The Best Places in Melbourne to Take Your Mum this Mother's Day (Or Any Day)
From luxuriously long lunches to boozy brunches, and everything in between.
You love your mum, and if you're looking for ways to spoil the leading lady in your life, we're here to help. Because let's face it — your favourite underground bar is a bit too dingy. Your go-to ramen joint is a bit of a lazy pick for the woman who gave you, you know, life.
This is your chance to deliver something momentous. Something memorable — and earn some serious brownie points on the side.
From luxuriously long lunches to boozy brunches and everything in between, we've rounded up the best places for Mother's Day in Melbourne, and for every weekend after it.
FOR VIEWS OF THE SEA: STOKEHOUSE
You will have to book in advance for this one. Trust us, a call to the restaurant the day of is not going to cut it. After opening after a huge rebuild in December 2016, the new Stokehouse, designed by architect Robert Simeoni, has been pretty much booked out since. It's not surprising, though — the restaurant has direct views over St Kilda beach, a 12.5-metre oval bar and a fine dining menu of seafood and Modern Aussie classics. On both May 8 and May 9, the restaurant is offering a three-course Mother's Day lunch, which includes a shared seafood platter to start, and finishes with some crafty desserts by Stokehouse's newly-appointed Group Pastry Chef, Ash Smith. Mum will even score a gift of house-made bon-bons to enjoy later. Lunch is $145 per person and you need to call Stokehouse on 03 9525 5555 to make a booking.
FOR A FANCY BRUNCH: CUMULUS INC.
Mother's Day is a perfect excuse to drink Champagne with brunch, and where better to celebrate than Melbourne institution Cumulus Inc. Its Mother's Day breakfast is very well-priced, coming in at $55 per person for a whole selection of dishes matched with barista-made coffee and tea. Expect highlights like toasted tahini granola topped with rhubarb, house-made crumpets with whipped ricotta and honey, and smoked ocean trout on buckwheat waffles. Bookings are available from 8am, though if Mum's not an early riser, there's also a $85 Mother's Day lunch that kicks off at noon.
FOR A LAIDBACK LONG LUNCH: HOLMES HALL
Moonee Ponds' sprawling new venue Holmes Hall is getting into the Mother's Day spirit, with a four-course lunch that won't chip away at too much of your savings. Settled in amongst the lush indoor greenery, you and Mum will enjoy feasting your way through the likes of oysters, ricotta-stuffed zucchini flowers and house-made pumpkin gnocchi finished with a sage burnt butter sauce, each dish matched to a different wine or signature sip. It all kicks off at 12pm, clocking in at $75 per person.
FOR A WINERY VISIT: HOGGET KITCHEN
If you've got a car and your mum loves wine, then Hogget makes for a very nice day trip. A self-proclaimed "destination restaurant", it's an easy drive down the M1 to Warragul — and the undulating hills that accompany it make it a pleasurable one. The modern Australian restaurant sits among vineyards and the tables lookout to the Strzelecki Hills, a stunning sector of the Great Dividing Range (particularly with a glass of wine in hand). This year, the kitchen's serving a $70 four-course shared Mother's Day lunch, with sittings from 11.30am.
FOR CHEESE-LOVING MUMS: MILK THE COW
Make a gouda decision this Mother's Day and book a table at one of Milk The Cow's fromageries, either in Carlton or St Kilda. Boasting an impressive selection of over 180 artisan cheeses, this place is an institution for Melbourne cheese lovers. Here, you have plenty of options: perhaps a curated wine and cheese flight ($26/45 per person), a gin-matched cheese flight ($24/40 per person), or a four-cheese cheeseboard to share ($37). And if you can't make it to the bar, you can always organise to send Mum an indulgent cheese hamper instead.
FOR A LOW-KEY CBD BREKKIE: HARDWARE SOCIÉTÉ
If you're looking for somewhere that's both good and open on a Sunday in the CBD (and Mum-worthy, of course), check out Hardware Société's Katherine Place digs. The upsized kitchen space allows for an expanded food offering, with an all-day brunch menu on offer from 8am daily. Hardware Société's signature innovative flair shines through a suite of certain hits, from lobster benedict teamed with citrus hollandaise on a brioche bun, to seared tuna millefeuille with scallop ceviche, yuzu aioli and poached eggs. Old favourites like the chorizo baked eggs have stuck around for good reason, alongside classic French dishes like confit duck and a croque madame. It's all matched with Padre specialty coffee — or you can dial up the decadence with a beer, tap wine or brunch cocktail.
FOR A FUN TWIST ON BRUNCH: TOKYO TINA
If you're keen to shake up your usual Mother's Day brunch situation with some added theatre and a little friendly competition, try this special edition of Tokyo Tina's Bingo Academy. For $69 per person, you and your fam will play a few lively rounds of bingo, hosted by drag superstar Valerie Hex, while feasting on Japanese-inspired brunch plates and sipping two hours of bottomless beers, bubbly and spritz. Dishes include the likes of miso-baked cauliflower, okonomiyaki and wagyu beef tataki.
FOR A DAY OUT OF THE CITY: INNOCENT BYSTANDER
Pack mum in the car and whisk her out to the Yarra Valley this Mother's Day — Innocent Bystander's buzzing cellar door, wine bar and restaurant is sure to get her tick of approval. The doors open for lunch at noon, when you can settle in over grazing boards, artisan pizzas, and classic paella filled with chicken, pork and seafood. Of course, the house wines are a primo match to any feed here — mum can even add a tasting flight of three varietals for $12. Otherwise, there are local spirits and a handful of classic cocktails to round out your meal.
FOR A VIKING-THEMED DINNER: MJOLNER
Does your mum identify with Vikings' Lagertha? Does she like to sip her cocktails from gilded cow horns? Does she just appreciate a good cut of meat? If you answered yes to any of these, this spot's for her. Sydney's beloved carvery and bar opened in Melbourne in 2018 — and it sure hasn't disappointed. A meal here might feature the likes of salmon gravlax with horseradish cream, roasted bone marrow, hefty serves of short rib, and charred broccolini teamed with a red pepper and almond sauce (all eaten with your choice of dagger, naturally). Serving sizes are large, so we recommend rounding up the whole fam for this one.
FOR GOOD WINE: HEMINGWAY'S WINE ROOM
Take your ma on a trip back in time to East Melbourne's new vintage-inspired wine bar and brasserie, which nods to the classic 20s-era haunts of New York and Paris. Old-world interiors, a cracking wine selection and a chic Euro-accented food offering make this a great spot for any Mother's Day celebrations. On May 9, the venue's hosting two sittings (10.30am and 1pm) for its dedicated Mother's Day brunch feast, which comes in at $79 for three stunning courses — think, lobster scrambled eggs, chicken vol au vent and a glass of champagne for mum, of course. We just suggest you book a table ASAP.
Top image: Hogget Kitchen, by Tim Grey.
Published on April 28, 2021 by Libby Curran