Made-for-Mother’s-Day restaurants in Toronto

Mother’s Day weekend calls for experiences that are above average. Veer off the well-travelled restaurant path and check out these local spots to give your mom that extra bit of ambience and pampering. Whether it’s a five-star high tea, buttermilk biscuits, an iconic diner, or plenty of pie and high-grade fare, here’s our top picks for brunch and sweet treats fit for a queen.

Kitten and the Bear

1574 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6R 1A6

English country tea meets old-fashioned tea party at this teeny Parkdale outpost. Cute is an understatement here: shabby chic vintage decor, a curio cabinet displaying teas and jams, and a dainty chandelier rises above the bay window seating section. If you’re interested in tea service, the compact spot accommodates one party of two and one party of three. Tea is served in elegant china teacups, while a vintage three-tiered stand holds fluffy hot-out-of-the-oven scones. If a quick pick-me-up is on the menu, hit the takeout counter for a tea latte and a scone with jam and clotted cream.

Carens Rosedale

1118 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4W 2L6

As soon as you step into Carens, you’ll know that you’ve taken Mother’s Day brunch up a notch. This Rosedale hotspot offers a distinctly French setting against a cozy yet polished backdrop. A gorgeous baby grand piano accents a classy dining room that’s perfect for a long and leisurely catch up. Choose from high-quality ingredients on the brunch menu such as French toast made from thick cut brioche, accented with berry and vanilla compote, and stuffed with mascarpone and milk chocolate ganache, or indulge in the restaurant’s drool-worthy savoury selections. Our pick? The Avonlea cheddar and mushroom omelette.

Shangri-La Hotel Toronto

180 University Avenue, Toronto, ON M5H 0A2

Few experiences in life feel more decadent than high tea. Take an hour or two with mom and bask in the glow of the two-sided fireplaces, while cozying up on the luxe comfy couches in one of Toronto’s most luxurious hotel lobby lounges. Sip tea, nibble on finger sandwiches and munch on sweet petites. High tea is served daily from 2 to 5 pm at $40 per person.

Mildred's Temple Kitchen

104-85 Hanna Ave, Toronto, ON M6K 3S3

This Liberty Village restaurant pairs quintessential comfort food with a modern backdrop. During the day, the wall of windows fills the large dining hall with natural light. Crisp white accents give a polished look against the rich wood finishes. Ambience aside, there’s a reason Mildred’s is packed to the brim every weekend and it’s because of the spot’s to-die-for-brunch. Start with some fresh-baked buttermilk biscuits, jam and Americanos. For your main, try the Huevos Monty: sharp cheddar and refried beans baked in tortillas and topped with eggs, salsa and avocado crème fraîche.

Wanda's Pie In The Sky

287 Augusta Ave, Toronto, ON M5T 2M2

A trip to Kensington Market always warrants a visit to Wanda’s Pie in the Sky. This outpost is chock full of cozy tables, kitschy accents and a contemporary menu of homemade delights. Gazing at the pie case alone is a feat of willpower (think flaky lattice and sweet fillings like cherry, rhubarb raspberry, and apple). Weekend brunch is simple and straight up. Choose from the Eggs Wanda on Saturday or the Huevo Wanda on Sunday. Mom will also swoon over one of Wanda’s famous sticky buns –apples, walnuts, chocolate and cinnamon wrapped in croissant dough.

The Lakeview

1132 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1X2

A true icon on the diner scene, The Lakeview has been hashing up classic charm and house-made comfort fuel since 1932. Chow down against a background of checkered floor tiling, cozy booths, and a classic dining counter. With a contemporary menu of home-style delights, whatever you order here will be hearty and satiating. Must try: the Freedom Toast, an egg-dipped baguette stuffed with peameal, brie and Havarti cheeses. Top it with a side of 100 per cent Quebecois maple syrup.

The County General Riverside

798 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M 1H4

The County General’s east-end counterpart may be best known for its evening brews and cocktails. But on the weekend, it serves up a killer brunch menu at its rustic-meets-modern Leslieville location. Dine on a plate of breakfast poutine (yes, it’s as decadent as it sounds), sip back a bourbon Caesar, and enjoy the cool backdrop of high ceilings, candy-apple-red chairs, and an eye-catching mural of Toronto streets.

Cafe Belong

550 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4W 3X8

If Mum loves the outdoors but you’re keen to stay in the city, pop in for brunch at this handsome space inside the Evergreen Brickworks building. Industrial light fixtures coil down from the ceiling, steel grey chairs juxtapose shiny wood tables and plenty of natural light gives the airy space an almost outdoor feeling. Weekend brunch is served from 10 am to 3 pm with tons of high-grade fare. Cold choices include frittata, grain salads and yogurt parfaits, while hot item favourites include the buttermilk pancakes with apple cinnamon compote and the chorizo sausage with Yukon hash.

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