Looking for the best pancakes in NYC? We checked out skillets all over town to serve up this list of NYC’s best, kid-worthy flapjacks. From decadent and diner classics to refined and weird, this is where to eat to find NYC’s best pancakes. Want more ideas on where to eat with kids in NYC? Try these brunch spots, favorite restaurants of local foodie parents, or our top spots for eating outdoors with kids here! Special occasion? Try one of these fun theme restaurants!
For a Malted Twist in Hipster Central: Sunday in Brooklyn
Don't even think about trying to head here without a reservation. (We stopped by one weekend afternoon and the wait was about two hours.) But clearly, Sunday in Brooklyn—not too far from the brand new Domino Park—is doing something right. In addition to elevated breakfast and lunch foods, the restaurant serves its famous malted pancakes with hazelnut maple praline, and brown butter. They're rich, an unexpected but delicious taste sensation, and super fluffy.
Sunday in Brooklyn
348 Wythe Ave.
For a Gluten-Free Pancake in Times Square: Friedman's at The Edison
You heard us right. Friedman's at The Edison Hotel will prepare its celebrated pancakes gluten-free. (In fact, they can do the same for 99 percent of their menu, and they even mark them with a little sign saying so!) Choose from blueberry, lemon ricotta, or buckwheat banana walnut. Good to know: Friedman's serves breakfast all day, and has also mastered kid faves like mac and cheese.
Friedman’s at The Edison Hotel
228 West 47th St.
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 Mac & Cheese Pancake: Shopsin's
**Briefly sidelined by COVID-19, Shopsin's is back, doing pick-up only. Use this site to order online! **
Pancakes get all kinds of crazy at this Essex Market outpost of the legendary Greenwich Village diner, now no longer. The variations run from enticing (peach melba, and lemon ricotta blueberry) to pushing the envelope, such as the iconic "slutty cakes", which come stuffed with peanut butter. And yes, another fan favorite is the Mac & Cheese pancake, which you can get solo or mashed up with some other brunchy item. (Be forewarned, the restaurant's menu is famously very, very extensive and they're closed Monday and Tuesday.)
Essex Market stall #8
Lower East Side
For an Uber Decadent Pancake: Sugar Factory
Sugar Factory, which has two locations in Manhattan, 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
835 Washington St.
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. Still, 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 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 the Power Player Pancake: NORMA'S
Editor's note: Due to Covid-19, Norma's is closed until further notice.
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.
239 Park Ave. S. (between 19th and 20th St.)
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.
120 Hudson St. Tribeca
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
— Lambeth Hochwald