Pancakes, flapjacks, griddle cakes—this comfort dish is a must-order whatever name it goes by, especially if you’re ordering at one of the Big Apple’s best restaurants. Just in time for breakfast (or breakfast for dinner), we’re serving up the best places for pancakes in New York City.
Diner, Restaurant, American, $$$
The Danish pancake alone at Tom’s is worth the trek to Brooklyn’s Prospect Heights neighborhood. Balancing ricotta and blueberries with lemon zest and biting Parmesan cheese, this Danish dish is responsible for many of Tom’s 1,100-plus glowing Yelp reviews. Whether you choose to dine like the Danes or stick to standards such as silver dollars, you won’t be disappointed here.
Is it possible for a pancake to be trendy? The reliably long lines at Clinton Street Baking Company would suggest so. The heavily publicized pancakes here come loaded with wild Maine blueberries and served with a side of the restaurant’s famous melted maple butter.
Vinegar Hill House, Brooklyn | Courtesy of Vinegar Hill House, credit: Ingalls Photography
One of Brooklyn’s best restaurants (and date spots) serves breakfast too. Visit Vinegar Hill House for a cozy atmosphere and even cozier menu items, such as the spot’s popular sourdough pancake, combining tangy sourdough, uplifting seasonal fruit, creamy salted butter, and maple syrup.
If you crave innovation, Shopsin’s is the breakfast spot for you. Not for those with weak stomachs, the pancake concoctions at this lower Manhattan legend come loaded with mac and cheese, peanut butter ricotta, raspberry-peach pie, and more rib-sticking ingredients, while accompaniments include everything from maple syrup to spicy barbecue sauce.
Heed hotcakes’ call any time of day at 24-hour diner and New York City institution, Veselka. Ukrainian flavors dominate the menu here, where pancakes are prepared with a buckwheat batter so wholesome that you won’t feel guilty for ordering a second stack. For a different sort of pancake, try Veselka’s pan-fried potato pancakes served with sour cream and applesauce.
A no-frills greasy spoon in Manhattan’s Chelsea? Miracles do happen. Discover one for yourself at Johny’s Luncheonette, where diner-style, as-big-as-your-head griddle cakes in original, chocolate chip, blueberry, and banana varieties taste just like Mom used to make.
Maialino, New York | Courtesy of Maialino, credit: Ellen Silverman
The words “pancakes” and “Roman cuisine” don’t often appear together, which is another reason why Danny Meyer’s Maialino stands out amongst its Manhattan peers. Here, thick, custardy batter is crisped to perfection and generously dolloped with fresh sheep’s milk ricotta and seasonal fruit or jam to create one of the most surprising (and delicious) dishes in all of New York City.
The homestyle pancakes at this popular Upper West Side spot are, well, good enough to eat. The house’s own four-grain oatmeal pancake mix provides a base for classic add-ins like walnuts and banana, Belgian chocolate, and fresh blueberries at Good Enough to Eat, a restaurant pick even Grandma will approve of.
Don’t let the name confuse you: Café Luluc is as all-American as it gets. At this Cobble Hill hot spot (think 1,150-plus Yelp endorsements), a stack that Yelpers describe as “mouthwatering” and “pancake perfection” is prepared in butter in a cast-iron pan before being topped with mixed fruit, powdered sugar, and real maple syrup.
The secret to Bubby’s best-selling pancakes? Employing sour cream in place of milk—well, that and a James Beard recipe as their base. Also available in a sourdough variety, Bubby’s takes on comfort food classic flavors such as Nutella with concord grape jam, fried chicken with bourbon maple syrup, and more.