Shrove Tuesday: An Ode to All the Pancakes In Boston & Beyond

Lincoln Tavern’s Test Kitchen Brunch whips up some of the most delightful brunch items in town like these Butternut Squash pancakes with all kinds of deliciousness on top (toffee caramel sauce, nuts, cream)

Shrove Tuesday, also known as pancake day, always falls 47 days before Easter and is always February 3 and March 9. In some English churches at noon on shrove Tuesday the pancake bell is rung signaling that it is time to prepare the pancakes. It signals the first day of lent a day when traditionally you would use up ingredients that will not be indulged in over lent.

I must confess that we are a pancake loving family.  At home I make crêpes, have made sourdough pancakes from my Mass MoCA Canada exhibit sourdough starter, Dan makes the dairy free pancakes, and I make my mom’s Canadian buttermilk blueberry ones.


We have also enjoyed and continue to enjoy pancakes all over town and sometimes halfway across the world.  Our local regular spots for pancakes are: Deluxe Town Diner, Sarah’s Market & Café, The Breakfast Club, Uncommon Grounds, Praliné (for crêpes), and more.  Here is a slideshow to peruse of some of the pancakes we have been enjoying in Boston and beyond including some nee favourites that you can enjoy for brunch this weekend if you haven’t chosen pancakes as the thing to give up for lent.

Il Casale in Belmont (totally unexpected I know!!!) makes the most perfect silver dollar pancakes I have ever had.

Diners are a sure bet for finding pancakes.  Boston, Somerville, and Cambridge as well as some suburban spots have pretty much perfected the brunch scene.  Brunch is full of classic comfort foods as well as creative test kitchen creations.  In addition to the usual spots for brunch and breakfast these restaurants are putting out some incredible pancakes.


Trade in Boston, has these incredible Falafel Pancakes that are served on top of a slather of  tzatziki. Over the river at Alden & Harlow you can get my favorite savoury pancakes because I have a thing for popcorn but also because they are the tastiest pancakes ever.  

These corn and pepper pancakes are so good. Alden & Harlow makes some really interesting, perfectly put together flavours and textures in all their small plates. This isn’t the most beautiful picture but you get the idea.  This isn’t on the menu as is anymore but there are still pancakes for dinner they just change with the seasons and chef’s whim. 

Not exactly a pancake but definitely still a variation on the theme are crêpes, so I want to be sure to include Praliné who serves crêpes starting at 7 a.m. with some delicious fillings made in house, or you can go for our simple favourite sugar and lemon.  This may be pushing the definition a bit far, but I’ll include Lady M Confections because they are just a beautiful stack of pancakes filled with some delectible layers of everything from cream to chesnut paste.

Lady M Confections makes milles crêpes which are stacks of crêpes with thin layers of filling.

From Maine to London here are some of the pancakes we’ve been enjoying. Stops include: Amore Breakfast (Ogunquit, ME), Bill’s (Holburn, London), Deluxe Town Diner (Watertown, MA), Sofra (Cambridge, MA), Uncommon Grounds (Watertown, MA), Lone Star Taco Bar (Allston/Boston, MA), Village Inn (Orlando, FL), Café Chew (Sandwich/Cape Cod, MA), The Lazy Lobster (Chatham/Cape Cod, MA), The Wicked Oyster (Wellfleet/Cape Cod, MA), Lincoln Tavern (South Boston, MA), Frescafe (Needham, MA), Oak Long Bar + Kitchen at the Fairmont Hotel (Back Bay/Boston, MA), ArtBar at the Royal Sonesta (Cambridge, MA), Puritan & Co. (Cambridge, MA), Black Eyed Susan’s (Nantucket, MA)

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