When you say pancakes, most people think of Shrove Tuesday. Just in case you’ve been living under a rock for the past millennium, Shrove Tuesday is an annual day in which people cause a massive mess in their kitchens while attempting to whip up pancakes for their friends and family. The day originally came about because making pancakes was a good way of using up the last of your fats and eggs before embarking on the Lenten fasting period before Easter where these items were considered unnecessary frivolities. These days though, Pancake Day (as it’s now more popularly known) is mainly an excuse to indulge in as many pancakes as your stomach can take.
While Shrove Tuesday may be the most popular day in the annual calendar to indulge in a stack of pancakes, we are of the school of thought that says pancakes can be enjoyed on any damn day of the year you want them. Pancakes are traditionally a rather humble dish to enjoy, made up of a simple combination of flour, eggs and milk and typically enjoyed with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkling of sugar. In the last few years though, pancakes have hit the big time and these days, you can find them on restaurant menus crowned with luxury ingredients or smothered in sugary toppings that would give your dentist a heart attack.
Luckily for you, London is full of delicious options for pancakes all year round, ranging from casual spots to luxury takes. To help you determine which of London’s restaurants and cafes serve the best pancakes you can find in the city, we’ve rounded up some of our favourites. So, whether you’re looking for savoury options to enjoy, or you’d rather indulge with sweet toppings such as chocolate sauce and fruit, our list of the best pancakes in London should have something that takes your fancy.
What: Aussie-owned Milk in Balham serves some of the best brunch plates in South West London. Fact. One look at its pancake offering will prove that we’re not making wild claims, the likes of which resembles something similar to a dessert you’d find in a fine dining restaurant – rather than at a hip brunch spot. Buckwheat pancakes arrive with an artistic adornment of various shards and splodges: think spiced clementines, creamed yorkshire tea, white chocolate gingerbread pudding, clementine jewels, roasted milk crumble, leafy syrup and cranberry meringue.
Where: 18-20 Bedford Hill, London SW12 9RG
Book now: Milk
Sunday in Brooklyn, Notting Hill
What: When we think of Sunday In Brooklyn, we think of pancakes. And can you blame us when its offering is so outrageously in your face, you’d probably be able to see a stack of its signature Sunday pancakes from space?! One pancake would be more than enough, but enthusiasts of this American-born brunch spot would go so far as to order a stack of three. Thick, fluffy and cake-like, Sunday in Brooklyn’s pancake offering arrives dripping in hazelnut maple praline and a cube of brown butter. You won’t forget your first pancake experience here.
Where: 98 Westbourne Grove, London W2 5RU
Book now: Sunday in Brooklyn
Balans, Various locations
What: Balans is a reliable option for any pancake enthusiast, with multiple restaurants all over London (Soho, Shepherd’s Bush, Stratford, Kensington) serving its signature stacks all day. Choose between classic American fluffy pancakes or vegan pancakes topped with warm maple butter and a choice of bacon, banana or berries.
Where: Various locations
Book now: Shepherd’s Bush, Stratford, Kensington
Senzala Creperie, Brixton
What: This unique spot located in Brixton Village has been serving French-style crepes with Brazilian flair since 2013. Choose from a menu of sweet and savoury galettes (made with buckwheat flour) and crepes (made with white flour) for a pancake-centric meal! Favourites include Rosa Squash (tomato chutney, roasted squash, courgette and red pepper confit, rocket, toasted almonds), Senzala (Gorgonzola cheese, rocket, caramised onions, sundried tomatoes) and Coco Loco (Belgian chocolate, coconut, rum, ice cream).
Where: 41-42 Coldharbour Lane, London SW9 8PS
The Delaunay, Covent Garden
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What: Brunch at The Delaunay is served amidst sumptuous décor which has been modelled on the grand cafes of Mittel-Europe. Anything you order here is bound to be nothing less than fabulous, but its fluffy pancakes really are top notch. Top with maple syrup, berry compote or bacon.
Where: 55 Aldwych, London WC2B 4BB
Book now: The Delaunay
Soutine, St John's Wood
What: Given that nearly everything at Soutine smacks of France, you'd perhaps expect its pancake offering to be more of a crepe situation. However, this elegant bistro instead offers buttermilk pancakes on its brekafast menu, coming topped with either maple syrup, bacon, or blueberry compote. There's no doubt that Soutine's somewhere to take your time eating your pancakes,and enjoy both the classy service and swanky interiors.
Where: 60 St John's Wood High Street, NW8 7SH
Book now: Soutine
Bad Egg, City
What: Don't let the name worry you, as there's nothing wrong with any of the egg-based dishes on Bad Egg's menu, and that includes its American-style pancakes. Available all day long, you can choose to have your pancakes topped with traditional combos such as maple syrups and bacon, or go slightly unusual and try the popcorn chicken and banana option.
