Top Four ‘Save My Fat Ass’ Pancakes North London

Written by: Sophie Taylor

Pancake day means one thing. Pancake bells.

If you hear a chiming in the distance that speaks to your shrivelled dark soul, it is the PANCAKE BELL calling you to sit next to a man in a box and confess all your sins. Yes, Margaret you have many. Remember? Just last week you fell in love with that 17 year old barista and imagined cheating on Dave. You then coveted next door’s pet alpaca, which is major in the sin book.

#Goodtoknow Shrove Tuesday comes from the word ‘shrive’, meaning absolution for sins by doing penance. That means 40 days (and nights – don’t go thinking your evening cheese binges don’t count) of asexual, porridge eating abstinence.

So on Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day, Mardi Gras (or Fat Tuesday as I prefer), it’s time to use up all the fat ass foods you’ve got kicking about at home and gorge away before you become all virginal and skinny and boring. Back in the day that meant sugar, eggs and flour hence the rise of the pancake batter.


If, however, you don’t believe in God Almighty and eternities of remorse but still want to get in on the Fat Tuesday action, here’s our top four flipping tasty pancake venues in North London. Because cooking is for sin repenting fools and we shouldn’t have to put up with this crepe.

North Four, North London magazine, crepes, pancake day, front room cafe, shrove tuesday, fat tuesday, mardi gras

1. The Local One

The Front Room Cafe, 158 Tollington Park, N4 

The Front Room Cafe in Stroud Green is a community eatery serving freshly cooked dishes prepared on site. You’ll find exhibits from neighbourhood artists adorning the walls, free Wi-Fi and eclectic playlists to accompany your brunch.

But for a local North London cafe, the pancakes at Front Room are surprisingly American. The New Yorker pancakes are served with bacon and drizzled in maple syrup with a fluffy thick density that will make you feel like a Quentin Tarantino extra. A local favourite is the pile of pancakes with yoghurt fruit and maple syrup, eaten outdoors on the terrace.

Repenting Levels: 35/40 This pile of crepe is filling, bacon-y and American style dense. Extra lashings of maple syrup rendered us a fattened cow fit for forty days of fasting

Novelty Element: Get a taste of Manhattan in Finsbury Park.

Bang for your Buck: £7 for a little stack is pretty reasonable you’ll come to find. 

DIY Factor: It is possible for any old fool with a pan, a couple of eggs and some flour to create a pancake or two. It is also entirely possible you will make a fine mess and ruin the ceiling / day for every one. 

North Four, North London magazine, crepes, pancake day, front room cafe, shrove tuesday, fat tuesday, mardi gras, granger and co

2. The Posh One

Grainger & Co, 7 Pancras Square N1C 4AG

Australian chef and restaurateur Bill Granger opened his first restaurant, Bills, in Sydney, Australia, at the age of 22, and 20 years later launched his first London restaurant, Granger & Co, in late November 2011 to huge queues. These hot pieces of ass come with their own little pot of maple syrup so you can drizzle or drench to your fatty heart’s content. The (pan)hotcakes stay moist thanks to splashes of ricotta dotted throughout, keeping the recipe filling but light. As well as a helping of ripe banana, you get slatherings of honeycomb butter to wallow in, which is more gooey than normal butter and emits glorious caramel scents as you dip your hotcake. I often emit a heavenly caramel scent as I dip my hotcake on the regs, how bout you? Technically these aren’t exactly pancakes, but I’m not sure I care. They’re tasty and fresh and I’m too busy repenting.

Repenting Levels: 30/40 I no longer need to confess to … that … thing I did once…

Novelty Element: They’re filled with cheese and come with honeycomb butter for goodness sake.

Bang for your Buck: £12.50 might sound a little steep for something you could make at home. Except you probably couldn’t make them like this.

DIY Factor: You can try to recreate the gooey honeycomb butter if you dare. Try this recipe.

