short stack of fluffy pancakes sprinkled with powdered sugar and topped with blueberries

Grandlife guide

Sweet Life: NYC’S Finest Pancakes

back to list

What’s more simple, sweet, and satisfying than a morning stack of pancakes? Whether you prefer them dressed the old-fashioned way with butter and syrup, or punched up with fresh fruit and other toppings, here are four spots across New York serving up some of the city’s finest.

Soho Diner

If you’re staying at the Soho Grand Hotel, Soho Diner is awfully convenient. Tucked just next door the hotel, Soho Diner is one of the most popular brunch spots in Soho. Pancakes are one of their main attractions— serving vegan, banana pancakes (that actually use bananas in the batter itself!) as well as regular, buttermilk pancakes drizzled with real maple syrup and whipped butter. They’ve become a fan-favorite and a social media phenomenon.

Clinton St. Baking Co.

When it comes to weekend brunch, few spots nail it better than this beloved 32-seater in the Lower East Side owned by DeDe Lahman and Neil Kleinberg. Though there are no misses on the menu, it’s the signature pancakes (pictured) that have top billing. They’re subtly golden, extra fluffy—thanks to egg whites being folded (as opposed to mixed) into the batter—and piled high, before getting smothered with wild Maine blueberries and warm maple butter for an addictive sweet-salty finish.

Chez Ma Tante

What’s the secret to the popular pancakes at this charming French eatery in Greenpoint? Why, the humble cast iron skillet. Because it conducts high heat more evenly than a traditional pan or griddle, the morning treats develop a uniquely craggy dark crust to give each bite a satisfying crunch. Extra egg yolks in the batter lend even more richness and almost a cake-like effect, while Normandy butter and Vermont maple syrup root the dish in familiar territory.

Bessou

The indulgent, over-the-top Banana Hotcakes Foster doled out during weekend brunch at this snug, but adorable Japanese cafe in the East Village are where brunch and dessert collide. The cakes are done up Japanese style, so they’re incredibly thick and fluffy, and generously crowned with bananas, black sesame, black sugar syrup, rum, and salted miso caramel ice cream. The dish is as rich as you imagine, so you’ll definitely require a nap posthaste.

Lafayette Grand Cafe & Bakery

This bustling SoHo bistro helmed by chef Andrew Carmellini turns out elegant, yet approachable cuisine day into night, but it’s the lemon pancakes that locals can’t get enough of. They’re extra thin, pleasantly chewy, with a subtle citrusy tang. Each serving arrives with four and is capped with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar and assorted colorful berries, making the plate as easy on the eyes as it is on the palate.

Kitchenette

The pancakes from this cozy and colorful Southern-inspired restaurant in Morningside Heights are straightforward, sublime, and reminiscent of the ones from your youth. The house batter is made with four different types of grains, which yields gorgeously lacy around the edges and super springy in the center. Order them plain, or get them studded with assorted fruits (like bananas, pears, and strawberries) for an extra punch of aroma and flavor.

WORDS Katie Chang

PHOTOGRAPHY @bessounyc 

You May Also Like

Drive-in theater New york Upstate Greenpoint Bel Aire Diner Skyline Theater Tribeca Drive-In

Moonlight Cinema: The Best Outdoor Film Series

film
stories
From classic spots to summer pop-ups, we round up our favorite drive-ins and open-air theaters for your viewing pleasure.
An image of a latte with a foam heart, sitting on top of a newspaper

New York Coffee Culture

coffee & cafés
stories
From a Greenwich Village hole-in-the-wall to a historic bookstore-slash-café, we’ve rounded up 5 cultural meeting spots where coffee is the focus.
Image of six bikes standing next to each other, all with the same logo on the wooden baskets

On Your Bike: Hudson River Greenway

art & design
coffee & cafés
travel
stories
A scenic, cultural, achievable ride on any given afternoon, all mapped out for you.
Fort Tilden New York Best Swim Spots

Get the Skinny on New York's Best Dips

travel
stories
Seven natural swimming spots to keep you cool on your next day trip.
An image of different courses, glasses of wine and a bottle on a table

Dining Al Fresco in Downtown New York

bars & nightlife
food & drink
stories
Your definitive guide to outdoor dining in downtown Manhattan.
Vintage cream blouse and olive jacket with intricate details and a backpack on a wooden display placed behind a taxidermy bird

Downtown Vintage Treasure Troves

fashion
stories
Victorian blouses, sequined disco tops, perfectly worn 501s—these emporiums will sort out any gaps you might have. 
two side by side images, the left displaying a minimalistic salon with two orange chairs and plants, and the right image showing bottles with white bottle caps of an unsweetened soy drink called Fong On

Get Lost in Chinatown

coffee & cafés
fashion
food & drink
reading
stories
From a family-run tofu shop to a private hair studio—our favorite under-the-radar spots.
Two side by side images, the left image displaying traditional Ukrainian garments and textiles and the right image showing plates of Ukrainian dishes from the Veselka Restaurant.

Supporting Ukraine Through Its NYC Roots

art & design
bars & nightlife
coffee & cafés
food & drink
stories
Our favorite Ukrainian spots in a city that boasts the largest Ukrainian population in the country. 
Best Rate Promise
Soho Grand Hotel

310 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013

(212) 965-3000
The Roxy Hotel New York

2 6th Avenue
New York, NY 10013

212.519.6600