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Last Minute Mother’s Day Restaurant Ideas (Orange County)

Last Minute Mother’s Day Restaurant Ideas (Orange County)

Grumpy Cat


I am lucky to have great women in my life including Mother, Mother in law, and two grandmothers. Let's not forget my beautiful Wife

I am lucky to have great women in my life including Mother, Mother in law, and two grandmothers. Let’s not forget my beautiful Wife

So you forgot to make Mother’s Day brunch reservations right? This blog post is here to help you dig yourself out of your predicament. Mother’s Day is the busiest day of the year in the restaurant industry and reservations can book up weeks in advance.

Without a plan, you can be waiting two hours for a table or end up at a crowded Denny’s. Here is my advice: Don’t wait until Saturday to make reservations. Many restaurants are booking up.  If you want something really nice, it is the time to act.


The following high-end restaurants still have reservations for Mother’s Day as of right now:

Scott’s Seafood & Bar

  • Scotts Seafood Mother's DayThree-course Prix Fixe brunch with choices and enjoy bottomless Champagne. Brunch cocktails and kids menu are also available.
  • 10am-3pm – Mother’s Day Brunch & Bottomless Champagne, Dinner at 5 PM
  • $40 per person, $15 for children, exclusive of tax and gratuity
  • To view Mother’s Day menu, go to: http://www.scottsrestaurantandbar.com/MothesDay.pdf
  • Reservations: 714-979-2400

Leatherby’s Cafe Rouge

The Ranch

  • The Ranch Mother's DayThis is currently my favorite restaurant in Orange County! I am not surprised Brunch is on a waiting list.
  • Reservations are running out fast for dinner, Brunch is on a waiting list
  • Dinner: standard menu
  • Reservations: 714-817-4200
  • www.theranch.com

Pinot Provence

Sol Cocina

Savannah Chop House

Brasserie Pascal

  • No one can bring you a classic French inspired Mother’s day brunch like Chef Pascal Olhats.
  • All reservations as full, although they are accepting walk-ins
  • 10:30-3pm
  • Three-Course Prix Fixe Menu with choices and includes “Endles Bubbles”
  • 34.95/pp

Morton’s The Steakhouse

  • Morton's Mother's DayThree-course prix fixe menu
  • For Mother’s Day menu
  • $59 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity
  • 3pm-10pm
  • Reservations: 714-444-4834



Consider “Untraditional” Mother’s Day Restaurants that take walk-ins


Moldoons Irish Pub

  • Moldoon's Mother's Day Brunch:  start at 10:00 -2:00 . Be sure to show up early for this one, there will be other walk-ins just like you. On the menu is traditional Irish breakfaste fare includingGalway Eggs Benedict with Scottish Smoked Salmon, Corned Beef Hash with Muldoon’s Signature Homemade Corned Beef.
  • Dinner: Standard menu will be featured.
  • http://www.muldoonspub.com/

Royal Khyber Fine Indian Cuisine

Royal Khyber is providing an Indian Buffet Style Brunch with a very generous selection of fine Indian Cuisine. This restaurant is delicious and just enough different and out of the way to avoid large crowds.

  • Brunch – $21.95/pp $13.95 for children under 10
  • Champagne, add $5.25 per person and Mimosas are $6.25 per person.
  • Reservations 714-436-1010, although walk-ins welcome
  • 1621 W Sunflower Ave
    Santa Ana (Costa Mes) Reservations: 714-436-1010
  • http://www.royalkhyber.com/home.html

Yama Sushi On the Lake

  • Yama Sushi Mother's DayOne of my favorite Sushi Restaurants, which has a beautiful Patio overlooking Lake Mission Viejo
  • Special Mother’s Day Lunch Menu
  • 27782 Vista Del Lago C-22, Mission Viejo, CA 92692
  • Phone:(949) 716-9262
  • Opens at 11am
  • www.yamasushionthelake.com

BBQ isn’t Just for Father’s Day

BBQ and Western themed restaurants are known for getting slammed on Father’s Day, although often overlooked for Mother’s Day. I know many of you have Mama’s that love to eat meat. Here are a couple suggestions for great BBQ restaurants that can handle a large crowd:

Wood Ranch BBQ

Well known for their great smoked meat like their ribs, bbq chicken, and pulled pork.

