Whether you prefer them sweet or savoury, we can all agree that a well-made pancake is a thing of beauty.
It would be a crying shame to consign crepes and their kind to just a single day of the year, but if there was ever a time to indulge your pancake cravings, it’s Shrove Tuesday (that’s the 13 February, folks). If you don’t fancy spending the rest of the month trying to get batter off your ceiling, here’s our round up of where to find the best pancakes across the country.
Where the Pancakes Are, London
Known for their Dutch baby pancakes (think giant, fluffy yorkies filled with caramelised apples or cheese), this shrine to the pancake is an obvious choice. A special Shrove Tuesday menu puts their buttermilk pancakes, made with organic flour and higher-welfare eggs, centre stage. Expect toppings including banana, praline and marshmallow, and cinnamon-poached pineapple with lime syrup. What’s more, the WTPA team will be popping up at nearby Flat Iron Square’s Après chalet for the day, bringing their special menu with them and putting on three-legged pancake races at 6pm, 7pm and 8pm.
Moose Coffee, Liverpool and Manchester
Born out of a love of American breakfast culture, these diner-style cafés wouldn’t look out of place on the streets of New York. Here the pancakes are thick and fluffy, served three-a-stack with maple syrup and butter, and with extras including bananas and homemade granola cooked right into the batter. Specials include pancakes adorned with cinnamon-spiced apples and homemade salted caramel.
La Petit Bretagne, London
For all you traditionalists, this pancake house is the one for you. With a huge range of savoury and sweet combinations, you’ll easily find something that takes your fancy. Expect classic options such as Emmental cheese and ham and Nutella and banana, through to crepes filled with tartiflette – that’s reblochon cheese, potato and strips of bacon. Don’t miss the galettes, too – made with buckwheat flour, they’re suitable for coeliacs.
Run by husband and wife duo Fernando and Gardenia, this Brazilian street food stall serves up gluten-free pancakes that are as colourful as the old green police box it operates from. There are special menus at the weekend, including popular choice feijoada pork, and look out for their traditional Amazonian tapioca flat breads too.
The Mountain Café, Aviemore
This New Zealand-inspired café, in the heart of Cairngorm National Park, has been running since 2004 and has developed a reputation for serving locally sourced food in the most picturesque of settings. An obvious choice is the Kiwi-style pancakes, piled with bacon, banana, stewed berries and fresh blueberries.
Hanky Panky Pancakes, Chester
Owner Stephen launched Hanky Panky Pancakes after cooking them with his children became a weekly tradition. Inspired by the pancakes his father made for him as a child, his dad’s scotch pancake recipe is at the heart of the business, while toppings have expanded to include specials such as the ‘Bollywood Babe’ (mango and pistachio ice cream with white chocolate sauce). There’s also the option to build your own dream pancakes from a list of over 60 toppings, including liqueurs.
The Greedy Pig, Leeds
As the name would suggest, The Greedy Pig is proud of its gluttonous side, and makes use of the best produce the region has to offer. Their stacks of fluffy pancakes come in two forms, one with thick cut local bacon and maple syrup and the second with a side of buttermilk fried chicken wings. Wear stretchy trousers.
Bluegrass BBQ, Reading
This quirky American-style diner feels like it’s come straight out of the southern states. All meat is barbequed on site, low ‘n’ slow, to create an authentic flavour that makes it too good not have with everything – including pancakes. While there are plenty of pancakes to choose from, including a Mexican stack featuring salsa, jalapeños and crushed nachos, the pulled pork option is calling our name.
No. 33, Norwich
Never without a queue spilling out of its doors, this little gem’s pancakes are well worth the (short) wait. Served with a cascade of fresh fruit, greek yogurt, maple syrup and pecans, their pillowy offerings are a winning lighter option.
Little Amsterdam, Banbury
Can’t choose between crepes or American-style? The Dutch pancakes on offer at Little Amsterdam lie somewhere in between, and are made to a secret family recipe. Tuck into the traditional Dutch combo of bacon, apple and raisin and don’t forget a generous drizzle of stroop (syrup). Save room for some poffertjes, too – mini pancakes, drenched in butter and icing sugar.
At The Well, Bristol
This café-laundromat is a community in itself, and its Transatlantic Pancakes have reached cult status in the local area. Get your laundry out of the way and reward yourself with a pile of American pancakes topped with scrambled egg, buttery mushrooms and streaky bacon, finished with a drizzle of maple syrup. It’s just the place to while away the hours, in the heart of Bristol’s buzzy Stokes Croft.
Where is your favourite place to eat pancakes? Did we miss any gems? Let us know in the comments.
Research: Hebe Hatton