Our Favorite Mother's Day Brunches

07/03/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Since we all have mothers and like to eat, we asked our contributors to let us know where they'd like to be taken - or where they're taking their Mom - for this special holiday. From the coast of California to the coast of Maine and many points in between - including New York, Nashville, Chicago, Minneapolis and even Oklahoma City. Maybe you'll recognize an old favorite or find a new place to show how much you care.

Why make breakfast when you can leave it to the professionals?


Shutters on the Beach
I love the downstairs at Shutters, which sort of looks onto the beach, or the patio of the downstairs at Shutters which is practically on the beach. And if you're with young children (or antsy teenagers), they can take a walk on the beach and leave you in peace, at least until you've had your first perfect cup of cafe au lait. Everything from high-end corned beef hash (if there is such a thing) to eggs benedict to pancakes to Irish steel cut oatmeal with berries and a fancy nova scotia salmon plate with bagels and creamcheese. And a cornucopia of fresh juices. There's something for everyone in the family.
-Amy Ephron


Because everything there is perfect and it's a totally festive and homey place to go! Featuring beef brisket hash with poached eggs, house-made gravlax, sourdough French toast, La Brea bakery granola and fresh berries, a poached apple salad (whatever that is), and this year's plat du jour a Croque Madame! Order a basket of fresh pastries for the table!
-Amy Ephron


For what else? Champagne and Caviar.
-Nancy Ellison

Those of you in Paris, Las Vegas or Los Angeles, can spoil your mom, too.

Amaranth Restaurant

Mediterranean cuisine at home with both French and Italian dishes - all done perfectly and simply. Mussels in White Wine Broth, Croque Monsieur/Madame, Eggs Benedicte. Classic.
-Nancy Ellison

Northern Spy Food Co.
If you live in Manhattan, and are like most "New Yorkers" (aka home is somewhere else) and are missing mom this Mother's Day, head to Northern Spy where the food and atmosphere will comfort you just like your mother (if she was an old-fashioned, soda-making, pickling okra, milking the cow kind of mom). All of the products are local and sustainable. The chicken thigh and poached egg sandwich knocks it out of the park. And the kale salad with clothbound cheddar and butternut squash cannot be missed. Top it all off with the coffee, cream, and seltzer soda and the homemade buttermilk biscuits and you'll make your mama proud.
-Hope Stranger


Bongo Room
This is the place to go bonkers with decadence where vanilla crèmes and berry coulis' poured over hearty pancakes pose such Kodak moments that eating these rich flapjacks can feel like desecrating art. If calorie count isn't a concern, the raspberry oreo cookie crumb pancakes with chocolate crème anglaise is as mouthwatering as waist-enlarging, if you're feeling more subtle the veggie croissant sandwich with melted muenster cheese is scrumptious as well.

Simone's Bar
Why spend a milli on brunch when quality and top-notch service is around the cultural corner. Simone's, with it's mad max gone shipwrecked vibe offers delectable french toast with glorious butter, a classic breakfast burrito and being that it's in Pilsen makes a mean mimosa and fried corn tortillas aka chilaquiles suizo with green sauce.
-Jesse Sirkus-Brown

Terzo Piano at the Art Institute
Take your mom to see some amazing art and then treat her to a delicious, fresh and innovative lunch at this sleek and modern cafe.
-Lisa Dinsmore


The Top of the Mark
It's not just the view of the city. It's a really special room, dignified and elegant. 100 martinis - one with lychee, a lemon drop and, I imagine, if you wanted to, they'd let you invent your own. It's also a really sweet place to go for Sunday brunch where the over the top buffet almost rivals Las Vegas.
-Amy Ephron


Henrietta's Table
I have so many favorite brunch spots in Boston, but on Mother's Day, I think it should be someplace outstanding. One of my favorites is Henrietta's Table at the Charles hotel in Cambridge. Chef Peter Davis delivers New England classics in a healthy home cooked way - with an award winning "all you can eat" prix fixe menu. His cookbook - "Fresh & Honest: Food from the Farms of New England and the Kitchen of Henrietta's Table" make a great Mother's Day gift! - James Moore


