February 20, 2020
Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day, Fat Tuesday: However you refer to it, the annual tradition falls next week and we can't wait to get flipping
But if you don’t want to make your own, we’ve tracked down some of the best American-style stacks and crispy crepes at these top pancake spots in London.
Take a stroll along Portobello Road, where the Electric Diner lies adjacent to one of the best independent cinemas in London. Part of the exclusive Soho House Group, the retro-inspired diner serves a sophisticated take on classic comfort food and shares the same laid-back sense of style as the group’s more exclusive members-only venues. Breakfast is the time to come for pancakes. One for the purists, these buttermilk beauties come smothered in maple syrup and whipped cream. (And the all-day waffles are pretty damn good too.)
Electric Diner, 191 Portobello Rd, Notting Hill, London W11
Down-to-earth mini-chain My Old Dutch has been established in London since 1958, and there are now three restaurants across town – in Kensington, Holborn and Chelsea. A warm and buzzy atmosphere makes them especially popular with families, and they can all be hired as venues for kids’ parties too.
As to be expected, pancakes, waffles and poffertjes (miniature Dutch pancakes ideal for sharing) make up the bulk of the menu, though visitors watching their waistlines could always opt for a virtuous rocket salad. Considering Pancake Day is supposed to be all about feasting though, might we suggest the savoury Four Cheeses? This crisp golden crepe stuffed with mozzarella, halloumi, aged gouda and cheddar is pure fromage heaven on a plate. Wash it down a quirky fruit brew – we love a Floris Ninkenberry or a Boon Kriek cherry.
My Old Dutch, 16 Kensington Church Street / 131-132 High Holborn / 221 Kings Road, Chelsea
Close to London Bridge, Borough Market and the Shard, Flat Iron Square is a foodie destination spread across seven railway arches. It’s where you’ll find hip, Scandi-style pancake parlour Where the pancakes are, whose edited but inventive menu atttracts discerning pancake enthusiasts from across the capital. Choose between traditional organic flour cakes or a 3-in-1 vegan, dairy-free and wheat-free batter. Then decide whether you’re in a sugary or salty mood. If the latter we recommend the mighty Royal – two pancakes served with poached eggs, hollandaise, tarragon and asparagus, plus a choice of smoked salmon, smashed avocado, Wiltshire ham or streaky bacon. Sweet tooth? The pear caramel pancake comes smothered in salted caramel sauce and cream. Don’t mind if we do.
Where the pancakes are, Arch 35a, 85a Southwark Bridge Rd, London SE1
A few miles further south, the Brazilian-owned Senzala Creperie was orginally part of the Brick Box art initative at the thriving Brixton Village Market. After quickly gaining a loyal following, it established itself as a standalone entity and went on to become one of London’s most raved-about French crepe cafes. The menu here is extensive with a good range of vegan and vegetarian options. There’s a choice of plain flour crepes or vegan buckwheat flour galettes, plus creative toppings ranging from Biquinho peppers and marscapone to extra chargrilled bread. But we must confess the sweet boozy options are our downfall here – especially the banana-filled Sweet Sin crepe, drenched in Belgian chocolate sauce, ice-cream and rum. Well, it’s nearly Lent isn’t it?
Senzala Creperie, 41-42 Coldharbour Ln, Brixton, London SW9
Back over the river in the heart of Theatreland, swanky Christopher’s offers a decadent build-your-own pancake option as part of its weekend brunch.
A light-filled, elegant dining room makes this American steakhouse and martini bar a perfect pick for a special occasion. Kick things off with a grand mimosa, then feast on a fluffy stack of American-style pancakes covered in maple-cured bacon and syrup. Or go bespoke and create your own. There’s a choice of buttermilk, blueberry buttermilk or buckwheat batters, plus a range of fancy toppings and sauces, including coconut yoghurt and cinnamon dust, and matcha green tea ice-cream. (And if that sounds too posh, rest assured there’s plenty of Nutella waiting in the wings.)