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Five of the Best: Cambridge pancake places




“I am now affectionately known as the ‘pancake queen’ in my household - largely due to my insistence on having pancakes at any given opportunity.” In this month’s column for Velvet, Cambridge Food Blog’s Gracie Mills shares her five favourite pancake places in the city

Pancakes have always held a special place in my heart. One Pancake Day, when I was young, I remember my Dad announcing that we were going to have savoury pancakes for dinner and sweet ones for dessert and it was one of the most exciting things in the world to me.

The table, laden in savoury fillings, transformed into a buffet of pudding paraphernalia, as the bowls of ham and grated cheese were switched out for sweet treats. It felt radical, to have pancakes for two courses and the memory of covering my crepe with squirty cream and lashings of chocolate spread with wild abandon stayed with me.

In my adult years, my love for pancakes hasn’t waned and I am now affectionately known as the ‘pancake queen’ in my household - largely due to my insistence on having pancakes at any given opportunity. Here are five great places to grab pancakes in Cambridge.

Fitzbillies

Cambridge Food Blog's Five of the Best Pancakes - Fitzbillies (57152281)
Cambridge Food Blog's Five of the Best Pancakes - Fitzbillies (57152281)

We all know about Fitzbillies, right? They knock freshly baked Chelsea buns out of the park and they're a huge part of Cambridge foodie history. Well, now we need to add ‘top pancakes’ to their repertoire.

The Trumpington Street café is where you can indulge your pancake cravings, with a choice of two flavour combinations – one being the chocolate, banana and hazelnut and the second being the classic option of bacon and syrup. Instead of a usual maple syrup, however, Fitzbillies use their infamous Chelsea bun syrup to drizzle over the pancakes - genius!

I couldn't resist ordering the caramelised banana, chocolate sauce and hazelnut stack and I am convinced I could smell the sugar caramelising from the kitchen. It's a beautiful, generous plate of pancakes and tasted as delicious as it looked.

@fitzbillies

Hot Numbers

Cambridge Food Blog's Five of the Best Pancakes - Hot Numbers (57152474)
Cambridge Food Blog's Five of the Best Pancakes - Hot Numbers (57152474)

A choice which topped the list when I asked my Instagram community to name their favourite pancake haunts. These unique pancakes are frequently mentioned in ‘top pancake’ lists whenever conversation on the subject arises.

They look discernibly different to your stereotypical Scotch or American-style pancake. How so? They’re almost cake-like. . . or come to think about it, they are quite literally pan-cakes: ultra-thick and spongey with cracking flavour combinations on offer.

In addition to the more traditional pairing of bacon and maple, Hot Numbers has a visually stunning option including chocolate sauce, miso caramelised popcorn, hazelnut and coconut tuille.

@hotnumberscoffee

Espresso Library

Cambridge Food Blog's Five of the Best Pancakes - Espresso Library (57152280)
Cambridge Food Blog's Five of the Best Pancakes - Espresso Library (57152280)

Light, fresh and topped with fruit, these fluffy pancakes are entirely vegan and you wouldn’t even know. The Espresso Library menu staples have been perfectly fluffy every time I have had them and the perfectly-sized portion always leaves me satisfied and satiated.

Fresh fruit provides a lovely bit of variety and the cool coconut yoghurt is a great alternative to having to douse one's pancakes in syrup, staying true to the café’s main style of food – nutritious and delicious!

@espressolibrary

Scott’s All Day

Cambridge Food Blog's Five of the Best Pancakes - Scott's All Day (57152283)
Cambridge Food Blog's Five of the Best Pancakes - Scott's All Day (57152283)

The Scott’s All Day brunch offering has quickly become a favourite of mine in the last few years and the American-style pancakes are no exception. This gem captures the hustle and bustle of Mill Road, and is frequently packed to rafters as Cambridge folk seek out their weekend brunch fix.

These pancakes are big and beautiful and you can opt for a stack smothered in Nutella, banana and sweet almond, yoghurt and fruit compote or the classic maple and bacon. I may have been known to pair my pancakes with a prosecco or two at a Scott’s bottomless brunch in the past.

@scottsallday

Old Bicycle Shop

Cambridge Food Blog's Five of the Best Pancakes - Old Bicycle Shop (57152282)
Cambridge Food Blog's Five of the Best Pancakes - Old Bicycle Shop (57152282)

I am acutely aware that I need to provide some pancake diversity, so I am going to throw this wildcard into the mix. I am a sucker for anything which has peaches in the dish description and this choice couldn’t escape my attention: plant-based pancakes, topped with coconut yoghurt and peaches in a basil and peach syrup.

It looked gorgeous, and with the accents of savoury flavours in the dish, I wiped the corners of my mouth and paid my bill without feeling like I needed to unbutton my jeans. However, if you do fancy something more indulgent (I often can’t resist) they do have a fantastic plant based banana, dark chocolate and nut option too.

@oldbicycleshop

For more visit cambridgefoodblog.com and follow @cambridgefoodblog.


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