Light, fluffy and typically doused in maple syrup, Canadian pancakes' proud reputation precedes them. These buttermilk treats aren’t hard to come by in Canada, but making a decision on where to treat yourself isn’t easy. To help you choose, we’ve put together a list of the best diners and eateries that know how to plate up a perfect pancake.
Jethro’s Fine Grub in Vancouver, British Columbia
Try 'The Gold Rush' pancakes, topped with banana, nuts and streusel
A Vancouver institution, the pancakes at Jethro’s Fine Grub (Jethro’s to locals) are quite unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Coming in a variety of flavours from classic buttermilk pancakes with whipped butter to dark chocolate chip and espresso, it’s their sheer size that impresses – roughly 2cm thick and 20cm wide. Sharing is a safe option; try the ‘The Gold Rush’ pancake; a delicious combination of banana, caramel, pecans and streusel, all stuffed into the fluffy batter. Based on Fraser Street, Jethro’s is easy to reach from downtown Vancouver and O Canada House Bed & Breakfast.
The Sparrow in Montréal, Québec
Buckwheat pancakes smothered in apple butter and maple syrup are on the menu
Low lighting, dark wood and exposed brick make The Sparrow an eatery worthy of a visit, but the pancakes make it a must. In contrast to the endless supply of buttery options, The Sparrow specialises in buckwheat pancakes that are a darker and more textured swirl of goodness. Loaded up with apple butter, candied walnuts, maple syrup and sometimes a side of Canadian bacon, this is a generous helping of Canada. Once you’re full, take the scenic route through the historical Le Quartier des Spectacles and back to LikeAHotel.
Emma’s Country Kitchen in Toronto, Ontario
Expect fluffy pancakes with whipped lemon ricotta and a side of maple syrup
An all-round breakfast hero, Emma’s Country Kitchen in St. Clair West village draws brunch and pancake lovers from all over Toronto. A cosy, homely spot, the food here is as comforting as the atmosphere. Think tall stacks of wild blueberry pancakes, with generous helpings of whipped lemon ricotta lovingly spooned on top, and a side of maple syrup, of course. After you’ve eaten your fill, be sure to pay a visit to The Little House – a popular tourist attraction, this miniature house is only 7-feet wide and 47-feet deep. Then spread out and sink into the large, welcoming beds at Rose Garden Bed and Breakfast.
Sugar Moon Farm in Colchester County, Nova Scotia
Sugar Moon Farm pancakes all come with homemade maple syrup
A maple farm in the sugar woods of northern Nova Scotia, Sugar Moon Farm is the little roadside retreat you dream about stumbling upon. While not strictly a pancake house, Sugar Moon Farm offers an all-day maple brunch and affordable packages that include tours of the maple syrup production process and the history of the maple leaf. However, it’s the ‘Sugar Moon Classic Maple Brunch' that will leave you with stars in your eyes. Whole grain buttermilk pancakes with maple syrup are topped off with homemade blueberry compote and maple whipped cream, all served with slow-cooked beans, local sausages, maple mustard and your choice of coffee or maple hot chocolate (which you can naturally have with more maple whipped cream, too). When you’ve recovered, the Train Station Inn is a short drive away – where century-old railway carriages now serve as places to sleep.
Calgary Stampede Caravan in Calgary, Alberta
The travelling van of pancakes, you can get these all over Calgary
Another unconventional pancake supplier, the Calgary Stampede Caravan is only open 10 days a year, but a breakfast here is worth the wait. Organised by a group of volunteers during the Calgary Stampede, otherwise known as ‘The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth’, the thick fluffy pancakes are served free of charge and with lashings of maple syrup and whipped cream heaped on top. The caravan itself is more of a collective, stopping around different parts of Calgary every day, accompanied by live music and games. Guarantee yourself a place at the front of the line by staying somewhere central, like the Hotel Le Germain Calgary.
Jam Café in Vancouver, British Columbia
Branch out with the cinnnamon cream cheese swirl pancakes
You may need to wait in line for Jam Café, but the huge portions and pancake mastery should be motivation enough. The Triple Stack Pancakes come with a variety of flavours – opt for the classic banana and walnut or blueberry options, or branch out into cinnamon cream cheese swirl or red velvet. For visitors who prefer savoury options, the double-stacked pulled pork pancakes topped with maple barbeque glaze, jalapeno sour cream and pickled cabbage should satisfy any salty cravings. A breakfast this tasty and elaborate will keep you going throughout the day, which you can end at the nearby Opus Hotel in trendy Yaletown.