Whenever I’m out for brunch, I always order the same dish if it’s on the menu — pancakes. Something about the circular miniature cakes consistently calls my name, and I’m always down to try pancakes from different places. I love them all, from the typical buttermilk pancakes to the various twists restaurants will incorporate.
I consider myself a connoisseur of pancakes since I’ve tried many around the Bay Area. So, I compiled a list of my top five places I frequently visit as well as some spots where the pancakes especially stood out.
Stacks is serving delicious American breakfast from multiple locations around the Bay Area. They offer a huge selection of pancake flavors ranging from the classics like blueberry or chocolate chip to more unique ones like banana macadamia coconut. What makes their pancakes stand out isn’t just the flavors but the texture they achieve. The pancakes are incredibly fluffy and thick yet still extraordinarily soft and will melt in your mouth as you bite. The portions are also worth your buck, and I will guarantee you will be left satisfied with your meal — which is why I come here monthly.
Plow in San Francisco is a popular farm-to-table restaurant but for a good reason. Their brunch menu is extensive, but if you come, you need to try the lemon ricotta pancakes. You can order it either a la carte or with “the plow” platter, which comes with eggs, potatoes and your choice of protein. The pancakes are pillowy, perfectly sweet, flavorful from the lemon, and the ricotta creates the perfect soft and airy texture. Be prepared to wait if you come on a weekend, but it will be worth it.
Millbrae Pancake House
Millbrae Pancake House is a family-run diner serving classic American breakfast items. They have many options, including traditional buttermilk, Swedish or German-style pancakes. The food is comforting, and it’s pretty much exactly what you would expect when you’re searching for delicious pancakes, and sometimes that’s exactly what you need.
Gram Cafe in San Francisco is unique from the other pancakes on this list since they do not serve the typical buttermilk type. Instead, they serve Japanese souffle pancakes, which are airy and cloud-like. They have many delicious flavors like Matcha Creme Brulee, Mango Pomelo or Salty Yolk! I love how the pancakes aren’t too sweet, so the taste of the toppings compliments them well — the flavor profile is overall very balanced. If you want to try something new, Gram is the place for you.
Oceanview Diner in Berkeley is a longtime establishment serving delicious breakfast foods. What sets them apart from others is their souffle pancakes, which are unique from the typical diner pancakes. Instead of the typical buttermilk flipped in a pan, souffle pancakes are made with whipped egg whites and baked in the oven. The dish is a humongous, fluffy cake, and it kind of reminds me of Japanese cheesecake, which is delicious! They offer many flavors, but I personally rave over the banana rum.