Mother's Day is fast approaching, on Sunday, May 13, 2018 which means it's time to start planning a special day for the well-deserving mom or wife in your life. Speaking from experience, all moms really want is a little time off. You could choose breakfast in bed, but why not instead forgo chores altogether and hit one of NYC's many delicious brunch spots?
We've rounded up more 20 scrumptious places throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. As if that wasn't enough, we've got tons more picks in our Family-Friendly Restaurant Guide. Pinpoint your special lady's preference, make reservations, and get ready to dig in.
After brunch, head out to one of these great family events happening that Sunday. However you decide to spend the day, Happy Mother's Day from your peers at Mommy Poppins.
It's formal, but if you don't mind dressing up, spend the holiday at the Palm Court at the Plaza. Photo by Shinya Suzuki via Flickr.
The Palm Court at the Plaza Hotel – Upper East Side
Fifth Avenue at Central Park South
Not only is this high-end eatery perfect for moms looking for a classy celebration, it's great for little pink princesses, who should go ga-ga over Eloise, the Plaza's most famous (fictional) resident. After extensive renovations, the hotel and restaurant are entering a new heyday. Admittedly it's pricey, but dining at The Palm Court is something everyone should experience once. So make reservations for Mother's Day and cross it off your list. Note: The brunch slots go fast every year, but there are usually openings for dinner.
Prune – East Village
54 East First Street, near First Avenue
Reservations accepted only on Mother's Day.
This hot spot is intimate (read small), but homey and delicious with serious dishes presented in a not-so-serious way. Try classic eggs Benedict or sausage and oysters, among others, and wait until you see the 11 varieties of bloody marys. (I counted.)
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Take mom onto the water for a scene-stealing brunch cruise. Photo courtesy of Bateaux New York.
Bateaux Mother's Day Cruise – Chelsea
Board at 11:30am, cruise noon-2:30pm
Pier 61, Chelsea Piers, 23rd Street at the Hudson River
Enjoy amazing views of the Manhattan skyline as you sail aboard Bateaux New York's vessel enjoying a plated brunch. Mom receives a complimentary glass of champagne or a mimosa.
The View at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel – Midtown West
1535 Broadway, between 47th and 48th streets
Your ears might pop as you take the elevator up to the 47th floor, where the aptly named View revolves. Yes, you spin slowly as you eat. You'll also find amazing 360-degree views of the city. Tourists love it, but that doesn't mean natives won't appreciate its gimmickry. The buffet features a selection of hot and cold dishes, a carving station, fresh waffles, and complimentary mimosas for parents.
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Book a Mother's Day table at Harlem's Red Rooster and get an amazing cocktail for the adults crafted especially for Women's Month. Photo courtesy of the restaurant
Red Rooster Harlem – Harlem
310 Lenox Avenue, at 125th Street
Harlem's dining renaissance began with Chef Marcus Samuelsson's Red Rooster, and the celebrity chef's uptown hot spot is dishing out its trademark delicious, elevated soul-food favorites for the holiday. You'll also enjoy the soulful sounds of live gospel while you dine. Reservations for this event always go quick.
Sink into a plush couch at the laid-back Roxy Hotel. Photo courtesy of the hotel
The Roxy Hotel – Tribeca
2 Avenue of the Americas, at Walker Street
The vibe at The Roxy Hotel's Roxy Lounge is decidedly laid-back, with comfy couches enveloping diners in an area more reminiscent of a plush living room than a sit-down establishment. Adding to the relaxed atmosphere: Kids can catch a flick in The Roxy Cinema downstairs. In addition to some buffet-style eats, there's also a special Mother's Day menu this year with a variety of delectable treats both sweet and savory.
The Park – Chelsea
118 10th Avenue, at 18th Street
Reservations accepted for large parties.
There are few activities more guaranteed to produce an eye roll from my crew than announcing we're going for a walk on the High Line. So Mother's Day is a perfect chance to enjoy the green space complaint-free. Even better: dining at The Park first. The indoor-outdoor feeling of this cozy Chelsea spot, combined with a homey, kid-friendly menu satisfies the whole family. A meal that starts with housemade donuts and ends with melt-in-your mouth vanilla buttermilk pancakes with berry butter, or other more savory dishes, is hard to argue with.
Havana Cafe – Schuylerville
3151 East Tremont Avenue
This cozy Bronx spot offers a lively Sunday brunch, complete with all-you-can-drink sangria. On the menu is a variety of Cuban-inspired breakfast items. If your kids are less adventurous than you, there's a basic kids menu with child-friendly favorites such as chicken tenders, pancakes, or waffles. Each kid's meal includes a soft drink and ice cream.
Bronx Burger House – Riverdale
5816 Mosholu Avenue
With burger in the name, it's no surprise this spot serves red meat with just about every selection. It's prix fixe menu includes namesake specialties such as the breakfast burger, as well as standbys such as steak and eggs and French toast. Wash it down with all-you-can-drink mimosas, bloody marys, sangria, screwdrivers, Bronx Burger House Brew, or house wine.
