The Best Pancakes Around the World to Eat on Pancake Tuesday
Tomorrow is Pancake Tuesday. It is the first day of lent, and a day that starts a period of sacrifice. Thousands around the world launch their 40 days of giving back, doing without, and de-cluttering their lives and souls with a hearty helping of pancakes – a wonderful meal that brings families together at the table. And in light of the celebration of this yummy meal choice, I asked some incredible travellers out there to share with you the best pancakes around the world so no matter where you are, you can get your hands and your appetite around this sacred and special meal.
First, a few facts on Pancake Tuesday:
- Shrove Tuesday is another term for this important day.
- It symbolizes the last day of eating “fat” before a period of sacrifice.
- “Shrove” comes from the world “absolve.”
- The specific date of Shrove/Pancake Tuesday is determined by the day Easter falls on. This day changes every year.
- Pancakes became affiliated with the day thanks to the ingredients being those avoided during the 40-day period. Instead of letting them go bad, pancakes were made and eaten to use up these foods given up.
- Some churches ring their bells the night of Pancake Tuesday to advise homes when to start making the pancakes for their meal.
- In some Christian denominations it has been said that pancakes denote the pillars of faith – Milk for purity, eggs for creation, flour for mainstay of diets, and salt for wholesomeness.
The Best Pancakes Around the World
Mildred’s Temple Kitchen, Toronto Ontario
Fill My Passport
If you want a truly incredible helping of pancakes that will take you days into lent, than Mildred’s is the spot for you. The pancakes are hearty, they are thick, and they are ultra fluffy. Enjoy them with their signature blueberries and cream. Honestly, to die for. Mildred’s is a staple in Liberty Village – a district in downtown Toronto. Lines pack the streets by hungry patrons wanting to sink their teeth into these amazing hotcakes. If you seriously want to hit up Mildred’s Temple Kitchen for Pancake Tuesday, make sure you reserve your table, or you could be looking at over an hour wait. To read more about Mildred’s and our experience, check out our review here.
The Griddle Cafe – Los Angeles, California
The Griddle Cafe located in Los Angeles, California has some of the biggest, best, and most inventive pancakes around. Situated on the famous Sunset Strip in Hollywood, this unassuming cafe has pancakes bigger than your head, and are more akin to a full-fledged dessert than an actual breakfast item. With 19 different options there is a pancake for anyone and everyone. Try a crowd-pleaser such as the “Black Magic,” where Oreo-filled flapjacks are topped with whipped cream and crumbled Oreos; or if you’re feeling more adventurous, the “Saturday Morning Fever” swirls Bailey’s and Kaluah in a buttermilk batter, topped with whipped cream and powdered sugar. How’s that for a boozy brunch? Other fan favorites include the espresso and semi-sweet chocolate recipe of the “Eyes Wide Open,” the”Recess Time” double-filled, strussel topped buttermilk hotcakes, or the classic “Red Velvet PanCAKE.” You can even purchase the Red Velvet batter mix to make these famous pancakes at home. What’s best about the Griddle? Breakfast is served all day, so you can have your pancake fix any time the craving hits!
Stacks Pancakes – San Francisco, California
Pancakes have been a ‘treat’ breakfast food ever since I was a kid. And just like a kid I would shovel them into my face every single morning of my life if I hadn’t heard of diabetes.
When I arrived in the US, the first meal I bought consisted of blueberry pancakes. Since then, Stacks in San Francisco, California has been my Mecca.
Stacks pancakes are my favourite because they’re huge (like most American food), they’re light, fluffy and you can never complain that there isn’t enough filling. My go-to choices are blueberry, oatmeal apple or raspberry.
But if you want an authentic American experience, there’s always the Oreo cookie pancake. Dessert for breakfast at its finest! Plus you get proper maple syrup, jelly (jam to the rest of us) and butter on top.
