Top 5 Twin Cities pancakes

The "flapper" at Colossal Cafe.
The "flapper" at Colossal Cafe.
Jessica Chapman

It may or may not be National Pancake Day this Sunday, September 26. (The international megachain IHOP has its own National Pancake Day in February where they give them away. Maybe we should flip a pancake to determine which is the "official" one?)

In any case, there are no free pancakes at IHOP this weekend, so you'll have to make or buy your own. Here are five we like in the Twin Cities.

5. Colossal Cafe's Flappers Last year's Best Pancake winner proves that good things come in small packages. The tiny cafe recently changed ownership but continues to serve its signature "flappers." A pinch of yeast gives the batter a bit of tang that's countered by a light dusting of powdered sugar. No syrup required.

4. Hot Plate's Pecan Pancakes This south Minneapolis diner is often overlooked--we usually remember to go there about once a year when we go to watch the pond hockey championships at Lake Nokomis. But it has a cheery, if kitschy vibe, and some tasty stackers, especially the ones with candied pecans and whipped cream--the closest thing you'll find to the pie version outside of Thanksgiving.

3. Maria's Cafe's Corn Pancakes The corn pancakes, or cachapas venezolanas, are one of Maria Hoyos's Colombian specialties: the plate-size monsters are moist, sweet, and crunchy with cornmeal. Each one--and we dare you to eat more than one--comes topped with a generous glob of butter and a sprinkle of crumbly Latin cheese.

2. Hell's Kitchen's Lemon Ricotta hotcakes These sweet-tart cakes are featherlight mouth-melters. Their reputation is such that even out-of-towners know about 'em--in fact, late-night funnyman Conan O'Brien had a plate when he came to town recently.

1. Al's Breakfast's Pumpkin Pancakes It's a sign of fall, kind of like seeing Scott Seekins transition from all white to all black. Al's Breakfast, the Dinkytown-counter-cum-Minneapolis-institution, starts offering pumpkin pancakes this weekend. Good luck getting a stool!

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Hell's Kitchen

80 S. 9th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55402


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