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For 2
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Time
7:00 PM
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Booked 1 time today

Mother in Law House

4.6
234 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Top Tags:
  • Quiet Conversation
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
Fine Dining in a Casual atmosphere with friendly service. Enjoy your meal in our Victorian dining room or our river-view patio. The entrées at the Mother-in-Law House are prepared to order and made from the best ingredients. The owner, Donna Hafer, has been pleasing guest here since 1981.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
American, French, Comfort Food
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Hours of operation


Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 11:00am - 2:30pm;
Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 9:00pm
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Phone number
(636) 946-9444
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Private party facilities
Our banquet room seats up to 80 people and is available for all manner of events.
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Private party contact
Donna: (636) 946-9444
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Tompkins
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Parking details
Some street parking is available at the front of the restaurant, with a large public lot in the rear.
Additional
Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Outdoor dining, Outdoor Smoking Area, Private Room, View, Wine
What 234 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.8
service
4.5
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Quiet
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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2.0Dined on April 1, 2018

I really really wanted to love this place considering it’s kind of a landmark in Old St Charles but it just wasn’t good. Back in 1986 I worked there as a waitress that summer. The place was always packed and the food was excellent in those days. However, a lot has changed and at the same time nothing has changed. What has really changed is the quality of the food, it just wasn’t good. The best I can say is it was edible. I had half a roast beef sandwich, onion soup, French fries and a trip to the salad bar. Sounds like a lot I know but take into consideration I didn’t finish anything! The salad bar was all these 1970s salads...cucumber-tomato, macaroni, pea, Waldorf, jello, that pink fluffy stuff, fruit, canned beets...and a little bit of lettuce (from a bag) and 3 choices of salad dressing. The celery seed that was always good was totally watery and then there was one that looked and tasted like pure mayonnaise. My soup was ok but I’m quite certain it was not house made, the roast beef sandwich was terribly dry that the only way I could eat it was by dipping it in my soup. There was also supposed to be cheese on my sandwich but I never found it. The fries were good but obviously bought. My husband got the apricot pork special which was equally as dry as my roast beef and he didn’t have soup to dip it in. The peach cobbler would have had a good taste if it wasn’t complete mush.
I’m positive the restaurant has not been updated in 30+ years and the menu hasn’t changed, they still have chicken cordon blue. Because the decor and everything is so old it comes off dirty.
The service was good, although it took several trips before the waiter cleared our dirty salad plates. Donna is still there and I find her very sweet and charming. She was serving blueberry muffins which were by far the best thing on the menu. There was also some rather large gentleman that was sitting at a desk by the bar that couldn’t be bothered to stand up and greet! Disappointing

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5.0Dined on April 1, 2018

We enjoyed our Easter afternoon meal and appreciated the excellent service and personal touches. The chicken cordon bleu was amazing and my dad especially enjoyed the old fashioned liver and onions. Very charming!

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4.0Dined on April 1, 2018

Quaint and old-fashioned, with a touch of class. Entrees include the buffet of salads. Pleasant and unique. Like visiting your fancy great-aunt who enjoys entertaining on her nice china.

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4.0Dined on March 31, 2018

Nice evening with friends

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5.0Dined on March 24, 2018

The service and food were both excellent!

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4.0Dined on February 25, 2018

Quiet quaint place to eat

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5.0Dined on February 14, 2018

Very comfortable nice setting and good service. Never felt rushed or uneasy.

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5.0Dined on February 3, 2018

I brought my future Daughter in Law to the Mother's in law House to celebrate her engagement. I presented her with a Waterford Ring Holder as my traditional engagement gift. I have made this a tradition for fun and for us to enjoy a nice lunch and conversation. This time another daughter in law joined us and we found the food very good and the peach cobbler was delicious. Service was friendly, and it was quiet so we could enjoy our time together. The next time I return will be just for a regular enjoyable meal.

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5.0Dined on January 2, 2018

EXCELLENT food. WONDERFUL service. Owner was present and visited with each table. Small and romantic atmosphere. My wife and I love this place. Prices, while not cheap, are very reasonable. The food and service is more than worth the price.

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5.0Dined on December 27, 2017

We have been here before and will return again! Everything went well; food excellent, atmosphere homey, service superb. Will do this again, soon.

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4.0Dined on December 27, 2017

Great location, ambiance, & service. The food is, generally, very good, but the salmon was over cooked and dried out. We were told we were unable to order it by temperature/duness. On a previous occasion the salmon was moist and very tasty. So I guess the lesson learned is to be careful when ordering the fish.

