The Territory Guide to Mother's Day

Mother’s Day is a great excuse to pamper the special ladies in your life and to do something together that you all enjoy. Territory considered how we want to spend this Mother’s Day, and came up with a list of the best brunches in Tucson this Sunday—as well as a few affordable ways to show Mom how much you care. Whether you spend the day with your mother, grandmother, or the mother of your children, here are plenty of ways to make the day one she’ll remember.


Photograph by Sydney Ballesteros. 

Photograph by Sydney Ballesteros. 

Arizona Inn

Brunch in the grand main dining room of the beautiful and historic Arizona Inn will surely show Mom you care. Traditional and mouth-watering main courses include Filet Mignon Oscar, vegetarian paella and pork tenderloin benedict, the chef’s favorite. To up the celebration, Champagne is included with the three-course menu. It’s safe to say you’ll all depart feeling festive!

11:30 am – 2 pm. Three-course menu with Champagne or sparkling cider $65, under 12 $35. Reservations required:

Photograph by  Gabriel Flores . 

Photograph by Gabriel Flores

Agustín Kitchen

Show your mother she instilled good taste in you by bringing her to Agustín Kitchen, located in the vibrant courtyard of Mercado San Agustín. It will be difficult to select a main dish from the special four-course menu, which features calamondin lime-glazed game hen, surf and turf with tenderloin medallion and poached shrimp and scallops, or polenta carbonara with house lardons, Piave cream, sous-vide egg and frisée (pictured).

10 am – 3 pm. Four-course menu $50, 12 and under $15, mimosas $7. Reservations for parties of five or more: 520.398.5382.

Photograph by  Gabriel Flores . 

Photograph by Gabriel Flores

The Coronet

If the mom in your life prefers brunch to be a little adventurous, take her to The Coronet. Tucked away near the Fourth Avenue underpass at the first floor of the historic Coronado Hotel building, The Coronet oozes Old World charm. Try the crabcakes florentine, a decadent spin on eggs benedict, or shakshuka, a baked egg in a spicy Middle Eastern tomato sauce. Top it all off with a handmade pastry and Mom will feel transported to a French sidewalk cafe.

9 am – 2 pm. Entrées $9.5 – $14, mimosas $8. Reservations required: 520.222.9889.

Dim Sum + Then Some at The Carriage House

Take Mom on a true culinary adventure at Dim Sum + Then Some, Chef Janos Wilder’s newest venture at The Carriage House in downtown Tucson. Inspired by traditional Hong Kong tea houses but invigorated by Chef Wilder’s imagination, it will be a brunch to remember as you choose among dumplings, pork buns, and other Cantonese dishes with both global and Tucson-specific influences.

10 am – 2 pm. À la Carte menu $5 – $15. Reservations required:

Photograph by author    

Photograph by author



Tohono Chul Garden Bistro

Treat Mom to an extensive buffet that reflects the beauty of the surrounding gardens at the Tohono Chul Garden Bistro. Eggs to order, agave glazed ham, honey lavender brined chicken, and bloody mary ceviche are among their offerings, along with an impressive dessert spread and prickly pear lemonade. Afterwards, let Mom indulge her love of nature with a stroll through the gardens at Tohono Chul Park. 

9:30 am – 2 pm. Buffet $44.95, 10 and under $13.95. Reservations recommended: 520.333.9209.




If your mom loves the great outdoors, take her on a hike this Mother’s Day. While it’s getting a little hot here in the Tucson Basin, conditions are perfect in the mountains, and there are a lot of birds to see. We suggest the lush and shaded Ramsey Canyon Preserve in the Huachucas (about one and a half hours away; parking $6), if time permits the drive. You’ll be surrounded by hummingbirds and possibly spot rare birds like the tufted flycatcher. Pack a picnic lunch of baguette, cheese and fruit, and don’t forget the binoculars!



Give your mom the spa treatment at home. Soak her feet, paint her nails, and give her a facial using your favorite mask—we love this one from the Tucson Herb Store. Send her on her way with homemade rose mister; it’s perfectly refreshing and nourishing for summer. Here’s the recipe courtesy of my own amazing mother: fill a four ounce spray bottle (you can buy those at the Tucson Herb Store, too) ¾ full with high-quality purified water, add one teaspoon of witch hazel, one teaspoon of almond oil or fractionated coconut oil (optional), and 10 - 20 drops of rose oil (smell as you go) for a heavenly scent and skin nourishment, then shake well. Yes, it’s that easy and your mom will adore it!



Do Mom a favor that’s fun for everyone: bring her shopping for plants at a local nursery. We are head over heels for Plants for the Southwest and Green Things—stop by, then help her plant the new additions at home. Maybe she needs some fresh herbs or a potted cactus garden?



Take in some culture with Mom at a local museum. The Tucson Museum of Art (open 12 pm - 5 pm, $12 with discounts for children, students, and seniors) has a variety of curated exhibits up now. Of note is Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads by famed Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei, an installation that is sure to provoke conversation.



Veg out together over a classic movie. If your mom has a slightly twisted sense of humor, take her to see Mommie Dearest, the camp classic biopic about Joan Crawford’s terrifying mothering, at The Loft Cinema (7:30 pm, $9.50 with discounts for children, students, and seniors). If you’d prefer something more conventionally heartwarming, screen a favorite at home, such as Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (which was filmed in Tucson!).


This post originally appeared on Territory Magazine.