Our Five Faves

Best pancakes

Posted March 26, 2012

The pancakes at Big City Bagel and Cafe n Raleigh. They are as large as a small pizza.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So, why not start it off right with some pancakes.

I am a big fan of pancakes. And since I am not the best at making them at home, I like to scour the Triangle for the best. I'm not alone! 

Check our list for the five best pancake joints in the Triangle: 

Tribeca Tavern (Raleigh) - My family and I had originally planned to go to Sunday brunch somewhere else, when we stumbled upon this place off of Falls of Neuse Road. They have a great brunch, with a specialty pancake of the day (that Sunday it was white chocolate and strawberry). I opted for the chocolate chip flapjacks. They offered the perfect blend of fluff and chocolate. The maple syrup just made it even better. 

Irregardless (Raleigh) - Their made from scratch wheat cakes come in plain, blueberry, chocolate chip, strawberry and banana walnut (which also contains coconut!) I have to give a special shout out to their fruit waffle that comes topped with fresh fruit and yogurt, whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. 

big city bagel

Big City Bagels & Cafe (Raleigh) - This family-owned cafe tucked away in the Celebration shopping area off of Six Forks Road offers New York-style bagels and baked goods, in addition to hot lunches, wraps and salads. But their pancakes are what caught the attention of one of our readers, who tipped us off. The reader said the pancakes here were so good, we needed to do a Five Faves pancakes list. He was right! Their fluffy buttermilk pancakes are as large as a small pizza!. They come with real butter and warm maple syrup. You can even get them loaded with chocolate chips, walnuts or fresh ripe bananas. I had the regular pancakes. Ordering just one is enough because it comes with bacon, ham or sausage on the side. 

Flying Biscuit (Raleigh) - They serve breakfast all day, which means you can enjoy their organic oatmeal pancakes anytime! The pancakes themselves are good, but the warm, peach compote and maple syrup that come on top make them even better. 

big city bagel pancakes

Tie: Watt's Grocery (Durham) and Elmo's (Durham) - Watt's gets the nod for its buttermilk pancakes topped with seasonal fruit and warm maple syrup. Elmo's made the list for its great selection of pancakes – plain, banana, cinnamon apple, blueberry, chocolate chip and pecan. Yum!

Special honorable mention to: 

IHOP, McDonald's and Cracker Barrel - I had to pick these, even though we don't normally include chain restaurants or fast food. IHop was selected specifically for its Cheesecake Pancakes (yes, they are as fattening and good as they sound!). McDonald's made the list because there is just something special about getting an order of their hot cakes in the morning. Reminds me of being a kid again. And Cracker Barrel seriously has my mouth watering with their pancakes, which come with warm, individual bottles of maple syrup. 

These are our favorites, but we want to hear from you. In the comments section below, tell us your favorites and we just might pay a visit to them for an upcoming Five Faves. 


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  • fingersmanless Apr 3, 2012

    How can you not have Barrie's? Terrible. Honorable mention to all the chain stores though.

  • majorsbrandon Mar 27, 2012

    Stack em High in Nags Heads!!!!

  • Ambygirl Mar 27, 2012

    Okay, now I am going to have to have pancakes for dinner tonight!! All this is making me hungry!!

  • Not U Mar 27, 2012

    4-Corners in Atlantic Beach. Without a doubt.

  • The Librarian Mar 27, 2012

    Jus' Enuff, which is in the same shopping center as the Guardian Angel Thrift Store on 401 in Fuquay Varina, has absolutely delicious pancakes. But on the weekend, good luck finding seating!

  • charlesdbailey Mar 27, 2012

    Kate's Pancake House in Carolina Beach is scrumdillyumptious!!! In the Triangle check out Breadman's in Chapel Hill

  • bigredtruckman Mar 27, 2012

    State Farmer's Market Restaurant hands down. GREAT food and their biscuits are the best too.

  • corwinsshadow Mar 27, 2012

    Brigs, without a doubt. First, you can order a stack (3), short stack (2), or even just 1 pancake to go with your meal. Second, flavors, from the usual blueberry to cranberry-walnut. Plus, a monthly featured pancake special with delicious flavors rarely seen on the typical menu.

    Can't believe they didn't even get a mention.

  • dgbooboo6 Mar 27, 2012

    Beleive it or not.....Biscuitville has awesome pancakes!!! With Smuckers syrup.......Love 'em!!!!! I drive all the way from Selma to Clayton just to get them.....that's love!!!

  • jchutch9 Mar 26, 2012

    I had pancakes this past weekend at Mama Dip's and they were perfect. Would really like some right now