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4.0Dined on December 23, 2017

My family went out for a birthday party at the last minute. The staff where lovely and wonderful, making it a truly special evening. Would recommend!

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3.0Dined on December 19, 2017

We were disappointed. The place had the energy of a “Blue Hair” dining room. It was steaming hot in there! The salads were very old fashioned (read nursing home type) and with little greens and veggies. The service was outright awful: the poor girl did not know what she was doing! We finished our first course before the wine arrived after having to ask for it. A very limited wine list. The food was passable, edible but overly soft carrots, rice that betrayed its box origin... no bread but teensy weeny tiny muffins instead... (sorry: I eat muffins in the morning not with dinner!).... not returning.

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5.0Dined on December 19, 2017

We choose this restaurant to celebrate Christmas every year. The owner makes you feel like you are one of the family. It has very nice Christmas decorations displayed as well as a Christmas Tree. You feel like you are in a large dining room in a mid century home being served by the owner.

Everything on the menu tastes home made and a special bread tart is served by the owner, who when time is available, will chat with you and make you feel very special.

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5.0Dined on December 16, 2017

The quiche was amazing. The staff were wonderful ☺

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3.0Dined on December 15, 2017

I’ve been to MIL before and it was delightful. Was one of the main reasons we each drove about 30 miles from different directions to meet in St. Charles. This time it was terrifically noisy. Two large groups. We could barely hear each other talk. Waiter Gary seemed inexperienced. Did not ask what we wished to drink. Had trouble with order. Unplugged our light while trying to move a table for a large group. Did not even really zen it. Saw one customer go to the bar and pour himself some water. Lady in aqua we eventually realized works there but did not seemed dress to wait tables (more like a customer, hostess or owner) tried to fix our lives get situation but eventually had to get a 3rd guy to do so. Way more disturbance than we were expecting. Sorry. I would return in a few months to give it a chance but was very disappointed.

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5.0Dined on December 9, 2017

Wonderful ambience and superb hospitality as always. A special place.

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5.0Dined on December 8, 2017

We love to come to Mother in Laws House every time we come to St Charles. The food is always great & service is wonderful

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3.0Dined on December 6, 2017

Overall the food was just okay. My friend had stuffed flounder which she said was okay. I had the salad bar, bread, and soup combo. The French onion soup was good but the salad bar was extremely lacking in my opinion. There were several "salads" such as pea salad which I'm sure an older crowd probably love. However there was lettuce in a bowl with no other accompaniments, not even a crouton. There were 3 dressings ... celery seed (which was fine), Russian, and an anchovy variety.

I am glad my meal came with bread because you are "allowed" one tiny blueberry mini muffin ( 3 tiny bites no kidding). They supplied 2 pats of butter for this which was laughable. We overheard other patrons asking for another muffin (Please sir more....) and heard the muffin horror stories concerning customers in the past asking for "more". I have read the reviews going on and on about the wonderful muffins and I just don't get it. They were okay but delicious really? I guess the supply and demand psychological whammy the staff places on the customer warning about asking for more does a number on their taste buds.

Overall I felt the experience was odd to say the least and would not go back.

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4.0Dined on December 2, 2017

My wife and I have eaten there often, never disappointed in the food. This last time the service
at our table was not as good as usual. They appeared to be short of staff. But when you come in
with a big appetite and still have to take food home, that's a meal.

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5.0Dined on November 27, 2017

Had a lovely lunch. We chose the Pick two menu so we would have room for the famous coconut cream pie we had read about. The whole meal was wonderful!!! To our delight the waiter noticed we had birthday gifts to exchange and our dessert was complimentary. A lovely lady (I'm assuming she was the owner) brought it out to us and wished us each a happy birthday.

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5.0Dined on November 24, 2017

This is a neighborhood must! It's a fit for what Old St Charles is all about. It's a must for locals and definitely for out of towners. The own she's lovely and makes you feel like your eating at your family's house.

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5.0Dined on November 24, 2017

Our first time dining at Mother In Law House will not be our last. Everything about the experience was excellent.

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5.0Dined on November 8, 2017

Very old building from the 1800’s with an interesting history. Was refurbished and from a house became a Victorian style restaurant. Food is excellent! 8 ladies I was with All commented how good their lunch was.
I’ve been there many times and have always been happy with my choice.

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1.0Dined on November 4, 2017

The best part of the evening was sitting outside on a beautiful night. The items I was excited about from reviews from friends.... Chicken pot pie and meatloaf neither one was on the menu. Service was very slow and food was just ok. No need to run back.