North Four, North London magazine, crepes, pancake day, front room cafe, shrove tuesday, fat tuesday, mardi gras, The Breakfast Club

3. The Obvious One

The Breakfast Club, Islington

Yeah yeah, we all know The Breakfast Club. I saw one in Brighton and rolled my eyes so hard I’ve had a twitch for three weeks. But that’s just my snowflakey disdain of the bourgeoisie which is on another level of hypocrisy. How dare Starbucks not stock almond milk.

And yes, it may be a chain, but it’s a small one and they’re doing the good thing. AKA hearty fodder. Like any good small food chain they’ve got a topical deal going on for Shrove Tuesday: pop along on the 28th Feb and take on the pancake challenge.

If you can eat a stack of a dozen pancakes in 12 minutes you don’t pay a penny. If you fail you have to pay the full £20, but that all goes to a local charity AND you get a free keyring just for entering.

However, if you just fancy trying the pancakes free from the confines of a twelve minute pressure cooker, do so but go early. The pancakes will be fresher and fluffier.  Towards the end of the day you run the risk of dry cakes, however the vanilla cream and maple syrup makes up for this. Don’t scrimp on your toppings, but make room for the portions which nay holdeth back.

North Four, North London magazine, crepes, pancake day, front room cafe, shrove tuesday, fat tuesday, mardi gras, The Breakfast Club

The options are rather endless at The Breakfast Club when it comes to pancake day specials available from the 20th to the 28th Feb.

Try the lemon meringue stack, the Bourbon pulled pork, or even the triple chocolate fudge mallow option on for size. Yeah, all at once. Why reign it in when you’ve come this far you know?

P.S. Gluten free options are available upon request. 

Repenting Levels: 39/40 I can’t see my toes past my pancake belly. Which means I have no energy left to see my own flaws and sins. I’ll be digesting these pancakes til Easter.

Novelty Element: The pancake challenge for people who don’t like to savour their food and chow down with the underlying risk of giving £20 to charity. Plus pancake day specials which sound insane.

Bang for your Buck: Pancakes and berries with maple syrup and vanilla cream is £9. Not too shabby for the atmosphere that comes with it. Then for a mere £2.40 more you can get the All American, adding eggs, sausage, potatoes and streaky bacon if you’re into that sort of thing. 

DIY Factor: Well of course you could attempt to recreate all of the above at home, anything in this world is possible. But where is the 80s nostalgia and whole ‘getting out the house’ vibe?

North Four, North London magazine, crepes, pancake day

4. The Guilt Free One

Nojó, Unit 730, Camden Market, NW1 8AH

100% gluten, dairy and guilt free, these fresh, vegan and locally sourced crepes will leave your stomach / moral compass satisfied and on point. “Our vision for Nojó was to create a healthy fast food business that would cater to the London market, people working long hours and living fast paced lives – but with a desire to eat properly nutritious and healthy food.” Which gives you more time to wander off polishing your halo and volunteering for charity.

Good to remember, in case you get carried away with the heavenliness and forget your own name, the pancakes are gluten free but the fillings aren’t necessarily. You can ask for vegan and dairy free recipes too, safe in the knowledge that every choice is made without cane sugar. If you don’t mind a bit of dairy (some of us aren’t watching our waistlines / conscience) the strawberry matcha green tea ice cream crepe looks so good it could be bad for you. Almost. Otherwise, what about the yoghurt mixed berry option with Greek yoghurt, mixed berries, seeds and Nojo’s very own homemade chocolate truffles? It comes with 26 grams of protein and a whole bunch of vitamin C to enjoy. Savoury options include the smoked salmon with cream cheese and tofu sauce. Yum yum yummers as my friend Geraldine says.

Repenting Levels: 02/40 Far too saintly. Could eat these all day and still need to commit some heavy adultery / rob a Nationwide or two on Upper Street before it’s time to lent repent.

Novelty Element: Specialising in crepes and crepes alone. Plus they’re healthy.

Bang for your Buck: Prices range from £6 to £9 for sweet and savoury crepes. Not. Too. Shabby.

DIY Factor: I’d like to see you try. They’re gluten free, dairy free AND tasty.