Where: City Point, 1 Ropemaker Street, EC2Y 9AW
Book now: Bad Egg
Circolo Popolare, Fitzrovia
What: Big Mamma’s huge OTT trattoria Circolo Popolare is already Insta-famous thanks to its incredible interiors and wacky takes on Italian classics. However if you head down for breakfast, you can indulge in a stack of wonderfully fluffy ricotta pancakes topped with roasted bananas and maple syrup. Or if you pop around to sister trattoria Gloria, you can replace the maple syrup with homemade chocolate sauce. Sounds like a dreamy breakfast to us!
Where: 40-41 Rathbone Place, W1T 1HX
Book now: Circolo Popolare
Darwin & Wallace, various London locations
What: While all of Darwin and Wallace’s eight bars have a unique feel to them, whether that be the bistro-like vibe of No. 32 The Old Town, or the impressive interiors of No. 11 Pimlico Road, what they all have in common is they serve amazing pancakes. The caramelised banana and ricotta pancakes on the breakfast menu are served all year round and come served with a butterscotch sauce and coconut yoghurt, making them a winner in our eyes.
Where: Various Locations
Chez Lindsay, Richmond
What: Although the menu at Chez Lindsay stretches further than just pancakes, its Galette section is particularly comprehensive. Pancakes on offer range from classics such as ham and cheese, all the way through to a pancake filled with pork, apple sausage, onion sauce and red cabbage. For those with a sweet tooth, there is of course a separate menu of dessert pancakes too.
Where: 11 Hill Rise, TW10 6UQ
Book now: Chez Lindsay
Christopher’s, Covent Garden
What: At Christopher’s, pancakes are serious business. The restaurant’s weekend brunch menu features a tear-off ‘build your own pancake' section which you fill out and hand to your waiter. It’s hard to beat the childlike thrill of ticking off which toppings and sauces you want, with options including maple-cured bacon, salted caramel ice cream and Nutella.
Where: 18 Wellington Street, WC2
Book now: Christopher’s
What: Although Avenue has been around since the 90s, it still manages to feel modern. Its menu is a pretty contemporary affair too, featuring pancakes crowned with classic toppings. Head here for breakfast to enjoy a stack of pancakes finished off with bacon and maple syrup, or visit at weekend brunch when they’re served with berry compote and Chantilly cream.
Where: 7-9 St James's Street, SW1A 1EE
Book now: Avenue
Avobar, Covent Garden
What: Avobar might seem like a gimmick, but the restaurant’s all-things-avocado menu actually has some substance to it. Tuck into a pile up of two green hued Matcha Pancakes to start your day, which are topped with a choice of house-cured salmon or grilled bacon, as well as a side of turmeric poached egg and a slather of avo-butter for good measure.
Where: 24 Henrietta Street, WC2E 8ND
Book now: Avobar
Smith & Wollensky, Covent Garden
What: Smith & Wollensky is a New York import which is sleek and stylish, featuring smart finishes and staff in waistcoats. The restaurant is known for its sizeable portions, so expect a mountainous stack of pancakes to arrive at your table. Available on the weekend brunch menu, Smith & Wollensky serves up buttermilk pancakes topped with blueberry compote.
Where: 1-11 John Adam Street, WC2N 6HT
Book now: Smith & Wollensky
Polo Bar, City
What: Open 24/7, Polo Bar is found opposite Liverpool Street station and welcomes everyone from early risers to late-night revellers through its doors. The extensive menu boasts an entire section dedicated to pancakes, with the over-the-top creations available including stacks of red velvet, banoffee and cookies and cream varieties.
Where: 176 Bishopsgate, EC2M 4NQ
Book now: Polo Bar
The Little Blue Door, Fulham
What: This buzzy venue that’s designed to look like a London house share might be a playground for big kids, but its pancake offering is surprisingly grown up. Forget maple syrup and chocolate shavings, as at The Little Blue Door, brunch pancakes come with slightly more adult toppings – think charred fruit, sour cream, roasted nuts and a drizzle of honey.
Where: 871-873 Fulham Road, SW6 5HP
Book now: The Little Blue Door
Where the Pancakes Are, Southwark
What: There are few restaurant names with a more literal meaning than Where The Pancakes Are. The restaurant is home to both sweet and savoury creations, which are served all day long. We’re particularly partial to the savoury likes of the Boulder Breakfast: two vegan pancakes topped with smashed avo, roasted peppers, cherry tomatoes, chickpea salsa and mushrooms.
Where: 85a Southwark Bridge Road, SE1 0NQ
Book now: Where The Pancakes Are
My Old Dutch, Chelsea, Holborn and Kensington
What: Boasting three London locations (Chelsea, Holborn and Kensington), you’ll never be short of choice at My Old Dutch. In fact, this pancake palace offers more than 40 types of sweet and savoury pancakes, with classic options found alongside the likes of chicken curry and asparagus varieties. Torn between two choices? Just combine them and build your own.
