While pancakes might be a treat here in the UK, in Canada they are beloved at breakfast and brunch, slathered in maple syrup and served with a side of cured Canadian bacon. If you’re planning a holiday to Canada and your mouth is already watering, you will definitely want to experience the best cuisine the country has to offer. We have put together the Canadian pancake guide to let you in on the very best spots in Canada to enjoy pancakes. Plus, we’ll show you how to make the perfect fluffy pancakes at home.
How to make pancakes
Before we dive on into the wonderful world of Canada and its mouth-watering pancake scene, let’s have a look at how we can enjoy this classic breakfast dish in the comfort of our own homes – perhaps to warm our stomachs up before that holiday to Canada. There are many different variations of pancakes, of course. You can garnish them in numerous ways, have them thick or thin; there really is nothing to hold you back. However, to master the basic and oh-so-glorious Canadian pancake, you will need the following ingredients in order to serve up a couple of these delicious, fluffy breakfast treats:
– 1 cup flour
– 2 tbsp. sugar
– 1 tbsp. baking powder
– 1/2 tsp. salt
– 1 egg
– 1 cup milk
– 2 tbsp. oil
The above is the advised ingredients lists from Kraft Canada, home of top tips, recipes and healthy living ideas. Once your ingredients are gathered, Kraft Canada suggest to mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Next, to: “Beat egg, milk and oil in medium bowl with whisk until blended. Stir in flour mixture.”
The final step on the road to a plate of yummy pancakes is to ladle your batter onto either a hot griddle or skillet that has been sprayed with “cooking spray, using 1/4 cup batter for each pancake. Cook on medium heat until bubbles begin to form on top, then turn to brown other sides.”
There you have it! We hope you enjoy the fruits of your labour. If that didn’t satisfy for your desire for some top Canadian pancakes, however, fear not, as now it’s time to head across the pond.
Image credit: Maxime Branchaud, Le Relais des Pins
Settling down for a nice batch of maple syrup covered pancakes is an appetising prospect, and the good news is that Canada is the home of maple syrup. A trip to the country wouldn’t be complete without visiting one of the many wonderful entities known as sugar shacks. They are incredibly popular in spring (maple syrup season), when the sap starts to flow and maple producers get down to the business of making this grand sugary substance. Sugar Shacks are home to great cuisine and are a place to celebrate and feast with family and friends.
One of our favourites that you could visit on your holiday is the Sugar Shack at Le Relais des Pins in Quebec. Here you can enjoy unique experiences during maple syrup season and all year round. Visitors can learn about the maple syrup craft while also tasting an authentic Canadian meal and sampling their delicious maple products.
Speaking to us about their establishment, Le Relais des Pins said: “Originally from Ile d’Orléans, the Prémont Family has built, over 3 generations, a reputation of excellence in traditional Québec cuisine. This family business serves authentic, homemade fare year round that uses the same recipes as from yesteryear.
“The Relais des Pins will enliven your Sugar Shack experience in its large surroundings with chequered tablecloths and roaring cook stove fires along with the percussion of wooden spoons teamed with a traditional Canadian accordion. Thanks to our musicians, you can dance away in a festive atmosphere.”
H4C Place Saint Henri
Visiting the charming city of Montreal? Then H4C Place Saint Henri is a gourmet restaurant that should be a part of your checklist. They have a great bevy of fantastic dishes but the pancakes are particularly praiseworthy. Located in a restored heritage building, H4C excels in serving up scrumptious pancakes with toppings of apple, maple yogurt and sunflower seeds.
H4C Place Saint Henri explained to us why their pancakes have become such a favourite: “We would say that the reason why our pancakes are so delicious is that instead of trying to reinvent the pancakes, we put our energy on making the best ‘real’ and ‘classic’ pancake. We serve it with generous, seasonal and greedy toppings.”
In the land of Quebec, Crêperie Catherine is certainly worth the visit for those in search of top tier pancakes. This charming, chalet-style establishment is family-owned and welcomes delighted guests with their French-style pancakes (crepes). We spoke to Catherine herself about the establishment and why their crepes have become so popular:
“Creperie Catherine has been a Tremblant tradition since 1995, located on le petite train du Nord multifunctional trail, just minutes from the Tremblant resort. We are family operated and you can often see myself or my sister Lorraine spinning and flipping Crepes in our open kitchen. We take fresh ingredients and prepare them right before your eyes.
“I believe the secret to our success is the fact that we love good food. We have put a spin (literally) on all of our favourite foods. We have a Mexican crepe, Mediterranean, chili crepe, as well as the traditional asparagus and ham. My personal favourites are the Florentine crepe and the smoked salmon crepe.
