A smoking hot pan, velvety batter, and a flick in the wrist are key to making decent pancakes. But if you’re the kind whose efforts burn or stick to the pan, perhaps you’d do well to let someone else do the making. Whether you’re a lemon and sugar purist, or a fiend for experimental toppings, we’ve got all the bases covered. For brunch, lunch, dinner and supper, here’s the best places to head for pancakes in London.
Brasserie of Light for sweet and savoury
When ordering super fluffy, American-style pancakes the big question is whether you counteract the sweetness by going for a saltier, more savoury topping or whether you amp up the dessert-for-breakfast factor with something sweeter. At the Brasserie of Light (the frankly jaw-dropping new restaurant in Selfridges, complete with vaulted ceiling and gargantuan crystal-encrusted horse), both options are on offer: the cloud-like buttermilk pancakes are served with your choice of crispy bacon or fruit and berries. Whichever you go for, they also come with lashings of proper maple syrup and a sprinkling of microherbs to bring a little freshness.
Selfridges (separate entrance on Duke Street), 400 Oxford Street, W1A 1AB, brasserie-of-light.co.uk
Mamie’s for classic crêpes
A small corner of Brittany in the heart of London. Mamie was launched in 2016 by Aymeric Peurois, who wanted to bring the region’s culinary culture and heritage to London’s hungry masses. Serving up traditional galettes (savoury buckwheat galettes with toppings like ham, egg and cheese, and goats cheese and honey) and classic crêpes, it’s the place to head for authentic French pancakes in London. And alongside the restaurant is the Cedrothèque, the secret basement bar stocking ciders from all over France, as well as creative cider cocktails. Just the thing to wash down all those crêpes.
19 Catherine St, London WC2B 5JS, mamies.co.uk
Christopher’s for DIY pancakes
West End stalwart Christopher’s serves up classic American cooking with dollop of good old-fashioned glamour. Its weekend brunch menu includes a unique DIY pancake building option: you select which type of batter you’d prefer (buttermilk, blueberry-buttermilk or buckwheat), the toppings (choose between things like maple-cured bacon and coconut yoghurt), the ice cream flavour and the sauce.
18 Wellington Street, Covent Garden , London WC2E 7DD, christophersgrill.com
Four Seasons for crispy duck pancakes
Lauded by many as serving ‘the best roast duck in the world’, the queues outside Four Seasons are proof of its popularity. Luckily, there’s not one but three branches of the family run restaurant in Chinatown, not including the original in Queensway – meaning you’ve plenty of opportunities to experience their crispy duck pancakes for yourself. The famous duck is first dried and marinated in a special mix of herbs and spices, before being fired in a bespoke roasting furnace that distributes the heat evenly, resulting in golden crispy outer skin. Served with a stack of wafer-thin pancakes and meant for sharing – if you can bear it.
Dirty Bones for deep dish pancakes
If you prefer your pancakes to be hearty rather than flimsy, with heft rather than whimsy, Dirty Bones are taking a concept usually applied to pizza – deep dish – and translating it to the world of pancakes. Its Double Dutch pancake is satisfyingly chubby and topped with fresh clotted cream, blueberries, and a shot of maple syrup.
Where The Pancakes Are for all-day brunching
Tucked away on the edge of Borough Market, as its name suggests Where The Pancakes Are is dedicated to all things batter. It fuses together traditional pancakes (lemon and sugar, maple and bacon) with a more creative approach to eggs, flour and milk, resulting in a menu that’s all-too-tempting at any time of day. A must-try is one of its signature Dutch Babies – oversized Yorkshire puddings filled with goats cheese and cheddar, or apple and blueberries.
85a Southwark Bridge Rd, London SE1 0NQ, wherethepancakesare.com