Pancakes. Those fluffy little discs of buttermilk, sticky with syrup, hold a sweet spot in our hearts. From misshaped, Bisquick dinosaurs on the griddle to family brunches at old-fashioned pancake houses, hotcakes are more than just breakfast. They’re one of the most comforting of comfort foods we know! With National Pancake Day still fresh in our minds, we’ve searched the city and rounded up seven flapjack joints your family will flip for next time you feel a pancake fix coming on.
Portage Bay Cafe
“Eat like you give a damn.” It’s their motto, and it’s fitting. Portage Bay Café boasts a delectable menu with ingredients sourced from local and organic farms. These aren’t your Aunt Jemima pancakes; these flapjacks are organic, made with Bluebird Farms heirloom wheat and yogurt. The menu is mouth-watering, rendering specialties from vegan hotcakes to classics like omelets, benedicts and some off the chart french toast options (banana foster, oatmeal cobbler and lemon curd). Kiddos can order Mickey Mouse shaped flapjacks, and everyone will enjoy the toppings bar, jammed-packed with fresh, organic fruits, nuts, maple syrup and whipped cream.
Order It: Cranberry pecan whole wheat pancakes sweetened with local cranberries and toasted pecans. Or go French and get the banana foster French toast.
Go Vegan: Butternut pancakes (with organic butternut squash and maple-pecan spread).
Good to know: Lines will be long, so come prepared to wait (we promise it’s worth it).
Find Them: Portage Bay Cafe has 3 locations: Roosevelt, South Lake Union and Ballard
4130 Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle, Wa 98105
South Lake Union Location
391 Terry Avenue North
Seattle, Wa 98109
2821 NW Market
Seattle, Wa 98107
Hours: Monday through Sunday from 7:30 am – 2:30 pm
Patty’s Egg Nest
Pete’s Eggnest. Patty’s Eggnest. Brother/sister breakfast joints? Rivals? It turns out, neither. Patty Papadopoulos opened her first Eggnest in Greenwood over 20-years ago, and it wasn’t long before she sold it to Pete and Voula Sideris, who changed the name to (not suprisingly) Pete’s Eggnest. You can find Patty’s Eggnest in Ballard; spacious yet homey, serving up deliciousness. Both Patty and Pete have become famous for their Greek spin on American breakfasts.
Order It: Patty’s delicious spin on Swedish pancakes. Just say Opa! Or try the Nutter Butter French Toast (deep-fried with peanut butter and Patty’s much-raved about Devonshire sweet cream). Yum-o!
Good To Know: Leave your plastic at home; this place takes cash or check only.
Kids Will Love: Crayons, coloring book pages and a small box o’ toys from which to borrow.
Find Them: Patty’s Eggnest (Ballard), 9749 Holman Road NW, Seattle, Wa 98117 or online at pattyseggnestrestaurant.net
Hours: Monday through Saturday from 6:00 am – 8:00 pm; Sunday from 7:00 am – 8:00 pm
My Sweet Lil Cakes
With food trucks gaining serious momentum around the city, it’s only fitting that one shows up selling goodies from the griddle. Jesse and Sheena Lee recently opened My Sweet Lil Cakes, a 1950s themed food truck specializing in pancakes on a stick. They can be found on Capitol Hill, Monday through Friday, delivering fresh creations to hungry Seattleites.
Order It: Chicken & Waffle (free range) with maple butter. Red Velvet Buttermilk with dark cherries and sweet cream cheese. Blueberry Lemon Ricotta with honey lemon syrup. Green apple caramel with pecans. Dipping sauces with every order. Need we say more?
Find Them: 1208 Pine Street, Seattle, Wa 98122 or online at mysweetlilcakes.com
Hours: Monday through Friday from 7:00 am – 5:00 pm
The Original Pancake House
This Portland based pancake house has gained national acclaim for offering consistently scrumptious hotcakes, awesome service, and a welcoming atmosphere. A true pancake house, it’s nothing fancy or mind-blowing, but they deliver on what they do, and they do pancakes! OPH swears by using old-fashioned sourdough yeast to create light, fluffy cakes just like grandma used to make. From 49’er flapjacks to bacon pancakes, this joint has variety. Go tropical with coconut or Hawaiian pancakes, or bite-sized with silver dollars. Treat your kiddos to some chocolate chip pancakes. They’ll love you forever (or at least until they lick the last of the whipped cream off their face). The service is friendly, and your coffee will never dwindle.
