Must-eat Japanese pancakes 


Japanese pancakes cover imageImage adapted from (clockwise from top-left): @metoacafeandkitchen, @ki_mizu_tuti, @icaneatanelephant, and @rubenscube13

Most pancake enthusiasts will be familiar with GRAM or Flippers, 2 famous pancake stores that kickstarted the souffle pancake trend – Japanese pancakes so fluffy that a light shake causes the confectionary to wobble. 

But souffle pancakes aren’t just a fad – there are plenty of pancake stores in Tokyo that prove why the trend is here to stay. From pancakes made of Japanese barley to a hearty Bacon and Eggs pancake breakfast set, here are 9 Japanese pancakes that taste just as good as it looks.


1. METoA Cafe & Kitchen – organic pancakes with edible flowers


METoA Cafe & Kitchen Japanese pancakes
From top to bottom: Death By Chocolate, Mixed Berries, and Citrus x Citrus
Image adapted from: @metoacafeandkitchen

METoA Cafe & Kitchen isn’t a store that specialises in pancakes, but they sure do it well. The pancakes here are topped with nuts and edible flowers, and look almost too good to be eaten.

The posh cafe doles out just 3 types of pancakes for ¥1,280 (~USD11.66) each. Citrus x Citrus comes with a lemony punch, Mixed Berries is blanketed in a luxurious purple jam, and Death By Chocolate is sprinkled with nuts for a fibre boost.

METoA Cafe & Kitchen store exterior
Image credit: @metoacafeandkitchen

Take note that these eye-catching pancakes are only available from 11AM to 3PM.

Address: METoA Ginza 1F, Tokyu Plaza Ginza, 5-2-1 Ginza Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061, Japan
Opening hours: 11AM-11PM, Daily
Directions: 1-minute walk from Ginza Station or 4-minute walk from Yurakucho Station


2. Benitsuru – Americanized pancakes


Benitsuru bacon and egg Japanese pancakes
Image credit: @partiallyhalfnotcrazy

Benitsuru’s popular Bacon & Eggs Pancake will have you lusting for a second serving. Inspired by the classic American breakfast, these triple-tiered pancakes are stacked atop one another with a generous helping of bacon, topped with a fried egg, and completely drenched in an egg yolk sauce.

Benitsuru pancake-making
Image credit: @_dejajazmyn

A maximum of 60 pancakes are made a day, so be prepared to queue and get a numbered ticket. 

Address: 2 Chome-1-11 Nishiasakusa, Taito City, Tokyo 111-0035, Japan
Opening hours: Thu – Tue 10AM-6PM (Closed on Wed)
Directions: 3-minute walk from Asakusa Station


3. A Happy Pancake – made with Hanuka honey from New Zealand


A Happy Pancake Japanese pancakes
Happy Pancakes (¥1,000, ~USD9.05) 
Image adapted from: @__fmsk__

A Happy Pancake offers deluxe pancakes at affordable prices. This includes luxe ingredients such as high-purity Manuka honey imported directly from New Zealand and fermented butter made with Hokkaido raw milk. Prices for pancakes start from ¥1,000 (~USD9.05) onwards.

A Happy Pancake
Image adapted from: @icaneatanelephant

If you can’t make up your mind, opt for the Tea Milk Pancakes with Homemade Granola (¥1,300, ~USD11.77) – it comes with a load of black milk tea sauce made from actual tea leaves. Dried fruits and spices are added for an extra crunch.

A Happy Pancake
Image adapted from: @icaneatanelephant

Other bestsellers include the Tiramisu Pancakes (¥1,390, ~USD12.59) and Cheese Mousse Pancake with Berry Sauce (¥1,250, ~USD11.32).

Find the full list of A Happy Pancake stores here


4. Pinocchio – strictly 3cm thick pancakes


Pinocchio Japanese pancakes
Image adapted from: @yamamo_meshi

While most pancake stores rely heavily on pancake machines, Pinnochio’s pancakes are entirely handmade and baked to perfection. Each piece measures precisely 3cm – a testament to over 40 years of expertise. 

The homely restaurant is run by a pair of 70-year-old owners whose signature includes the Homemade Pancakes (¥550, ~USD5.01).

Pinocchio pancake-making process
Image adapted from:
@_chi_7_3

For a first-class view of the pancake-making process, we suggest getting a counter seat which is right next to the kitchen.

Pinocchio's exterior
Pinocchio’s storefront
Image credit: @ykcat0801

Pinocchio is located along a nondescript street, but you can easily spot it from its pink exterior and a monochrome ‘COFFEE SHOP’ sign.

Address: 16-8 Ōyamakanaichō, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo 173-0024, Japan
Opening hours: Thu – Tue 8AM-7PM (Closed on Wednesday)
Directions: 10-minute walk from Ōyama Station


5. Shounan Pancake – baked with shōnan wheat


Shounan Pancake Japanese pancakes
Image credit:
@______f06

Shounan Pancake sets itself apart from its competitors by using a special type of wheat from Shōnan, Kanagawa prefecture. On top of this winning ingredient, the shop has also won over patrons with its aromatic brown sugar-maple syrup. 

