Story by Nicola Brown
TORONTO, ONTARIO — Finding a great Mother’s Day gift has always been hard for me. Flowers and chocolates fall far short of expressing how much my mum means to me. When I think about the time we spend together, when we laugh until we cry and talk about everything under the sun, it’s usually over a plate of food or a cup of tea. It’s this valuable time spent together that is why I will always choose to celebrate Mother’s Day with an experiential gift rather than a material one.
I love brunch because it reminds me of the Saturdays I would come sleepily blundering down the stairs to meet my parents at the kitchen table for a long, lazy meal of toast, jam, tea and the newspaper, and the beauty of brunch is that it can be as simple or as lavish as you’d like. It’s the time spent together that really matters. I hope to share those same special mornings with my kids one day.
And when it comes to brunch, Toronto rules — from traditional French bistros to idyllic staycation and getaway spots, you’ll find the perfect place with Vacay.ca’s comprehensive list of brunch spots offering unique and one-off Mom’s Day menus. Reservations highly recommended for all.
The perfect brunch staycation
- Bosk: Treat Mom to some luxury at the Shangri-La Toronto with a $65 three-course prix-fixe menu at Asian-inspired modern Canadian restaurant Bosk. Start with freshly baked Viennoiserie and finish up with bittersweet chocolate fondant. Sunday, May 10, 7-10 am.
- Café Boulud: Four Seasons’ Café Boulud has a special $70 three-course prix-fixe menu, including indulgences like the crispy duck egg with smoked salmon and caviar and a duck confit hash. Sunday 10:30 am-3:30 pm.
- Vinci Ballroom: If you’re looking to step it up a notch, the Four Seasons’ Vinci Ballroom is putting on its second annual buffet-style Mom’s brunch for $95 per person, which includes a special offer for every mom from the hotel’s spa. Sunday, seatings: 10:30 am, 12:30 pm, 2:30 pm.
- Annona Restaurant: If items like miso pan-roasted wild halibut and lobster bisque are what you’re after, reserve a couple spots for the $70 four-course prix fixe, which you can enjoy with a couple of featured wines by the glass. Sunday, 12-3 pm.
- Drake Hotel: For a brunch staycation with a more affordable price tag, head for the Drake’s $36 prix-fixe brunch created by chef and mommy-to-be Alexandra Feswick. Make sure to order a “Mom-osa” with your meal. Sunday from 9:30 am.
Traditional French bistro brunch
- Colette Grand Café: It doesn’t get more perfectly French than Colette Grand Café. Treat Mom to Colette’s special brunch and pick up one of its Mother’s Day gift baskets in the bakery to take home. Sunday from 10 am.
- Geraldine: Choose a traditional Afternoon Tea instead of brunch at Geraldine. It features sweet and savoury towers, mini scones and clotted cream, $75 per person. Sunday, seatings at 10 am at 1 pm.
- Biff’s Bistro: Enjoy a Provençal Royale or an Elderflower Mimosa with your brunch at Biff’s Bistro, which includes hors d’oeuvres, entrées and a sumptuous set of six dessert options. Sunday, 10 am-2:30 pm.
- Le Sélect Bistro: A special $39 prix-fixe menu awaits you at Le Sélect with rich delicacies like escalope de foie gras. Sunday, 3:30 pm (limited availability).
Fresh, local Canadian brunch
- Globe Bistro: Go local, organic and seasonal on Danforth Avenue with Globe Bistro’s affordable $29 prix-fixe brunch. For those with a serious sweet tooth they’ve got sticky toffee pudding for dessert.
- George Restaurant: Treat Mom to an elegant meal in an elegant setting with George’s special three-course a la carte menu, $60 per person and $12 for kids. Sunday, 11 am-2:30 pm.
- Luma: Do Canadian in style at Luma. Fresh options like beet salad and buffalo mozzarella are perfect for spring and feature prominently on the Mother’s Day brunch menu. Sunday, 10:30 am-3 pm.
- The Forth: The Forth is offering a Mom’s Day brunch menu with items that range from breakfast poutine to mussels and frites, with a separate kids’ menu. Sunday, 10 am-5 pm.
Contemporary Italian brunch
- Blu Ristorante: Blu not only has a reasonably priced Mother’s Day brunch at $40 per person, but you can eat and listen to live music from a pianist, too. Sunday, 11:30 am-2:30 pm.
- Campagnolo: If the Dungeness crab and beef carpaccio don’t win you over, the house-smoked salmon with asparagus will. $45 per person for this prix-fixe brunch.
- Destingo Restaurant: For $35 per person you and Mom can enjoy a properly Italian selection of pastries and charcuterie followed by pizzas and pastas. Sunday, 9 am-noon.
Brunch in style
- FRANK Restaurant: Opt for an artful morning at FRANK with its $80 prix-fixe brunch menu featuring a raclette and waffle bar, seafood and carving stations, and a selection of sweet treats. Sunday, 11 am-3:30 pm.
- America Restaurant: Have a glamorous morning out with mom at America Restaurant on the 31st floor of the Trump Hotel. The Mother’s Day brunch buffet is $95 per person and $47.50 for kids. Sunday, 10:30 am-3 pm.
- Mildred’s Temple Kitchen: A Toronto favourite brunch destination, Mildred’s is doing a $27.50 prix-fixe brunch for Mom with fresh-baked scones and the popular blueberry buttermilk pancakes. Sunday, 9 am-3 pm.
- District Oven: Try something different at this “Middleterranean” spot with a selection of mezzes and dishes to share like an arugula salad with dates, goat cheese, almonds and orange dressing. Sunday, 11 am-3 pm.
- Origin: Head to King Street East for a special Mother’s Day brunch at stylisth international restaurant Origin in the heart of St. Lawrence Village.
Idyllic getaway brunches
- Black Creek Pioneer Village: Learn to speak like a Victorian lady with an etiquette class followed by brunch, which includes a tea station, buffet, hot dishes and sweets, then walk through the charming historic village at Black Creek. Sunday, seatings: 10 am, 1 pm.
- Mariposa Cruises: Take to the seas (or the lake) for a special Mother’s Day brunch cruise, $48.95 for adults and $24.95 for kids, including a free family portrait and welcome aboard mocktail. Sunday, boarding at 11:30 am, disembarking at 2:30 pm.
- Old Mill: Escape for the morning to the beautiful Old Mill for a Mother’s Day brunch buffet, $47.95 for adults and $24.95 for kids, then pop your heads into the tempting boutique. Sunday, 10 am-1:30 pm.
- Casa Loma: Possibly the most picturesque place you could sit to have a meal, grand Casa Loma is offering a $55 Mother’s Day brunch with traditional classics and signature dishes ($35 for kids).