Food & Drink

The Best Mother’s Day Brunches in San Diego

the westgate hotel brunch
Courtesy of The Westgate Hotel

Mother’s Day might spark Instagram-worthy images of waking Mom up with a gorgeous tray of gourmet goodies, but breakfast in bed is sort of like sex on a beach -- a nice fantasy that's actually just awkward and uncomfortable. What Mom really wants is what we all want: bottomless mimosas, quality time with loved ones, and the ability to come home to a clean kitchen afterwards. Fortunately, San Diego's replete with brunch options perfectly tailored to a extra-special Sunday meal; we've gathered up the best Mother’s Day brunch deals in town to make your job that much easier.

Courtesy of Coasterra


Harbor Island

A Mexican-influenced buffet on the bay
The cityscape is dazzling every day at Coasterra, and Chef Deborah Scott’s Mexican-inspired Champagne brunch buffet is a feast for your eyes as well. You can choose your favorites from a cold seafood display stacked with snow crab legs and lemon pepper prawns, a carving station with roast leg of lamb and Pacific salmon, a breakfast station, hearty especials de la casa entrees, and plenty of decadent cakes, cookies, pastries, and tarts.
Price/reservations: 10am - 2:30pm; $69.95 per person, $17.95 for children 6-12, 5 and under are free; reservations can be made by calling 619-814-1300 or booking online.

the westgate hotel
Courtesy of The Westgate Hotel

The Westgate Hotel


Elegant French fare with almost unlimited choices
The Westgate Hotel opens its regal Fontainebleau and Versailles Rooms for a brunch buffet fit for a queen. Sip complimentary mimosas and Bloody Marys while you peruse the opulent array of luxurious food options, including charcuterie and cheeses, smoked fish and caviar, a seafood station, a sushi station with made-to-order nigiri, omelet and benedict stations, and a carving station -- not to mention main courses like lamb cheeks with ratatouille and langostinos mac and cheese. Your choices are practically boundless at the dessert station, too, so including passion fruit souffle tart and tiramisu shooters, a chocolate fountain, made-to-order crepes, a mini donut station, and an ice cream bar. There's a buffet for kids, too, with options like sliders, chicken fingers and mini cupcakes.
Price/reservations: 10am - 3pm; $99.00 per person, $35.00 for children 4-10, 3 and under are free; reservations can be made by calling 619-238-1818 or booking online.

Estancia La Jolla
Austin John

Estancia La Jolla

La Jolla

Sip rosé in a sumptuous garden
Executive Chef Vincent Savignano’s elegant Roses and Rosé Brunch includes a complimentary glass of rosé for Mom, along with all the requisite offerings to make her feel pampered. Choose from dozens of delicious entrees like peel-and-eat shrimp, crab clusters, crab cocktail claws, chicken and waffles, linguica-potato hash with poached eggs, seared European bass, carved meats, paella and risotto stations, and an assortment of sweets, including a bananas Foster station and a spectacular croquembouche.
Price/reservations: 11am; $75.00 per adult, $25.00 for children; reservations can be made by booking online.

el jardin
Danielle Adams for Becca PR

El Jardin

Liberty Station

Treat Mom to sophisticated cocktails and inspired regional Mexican cuisine
Ditch the ubiquitous mimosas and waffles for Executive Chef Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins’ thoughtful, slow-cooked takes on the traditional foods of her childhood. Crave-worthy savories include breakfast sopes made with heirloom corn, crispy potatoes, chorizo and a couple of perfectly fried eggs; and Toño’s Caldo, aka “Birri-amen,” an avant-garde take on ramen featuring Jalisco-style birria, thin fresh noodles, and a poached egg. Satisfy your sweet tooth with sweet corn cakes with cultured butter, cajeta and fresh berries, or Capirotada Con Crema Canelada, a slice of pixtli bread pudding with Veracruz cinnamon, berries, Chantilly cream, coconut, and cacao nibs. Wash it all down with first-rate cocktails like the Mazateca Swizzle (Paranubes Oaxacan rum, lime, avocado leaf tea and absinthe) or the Escabeche Guey! (with mezcal, Ancho Reyes, golden beet, and Xocolatl Mole Bitters).
Price/reservations: 11am - 3pm; prices are a la carte; reservations can be made by calling 619-795-2322 or booking online.



