Is San Francisco a pancake town? Flipping through chocolate chip-studded pumpkin pancakes at Dottie's (28 6th St.), Southern style sweet potato cakes at Brenda's (653 Polk St.) brunch, and even delicious savory takes at Nan Korean (1560 Fillmore St.) and Suppenkuche (525 Laguna), I'm still not sure. It's not easy to find the classic golden Bisquick numbers around here, but San Francisco is certainly a place for seasonal, atypical riffs that probably shouldn't get within an arm's length of Aunt Jemima. Here, our top five very San Francisco pancakes, with one classic take thrown in for good measure.
1) Zazie (Cole Valley, 941 Cole St.) Zazie makes its pancakes the old-fashioned way, with real butter, and real buttermilk. There are daily changing "Miracle" pancakes, which flop with the kitchen's mood: from sour cream poppyseed to bread pudding and more. The menu's signature gingerbread rendition, topped with poached pears and a generous ooze of lemon curd are a Zazie original that won't do you wrong.
2) Plow (Potrero Hill, 1299 18th St.) You don't really taste ricotta in Maxine Siu's lemon ricotta pancake, but you do notice an above average fluff, and the delicate touch of powdered sugar, cut by a gentle bite of tart lemon. Plow's brunch-time griddled cakes are so popular they're on the lunch menu.
3) 25 Lusk (SoMa, 25 Lusk St.) We've literally pulled apart 25 Lusk's pancake, trying to discern how it walks the line between soft and a touch gummy in perfect measure. Someone with big guns is whipping these up to perfection in the kitchen. Get the seasonal version of the day. Trust.
4) Outerlands (Outer Sunset, 4001 Judah St.) People endure an extra 20 minute wait (on top of Outerlands' regular clip board waiting list) for Outerland's Dutch pancake to bake. Almost like a popover risen to soufflé fluffiness in a cast iron skillet, the "savory" version hides hunks of bacon, playing counterpoint to sugary dough and a drizzle of sweet Vermont maple.
5) Chloe's Cafe (Noe Valley; 1399 Church St.) - A perfectly pleasant, fluffy pancake that doesn't make you think too hard. If Reese Witherspoon were a pancake, she would be the banana walnut pancake fron Chloe's.
This list is not exhaustive! Tell us about your favorite pancakes in the comments.