Shy Bird is an all-day American cafe and bar, with locations in South Boston and Kendall Square. They’re known for their brunch plates, rotisserie chicken, fried chicken bites, and drinks.
Overall Rating: ★★★ out of 5 stars
Address: 12 Old Colony Ave, Boston, MA 02127
Neighborhood: South Boston
Perfect For: Cocktails, Casual Meal
Breakfast Hours: Mon – Fri 9am – 11am
Lunch Hours: Mon – Fri 11am – 4pm
Dinner Hours: Sun – Tue 4pm – 9pm, Wed – Sat 4pm – 10pm
Brunch Hours: Sat – Sun 10am – 3pm
Links: Website, Menu, OpenTable
Cost: $20 per person (food only) + mandatory 4% kitchen appreciation fee
I visited Shy Bird’s Southie location for brunch. The interior has a modern industrial design with high lofted ceilings and a large central bar. Table options include side-by-side tables seating 2-4 people each, a few booths, and some high-top seating.
It was moderately busy on the day I was there, and loud enough that I found it difficult to hold a conversation. This place is fine for a quick casual meal or cocktails, but I wouldn’t come here for a quiet meal or a serious date. Depending on where you’re seated, there may be very little privacy given how close the tables are.
Brunch menu options are a bit limited, with only 5 different brunch plates offered. I opted for the chicken benedict, SB dunks, cinnamon bun, and rosemary and black pepper french fries.
The chicken benedict was the best-tasting one out of the four dishes. It came with a generous fried chicken portion, poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, and a spicy pepper relish. It tasted great and wasn’t too messy to eat.
The SB dunks are essentially buttermilk fried chicken bites with spices and herbs, which were decent and had a crisp exterior. The chicken wasn’t particularly tender or fresh tasting, and was average at best.
The french fries were flavored with rosemary and black pepper, and had good flavor and texture.
The cinnamon bun was very disappointing. It was advertised as “warm” but tasted like room temperature. It was a very basic cinnamon bun that you could get at any grocery store. Parts of the bun were a bit hard and chewy.
Service was mostly good. The staff member who took our order was aloof and surly, but all other staff were courteous and friendly, and the food arrived promptly. Note that there is a mandatory 4% kitchen appreciation fee added to all receipts.
Overall, I was not impressed by this place and I didn’t see anything on the menu to inspire me to visit again. When it comes to brunch, I’m looking for higher-quality dishes in a more comfortable atmosphere, and I didn’t find that at Shy Bird. This place could be better suited to someone who’s looking for interesting cocktails in a bar setting or looking to pick up takeout at a place that’s conveniently open all day.