Whoever came up with this cunning way of eating cake for breakfast (or any other meal, for that matter), we thank you for your service to society.
Carrier of berries, bacon, or pretty much anything you darn well please, pancakes are peerless and are usually the first thing we learn to whip up in the kitchen. This is no coincidence—if you can make pancakes, you're set for life.
So wave goodbye to waffles and au revoir to French toast—because today we're talking pancakes. Here's where to find some of Auckland's best.
We're major fans of the citrus buttermilk pancakes at Major Sprout, which are thicker than your average pannie and come in a sick as stack decked out with butterscotch custard, seasonal fruit, cheesecake, almonds and a flourish of pretty pink candy floss (ooh!). Add a side of vanilla bean ice cream to give this one full heart-attack-on-a-plate status.
When it comes to pancakes, Foxtrot Parlour certainly know their stuff. Theirs have been a firm fave of ours for many years now, and the reason is this: they're drop dead DELICIOUS. See for yourself what all the fuss is about and order one of these fluffy cakes loaded with crispy bacon, caramelised banana, maple syrup and whipped cream—along with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for just a few bucks extra—stat.
Hello Friends + Allies
If you haven't had the pleasure of smashing back a plate of red velvet hotcakes from Hello Friends + Allies yet, the time is nigh. These ruby-hued beauties not only look the part, they're also seriously tasty and that makes them some of Auckland's best. Yes, as much as we love Hello's French toast and mermaid yoghurt bowls, it's the hotcakes that keep us coming back: think pretty red cakes topped with cherry mascarpone, lemon curd, berry coulis, meringue, chocolate soil and Persian fairy floss. Woof.
If the thought of pancakes with marshmallows and fairy floss has your tastebuds tingling, you've come to the right place. Circus Circus don't mess around when it comes to breakfast and these cakes—make from a delicious ricotta-laced batter—are no exception. Novelty ingredients aside, you can also expect vanilla yoghurt, strawberry compote, maple syrup and—if you're feeling extra gluttonous—streaky bacon and vanilla ice cream. Go on, you know you want to...
When it comes to hotcakes, Bambina don’t do things by halves. Their blueberry ricotta hotcake is served with fresh berries, mascarpone, seeds, millet puff, maple AND edible flowers. They don’t skimp on toppings here—this hotcake is stacked high. It’s pretty, tasty and oh-so Instagrammable. A great spot for pancakes in Auckland.
Marua Road Cafe
Listen up team, because these three words are going to change your life forever—carrot. Cake. Pancakes. Yes, the clever peeps at Marua Road Cafe have whipped up a plate of fluffy cakes that taste just like the popular Kiwi treat and yes—that means cream cheese frosting. You're welcome.
Sweetening up the North Shore is Honey Cafe, who serve a super tasty gluten-free orange ricotta pancake. This bad boy is topped with vanilla ice cream, fresh seasonal fruit, honey orange blossom syrup, seeds, strawberry coulis, chocolate soil, raspberry sugar and vanilla maple syrup. We recommend adding on bacon—because everything tastes better with a few rashers.
You already know that Ozone Coffee make a mean brew, but did you know that they also make killer pancakes? These guys chuck any pancake preconceptions you have right out the door and instead offer a moreish gluten-free version topped with roasted tamarillo, Fijian dark chocolate crumble and dulce de leche labne (wait, what?). For peak pancake-eating pleasure, you should of course devour this alongside a cup of their top-notch coffee.
No. 1 Pancake
Operating from what may be the smallest kiosk in Auckland is No. 1 Pancake. Popular with both suits and students alike, this kiosk often has a queue of people waiting to get their mitts on their cheap and delicious Korean-style pancakes. Here the pancakes are stuffed with fillings (anyone for ham, cheese and pineapple?) and cooked to crispy perfection. P.S: their potato and cheese pancake has recently been named one of the 100 Auckland Iconic Eats.
The Federal Delicatessen
If you can tear yourself away from The Fed's dinner menu—even just the once—make sure you order some of their moreish American-style griddle cakes. Made from a buttermilk batter thats next-level soft, these have doubs the blueberries (blueberries in the mixture and as a compote on the top), as well as cinnamon butter and a strudel nut crunch. Suddenly we're not missing that Reuben sammie quite so much...
Little Bird Kitchen
Bringing the fermented food trend to pancakes is Little Bird Kitchen. This Ponsonby eatery serves a savoury pancake made with a delicious (and healthy) combination of chickpea and kimchi. The pancake is then topped with leafy greens, radish salad and wait for it... a sweet chilli and cashew aioli. You can also add avo so of course, you should. While it’s a lil different to the traditional pancakes we all know and love, we promise it’s very VERY tasty.
The butterscotch hotcakes at Woolfy's are a must-try. You'll want to bring along your best sweet tooth though, because there's a lot to work through—think fluffy sticky date cakes topped with grilled banana, vanilla mascarpone, candied walnuts and the the pièce de résistance—a splash of housemade butterscotch sauce.
Jam Organic Cafe
Just because you’re competing in NZIFBB needn’t mean you have to give up pancakes. Jam Organic Cafe serves figure-friendly protein hotcakes in a glorious fashion. Made with vanilla whey, these hotcakes will go straight to your biceps. They’re topped with spiced poached pears, maple, berry coulis and thickened yoghurt. Protein shakes have nothing on this.
Honey Bones' ricotta pancake is indeed very cakey (aka dense) and it's for this reason it's one of our faves. Topped with tangy lemon curd, creamy Greek yoghurt and luscious poached fruit (and a bit of bacon if you fancy), the news just keeps getting better.
Domain & Ayr
Looking for pancakes in Auckland? While we’re sure Domain & Ayr has an extensive breakfast menu, we wouldn’t know because we’re too caught up in their fluffy 20-minute pancake. It’s soft, it’s fluffy and it’s bigger than any pancake you’ve seen before. Served with seasonal fruit, mixed berry compote and mascarpone and drizzled with maple syrup, this famous pancake is worth every minute of the wait.
Dutch Delight is a North Shore icon, having served up pancakes in a range of wild flavours for as long as we can remember. Tiramisu pancake? Check. Baklava pancake? Check. Rum and raisin pancake? CHECK. And we haven't even started on the savoury options... from the humble ham and cheese through to pannies inspired by the flavours of Indonesia and Greece, these guys know what's up.
If you thought New Flavour was only good for dumplings, think again. The iconic Dominion Road eatery also knows a thing or two about pancakes. There’s a pancake to satisfy every taste but personally, we can’t go past their sweet red bean-stuffed offering. It sounds weird, we know, but we promise it’s jolly tasty.
Keep up the breakfast of kings with a tour of Auckland's best waffles.
Image credit: Major Sprout, Bambina, Little Bird Kitchen, Honey Bones