When the morning calls for a stack of thick, fluffy pancakes — perhaps topped with candy or cereal or chocolate sauce — these 18 Boston-area restaurants deliver the goods. A few jiggly souffle pancakes and bowl-like Dutch babies are included here, but this map is no place for thin crepes. Bring on the carbs.Read More
18 Irresistible Pancakes Around Boston
Stacks upon stacks of syrup-drenched, elaborate pancakes
1. Ball Square Cafe
Somerville’s Ball Square neighborhood is brunch central (see also: Sound Bites, listed below.) Open since 2007, Ball Square Cafe serves breakfast and lunch all day, every day (except on Christmas Day, the one time it’s closed all year). The pancake selection includes chocolate chip and banana; blueberry; strawberry; and more. Gluten-free and whole-wheat options are available, too.
2. Sound Bites
Another Ball Square pancake option, Sound Bites, features pancakes made with a cornbread batter and topped with strawberries, pecan, and ricotta. There are also standard pancakes with chocolate chips, coconut, or several other options. Whole-wheat pancakes are available.
3. The Neighborhood Restaurant
Somerville’s Neighborhood is brunch royalty, filling Union Square residents with gigantic meals since 1983. The restaurant is known, of all things, for its Cream of Wheat, which is available as one of the appetizer choices with virtually any breakfast option — which means that you can try that and also pancakes. And also pastries, eggs, and meat, because there are combos that include pretty much everything and will fill you up for days. (Be sure to get linguica.) Venture onto the handwritten specials menu for the most interesting pancake options, topped and/or filled with fruit, whipped cream, and more. Cash only.
4. Alden & Harlow
Alden & Harlow’s pickled Verrill Farm corn pancakes, the perfect balance between savory and sweet, have been a staple since the restaurant opened back in 2014. The classic version appears on the dinner menu — buttermilk, maple, shishito, and popcorn garnish — while the brunch version has changed over time, with the current incarnation including roasted cherry syrup and vanilla and black pepper cream cheese.
5. In a Pickle Restaurant
This Waltham breakfast-and-lunch joint is known for its extreme pancake stacks. The regular menu is packed with options, such as chocolate chip cookie dough pancakes (filled with cookie dough) and candy-filled varieties (Snickers, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and more), but there are also rotating specials, such as the Bam Bam Fruity Pebbles Extreme Cakes (a triple stack of Fruity Pebbles pancakes stuffed with Fruity Pebbles sweet cream cheese and topped with cereal milk buttercream icing, Fruity Pebbles garnish, and powdered sugar).
6. The Friendly Toast
This Portsmouth-based mini chain now has half a dozen locations around New England, including this longstanding Kendall Square one and a newer one in Boston’s Back Bay. Pancakes are a key component of the breakfast menu. Options include pancakes with a cinnamon sugar swirl and cheesecake glaze; banana and chocolate chip pancakes with bacon (or turkey or veggie bacon), a peanut butter drizzle, and whipped cream; and more.
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7. Brookline Lunch
Located on Brookline Street in Cambridge’s Central Square, Brookline Lunch dates back to 1937, under the current ownership since 1989. “Lunch” may be in the name, but there’s breakfast available all day, including the baklava pancakes, which have developed a bit of a cult following since their debut on the menu a couple years back, originally meant to be a Mother’s Day special. Cash only.
8. North Street Grille
North End restaurant North Street Grille, around since 2004, confidently declares its brunch to be the best in town on its website and social media; it even secured the URL bestbrunchboston.com, probably a smart SEO move. Fortunately, it’s not all talk, and diners are enthusiastic as well. The pancake selection is daunting, with options including Boston cream (with Bavarian cream and chocolate ganache), cannoli (with crushed cannoli shells and ricotta cream), and more.
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9. The Breakfast Club
The Breakfast Club, a throwback ’80s diner, has an appropriately huge diner-style menu. Pancakes — as well as French toast and Belgian waffles — come with a choice of about 10 toppings, such as chunky monkey (bananas, chocolate chips, walnuts, and caramel sauce) and strawberry pecan. For an additional charge, diners can sub in gluten-free or whole-wheat pancakes.
10. Lone Star Taco Bar
More often than not, your visits to Lone Star Taco Bar are probably late at night and filled with tacos. But there’s daily brunch, too, and it features some outstanding sweet and spicy jalapeno corn cakes with maple syrup. (Lone Star also has an East Cambridge location.)
11. Whole Heart Provisions
Whole Heart Provisions — which has locations in Allston and Cambridge — serves Sunday brunch at the original Allston location, including pancakes that change seasonally. The restaurant’s menu is entirely vegan.
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At swanky Greek restaurant Committee, located in the Seaport District, brunch includes pancakes made with Greek yogurt and topped with sour cherry vyssino, honey, toasted almonds, and berries. It’s available in a full or half portion; the latter might come in handy if you also want to try, say, the spanakopita grilled cheese or baklava oatmeal.
13. Taiyaki NYC
This New York-based ice cream shop is full of Instagram bait, from its pastel swirls of soft serve in fish-shaped cones to its fluffy Japanese-inspired souffle pancakes. The pancakes are only available on the weekend menu from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and there are two options: The classic pancake comes with maple syrup, butter, whipped cream, and powdered sugar, while the matcha pancake comes with whipped cream and matcha cream. Both are topped with a mini taiyaki.
14. Double Chin
Double Chin takes “a la mode” to the next level by sticking a whole ice cream cone on top of its green tea pancakes, available during weekend brunch. Dubbed “Matcha Made in Heaven,” the pancakes are also topped with mochi, adzuki red bean, cereal, and black sesame butter.
15. Bootleg Special
Taiyaki NYC (see above) caused a stir when it brought its souffle pancakes to town, but the South End’s Bootleg Special has been serving its own fluffy souffle-style pancakes for a couple years now. Available at weekend brunch, there are several options, including bananas Foster and chocolate hazelnut.
16. Mike's City Diner
Sometimes you don’t want giant stacks of pancakes topped with cereal and candy and chocolate sauce; sometimes you just want a simple stack of buttermilk pancakes with butter and syrup. Maybe a little fruit. South End institution Mike’s City Diner delivers on that front.
17. Lincoln Tavern & Restaurant
South Boston brunch hot spot Lincoln Tavern serves brunch all week long, including a Friday service called “Brunch Test Kitchen” that features a rotating array of new dishes. While the menus differ slightly among weekday, weekend, and Friday brunch, there are always over-the-top pancakes available. The restaurant’s popular Fruity Pebbles pancakes, topped with cereal milk anglaise, are a mainstay, but keep an eye out for specials like s’mores pancakes, apple pancakes with cinnamon bourbon apples, and lots more.
This cozy Mission Hill spot from the Blarney Stone team is a popular brunch destination. The shakshuka may get top billing, but don’t miss the pancakes; there are several options, including Lucky Charms pancakes and a Dutch baby with lemon ricotta, blueberry compote, and strawberries.