North Four, North London magazine, hivemind, theatre collective, hen and chickens theatre bar, improv show

Theatre of Choice: Stick and Twisted by Hivemind

Hivemind are coming to the Hen and Chickens Theatre this Summer with a cracker of an innovative show. Three directors try to win over the audience with improvised stories acted out by the rest of the Hivemind cast on the spur of the moment. As each scene ends you decide whether to “stick” and see where the story goes or “twist” and let the next director take over. The director who ends up with the least scenes acted out has to pay a ‘terrible forfeit’. Told you it was harsh.

North Four, North London magazine, the lacy nook, stoke newington, balkan fusion, cuisine, bar, restaurant, menu, review, beer garden
Eat & Drink

Hidden Culinary Gem: The Lacy Nook

We have been wondering whether or not to share this secret gem with you for a while now. Having walked past Cazenove Road on many a drunken occasion, we’d spotted The Lacy Nook A Board luring us inwards with a siren’s call of cocktails and beer garden. But unfortunately we’d get the timing all wrong and they’d rarely be open. “Closed at 4am! How ludicrous?” we’d holler, slurring and swaying up the road. Until now. Opening last year, The Lacy Nook is a collaboration between two friends who turned to Kickstarter to help them achieve this culinary dream . Think small and large plates of fusion Balkan BBQ, salads and carpaccio alongside

North Four, North London magazine, NYT, Theatre, new play, playing up, acting course

Playing Up: New NYT Show, Three

This year, Playing Up have commissioned a new play by Sophie Ellerby (HighTide First Commissions Writer and NYT REP Company 2013), Three, which will be staged at the Arcola Theatre from 20th to 22nd July. The urban and domestic drama, directed by NYT Associate Director Anna Niland follows three sisters who fight to keep track of reality as their world is turned upside down.

North Four, North London magazine, amusical, backyard comedy club, comedians, acts, tickets, bethnal green, josie long

Laughable Acts at Backyard Comedy Club

Tonight, on this dull yet sweaty Monday, what you may well need is to show your confectionary based fillings to the ceiling and let it all out with a huge bellowing guffaw about nothing in particular. Let the likes of quick witted Josie Long, surreal twosome Max and Ivan and the downright uproarious Tom Parry help you escape the chocolate lacking reality of 2017.

North Four, North London magazine, staffie, rehoming, dogs, adoption, foster, staffordshire bull terrier, all dogs matter charity

Fur Dates: Lottie is Looking for Love

Registered charity, All Dogs Matter are a dog rehoming centre based in Archway. They use a mixture of foster homes and kennel spaces to house their dogs, who are each looking to be fostered or adopted. Occasionally we look through their profiles of beautiful singletons looking for love and feature one at random. We interviewed one newly single lady in particular called Lottie. A fun spirited character with smooth hair and a huge grin, Lottie was a right laugh.

North Four, North London magazine, jumble trail, vintage clothing, caledonian road, car boot, stalls, bric-a-brac, treasure trove

Get Involved: Cally Road Jumble Trail

Next Sunday it’s the Cally Road Jumble Trail, run by the community. Think a car boot sale but on the street with vintage clothing, accessories, toys, original creations and cakes if you’re lucky. The whole of the trail is set up online over at where visitors get a colour coded map to explore and discover all the hidden treasures on offer from your neighbourhood.

North Four, North London magazine, wimbledon, tennis, screenings, lifestyle, list, article, what to do, white socks
Lifestyle List

Top Four ‘What the Deuce!’ Wimbledon Screening Spots

You’ve got your socks pulled up but no Cliff Richard in sight. You’re all white shorted up with nowhere to go. It’s time to find out where your white headbanded self will fit in. Here's our top four Wimbledon screening hang outs to try this Summer.