Point Loma

Late afternoon brunch that'll let Mom sleep in for a change
Not everyone relishes the idea of getting up at the crack of dawn, especially after years of kid-induced sleep deprivation. Cesarina understands, and they’ve come up with a special a la carte Mother’s Day menu, inspired by the owners’ and chefs’ mammas, which will be available during dinner service as well as the standard 12-3pm lunch hours. Enjoy Gnocchi alla Norcina, with a rich sausage and cream-based sauce from owner Giuseppe’s mother Cinzia, or the Coda alla Vaccinara (Roman-style oxtail); all pastas are made in-house, and there’s a large selection of vegan options. Plus, all moms at dinner will receive a mini jar of homemade tomato pasta sauce to take home; of course, if your mom insists on getting up early, the regular breakfast menu will be available from 8am till noon.
Price/reservations: Prices are a la carte; reservations can be made by calling 619-226-6222 or booking online.

herb and wood steak and potatoes
Courtesy of Herb and Wood

Herb and Wood

Little Italy

Indulge in a stylish Mother’s Day celebration
Chef Brian Malarkey’s flagship restaurant has created a three-course prix fixe Mother’s Day brunch menu, with dishes including avocado toast with candied jalapeño, lobster hash, smoked salmon bennies, rice pudding with strawberry/rhubarb compote, and caramel hazelnut bars, as well as a full selection of brunch cocktails, Bloody Marys and mimosas. A special children’s menu will also be available.
Price/reservations: From 10am to 2pm; $55.55 for adults, $15.99 for children; reservations can be made by calling 619-955-8495 or booking online.

Flagship Mother’s Day Cruises

North Harbor Drive near the B Street Pier

Cruise the bay while sipping bottomless mimosas
Flagship Cruises gives Mom a view from the watery side of San Diego. They offer both morning and afternoon Mother’s Day brunch scenic cruises around San Diego Bay, showing off the skyline, the Midway Museum, and the Cabrillo National Monument, and traveling all the way under the Coronado Bay Bridge on a two hour jaunt. There’ll be bottomless mimosas and champagne, live entertainment, and plenty of tasty food stations including bistro and American breakfasts, piles of chilled seafood, carved meats, a California street taco stand, and fresh baked desserts.
Price/reservations: First boarding is at 9:30am, second boarding is at 1:30pm: $75.50 per adult, $47.50 for children 4-12; reservations can be made by calling 800-442-7847 or booking online.

Morning Glory

Little Italy

Brunch overlooking the Piazza della Famiglia
Consortium Holdings' new, brunch-only stunner sits on the second floor of the Piazza, overlooking the fountain with gorgeous views extending all the way down Date Street to the bay. Following their signature offbeat style, Morning Glory's got menu features dishes with cheeky names like Millennial Tears (avocado toast with soft-boiled eggs), McDiddle with Spam, and Bizkits & Gravy (that’s billed as “more Bizkit than Fred Durst”). Libations follow the trend with tipples that are by turns fizzy, foamy, milky, savory, or caffeinated, and there's a beast of a sharable Bloody Mary garnished with “hella sick stuff.” You’ve been warned.
Price/reservations: 7am - 3pm; prices are a la carte; open seating.

L’Auberge Del Mar

Del Mar

Bring the kids along for a beachy brunch
Kitchen 1540 at L’Auberge Del Mar’s lavish Mother’s Day Brunch menu offers an extravagant array of their popular cast iron dishes (brook trout, pork New York strip, and seared duck breast); carved specialties such as Dry Aged Santa Carota Beef and Salmon en Croute; and traditional breakfast and lunch dishes including bennies and omelets, seafood, cheese and pasta stations. The sugar rush is provided by a selection of large and mini pies, and a chocolate fondue tasting including white chocolate, dark chocolate, hazelnut milk chocolate and almond butter fondues with all manner of dippers and dunkers. Take advantage of the optional free-flowing mimosas and relax in the lounge while the kids play oversized Jenga, chess and Connect Four.
Price/reservations: 10am to 2pm; $90 per adult (+$15 for bottomless mimosas) $30 for children under 12; reservations can be made by calling 858-793-6460 or booking online.

Parc Bistro-Brasserie

Bankers Hill

Lounge in a chic French bistro
Parc Bistro-Brasserie focuses on simple, fresh ingredients, and from-scratch dishes with a low-key French ambience. The three-course prix fixe Mother’s Day brunch menu features starters like Escargot Burgundy and Boulettes De Bison, house-made bison meatballs, and Lobster Arancini, and second course favorites such as Lobster Benedict, 18 Hour Short Rib Hash and Spring Lamb with Flageolet Beans. Finish with a sweet treat like the Chocolate Marquise, or Chef Benjy’s Choice: a to-be-revealed dessert surprise. Orange/passion orange guava bottomless mimosas are a must at an additional $18.
Price/reservations: 10am - 4pm; $59.95 per adult (+$18 for bottomless mimosas) $19.95 for children under 10; reservations can be made by calling 619-795-1501 or booking online.

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Mary Beth Abate is a San Diego-based freelance writer by way of Chicago and Los Angeles. Her hobbies include yoga, pickling and fermenting various vegetables and beverages, reading cookbooks and traveling through Mexico. Keep up with her experiments @MaryBeth_Abate.