It's all fun and games on Pancake Day — unless you've got a food intolerance which strictly limits your options. These London cafes and restaurants offer vegan pancakes and dairy-free or gluten-free pancakes year-round.
For further Shrove Tuesday or casual pancake inspiration, take a look at our guide to the best pancakes and crepes in London.
My Old Dutch — vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free pancakes
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This mini-chain of very orange pancake house restaurants is often written off as a tourist trap, but it was one of the first places in London to offer gluten-free and vegan pancakes.
Its pancakes use rice, tapioca, buckwheat and potato, and any of the regular pancakes from the menus can be adapted as gluten-free. The vegan option uses the same recipe as the gluten-free one, further swapping out milk for soy milk.
If it's lactose that's holding you back from your pancake dreams, you can order a soy pancake base, which eliminates the milk. All cheese pancakes can be served with a lactose-free cheese instead for a small extra charge.
My Old Dutch, Holborn, Chelsea and Kensington
Where The Pancakes Are — vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free pancakes
Any of the pancakes at this Southwark eatery (now with a second branch in Fitzrovia) are available made with the special '3-in-1 batter' instead of regular batter. The 3-in-1 batter is dairy-free, wheat-free and vegan, made from organic rice & buckwheat flour, soy milk and chickpea water.
Obviously, you'll need to pick your toppings carefully, though menu options are helpfully labelled as wf (wheat-free) and ve (vegan) where appropriate. Vegans are catered for on both the savoury and sweet menus, with quinoa, roasted squash, red onion, kale, raw beetroot, pomegranate, cashews & ginger-soy dressing as one vibrant option. Check the menu for details.
Where The Pancakes Are, 85a Southwark Bridge Road, SE1 0NQ, and 7 Charlotte Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 1RG
Senzala, Brixton — vegan and gluten-free galettes
This south London café serves French crepes with a Brazilian flair. Technically, pancakes aren't on the menu — it's a choice between galettes and crepes (the difference being what they're made of) but we find that they both do the job nicely when a pancake craving strikes.
The galettes contain gluten-free buckwheat flour, making them suitable for both vegan and gluten-free diners, while the crepes are made from plain flour and contain egg and dairy — so if you're vegan or gluten-free, go with galettes.
Thankfully the same toppings are available on both, and the menu clearly marks out which toppings are suitable for which dietary requirements, with a whole page each of savoury and sweet options to choose from, and extra ingredients available to add. Vegan options include the Rosa Squash (tomato chutney, roasted butternut squash, courgette, red pepper confit, rocket and roasted almond) and the Sweetie Vegan (maple syrup, banana, strawberries and mixed nuts).
Senzala, Brixton Village Market, 41-42 Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8PS
Farmacy — vegan and gluten-free pancakes
This Notting Hill restaurant offers a plant-based menu, and also focuses on organic and chemical-free food. It's a very healthy menu — think cold-pressed juices and superfood smoothies — with the house pancakes featuring on the brunch menu.
The vegan and gluten-free buckwheat flour pancakes are served with berry compote, seasonal fruits, coconut yoghurt and maple syrup. The recipe features in the Farmacy Kitchen Cookbook, if you fancy whipping up your own at home.
Farmacy, 74 Westbourne Grove, W2 5SH.
Gallery Cafe — vegan and gluten-free pancakes
Everything served at Gallery Cafe is vegan, and that includes the gluten-free banana pancake stack on the brunch menu, served Friday to Sunday 8.30am-5pm. The pancakes are topped with coconut yoghurt, fresh berries, caramelised nuts and agave syrup.
The cafe is located within St Margaret's House, an organisation which aims to get people playing a more active role in the local community. Many of the ingredients in the cafe are locally sourced, and the profits go back into St Margaret's House — so by tucking into your vegan pancakes, you're helping the local community.
WAVE — vegan, gluten-free pancakes
WAVE — We Are Vegan Everything — is by the duo behind vegan bakery Cupcakes And Shhht. It's both a cafe and a food supplier, with dishes served everyday — including seasonally changing pancakes. They're made from gluten-free flour, and the current topping is berry coulis, pancake syrup, vegan cream and a dusting of cinnamon. Yes please.
WAVE, 11 Dispensary Lane, Hackney, E8 1FT