When I am traveling, if I find a great, reasonably priced restaurant, it’s like meeting a favorite relative you don’t get to see often but know you’re going to love visiting. For me, one of those restaurants is the Paramount in Boston’s Beacon Hill.
Locally known by Bostonians, the Paramount is located in a hidden diner (with a second location in South Boston) amongst the antique shops and history of Charles Street. The Paramount has been a Beacon Hill institution since 1937 with good reason. Especially famous for its breakfasts, lines at this restaurant start roughly twenty minutes before opening and remain all day. With patrons competing for roughly fifteen tables, the Paramount operates on a system where everyone lines up to order first. Seating is not allowed until the food is ready, which is particularly helpful to single visitors like me, as no one can reserve or hold tables. Everyone is treated on a first-served/first-seated basis and this is enforced.
Breakfasts include tomato basil mozzarella or guacamole and pepper jack omelets, egg sandwiches, Belgian waffles, oatmeal, or chocolate chip, banana, apple, strawberry or my favorite, blueberry, pancakes. The breakfasts are freshly made, huge portions and delicious. One local in line told me he has been coming for fifteen years and the number of Boston police officers stopping in give a good clue that locals know these breakfasts are outstanding. For blueberry pancake fans like me, these blueberries are the real deal from New England. Don’t wear a white shirt as you may spray yourself accidentally with blueberry juice (I’ve done it myself) as the berries are this fresh.
Meals are served throughout the day including lunch and an atmosphere change at dinner. At night, the restaurant becomes slightly more formal with table service and candlelight. Specials at night include dishes like kale salads, salmon, pasta, blackened chicken, steak and fries as well as burgers, with options changing seasonally. Be sure to have a glass of sangria with dinner especially in the winter when sangria, made with local cranberries, is on the menu. On my latest visit in December, I enjoyed watching families who had been to the Boston Pops Christmas concert, locals stopping by and tourists like me who love this restaurant. Dinners in the evening are just as memorable as the breakfasts.
The Paramount is something special and a stop on any visit to Boston. Anytime I am in the area, I think of my three B’s of Boston: Beacon Hill, breakfast, blueberry pancakes. The Paramount is well known for a reason with outstanding food, friendly service and a cozy atmosphere. When locals tell you they have been coming for years, you know the restaurant is a find. The Paramount is a prime example of a good thing which comes in a small package.
44 Charles Street
Boston, MA 02114