When it comes to Mother's Day, the only thing more pivotal than a bouquet of flowers and a thoughtful card is brunch reservations. The biggest brunch day of the year is coming up on May 8, so be sure and treat mom to one of these special options around Chicago.
Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba! (2024 N. Halsted St.)
"Tapas for Mamas" are back for Mother's Day brunch at Lincoln Park's legendary Spanish restaurant, Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba! The crowd-pleasing staple is serving up pintxos like deviled eggs with bacon, short stacks of pancakes, and waffle-battered chicken sticks, along with other brunch tapas, egg dishes, omelettes, and waffles. All moms will end their meal with a surprise gift from the restaurant.
Acadia (1639 S. Wabash Ave.)
One of the most unique spreads available for brunch on Mother's Day can be found at the South Loop's crown jewel, Acadia. Here, chef Ryan McCaskey and pastry chef Mari Katsumura fill out a menu with enticing creations like cinnamon rolls, beignets, croissants with kumquat marmalade, pork rinds with blue cheese dressing, peekytoe crab hash, fresh oysters, and "green eggs and ham." Reservations for brunch, which is served from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., can be snagged by calling 312-360-9500312-360-9500.
Prime & Provisions (222 N. LaSalle St.) pictured at top
Your mom deserves the very best, after all the years of hard work and love she poured into your upbringing. Repay her by treating her to brunch at one of Chicago's shiny new steakhouses, Prime & Provisions. She'll be impressed. Especially when she sees the striking brunch spread, which includes everything from eggs Benedict and cinnamon French toast to a raw bar, carving station, chicken Vesuvio, mustard-glazed salmon, and more. The whole display costs $60 per person, and all moms get a gratis glass of Prosecco upon arrival. Reservations can be made on Prime & Provisions' website, and brunch is served from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.
Balena (1633 N. Halsted St.)
If your cravings skew Italian, then head to Balena for their very own three-course brunch prix fixe. Guests pick their preferred entree from options like smoked salmon bruschetta, artichoke Benedict and caponata hash, which gets served with spicy breakfast potatoes, arugula salad, or breakfast toast. To drink, there's bellinis, Bloody Marys, and brunch cocktails like the Bicicletta with dry white wine and campari. Brunch costs $35 per person, and there's a special kids' menu for those 10 or younger for $12. Call 312-867-3888312-867-3888 for reservations.
Mercadito (108 W. Kinzie St.)
Does your mom prefer Mexican comforts like huevos rancheros and carnitas hash? Look no further than Mercadito in River North, where a zesty four-course brunch awaits her from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. May 8. The tasting menu is loaded with options, and each person gets a cocktail of their choosing. Dishes to choose from include the aforementioned huevos rancheros, pork belly hash, huevos ahogados con langosta (crispy butter toast, poached eggs, lobster, jalapeño emulsion, crispy sweet potatoes), pancakes with Manchego cheese, tacos, chilaquiles, and plenty more. Brunch costs a mere $35 per person and a la carte dishes off the regular menu will also be available.
David Burke's Primehouse (616 N. Rush St.)
Between the bottomless mimosas, the filet mignon, and the cheesecake lollipops, the special Mother's Day brunch prix fixe at David Burke's Primehouse has mom's name written all over it. The limitless mimosas (and Bloody Marys!) are available for $14 per person, while the three-course tasting menu goes for $60. Starters include pastries and fresh fruit along with a meat, cheese, and vegetable dish. Entree options include cheddar biscuits and gravy, chicken fried steak, seafood toast, a Cobb salad, lamb chops, and filet mignon. The cheesecake lollipops are available for dessert, plus other selections like lemon ricotta cake with berry compote and strawberry mousse with chocolate streusel.
GreenRiver (259 E. Erie St.) photo by Barry Brecheisen
GreenRiver couldn't have picked a better day to debut brunch service. Their inaugural brunch takes place May 8 and runs from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., offering the perfect setting to wow mom with stunning city views from the restaurant's 18th story Streeterville perch. The food and drinks are equally striking too. A nice a la carte option for the holiday, the menu at GreenRiver features savorous dishes like cheddar biscuits with sausage gravy and fried chicken thigh, seasonal omelettes, whitefish tartines, and eggs Benedict with crab, country ham, and asparagus. Don't sleep on the new brunch cocktails courtesy of Julia Momose. There's a Geshi Gin & Tonic with sake, saffron, and orange bitters, a Rhum & Coke with Fernet, and a Coffee & Tonic outfitted with Cappellano Barolo Chinato, amaro, barley and espresso liqueur.
