Welcome to Asheville, where you can celebrate Mother’s Day by brunching with drag queens, shopping for native plants or handcrafting a flourless chocolate framboise cake. For those unsure of the best way to show appreciation for mom on this festive day, we’ve rounded up a collection of some of the most unique (and delicious) activities Asheville has to offer. (All events take place on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 12, unless otherwise noted.)
Buffets and more
There are endless iterations of gourmet meals to enjoy around town on Mother’s Day, but a few venues are really stepping up their brunch game. Hickory Nut Gap Farm’s Mother’s Day brunch buffet, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., will reel you in with a selection of carved meat, breakfast dishes, mimosas and charcuterie, and keep you there for the idyllic farm scenery and baby animals. Tickets are $25 per adult, $6 per kid, and can be purchased online in advance (hickorynutgap.com).
Other hot brunch buffet destinations include: in South Asheville, Roux and its locally sourced spread of prime rib, shrimp and grits, and bananas Foster French toast (828-209-2715); in Flat Rock, Highland Lake Inn & Resort‘s grand array of seasonal dishes and lavish desserts (avl.mx/5yy); and, in Asheville, the endless spread of soups, salads, desserts and breakfast fare at Omni Grove Park Inn’s Blue Ridge Dining Room (828-252-2711).
Or skip the buffet and do a full three-course brunch at Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails, the restaurant at the historic Monte Vista Boutique Hotel in Black Mountain. The menu starts with green salad or gazpacho, offers a choice of entrées including poached salmon Nicoise, herb and dijon gnocchi, smoked pork tenderloin or grilled bistro filet, and finishes with fruit tart or beignets for dessert (miltonsblackmountain.com). Or at White Labs Kitchen & Tap in Asheville, you can brunch and sip on fermented and beer-infused creations while participating in a silent auction to support breast cancer awareness and research. White Labs will donate all auction proceeds and 18% of the profits from food sales that day to its nonprofit, Beer for Boobs (avl.mx/5yz).
For all the vegan (or hoppy) mamas, Hendersonville’s Sanctuary Brewing Co. will host the Burritos, Buns and Brews Brunch, pairing vegan delicacies with house-made specialty brews (avl.mx/5z0). Another fun option for foodies is Asheville Mountain Kitchen‘s Chocolate Making with Mom class, where mom can learn truffle-making and candy-making techniques, then bake and decorate the aforementioned framboise cake among other chocolatey creations (avl.mx/5z1).
Drag ya mama here
At 12:30 p.m., The Grey Eagle will host its inaugural Drag Ya Mamma to Brunch fundraiser. Along with a full-service bar and bountiful brunch, this family-friendly, hourlong show, hosted by Asheville’s Bearded Lady: Divine (Divine Holeburn), will feature performances by professional drag queens. All money raised from the event will go to Youth OUTright, the only youth advocacy and leadership nonprofit organization in the region solely dedicated to empowering LGBTQIA+ youth ages 11-20. Tickets are $20 (ashevilledragbrunch.com).
Booze, food and tunes make for another sweet Mother’s Day combination. Check out UpCountry Brewing’s free Mama Tried: Mother’s Day Music show 3-7 p.m., featuring three local, country music-making mamas: Trisha Tripp, Anya Hinkle and Julia Sanders (avl.mx/5z2). Also on Sunday is a brunch with local Americana folk duo Brooke & Nick at Smoky Park Supper Club, starting at 11 a.m. and running through the afternoon (avl.mx/5z3). Looking for something on the jazzier side? Consider a Mother’s Day brunch in Hendersonville at Cask and Wine on Main with the melodic jazz duo Hester & Franklin, who will play 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (avl.mx/5z4).
Down to earth
Looking for something a little more zen? At 1 and 4 p.m., Jessie Dean of Asheville Tea Co. will host an educational Mother’s Day tea at Ivory Road Café & Kitchen in Arden. In addition to offering a proper afternoon tea, she will provide a tasting of her locally sourced and blended teas along with a discussion about the blends, the ingredients, the health benefits of each tea and more (ivoryroadavl.com).
Or you could head out to the Biltmore Estate‘s Brunch at the Inn, an annual Mother’s Day meal prepared with fresh seasonal ingredients. Afterward, take a stroll through the estate’s dazzling springtime blooms, famous for a spectacular showing of tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. Want to take it a step further and bring some plants home? Spiral Roots Sanctuary will host a plant sale in Marshall outside Of Wand & Earth 10 a.m.-6 p.m., featuring a wide array of native and medicinal plants such as lemon balm, ginseng, pawpaw and elderberry. Tomato and pepper starts will also be available.