Boston’s brunch and books

Though I’ve sworn off books in favor of my Kindle, there’s still something electrifying about an indy bookstore. Throw food into the mix, of course, and the experience can be blissful. On my recent trip to Boston, I sought out Trident Booksellers & Cafe for this reason. The Newbury Street establishment is home to a rare bookstore-and-restaurant combination, Trident, where you can peruse the aisles for something to read before grabbing a table or sitting down at the counter to read it while you munch on a meal. It’s a regular spot for me when I pass through Boston and is a great alternative to the major brunch destinations in the city, especially Sonsie across the street.

Despite the simplicity of the concept – a bunch of tables and a kitchen occupying part of a bookstore – the menu is extensive. Consisting of several pages of dishes, it moves well past diner fare and into the interesting and ultimately creative. It took me seconds to decide I’d have the apple and brie omelette (to tell the truth, it was one of the first things on the menu, and I didn’t bother looking any further), and had to order the “mega tots.”


I’m generally not a fan of “tater tots.” They remind me of the depths to which your grocery store’s freezer section can sink, offering up fare you feared while waiting in the elementary school lunch line. Thankfully, Trident’s menu includes descriptions. This side dish consists of three incredibly large “tots,” really comprised of excellent hash browns. In the middle, you’ll find gooey cheese which melts once you cut into the creation. They are very large and rather filling, even for someone with an appetite like mine. Order it for the table, and you’ll have the experience without leaving grub behind.

Trident offers outside seating, so you can take in the sounds of Boston and a bit of fresh air while you savor your experience, and there’s free wi-fi through the café, so you can turn your meal into productive time – if that’s what you prefer.

My only gripe about Trident was that the service could have been a bit quicker and more attentive. When I arrived, most of the tables were empty, but the restaurant filled quickly, which made the situation a bit worse. The staff was friendly, and my food came out promptly. Ordering took a while, though, and getting some water (well into my meal) chewed up a bit of time. And none of this was of a magnitude that would keep me from returning – it’s just something to keep in mind before you go.

On your next trip up to Boston, skip the usual brunch haunts and pick up a meal at Trident. It’s the sort of unique spot that can make a meal one of the most memorable parts of your getaway.