Food & Drink

The Best Mother’s Day Brunch in NYC

shuka
Shuka | Cole Saladino/Thrillist
Shuka | Cole Saladino/Thrillist

For some, Mother’s Day evokes happy childhood memories: waking up early with Dad to whip up a stack of blueberry pancakes that you’d bring up to Mom in bed. For others, it’s another Hallmark Holiday designed to get you to spend money on faux-calligraphed greeting cards that may enjoy a short life on the refrigerator before ending up in the trash. And for many, it's an excuse to enjoy one of the best brunches NYC has to offer.

Wherever you fall on the spectrum, give Mom what she really wants this Mother’s Day: family facetime, perfectly poached eggs, and strong cocktails. This Sunday, cozy up with her at one of these brunch spots -- breakfast in bed not required. 

cafe clover
Courtesy of Cafe Clover

Cafe Clover

West Village

Cafe Clover’s cerulean-hued indoor and outdoor spaces are cute as a button. And it’s a la carte Mother’s Day brunch feast is robust, including coconut yogurt parfait, chilaquiles, seared soft shell crab, lavender waffles, short rib hash, and half-a-dozen desserts like the warm chocolate cake, strawberry rhubarb crumble, and nostalgia-inducing s’mores.

district social
Courtesy of District Social

District Social

Midtown West

If mommy needs a drink, swing by District Social for one of two boozy brunch options. For $35, she’ll get endless mimosas, Bloody Mary’s, or beer. For $50, those selections expand to include specialty cocktails to sip with baked eggs, omelets, grilled salmon, bennies, and French toast.

brooklyn cider house
Courtesy of Brooklyn Cider House

Brooklyn Cider House

Bushwick

Brooklyn Cider House’s $39, three-course brunch special includes tortilla de patata or beet, kale, and feta salad to start, steak & eggs, shrimp and grits, or avocado toast mains, and a flourless chocolate tart or apple fritter for dessert. For $9 more, mom can “catch” two ciders from straight from the barrel.

shuka shakshuka
Cole Saladino/Thrillist

Shuka

SoHo

In addition to Shuka’s famed brightly colored dips and mezze, the lively Israeli-, Spanish-, and North African-inspired spot serves dishes fit for sharing. Split the shakshuka with Mom -- poached eggs swimming in a spicy tomato sauce studded with asparagus -- along with a Mediterranean plate, flush with labne, falafel, and marinated cucumbers. Finish off the meal with a slice of poppy olive oil cake with pear and lime.

little tong nyc
Courtesy of Afra Lu

Little Tong Noodle Shop

East Village

Zag from the ubiquitous pancake and waffle deals at the teeny Little Tong Noodle Shop. Choose from Yunnan-inspired rice noodle bowls and small plates, and entrees like the little pot mixian (bone broth, minced Shiitake pork, garlic chives), and Mother’s Day appropriate grandma chicken mixian (chicken broth, chicken confit, black sesame garlic oil, tea egg).

miss ada
Cole Saladino/Thrillist

Miss Ada

Fort Greene

“Don’t fill up on bread,” moms caution. Prove they’re as wrong about that as they were about your high school boyfriend with the abundant, warm, pillowy pita at this pocket-sized Middle Eastern gem. Scoop up dips like whipped ricotta drenched in brown butter and bright pink beet puree, sample sweets (ricotta waffle drizzled with chocolate tahini) and savory items (steak & eggs flanked by fingerling potatoes), then finish with a Yemini pastry.

rahi nyc
Rahi

Rahi

Greenwich Village

Known for its creative Indian fare, Rahi has two distinct brunch prix fixe menus. For $29, choose from starters like chili cheese toast, dahi chili paneer, or edamame artichoke chaat, and entrees like three mango cod, banana leaf chicken, and kadak goat curry. For $5 more, add a dessert like the falooda (basil seeds, vermicelli), saffron milk, roohafza), or the Chocolate & Chili (68% dark chocolate, cherry jam, pecans, rose whip).

Queens Comfort

Astoria

Locals and visitors crowd outside this cult-adored brunch spot each weekend, patiently waiting for deep-fried French toast balls and the beloved, ever-cutesy Donut Diva donuts. Brunch is a scene here, but that’s why people love it. On Mother’s Day, indulge your palate with a Cornflake-crusted chicken and waffle, and fiery rounds of deep-fried mac & cheese coated in Sriracha.

russ n daughters
Cole Saladino/Thrillist

Russ & Daughters Cafe

Lower East Side

What better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than with best bagels and schmear in the business? Get comfy in a booth, and dig into a classic boards weighed down with nova, cream cheese, and bagel accoutrements (and a bagel, of course). There are sweets, too, like challah bread pudding and chocolate babka French toast, to offset all that smoked salmon you’ll be putting away.  

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Amy Schulman will probably attempt waffles in bed. Follow her on Instagram.