Where: 221 Kings Road, SW3 5EJ; 131-132 High Holborn, WC1V 6PS; 16 Kensington Church Street, W8 4EP
Book now: Chelsea, Holborn and Kensington
The Wolseley, Mayfair
What: The Wolseley boasts a dining room that is so arrestingly gorgeous, we’re half tempted to move in and make it our permanent home. Luckily, the food here is just as pretty as the surroundings that it is served in; when it comes to pancakes, expect a pillowy stack which can be topped with your choice of maple syrup, bacon or berries.
Where: 160 Piccadilly, W1J 9EB
Book now: The Wolseley
Granger & Co, Chelsea, Clerkenwell, King’s Cross and Notting Hill
What: With four locations across the capital (Chelsea, Clerkenwell, King’s Cross and Notting Hill), Granger & Co is a breakfast favourite. Pancakes here are served under the guise of ricotta hotcakes and for Pancake Day this year, diners are able to enjoy its famous stack from dawn until dask, with the ricotta hotcakes available from 7am to 11pm across all sites in London. If that's not enough, Granger & Co is also serving an exclusive Hotcake Shake for one day only - a blend of banana, honeycomb and maple.
Where: Pavilion Road, SW1X 0BP; 50 Sekforde Street, EC1R 0HA; 7 Pancras Square, N1C 4AG; 175 Westbourne Grove, W11 2SB
Book now: Chelsea, Clerkenwell, King’s Cross and Notting Hill
Chiltern Firehouse, Marylebone
What: We’ve always felt the genuinely good menu at Chiltern Firehouse was often overshadowed by the restaurant’s reputation as a celeb-magnet. While the likes of crab doughnuts are enough to tempt us at dinner, we’re also fans of Chiltern’s weekend brunch, which includes fluffy pancakes topped with maple syrup, crème fraiche and blueberries.
Where: 1 Chiltern Street, W1U 7PA
Book now: Chiltern Firehouse
Fuwa Fuwa, Bloomsbury
What: An import from Toyko, Fuwa Fuwa serves up super fluffy Japanese soufflé pancakes, and as far as we’re aware, this is the only place in London where you can get your hands on them. The pancakes take 20 minutes each to make, but trust us when we say it’s worth the wait, especially for the drizzle of honeycomb butter that they arrive at the table with.
Where: Unit 8, Brunswick Centre, WC1N 1AE
Gunpowder, Tower Bridge
What: At this sleeker and much larger sibling to Gunpowder’s original shoebox site in Spitalfields, you’ll find plenty of Indian twists on brunch classics. Here, pancakes are studded with cardamom and topped with caramelised banana and a scoop of crème fraiche. If you want to make your brunch boozy, wash it all down with a cocktail from the list of signatures.
Where: 4 Duchess Walk, SE1 2SD
Book now: Gunpowder
Farm Girl, Chelsea and Notting Hill
What: Popular with the Instagram and #Fitspo crowd, Farm Girl’s duo of London restaurants (Chelsea and Notting Hill) are the place to go for pancakes that won’t have you rolling out of the door afterwards. Order a stack here to enjoy buckwheat and buttermilk pancakes which are finished off with a drizzle of rose maple syrup, as well as berries, coconut shavings and candied pistachios.
Where: 9 Park Walk, SW10 0AJ; 59a Portobello Road, W11 3DB
Book now: Chelsea and Notting Hill
Riding House Café, Fitzrovia
What: If you’re a freelancer or often find yourself working remotely, Riding House Café is a great spot to nestle in for the day. While you’re there, you might as well treat yourself to a morning pick-me-up of buttermilk pancakes topped with triple-smoked streaky bacon and maple syrup, or a medley of berries and vanilla clotted cream…well, it would be rude not to.
Where: 43-51 Great Titchfield Street, W1W 7PQ
Book now: Riding House Café
The Breakfast Club, various London locations
What: You’ll often find snaking queues outside of the various Breakfast Clubs dotted around the capital. The pancakes here are among the most popular items on the menu and take their inspiration from the US – think toppings of cherry jam and peanut butter, smoky bacon and maple syrup, or even vegan pancakes topped with caramelised pineapple and coconut cream.
Where: Various locations
Pedler Good Fortune, Peckham
What: Popular Peckham restaurant Pedler Good Fortune might seem like an unorthodox spot to grab a stack, seeing as they serve Asian-inspired cuisine throughout the week. It also, however, serves a pretty mean brunch menu which includes its fluffy buttermilk pancakes topped with poached berries, maple syrup and whipped cream.
Where: 58 Peckham Rye, SE15 4JR
Book now: Pedler
If you prefer pancakes close cousins of crepes instead, check out our pick of the best crepes in London.