An Encyclopedia of Pancakes: Tokyo Edition
Call it a pancake boom, but it doesn’t seem like it’s going away anytime soon. Pancake restaurants and cafes are constantly burgeoning all over Tokyo, stacking up in the ever-growing pancake scene. But is that really all there is to it? The trend isn’t as simple as that—it’s built on a whole variety of styles and tastes. Take a long at some of the most popular players in Tokyo’s pancake game.
These incredibly fluffy stacks have risen to the top in the past few years. Souffle pancakes are arguably one of the most popular varieties of pancakes in Tokyo, which many trendy cafes serving them up to customers. Compared to regular pancakes, soufflé pancakes are much bigger in volume yet lighter. The use of egg whites in the batter makes them soft and airy, and eating one is like biting into a cloud. For some entertainment on the side, you can shake your plate and watch it wobble about until it falls.
cafe & pancake gram
The first gram cafe in Tokyo opened just two years ago in 2016, but they’ve amassed a huge following since with steady crowds at all three branches in the city. The jewel in their crown is their famous Premium Pancakes, an irresistibly fluffy stack of three pancakes that stands at 12cm tall. They’re so special that gram only makes them three times a day with just 20 servings each, but plenty of customers come with the sole purpose of eating the exclusive Premium Pancakes.
Official website: https://www.cafe-gram.com/
They may be located in a hole in the wall, but that doesn’t stop hordes of pancake enthusiasts from flocking to the café—on weekends the line snakes well into the streets. A legend on social media, Chaka has gained much attention for their original homemade pancakes which taste as beautiful as they look. Made from scratch by one cook, the café prides itself on the authentic quality of each and every pancake.
Official website: https://coffee-chaka.jimdo.com/
Perhaps these might seem more familiar—thinner than the soufflé but just as delicious in their own right, the American-style pancakes are a classic. Thick pancakes might be springing up all over Tokyo, but you can still find these good old stacks particularly in American-inspired cafes.
Clinton Street Baking Company & Restaurant
Hailing from New York, this world-famous chain brings the traditional pancakes to your table hot off the griddle. They’re simple and modest in appearance, but just one bite is enough to make you swoon. Accompanied by warm maple butter, it’ll be a breakfast to remember—or even lunch or dinner. There’s no one time to enjoy these first-rate pancakes.
Official website: https://clintonstreetbaking.co.jp/
Eggs ‘n’ things
This contender from Hawaii claims to serve the best pancakes in their homeland. It’s a worthy claim that you’re warmly welcomed to judge at their several branches in Tokyo. You’ll be surprised at the sheer presence of these famous pancakes; as flat as they might be, they make up for it in height with their extremely tall mountain of whipped cream.
Official website: https://www.eggsnthingsjapan.com/
Before soufflé pancakes bounced into the scene, thick hotcakes were all the rage. These plump stacks characteristic of Japanese-style pancakes are filling and impressively fluffy while still offering a solid bite. Many old-fashioned cafes serve this particular style, and people of all ages continue to enjoy it. It’s timeless and easy to eat by yourself or with a friend!
These might be the most picture-perfect hotcakes you’ll ever see. Golden brown throughout the middle and creamy beige on the brim, they present a textbook example of traditional hotcakes. With a slab of butter doused in maple syrup on top, there is no mistaking the timeless quality here. Pinocchio itself is a retro café that lets you enjoy a delicious plate of hotcakes in a charming Showa era-style atmosphere.
Inspired by the well known Morinaga hotcake mix, HOTCAKE Tsurubamisha was opened as a tribute to homemade hotcakes. Each hotcake is imprinted with their distinctive logo, a combination of an acorn and the kanji for “sha”. Over the years the humble hotcake café has come to form their own legacy, gaining countless regulars who often visit for a delicious tea time.
Official website: http://tsurubamisha.hatenablog.com/
Dutch baby pancakes
While dutch baby pancakes might not be as common in Tokyo, they’re quickly gaining traction. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, the German-style pancakes are a sight to behold in their signature pan. They’re certainly photogenic, which gives it a popularity boost among trendy Tokyo Instagrammers.
The Original Pancake House
True to its name, The Original Pancake House was one of the first chains to make the Dutch Baby popular in Tokyo. Although they serve the other classic varieties of pancakes, the Dutch Baby is a popular and novel item on the menu, beloved by customers for its unique texture and sweet taste.
Official website: http://www.pancake-house.jp/
If you think the pancake boom is running thin, check out the different types of pancakes from thick to fluffy to crispy. The griddle looks like it’ll stay hot for a while—there’s a never ending crave for good pancakes in Tokyo. Grab a friend or just go by yourself for some good old breakfast food!
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