The Black Whale – City Island
279 City Island Avenue
For an (almost) out-of-this-city experience, head to this City Island favorite, where you can dine alfresco in The Black Whale's beautiful outdoor garden. Its brunch buffet offers something for everyone, from made-to-order waffle and omelet stations to plenty of croissants and muffins, and even a cold cereal selection for picky little ones.
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Moss Café’s pastry case is filled with homemade goodies. Photo courtesy of Moss Café
Moss Cafe – Riverdale
3260 Johnson Avenue
Reservations accepted for Mother's Day.
This cozy coffee shop and cafe serves a kosher, vegetarian menu embracing the farm-to-table movement. Menus change with the seasons, but expect wholesome, hearty, home-cooked goodness and made-from-scratch pastries. Enjoy mimosas or, if you prefer your beverages caffeinated, Stumptown Coffee. The spot promises some specials for Mother's Day, though the seasonality of its menu and commitment to farm-to-table fare means it won't reveal just what's cooking until closer to the holiday.
Buttermilk Channel — Carroll Gardens
Walk-ins only; parties larger than eight cannot be accommodated.
Great comfort food prepared with seasonal and locally sourced ingredients, Buttermilk’s brunch is hearty and yummy. There’s even a special kids' menu with grilled cheese and other favorites. Snag a sidewalk table by arriving right at opening.
Gorgeous views, shade, and a huge space make Northern Territory a favorite.
Northern Territory — Greenpoint
If the weather outlook is good, treat mom to a rooftop brunch with great views of Manhattan at this unique Australian bar and restaurant. Seating is first-come, first-served, but the spacious setting is perfect for new walkers to explore while waiting for food. The menu includes kid-friendly options from egg sandwiches to French toast with cinnamon butter.
Stone Park — Park Slope
Reservations accepted for large groups.
Delicious and family friendly, Stone Park is a solid brunch all-star with a variety of favorites, ranging from eggs Benedict to biscuits and gravy. The pretty dining room makes for a meal that feels a little fancy but still has plenty of high chairs to go around. It gets crowded even for non-holiday brunch, so arrive early.
Superfine — Dumbo
This spacious loft-style, local Dumbo favorite is nestled under the Manhattan Bridge and serves brunch classics plus some south-of-the-border style dishes. Another great perk to its location is the 5-minute walk to Jane’s Carousel and Brooklyn Bridge Park, where you can let the kids loose and enjoy the view after a delicious family brunch.
Sweetwater has a beautiful garden.
Sweetwater Restaurant — Williamsburg
Reservations are available for parties of five or more.
This French-inspired bistro will delight all with its highly rated steak frites, French toast, or organic farm-raised egg dishes. High chairs are at the ready and outdoor seating is available in its beautiful garden—a lovely option in mid-May, especially if little ones need to do some exploring while waiting for their meals.
Dinerbar — Rego Park
97-45 Queens Boulevard
Dinerbar is a modern take on that good ole' diner we all grew up with. Its regular brunch menu is hard to beat. Favorites include sweets such as red velvet waffles and a s'mores waffle tower and savories such as grilled shrimp omelets. Shh... There's also a "boozy brunch" add-on. Kids, of course, are welcome and high chairs are available. This is a great spot for a large group.
Mexican-style poached eggs at Maizal are sure to delight on Mother's Day.
Maizal Restaurant — Astoria
32-07 34th Avenue
A tequila bar up front with sidewalk seating, you'll find plenty of tables in a spacious back room. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable about the authentic Mexican cuisine from Puebla. Its regular brunch menu includes the unexpected, such as crepes, sweet with fried plantains, or savory with chorizo; and dependable standards such as huevos rancheros. Don’t leave without tasting the extraordinary stuffed sweet plantain with garlic shrimp and avocado appetizer. Save room for the pastel tres leches (three milk cake); it is creamy goodness that shouldn’t be missed. Most items are gluten-free. Maizal has high chairs and space to stow your stroller, but no kids' menu or changing station.
The Strand Smokehouse — Astoria
Sunday brunch at The Strand is always a party. If you're a mother or know a mother who loves live music, this is the place for you. Live bands perform every Sunday from 2pm–5pm and Mother's Day is no exception. Kids are welcome and there are plenty of canopy high chairs that adhere to your table. Finger-licking good smoked meat makes up the majority of the menu, but there are also sides galore such as mac and cheese and mashed potatoes to keep picky little ones satisfied. With enough space for kids to wiggle their bottoms to country tunes, The Strand is a great destination for the whole family.
Snag a garden seat for outdoor brunch at the Victory Garden Cafe.
Victory Garden Cafe — Astoria
21-69 Steinway Street
What's fun about Victory Garden is ... the garden, of course. Take a trip to the back of the restaurant and you'll be greeted by a Euro-Mediterranean-style patio with hanging vines and small fountain. The brunch menu consists of large-portioned plates, such as Tsoureki French toast, thick bacon slices, and a very decent bloody mary. There's enough space in the front for strollers and high chairs. Come early to secure a table in the garden.
A version of this post was originally published in April 2011 and has been updated annually. Additional reporting by Heather Chaet, Mona Kayhan, and Sydney Ng.
Top image: Soulful dining at Harlem's Red Rooster. Photo by Joan Nova via Flickr.