If you know me, it’s no secret that I live for anything breakfast (especially pancakes). I’ve spent 2 YEARS scouring the Twin Cities every weekend to find my favorite breakfast spots. I can no longer eat pancakes regularly (stomach issues), so not only do I know where the best pancakes are, but I know where you can find a KILLER omelet!
My twin sister and I have made it our mission to be considered true “foodies” of the Twin Cities. We take our restaurant hunting very seriously, and are always willing to try the weirdest of weird (shoutout to that Yak Sausage).
Because I’ve been to so many places and eaten so many different breakfast items, I’m beginning my “foodie” picks with just pancakes (yes, there are that many). I can’t rank the pancakes because some of them are not even considered “pancakes” in the true sense, but DELICIOUS none the less.
Disclaimer: I never use syrup. Partly because I don’t like the artificial sweetness drowning my crispy pancakes, but mostly because I like the flavor and texture of pancakes without maple syrup (which usually costs extra for the real stuff anyway, and I’m a college kid…)
Here we go!
These are actually yeast-based pancakes that they call Flappers, so they are dense and bread like. These are the pancakes that sparked my love for the cafe culture in the Cities. There is nothing quite like these pancakes.
Colossal offers the pancakes doused in a rich, caramel apple sauce with walnuts and brie slices blanketing the dense pillow-like pancakes (you will need a pillow after consuming these “flappers”).
The real secret is to get a breakfast sandwich on one of their incredible flappers. You get eggs with cheese and meat of choice all wrapped in a crispy flapper with a gooey interior. HEAVEN. Plus, it’s only around $6!!! Run, skateboard, swim. Just get there ASAP!
If you want crispy around the edges, light and fluffy buttermilk pancakes, look no further than my favorite traditional pancakes in the Twin Cities. Lowbrow is a somewhat small, modern “diner” on the south end of Minneapolis’ Eat Street. They serve traditional breakfast food, but everything is done exceptionally well. The pancakes are butter and light with crispy edges. The flavor is tangy from the buttermilk and just enough sweetness to make it feel like you’re eating a sweet breakfast indulgence. My only complaint is that the order only comes with 3 pancakes when I could easily down twice that amount.
If I’m going to claim to know some of the best pancakes in the Twin Cities, I can’t forget about the oldest breakfast institution that I happen to live 3 blocks from, Al’s Breakfast. Al’s is located in Dinkytown on the University Of Minnesota campus. Al (who I’m not sure ever existed) whips up some of the best breakfast food in an actual “hole in the wall.” There are only a handful of seats at the counter, but a plethora of people waiting behind you to snag a seat when you leave. The pancakes are your usual buttermilk (tangy, light, fluffy) version, but it’s the option with blueberries and walnuts that are a real hit. It’s not a morning at Al’s without someone drooling on your shoulder waiting for a seat. Ohh and it’s cash only.Happy eating!
Let’s go South American, Colombian to be exact. Maria’s is a hidden breakfast spot serving pancakes with a Colombian twist. When I went I ordered the corn pancakes (Cachapas Venezolanas) and was expecting a traditional cornmeal pancake, but what I got was so much more. There are fresh corn kernels baked right into the cakes. You then have the option of topping the cakes with Cotija cheese, which is a MUST. It cuts through the sweetness of the pancake. I consider them to be the best non-traditional pancakes I’ve found in the Cities, and they’re cheap and HUGE. Win, win.
Speaking of non-traditional. Go to Hell’s Kitchen and don’t even get a menu. Order the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, and fall into a pancake coma. They’re rich and creamy, but tart from the lemon. The texture isn’t like a normal pancake; it’s creamy but the perfectly crisp edges give it incredible texture. Now, once you’re dead from the pancakes; order their homemade peanut butter to eat with a spoon when you rise from the dead just in time for breakfast the next day.
Other pancakes that I’ve had:
(just good, dense buttermilk cakes)
(that black walnut butter though…YUM)
(silver dollar sized, sweet pancakes)
(buttermilk done right, but try the Korean pancakes)
(get the massive cornmeal pancakes)
The Bad Waitress
(the lack of wait service is forgotten after you try the thick and gigantic pancakes)
Now get eatin’