Did you know that when you treat mom to brunch on Mother’s Day, you’re actually celebrating a major milestone in the women’s movement?

According to history books, it’s West Virginia’s Anna Jarvis we have to thank for Mother’s Day. Working tirelessly at the turn of the century, Jarvis petitioned every U.S. state governor and national celebrity (including Theodore Roosevelt and Mark Twain) to establish a designated holiday in honour of mothers.
In 1914, she got her wish when President Woodrow Wilson assigned the second Sunday in May as a national celebration of mom.

But why do we treat mom to brunch on her special day? How did we jump from simple domestic celebrations of the 1920s to eggs Benny, mushroom frittatas and two (maybe three) mimosas before noon?

It turns out that gender played an important role in the development of brunch as a social institution, according to Farha Ternikar, author of Brunch: A History. Back in the late 1800s, a woman wasn’t permitted to dine alone in a restaurant unaccompanied by a man. But by the turn of the century all that changed when suffragettes, after a hard-fought battle, won the right to dine in public…at least during daytime hours. Over the years, brunch evolved into a symbol for women’s freedoms and victories.

From 1930-1950, Sunday brunch exploded in popularity. In those days, brunch was marketed as a way to “give mom a break.” Since it combined two meals in one, it was sold as a meal that saved both time and money. Plus, eggs are hard to mess up, making it the perfect meal for the novice cook. Then, during the ’60s and ’70s, brunch became the working woman’s weekend respite — a way to gather with friends at a restaurant.

How we feel about brunch hasn’t changed much since the early days. As Guy Beringer wrote in Hunter’s Weekly in 1895 (in what is now regarded as the first mention of the word brunch): “Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting. It is talk-compelling. It puts you in good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow human beings, it sweeps away the worries and the cobwebs of the week.”

We have to agree.


Planning to spoil the mom in your life with breakfast in bed? Consider adding these local treats to the tray.

Black Sheep Patisserie

You can’t go wrong with almond croissants, pain au chocolate, or kouign-amann. Choose from a selection of Parisian pastries made by a classically-trained French pastry chef at Black Sheep.

Black Sheep Patisserie | black-sheep.ca

black sheep bakery

Proof Cocktail Bar

Gift mom with a Mother’s Day cocktail kit from Proof. This year’s kit is for a hibiscus lemon rose cordial and includes Ketel One vodka, Peychaud’s bitters and St. Germain elderflower liqueur.

Proof Cocktail Bar | proofyyc.com


Bro’kin Yolk

While (at press time) Bro’kin Yolk locations are open for both dine-in and take-out, you can also order pre-packaged grocery items like their famous
Belgian waffles with salted caramel or white chocolate lavender sauce.

Bro’kin Yolk | brokinyolk.ca

Going Nuts

If mom’s more of an oats, nuts and seeds kind of person, consider a Going Nuts Mother’s Day brunch box filled with Honey Sunrise granola, maple fudge walnuts and other healthy treats. Order online or at the Calgary Farmers’ Market.

Going Nuts | Calgary Farmers’ Market | goingnuts.ca

going nuts

Yann Haute Patisserie

From that cute little yellow house with the purple door in Mission, choose from The Snuggle, The Hug or the Group Hug – pre-packaged selections of frozen treats such as butter croissants and demi-baguettes.

Yann Haute Patisserie | yannboutique.com


Looking for someone else to do the work? Here are a few dine-in and takeout options that have us drooling.

Namo Café & Bistro

In addition to classic options like eggs Benedict and French toast, Namo offers “lunchy-brunchy” options like shawarma bowls, a duck confit Monte Cristo or their gouda B.E.L.T sandwich.

Namo Café | namonaturals.com

namo cafe

Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant

No list would be complete without the traditional eggs Benny and mimosas at Bow Valley Ranche. Open for Mother’s Day brunch and afternoon tea. Book your spot early!

Bow Valley Ranche | bvrrestaurant.com

Alforno Café & Bakery

Open for dine-in and take-out services with special Mother’s Day features. Grab some food and combine it with a walk along the Bow River.

Al Forno | alforno.ca

Monki Breakfast Club & Bistro

Since 2012, Monki Bistro has been delivering twists on traditional breakfasts serving up an eclectic vibe in the Beltline and Inglewood neighbourhoods. Available for dine-in and take-out options.

Monki Bistro | monkibistro.ca

Brekkie Café

Try their Mother’s Day feature: orange marmalade and white chocolate custard French toast with shortbread crumble, whipped cream, candied orange and fresh berries. Dine-in and take-out options.

Brekkie | brekkie.ca

brekkie cafe

Vendome Café

Choose from breakfast poutines, French omelettes and a long list of eggs Benedicts. Walk-ins only, but available for pick-up and delivery.

Vendome | vendomecafe.com


Donna Mac

Named after a grandmother of a former owner, Donna Mac is all about honouring the ladies in our lives. Here you’ll get fresh flowers, mimosas and an amazing line-up of brunch offerings. Mother’s Day Brunch available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Donna Mac | donnamacyyc.ca