We take pancakes seriously here because, well, we know you do, too. It’s easy to find flapjacks in NYC, but why not treat your family to the best the city has to offer? We checked out skillets all over town to serve up the most current roster of NYC’s best, kid-worthy stacks. Read on to see our winners!
For The Organic Pancake Served at Chelsea Market: Creamline
At this fast casual eatery tucked into the hustle and bustle of Chelsea Market, you can indulge in any menu item guilt-free thanks to the commitment to using sustainable, locally-sourced ingredients in every dish. Take the Buttermilk pancakes: They’re made with fresh Farmer Ground Flour and griddled to crispy and fluffy fabulousness. They’re served with Catskills Provisions maple syrup and a choice of organic banana, blueberries or chocolate chips. Farm to Tray? Count us in.
Two Manhattan locations:
75 Ninth Ave.
180 7th Avenue
For the Almond Milk Pancake served in a grown-up setting: Dante
Since 1915, Dante has delighted guests with its sophisticated European ambience and feeling that you could linger all day over a delicious latte. The food at this Italian-Australian café that’s a quintessential part of the West Village is equally appealing and the almond milk pancake with seasonal berries and cinnamon maple syrup—served in its own cast-iron skillet—is sure to please any discerning kiddie taster. Best of all weekend brunch starts here at 10 AM when most locals are still sleeping so grab an outdoor table!
79-81 Macdougal St.
For the Pancake Like Grandma Makes: Good Enough To Eat
A popular spot on the Upper West Side, Good Enough to Eat serves pancakes just like Grandma makes, and they're so pretty, they are good enough to eat. Made from their four grain oatmeal pancake mixture, flavors include: apple, banana walnut, Belgium chocolate and coconut, fruit, and traditional. Oh, they also serve an amazing strawberry butter on the side to add a little more yumminess to the mix.
For The Newest Decadent Pancake: Sugar Factory
Sugar Factory's newest location on the Upper West Side offers a whole lot of pancakes including Red Velvet Pancakes—three fluffy pancakes, white chocolate chunks, orange zest topped with whipped cream and Warm Maple Syrup, buttermilk with candied pecans, banana walnut and Nutella chocolate chip (all come with white, milk or dark chocolate sauce, too). At this sugar emporium, the menu is literally 36 pages long and the mood is energetic. Best of all: Breakfast is served at 10 a.m. and all day—until 4 p.m.—and your kids may just want to stay for hours sipping insanely decadent milkshakes or dipping fondue, too.
Upper West Side
For the Award-Winning Blueberry Pancake: Clinton Street Baking Company
Famous for blueberry pancakes and long lines, Clinton St. Baking Company is definitely worth the wait, and, with an expansion into the next door space in January, there's more room! (As in, 62 seats more room.) Keep in mind that pancakes are served in the evening as well, so consider stopping in right at 5 p.m. when they open for dinner. Made with a whole lot of love and even more butter, these pancakes are more than a meal – they’re a work of art. Topped with their addictive signature maple butter, besides blueberry, they offer banana-walnut and chocolate chunk, and during pancake month in February, they offer a different flavor every day. And if your little ones can’t get enough at the restaurant, you can make them at home as the recipe is featured in the Clinton St. Baking Company's award-winning cookbook.
Clinton St. Baking Company
4 Clinton St.
Lower East Side
For the Simple but Elegant Pancake: Landmarc
Brunch at Landmarc, a popular spot for families - especially those with small children - is filled with tasty menu items for brunch, including their gimmick-free pancakes. These simple and delicious round mounds of joy have the perfect dusting of powdered sugar on top and are served with warm Doc's maple syrup on the side. You also have the option of adding chocolate chips, bananas or blueberries, but they’re just as good plain with syrup.
Two Manhattan locations:
Landmarc – Tribeca
179 West Broadway (between Worth and Leonard St.), 212-343-3883
Landmarc – Time Warner Center
10 Columbus Circle,Third fl.
For the Italian Pancake Served Among Flowers and Trees: Olio e Piu
At this West Village trattoria, your mood will lift as soon as you see the space, filled as it is with flowers and plants bedecking both the interior and exterior patio. Your kids will thrill at the sight of the café’s variety of Frittella Di Olio, an Italian staple of olive oil pancakes, that are rich but not too sweet. Our fave: the Fritella Botanica served with blueberry compote, lemon ricotta, maple syrup and lemon olive oil, though the Fritella Banana, with candied walnuts and bananas, doesn’t disappoint either. PS: Pancakes are available daily from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. so you don’t even have to wait ‘til the weekend to indulge!
Olio E Piu
3 Greenwich Ave.
For a Euro-style Pancake: Freud
If you’ve got a kid with a jones for a sour/sweet pancake, the ones served at this Austrian hideaway won’t disappoint. A fluffy sensation, the pancakes served here are accompanied by rhubarb and whipped sour cream and enough organic maple syrup on the side to give it just the right hint of sweetness. Stop by for bunch Saturday or Sunday from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. after a romp around Washington Square Park.