Gram – Tokyo Japan
One of my top places to visit in Tokyo wasn’t a famous landmark, but rather a pancake store. Gram is famous for their Souffle Pancake and there are only limited numbers on offer each day. Not only are the pancake sfluffy, they also melt in your tongue and are so light that you would be tempted to wolf down a second plate. But in order to taste it, you would have to go to the store at 11 am, 2 pm, or 5 pm to get on the wait-list. We were put on the wait-list and had to go back an hour later when there are souffle pancakes available.
Luckily for you, Gram doesn’t only have a store in Tokyo, but all over Japan, too. They are even opening up a new store in Hong Kong in March! Aside from their Souffle Pancake, they also offer a plethora of other delicious and beautiful pancake stacks and tea.
Thai pancakes, Thailand
Miss Shirley’s, Baltimore Maryland
I love breakfast and pancakes are by far my favorite breakfast food. That’s why every time I’m in Baltimore,, Maryland I head straight to Miss Shirley’s. This place without a doubt serves some of the best and most innovative Southern comfort food that I have ever eaten, and the pancakes are no exception. The last time I was here O had the red velvet pancakes and they were absolute heaven in my mouth. The pancakes were light, fluffy, moist, flavorful and totally delicious. Plus, the pancakes were adorned with a decadently delicious amount of whipped cream and chocolate sauce; talk about heaven in my mouth.
Yes, the portions are insanely large, but somehow I managed to eat every mouthful. And if red velvet isn’t your thing, not to worry because they have specialty pancake flavors that change every month. So when you walk in, there is always something new and exciting to try.
Pancake Bakery – Amsterdam , Netherlands
The Pancake Bakery is located in the heart of Amsterdam city centre, on the Prinsengracht (Prince’s canal), a 5-minute walk from the famous Anne Frank House. Their tagline “The Best Pancakes in Town” is surely justified. We walked to the basement of this 17th-century building where this restaurant is located for a wholesome meal.
They serve pancakes with both savory and sweet options. Choices are so many that you are bound to find some topping that you like. What is also worth checking out is their omelettes. My husband ordered the classic pancake with bacon, cheese and mushroom. And I tried a Masai omelette – yes, that’s what this dish is called – loaded with broccoli, zucchini, paprika, carrots, onions, mushrooms, sugar snaps and cheese! My daughter was delighted with her sweet pancake with chocolate sauce and banana.
So if you visit Amsterdam, make sure to go to The Pancake Bakery for a hearty breakfast or a meal. They are open from 9 am until 930 pm.
Café de Miki with Hello Kitty – Tokyo, Japan
Food is often as much about presentation as it is about taste. And when it comes to pancakes, Café de Miki with Hello Kitty in Tokyo, Japan would top my list on presentation alone. The café, which is located inside Diver City Shopping Mall, offers a whimsical dining experience centered around the popular cartoon character, Hello Kitty. This is the perfect place to enjoy breakfast (or breakfast for dinner), especially if you have children.
The décor and all the food served at the cafe is Hello Kitty-themed. I ordered two pancakes, served with a scoop of chocolate ice cream, sliced bananas, and shaved almonds. The Hello Kitty image was stamped onto the top pancake with chocolate powder, and the ice cream was topped with whipped cream and drizzled in chocolate sauce. Perhaps not the healthiest meal, but it was definitely enjoyable and very yummy!
Pandan Pancakes, Melaka Malaysia
The Daily Fix in Melaka, Malaysia makes the best pandan pancakes. Their specialty, and you can see why as soon as you taste them. Fluffy American style pancakes with the taste of pandan. Served with sour Gula Melaka, coconut and optional ice cream. The sweet, sour and creamy taste is exceptional.
The reason that these were so good is that Malaysian pandan pancakes are usually thin, filled with Gula Melaka and coconut, rolled up and ready to eat. Whereas Indonesian pandan pancakes, known as Kue Serabi, are mini fluffy versions served with a runny sugar syrup and coconut. Both are delicious but The Daily Fix pancakes combine the two in a wonderful way, making them exceptional.