  • WoodRanch Mother's DayThey do not accept reservations so there will be plenty of tables available for first come first serve.
  • They will be serving their standard menu on Mother’s day
  • Opens at 11:00am
  • Call your local Wood Ranch BBQ for more info by going to their website (Irvine, Rancho Santa Margarita, Anaheim  Hills, Cerritos, Corona)
  • http://www.woodranch.com/restaurants/

Lone Star Steakhouse

Lone Star Steakhouse does a really nice job with their steaks and are very experienced with serving large crowds.

If your Mama is a Foodie Hipster

Haven Gastropub

  • haven gastropub Mother's DayBreakfast is being offered, starting at 9am-1pm
  • Walk-ins are welcome
  • Link to their breakfast menu. What looked good to me was their citrus salmon, house made chorizo and cinnamon rolls



Connected to the Five Crowns in Corona Del Mar, this gastropub is only taking walk-ins. They may some really amazing food and have great cocktails.


Something Very Different – Coffee and Wine


Pdm Café

CDM CafeSo your Mother is low key, then take her for fancy coffee and fresh pastries then consider a place like  Pdm Café, which offers fancy coffee and fresh pastries. The café will not be slammed like the restaurants, so you will be able to relax for great conversation in a welcoming environment. PdM Café has been a favorite in Orange County for crustless quiche with goat cheese, zucchini and leeks, Santa Fe scramble, or a French Omelette.

  • Hours: Different for each location, so here is the breakdown
    • Fashion Island opens at 7 a.m. and serves breakfast until 3 p.m
    • Corona del Mar is open 7 a.m. until 3 p.m
    • Dana Point is open 7 a.m. until 5 p.m.
    • Bristol location in NB is closed


A Hidden Vine

Hidden Vine Wine MachineA Hidden Vine on the Lake in Mission Viejo has a great view and more than 250 bottles from which to choose. Using Napa Technology wine stations, there are 12 bottles chilled at the perfect temperature and ready for tasting at any time.  Either select a bottle for enjoying in the tasting room or on the patio, or put a designated amount of cash on a pre-paid card to use at the wine stations. The various ounces are priced depending on the bottle.

  • Hours: 12 to 6 p.m.
  • 27772 Vista Del Lago, Suite B-15, in Mission Viejo (next door to Yama Sushi).
  • For more information, call (949) 916-4810.
  • http://www.ahiddenvine.com/


Good luck on finding the perfect Mother’s Day Restaurant for  your Mother, Wife or Grandmother. I know she will appreciate your effort and planning.  For other Mother’s Day Ideas also check out recommendations for restaurants and gift from Dani’s Decadent Dealshttp://danisdecadentdeals.com/2013/05/09/mothers-day-deals-many-ways-to-spoil-mom-in-orange-county-national-deals-as-well/

About Tom Holmberg

Tom grew up in a cultural diverse neighborhood and a culturally diverse family, so he has learned to appreciate all types of food. "I am not a Chef, nor do I play one on T.V., but I have learned to appreciate food from years of eating and cooking." Tom also spent 10 years in the restaurant industry in various roles, from Prep Cook to server.


  1. Noting your mother-in-law is not pictured!

    • Dear eMom,
      In the world of tight publication deadlines, you use whatever pictures you can find within 30 minutes. Although you can see that you were mentioned in the caption :). Although what really matters is that we had a great time on Mother’s day.

  2. Hi,

    We are hosting a Mothers Day Brunch at the Nixon Library and wondering how we get added to the list of options?

    Thank you,

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