Boston's Hidden Restaurants

Marketplace Cafe (CLOSED)

10 Bassett Street (Milton Marketplace), Milton, MA 02186
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--- Winner, Best Breakfast Place in Boston Area, 2006 ---

Photo of the Marketplace Cafe, Milton, MA The pleasant, prosperous town of Milton, Boston's neighbor to the south, used to be a place that had little in the way of dining options. And although some new restaurants have opened in town recently, Milton remains a town that isn't really seen as a dining destination. But in addition to the new eateries, there is also a hidden (and I do mean hidden!) dining spot at the edge of East Milton Square called the Marketplace Cafe (formerly A Lighter Fare) that we consider to be a real sleeper of a breakfast spot on the South Shore.

The Marketplace Cafe is located in the Milton Marketplace (along with the marvelous Fruit Center and a few other shops). Few people outside of the area know about this upscale shopping center, since it is behind East Milton Square rather than in the center or along the Southeast Expressway. Perhaps because many people use East Milton Square as a cut-through, few people venture beyond Adams Street, the main drag of this neighborhood. A shame, since the Marketplace Cafe deserves to be better-known.

Located on the second floor of the marketplace, the Marketplace Cafe is a quiet, spacious spot, with tables set well apart from one another which makes it perfect for families and larger groups. It has a classier feel than your typical breakfast and lunch place, and even has occasional live jazz music on weekends. The breakfast menu at The Marketplace Cafe indeed does have some lighter fare (hence the former name of the place), including quiche, bagels, and english muffins, but there are also many items that will satisfy people with bigger appetites. Some of the best items on the menu include the French toast, which is homemade and comes with fruit on top; the quiche, which changes daily (the taco quiche is wonderful); the pancakes, which sometimes can be pretty unique when on special (the gingerbread pancakes, for example); and the home fries, which are a bit greasy but very satisfying.

A Lighter Fare had been around for a long time before changing to the Marketplace Cafe, yet this spot simply has never been very well-known. Perhaps this is a good thing for those who frequent the place, as it is only occasionally crowded on weekend mornings, unlike so many other good breakfast spots around Boston. That alone is reason enough to try the Marketplace Cafe. And being upstairs from the amazing produce section at the Fruit Center doesn't hurt, either. Whatever your reason is to go, definitely head over to the Marketplace Cafe if you are looking for a good breakfast place that very few others know about.