The Wynn Hotel
Even if you're not staying there, it's a truly over-the-top place for brunch from sushi to omlettes to smoked salmon and bagels to bite-sized waffles, fresh-roasted turkey & an abundance of high-end desserts and no one minds if you go back for more!
-Amy Ephron


Slate's - Hallowell
To me the most interesting place to dine on Mother's Day would be Slate's. This three decade old restaurant has reopened after a bad fire and it is hard to not be excited by their menu. All hand written and illustrated each and every Sunday with three pages of offerings. It is one of the last hippie-style restaurants in Maine and we all hold it close to our hearts. It reminds me of Cafe Beaujolais in Mendocino, California when Ms. Fox was the sole proprietor.

The Lobster Pound - Lincolnville
I hear from many that The Lobster Pound is the cat's meow for memorable Mother's day brunch/lunch. It is located an hour North of Portland along Route 1 with a location that will make your heart stop beating. Nothing between your table on the rocky ocean's edge and Spain. The best meal to order is the lazy lobster, shelled/ shucked lobster meat from a two pound lobster that is slowly heated in pure Maine butter with a sprinkle of paprika. No nutcracker necessay just a fork! Great view with simple Maine fare even if you have to wait an ungodly amount of time to be seated.
-Brenda Athanus


Malibu Seafood Market
Let Mom sleep in and then go to this casual cafe to watch the whales from the deck while you eat the best Fish Sandwich and clam chowder in town. Or splurge and get the fresh steamed lobster with lemon and butter.
-Lisa Dinsmore

Malibu Cafe at Calamigos Ranch

A great place to escape the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles and have a leisurely, casual outdoor brunch. Perfect for families with small children as the deck overlooks a large lawn where they can run and play while you're waiting for breakfast to be served. The Lobster Eggs Benedict and endless mimosas should make Mom very happy.
-Lisa Dinsmore


Piper Restaurant - Macatawa
Offers panoramic views of Macatawa Harbor, and a wide menu that ranges from the casual (wood fired oven pizza) to the elegant (fried oysters with bacon aoli).

Enso - East Lansing
This gem was dreamed up by a local deli owner who researched the world's cuisines before planning his first "real" restaurant - if the American Sushi and Fire Roasted Tomato Soup aren't on the brunch menu, I may cry.
-Ann Nichols


Located in the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis, this is the place to take moms who are crazy about beautiful fresh-from-the oven sweet pastries as well as their darling, but antsy, young children. At Lucia's, they can enjoy both. If the sun is shining, seat the whole family at a table out on the sidewalk patio. Before heading home, have mom choose family dinner from Lucia's To Go, where she will find salads, sandwiches and entrees made with fresh seasonal and local ingredients. You'll be ready for a Mother's Day meal later in the day in the comfort of your own home and no cooking required.

Spoon River
Have brunch at Spoonriver in Minneapolis, where chef/owner Brenda Langton will make sure all local- and sustainable-style moms will enjoy a healthful gourmet meal. Get a table by the all-window wall and even the children will be entertained by the people-watching outside. After brunch, walk across the plaza to the Guthrie Theater for a matinee performance of Madame Butterfly. Or, take a walk on the trail along the Mississippi River.
-Sue Doeden


Lucky Bamboo
5861 Charlotte Pike
A fantasy Chinese garden setting for Dim Sum with your Mum.

La Hacienda Tortilleria
2615 Nolensville Pike
Chili today? Hot tamale! Yo Yo Mama!
-Carol Caldwell


Growing up in rural New Jersey (yes, it exists), my mother hated "Mother's Day" (shouldn't it be "Mothers' Day"?). She thought it was a synthetic creation of the greeting card companies and a conspiracy to mint cash out of gratitude. But if we hadn't lived on a farm and had a cook, we probably would have gone to Larison's Turkey Farm up in Chester where Route 24 crosses Route 206. Looked like a big farmhouse up on a hill. The turkeys were lined up in back where you could see them when you went in - someone called it turkey death row - well-raised, fresh-killed, and delicious the one time I went as a teenager. But I guess "Larison's Turkey Farm" was just too homely for the Bush years. Somebody bought the place and changed the name to the idiotic "Puddingstone Inn." After floundering around for a while with bad food and bad service - you can still find some blistering reviews on Google - it closed a couple of years ago. Too bad for everyone but the turkeys, I guess.
-Cotty Chubb

