My most-loved pancake house is Pannenkoekenhuis Upstairs, which is (unsurprisingly) up an extraordinarily steep and narrow flight of stairs – even by Dutch standards. It’s a tiny place, and easy to miss, but worth it once you get inside. Teapots hang from the ceiling in every size and shape, while the pancakes are the diametre of dinner plates and as thick as pizzas, with both sweet and savoury toppings. Try a hearty classic like ham and cheese (add pineapple if you’re feeling the Hawaiian thing), or go sweet with apple, cinnamon and whipped cream.
Luxuriously thick, fluffy, American-style pancakes seem to be having a bit of a moment in Amsterdam right now. And it makes sense, given the country’s passion for pannenkoeken. It’s not often that I eat out in the Red Light District, but I recently made an exception when I accepted an invite from Madam Pancake. Tucked down an alleyway replete with sex shops and snack bars, this pancake house attracts its fair share of tourists, but for good reason. The coffee is strong, the orange juice freshly squeezed (and comes with a shot of hangover-relieving pressed ginger on the side) but most importantly the pancakes are as they should be. Warm and pillow-soft, with plenty of maple syrup and excellent bacon (or fruit, or salmon, or pretty much any pancake topping you can think of). The breakfast deal costs €18.50 and will set you up for the day.
Mr Foodie had been living here nearly four years before I finally remembered to take him out for pancakes. And where better to try them than the place of the same name? Pancakes Amsterdam serves some of the best versions in the city, and while you will see plenty of tourists, locals do treat themselves to the occasional pancake there too. Of course, you can order the regular toppings (bacon and cheese, apple and stroop, and so on), but you’ll also find some more adventurous combinations. I tried one of the house specials: camembert, ham, chicory and raspberry sauce – it sounds odd, but it was strangely addictive. The Honey Badger went for a sweet-n-savoury combo of bacon, bananas and chilli – it was equally tasty so I demanded we share.