Boston's Hidden Restaurants

Amber Road Cafe

635 Washington Street, Canton, MA 02021
(339) 237-3925 Find location!

Photo of Amber Road Cafe, Canton, MA It seems that many, if not most neighborhood breakfast spots tend to be no-frills places with high noise levels, lots of hustle and bustle, quick service, locals who know others on a first-name basis, and cheap eats. And while some of this applies to the Amber Road Cafe in Canton, the place also seems to be just a touch more upscale than a good number of its competitors. "Upscale" is a relative term, of course, and we are not talking about a place of elegance or fine dining here, but if you are a fan of, say, The Marketplace Cafe in East Milton Square or similarly pleasant and comfortable breakfast spots, the Amber Road Cafe may just be for you.

Located on the main drag in the heart of Canton, the Amber Road Cafe is one of several dining spots in the center of this southern suburb of Boston. All of the eateries in Canton Center seem to be under-the-radar spots (perhaps because the major thoroughfare through Canton--Route 138--bypasses the center of town), and this breakfast and lunch spot is no exception. The exterior of the Amber Road Cafe can seem a bit confusing at first, as what looks like the entrance to the spot is actually not the entrance, with a corridor to the right instead leading folks into the dining room--and giving the impression that the restaurant takes up most, if not all of the structure in which it resides. But no, it only takes up the left end of the building and is a relatively small spot, being made up of a single room with a handful of tables and some seats along the counter area. The space itself is quite nice, with muted wall colors, a carpeted floor that keeps the noise level down, and various philosophical (and other) phrases displayed along the tops of the walls such as "plant flowers in the spring" and "get your next pet from the animal shelter."

The Amber Road Cafe features a mix of familiar breakfast items as well as a surprise here and there (more on that in a minute), with a few of the more "everyday" items on the menu including waffles, French toast, and pancakes--all of which are beautifully presented on attractive plates. Frittata-style omelettes are also offered, with roasted vegetables, smoked salmon, baby spinach, and cream cheese being just a few options that can be added to the omelettes. The basic corned beef hash and eggs is made just a bit more special by the lean and crunchy house-made hash, while oatmeal and short stacks of pancakes are available to those who are looking for lighter fare. As for the more unusual dishes at the Amber Road Cafe, well, one of their signature items is the French toast stuffed with a creamy brie and topped with a sweet, tart, and savory apple-cranberry-walnut chutney. Another dish that you don't always see in breakfast spots is the wonderful plate of cheese blintzes that come with house-made raspberry jam, with the firm and hearty blintzes holding their own against those at the Boston area's few delicatessens. And speaking of deli food, a lox-and-bagel plate can also be ordered at the Amber Road Cafe (the deli items here are actually no real surprise, as Canton and some of the surrounding communities have a large Jewish population). Drinks include a decent cup of coffee as well as a variety of smoothies, including a delicious peach option. As mentioned earlier, lunch is also served at this restaurant (though it really is mostly a breakfast spot), with salads and sandwiches making up the entire lunch menu.

Canton seems to be one of those towns that has a number of restaurants, but is not really a restaurant destination, though there are some good ones in town, including this comfortable little spot in the town center. If you like greasy spoons with a bit less grease, you could certainly do a whole lot worse than the Amber Road Cafe.