Friends and family have asked me more than once where to find the best pancakes in New York City, and after years of meeting pals for brunch I think I’ve narrowed down my 10 favorite.
Since pancakes aren’t all that complicated to make it’s easy to assume that they’re all the same. However let me the one to tell you, there are levels to the flapjack game. The best pancakes in New York City are made with measured hands, following specific recipes by quality chef’s that have been curated to perfection.
I figured if I’m making a list of the best pancakes in New York City, I’m going to have to be a harsh critic. The stakes are high, I don’t mess around when it comes to breakfast food. If that means I had to go up a few pant sizes, then so be it. I can only hope you appreciate my sacrifice in making this list. So without further ado, here are the 10 best pancakes in New York City.
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Best Pancakes New York City
Waking up at grandma’s house is a treat no matter what background or ethnicity you’re from. The food never seems to end, it’s like there’s a conveyor belt bee-lining pastries into your mouth. Named after the Yiddish word for grandmother, Bubby’s is no exception.
Bubby’s has been cooking up the best pancakes in New York City for more than 30 years. Owner Ron Silver describes dining here like the “day after Christmas” and after my first meal here I could understand why. The pancakes are made from simple, real ingredients which make for a nostalgic homestyle breakfast.
There are two different styles of pancakes, the first are the 1890 sourdough, which are thin and tangy. They’re about as thick as a few crepes stacked on top of each other. I imagine they’d roll up nicely like a flour tortilla, they’re soft and easy to cut with a fork.
The second are James Beard pancakes, which follow the legendary chef’s recipe with a few custom adjustments. If you were to think of pancakes as pillows, these would be memory foam. They’re thicker and more dense than most pancakes, all while being airy and soft. These are what I consider to be the best pancakes in New York City!
You won’t go wrong with either one, but if you really can’t decide you can do what I did. Bring a friend so you can each get one and share.
Address: 120 Hudson St, New York, NY 10013
Clinton Street Baking Co.
Clinton St. Baking Company was born in 2001 to prodigy chef Neil Kleinberg. A native New Yorker, Kleinberg honed his skills in the kitchen from a young age and opened his first restaurant at a mere 22 years old.
Having first opened their doors as a small batch bakery, Clinton St. Baking Company’s rise in popularity forced them to buy the property next door and evolve into a full fledged restaurant. Thanks to some of the best pancakes in New York City, they’ve become world famous and host guests every year from all around the globe.
On their website, Clinton St. Baking Company says their current mission is to live up to the “hype” and I can attest, they do. The pancakes are everything they should be, airy and fluffy. Not to mention the maple butter that comes with them is unforgettable. I like to order mine with wild Maine blueberries but there are also options for banana walnut or chocolate chunk.
Clinton Street Baking Co. also has a location in the Timeout Market. One of my fondest memories is after the walking the Brooklyn Bridge for sunrise, my wife and I stopped by for breakfast in DUMBO and enjoyed some of the best pancakes in New York City.
Address: 4 Clinton St, New York, NY 10002
Chez Ma Tante
When it opened in 2018, Chez Ma Tante was named one of the best new restaurants in the country by GQ. In fact the press on the Greenpoint restaurant has been consistent. The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Travel + Leisure all wrote articles featuring the hot restaurant with Canadian roots. Now I’m writing one about how they make some of the best pancakes in New York City.
But let’s be real, we’re here to talk about flapjacks and Chez Ma Tante is no slouch in that field. The pancakes coming out of their kitchen are fried in a skillet and offer a crisp outer crust unlike any other pancake on this list. If we were judging pancakes like we do bodybuilding competitions, Chez Ma Tante would win the best tan category.
I travel all the way from my UWS apartment to Greenpoint for these buttery bits of heaven more often than I’d like to admit. But alas – don’t just take my word for it. Check out their tagged page on Instagram and you’ll see I’m not the only one who considers them the best pancakes in New York City.
Address: 90 Calyer St, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Rule of Thirds
In a world of waffles and eggs Rule of Thirds sets itself apart, the Japanese restaurant is a breath of fresh air among traditional brunch fare.
I’ve been craving soufflé pancakes ever since my trip to Japan in 2019 and unfortunately the pandemic postponed my pleasure even more. Rule of Thirds opened three weeks before the COVID shutdowns. Fortunately the closures are behind us, Rule of Thirds survived, and we all get to enjoy some of the best pancakes in New York City.
Styled after the famous Izakaya restaurants in Japan, which resemble a pub, Rule of Thirds provide a spot to settle in with friends for great food and conversation. In fact, Izakaya translates to stay-drink-place and that’s exactly what I do here thanks to the best pancakes in New York City.
The soufflé pancake has a lightly toasted exterior and is topped with honey maple butter and sesame. Underneath the outer crust is a pot of ooey-gooey gold. Eating the pancake feels like taking bites out of a cloud.
Address: 171 Banker St, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Carnegie Diner is an old school American eatery where anybody is welcome to get their food fix. Here you’ll find all the customary diner dishes, however they’ve been taken up a notch. The best way I can describe it is upscaled small town dishes. With organic local ingredients this isn’t your typical side of the road greasy diner.
Pancakes are nostalgic as it is, and Carnegie Diner’s old school vibe multiplies that tenfold. These are among the best pancakes in New York City not only for their flavor but thanks to the sheer quantity of options. Apple Pie, Greek Yogurt, and bacon pancakes top the list.