Order It: Two of OPH’s most-loved specialties are the apple pancake (one, gigantic concoction smothered with sautéed apples and a mouth-watering cinnamon sugar glaze) and the Dutch baby (soufflé-like pancake baked to perfection and served with lemon, whipped butter and powdered sugar).
Good to know: Weekends can be crowded, so call ahead to reserve your spot in line. Bonus: Sip complimentary coffee while you wait!
Find Them: The Original Pancake House has 5 locations around the city–Ballard, Kirkland, Maple Valley, Bothell and Puyallup.
8037 15th Ave NW
Seattle, Wa 98117
130 Parkplace Center
Kirkland, Wa 98033
1904 201st PL SE
Bothell, Wa 98012
Maple Valley Location
26820 Maple Valley Highway
Maple Valley, WA 98038
16116 Meridian East
Puyallup, Wa 98375
Hours: Monday through Friday from 7:00 am – 2:00 pm; Saturday and Sunday from 7:30 am – 2:30 pm
Chace’s Pancake Corral
No one comes here expecting gluten-free pancakes and organic fruit bars, but the Corral delivers nonetheless. Bill Chace opened this endearingly hokey hotcake joint in 1958, and since then not much has changed. The menu relies on staples like hash browns, scrambles and bacon, as well as favorites like banana pancakes with coconut syrup. You may or may not enjoy the vinyl booths and wagon-wheel lights, but the food is good and the service is friendly.
Order It: Bill’s famous potato hotcakes with sour cream, pleasing pancake patrons for over half a decade!
Good to know: As with many pancake joints, the weekend wait may be long.
Find Them: 1606 Bellevue Way SE, Bellevue, Wa 98004 or phone: 425-454-8888. Yes, you guessed it. Chace’s is not online.
Hours: Monday through Friday from 6:00 am – 2:30 pm; Saturday 6:00 am – 3:00 pm; Sunday 6:30 am – 3:00 pm
A cozy little café in the heart of downtown Bothell, Alexa’s serves up lovely atmosphere and even lovelier food. Warm brick walls, white wainscoting, local art and comfy booths somehow make the food taste even more homemade. From country farm plates to breakfast burritos, Alexa’s menu covers the gamut. And they don’t skimp on pancakes. Spice up a stack with cinnamon raisin or blueberry, or go for the specialty lemon poppy seed cakes.
Order It: The whole-wheat morning glory cakes are delicious with crushed pineapple, walnuts, raisins, cinnamon, shredded carrots and coconut.
Find Them: 10115 Main Street, Bothell, Wa 98011 or online at alexascafe.com
Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 7:00 am – 7:00 pm; Wednesday from 8:00 am – 7:00 pm; Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
It may be another family-owned diner (complete with wood paneling, bad lighting and a trip to the bathroom that requires walking through the kitchen). But don’t let that hinder you; the food gets fantastic reviews. There are nine varieties of pancakes, all made up with a sweet cream batter that adds a touch of heaven to each hotcake. The country-style joint also offers classic breakfasts of biscuits and gravy, omelettes, bacon and chicken fried steak.
Order It: For flapjacks, try the coconut pancakes or a stack with any of the fruit compotes, all made in-house from scratch. The chicken fried steak is a best-seller, and the hash browns are incredible.
Find Them: 12861 NE 85th Street, Kirkland, Wa 98033 or on Facebook
Hours: Monday through Friday from 6:00 am – 3:00 pm; Saturday and Sunday from 7:00 am-3:00 pm
— Allison Holm
Photo sources: Portage Bay Facebook page / Patty’s Eggnest Facebook page /My Sweet Lil Cakes Facebook page /Original Pancake House: Allison Holm / Chace’s Pancake Corral: Courtney Blethen, Seattle Times/ Alexa’s Cafe Facebook page/ Couzin’s Cafe: Friendseat.com