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4.0Dined on November 4, 2017

Worth the drive yo this quaint restaurant. We were served personally by its owner Donna with her special muffins and carrots.

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5.0Dined on October 31, 2017

The food was delicious--our only wish is that Donna would let us have more of her blueberry muffins! We enjoyed a delicious meal in an elegant setting with warm hosts who made us feel welcome. Not only were the muffins memorable, so was the coconut cream pie. We are looking forward to our next visit.

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4.0Dined on October 27, 2017

I had the Cod Oscar - YUM!! The prices here are a good value and we both had a good meal. We went here for an 8pm seating the night of the Pumpkin Glow. It was good timing in that we just missed the crowd, but we could tell they were overwhelmed and didn't have enough staff to bus the now-empty tables. Unfortunately, by that time of evening, the salad bar was depleted, except for the lettuce. Overall, when I'm visiting Old Town St Charles, I will definitely stop by here again.

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5.0Dined on October 27, 2017

Our daughter and niece have birthdays this time of year so we decided to celebrate at the
Mother in Law House. We did not know what to expect but had heard it was quite good.
It certainly was quite good and more - the owner is charming hostess and seemed to be everywhere at once - never before have we heard a proprietor give a welcoming speech to a room full of guests but the the "mother in law" did and it was funny and delightful.
Try the liver and onions, three of our group had it and they raved about it - I had a bite and I know why. My entree was the fried chicken and it was outstanding.
We plan to go back over the Holidays if not sooner!

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5.0Dined on October 20, 2017

We had dinner here at the end of our KATY Trail bike ride. We had a very nice meal with very good service. The chef generously accommodated three of our party by cooking vegetarian meals for them, which were not on the menu. The restaurant has vegetarian dishes on the menu at lunch, only.

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5.0Dined on October 18, 2017

They were very busy. They had our group of 12 and a bus of 40 travelers. Everyone in the restaurant was busy taking orders, serving food, and clearing the table including the owner and another gentleman. The owner is always there and helping when needed.

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4.0Dined on October 7, 2017

We had to wait a few minutes to get seated and it was hot and stuffy in the dining area. We sat for around 15 minutes before a waiter came over to greet us. I had to ask the owner whether or not we were going to get waited on!!!! He finally came over and took our drink order and food order at the same time because we were afraid we would have to wait again. The food was delicious but the service was a bit slow!!!!

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4.0Dined on October 7, 2017

My husband and I had been on the road for almost a month and this was the best meal we had. The six of us had five different entrees and all were delicious as were all the items we tried on the salad bar. And Donna was a delight. I don't believe you could go wrong here.

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5.0Dined on September 14, 2017

This restaurant has a long history behind it. The location goes back to the late 1800's and the current owner has been running her establishment in this location for 30 years being one of the original folks who helped revitalize the area.

The food was delicious and my amaretto chicken was a pleasant new twist. The bldg houses lots of things to see while you await your food, and our servers were very pleasant and attentive.

I'd definitely bring my family back to try some more menu items.

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5.0Dined on August 18, 2017

Miss Donna presides over her pride and joy every evening to make sure that each guest has a wonderful time. From the salad bar to the blueberry muffins she makes sure your experience is the best it can be. This is comfort food at its finest. If you ask nicely the wait staff might even tell you about the ghosts that live in the Mother In Law House. If you are on Main Street this is a great place for a meal.

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5.0Dined on July 29, 2017

This is old school charm and hospitality. The service is gracious and the food delicious. The pace of service is relaxed yet attentive. Be sure to order both the peach cobbler and coconut cream pie. Divine!!

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5.0Dined on July 15, 2017

Outstanding food and great customer service. Of course, Donna worked the dinning room with all of her charm and made everyone feel like family.

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4.0Dined on July 8, 2017

The restaurant is an old converted house. It seems like you are dining in a living room. Very charming. The staff was great, including a personal visit from the owner with muffins and later carrots. Tasty.
The entre selection was good. They were good but not great tasting.
The desert selection was limited but very tasty.
Overall a fun place to visit when you want a different experience from the average restaurant

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5.0Dined on June 17, 2017

Haven't been here for about 15 years. Sorry it took us so long to get back. Dinner was excellent, wait staff attentive, Donna is spectacular with her blueberry muffins. Loved the 150 year old building. We'll go back for lunch next time around.

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4.0Dined on May 20, 2017

I had not been to the Mother in Law House in many years. It is still a high quality experience, with very friendly service.

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