Not to mention – there are Pancake Lollipops. They’re exactly what they sound like, mini pancakes on a stick with fruit and whipped cream. I think they’re meant to be shared, but don’t tell my wife that.
My go-to order without fail has to be the bacon peanut butter pancakes. That’s how I prefer to eat my pancakes at home and until I came to Carnegie Diner I couldn’t find them on the menu anywhere. Peanut butter chips and bacon over delectable flapjacks with syrup? Best pancakes in New York City in my book!
Address: 205 W 57th St, New York, NY 10019
Beauty & Essex
The unprepared folk might stumble into Beauty & Essex and think they’re in the wrong spot, turn around, and leave. That’s because when you first walk in – it’s a pawn shop. Antique and high dollar items decorate the walls and it’s only until you walk past it that you’ll find a winding staircase that leads to their four dining rooms.
This famed institution has spared no expense in cultivating an experience unlike anything you’ll find elsewhere. There’s a two story chandelier, designer jewelry for sale in the pawn shop and a woman’s bathroom outfitted with a salon, luxurious couch and antique perfume bottles.
The reason they’re on the list of the best pancakes in New York City however is thanks to their Oreo Cookie pancakes. Fine Oreo crumbs are speckled over a stack of pancakes held together by a sweet filling similar to that of well, an Oreo. Think cookies & cream ice cream – but in a pancake.
Address: 146 Essex St, New York, NY 10002
Sunday in Brooklyn
The founders of Sunday in Brooklyn wanted to create a staple neighborhood restaurant that attracted crowds all day. Their signature Sunday Pancakes ensure that I will be doing my contribution to that goal by being there for brunch. Seriously, these are some of the best pancakes in New York City.
The restaurant feels open and bright, similar to a living room that you could lounge in for hours. It makes for a casual hangout where you can enjoy your meal with friends on their rooftop garden or by the wood burning fire ovens. The space is great, however you could put me on the street and I’d still enjoy every bite of these pancakes.
Hazelnut maple praline syrup is doused over some seriously thick pancakes. They could be confused for a giant brownie with how opaque the syrup is and when they’re put onto the table the perfectly rounded edges make it seem like they came out of a mold. After one bite it’s easy to see why they’re some of the best pancakes in New York City.
Address: 348 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Breakfast by Salt’s Cure
Ever since opening their doors in Los Angeles in 2010, Breakfast by Salt’s Cure has been a destination brunch spot. After opening in the West Village the cult following has only grown. The baffling part? They don’t do syrup, no fancy coffees, and they don’t do bacon. How could a place with “breakfast” in its name not do bacon?!
After ordering at the counter you take your number and find a seat. Meanwhile in the kitchen, the batter used for the best pancakes in New York City is as sweet as it needs to be. There are six flavors, but the OG is topped with powdered sugar and sea salt butter giving even the sweetest tooth a delectable flapjack. In regards to the bacon – it’s been replaced by what they call Picnic Ham. A quick cured slice of pork shoulder that should be offered everywhere.
The edges on these NYC pancakes are crispy, and the center gooey. Not to mention, all the pancakes are gluten-free and made from freshly sourced ingredients. These pancakes are not what I would describe as “cute” but that doesn’t matter. They’re so good New Yorkers practically inhale them.
Address: 27 1/2 Morton St, New York, NY 10014
I brought my sister in law to Cafe LULUc on her first visit to the Big Apple, and on the morning of her flight back home I offered a different nearby bistro for brunch. She surprised me by saying, “can we go back for more of those pancakes I had in Brooklyn?“
When we showed up for round two I decided to order the pancakes for the first time myself. I had to see what all this fuss was about. That was in 2016 and to this day I have it’s my go-to order whenever I drop by. These are some of the best pancakes in New York City.
There’s nothing immediately different about the pancakes. There’s no secret sauce or unique presentation, they’re just made so well. Fresh fruit and syrup combine with measured hands to create the best pancakes in New York City. The cozy restaurant and open bay doors also add to the blissful brunch experience.
Address: 214 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Good Enough to Eat
Founded in 1981, Good Enough to Eat has become a staple of the Upper West Side. Back then, Chef Carrie Levin set out to create good, old fashioned American style cooking. Their commitment to using fresh ingredients and homestyle cooking has never wavered and each flavor-filled bite of the best pancakes in New York City is a testament to that.
Confession time – Good Enough to Eat is the closest restaurant to my apartment on this list. Therefore I blame them for the last two increases in pant size I’ve had since moving to the UWS. At least 50% of what I eat there are what I consider to be some of the best pancakes in New York City.
The pancakes are made with oats, cornmeal and whole flour. Real ingredients that combine to make a hearty flapjack and if you order them with walnuts and bananas you’re basically eating healthy. However with that said, I wonder if that’s true why my pants have been shrinking?
Best Pancakes in New York City (Post Summary)
- Clinton St. Baking Company
- Chez Ma Tante
- Rule of Thirds
- Carnegie Diner
- Beauty & Essex
- Sunday in Brooklyn
- Breakfast by Salt’s Cure
- Cafe LULUc
- Good Enough to Eat
Map of the Best Pancakes in New York City
And there you have it folks! My list of the best pancakes in New York City! Let me know what’s your favorite!