Mother’s Day is a couple of weeks away on Sunday, May 9, which means only a few shopping days left to snag a reservation, preorder special takeout, or pick up a box of chocolates or a bottle of bubbles. Last year, the city was recently rocked by the pandemic and completely locked down, separating a lot of families. But this year, with 70 percent of San Franciscans over the age of 16 having received at least one dose of the vaccine, maybe it’s finally safe to see your mom, and not just on Zoom. From outrageous drag brunch to civilized afternoon tea, bagels in bed to a beautiful box of chocolates, here’s how to celebrate moms this spring.
Clubby brunch at Presidio Social Club
Presidio Social Club recently built out a bigger patio for outdoor dining, right in the heart of Presidio National Park, a sweet spot to feast on doughnuts under eucalyptus trees. And they’ve introduced a new brunch menu, featuring brioche beignets, scrambled eggs with asparagus and goat cheese, and more. For Mother’s Day, they’re also serving a special trout with nettle brown butter, and partnering with their longtime florist, so diners can preorder a bouquet that mom can take home.
Dim sum brunch at Yank Sing
Mother’s Day is the biggest day of the year for dim sum institution Yank Sing, and they have reopened for indoor dining at the Rincon Center location, inside the airy atrium where the water fountain gurgles and the dumpling carts swirl. But the siu mai, hargow, and barbecue pork buns are also available for takeout, for mothers who might prefer to feast at home.
Biscuit brunch at Brenda’s French Soul Food
For any mamas who crave crawfish beignets, shrimp and grits, and catfish Benedict, Brenda’s is now accepting reservations for indoor brunching, as well as orders to pick up, which is a real biscuit opportunity, compared to those pre-pandemic wait times.
Outrageous drag brunch at Curio
Curio, the bar attached to the Chapel, has got a big outdoor patio off of Valencia. And for Mother’s Day, they’re taking it over the top with brunch and a drag show, featuring the One and Only Rexy, with a side of fried chicken waffle bites. Email email@example.com for reservations ($15 per person).
Civilized afternoon tea at the Fairmont
In slightly more civilized news, afternoon tea is back at the Laurel Court at the Fairmont, just in time for Mother’s Day, which is truly a delight, after a very parched year without finger sandwiches and scones. Even at $130 per person, reservations will go fast.
Bagels in bed from Daily Driver
Moms who aren’t ready for sit-down dining just yet might prefer a box of bread or pastries delivered bedside. Daily Driver has a bagels-in-bed kit that includes half a dozen bagels, a braided brioche heart, cream cheese decked with herbs and flowers, orange juice, sparkling wine, and coffee beans, as well as a goat milk soap and mini flower bouquet ($75).
Spring chicken dinner from Delfina
And in very nice roast dinners, the Delfina team has a comforting meal kit to take home, featuring fresh pasta stuff with sweet peas, a spring chicken ballotine bundled up like a golden football, and a sweet strawberry shortcake for dessert. (Four courses, feeds two people, $140.)
A family-sized feast from Cassava
Feed the whole family with a menu for four ($195) from Outer Sunset stunner Cassava. Order via their website (by May 7), then pick up at the restaurant on May 8 to 9. Bringing garlic Dungeness crab cakes with ramps (!!), Meyer lemon cream, scallion-chili oil, and kumquats to the table sounds like something that might score you extra points with Mom.
Frittata plus flowers from Market Hall
Oakland’s favorite prepared food oasis has you covered this Mother’s Day, with rhubarb galettes, asparagus frittatas, cheese and charcuterie sets, pancake kits, and gift baskets. It can all be picked up at both locations in Oakland and Berkeley from May 6 to 9 and pre-ordered online. If you’re shopping at the Rockridge location, head over to Hapuku Fish Shop for lobsters, caviar, and crab dip, and Wild Flower and Fern for the perfect bouquet.
Soigné sweets from ONE65
Charm your mother with sweets from a fancy patisserie. The Mother’s Day gift box ($165) includes a bottle of ONE65 Champagne, a box of 12 homemade chocolates, banana caramel loaf cake, citronettes and orangettes, chocolate bar, Alain Milliat jam, Edmond Fallot Mustard, a L’Olivier infused olive oil, and La Brujula sardines. There’s also an option for Champagne and sweets ($125), that includes six-inch Mother’s Day cake with orange blossom ganache, strawberry confit, and vanilla c ream, plus a box of six chocolates. Order ahead here.
Waterfront brunch at EPIC Steakhouse
Curate your own three-course prix fixe ($60) from options like a smoked salmon Caesar with Acme levain croutons, hamache crudo, and potato leek soup with truffle. Snag a seat on the patio looking onto the Bay and pair with brunch cocktails for the full effect. It’s going down from noon to 3:30 p.m. on May 9; reservations can be made here.
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As of publication time, some of these restaurants offer seated indoor and outdoor dining. However, their inclusion should not be taken as endorsement for sit-down dining, as there are still safety concerns. Studies indicate that COVID-19 infection rates are lower for outside activities than dining indoors, but the level of risk involved with even outdoor dining is contingent on restaurants and their patrons following strict social distancing, face covering, and other safety guidelines.