The 10 Best Pancakes in America

Whether you call them pancakes, flapjacks, or griddle cakes, they’re impossible to dislike

Yelp/ Jessica G

You'd be hard-pressed to find better pancakes in Chicago than the ones that are served at M. Henry.

Have you ever met someone who doesn’t like pancakes? You might find people who choose not to eat them, but meeting someone who actually doesn’t like them is as rare as finding a unicorn. The reason? They’re one of the most delicious foods in existence — and these 10 restaurants do them better than just about anyone else.

The 10 Best Pancakes in America (Slideshow)

Pancakes are ubiquitous in American culture (and around the world), cooked at home just as often as they’re eaten at restaurants. Made by pouring a batter onto a hot buttered griddle, they’re extremely versatile and come in hundreds of varieties. Some are made with buttermilk; some contain cornmeal, buckwheat, or other types of flour; they can be studded with everything from blueberries to bacon to M&Ms; and topping options are infinite. There’s a pancake variety out there for everybody.

But if you’re looking to serve a great pancake, the hallmarks are always the same. Great pancakes are light and fluffy, with an exterior that’s slightly browned from the butter. They should be just sweet enough that the addition of maple syrup isn’t overbearing, but savory enough to share a fork with bacon and eggs.

We assembled our list by first scanning pre-existing rankings both in print and online, taking note of the places that get the most recognition. But in an effort to not simply add to the chorus, we combed through regional reviews and found plenty of small-town favorites that are turning out pancakes that legions of fans have been clamoring for years, but that have yet to receive major recognition outside of the area.

Pancakes are one of a handful of foods that are truly universal. They’re democratic in that they’re incredibly inexpensive to make for anybody with a pan and a handful of ingredients, but are right at home topped with lemon curd on a fine-dining restaurant’s brunch menu. Whether topped with a pat of butter and a glug of syrup, or filled with bacon bits and rolled up around a sausage, pancakes are one of the most delicious and versatile foods in existence. Read on to learn which restaurants serve America’s best pancakes.

#10 Pancake Factory, Shelby, Mich.

Yelp/ Pancake Factory

Who doesn't love chocolate chip pancakes?

The only downside to this small-town favorite? It gets absolutely packed on weekends. As the name implies, it’s all about the pancakes at this homey family-run restaurant, and there are lots of varieties on the menu. If you’re looking to go traditional, you won’t be let down by their buttermilk, buckwheat, pecan, chocolate chip, blueberry, or banana pancakes, which are fresh, light, and (of course) scratch made. But if you’re in the mood for something different, opt for their thin and slightly gooey flapjacks, their puffy German pancake (or its smaller cousin, the Dutch baby), or their pièce de résistance, the old-fashioned apple pancake, which is baked with fresh apples and a cinnamon glaze and could double as a decadent dessert.

9 The Downyflake, Nantucket, R.I.

Facebook/ The Downyflake

Don't leave Nantucket without visiting.

This cash-only Nantucket landmark has been going strong for more than 80 years, and it’s a an absolute must-visit for anyone on the island. First of all, picking up a box of their freshly fried doughnuts is a Nantucket tradition (It’s actually the last remaining location of America’s first doughnut chain), but their pancakes are just as legendary as the doughnuts. Simple and no-frills, these are melt-in-your-mouth and perfectly golden brown. Get them topped with their homemade blueberry syrup.

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