506 Laguardia Place
For the Power Player Pancake: NORMA'S
While known for the power breakfast of busy people in Midtown, NORMA’s menu also includes an amazing variety of pancakes. These huge, fluffy circles of yum come in interesting flavor combinations such as: Super Blueberry, Banana-Macadamia Nut Flapjacks, Nutella-Packed Jacks and Country-Style Buttermilk. There’s no kid’s menu here, but that’s because their whole menu is designed with dishes that kids love to eat – especially pancakes.
119 W 56th St. (between 6th and 7th Aves.),
For Pancakes Packed with Flavors and Treats: Big Daddy's
Pancakes are a specialty at Big Daddy’s, a favorite restaurant choice of parents all over New York City (and not just for the cool music and trivia games). Little ones can choose from the silver dollar or mini chocolate chunk cakes off the kiddie menu or go for the gusto off the regular menu with choices such as: Hunka Hunka Burnin’ Love (yes, with bananas and chocolate – just like Elvis used to like), Bacon cakes, Cookie Dough, Oreo, Chocolate Chunk or Berry Berry. Word to wise, if you go sans kid’s menu be sure to split it with your tyke – they’ll never finish the whole thing – and neither will you.
Three Manhattan locations:
Big Daddy’s – Gramercy Park
239 Park Ave. S. (between 19th and 20th Sts.), 212-477-1500
Big Daddy’s – Upper East Side
1596 Second Ave. (between 82nd and 83rd Sts.),212-717-2020
Big Daddy’s – Upper West Side
2454 Broadway (between 90th and 91st Sts.), 212-677-2004
For a Local Favorite and Tons of Charm: Tom's
Helping give Brooklyn the title of best pancakes in New York City, Tom’s is a popular joint with many locals claiming the pancakes are not only the best in the city, but also the best on the planet. Offerings include: lemon ricotta, silver dollar and chocolate chip. Like any Saturday or Sunday, the lines are long, but you won’t go hungry as they keep you fed while waiting. Don’t eat too much as you need to save room for the pancakes. This is another cash only spot, so don’t forget to hit the ATM. Can't deal with long lines? Make a special mid-week pancake date with your kids.
782 Washington Ave.
For the Fluffiest Pancake: Bubby's
If you like your pancakes light and fluffy, you will love Bubby’s. Adapted from a James Beard recipe, Bubby’s uses sour cream instead of milk to get the perfect amount of fluffiness. They also serve sourdough and buckwheat versions and sometimes offer Johnny cakes, pancakes made from cornmeal. Little ones have the option of ordering silver dollar pancakes off the kid’s menu, but most eat right off the regular menu, usually opting for blueberry.
73 Gansevoort St.
For The Donut Pancake: Cafe Luluc
In a little French bistro on a crowded street in Cobble Hill you will find some of the best pancakes in Brooklyn. More like a donut than a pancake, these round, floppy circles of perfection sprinkled with powdered sugar are only served with real maple syrup. During the weekend brunch hours there’s obviously a reason you’ll see a plate of pancakes on every table – they’re that good. This cash-only spot can get packed, so go pre-10 a.m. before the traditional brunch crowd gets there. You're up early anyway, right? If your kids are on the louder side, never fear, they have outdoor seating in a lovely back garden as well.
214 Smith St. (between Butler and Baltic St.)
For a Lemon Cake Pancake: Serafina
To be a New York City parent is to know that the many Serafinas around town very much cater to Big Apple kids. The ‘Bambini Menu’ served at lunch and dinner features NYC-centric puzzles and mazes and offers everything from the more healthy (grilled organic chicken breast) to a variation on typical pasta with butter in cheese instead. (Bonus: the pasta is shaped like tennis racquets for an extra bit of fun.) But truly it’s the Lemon Ricotta pancakes served daily starting at 7 AM that stole our hearts. Described as a ‘puffy-like zesty lemon cake,’ this dish, served with fresh raspberries and candied lemon was an instant hit.
9 Manhattan locations, including:
Serafina-Upper West Side, 2178 Broadway (at 77th St.), 212-505-0092
For The Dessert for Breakfast Pancake: The Stanton Social
Apparently, you CAN have cookies for breakfast! You may not want to make The Stanton Social’s Oreo cookie pancakes a weekly habit – you’re kids are sure to stay on a sugar high all Sunday – but you can’t not try these incredible confections, drizzled with icing and served piled high to your table. It’s a pancake that really takes brunch to a whole new level. (The caramelized banana pancakes, seen here on the left, also have quite the following.)
The Stanton Social
99 Stanton St.
Lower East Side
Did we miss your favorite? Throw another one on the pile — share in the comments below!
— Lambeth Hochwald