Best Pancakes in Hawai’i

I’ve been having a pancake craving lately, so I’ve been eating pancakes at different places. I guess the topic is not a very good one, as the difference between most pancakes are pretty small.

To me, the best pancakes are still from Liliha Bakery. Here are comments about other places we’ve tried.

Koa Pancake House
The new branch in Aiea is not that good, imo. Maybe the fact that they’re served on paperplates with plastic forks influences me, but I don’t think so. We recently to the one in Kaneohe, but it wasn’t that great either.

Anna Miller’s
This was the second best pancakes I’ve tried recently. They were kinda small–around 4-5″ inches in diameter. The consistency wasn’t that good, but I liked the flavor, a little sweet. I also like the boysenberry syrup there.

Mac 24/7
Bland, but super huge.

Original Pancake House
The “49er” is the other pancake that competes for my favorite pancake. It’s a flat, crepe-like pancake with crispy edges. It’s flat but covers the whole plate. It doesn’t look as filling as it is.

Bob’s Big Boy
This was one of the worst. It’s a notch above McDonald’s. Maybe I had it on a bad day, but I remember telling myself, “Never to order this, no matter how strong a craving I had.”

Anyone try the IHOP pancakes. I’ve had them on the mainland, and they were nothing special. I don’t think I’ve had Denny’s pancakes or not in a long time.

11 Responses to “Best Pancakes in Hawai’i”


  1. pen

    I have to agree with Liliha Bakery as #1. Yum!

    IHOP pancakes are pretty good. You can order different ones (I believe there are at least 3 varieties, not including various add-ins, like fruits or chocolate chips). I think I had the “Harvest Grain & Nut” version, which was chewy and flavorful. I thought it was good. Still, Liliha reigns supreme with me.

    Pancake House…is that the restaurant on Kapiolani Blvd.? They have this apple pancake thing which is awesome.

    Grrr…now I’m hungry! Thanks, Reid.

  2. Reid

    There are two Original Pancake Houses–one on Kapiolani and one in Kalihi, off of Dillingham. I think the pancake you’re talking about is called the “dutch baby.” It’s OK. It’s more like dessert than a pancake.

  3. mitchell

    I go through pancakes phases every few years, but I usually don’t order them when I go out because I consider them a kind of boring order. It just seems weird to order pancakes when right there on the same menu are meat-eggs-rice dishes. Still, Grace and I went to Liliha Bakery the night Harry Potter was released and when she ordered one pancake, I was quite amused, so I ordered it too. And yes. I can see what the big deal is.

    That is one freaking good pancake.

  4. Reid

    Larri and I have been enjoying the blueberry pancakes at Brent’s. It’s nothing really spectacular–although Don recently told me that he thought Brent’s had the best pancakes (he has never tried the Liliha or Original Pancake House’s 49er though). Strangely, I recently ordered the regular pancakes at Brent’s and they weren’t as good. Larri thinks the sweetness from the berries change the overall flavor. I’m skeptical. I think it was just bad luck.

    I recently tried both the pancakes and waffles at Mix Cafe on Beretania close to Bethel. The banana pancakes were pretty good. I liked the batter. The pancakes had a light and sweet quality. The owner told me that he wasn’t happy with the batter recently, so I told him I’d try again. The pancakes come with a dollop of whipped cream (thick; seems made from scratch) and some fruit. I ate the ‘cakes without syrup or butter.

    The waffle comes with the same sides. It’s about a 4″x6″ rectangular. The owner says that his waffle maker comes from Italy. They were pretty good, but I thought they could have been sweeter, and would have preferred if they came hotter. On that day, he also said he didn’t feel like the batter was up to snuff.

  5. Reid

    Tried the Shiro’s pancakes (and waffles). You’re probably giving me a strange look like the one Mitchell gave me when I told him. Here’s the story: I went there with Larri’s family and I saw an order of pancakes. You know how the edge of pancakes can get crispy when you cook them in a bit of oil? The pancake looked like that, except the crispiness was in the middle of the pancakes as well.

    Well, they were disappointing. They weren’t crispy in the middle. (Why doesn’t someone try to do that? There’s gotta by a way, and I think a lot of people would like that.) The waffles were not bad. They’re advertised as malt waffles, and they were pretty good. I’ve had worse.

  6. Reid

    I went to the new IHOP in Pearl City yesterday. Here are some of the pancakes I tried:

    Buttermilk: Basically, you’re standard pancakes, except a bit on the sweet side and leaning toward a crumbling consistency, giving it a cake like quality (all the pancakes have those qualities).
    Oat: I can’t remember the official name for this, but it basically have grains and nuts–mostly ground up. This was pretty good. If this were healthier for you, I would get this. It also came with a choice of blueberry or apple cinnamon compote and whipped cream. (I got the blueberry, which was fine.)
    Pumpkin: I liked this one. It tasted like pumpkin bread.
    Cheesecake: This came with strawberry topping and bits of cheesecake in the pancakes. This was pretty good.
    Corn cakes: It tasted basically like how it sounds: a cross between a pancake and cornbread. This one was even more crumbly.

    One of the bad things about this place is the price. The pancakes are no less that $7, some ranging a little over $10. That’s ridiculous, imo. Also, they didn’t come hot off the grill.

    These pancakes aren’t the best, but they’re good. I’d go there again, if I was willing to spend the dough (rim shot!).

    Btw, I also tried some of the crab (real) and shrimp omellette. This came in a cheese sauce with diced tomato. I thought that was really good.

  7. Mitchell

    Okay. I tried the Forty-Niners at Pancake House. This is three very thin pancakes with an eggy, custardy mouthfeel and taste. My first few bites were excellent; I didn’t even use “syrup” for the first quarter of the plate.

    My problem with this thing is the amount of whipped butter they put on the plate. I thought I could kinda control the butter by keeping it to one side, but the entire blob melted and there was nothing I could do. This was just waaaaay too much butter for me. I left a few bites on the plate, but I don’t know if it’s ’cause I was full or ’cause I was feeling grossed out by all that butter. *shudder* Next time, I’m either asking for them dry, or for butter on the side.

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  8. Reid

    So do you agree with me that they’re just as good, if not better than the Liliha Bakery pancakes?

    Btw, next time ask them to make it on the crispy side and bring out hot. (Btw, I agree they give too much butter, but that’s usually not a problem since Larri likes butter, and I give her some of mine.)

  9. renee

    cinnamon’s in kailua has guava chiffon pancakes. we found out it was a guava chiffon topping on regular pancakes. anyway, they were pretty tasty. their other menu items are pretty good too.

  10. Reid

    I complain to my wife about the lack of breakfast/diners that add a creative twist to their food (like the kind of places you often see on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives), but Cinnamon’s is probably the closest to the an exception. They do different creative stuff, and, yes, it’s pretty good. It can get pretty crowded.

    I don’t know why there are more “creative” diners in Hawai’i. I wish there were.

    Btw, hi Renee. Nice to “see” a new face.

  11. Reid

    Diamond Head Grill

    I got two of the blueberry pancakes ($5). It was good, kinda sweet, like it was made of cake batter. I think this was better than Brent’s blueberry pancakes. If they had a sit down diner, I’d probably go here more often to get the pancakes.

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