No dish is sexier than a stack of golden pancakes with rich syrup and butter dribbling off the sides. It’s the stuff of breakfast dreams.
Whether you’re a purist and want good ol’ fashioned buttermilk flapjacks or prefer the breakfast staple adorned with everything from fruit to cookies, there’s a stack out there calling your name. Here are our six favorites in Orange County, served all day unless noted. Pass the maple syrup, please.
Haute Cakes Caffe
There’s a line out the door every weekend at this longtime neighborhood hotspot, and we’re betting its orange ricotta haute cakes, LEFT FOREGROUND, might have something to do with that. The Instagram-worthy pancakes arrive in a neat stack and are topped with a warm, mixed-berry compote. Made with fresh orange juice and citrus zest, they smell divine and practically melt in your mouth. Also worth a try? The blueberry cornmeal haute cakes—think thin discs of griddled cornbread studded with fresh blueberries. $10 to $11. 1807 Westcliff Drive, Newport Beach, 949-642-4114, hautecakescaffe.com
Stacks Pancake House
At this popular spot, locals enjoy breakfast favorites done Hawaiian- style, such as the Mac’Nut Banana pancakes: a straightforward pile of lush, thick pancakes bursting with sliced bananas and macadamia nuts. The clincher? You can drizzle coconut syrup all over this island-inspired creation. If what you really want is dessert, get the Oreo pancakes—you’ll love the chocolatey crunch of the crushed wafer cookies embedded in the batter. There’s also a flavor of the week—past flavors included M&M, red velvet, and pumpkin spice. $4 to $10. Locations in Dana Point, Irvine, and Mission Viejo, stackspancakehouse.com
The newest establishment under chef Noah von Blom’s reign satisfies that pancake breakfast craving we all get now and again with its classic buttermilk and blueberry rendition. Golden in color, with the perfect lightly crisped edge, they come with fresh orange zest whipped cream, pure maple syrup, and a scatter of toasted almonds to seal the deal. $15. 3321 Hyland Ave., Costa Mesa, 949-402-3974, restaurantmarin.com
Bosscat Kitchen & Libations
We’ve come across many culinary homages to Elvis Presley in a nod to the rock-and-roll legend’s decadent palate. Bosscat’s The King is a terrifying glorious, gut-busting trubute: thick “blue suede” pancakes smothered in a gooey pool of peanut butter maple syrup with alternating layers of banana pudding, all finished with crispy, razor-thin bacon curls and a spear of fresh banana. Shockingly, it works – though you might need to share the artery-clogging goodness with a friend. Sunday brunch only. $15. 4647 MacArthur Blvd., Newport Beach, 949-333-0917, bosscatkitchen.com
The Original Pancake House
You can’t beat the variety at this institution, where you can order anything from Swedish pancakes with lingonberries and whipped butter to sourdough flapjacks. For something different, try the 49’er flapjacks – giant, plate-sized pancakes that are as thin as crepes but chewy and crispy. There’s also the oven-baked Dutch baby, a puffy, custard tart-like take. Use the side of lemon wedges and powdered sugar to kick up the sweet and tangy factor. $7 to $10. In Anaheim, Aliso Viejo, Orange, Huntington Beach, and Placentia. originalpancakehouse.com