The Short Hills Hilton
The Terrace Restaurant at the Hilton is a wonderful place for Mother's day brunch. There's tons of food and, if you get into a fight with your mother during brunch, there's a huge mall across the street that you can lose her in.
-Alan Zweibel


La Baguette
Oklahoma City is not rife with great brunch spots, especially if you're looking for sophisticated fare. Don't get me wrong, I love a good chicken fried steak and hush puppies from Beverly's, but for my mom's special day, we always frequented La Baguette, one of the oldest (if not the only) french bistro in town. Frenchman Alain Buthion still heads the kitchen (had the hugest crush on him in high school), and turns out deliciously rich brunch items like Suzi A La Dijonnaise, Crepes Forestiere, and classic standbys like Belgian Waffles and Sourdough/Croissant French Toast. Don't leave without stopping by the bakery and getting fresh baked gingerbread men for later, my favorite since I was a much smaller daughter.
-Hope Stranger


Cafe Boulud
Situated in the Brazilian Court Hotel which is located on Australian Ave and not Brazilian Ave - the next street over. Outside at Cafe Boulud reminds me of the Bel Air Hotel, and it is always a pleasure just sitting on the terrace. Brunch includes Country Pate with homemade pickles and artisanal mustards, a "Toasted Everything Bagel" Fish and Chips, Crispy Duck and the Cafe Boulud Benedict. All under the guiding hand of famous Chef Daniel Boulud.
-Nancy Ellison


Blue Star Cafe
I remember the first time I took my mom to Blue Star Cafe, I told her it was my new home away from home. I had just moved from DC to Seattle, Washington after graduating from college. Nestled right by the lake in my cozy Green Lake neighborhood, Blue Star was the ultimate of comfort food, I knew my mom would love. It is the kind of food, no matter what the meal, that brings warm memories, aromas and the sensations of being there, just by thinking of it. We both ordered my favorite, of course, which I had to show my mom. Greek omelets with feta cheese with the best chunky breakfast potatoes. All meals of course come with the most wonderful, fresh cinnamon scones ever, that always came steaming hot and fresh from the oven. All of that, mixed with unlimited supply of Northwest coffee, a mom and daughter could enjoy chatting over a wonderful breakfast for hours on end... and we
did, every time she came to town. It became a bit of a ritual, which seemed to make every visit Mother's Day. -Samantha Hoey


The Waybury Inn, Middleberry
This lovely inn is on the National Register of Historic Places (operating since 1810) and puts on a classic brunch buffet with items like shrimp cocktail, prime rib roast, brined roasted turkey and marinated fiddlehead ferns. The inn may look familiar to customers as the exterior was used in the opening credits of Bob Newhart's "Newhart" show, which was set in Vermont.
-Tom Maxwell


If I was in Paso Robles for Mother's Day it would be hard to choose where to go for brunch. Artisan, which has the best Smoked Gouda & Porter Fondue, Dungeness Crab Cake Benedict and Pork Short Rib Chilaquiles, or The Grill at Hunter Ranch, where you can indulge in a lovely buffet or order my favorite - The Breakfast Burrito - while enjoying a spectacular view of the golf course. Of course, if you're looking for something fresh and all-local, there's always Thomas Hill Market Bistro with it's cozy patio and organic fare from salads to sandwiches to Brioche French Toast. And if mom isn't in the mood for anything too dressy or frou-frou, Joe's Other Place, just south in Templeton, is the place for the best Biscuits & Gravy around.
-Lisa Dinsmore

In Newburg, Oregon, brunch at The Allison Inn & Spa is a must. Their restaurant is called Jory. The food is amazing and the location, right in the middle of the Willamette Valley, can't be beat. Make the day even more special and get mom a massage or visit a few of the local wineries.
-Cathy Pollak


Mother's Day