Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and there’s no better way to show her how much you care than treating her to a meal with the family.
We chatted to three of the city’s best restaurants to find out what Mother’s Day means to them and how they’ll be celebrating with their customers.
Whether you’re doing the spoiling or being indulged by your kids, these three Toronto favourites are sure to make memories that last long after Sunday, May 13.
Pho King Fabulous
Kevin Hoang, Owner
2411 Yonge Street, 647-352-5288
What’s your favourite thing about your neighbourhood? Yonge and Eglinton is one of the best neighborhoods to live and to work in Toronto. You can find everything you need within walking distance; great restaurants, shopping, and entertainment. The one thing I like most about this neighborhood is that it is very lively and uplifting, even during the cold winter months.
Did your mother teach you to cook? When I was young, I used to stayed home with my mother helping her cook, while my older brothers and sisters went to school or work. My mother taught me how to cut vegetables, cook rice and soup. She passed away years ago but my memories of those days were still very vivid.
What’s the key to running a successful business? Pho King Fabulous has become known as one of the best pho places. We were awarded Top 100 Best Restaurants, as well as Top 10 vegan non-vegan restaurants in Toronto. Our secret weapon: we continually strive to keep customers happy by maintaining a high quality of food and providing fast and friendly service.
Do you have any famous or interesting customers? Pooja Handa visited us last year and told us she really loved our Vegetable Noodle Soup. We have very good vegetarian dishes on our menu and, for that reason, we were selected as one of The top 10 vegan non-vegan restaurants in Toronto by BlogTO.
Camarra’s Pizzeria & Restataurant
Elisa Camarra Valentini, Owner
2899 Dufferin Street, 416-789-3221
What’s the greatest business advice your mom ever gave you? The greatest and most enduring advice my mother Domenica constantly reiterated was “work honestly and work to bring your best to your customers every day.” This was the family business’ bedrock principle from my early childhood days when my parents operated our family business in our hometown of Popoli, in Abruzzo.
Have you ever worked with your mother? My mother Domenica and I worked shoulder to shoulder for many years, first in Italy, where I learned much of the fundamentals of our business as a well as generational recipes she and my grandmother Agata cooked daily. These are the recipes we use today. We also worked together to build our business here in Toronto from 1958 to 1970.
Do you have any Mother’s Day traditions? Our Mother’s Day is spent in service as we work to make Mother’s Day at Camarra’s special for all our customers. My girls take me out for a special brunch the following Sunday or sometimes we go for High Tea on the afternoon before. Either way, Mother’s Day is always very special to me.
What’s the key to running a successful business? It’s been my experience that longevity in business is really a function of tenacity, courage and commitment. You must be tenacious in your effort to be you, to not let others dictate what you do and who you are as a businessperson; you must be courageous in your pursuit of excellence; and you must have total commitment to your customers.
What makes your business unlike any other? Camarra’s celebrates its 60th Anniversary in business here in Toronto…and its 85th anniversary as a brand (it operated for 25 years in Italy before coming to Canada). We owe this incredible milestone to our amazing customers! We are humbled by their appreciation and their loyalty. We are committed to them as they are to us. Cheers to them all!
What Mother’s Day specials do you have?Every Mother’s Day, we prepare a number of special menu items which we offer alongside our regular menu. We also have a special floral gift for all the moms.
Julien Salomone, Co-owner and mixologist
36 Wellington Street East, 647-705-0006
What Mother’s Day specials do you have? We offer $5 mimosas and $5 caesars for our Mother’s Day. Brunch until 3pm, and for dinner we will be offering 1/2 price bottles of wine.
Where are you taking your mom this Mother’s Day? My mom is still back home in France. We visit every summer and we always make sure to go out for a nice dinner to celebrate all the holidays missed!
What’s the key to running a successful business? You need to be a good problem solver. Every day there’s a new problem or issue that will arise, so always be looking for the solution.
Have you noticed any changes to the neighbourhood since you opened? This neighborhood continues to flourish and change. We love being just steps to both St Lawrence market and the financial district, and that fabulous new dog fountain across the street in Berczy Park has brought lots of new people to the hood!
How long have you been in business? I have been in this business over 20 years. I started back home in the South of France, working in 5 star hotels in Cannes and other cities along the riviera. We opened East Thirty-Six in 2014, and it’s been a great 4 years!