There’s a common misconception floating around that there’s no such thing as a bad pancake. I think most people order pancakes off the menu for breakfast because they believe there’s no way you can mess it up. This is especially true if someone has enough syrup to drown the cake in a flood of sweetness.
There are so many ways a pancake can be mixed, embellished and served (thin, fluffy, crisp around the edges,) butI think aficionados appreciate a pancake for its quality, texture and its overall taste without the need for drenching each piece in rivers of syrup.
Some of the places mentioned below serve pancakes that are simple yet classic with recipes that should never be tampered with, others are a tribute to experimentation with resulting masterpieces you never would’ve expected.
As always it’s hard to please everyone with a list like this, so if you have some input on where you think someone can get the best pancakes in Los Angeles, let us know in the comments section at the end.
Rundown starts after the jump!
Blu Jam Café
This cafe started out in Hollywood and has now expanded to include three locations. Breakfast is served all day and you get an easy choice of Blueberry Pancakes or Three Pancakes topped with powdered sugar. The rest of the menu is excellent as well, and we’ve heartilly endorsed them before as one of the best brunches in Los Angeles.
Aloha Food Factory
If you’ll be dining at this mom and pop inspired Hawaiian restaurant you’ll have to try their namesake macadamia nut crème pancakes. If you do order the macadamia nut crème pancakes the kitchen in this little brick building will whip up a fluffy pancake and top it with a vanilla cream sauce and a dusting of macadamia nuts. Don’t come here expecting frills, but do expect a great meal. Aloha!
Opened in 1982, John O’Groats offers eight varieties of hotcakes. Try the O’Groats Lemon Pancakes or O’Groats Applesauce Pancakes with a side of fresh fruit and a piping hot cup of coffee. This eatery gives off a friendly homey vibe and has been named Best Breakfast by many in the media.
Uncle Bill’s Pancake House
If you live in Manhattan Beach or need a reason to go to Manhattan Beach, Uncle Bill’s Pancake House is motivation enough. The restaurant building was originally constructed as a home and went through a number of owners before Uncle Bill McElroy moved in and started serving pancakes in 1961. Uncle Bill offers 12 varieties of pancakes and the Cake & Eggs, two buttermilk pancakes with two eggs any style. The Strawberry sounds really great right now with its fresh strawberries and whipped cream or maybe you can try something more season like the pumpkin spice.
The Original Pantry
Serving Los Angeles since 1924 and open all day and night, every single day of the year. This restaurant draws an eclectic crowd and serves an unpretentious menu. This is the place to go when you don’t feel like getting especially dressed up in the early morning to get a quality pancake.
Pacific Dining Car
Open all morning and all night you’ll be eating your pancakes in a 1920s railcar. Have your choice of fluffy blueberry, buttermilk, or banana-pecan pancakes with either New Hampshire maple or boysenberry syrup.
Rae’s in Santa Monica is an old-school diner almost reminiscent of the diner in Seinfeld. The pancakes here are light and the prices are easy on the pockets.
Square One Dining
Organic ingredients are prominent in Fountain Valley at Square One Dining. Order your pancakes with a bacon-enriched caramel sauce or a bourbon-pecan topping with vanilla whipped cream. Diners should take advantage of the bourbon-pecan topping before restaurants catch wind of the supposed bourbon drought.
Being open for over 70 years, Du-par’s has woven itself into the Los Angeles coffee shop tradition. This is the place to dine if you like thick and fluffy pancakes. You won’t get anything fancy here, just a choice of the Stack (5 hot cakes) or Short Stack (3 hot cakes). However, simple often equates to the fact that these pancakes stand well enough on their own to not need to be topped with powdered sugar or infused with any fruit under the sun.
This Los Angeles hipster cafe draws huge crowds and serves eccentric pancakes. The Hear Me Roar combines Frosted Flakes and strawberries while Saturday Morning Fever swirls Bailey’s and Kahlua into the buttermilk batter. The pancake menu is extensive, so maybe try a new one each visit unless you find one you’re absolutely in love with.
More Than Waffles
This family owned restaurant in Encino stays true to its name by offering scrumptious pancakes for order in a full stack of three or a short stack for smaller appetites. If the Chocolate Chip Pumpkin pancakes are available when dining in I suggest taking a fork to that or the Ultima garnished with strawberries, blueberries, kiwi and nuts for a finishing crunch.
Jacks N Joe
Breakfast is served all day at the South Figueroa restaurant that places a strong emphasis on pancakes. Jacks N Joes is conveniently located just a few blocks from the University of Southern California; perfect for students on a break between classes. The owners wanted this restaurant to have an “at home” feel, which is great for students away from home for the first time. They also work with a student budget with five pancakes for $4.75 and seven pancakes for $6.75. Try their Totally L.A. pancakes for those of us on a diet- three thin pancakes served with fresh fruit and sweet lemon butter.
This Tarzana staple is renowned for their green tea pancakes, and they never disappoint (try the Tiramisu version as well!). For about $12 you can get a triple stack big enough to fill even the biggest pancake appetite. If you happen to be If you happen to be in the Valley near the 101, make sure to stop by!
Did we miss your favorite pancake spot in L.A.? Let us know where you get the best pancakes in the comments section below!