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 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
View this post on Instagram
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 gluten-free pancakes use rice, tapioca, buckwheat and potato, and any of the regular pancakes from the Classic Savoury & Sweet, Kids, Lite Option and Breakfast menus can be adapted as gluten-free. The vegan option uses the same recipe as the gluten-free option, but 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 are available made with the special '3-in-1 batter' instead of regular batter. The 3-in-1 batter is suitable for vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free pancake lovers, made from organic rice & buckwheat flour, soy milk and chickpea water.
Obviously, you'll need to pick your toppings carefully — vegans are catered for on both the savoury and sweet menus, with baby leaves, cumin, spring onions, green chilli, lime-coriander butter as one lively option. Check the menu for details.
Where The Pancakes Are, 85a Southwark Bridge Road, SE1 0NQ.
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.
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 both the breakfast and brunch menus.
The vegan and gluten-free buckwheat flour pancakes are served with seasonal fruits, coconut 'yoghurt', caramelised pecans and maple syrup, and are available nut-free on request.
Farmacy, 74 Westbourne Grove, W2 5SH.
Ethos — vegan and gluten-free pancakes
Top marks to Ethos for giving those who are both vegan and gluten-free a choice of toppings. The breakfast menu offers blueberry and coconut yoghurt, banana, walnuts and raspberry, or mango, strawberry and almond. Extra toppings including dried apricots and coconut flakes are available for a small extra charge.
If you're more of a savoury persuasion, take a look at the buckwheat crepes section of the menu. The tofu and tomato salsa toasted crepe is both gluten-free and vegan, while the miso aubergine, avocado and mozzarella offering is still gluten-free, but not vegan on account of that cheese.
Ethos, 48 Eastcastle Street, Fitzrovia, W1W 8DX. There's a second branch in Selfridges, but it doesn't serve pancakes.
Gallery Cafe — vegan pancakes
Everything served at Gallery Cafe is vegan, and that includes the American-style pancake stack on the breakfast menu. Choose from toppings including chocolate sauce, peanut butter and banana, or lemon and sugar. They're served until 12pm on weekdays and 1pm on weekends.
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.
The Diner — vegan pancakes
An American diner isn't the obvious place for a vegan to head, but The Diner mini-chain has been admirably upping its vegetarian and vegan offerings since 2017. The vegan menu offers four sweet-toothed, all day breakfast options. Pick from maple syrup, banana and butterscotch sauce, blueberry, or strawberry and chocolate toppings — although if you ordered one of each, no-one would blame you.
The Diner, vegan menu available at Dalston, Spitalfields, and Shoreditch branches only.
By Chloe — vegan pancakes
American vegan import By Chloe offers a vegan pancake on its Saturday and Sunday brunch menu (served until 4pm). It's topped with maple butter, with coconut whipped cream as an optional extra.
By Chloe, branches at 34-42 Russell Street, Covent Garden, and 6 Duchess Walk, One Tower Bridge and 4-5 Langham Place, Marylebone, and The O2.
Redemption — vegan pancakes
View this post on Instagram
Drop by any branch of Redemption for breakfast, and you'll find buckwheat pancakes on the menu. The vegan offerings are tossed in coconut oil and topped with natural coconut yoghurt, berry compote and caramelised pecans. A savoury offering comes in the form of sweetcorn and red pepper pancakes.
Redemption Bar, 320 Old Street (Shoreditch), 6 Chepstow Road (Notting Hill) and 15 Shorts Gardens (Covent Garden).
WAVE — vegan pancakes
WAVE — We Are Vegan Everything — is by the duo behind vegan bakery Cupcakes And Shhht. WAVE is both a cafe and food supplier, with food served everyday — including the seasonally changing pancakes. They're made from gluten-free flour, and toppings include peach & walnut or sticky toffee.
We recommend washing it down with one of the cafe's soya based ice cream shakes or freakshakes — who said vegan had to be healthy?
WAVE, 11 Dispensary Lane, Hackney, E8 1FT.