If you've yet to make a Mother's Day brunch reservation, just two things are possible: Either your mother lives in another city or you've slept on the whole holiday. Lucky for you, you've still got options. Delicious, delicious options. Take her to one of these restaurants to show her how much you—and Portland—cares about her.
For Mother's Day, Bluehour's kitchen is offering $35 three-course brunches with almost 20 options of eats to choose from, including granola, homemade yogurt, fresh berries, crab cake benedicts, ricotta blintzes, smoked pork chops, donut holes, and chocolate pot de crèmes, as well as 10 other appetizer, main, and dessert options. Hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Bluehour: 250 NW 13th Ave., 503-226-3394
Do you want to show off to your mom your definition of what a cool brunch really is? Then take her to Naomi Pomeroy's Expatriate, which recently got in the brunch game, offering fare like rice waffles with black sesame ice cream, congee, egg-and-shrimp fritter burritos, and a smattering of breakfast cocktails, including a very, very serious bloody mary. Hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Expatriate: 5424 NE 30th Ave., 503-805-3750
Moms will certainly find something on Imperial's menu to make Mother's Day brunch memorable, from sticky buns and benedicts, to pancakes, latkes, and fried chicken. But to sweeten the pot, each mom who walks in walks away with a $20 gift card, courtesy of the staff, which she can use for future Imperial dining. To make your reservation, dial Imperial's landline. Hours: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Imperial: 410 SW Broadway, 503.228.7222
This new pop-up in the former Carver Room behind Old Salt Marketplace brings French brunch and pastries a day early: this Saturday, May 7. Seatings are at 10 a.m. and noon for an assortment of cocktails, pastries, and mains, like Oeuf en Cocotte (eggs baked in a leek cream sauce). Order a la carte or the $30 chef's tasting menu, which includes pastry plate, a cocktail, coffee, a main, and a side dish. To make a reservation, message the pop-up on Facebook.
Lavender & Thyme: 5027 NE 42nd Ave. (in the former Carver Room behind Old Salt Marketplace)
You can't compile a Mother's Day roundup without including Lisa Schroder's longtime favorite, Mother's Bistro. The staff is just as comforting as the food. Greatest hits include migas, frittatas, some very spot-on biscuits and sausage gravy, and omelets that regularly change but never disappoint. Hours: 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Mother's Bistro & Bar: 212 SW Stark St., 503-464-1122
This mother's Day, take mom to the rustic Nonna, with creative freshly squeezed juices alongside favorites like frittatas, eggs in Purgatorio, and brûléed blood oranges. Let her knock back the bloody marys crowned with house-made accoutrements. It's her day. You can drive her home like the wonderful offspring you are. Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Nonna: 5513 NE 30th Ave., 503-894-9840
Perhaps you want to celebrate this year with oysters and champagne. If that's you, know that the folks at Olympia Oyster Bar are serving up a $65 tasting menu comprising assorted imported cheeses; a watermelon salad with cucumbers, basil, mint, and black radishes; manilla clams; a half dozen half-shell oysters; a pair of dressed ones; and a goat's milk panna cotta. Hours: 11:30 to 7 p.m.
Olympia Oyster Bar: 4214 N Mississippi Ave., 503-841-6316
You want to take your mom here because the benedict's hollandaise is on-point and the kitchen's laser potatoes "of tomorrow, today" are oniony goodness. But you're really taking her here to surprise her with a gift basket. Each one is stuffed with assorted salamis, a Pendleton blanket, and an OP wooden cutting board. The baskets range in price from $185 to $270, depending on how many other salamis, rillettes, and pâtés you want to pack in it, and the priciest one comes with founder Elias Cairo's new cookbook. Hours: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Olympia Provisions: 1632 NW Thurman St., 503-894-8139
If you're making your mother wait in line for brunch, you're doing it wrong. Luck for you, there are spots all over town worth waiting for that for some reason rarely have waits. Oso's one of them, and on Mother's Day, they're cooking up specials like duck breast omelets with herbs and chèvre and chocolate and jalapeño pot de crèmes, and offering complimentary mimosas to every mom who walks through the door.
Oso Market + Bar: 726 SE Grand Ave., 503-232-6400
So technically, Pix isn't doing brunch, but it is doing post-brunch menus comprising pots of tea, glasses of sparkling wine, and snacks like prosciutto-wrapped quail eggs, cheese, macarons, bon bons, ice cream, and more. Tickets are only $36 per person, and if you're a kid, they're $16, and, naturally bubbles-free. Call the shop by mid-afternoon, Friday, May 6, to reserve a seat, with seatings at 2, 3, and 4 p.m.
Pix Pâtisserie: 2225 E Burnside St., 971-271-7166
If you're fixing to treat your mom to something super-fine, reserve a table in the refurbished historic Ladd Carriage House, where she can enjoy herself a Dungeness crab benedict, a morning spritz, and a complimentary postprandial gift. And if she's a food geek, see if you can score seats at the chef's counter.
Raven & Rose: 1331 SW Broadway, 503-222-7673
Celebrated for her "in-authentic Asian" flavors, Johanna Ware's brunch is back, and it's back for one day, so don't miss it. She's preparing dim sum and some TBD dishes, and she's even partnering with Pinball Outreach Project, who'll bring in a pair of machines, which moms (and their kids) can play on for free. Hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Smallwares: 4605 NE Fremont St., 971-229-0995
Want to treat mom to something a little more exclusive? Smith Teamaker's hosting a Mother's Day cake and tea pairing in the tasting room, and there are only two seatings per hour, so expect it to be much chiller than other spots in town. The $25 ticket entitles you to two slices of jasmine-raspberry-and-chocolate-ganache cake, baked by Oh Honey Bakes' Tiffany Howard, and a pot of tea, specifically chosen to be paired with each bite. The first seating is at 10 a.m., the last one is at 5 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here.
Steven Smith Teamaker HQ and Tasting Room: 110 SE Washington St., 503-719-8879
Did you know Tamale Boy does brunch? It does. Treat the moms you know to eggs Benedict and some of the finest Oaxacan tamales north of the border. And do it on Tamale Boy's spacious 100-seat patio. Plus, every mother who comes in will receive a 20 percent discount on every dish she orders.
Tamale Boy: 1764 NE Dekum St., 503-206-8022
If you're stepping correct, you've already made your Mother's Day reservations, and if you're stepping correcter, you've made them at Veritable Quandary, the local favorite that's charmed Portlanders for 40-plus years. And this is your last chance, because as you already know, it will close its doors later this year. If you haven't yet made reservations, the folks who run it say they hope the weather that day is good, which will allow them to seat walk-ins at their incomparable garden patio.
Veritable Quandary: 1220 SW 1st Ave., 503-227-7342
Impress all the moms in your life by treating them to brunch at the newly opened Waiting Room. They'll go just as gaga over the fried oyster breakfast hashes, duck fat omelets, and pork cheek grillades as they will over the spacious patio seating and the handmade seersucker napkins. Plus, on this day, the bar and the kitchen will be sending out complimentary treats, like glasses of sparkling wine and s'mores pudding. Hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Waiting Room: 2327 NW Kearney St., 503-477-4380