If you aren’t on Instagram or haven’t frequented the internet for the past 3 years, you’d be be forgiven for not knowing about Japan’s famous souffle pancakes. Foodies, influencers, celebrities and casual travelers seem to post a pic of their stack of wobbly goodness every hour.
How exactly are fluffy (or fuwa fuwa) pancakes made? I’m not really sure, but I hear it has something to do with buttermilk, humidity, and turning them gently. But that’s not what this article is about.
If you’re traveling in Japan and want to know where to find them, you’re about to find out. Now, there are some truly awesome and famous places to enjoy these, but they’re also out of the way from the typical tourist trail. So for the sake of actually being helpful, only major and accessible locations will be listed.
1. Satoyama Cafe (Nomi City, Near Kanazawa)
Okay, let me get the least accessible one – and also most highly recommended – out of the way first.
Satoyama Cafe is perched on the top of a hill overlooking the expansive rice fields in the small district of Tatsunokuchi in Nomi City. The cafe is quaint and cozy, and it’s a favorite among Nomi City locals. Mention its name in Nomi, and it’s often met with a sigh of desire – that’s no joke.
Their Caramel & Apple Pancakes and their Blueberry Pancakes top the list as the best pancakes I’ve eaten in my life, and the atmosphere in the cafe makes it all the better.
So, how exactly do you get there? There are two options:
- Take the train from Kanazawa Station down to Nomi Neagari station (25 minutes). Then, take the local city bus to Tatsunokuchi (20 minutes). From there, it’s less than a 5 minute walk and easy to find.
- Book a cafe experience in Kanazawa on Doot Experiences and request Satoyama in the “special requests” field. Our team will link you up with a host that can drive you there.
2. A Happy Pancake [幸せのパンケーキ] (Nationwide)
A Happy Pancake is truly the most accessible of the fluffy pancake joints. You can find it in Osaka, Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima and Kanazawa – and probably beyond.
Although a franchise with multiple locations, don’t be fooled – the pancakes are as legit as they get, and they’re absolutely to die for. They also tend to be slightly cheaper than the usual prices for fluffy pancakes in Japan, so best to take advantage of it.
3. Cafe Tamon (Kanazawa)
It’s no surprise that a cafe from Kanazawa is featured. Kanazawa people are known for highly valuing quality food, cafes, and overall aesthetics. Cafe culture, and fluffy pancakes, play right into these desires. Even better, Cafe Tamon is dedicated to using locally-sourced ingredients which, you guessed it, are super high quality.
Cafe Tamon is right at the top of our list, and it’s located in the heart of the famous Higashi Chaya (East Tea House) district. It’s directly across the road from a shrine, so there’s something to gaze at while you standing in the ever-present line to get into the cafe. You may want to consider making a reservation before going – so if you’re with a Doot host, be sure to request a booking through them.
The pancakes you can eat at Cafe Tamon include fruit, Mont Blanc, matcha, savory dishes and much more. Pay it a visit and you’re guaranteed to get that Instagram shot that makes everyone’s mouth water.
4. Micasadeco & Cafe (Osaka, Tokyo and Kyoto)
Highly recommended for fluffy pancakes comes Micasadeco & Cafe, which is going to have a guaranteed wait, so make sure you plan plenty of time.
If you choose to visit Micasadeco, you’re guaranteed to have amazing pancakes, but be aware – if you want fluffy pancakes, there’s only one choice: the ricotta pancakes.
The rest of the pancakes are the (still delicious) regular style, but assuming you’re here for the fluffy ones, your options are quite limited. Personally, ricotta pancakes are my favorite of them all, so this isn’t actually a problem for me. They’d do well with a little bit of lemon though. Mmm…
5. Aoyama Flower Market Tea House (Honorable Mention, Tokyo)
Okay, this place doesn’t actually sell fluffy pancakes, but if you’re reading this, I’m assuming you like desserts, pretty food, and great atmospheres. Aoyama Flower Market’s tea house is the pinnacle of “wow” in a cafe and it’d be a sin to leave it off a list like this, even only vaguely related.
While eating, you’re surrounded by flowers, displays, the sounds of water, and a beautiful garden outside the window. It’s the closest thing to a fairy tale you can get.
The unique things you’ll want to try are the flower parfait, the rose jelly, and my personal favorite, the flower french toast. Of all the places mentioned, this will have the longest line on the most consistent basis. Budget at least an hour for waiting. It’s long, but it’s worth it. Give it a go.
Doot Experiences creates social dining experiences for travelers to meetup and socialize with locals at food spots only they know. It’s an incredible opportunity to meet the locals of your travel destination in a casual and authentic way. Enrich your travels – come for the food and stay for the connections.