Buttermilk, blueberry, chocolate chip, banana: they are the four gold standards of delicious pancake flavors, and long may they reign. But if you're looking to shake up your breakfast routine, SF has a lot more to offer in the pancake department, from crunchy cast-iron baked Dutch pancakes to inch-thick souffle pancakes. Whether you're craving bacon and cheddar, lemon poppyseed, or Nutella, this list has what you're seeking, including multiple gluten-free varieties. Join us as we explore the wide world of San Francisco pancakes.Read More
Nutella, Bacon, and Cap'n Crunch: 14 Delicious, Unusual SF Pancakes Worth Sampling
Creative and clever vegetarian dishes are a hallmark of Verbena's menu, and their brunchtime pancakes are no different. Made with ground red corn, they're topped with peppery nasturtium butter, basil, and apricots braised in (of course) lemon verbena. Other versions have included carrot and sourdough.
Inch-thick souffle pancakes are a brunch standard at Chambers, with an all-out indulgent topping of spiced apple chutney, membrillo (quince paste), and in lieu of maple syrup, maple ice cream.
Dottie's True Blue Cafe
If you're willing to fight off the tourist hordes, Dottie's gluten-free pancakes, made with rice flour, are definitely a favorite. They come filled with banana and fresh raspberries.
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This casual mid-Market diner has a bunch of quirky pancake variations, including candied pecan, strawberry-granola, chocolate-coconut, and peanut butter chip (they'll do it half-and-half with milk chocolate chips for that Reese's vibe).
Dutch baby pancakes, baked in an itty-bitty cast-iron pan, are menu staples for brunch at Outerlands. With their crunchy exterior and fluffy interior, they're definitely memorable. Get them savory (with maple-sage sausage) or sweet (with strawberries); you can add housemade ricotta to either version.
Brave the brunchtime lines for a taste of Zazie's gingerbread pancakes, topped with lemon curd and Bosc pears. They're deliciously sweet and spicy. Zazie also has a rotating weekly pancake special, with flavors like cornmeal and banana bread pudding.
Enjoy your panqueques Latino-style at Padrecito, where they're made with polenta and plantains, then topped with mango mascarpone, strawberries, and cajeta, a sweet milk caramel.
The cheddar-bacon pancakes at Kate's are perfect for those who don't have as much of a sweet tooth at breakfast (though they fare pretty well when topped with maple syrup). Fun fact: the real-life Piper and Larry of Orange Is the New Black fame bonded over them on their first date.
The Willows comes from the people who came up with Maker's Mark-glazed pork-belly donuts, so it's no surprise their pancake option brings together the equally insane-but-wonderful combo of peanut butter pancakes layered with chocolate mousse and sprinkled with peanut butter Cap'n Crunch. It'll bring back memories of snacking on cereal in front of Saturday morning cartoons.
Town's End Restaurant & Bakery
Swedish oatmeal pancakes, filled with fresh fruit and almonds, are a morning menu staple at Town's End. If you're really starving or hungover, get the Mary's Special (right) which has two of them and a two-egg mushroom-green onion-cheddar scramble, all for just $12.
Market & Rye
Its West Portal location is no longer, but the Market & Rye in Potrero Hill continues to put out a fun rotating selection of pancakes in flavors like lemon poppyseed, pumpkin-persimmon, and pineapple upside-down.
Creamy housemade ricotta and tart lemon make Plow's famous pancakes as light as a feather, even when drowned in honest-to-goodness maple syrup. Gluten-free types can also enjoy special pancakes made with almond flour.
Nutella makes everything better, and Toast's pancakes are no exception. Order up a short stack slathered in Nutella and sliced bananas, or go for the Coco Loco, with bananas, macadamia nuts, and coconut.
Light and fluffy, this Noe Valley spot's banana souffle pancakes become sinfully rich with the addition of fresh bananas, mascarpone, and walnuts. There's also a lemon ricotta version with strawberries.