Shounan Pancake Image credit: shounan-pancake.jp

Their Chocolate Pancake with Lemon (¥1,590, ~USD14.49) boasts a multitude of flavours – bittersweet chocolate dough piled with a generous heap of strawberries. Dip your pancake in a lemon cream sauce for a citrusy kick. 

If you’re a boba fanatic, get your milk tea fix with the moreish Royal Milk Tea Pancake for ¥1,050 (~USD12.67).

Shounan Pancake interiorImage credit: shounan-pancake.jp

Address: Venus GRAND at Venus Fort 2F, 1-3-15 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo 135-006, Japan
Opening hours: 10AM-7PM, Daily
Directions: 15-minute walk from Ooka Station


6. Banks Cafe – cheesy pancakes 


Banks Cafe Japanese pancakes
Image credit:
@bom_ba_ye33

Mascarpone cheese is quintessential for a fluffy Instabait pancake. At Banks Cafe, each pancake packs on said ingredient, imparting a distinct cheese flavour with every bite. 

They aren’t afraid to make a bold statement too. Patrons are only given a spoon before tucking in – not forks or knives – just to prove that their pancakes are as soft as they look. 

Banks Cafe Tiramisu pancake
Image credit: banks.cafe.jp

Don’t be afraid to try other flavoured pancakes. The Tiramisu Pancake (¥1,350, ~USD12.28) is best savoured with a cup of espresso and maple syrup. As counterintuitive as it seems, it creates a balanced taste profile of bitter and sweet. 

The Caramel Brulee Pancake (¥1,400, ~USD12.74) doesn’t pale in comparison either. It’s usually sold out by mid-day and is famed for its caramelized and crisp surface.

Address: 3 Chome-26-17 Shibuya, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0002, Japan
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 11.30AM-10PM | Sat & Sun 11.30AM-8PM
Directions: 3-minute walk from Shibuya Station


7. Chaka – meringue pancakes drenched in fresh cream


Chaka Japanese pancakes
Image adapted from:
@chaka.pancake

If you prefer your pancakes served with fresh cream, Chaka is the answer to your prayers. They sell a variety of pancakes but none can compare to the OG – Chaka Original Pancake (¥1,480, ~USD13.9). The cafe pulls out all the stops with heaps of fresh cream, banana, and caramel drizzles.

Like Benitsuru, snaking queues is part of the trade-off for delish pancakes. Make sure to get a numbered ticket at the storefront – it’s given out on a first-come, first-served basis.

Address: 1 Chome-24-8 Senju, Adachi City, Tokyo 120-0034, Japan
Opening hours: Wed – Sun 10AM-10PM (Closed on Monday & Tuesday)
Directions: 7-minute walk from Kita-Senju Station


8. Flying Scotsman – handmade pancakes with ¥100 toppings


Flying Scotsman Japanese pancakes
Homemade Hot Cakes (¥630, ~USD5.74)
Image credit: fscotsman.jp

Flying Scotsman has a no-frills menu, but don’t let that stop you. It is known for its signature dish – two voluminous pancakes stacked atop of each other, with maple syrup on the side. Each piece is painstakingly handmade so don’t be surprised if it takes at least 20 minutes before your order reaches you. 

Flying Scotsman
Chocolate and Nuts Hotcake (¥880, ~USD8.02)
Image adapted from: @okkn.jp

But if you like yours with extra toppings like nuts or ice-cream, each add-on will only set you back for just a mere ¥100 (~USD0.91). Unsurprisingly, it has earned a reputation as one of the most value-for-money pancake stores in central Tokyo.

Address: AKIBA426 4-2-2 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-0021 Japan
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 11AM-10PM | Sat & Sun 10.30AM-8.30PM
Directions: 5-minute walk from Akihabara Station


9. Ki to Mizu to Tsuchi to – vegan and gluten-free pancakes 


Ki to Mizu to Tsuchi to Japanese pancakes
Image credit:
@ki_mizu_tuti

Ki to Mizu to Tsuchi to’s vegan pancakes are made with additive-free and organic ingredients so patrons with dietary concerns don’t have to worry.

If you’re working towards a youthful-looking complexion, try the Northern Ruby Potato Croquette (¥1,280, ~USD11.66). It’s high in antioxidants, which has anti-ageing properties. The pancakes are also chock full of dietary fibre, which boosts digestion, reduces inflammation, and slows down brain ageing.

Ki to Mizu to Tsuchi to vegan pancake
Image credit: @ki_mizu_tuti

Patrons with high cholesterol can eat clean with the Veggie Meat + Soy Milk Tartar (¥1,380, ~USD12.58). The luxe-looking pancake consists of healthy ingredients such as soy milk yoghurt and a vegan meat alternative that taste like the real deal.

Ki to Mizu to Tsuchi to
Image credit: @ki_mizu_tuti

Address: FPGlinksOMOTESANDO Bldg.B Building 1F, 3-10-13 Kitaaoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0061, Japan
Opening hours: 10AM-10.30PM, Daily
Directions: 2-minute walk from Omotesando Station


Next level Japanese pancakes


GRAMS and Flippers might be the most popular on social media, but this list of unique Japanese pancakes prove that it’s worthwhile to venture out of your comfort zone and try something new. The next time you’re in Tokyo, take your gastronomical experience to the next level by visiting one of these Japanese pancake shops.

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