Take heart if the only childhood memory you can trigger about pancakes involved IHOP’s all-you-can-eat stacks dripping in super-sweet syrups (blueberry anyone?) followed by a mega stomachache that lasted the entire drive home sans seatbelt. Make new and stomachache-free memories with your kids by splurging on some pretty refined ‘cakes. We even found some delish gluten-free ones for you!
#1: Brooklyn Diner
With its vintage feel, this diner has enough baseball memorabilia (including a mural of Ebbets Field) to keep your kid entertained until his pancakes arrive. And, when they do, it’ll be a moment to remember for a long time. We’re talking a mountain of pancakes (the Valrhona Double Chocolate Chips, $14.95) are a fave), served with a bowl of whipped cream on the side. The Midtown location has ample booster seats and a little outdoor plaza next door that’s a perfect place to burn off all those calories.
155 West 43rd Street (between Broadway and 6th Ave); 212-265-5400
212 West 57th Street (between Broadway and 7th Ave); 212-977-1957
#2: Good Enough to Eat (photographed above)
At this Upper West Side mainstay, there’s a curated list of five varieties of pancakes to please every palette, including G.E.T.E pancakes with strawberry butter and maple syrup ($9.50), banana walnut ($11.50) and apple ($10.25). Not decadent enough? Go for the Peter Paul Pancakes with Belgian chocolate topped with toasted coconut ($10.25). While you wait: Play a game of count the cows—there are dozens of figurines and cow-themed paintings in this farmhouse-esque space.
483 Amsterdam Avenue (between 83rd and 84th Sts); 212-496-0163
#3: Max Brenner
Since this is a chocolate emporium, you’d expect nothing other than larger-than-life chocolate pancakes. Available only on weekends, be prepared to swoon when your order of Illegal Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Pancakes ($14.95) arrives at your table. This concoction will send your child into a chocolate haze, with its blend of 60 percent dark chocolate truffle cream, pure milk chocolate shavings, spiced pecans and caramelized bananas. If you have room for more, browse at the chocolate-themed retail shop up front or let your kids climb up one step and watch chocolate being blended in two huge vats.
841 Broadway (between 13th and 14th Sts); 646-467-8805
#4: Fairway Café & Steakhouse
If you love silver-dollar pancakes, head right upstairs to the second floor of Fairway Supermarket to the bustling Fairway Café for six of the fluffiest little flapjacks ($9.80) you could ask for. Chef Mitchel London calls them Elaine’s pancakes (for his mother). Your child will call them delicious and fun, especially if you let them top their pancakes with the fresh blueberries they come with. Also available: A gluten-free version ($9.80) if you prefer.
2127 Broadway (at 74th St); 212-595-1888
#5: Burke in the Box
The Ricotta Blueberry Pancakes, served three to an order with Grade A Vermont maple syrup ($14) at this stylish restaurant tucked in Bloomingdale’s, are so delectable, your kids will finish them before you can down your first cup of coffee. Most likely they won’t even complain about spending the day shopping with you.
1000 Third Avenue (at 59th St); 212-705-3800
Share the love in the comment section below and let us know where your family heads for some good ol’ flapjacks.
— Lambeth Hochwald