Enjoy delicious pancakes on Pancake Day or any other day of the year
Did you know that Mardi Gras is also known as Pancake Day? Pancake breakfasts (or let’s be honest – lunches or dinners too) are a traditional way to enjoy rich foods that one might be planning to give up for Lent, starting the very next day.
We asked our readers for recommendations for the best pancakes in the Champaign-Urbana area, and they responded with enthusiasm. We collected the responses from Facebook and curated them for you here.
Many of you said that you or your spouses make the best pancakes ever, but sorry, we didn’t include those (do let us know if you’re opening a restaurant any time soon).
These recommendations are those of our readers and do not constitute endorsements by chambanamoms.com.
THE OVERWHELMING FAVORITE
The Original Pancake House, Champaign:
“On the rare occasion we go out for breakfast it would have to be OPH for sure! The cinnamon raisin pancakes are killer.”
“Pumpkin pancakes from OPH are an autumn requirement. The seasonal availability makes them so much more special.”
“Original Pancake House since I was 10. NOTHING else compares!!!”
“Original Pancake House – perfectly cooked every time, lots of whipped butter and there’s something special about the syrup.”
The Original Pancake House is located in the Round Barn Center, off Springfield Avenue. Our tips: Get there early on holidays or weekends if you don’t like waiting in long lines. Or treat yourself to breakfast — or our favorite, breakfast-for-lunch — on a weekday and you won’t need to worry. Its 2017 expansion added some seats. Its revamped kitchen helps to meet a demand that shows no sign of slowing down. It has had plenty of practice during the pandemic packaging pancakes for takeout as well. (And don’t worry if you call it The Original House of Pancakes – the owners understand and will still serve you with a smile.)
Le Peep, Champaign: “Le Peep’s pancakes are the closest I can find in this town to Aunt Sonya’s.” (Editor’s note: RIP, Aunt Sonya’s.) 2209 S. Neil St.
Sammy’s Pancake House, Champaign: “They come as a side with basically the entire breakfast menu and they are amazing!” 1206 N. Mattis Ave.
Sam’s Cafe, Champaign: 115 N. Walnut St.
Courier Cafe, Urbana: “Courier, hands down.” 111 N. Race St.
Harvest Market Farmhouse Restaurant, Champaign: “Their pancakes are my favorite. Soft and fluffy on the inside, crispy on the outside.” 2029 S. Neil St.
El Toro Bravo, Champaign: “El Toro Bravo breakfast is awesome! Love their pancakes!” (Note: only the Springfield El Toro location serves breakfast, and not every day.) 2561 W. Springfield Ave.
Sweet Basil Cafe, Champaign: 103 W. Marketview Dr.
Denny’s, Champaign and Tuscola locations: “Look for their Unlimited Breakfast deals.”
AND SOMETHING DIFFERENT
Applebees, Savoy: 1201 N. Dunlap Ave. “I’m not saying they’re the best pancakes, but they’re always serving a good cause.”
Pre-2020, our Applebees regularly hosted “Short Stack for a Tall Cause” fundraisers for local groups, usually on Saturday mornings, where group members serve your meal and receive a cut of the proceeds. Any word on whether these fundraisers have resumed?
Do you have a pancake recommendation to add? Email us to let us know!