The common pancake is a thing of beauty. A vehicle for everything from chocolate to cheese, they bring ultimate comfort at the darkest of times - AKA. in the midst of a pandemic or every second prior to your 10AM coffee. And we don’t want to play favourites, but if we’re dragging ourselves out of bed for brunch, you better believe we’re ordering pancakes. But that’s not to say that all pancakes are born - flipped? - equal. No, the pancakes in this guide are the best of the best. So whether they’re packed full of seafood or smothered in maple syrup, these are the pancakes you really don’t want to miss.
Pancakes. That’s it. That’s all this place sells. And we fucking love it. We might even move to Southwark Bridge Road just so all of our foreseeable mornings are spent saying things like ‘we’ll have the poached pear caramel pancakes with a side of bacon, Glenda’. For transparency, we have no idea if anyone called Glenda works here, but it just felt right. Dedicated entirely to our beloved AM comrade, these are the best pancakes in London. The buttermilk batter is, frankly, magical. And we’re even into their eggy options. A carafe of mimosa? Why the hell not.
Watch this video. Then watch it again. Embrace it. Feel it. And then fully prepare for the fact that this will be your exact reaction when you see Fuwa Fuwa’s pancakes. This Japanese café specialises in soufflé pancakes. Basically, they’re similar to a scotch pancake that’s been under a serious workout regime and bulked out big time. When it comes to toppings you can expect everything from chocolate, to strawberries, to our personal favourite, the Biscoff special. It’s a bright and simple space but be warned, Fuwa Fuwa is walk-in only and these pancakes will bring the crowds at weekends.
Over Under is the kind of tiny coffee shop where you’ll stumble over three freelancers’ backpacks, down a nice coffee, and then discover that they’re secretly serving the kind of formidable pancakes that are so good they probably deserve their own star on a mythical pancake Walk of Fame. TL;DR: tiny space, huge pancake potential. What this little coffee spot lacks in space it makes up for in a cool, slightly moody look, and their thick American-style pancakes come covered in greek yoghurt, poached fruit, and maple syrup.
La Crêperie de Hampstead
Walkies aren’t just for all the good doggos out there. No, walkies are also for noble Londoners that actually manage to get up before 6pm on Saturdays and want to build up a bit of an appetite before they eat. Put on your most crappy trainers and head to Hampstead Heath for a leisurely stroll and then one of the city’s best crepes. Legendary grab-and-go spot, La Crêperie de Hampstead has been serving both sweet and savoury crepes since the 80s, and their nutella number is one of our all-time favourite ways to spend six quid. Order, pay, find a charming little bench, brunch sorted.
Much like walking along the South Bank and witnessing someone mildly famous take the tube with the rest of the riff-raff, having breakfast at The Wolseley is an essential London experience. A huge converted 1920s car showroom, it’s grand, bright, and even has a doorman who will make all of your pre-coffee angst evaporate. Our favourite dish here is the classic full English, but their pancakes are also seriously good. Extra thick and covered in seasonal berries and maple syrup, pancakes at The Wolseley are perfect for when you want to feel all Elizabeth Taylor before 11am. Grab one of their cognac and long espresso creations if you’re feeling extra bougie.
What’s that? You came to this guide exclusively for sugar-heavy pancakes of the brunch variety? Open your mind. Open your heart. There’s a whole world of hoisin and duck out there for you. When a craving for a serious savoury pancake situation strikes, our go-to is the classic crispy aromatic duck with pancakes at Baker Street’s Royal China Club. Depending on your group - or your stomach - you can go for a quarter, half, or a whole duck, and their pancakes are paper thin but can carry a hefty portion of fillings. A side of dim sum never hurts either.
Being a functioning adult in London involves three things: always carrying a decent umbrella, avoiding public urination at all costs, and knowing that there isn’t a meal situation that mini-chain Granger and Co. can’t cover. Entirely inoffensive and open from morning to night, Granger serves consistently lovely things from coffee to salads to - you guessed it - pancakes. Their ricotta ‘hotcakes’ are served with banana and a honeycomb butter that should come with a Highly Gluggable warning label. Although they’ll set you back £13, it’s worth it for the fuss free space, ample toppings, and the fact that they’re served all day. Because sometimes you just need a pancake hit at 4pm.
The thin and crispy dosas from Horn OK Please are pretty brilliant. And since dosas are made from rice and lentils rather than flour, they’re also gluten free. You should know that this Borough Market spot is very much a casual stall situation, and you should also know that the moong daal dosa should definitely be on your order. Hello spiced potato.
When it comes to pancake toppings, we do not discriminate. Our kitchen has seen various Frankencake creations ranging from a Marmite crepe to a five-cheese and baked bean pancake disaster. Basically, if you can picture Mary Shelley shouting YOLO and putting something on a pancake, we’ve already tried it. That’s why we’re big fans of Hash E8, because they introduced us to a topping combination we’d never tried before. Caramelised banana and white chocolate. One for all the sugar heads, these pancakes are top notch, but be warned that this diner in Dalston is pretty much permanently busy, so prepare for a bit of a wait.
Farm Girl is a great spot for anyone that either loves brunch and / or knows what the hell antioxidants are. As well as serving things like acai bowls, gluten-free granola, and Things That Taste Good With Coriander, this ever popular healthy-ish hotspot also does pancakes. But not just any pancakes. No, we’re talking strawberry pancakes with greek yoghurt and coconut shavings, or their signature sour cherry compote pancakes with cacao nibs and maple syrup. Although this Notting Hill café tends to be absolutely mobbed at the weekend, it’s just the place for pancakes with a difference, a smoothie, and some 10/10 dog watching.
If you thought we’d write this guide without a shoutout to seafood pancakes, then you are mistaken. You’ve also clearly never watched us eat seafood pancake leftovers out of our fridge at 9am with a coffee in one hand and a remote in the other. Give it a try, you’ll like it. You’ll also undoubtedly like the seafood pancakes from Seoul Bakery in Bloomsbury. Also, it’s £6.50 for a massive portion, which we really don’t hate.
The words ‘biker café’ combined with ‘pancakes’ might initially sound like some terrible Top Gear special where Paul Hollywood like, cracks eggs on the sizzling-hot hub of a Harley. Or something. But trust us, here the combination of biker café and brunch works. Jim’s Café is a reliable hangout in Clapton that not only serves one of London’s lowkey best burgers, they also make some very decent pancakes. There’s nothing fancy going on here just your old fashioned bacon and syrup classics.