“You cannot talk about Creperie Catherine without mentioning dessert and our secret sauce ‘sucre a la crème’. Whether served with steamed granny smith apples or purely on its own – it is memorable. A customer (and Lorraine’s) favourite is the Catherine Crunch. Three scoops of ice cream piled high on a crepe with banana, sucre a la creme sauce, whipped cream, crispy crunch chocolate bar and a cherry on top.
“As well as a large variety of crepes, we offer waffles, sandwiches, soups, salads and the best ever milkshakes. There is something for everyone including an extensive gluten free menu. We have a beautifully bright, spacious restaurant. The terrace overlooks the bike path and it is a nice spot to take a break from the 200km trail while enjoying a crepe and locally brewed beer.”
Image credit: Jon Root/Look Local Magazine
For a slightly different pancake experience, visitors to Toronto will want to head on down to Barque Smokehouse who switch things up with their BBQ duck pancakes which will surely become a favourite delicacy during your trip.
To tell us a little more, Barque Smokehouse said: “Our guests’ experience is the embodiment of our personal mission to feed the soul with the finest BBQ flavours from around the world. At the same time that we cook globally, we are part of a unique and tight community within the larger Toronto dining scene. Our neighbourhood, Roncesvalles, and its people, is central to everything we do and who we are.
“Our buttermilk pancake tower is topped with thick blueberry compote, tender 12-hour smoked pulled BBQ duck and a scoop of creamy chèvre. It’s a four-point combination of sweet, savoury, sour and tart flavours. Our dining room is a bustling scene with lots of brunch goers and families mixing together for a fun and frenetic atmosphere.
“We always make it a point to introduce the unique flavours from our founders’ travels through rubs and sauces made with spices from around the world, injecting depth and diversity into familiar cuisines. It is a sentiment which emerges time and again through homemade flavours that our chefs have come to master through years of exploring, testing, and perfecting. We are not a traditional BBQ joint.”
Fran’s Restaurant & Bar
Image credit: Fran’s Restaurant and Bar
Another wonderful Toronto stop for some delicious pancakes, and one that has to be mentioned, is Fran’s Restaurant & Bar. Serving mouth-watering pancake breakfasts all day long, their pancakes are available in a number of delicious varieties.
“Every Torontonian has a favourite Fran’s story,” said Gillian Downes, Director of Marketing and Communications. “Fran’s Restaurant and Bar, a Toronto institution since 1940, serves breakfast all day, every day.
“Fran’s is one of the city’s oldest diners. There are three locations in downtown Toronto – two of which are open 24/7 – and all are mere steps from public transit and major attractions including the Eaton Centre and Nathan Phillips Square. Fran’s is for the community. Dining at Fran’s means being surrounded by friends, family, and good food.”
And regarding everyone’s favourite breakfast item, Gillian said: “Fran’s pancakes are made-to-order from a secret batter recipe that’s been around for decades. Pancakes are available in a variety of flavours including banana and chocolate chip. Customers can also have their pancakes prepared with walnuts and mixed berries.”
Jethro’s Fine Grub
If you’re heading to Vancouver for your Canadian holiday, then you’re in luck. This is the home of Jethro’s Fine Grub, a rather trendy diner where guests can enjoy their fill of fluffy buttermilk pancakes. These are available with maple syrup and whipped butter or in incredibly appetising variants such as ‘The Rooster’, entailing dark chocolate chips and a shot of espresso folded into the buttermilk batter, topped off with whipped cream.
Sunny Morning in Toronto is the place to be for delicious breakfast goods when visiting this vibrant Canadian city. Leaving to one side an already attractive menu, Sunny Morning also present hungry patrons with a number of top-tier pancake options that must be tried. You can play it safe and go for just the pancakes but the more adventurous might be tempted by ‘Freddy’s Caramel Pancakes’ which are topped with pecans, banana slices, and drizzled with their sweet milk caramel.
Calgary Stampede Caravan
Another exciting pancake option is Stampede Caravan, a group of volunteers who put on a wonderful breakfast at the Calgary Stampede, an event held across the city each year. Their breakfasts have been going for 85 years and include delicious, maple syrup covered western pancakes along with top entertainment. And better yet, the breakfasts are free! The next scheduled Stampede Breakfast is on July 7th, 2018.
The Original Pancake House
For those who find themselves in Winnipeg as part of their Canadian adventure, The Original Pancake House is a fantastic spot. With three locations available, giving you no excuse not to stop by, their soft and fluffy buttermilk pancakes are among the very best. Why not go for a simple but unbeatable favourite and try their ‘Classic Pancakes’, which come in servings of six with maple syrup and whipped Notre Dame Creamery butter?
Here are our top recommendations for enjoying maple syrup season.