A Definitive Guide To London’s Best Pancakes
Sweet, savoury, or packed full of peking duck, these are London’s best pancakes.
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. 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. Whether they’re packed full of seafood or smothered in maple syrup, these are the pancakes you really don’t want to miss.
If there was a pajeon power ranking, Imone’s would take first place—comfortably. It’s beautifully presented, with an almost aggressive amount of spring onion peeking through the pancake batter. If you leave this charming Korean spot in New Malden without trying this crispy, comforting dish, we can’t take you seriously. It doesn’t matter if you’re coming from the opposite end of the city, this pajeon is worth the journey.
photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch
Din Tai Fung
We know, we know, Din Tai Fung is best-known for being Disneyland for xiao long bao lovers. But two bites into this Covent Garden spot’s prawn pancake and you’ll start googling whether it’s OK to put prawns in a blender, because you’ve decided these are low-key pancake goals. The teeny tiny bits of prawn are layered throughout the softest part of the pancake, creating little pockets of fishy goodness, while the outer layer is gloriously fried.
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photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch
We’re going to do something different and start with the negatives of the pancakes at this all-day Mayfair spot. They’re only available on weekends, which seems like a rather selfish thing to do to the pancake-deprived people of London. The positives: the fluffy ricotta pancakes at NAC are light as air, which is why the thick dulce de leche sauce it’s drowned in pairs perfectly. It’s also topped with banana which makes for a fancy banoffee-with-a-twist situation. This is a super popular place so don’t turn up without a booking.
Sunday In Brooklyn
Sunday In Brooklyn has somehow infiltrated our childhood dreams and created a stack of pancakes so thick and so fluffy that we have no choice but to stand up, say something profound like “hazelnut praline, simply inspired” and slow-clap. With the addition of a hearty dose of brown butter, we might even shed a single perfect tear over their signature stack. Plus the all-day restaurant in Notting Hill serves brunch until a lie-in friendly 5pm throughout the week. You can opt for a single pancake, a double, or the XXL triple-tier stack but these are no regular pancakes so we suggest you share if you decide to order big.
Dumpling Shack’s crispy spring onion pancake is a fantastic and flaky circle that should be dunked in their electric chilli oil with wild abandon. It’s one of our ultimate go-to savoury pancakes, and we usually head to their kitchen in Old Spitalfields Market to perch, slurp sheng jian bao dumplings, and invest in the ultimate onion party that is their pancakes. It’s handmade in front of you and under a fiver—you just can’t go wrong.
Where The Pancakes Are
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. The buttermilk batter is, frankly, magical and we’re even into their eggy options. A carafe of mimosas alongside? 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 cafe in Bloomsbury specialises in soufflé pancakes. They’re like a glorious scotch pancake that’s been under a serious workout regime and bulked out big time. When it comes to toppings, 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.
photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch
La Crêperie de Hampstead
Walkies aren’t just for all the good doggos out there. No, walkies are also for noble Londoners who 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 some of the city's best crêpes. Legendary grab and go spot, La Crêperie De Hampstead has been serving 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 in Mayfair, it’s grand, bright, and even has a doorman who will make all of your pre-coffee angst evaporate. Our favourite dish 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.
Royal China Club
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.
Farm Girl Cafe
Farm Girl is a great spot for anyone who 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, kind of healthy spot 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 cafe 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.
When it comes to pancake toppings we do not discriminate. Our kitchen has seen various Frankencake creations ranging from a Marmite crêpe 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 American-style diner in Dalston is pretty much permanently busy, so prepare for a bit of a wait.