Best Mother's Day Brunch Restaurants for Families Across NYC
Mother's Day is fast approaching, on Sunday, May 9, 2021, which means it's time to start planning a special day for the well-deserving mothers 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, perhaps one that offers outdoor or socially distanced dining.
We've rounded up a host of scrumptious, kid-friendly places throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. As if that wasn't enough, we've found 20+ restaurants with great outdoor dining and tons more picks in our Family-Friendly Restaurant Guide. Pinpoint your preferences, make reservations, and get ready to dig in.
After brunch, come back to our site for more ways to celebrate mom. However you decide to spend the day, Happy Mother's Day from your peers at Mommy Poppins.
Editor's Note: While we are trying to promote safer activities that occur outdoors or with social distancing guidelines in place, please keep your family and others safe by always wearing a mask and maintaining an appropriate distance.
Best Mother's Day Brunch Spots in Manhattan
Minetta Tavern – West Village
113 MacDougal Street
This higher-end eatery, known for its history of famed literary diners, including Ernest Hemingway and E.E. Cummings, is perfect for moms looking for a classy celebration. In business since the 1930s, this French-style restaurant offers specials like salmon crudo and citrus salad and hors d'oeuvres like butter lettuce salad and East Coast oysters, a tempting panier of sweet pastries, and desserts like apple strudel, pain au chocolat, lemon madeleines, and chocolate mousse. Of course, there is a long list of wines by the bottle and glass and cocktails as well.
Forgtmenot– Lower East Side
138 Division Street
This casual, tres cool hot spot is intimate (read small) but homey and delicious, with seriously yummy dishes presented simply. At Forgtmenot (not a typo,) try a breakfast burrito with chorizo, or hootsla, its version of French toast in nugget form with cinnamon and honey, or its delicious Greek shoestring french fries, doused with oregano and feta cheese. A cool watermelon margarita served in a jar makes for an extra delightful Mother's Day. High chairs are available, with more room in the back of the restaurant for a rowdier crew. If it happens to be too crowded on the day you arrive, pop next door into Kiki's Grecian-inspired eatery instead. It's owned by the same people and is every bit as wonderfully simple and delicious.
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 9:30am or 2pm
Pier 61, Chelsea Piers, 23rd Street at the Hudson River
Enjoy amazing views of the Manhattan skyline as you sail aboard the Bateaux, New York's brunch cruise boat that offers a three-course brunch menu including bottomless mimosas for guests ages 21 and up.
The Blue Dog Cook House And Bar – Midtown West
308 West 50th Street
This charming dining spot in Midtown offers an eclectic but carefully crafted food and drink menu that includes tailored omelets, a variety of eggs Benedict (including a delicious crab cake Benedict), salads, quesadillas, buffalo cauliflower, vegan shiitake bacon, lox, burgers, croque madame (and croque monsieur), chocolate chip pancakes, cookie oreo waffles, chicken and waffles, and more.
Pair Mother's Day brunch at Harlem's Red Rooster with an amazing adult cocktail. Photo courtesy of the restaurant
Red Rooster Harlem – Harlem
310 Lenox Avenue at 125th Street
Reservations are accepted and require a credit card
Harlem's dining renaissance began years ago with chef Marcus Samuelsson's Red Rooster, and his uptown hot spot is still dishing out its elevated soul-food favorites for the holiday. It's not always easy to score a table here, though the pandemic may make things a bit easier this year.
Dive into an elegant brunch spread at The Roxy Hotel Brunch.
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. With ever-changing COVID regulations, be sure to call in advance to see if kids can catch a flick in The Roxy Cinema downstairs as the date gets closer. Enjoy the special Mother’s Day brunch buffet and usual live jazz in the Roxy bar.
Forager's Table – Chelsea
300 West 22nd Street
There are few activities more guaranteed to reignite one's love of New York (and appreciation of the city's history) than a walk on The High Line. Mother's Day is a perfect chance to enjoy this innovative green space. Even better: Dine at Forager's Table and then explore The High Line—just be sure to book your FREE timed-entry tickets to the park in advance. The cozy vibe combined with a thoughtful menu (with several vegan options) is guaranteed to satisfy the whole family. A meal that starts with gluten-free almond cardamom bread and ends with melt-in-your-mouth orange blossom water and ricotta pancakes with Ioka Valley maple syrup, or more savory dishes, is hard to argue with. For an extra Mother's Day gift, pop into Forager's Market to pick up some prepared dinner plates to go so you can take the whole day off.
