Mother's Day is fast approaching, which means it's time to start planning that 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 than a dozen of scrumptious places throughout Manhattan and the Bronx. Each is by preference, including those looking for a waterfront view or moms who prefer a restaurant with vegetarian options. Pinpoint your special lady's preference, make reservations and get ready to dig in.
Also check out our Mother's Day brunch suggestions for Brooklyn. 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.
For the classic mom
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.
For the foodie mom
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.
For the cruising mom
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.
For the adventurous mom
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 a side of gospel music with your soul-food favorites. Photo by Joan Nova via Flickr.
For the soulful mom
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. Note: Reservations are being snapped up quickly.
Sink into a plush couch with your yummy buffet at the laid-back Roxy Hotel. Photo courtesy of the hotel.
For the relaxed mom
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. The menu is served buffet-style with a variety of delectable treats both sweet (housemade doughnuts) and savory (glazed ham, prime rib, thick-cut bacon), and much more.
For the High Line-loving mom
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 greenspace 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 savory dishes is hard to argue with.
For the Downton Abbey fan
Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden – Lenox Hill
421 East 61st Street
Purchase tickets in advance.
Enjoy a throwback garden party...all the way back to the Victorian era with this Mother's Day brunch event hosted at the historical NYC carriage house and 23-acre estate of the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden. The Grand Victorian Tea Party will include all the traditional trimmings, including finger sandwiches, scones, garden games, and of course, proper attire. Dress code is 1800-1910 period costume or modern formal summer wear with a nod to Victorian norms. White or pastel encouraged.
For the indecisive mom
Tosca Cafe – Throggs Neck
4038 East Tremont Avenue
If you believe variety is the spice of life, head to Tosca Cafe. Locals flock here for its popular weekend champagne brunch buffet, which includes all you can eat and drink. You'll find a lavish table stocked with fresh fruits, vegetables, salads, and antipasto platters, as well as French toast, a made-to-order omelet station, clams on the half shell, fresh seafood, and the spot's trademark homemade pastas. It's also a bargain compared with some of our other suggestions. If the buffet doesn't suit you, order from the full menu.
For the island mom
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 child's meal includes a soft drink and ice cream.
For the meat-loving mom
Bronx Burger House – Riverdale
5816 Mosholu Avenue
With burger in the name, it's no surprise this spot serves up 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.
For the nature-loving mom
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.
Moss Café’s pastry case is filled with homemade goodies. Photo courtesy of Moss Café.
For the vegetarian mom
Moss Cafe – Riverdale
3260 Johnson Avenue
Reservations accepted for Mother's Day.
This cozy coffee shop and cafe serves up 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, the 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.
This post was originally published in April 2011. Additional reporting by Heather Chaet.
Top image: Soulful dining at Harlem's Red Rooster. Photo by Joan Nova via Flickr.