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10 of the Best Places in the World to Eat Pancakes

Published 08 February 2018

Angela Griffin

Angela Griffin

In honour of Pancake Day, we’ve rounded up ten of our favourite places in the world to eat pancakes. We’re talking everything from covered in butter to filled with squid, and of course including everyone’s favourite: drizzled in maple syrup. Perhaps don’t read this if you’re feeling hungry…

Buttermilk pancakes with fruit

Buttermilk pancakes with fruit (image: Angela Griffin)

Buttermilk pancakes, USA and Canada

I was served these super-fluffy buttermilk pancakes for breakfast on a recent trip to Ontario – and very tasty they were too. In North America, pancakes are made with baking powder, which gives them a cake-like texture that goes particularly well with blueberries, butter or other fruits. They can also be served with ice cream and chocolate sauce as a dessert. Try them anywhere in the USA and Canada, although we can particularly recommend the Denny’s restaurant chain for extra decadent buttermilk pancakes with a variety of delicious toppings.

Making crêpes

Making crêpes

Crêpes in France

A staple food across France, crêpes are essentially very thin pancakes made by tipping batter onto a special hotplate and spreading it into a circle with a wooden batter spreader. They’re then filled with a selection of ingredients – my favourite is ham and cheese but you could also choose banana and chocolate or eggs for example – then folded over to warm them through. You can often find market stalls selling crêpes; they make an excellent on-the-go snack that won’t break the bank.

Poffertjes

Poffertjes (image: Angela Griffin)

Poffertjes in the Netherlands

On a recent holiday to Amsterdam, I called into Café T’Smalle for breakfast and ordered these delicious mini-pancakes, also known as poffertjes, served with melted butter and icing sugar. They’re made in a special iron pan with dips in it for the batter, and they rise to resemble fried cupcakes. If you don’t fancy all that sweetness, there’s also a savoury variety topped with Gouda cheese.

Kimchi pancake

Kimchi pancake

Kimchijeon in South Korea

While I can’t yet claim to have visited South Korea, I have been to New Malden, location for Round the World Experts’ head office, on numerous occasions. New Malden has a sizeable Korean community, and offers a number of excellent Korean restaurants. It’s in one of these that I tried Kimchijeon, or Kimchi pancakes, filled with sliced kimchi (spiced pickled vegetables, often cabbage or radish) added to a flour and egg batter and fried in a skillet until crispy. I have it on good authority that the versions served in South Korea are even tastier.

Banana pancake made at a street food stall in Bangkok

Banana pancake made at a street food stall in Bangkok

Banana pancake in Thailand

When I travelled in Thailand a few years back, I couldn’t get away from banana pancakes. Not that I’m complaining mind you, because they are of course delicious, especially when served with chocolate sauce. They are a very common breakfast menu option across Thailand and Southeast Asia, and also feature in plenty of market stalls, where they sometimes have egg added as well, which is far tastier than it sounds.

Pancakes served on board the Rocky Mountaineer

Pancakes served on board the Rocky Mountaineer (image: Alexandra Gregg)

Pancakes with maple syrup, Canada

Our Expert Alex chowed down on these delicious looking pancakes while travelling on board Canada’s Rocky Mountaineer. Maple syrup must be the ultimate pancake topping, and of course when in Canada it would be rude not to try it. The cake-like texture of Canadian pancakes soaks up the maple syrup a treat, and tastes even better if you offset the sweetness with a few rashers of bacon. Mmmm.

Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki in Japan

Okonomiyaki translates as ‘how you like’, which tells you all you need to know – you can pretty much put any topping on this pancake. It is a savoury dish though, most usually featuring cabbage. Additional ingredients vary depending on where in Japan you are. Try the Osaka version, with yam, dashi, shredded cabbage, onion, pork belly, octopus, squid, vegetables and cheese added to the batter, for a mouthwatering lunch or afternoon snack.

Blini topped with smoked salmon, sour cream and caviar

Blini topped with smoked salmon, sour cream and caviar

Blini in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus

Very popular across the Slavic countries, blinis are make with buckwheat flour, soured milk and yeast, which makes them rise a little and gives them a softer texture than a crêpe. My favourite way to eat these is with cream cheese and smoked salmon, but in Russia you’ll often find them topped with caviar and sour cream and served with vodka.

Appam

Appam

Appam in India

Indian pancakes vary considerably across the country, but one of the stand-out favourites is appam, which is made from coconut milk. A slight variation on this is uttapam, a thick pancake made with fermented rice and black lentil mixed with spices and chopped onions. Both are usually served as an accompaniment to curry, where they are used to mop up excess sauce.

Pancakes with lemon and sugar

Pancakes with lemon and sugar

Pancakes with lemon and sugar, UK

I couldn’t write a list of the best pancakes without adding in my own personal favourite, and perhaps the most simple of all, pancakes with lemon and sugar. Made of just three ingredients: flour, eggs and milk, and fried on both sides, these thin pancakes go down a treat on Pancake Day, when us greedy Brits eat a whopping 117 million of them – that’s about two each.


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