Ugly Mug Diner
Photo by Elise Sinagra
Hearty servings of classic diner food, from French toast to eggs Benedict, keep customers coming back, but it’s the local sourcing and unusual offerings like crab cakes topped with poached eggs and lobster-scented oil that put Ugly Mug at the top of our list for the second year in a row. They now serve alcohol in addition to house-made juice drinks, like the Spring Sprang, featuring elderflower and ginger syrups with a splash of lemon.
122 Washington St., Salem, 978-745-6844, uglymugdiner.com
Photo by Brad Mintz
It’s always a vacation at this tiny, sunny spot just steps from the beach. Musts include the Portuguese French toast (splurge on the real maple syrup) and the crab patty “Egg Sammy,” served on Bolo Levedos—Portuguese-style English muffins. Or check out the specials board for whatever is local and fresh. Arrive early (it opens at 7 a.m.) to snag a parking spot and avoid the wait.
51 Northern Blvd., Newburyport, 978-462-7707, madmarthasislandcafe.com