With the opening of Breton creperie Mamie’s, recently come to Covent Garden, we’ve got one more reminder that pancakes are for life, not just for Pancake Day. Who wants their pancakes made by an amateur tosser, jumping on the pancake bandwagon for Shrove Tuesday? As though they aren’t just as brilliant on any unshriven day of the year.
We could go back to Mamie’s on the regular – but if you feel man cannot live by Breton galette alone, here are the best places to eat pancakes of the world in London.
The Breton crepes at Mamie’s
These guys are experts, dedicated to the art of the galette and the craft of the crepe. Their Covent Garden shopfront also has a basement Cidrotheque – apparently it’s traditional to have your buckwheat galette with a bowl of cider – though if you want to throw tradition to the wind, the hot chocolate’s great. Order one of the savoury galettes, filled with ham, cheese and egg, or one of the sweet crepes like the La Duras, with cooked pears, salted butter caramel, caramelised nuts and topped with ice cream. Both sweet and savoury versions are equally good and come on – if they didn’t want you to have one of each they wouldn’t have put cheese in one and ice cream on the other.
Mamie’s, 19, Catherine Street, WC2B 5JS. Website.
The French-Brazilian galettes at Senzala
The French-Brazilian heritage of this Brixton creperie translates into similar buckwheat galettes to the ones on the menu at Mamie’s, but with more Latin American toppings on offer – try the Godfather, with cheese, pepperoni and jalapeño. Or one of the Ranchero variations with chorizo, beans and egg.
Senzala, 42, Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8PS. Website.
The Chinese Cong You Bing at Chinese Laundry
These savoury, scallion pancakes are usually made with dough rather than batter, giving them a chewy texture. At this Islington restaurant they mix up British brunch traditions with – try their cong you bing with bacon and egg.
Chinese Laundry, 107, Upper Street, N1 1QN. Website.
The Austrian kaiserschmarren at Kipferl
Great though crepes and galettes are, they don’t make for easy sharing. Here comes the dessert menu at this Austrian restaurant to offer you a way to gaze into your loved one’s eyes over fluffy pancakes, torn into small pieces and dusted with icing sugar. Take a fork each and attack a plate of kaiserschmarren together.
Kipferl, 20, Islington High Street, N1 8ED. Website.
The Dutch poffertjes at Where the Pancakes Are
As with the kaiserschmarren, these are a shareable pancakes. But just the fact you can share doesn’t mean you have to. A plate of these fluffy, light poffertjes, each smaller than the palm of your hand, is totally manageable by yourself. Actually, we’re talking ourselves out of the sharing thing.
Where the Pancakes Are, Flat Iron Square, SE1 0NQ. Website.
The Indian dosa at Sagar
London has a lot of places serving these savoury lentil and rice-flour pancakes but the ones at this Indian vegetarian chain – with branches across central and west London – are our favourites. The dosa come soft in the centre, crispy at the outside and stuffed with spiced potato.
Sagar, 17, Percy Street, W1T 1DU. Website.
The American stack at Honky Tonk
They do a good American pancake at this Clapham. Order them with blueberries or banana or maple syrup or cream – or ideally, for the full American experience, all of them.
Honky Tonk, 16, Clapham Common South Side, SW4 7AB. Website. See website for other locations.