Pancakes are a Shrove Tuesday standard, but that doesn't mean you can't eat them all year round. In London, there's more to these carb-tastic delights than sugar and lemon. From meaty, cheese-oozing galettes to American-style delights at brunch and decadent crêpes for dessert, these are the best pancakes in London.
The best pancakes in London
The owners of this gorgeous-looking Clerkenwell joint want us all to ‘make friends with food’ – and we’re sold on the place’s low-key backstreet vibe and clever gluten-free cooking. Like everything else here, the American-style breakfast pancakes are nutritionally balanced; they’re also made with organic oat milk and wickedly topped with just about anything you fancy – perhaps smoked streaky bacon or free-range sausages for an alternative fry-up.
Local gins and bespoke cocktails keep the drinkers happy, but this super-friendly stripped-back bar/café (named after an obscure Beastie Boys track) near the Barbican is also primed when it comes to dishing up buttermilk pancakes for breakfast. Your only choice is between sweet and savoury: the former means a topping of blueberries and Dorset Dairy yoghurt; the latter is all about bacon, maple syrup and pecans. They might even sneak onto the bottomless brunch menu.
Rest assured, there’s nothing dodgy about the eggs used for the pancakes at this manically popular all-day American diner set in the brutalist shadow of the Barbican. Made to the US remit, these eggy beauties get slathered with maple syrup, splodged with blueberry jam or loaded up diner-style with fried chicken and banana. Eat them for Friday ‘Frunch’ or for normalised brunch at the weekends.
Occupying a sweet spot on Islington Green, this Alsatian-themed brasserie from the folks behind The Wolseley is another of their homages to Europe’s grand cafés – a wood-panelled charmer serving a line-up of tempting staples including buckwheat crêpes. We’re fond of the savoury versions filled with black pudding, fried duck egg and gruyère, although fans of maple syrup and blueberries won’t be disappointed, either.
Breakfast naturally take centre stage at this cluttered, ersatz homage to John Hughes’s cult movie, although this Club runs right through from brunch to dinner, with pancakes rolled out and stacked up in mind-boggling quantities. If you’re hooked on Instagrammable novelties, these gimmicky jobs will be right up your street – especially the salted caramel banoffee version with vanilla cream and chocolate sauce.
This one’s for those of you who like your pancakes with some stunning views thrown in. Boasting one of the biggest riverside terraces in London, Coppa Club occupies a prime spot with Tower Bridge in near-sight – although tall windows mean you can soak up the vistas whatever the weather. ‘Short stack’ US-style pancakes make an appearance at breakfast, loaded up with the usual savoury or sweet additions.
If the very idea of ‘healthy eating in Notting Hill’ fills you with dread, fear not: this cute café from Aussie-born ‘farm girl’ Rose Mann is a little ripper. Colourful interiors and non-stop sunny service are matched by a menu that includes some fair dinkum berry pancakes. These buckwheat and buttermilk beauties come topped with amber maple syrup, coconut shavings, coconut yoghurt… and berries, of course.
Bill Granger’s chain of sunny-side-up all-day restaurants preaches the gospel of bronzed healthy indulgence, with a line-up of goodness-packed dishes including some proper thick Aussie ‘hotcakes’. Find these ricotta-based pancake riffs among the breakfast and lunch ‘classics’, stacked up and served in mouthwatering modern style with banana and honeycomb butter. Branches in Chelsea, Clerkenwell and King’s Cross.
Billed as a ‘modern greasy spoon’, this immensely popular all-day breakfast and brunch spot deals out kooky versions of the usual suspects, with plenty of eponymous hash riffs among its ‘pig muffins’ and ’laced cereals’. And yes, it does proper pancakes too: straight buttermilk versions with maple syrup, blueberry/yoghurt goodies, and a must-order guilty pleasure involving white chocolate and caramelised bananas.
The Hemsley sisters are spiraliser-wielding rock stars on the ‘clean-eating’ stage, and their first café – a chic, sleek vision in brushed gold, blonde wood and herb-green upholstery – is resolutely on-trend. At breakfast time, their pancakes are the business: thick, fluffy Scotch versions made with coconut flour and served with maple butter, mint and blueberries (add some crispy bacon for an extra two quid).
Founded in 1958 and now a must-visit on London’s tourist trail, this pancake house dresses up its garish offer with ‘pancaklicious deals’, ‘butterscotch specials’ and assorted crowd-pulling gimmicks. The sweet side of things is fairly straightforward (fruit salad, Nutella, berry compote etc), but savouries are more outlandish, with Moroccan lamb stew, chicken curry and Hawaiian variations in the mix. Branches in Chelsea and Kensington.
Pancakes in Peckham means a trip to Pedler – the stylishly shabby-chic pride of the neighbourhood. Their ricotta-based belters are brunch fodder par excellence, loaded with strawberries, blueberries, vanilla cream, mint and maple syrup for the ultimate sweet, fruity fix – although you can add bacon if some salty, savoury grace notes are required. Pick a table near the bar for the best vibe.
Forget ‘never on Sunday’, any day will do for Barnsbury locals who crave pancakes and other brunch treats. The owners happily accommodate walk-ins at the weekend, so drop by on spec and tuck into their buttermilk dazzlers, which arrive seriously piled up with blueberries, bacon, honeycomb butter and drizzles of maple syrup. Just right for a lazy Sunday morning with the papers and a jar of bloody mary.
You don’t have to wait till Shrove Tuesday comes around for your pancake fix – thanks to this bright, buzzy venue squeezed into one corner of Flat Iron Square. Sweet and savoury buttermilk varieties abound (anyone for ‘1,000 baby greens’ or a combo of banana, praline and marshmallow?), and the owners also have what they call ‘another batter’ for those who require gluten-free and dairy-free versions.
Venue says A not so traditional pancake house serving good, honest sweet and savoury food and beautiful craft ciders.
Breakfast at The Wolseley is one of London’s prime-time social events – and this mother of all the grand cafés never disappoints. Whether you’re a high-flyer or along for the ride, no one feels out of place as the conversation crackles over bowls of muesli, kedgeree and pancakes with berries or bacon. All that’s needed to complete the full Wolseley trip is a large wiener kaffee with whipped cream.
Venue says Our celebrated breakfasts are served every day from 7am during the week and 8am on the weekend.
You’ve had pancakes, now have, er, cakes
You may also like
Snap up exclusive discounts in London
Time Out's handpicked deals — hurry, they won't be around for long...