Pan global pancakes

Don’t put up with the same old crepe! Toss aside the sugar and lemon topping and go international with our guide to London’s best global batters



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Photo: Rob Greig

Japan: Okonomiyaki at Okan

Okonowhat? Master saying it, then you can get on with the important business of eating it. The word means 'as you like it’, and at this Brixton joint you can have the cabbageand- batter-based Osaka street-food snack with any topping you want, from basics like pork or beef, or more exotic things like kimchi, prawn and squid. Now practise saying ‘oishii’. It’s Japanese for ‘delicious’.

  1. Unit 39, (Brixton Village Market, Coldharbour Lane), SW9 8PS
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India: Dosas at Dosa n Chutny

Think your wheat/dairy intolerance excludes you from Pancake Day? Think again. South Indian savoury dosas are made from rice and lentil flour, and there's a full selection at this Tooting mainstay, from the spicy potato and onion masala sort to the 'paper roast' – a huge, ultra-flat version.

  1. 68 Tooting High Street, SW17 0RN
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Austria: Palatschinken or kaiserschmarrn at Kipferl

At this stylish Camden Austrian café, palatschinken – rolls of thin, sweet crepes – come with apricots as well as vanilla ice cream and whipped cream for full-on calorific joyfulness. If you like things more thrown together, go for the kaiserschmarrn: chopped pancake chunks with raisins, cherries and a dusting of cinnamon. A much more exciting breakfast than muesli.

  1. 20 Camden Passage, N1 8ED
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Turkey: Gözleme at Hala

Here in the heart of north London’s Turkish community, you can get half-a-dozen types of savoury filled pancakes, handrolled by an efficient team of hairnetted ladies, for less than the price of a pint. Kebabs aren’t the only late-night budget treats to come out of Turkey: if only ‘cheap as gözleme’ was as catchy as ‘cheap as chips’, they might be better known…

  1. 29 Grand Parade, (Green Lanes), N4 1LG
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France: Crêpes suzette at Garnier

  • Price band: 3/4

What could be a more ooh-la-la dessert than the crêpe suzette? This sweet, thin pancake, smothered in buttery orange syrup and orange liqueur before being set on fire, is well worth getting hot under the collar over. Try it at Garnier, a newish bistro with a timeless flair that makes it seem like it’s been around forever.

  1. 314 Earl's Court Road, SW5 9BQ
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USA: Pancakes at Lucky Seven

Across the pond, brunch ain't brunch without a good stack of pancakes. Mosey on down to longstanding, stylish west London diner Lucky Seven, where you can order plain, blueberry or banana varieties all day, every day. Cause when you want pancakes, you want 'em now.

  1. 127 Westbourne Park Road, W2 5QL
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Poland: Blinis at Baltic

In smart Southwark restaurant Baltic, blinis are a flippin' hit. Toppings include mushroom 'caviar', marinated herring or standard keta caviar all at reasonable prices, though if you've got the budget of a Russian oligarch, you'll be wanting yours with Royal Belgian Oscietra Caviar. A snip at £65 per pancake.

  1. 74 Blackfriars Road, SE1 8HA
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Vietnam: Bánh xèo at Song Que

Remember Kingsland Road from ‘The X Factor’? The street that inspired last year’s most forgettable pop act has a claim to fame with greater staying power: its band of Vietnamese restaurants. Of the selection, Song Que shines brightest: its two types of bánh xèo (savoury crepe) have delicious fillings, both veggie (tofu) and non-veggie (pork and chicken). We don’t like them. We love them!

  1. 134 Kingsland Road, E2 8DY
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