Mother’s Day 2021: A celebration for moms and families together at last

A sampling of Spanish pinxtos available at Red Window. PHOTO: Marc Fiorito, Gamma Nine Photography

Last year, Mother’s Day fell near the start of the pandemic, so virtually all celebrations were, well, virtual. Going out for brunch or dinner was impossible.

Now that restaurants are beginning to open up, you can make reservations to dine inside or out with Mom. Some, though may not be quite ready to eat a meal in a restaurant. And while dining outdoors can be fun, San Francisco’s May weather is notoriously unpredictable, and wearing a down puffer while the wind threatens to blow the napkins off the table holds little appeal.

Thankfully, new spots and old favorites offer unique, creative dishes and menu items to-go, so you can order a meal for Mom to celebrate at home or dine out, perhaps with your vaccinated, extended family together for the first time in months. 


For an untraditional Mother’s Day meal, try outdoor dining at Red Window (, a new spot in North Beach conceived by restaurant veterans Elmer Mejicanos and Adam Rosenblum. Red Window draws upon Spain’s traditional tapas and cocktails with a modern twist. Specializing in low-proof craft cocktails, the restaurant welcomes guests to their comfortable, 100-seat outdoor space with a menu that features pinxtos — or snacks — along with drinks using fortified wine and bitters. Sample the house Red Window Cobbler made with a blend of sherry, tangelo cordial, peach, fig, bitters, and black walnut. Mom might like a Coconut Banana Mojito with coconut water, banana, lime, mint, and seltzer; there’s also a full complement of canned and bottled beer, Champagne, and craft sangria.

The menu, created to partner with Red Window’s low-proof cocktails, includes small bites like crispy meatballs, salt-cod fritters, and marinated artichokes with goat cheese ($3–$4). Larger tapas include gambas, or Spanish garlic shrimp ($16), and brothy rice with squid, shrimp, and chorizo ($27). Dessert selections include sweet empanadas ($8).

Original Joe’s (, a North Beach standard, now offers an updated weekend brunch and dinner menu daily on its heated outdoor area, indoors, or to-go. In addition to classic hamburgers, steaks, salads, seafood, and pasta, new menu items include braised short rib with truffle potato puree and roasted root vegetables ($35), and seared day boat scallops with spring vegetable risotto ($33). Brunch specials include a breakfast burrito with eggs, hash browns, ham, sausage, bacon, green onion, and three kinds of cheese ($15), and a Dungeness crab omelet with avocado, jack cheese, sour cream and chives ($22). If Mom prefers a lighter meal, she can order a fresh fruit salad or avocado toast. A vast variety of cocktails are available along with wine and beer.


Another Adam Rosenblum restaurant, Marina favorite Causwells (, is featuring brunch every Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The menu is focused on comfort food with a regional Southern twist and seasonal ingredients sourced from small farms. Rosenblum is excited to offer salsas from Nana Margarita led by Causwells employee Izzel Guerreo.

Causwells’ brunch menu is divided into bites, breakfast, salads, and sandwiches with a dedicated brunch cocktail menu that takes advantage of its new, full liquor license. A breakfast negroni mixes Asian pear with amaro, and gin, and the Marina milk punch is a heady concoction of dark rum, bourbon, almond milk, walnut bitters, and vanilla (both $13). 

Bites, which are priced by the piece, include a Virginia ham buttermilk biscuit slider with Creole aioli and avocado “toastletts” (both $3). Breakfast dishes include a cornbread waffle with fried chicken and chili honey ($18), breakfast jambalaya with rice, Cajun stock, and chicken sausage served with a sunny-side-up egg ($18); and chilaquilles served with Nana Margarita’s pasilla salsa, tortilla chips, sour cream, cotija cheese, red onion, and cilantro ($13). A shrimp po’boy sandwich with crispy fried shrimp, spicy remoulade, lettuce and pickled green tomato ($17), and a brunch burger with American cheese, bacon, aioli, and fried egg ($18) are other brunch highlights. Causwells is also serving its full dinner offerings, including a children’s menu.


For a luxury home dining experience that’s sure to wow the mom in your life, check out Feastin’ (, a new meal delivery platform designed by restaurateurs to support local restaurants, farmers, and purveyors to elevate the dining experience. For Mother’s Day, decadent brunch options include stuffed French toast from San Francisco bakery Flour & Branch; a brunch feast for two from Daughter’s Diner in Oakland featuring classic brunch dishes and a bottle of champagne and orange juice for DIY mimosas, and dim sum from Palette Tea House in North Beach that includes an entire Iberico BBQ pork meal ($68). Feastin’ also offers meal kits and groceries; visit the website for menus and prices.

Finally, an online cooking class where you and your family prepare a special meal at home might be the perfect way to give Mom a break without going out. Both CozyMeal ( and Classpop ( offer a wealth of live, virtual cooking classes where you can learn how to make everything from sushi and tacos to chocolate truffles and soufflés. Cooking together is also a wonderful way for mothers and kids to bond in the kitchen.

However you choose to celebrate Mother’s Day this year, be grateful that families can once more gather together, at least in small groups, to enjoy the day in person. 

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