a good 20-40 minute wait for a table on any given morning/afternoon. Trust us, it'll be worth it. Bring a snack to tide you over. Raisins work. more

Ula Cafe

 Ula Cafe | Best Local Coffee Shop

Comedians love the idea of making cafes sound like inhospitable drug dens filled with faux-intellectual snobs and vile snacks, but some cafes easily put that stereotype to shame. This JP coffee shop is one such establishment, where the atmosphere and food alone are enough reason to make the trip well worth it. Ula's got a wide variety of sandwiches, desserts, and drinks served by a staff of ridiculously charming baristas. (Beats the hell out of the hassled, grumpy folks serving our cups of joe at Dunkin.) Plus, there's plenty of room to have a seat and stay awhile. Sweet tip: try the sweet-potato sandwich. more

Zaftigs Delicatessen

 Zaftigs Delicatessen | Best Jewish Deli

Yet another brunch spot we don't recommend for those who need to eat and need to eat NOW. That's what McDonald's is for. If you don't mind a wait, however, and you're anywhere near Coolidge Corner, then Zaftigs is a no-brainer. You'll be able to spot it by the droves of people lining up outside starting around 10:30 am every weekend. They're queueing up for this Jewish joint's delicious (though non-kosher) deli food. They've got all the standbys: blintzes and bagels, corned beef and knishes, but you can also indulge in a bacon cheeseburger. Just don't tell your Jewish mother. more

Deluxe Town Diner

Deluxe Town Diner | Best Greasy Spoon

Some mornings you don't want lobster in your want cheese, you want grease, and you want it immediately. That what places like the Deluxe are here for. This retro-looking Watertown diner serves up heaping portions of delicious traditional greasy-spoon fare: syrupy flapjacks, homemade apple pie,steak tips, crispy fried onion rings, and the like. All that, plus some eclectic culinary surprises that make this diner unique: miso soup, eggplant French fries, east India curry chicken, a Middle Eastern platter, and more. more

Bagel Rising

Bagel Rising | Best Bagel

All those New Yawk transplants who go around wanking about the lack of "real bagels" (and delis...and pizza....and so on) can suck it. Also, they should stop by Bagel Rising, because we're pretty sure once they get one of these bagels in their yap they'll change their tune. Bagel flavor options include sun-dried tomato, marble, and honey-wheat and you can top 'em with anything from tofu-based spreads to specialty cheeses to your greasy meat of choice. Friendly, young staffers who are usually improbably peppy for the hour they have to be at work. Which reminds us, get there early yourself on weekends, occasionally an "OUT OF BAGELS" sign will pop-up in the front window after a big breakfast rush. more


Flour | Best Bakery

Everything at Flour is, frankly, divine. The coffee, the bread, and the sandwiches. All of their gourmet-standard sandwiches are great...from the roasted lamb to the grilled portabello to the standard turkey in between. But leave room for the pies, cakes and cookies piled high all over the counter. more

Petsi Pies

Petsi Pies | Best "Cupcakes vs. Pies"

Cupcakes may be the trend that won't die, but 2011's poll showed that you guys couldn't get enough of a good, old-fashioned homemade pie. Petsi Pie's pies in particular, which come in three sizes (five, eight, and 10 inches) and in sweet variations on traditional apple pie (classic, crumb top, and apple-pear-cranberry) or savory options ike a potato tart with shiitake, portobello, and crimini mushrooms. (Oh yeah, they make cupcakes, too.) more

Check out the rest of the 2011 Best winners and then GO VOTE for this year's noms in Food & Drink, Arts & Entertainment, City Life, and Shopping!

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