North Four, North London magazine, yield n16, cheese, wine, newington green, wine, wine tasting
Eat & Drink Events

Midsummer Fizz Masterclass at Yield N16

Until five minutes ago I would’ve believed Pet Nat was a holistic dog food brand / veterinary business in Wood Green. I’m half right actually*, but in the boozios world it’s a fizzy wine. Pétillant Naturel is light and fizzy, usually pretty low on the alcohol scale and rather sweet. Think the opposite of a dry red wine.

North Four, North London magazine, stoke newington, abney park, dogs, dog walking, dog training, north london
Eat & Drink

World Foods Market, Abney Hall

Abney Public Hall is hosting a market of world food delicacies next weekend, having gathered together the creme de la creme of planet Earth’s cuisine. Prepare for a mass fusion of cultures, great food, drink and music just off Stoke Newington Church Street.

North Four, North London magazine, avocado, brunch, eggs, breakfast, gentrification, city

Quiz: How Gentrified Are You?

Otherwise known as the shoredification of London, there are four stages of denial when it comes to dealing with the inevitability of gentrification. Are you a dilapidated ol’ boozer clinging on to the same threads since 1989, or more of a craft beer-swilling/moustache-bearing pop up type propping up the bar at a cookie dough cafe? Let’s find out before your bedroom’s transformed in to a pop up belfie gallery.

North Four, North London magazine, the literary hour, supper club, wind in the willows, kenneth grahame, themed event, dining, food, drink
Eat & Drink Events

Poop poop! Supper Club Banquet at Toad Hall

Poop poop! Get your driving gloves on and tweed jackets ready, for Toady has invited us down to Toad Hall for a banquet on the riverbank. Join The Literary Hour for their all new immersive supper club experience this Summer. It’s the eighth in their series of book themed events with multi-sensory five course meals featuring additional surprises… Ooh ratty!

North Four, North London magazine, open mic night, the mosutache bar, stoke newington, events, comedians, acts, music, singers, actors

Comedians, Rappers, Actors: Open Mic Night in Stokey

Every last Thursday of the month a motley crew of performing acts shuffle off to the skinny little Moustache Bar on Stoke Newington Road for a night of microphone hogging. It’s Open Mic night and the stage isn’t just available to acoustic guitar yielding crooners. The floor is open for all you comedians, rappers, poets, hell even actors are welcome to come tread the boards at Moustache Bar this Thursday 27th July.

North Four, North London magazine, stoke newington, walking tour, history, guided tour, event, to do, streets, shops
Events Lifestyle

Walking Tour of Stokey's Rebel History

Ah Stokey. You chilled out little rebel of North London. The seemingly easy breezy, laissez-faire attitude that appears to exude from every award winning eatery and baby clothes shop of Church Street is all but an organic hessian veil over it’s anarchic and rebellious history. Nonconformists, anti fascists and dissenters built the area as we know it.

North Four, North London magazine, joginders supper club, punjabi cuisine, eating, dining
Eat & Drink

Eating North London: Punjabi Supperclub Recipe

Trying our luck, we decided to ask the wonderful Raina and Saira of Joginder Supper Club to give us some unseen insight in to their centuries old Punjabi recipes. Amazingly they agreed to shed some light on one of their most tasty dishes: the Bhoolghobi Tamatar (cauliflower with tomato and potato). Over to the experts...

North Four, North London magazine, tour de france, tour de north london, cycle tour, food tour, french cuisine, review
Culture Eat & Drink Lifestyle

North London Bike Tour: Tour De North Four

So this July 198 cyclists head over to Germany to start the Tour de France. If you think that is weird, wait till I tell you it started in Yorkshire a few years ago. Anyway after the three days of the Grand Depart the spectacle of the world's biggest sporting event heads back to France and the action really begins.

North Four, North London magazine, drink shop do, glastonbury, festival, kings cross, event

Glastonbury Comes to North London

Did you take one look at the ticket prices for Glastonbury, vomit in your mouth and close your laptop slowly? Did you get a debilitating case of FOMO scrolling through your friends Glastonbury pics and “oops lost my phone at Radiohead” status updates? Or did you actually go to Glastonbury, witness Jon Snow drop the f bomb and now know that life will never get any better