This homey diner in Columbia City has earned a loyal following for its impeccable pancakes. They're always changing—past seasonal specials have included lemon ricotta, pumpkin, and blueberry.
Many a tear was shed when longtime downtown diner Ludi's announced their closure in August—not least because of the brilliantly purple ube pancakes served there on weekends. Fortunately, owner Greg Rosas' daughter Rita Glenister will continue making the pancakes in miniature form for her new pop-up Happi Yammi at street fairs, possibly farmers markets, and other events (to be announced).
The drive is worth it for this Snohomish breakfast destination's signature "Maltby-style" fruit-filled Swedish pancakes with creme fraiche. They've also got classic buttermilk pancakes, which you can get with blueberries or granola and maple pecan butter.
This farmers market fixture is known for its poffertjes, a type of mini Dutch pancake made in a cast-iron griddle. Toppings, which change to highlight seasonal ingredients, range from sweet (seasonal fruit, butter with powdered sugar) to savory (lox, raclette cheese). Find them at the Capitol Hill Farmers Market and other events.
My Sweet Lil Cakes
"So good you'll lick the stick" is the promise of this food truck, which purveys sweet and savory hotcakes on a stick. The unconventional flavors include beer and hickory smoked bacon, cherry-filled chocolate devil's cake, and red velvet buttermilk. You can find them downtown and at various events.
Portage Bay Cafe
Anyone who's been to this enduring brunch favorite knows it's all about the breakfast bar. Order vegan and gluten-free banana pancakes, gluten-free buckwheat pancakes, Swedish pancakes with lingonberry compote, or classic pancakes with organic Bluebird Grain Farms heirloom wheat, then heap your flapjacks with all the seasonal fresh fruit, nuts, and whipped cream your heart desires.
Tilikum Place Cafe
You'll have to book reservations weeks in advance for this wildly popular downtown brunch spot, but it'll all be worth it for their famous Dutch babies, a large, fluffy pancake similar to a popover.