At this point in my life, I’ve both visited and lived in many different regions of this country that house even more unique neighborhoods. A majority of the time I am staying overnight in these cities and towns which means I’m waking up and getting breakfast, as one does in the morning. I’ve eaten at diners, cafes and bakeries galore and I feel like each spot has their own unique way of serving their customers. McKenna’s Cafe on Savin Hill Avenue in Dorchester is a local diner where there is a system. If you’re planning on making a trip to McKenna’s, read these guidelines first so you don’t look like a rookie.
THE LIST – McKenna’s is first come, first serve and the waiting area is seemingly always crowded. With that said, when walking into McKenna’s, DON’T PANIC! Politely and respectfully file your way up to the counter. When you reach the counter, please locate the yellow legal pad and add your name and party size to the next available line. This is a very important step as you will not get a table if your name isn’t on this list.
THE WAIT AIN’T SO BAD – Most people hate waiting for a table and the wait at McKenna’s can sometimes appear dreadful. HOWEVER, keep in mind you can order a coffee, tea or grab a drink while you wait from the To-Go counter. This, in my opinion, makes the wait pretty bearable as I slug down a large iced with milk only (because I’m watching my figure) and scroll the Twitter machine while I wait for my name to be called. During the winter it definitely gets tight inside, but on a nice, warm summer morning there a few benches outside to relax on.
KEEP YOUR COOL – Just remember, all of us are waiting together. The best thing about McKenna’s is that no one gets special treatment, unless you’re Marty Walsh, who allegedly has a standing reservation for the corner table in the back. So, please, for everyone’s sake, unless you intend to become the Mayor of Boston, just relax, smile and wait patiently because making a scene isn’t going get anyone anywhere.
BE OPEN TO A COUNTER SEAT – If you’re willing to sit at the counter, it might decrease your wait time drastically.
FLIPPING TABLES – The ladies on McKenna’s staff churn and burn tables, all with a smile on their face which makes everything move rather quickly. I’ve never once felt rushed at McKenna’s, but the service is speedy and my meal is ready within about 10 minutes of sitting down. My point is that it’s breakfast….they get you in, they get you out, all so you can get on with your day. Just know the staff is doing everything they can to get you seated, it’s not their fault for the wait.
ENJOY YOUR MEAL – Last, but not least….ENJOY!. This is one of the best breakfasts in the city. Most people don’t get to enjoy McKenna’s due to the stress of the seating period, but once your in, your golden, so remember to enjoy!
As far as the food goes, you are going to find your standard breakfast fare from omelettes to huevos rancheros. I’m not going to sit here and tell you how good the eggs are, but there are some particularly exceptional dishes that I must mention.
The Steak Tip Burrito (can also sub turkey tips) with marinated tips, eggs and cheese is a tough bite to tackle, but the marinade really packs a flavor punch.
Some of the sides that I am particularly fond of are the Corned Beef Hash, the Baked Beans or just simple crispy bacon which they do better than most.
The Granola French Toast seems to be a customer favorite, which I can confirm is legit. You can also create your own French Toast or Pancake platter.
The Mayor’s Special which is basically every breakfast veggie and meat under the sun in a giant bowl with some eggs and cheese all over home fries.
There are plenty of Lighter Options too, including avocado toast and egg white omelettes for all you millennials and people who actually eat like they are watching their figure and don’t just tell people they are.
My two takeaways: one, McKenna’s is a legitimate contender for best breakfast spot in Boston and, two, make sure you follow my guidelines for getting a table. If you do those two things, you’re gonna have a good time and an even better meal.
McKenna’s is open 5:30 AM – 4:00 PM (M-Sa.) and 6:30 AM to 3:00 PM (Sundays) and is located at 108 Savin Hill Ave in Dorchester (right next to Savin Hill Red Line stop).