Pancake Pantry

Review by: Michael Stern

Breakfast in Nashville evokes images of country ham. You can have a wonderful slab of it at the Pancake Pantry, but it is not ham that puts this breakfast house on the roadfood map. It is pancakes, all kinds of them, the best being sweet potato pancakes that are fluffy and soft, just begging for a drizzle of the silky cinnamon cream that is provided in a pitcher on the table. And who can resist Caribbean buttermilk cakes strewn with pecans, bananas, coconut, and powdered sugar? Or wild blueberry cakes, devilishly seasoned sugar and spice cakes, Swiss chocolate cakes, even creamy potato pancakes made with minced onion?

In addition to cinnamon cream, every table is provided a cruet of warm maple-flavored syrup. All the usual breakfast meats are available on the side, including that outstanding country ham, which is sizzled to a nice crunch around its edges on the griddle. Orange juice is freshly squeezed, sweet and pulpy.

Nearly always crowded (but with a fast turnover that usually precludes long a long wait), the Pancake Pantry is a big restaurant with plenty of space among the tables and high-spirited conversations throughout the dining room. It is impossible to imagine being in a bad mood when eating here. After all, what’s not to be happy about when you are eating excellent pancakes with plenty of butter and syrup and good coffee on the side?

What To Eat

Sweet Potato Pancakes

Country Ham

Hash Browns

Swedish Pancakes

Smoky Mountain Buckwheat Cakes



Pancake Pantry Recipes


What do you think of Pancake Pantry?

3 Responses to “Pancake Pantry”

Nancy Castro

March 12th, 2011

I had the sweet potato pancakes and they were excellent with the cinnamon cream syrup. The hash browns were the best I have ever had. The warm maple syrup was delicious, too. They didn’t live up to the warm greeting they advertise, but the food is good.


Jennifer Blackwell

March 22nd, 2008

My friend and I went to the Pancake Pantry while visiting in Nashville. It is everything I hoped it would be. Our shuttle driver told us he and his wife eat there often.

We were really lucky that the line was quite short. It was just out the door, and we were under cover from the rain. Once inside, I was immediately very impressed with how quickly the staff works. They have an amazing team of bussers that swoop in to clean up and reset a table once guests leave. As quick as they are, however, they do not hover. There is no pressure to eat fast and run.

We were delighted with the food. The sweet potato pancakes are divine. My friend said her pecan pancakes were absolutely wonderful. We were in agreement that we could have eaten a meal of just hash brown potatoes. I would caution that a little bit of the ginger cream syrup goes a long way, but that shouldn’t discourage you from trying it.


Brent Kulman

December 28th, 2007

Most southern cities of a certain size have a good pancake joint, but the Pancake Pantry in Nashville is a cut above the rest. They’ve resisted the temptation to change and continue to perform at the top level. Success has clearly not gone to their heads (and the Pantry has had plenty of success).

I had the sweet potato pancakes. I have to confess, sweet potatoes are a particular weakness of mine, and I have yet to have a sweet potato concoction that I’ve disliked (and I am frustrated in this regard as nobody else in my family likes sweet potatoes, so when I see them on a menu I’m immediately attracted as if they are a forbidden fruit). Pancake Pantry’s sweet potato pancakes are flavorful and medium-bodied. The portion is large, and I had to restrain myself from eating the whole batch (and why is it that pancake joints always give you about twice as many pancakes as you really need?).

It is the small things that separate the ordinary from the extraordinary and at Pancake Pantry, it is the range of syrups and the care taken to match certain pancakes with certain syrups. Two were presented to my table: the everyday syrup (which is maple-flavored) and the cinnamon cream syrup. I kept going back and forth as each of them brought out a different flavor sensation from the sweet potato.

I wish I could have pancakes for breakfast more frequently but my waistline would rebel. Nevertheless, on those rare occasions when I feel like indulging, I would make a beeline for the Pancake Pantry if it were within range.


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