Friend of a Farmer – Gramercy Park
77 Irving Place
Walk-ins welcome; reservations only accepted for dinner
With a brunch menu that's served until 4pm, this farm-to-table favorite is perfect for a leisurely start to the day or even a second breakfast. The healthy menu includes favorites like pumpkin, blueberry, and apple pancakes, as well as heartier options like crab cake Benedict, grass-fed burgers, and shepherd's pie. The outdoor seating area is super cozy and equipped with heaters in case it gets chilly.
Havana Cafe features Cuban-inspired flavors for adults, while a kids' menu caters to tamer palates.
Best Mother's Day Brunch Spots in The Bronx
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 kids' 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. The prix fixe menu includes namesake specialties such as the breakfast burger and standbys like steak and eggs and French toast. Wash it down with all-you-can-drink mimosas, bloody Mary's, sangria, screwdrivers, Bronx Burger House Brew, or house wine.
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. Inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This ethical, mom-friendly 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.
Enjoy some eggs Benedict during your Mother's Day brunch at Stone Park.
Best Mother's Day Brunch Spots in Brooklyn
Stone Park – Park Slope
324 Fifth Avenue
Reservations accepted for larger 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. Arrive early to snag a table.
Buttermilk Channel – Carroll Gardens
524 Court Street
Reservations accepted for indoor and outdoor dining
With 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.
Five Leaves – Greenpoint
18 Bedford Avenue
If the weather outlook is good, treat mom to an outdoor brunch just steps from McCarren Park at this unique Australian bar and restaurant. The setting is perfect for new walkers to explore while waiting for food. The menu includes kid-friendly options, from egg sandwiches and ricotta pancakes to avocado toast.
Sweetwater has a beautiful garden.
Sweetwater Restaurant – Williamsburg
55 Fifth Avenue
Reservations are available for parties of five or more
This French-inspired bistro delights all with its highly rated steak frites, French toast, and 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.
Superfine – Dumbo
126 Front Street
This organic, spacious loft-style restaurant is a long-time local favorite. It's 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 (reopening May 1!) and Brooklyn Bridge Park, where you can let the kids loose and enjoy the view after a delicious family brunch.
Mom's Kitchen & Bar serves homey, comforting classics like chicken and waffles.
Best Mother's Day Brunch Spots in Queens
Dinerbar – Rego Park
97-45 Queens Boulevard
Dinerbar is a modern take on that good ol' diner we all grew up with. Its regular brunch menu is hard to beat. Kids will have a hard time resisting the s'mores waffle tower. The savory grilled shrimp omelets come highly recommended. Shh...there's also a "boozy brunch" add-on. Kids, of course, are welcome, and high chairs are available.
Mojave – Astoria
22-36 31st Street
A Southwestern restaurant with real south-of-the-border flair presents moms with jalapeno cheese sliders, pan-roasted shrimp, deep-fried squash blossoms (it's a special day, after all), a Mojave avocado Benedict, and so much more. Don’t leave without tasting the caramelized banana pancakes or Dos Equis French toast. Kids appreciate their own menu featuring simple standbys like quesadillas and mac and cheese. Come late for the DJ who plays every Sunday at 1pm (or when they open at 11am if you're craving something quieter)
Victory Garden Cafe Restaurant – Astoria
Sunday brunch at the Greek-influenced Victory Garden is just that; brunch in a garden. Finger-licking good brunch options and a prix fixe menu for $39.95 leave you with plenty to choose from. There are sides like mini spinach and mini cheese pies, and Greek dips. There are also plenty of options to keep picky little ones satisfied.
Mom’s Kitchen & Bar – Astoria
33-01 31st Avenue
Reservations not accepted
What better choice for Mother’s Day than an all-day brunch spot named Mom’s? Pre-pandemic, Mom's got pretty crowded, so we recommend that you arrive early or late, but these days that may not be the case. Mom's fun menu has dishes like chicken & bacon waffles, shrimp & cheesy grits, and “Bedrock pancakes” made with Fruity Pebbles and topped with a dollop of whipped cream. There's also a separate kids' menu that's sure to satisfy the pickiest of eaters. Partake in one of Mom's indulgent adult beverages, like the maple bacon bloody Mary and the Mommy unicorn (hot chocolate and coffee with a splash of Irish Cream and unicorn dust). Mom's is also known for the fanciest (alcohol-free) milkshake, with salty, savory, and sweet blended into one intensely caloric glass.
A version of this post was originally published in April 2011; it is updated annually. Jessica Delfino contributed additional reporting.