10 Restaurants for Mother’s Day Brunch in Philadelphia

The real gift you can give on Mother's Day? Making a plan so Mom doesn't have to.

A Mother’s Day brunch seafood tower? Yes, please. / Photograph courtesy of Parc Rittenhouse

Why is brunch the official meal of Mother’s Day? I have no idea, it’s simply the law. My mom doesn’t live in Philadelphia, but, if she did, you better believe we’d be going to brunch this Mother’s Day. If you happen to have a local mom, it’s time to make a reservation for your annual Sunday brunch. (Yes, the holiday is soon. May 14th, to be exact — go mark your calendar.) If you’re a mom, I give you permission to passive-aggressively send this list to your child. If you happen to be far from your mom, I’m with you — maybe we’ll still drink some mimosas, though? Here are the brunch spots to consider, regardless of your Mother’s Day situation.

JG SkyhighCenter City
There is nothing that my mom likes more than a view, so Jean-Georges’ bar on the 60th floor of the Comcast Technology Center is a natural option. It’s glitzy, it’s fancy, and it has one of the best views of Philadelphia. Sure, the restaurant might not be serving the most inventive brunch in the city, but with French toast, eggs Benedict, mimosas, and that view, a mom will feel appropriately celebrated here. Brunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Reservations are available here1 North 19th Street

Ocean HarborChinatown
If you’re looking for dim sum in Chinatown, bring your mom to Ocean Harbor, where carts roll through the huge dining room. You’ll hear a bell dinging from the kitchen throughout the course of your meal, and that’s because this restaurant churns out so much dim sim, they’re constantly making fresh plates of har gow, turnip cakes, and bacon-wrapped shrimp. If you’re only eating with a couple other people, you might have to share your big round table with another party. And, if you’re lucky, they’ll seat you on the stage. Booze is available but you can also BYOB for $5 per bottle. 1023 Race Street.

ForsythiaOld City
If your mom fancies herself a bit of world traveler (or fancies herself someone who likes to travel but hasn’t gone anywhere in too many years), take her to Forsythia for their special $80 prix fixe brunch. This is not your classic French bistro brunch: dishes include green pea gazpacho with crab, quiche with Serrano ham and spring onion, and a chocolate olive oil cake. Brunch will be served from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with reservations available through Resy233 Chestnut Street

Stir at the Philadelphia Museum of ArtFairmount
In my experience, the real gift to a mom on Mother’s Day is someone else making the plan. That plan should include a brunch reservation at Stir followed by an afternoon at the PMA. If you’ve never been, Stir is the museum’s sit-down restaurant with a pretty nice wine list. The space is lovely and the food is surprisingly better than what you might expect from a museum restaurant. Their Mother’s Day menu has specials like croque madame, buttermilk pancakes, and a vegan chia bowl. Reservations available here. 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

I love Parc. So do many other Philadelphians. Which means brunch is sure to be absolutely slammed on Mother’s Day. To avoid the crowds, I’d recommend making a 3 p.m. reservation, spending the morning shopping nearby, and then finishing things off with a couple of drinks and seafood tower. Reservations here227 South 18th Street.

Rowhome CoffeeFitler Square
If your mom is the kind of person who would rather go for a long walk on Mother’s Day than have a big fancy brunch, consider a stroll on the Schuylkill River Trail starting with (or followed by) a breakfast sandwich and something strongly caffeinated from Rowhome Coffee. This casual cafe uses soft pretzels for the bun on their egg sandwiches, and you can’t do much better in terms of the location before a walk next to the river. 2536 Pine Street.

Jezabel’sWest Philly
For another relaxed hang, go to Jezabel’s for tea, coffee, empanadas, pastries, soup, and salads. This daytime spot serves Northwestern Argentine food and has everything you need if you’re looking to sit in a sunny window and have a heart-to-heart with your mom (A.K.A. catch up on family gossip.) As an added bonus, no reservations are necessary. They’re open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. 206-208 South 45th Street.

Talula’s GardenWashington Square West
Talula’s Garden is a classic mom spot, mostly because there’s a garden. What else could you (or the mom in your life) possibly want? Sunday brunch is served 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Reservations here210 West Washington Square.

Cantina La MartinaKensington
When I see chilaquiles listed on a brunch menu, I always order them (with or without my mom). Cantina La Martina in Kensington does a great version with your choice of salsa verde, roja, or mole. They also serve an Italian-ish version by adding burrata, which is both genius and diabolical. Brunch runs on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Reservations here. 2800 D Street.

Booker’s Restaurant, West Philly
Booker’s is one of only a handful of restaurants in Philly that serves brunch every day, which make them experts in the category. If your mom wants to go somewhere fun where she can choose between brunch classics like pancakes and eggs and lunchier items like burgers and shrimp and grits, this is the spot. The brunch menu is served from 10 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. Reservations here5021 Baltimore Avenue.