11 Places in Metro Phoenix to Get Great Pancakes

^

Keep New Times Free

I Support

  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Pancakes say breakfast with a capital “B.” They’re traditional, they’re substantial, and they’re impossible to eat on the run. You must sit down and commit to a stack of pancakes as opposed to settling each day for a granola bar (which probably shouldn’t be considered food, much less breakfast) and a few thousand cups of coffee.

Here are 11 places around Phoenix to find great pancakes — some of them plain, some of them fancy, all of them great.

Chase’s Diner

2040 North Alma School Road, Chandler

For a simple, straight-up stack of classic, diner-style pancakes, hit the counter at Chase’s Diner. These housemade buttermilk pancakes are grilled and beloved, and come with two eggs any style, and either bacon or sausage if you go for the combo. Pancake options are classic buttermilk, multigrain, pecan, and the monthly special (previous flavors have included pumpkin and carrot cake).

The kitchen gets creative at Heart and Soul Cafe.

The kitchen gets creative at Heart and Soul Cafe.

Nikki Buchanan

Heart and Soul Cafe

4705 East Carefree Highway, #117, Cave Creek

This cute cafe with a ’57 Chevy in the middle of the room (and a dining table in the middle of the Chevy) offers plain pancakes in a classic breakfast combo plus a handful of fancy pancake options. Heart and Soul’s Bacon Blue Pancakes are just blueberry pancakes with crispy bacon added to the batter, but they’re so much better than that sounds, contrasting the plump sweetness of blueberries against the salty crunch of bacon. Just as good (and maybe better, depends on the day) are the Granola Raspberry pancakes, filled with tart-sweet raspberries and topped with a bit of granola for crunch.

Matt’s Big Breakfast

Multiple Locations

Matt and Erenia Pool call their pancakes “griddlecakes,” but it’s easy to love these fluffy, golden-brown cakes by any name. Matt’s Big Breakfast’s pancakes are made from scratch and mixed by hand, using cage-free eggs.  These faintly sweet fat boys are topped with sweet cream butter and 2 ounces of Vermont grade A maple syrup — a real plate-load of goodness for under $10. And, of course, breakfast is served all day.

Butterfield's Pancake House & Restaurant is a Scottsdale breakfast staple with extensive pancake offerings.EXPAND

Butterfield’s Pancake House & Restaurant is a Scottsdale breakfast staple with extensive pancake offerings.

Lauren Cusimano

Butterfield’s Pancake House & Restaurant

7388 East Shea Boulevard, Scottsdale

At this old-school, slightly kitschy breakfast restaurant (where the light soffets on the ceiling look like waffles), pancakes come in just about every possible permutation — buttermilk, wheat, gluten-free, banana, pecan, blueberry, strawberry, chocolate chip, wildberry, protein power, and even Oreo Cookie S’mores. For a change-up on the good old American pancake, try Butterfield’s Swedish, a lace-edged, crepe-like cake, dusted with powdered sugar, and given a dollop of wild Swedish lingonberry sauce smack in the middle. So light but so luscious a side of butter seems completely superfluous.

St. Francis

Multiple Locations

You have to wait for St. Francis’ weekend brunch (10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday) to get a crack at the Iron Skillet Pancake, moistened with extra virgin olive oil and baked in the wood-burning oven until its edges are crisped and slightly charred. Topped with caramelized apples, pure maple syrup, and whipped butter, this is dessert, not breakfast. But we’re guessing you won’t have a problem with that.

11 Places in Metro Phoenix to Get Great PancakesEXPAND

Wildflower Bread Company

Wildflower Bread Company

Multiple Locations

These cheery, bread-centric, fast-casuals with multiple locations keep up with trends, turning out a petite stack of light, airy lemon ricotta pancakes to rival any in town. At Wildflower Bread Company, you get a fragrant whiff of lemon the instant the plate is set down and tart hints of the fruit in every bite. Sided with butter, maple syrup (which tastes like brown sugar, and that’s not a complaint), and blueberry compote, these babies are small but oh so effective.

Daily Dose

Multiple Locations

Matt and JenLyn Long’s sophisticated three-squares restaurants do a great job with pancakes. At Daily Dose, select your favorite batter (buttermilk, honey whole wheat, or gluten-free) then pick a topping or try them naked. But we recommend the mixed berry protein cakes — or wheat batter stuffed with banana, strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, blueberry, toasted almonds, and high-protein flax granola. Each heavy plate comes with your choice of sides like fruit, brown sugar oats, or DD hash (as if you needed the extra carbs).

The Original Pancake House has been around since 1988.

The Original Pancake House has been around since 1988.

New Times Archives

The Original Pancake House

6840 East Camelback Road, Scottsdale

Over the many years this retro coffee shop with butter-toned walls and aqua booths has been cranking out breakfast, much has been made of the apple pancake. And rightly so. It takes 30 to 45 minutes to bake (far less if you get there before the crowds hit); it’s a sugar bomb like no other, and it probably clocks in at something like 20,000 calories. In other words, this Original Pancake House dish is an item for your culinary bucket list — a sweet, custard-like concoction vaguely reminiscent of a tarte tatin, thanks to the pretty overlay of caramelized apples.

Breakfast Club

Multiple Locations

These upscale breakfast spots are all about options, offering buttermilk pancakes is served with a dusting of powdered sugar and Grade A Amber maple syrup. But when it comes to dessert-style pancakes, Breakfast Club doesn’t fool around, offering ’60s-era dessert classics — Bananas Foster. Need a more modern stack? Try the lemon and poppyseed with a sweet-cream whip and citrusy white chocolate.

Go classic, or go for the pancake specials.EXPAND

Go classic, or go for the pancake specials.

Snooze an A.M. Eatery

Snooze an A.M. Eatery

Multiple Locations

Breakfast doesn’t get more faux midcentury than at Snooze, a Denver-based breakfast and brunch chain with several locations in metro Phoenix (and growing). Diners can look forward to a retro-modern design, perks like free coffee, and an extensive menu of pancakes. Think blueberry Danish, pineapple upside-down, sweet potato, and chocolate chip varieties (and vegan too). Plus seasonal specials like red velvet and caramel pecan roll. And if you decide, you know there’s a pancake flight (or, at least now you do).

The Lola

6770 North Sunrise Boulevard, #109, Glendale

Any good brunch will feature mimosas and pancakes, and both can be found at The Lola inside the Westgate Entertainment District in the west Valley. Ever hear of a pancake board? You can put your curiosity to rest by ordering over this impressive dish, packed with a dozen small pancakes and a ton of sweet and savory toppings and seasonal fruit. It serves two to three people but would probably go a lot farther if you join it with some hearty morning cocktails.

Editor’s note: This story was originally published on March 25, 2013. It was updated on February 16, 2021.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free… Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who’ve won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism’s existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our “I Support” membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.