Pandan is used in Asia to sweeten recipes and gives the national Malaysian dish, Nasi Lemak it’s distinctive flavour. Similar to vanilla in taste, it is the perfect addition to a pancake recipe, plus it gives them a greenish tint. Pandan is apparently growing in popularity around the world and is tipped to be the next big thing after avocados and matcha, according to celebrity chef Nigela Lawson. The pancakes from The Daily Fix are the best pancakes I’ve ever had, just wish I lived closer!
Pannekoeken (Dutch pancakes)
Dutch pancakes are like nothing else. They are pretty large and relatively thick, and can be eaten sweet or savoury. For the savoury variant, imagine a fusion between a pancake, an omelette and a pizza! The sweet variant is usually eaten with powder sugar or treacle.
My favourite place for Dutch pancakes is De Pannekoekenbaker in Heusden. This is a famous pancake house in the Netherlands with 16 establishments in small picturesque towns all over the country. I have tried a lot of pancake variations, but my favourite ones are the savoury. I still can’t decide which the best one is: the one with smoked salmon, melted Brie, spinach and cheese; or with melted Brie, walnuts and honey. They both are fluffy and the Brie just lifts them up and makes them super delicious. They are both best paired with a pint of brown beer.
Pancakes in Paradise – The Gold Coast, Australia
So if you want some truly decadent pancakes to send you off on your 40-day repentance, than head to Pancakes in Paradise in the heart of Surfer’s Paradise in the Gold Coast Australia. They have some serious flavours like banoffee, chocolate, strawberry banana, and many other sinfully delicious choices. Pair it with a Viennese coffee and you have it made. Serious breakfast, brunch, lunch here to satisfy not only your appetite, but your final indulgence for lent.
And for those At Home for Pancake Tuesday…
Not everyone can travel. Some also may be in between trips and wish to have pancakes to honour this important day. Amy of the blog Toothbrush Travels, and this awesome Instagram account shares an incredible recipe for folks to enjoy on this Pancake Tuesday…
They’re something which can be eaten at any point in the year, yet when February 13th rolls around it inspires excitement to the masses – myself included. Pancake Tuesday is a favourite for me. Forget Valentine’s Day with its sweet, sweet love, it’s all about that sweet sweet batter. Unfortunately – there have been an abundance of times where I have gone out for pancakes and they have fallen flat. Literally – with dense batter or lumpy mixtures, there was nothing which could prepare me for the disappointment felt during those mistakes. Enter Chrissy Teigen’s ‘Dutch Baby Pancake’ recipe from her ‘Cravings’ recipe book. Despite that it looks like a giant Yorkshire pudding – it’s light, fluffy, and soaks up syrup wonderfully. Plus if you pop a little vanilla ice-cream on top it tastes even more sugar-coma inducingly wonderful. It’s the ultimate recipe if you don’t fancy going out or pancakes! To make your Dutch Baby Pancake you will need:
1 cup all-purpose flour (sifted)
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk (room temperature)
1⁄2 teaspoon of kosher salt
4 tablespoons (1⁄2 stick) butter (melted) plus softened butter for serving
Pancake syrup (or, more specifically, Mrs. Butterworth’s)
Powdered sugar, for dusting
1- Preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit.
2- In a blender, combine the flour, eggs, milk, salt, and 2 tablespoons of the melted butter and blend until smooth with no lumps, 20 to 30 seconds.
3- In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter over high heat until foamy. Add the batter and immediately put the skillet in the oven. Bake until the outside of the pancake is puffed and a deep golden color (it will puff up in a bit of a crazy, disorganized way, so don’t worry), 17 to 18 minutes.
4- Remove from the oven, slather with softened butter, and cut into quarters. Pour syrup over the pancake slices and dust with powdered sugar.
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Fill My Passport collaborated with other travel writers on this post. All opinions are our own and none was influenced by Fill My Passport.