La Storia (1154 N. Dearborn St.)
The Gold Coast Italian gem La Storia is another spot debuting brunch service on Mother's Day, and they're going big for their first service with a special holiday affair. Each mom starts the meal with a gift of summer berry crostata with whipped mascarpone, followed by dishes like pan-seared salmon with grilled artichoke heats, heirloom tomatoes, olives, preserved lemon, and olive oil. Other brunch options from La Storia include the Nostro Benedetto (crispy poached eggs, prosciutto, heirloom tomato, fava bean salad, pea shoots, roasted garlic hash), and pollo milanese with sunny-side up egg, chicken breast, chicken liver mousse, crispy capers, tomato, arugula, watercress, and lemon.
GT Fish & Oyster (531 N. Wells St.)
Crab Benedicts, carrot cake pancakes, and crispy chicken and waffles are a few of the tantalizing family-style plates guests can expect to feast on this Mother's Day at GT Fish & Oyster. The River North restaurant is hosting a special Mother's Day brunch with a miscellany of shareable prix fixe items divvied over three courses, along with fried gougeres, country potatoes, caramel monkey bread, and Nueske's bacon. There's a special menu for kids 12 and under, and children three and younger dine for free. The prix fixe is $45 per person and reservations can be made by calling 312-929-3501312-929-3501.
Nico Osteria (1015 N. Rush St.) photo by Derek Richmond
For a two-in-one punch of brunch and shopping, Nico Osteria is not only serving a special four-course menu on Mother's Day, but also hosting Dose Market in their private dining room from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. (tickets for that here). The special menu has Italian-inspired dishes like spring caponata, Brussels sprouts bruschetta, ramp cappelletti, and stuffed pappardelle with braised pork. The dishes are also available a la carte. For desserts, don't miss the tiramisu with cocoa grappa sauce, Meyer lemon panna cotta, or cassata cake with ricotta, strawberries, and amaretto. The prix fixe costs $65 per person and reservations can be made by calling 312-994-7100312-994-7100.
Belly Up Smokehouse & Saloon (1132 S. Wabash Ave.)
Does mom like moonshine? Of course she does! Then we've got the place for you. Belly Up Smokehouse & Saloon is keeping things fun, fresh, and casual in the South Loop with a special Mother's Day cocktail called the Guava Mama. It's made with Ole Smoky peach moonshine, guava, mango, and nectar. As a bonus, all moms will receive a Belly Up Smokehouse coffee mug filled with Hershey's Kisses when they dine in at the restaurant on Mother's Day. Aww.
il Porcellino (59 W. Hubbard St.)
Hot River North newcomer il Porcellino is opening its doors early this Mother's Day and offering a slew of specials sure to excite and delight any mom with a penchant for contemporary Italian fare. Starting at noon, get hungry for the likes of eggs "in purgatory" with tomatoes and housemade olive ciabatta, or grilled lamb chops oreganata. For the sweet toothed matriarch, dessert options include a chocolate-hazelnut semifreddo.
Swirlz (705 W. Belden Ave.)
If you're looking to pick up some sweet treats for mom, look no further than Lincoln Park's preeminent cupcake shop, Swirlz. The bakery is featuring a couple special flavors for the holiday weekend, including a strawberry shortbread cupcake with vanilla cake, fresh strawberry compote and cream cheese filling, white chocolate-covered shortbread cookie, and strawberry buttercream. There's also a chocolate-dipped raspberry red velvet made with red velvet cake, raspberry ganache filling, cream cheese buttercream, and a chocolate ganache glaze.
Cocoa + Co (1651 N. Wells St.)
Another sweet treats option is Old Town's adorable, aromatic Cocoa + Co. As the name suggests, it's all about the chocolate here, which should make it destination number one for Mother's Day preparations. The shop is preparing for the holiday with a variety of specialty boxes, packages, and promos up for grabs. There's a specialty bonbon box brimming with bonbons from acclaimed chocolatiers from near and far, a trio of hand-crafted chocolate bars, and even a chocolate tasting with mom for $20 per person.